Jefferson Middle School newsletter
Chapter Twelve: In Which The Hero Embarks On His Journey
Flake was certain Chief Frost would not let him go on a quest, or anywhere really. He knew that his father’s worries were well-founded, but he would never understand why Flake putting his life in danger was better for everyone. If he didn’t get Snow and Flint back soon (assuming they were kidnapped by the same person), a war would be on the brink of starting, which could prove fatal to everyone. It only strengthened Flake’s belief that he needed to go on the quest.
After double-checking that he had everything he needed, Flake sat down to write a short note to leave on his bedside table. No use for the chief to panic from the sudden disappearance of his two kids.
To Chief Frost
By now you would have noticed I am gone. Don’t worry. I was not kidnapped or anything, but I decided to go on a quest to find Snow by my own free will. I’ll be fine. I’m guided by the Oracle.
For now, just make sure you don’t get in a fight with Chief Phoenix. He seems itching to start a war, but don’t let him. I’m sure you’re well aware of that, but it needs to be fresh in your head in the next Conference.
Best wishes, Flake
P.S. Don’t try to look for me. Stay calm. I’ll come back soon.
Flake left at late morning. He carried his satchel and his backpack and walked through the hallways to the entrance of the palace, trying his best to not run outside and down Glacier’s Path to get to the forest. He needed to act calm. He needed to act like he was doing his normal thing, walking around the hallways with an old satchel and a backpack packed with survival items.
He got out of the palace without any problems, he passed by only one maid who barely noticed he was there. Flake immediately ran to the stables and chose a docile gray horse named Pebbles to ride. He wasn’t very good at riding horses, but the path from Frigid Glacier to the Fearsome Forest was very long without some mode of transportation. He led Pebbles out of the stables, past the stable boy, who was sitting on the ground and reading some sort of paper. He didn’t notice Flake leave.
Strangely, Glacier’s Path, the one and only lane out of the Frigid Glacier, wasn’t packed. Only a few pedestrians were out walking, and they seemed to be in a hurry. Flake wondered whether it was because everyone was scared about Snow’s disappearance, or whether it was something else that he missed while sitting in his room. However, it made his journey easier as no one bothered him when he went past the limits of the Silver Snake Kingdom. He was on his own.
The first few hours of the journey wasn’t that harsh. Flake actually sort of liked riding peacefully on horseback, taking short breaks in between to feed Pebbles and look at scenery. By noon, he was already at the Fearsome Forest.
Flake knew perfectly well the Fearsome Forest wasn’t very fearsome, but he still wasn’t a big fan of walking into Forest Kingdom territory without permission. He wasn’t that educated in the many people who lived in the forest, but he knew that there were many rogue groups living within the forest that were not governed by the Council of the Tree.
On the boundary of the forest, Flake hesitated. For the outside, the forest looked menacing. He looked around. No one was following him. Then, taking a deep breath, he walked in the forest with Pebbles in tow.
Chapter Thirteen: In Which Snow Learns How To Play Monopoly
Snow had to run really fast to catch up with Jack, who was speeding through the intricate tunnels and caves as fast as a flaming pixie. (Snow had firsthand experience with the latter, and it was not pretty.) Snow desperately wanted to stop for a moment and inspect her surroundings, see if there was a weakness in the walls, but she also didn’t want to lose Jack, who seemed nice enough and was probably her only ticket to get out of this weird place. Besides, if she fell behind, she was pretty sure Jack wouldn’t wait for her.
Jack finally stopped at a door that looked just like all the rest of the doors in the cave maze, except for the fact that it had a sign that said Bedroom No.5. He knocked on the door while Snow skidded to a halt beside him and leaned on the wall, out of breath. Jack still looked completely refreshed.
Jack knocked on the door again, harder. “Hello?” he shouted. Snow flinched as his voice came echoing back. Hello? Hello? “It’s me! Jack! Remember?” Remember? Remember? “I was wondering if you’d like to go to the game room with me and Snow?” This time, the echoes were blocked by the sound of glass crashing to the ground inside the room. Jack sighed. “Oh dear. Better check on that.” He brought out keys from his pocket and started unlocking the door.
“Who is in there?” Snow asked nervously.
Jack shrugged. “Didn’t tell me his name. Bit of a grumpy guy. Kept on asking questions but refused to play the question game. He breaks stuff when he’s angry. He might still be in that mood, so be careful.” He unlocked the door and pulled it open a little. “Ladies first.” He motioned for her to go inside.
Snow stepped back. “Oh, you can go first.”
“Fine. But be careful. He’s been known to throw things.” He stepped into the room and immediately dodged a spinning plate that was headed toward his head. The plate flew over Snow’s head and crashed onto the wall behind her. Snow flinched.
“Now, now. We’re all friends here, aren’t we?” Jack said. He dodged a lamp. This time Snow wasn’t so lucky. The lamp grazed her shin. Snow let out a small squeal.
“C’mon! No need to be violent! I was just asking whether you wanted to come to play games!” Jack said.
“Unless you’re here to tell me where I am and why you took me here, take your little friend and go away!” shouted a voice from inside the room. Snow dared to take a little peek of the inside of the room. The layout was similar to the one in her room, but broken glass shards and pillows littered the floor. The rocky wall had chunks of rock broken off, where you could tell the furniture had been used to bang into it. In the center of that chaos was a boy, sitting on the bed, the only piece of untouched furniture. His brown hair was in tangles, his shirt was ripped at some places, and his face carried a scowl that made Snow back away.
Jack didn’t really seem to notice, or care, about the mess on the ground or the condition of the boy. “Can you please to come with us? I’ll let you choose the first token in Monopoly! Games are always funner with three people!”
“More fun, not funner. And NO. I am NOT coming with you unless you tell me where I am and why you took me here!” The boy slammed the mattress of the bed, which shouldn’t have made a loud noise but with the echoes, was deafening.
“I’ll tell you, AFTER you come with me to play games. Okay?” Jack hopped over a heap of glass shards and stood in front of the boy. “Don’t you want to play Monopoly? You can own property and make people bankrupt! It’s really cool!”
“I’ll explain IF you come with me.”
The boy stood up. His expression did not change. “Tell me everything that I want to know.”
“Yes, yes. Whatever.” The boy didn’t say anything, but interpreting his lack of objection as a yes, he grinned. “Well, come on! It’s game time, everyone! Woohoo!” Jack skipped out of the bedroom and ran down the right side of the hallway. The boy also did, managing to make every step a thunderous crack against the stone floor. Snow groaned and ran after them both.