Somehow They're Alive (part 14)

Welcome to Part 14 of "Somehow They're Alive". I understand that it took me forever to get this quiz up. I appoligize for that. I've been very busy recently.

Even though this quiz is belated I hope that it's worth the wait. I don't like to give anything away, but you will soon be reunited with Tammy. Not in this one, but in the future.

Created by: Topaz

  1. ***Jaslina's Point of View***The closest thing to showers we could find was at the train station. Technically they were considered showers, but they weren't the cleanest. Since our stenches got to us we gave in and used them anyway. Luckily they were free. Now that we stink no more, we've gotten packed up and are on our way to the Irish forests...where we'll be living...for the next several weeks. It ends out that the Irish forests near Killarney are a perfect place to stay. The forests are deep enough to keep us hidden and the terrain is perfectly livable. To make it even better, there are lakes surrounding us. Thus we'll always have a good source of water. Before drinking the water we'll definitely have to boil it. At first I found the idea of living as teenage hobos unsettling, but it's starting to sit better with me at this point. The van jolts to a stop, blowing my thoughts away. I look around and see a lake to the right of me. To the left of me is the beginning of a thick forest. Another thing I notice is that there's not another person in sight. This really is the wilderness. Hopefully Jay is as good a survivalist as he claims to be. Hesitantly, we step out into the tall grass one by one. For a minute none of us moves. "Come on, Jay," says Ryan. "You're the one claiming to be the survival expert. Tell us what to do." "Can't you help me? You're a survivalist too." "I was taught how to stay alive in the Middle Eastern wilderness. The terrain there is desert like. When it comes to my forest endurance skills, I know close to nothing." "Fair enough. I guess that means that I'm the leader this time." "So it does. However, don't act like your superior to us. Just because we don't know anything right now doesn't mean that we are unable to learn." Rayla smiles and claps. "Thank you, Audrey! You took the words right out of my mouth." "So what do we do now, leader?" I ask. Although his voice wavers, he still sounds sure of himself. "Ryan, grab a tent box. Audrey and Rayla, grab the food and the box of matches. Jaslina, fill up the washtub with water. After you're done with that, follow me."
  2. Everybody listens to him without complaint. He takes us very far back into the woods. In time the washtub starts getting heavy and I have to trade off with Rayla and Audrey. Ryan and Jay really can't help with this; hauling the tent boxes are probably more of a chore than carrying water. Carrying anything heavy is hard in the middle of the woods. Despite how simple the geography is its still possible to trip over twigs and rocks. Eventually Jay stops in the middle of a tiny treeless area. The clearing is so minuscule that it'll be barely big enough to fit our tents, the fire pit, and our supplies. However small, it will still suffice. "Okay what do we do now?" asks Audrey. The irritation at having to constantly listen to Jay shows in her voice. "We set up camp." "How do we do that? None of us were born wilderness experts, in case you haven't noticed."Rayla attempts a smile that quickly fades. "Setting up the tents and getting firewood would be a good first step. If anyone wants to get the pillows and blankets from the van it'll have to get done before dark." "Why before dark?" "It's easier to get lost that way. Getting to the van and back shouldn't be as much of a problem in broad daylight."
  3. Once he says that we disperse to go do our chores. The only one who's actually set up a tent before besides Jay is Audrey, so she helps with that. Ryan tried to help set one up, but it didn't work. He ended up getting tangled in the canvas and needed our help getting untangled. It was hilarious! So now he's collecting fire wood and taking inventory of our food supplies alongside Rayla and me. Let me just say that if we were lost in the desert Ryan would probably be one of our only reasons for surviving. Not here. When he said he knows nothing about surviving in the woods he wasn't kidding. "Ta da! It is finished!" When I hear Audrey's shout of joy, I come back into camp and drop the last of my wood into the pile. Hopefully that's enough. Our survival genius said a couple more armloads should get us through fine. Brushing off my hands I peer up at what should serve as shelter for the next couple of weeks. Both tents are sturdily built, and will work well as long as it doesn't hail or get too windy. "Wonderful work, my friend," I say to her. "Thank you. Hopefully my tent looks better than the pile of canvas Ryan built." She's clearly kidding. "Hey, don't insult me. The tent I built was more than a pile of canvas. It was standing." "Barely," I tease. "Of course, I don't need a man who can put up a tent to make me happy." "Thanks. I'm glad to hear it." Jay walks out and joins us from the woods. Strangely, none of us noticed his absence. "Hola mis amigos! I have retrieved our blankets and pillows in addition to my notebook!" Rayla walks up to him. "I'm glad you're back. You were gone for so long that I thought you were lost."
  4. "Nope, never lost. I just had trouble finding my notebook with my mountain notes in it. At last it is found!" "It looks like you found it in enough time, too. It's only around three o'clock. That gives us the rest of the day to go through it," Ryan points out. "Good. The rest of the day is what it could take to get through all of it!" "Really," I ask, "How many notes did you take?" "A lot. I couldn't figure out what's important and what's not important. Any little piece of information could help, and I didn't want to leave anything out." Rayla says, "You make valid point. How about we take our share of the blankets and pillows into our tents? After that we can get lunch. You can't dig through a day's worth of notes on an empty stomach." "Good plan. Jay can put our stuff in our tent well I go get the food set out and start the fire." "Ryan, are you sure you can start a fire?" "I reckon I can, young missy." Giving me his heart melting smile, he pulls a box of matches out of his shorts pocket. Satisfied I grab my share of the blankets and head toward the tent I'm sharing with Audrey and Rayla. Sleeping in a tent isn't an idea that I particularly like, but I'll still do it. Besides, after the mental exhaustion I'll be facing today I probably won't even care about sleeping in a tent.
  5. ***Hours of searching through Jay's notebook hasn't lead to a single breakthrough. The five of us have analyzed each piece of information very carefully. Anything that we think might help ends up being completely and totally useless. This is so heartbreaking I want to curl up into a ball and whimper. If only we would've asked Tom for the mountain coordinates! "Lastly, Mangerton Mountain is eight-hundred and forty-three meters high and is the tallest of the Mangerton Range and the twenty-fifth tallest in Ireland. Its western slope"”" "Jay, I understand that we want to be careful in our search, but this is ridiculous. I don't think that anyone is hidden on Mangerton Mountain," says Ryan. "Why not? They could be." "I'm not trying to disrespect you're detective skills, it's just that it doesn't seem like the type of mountain my mom would choose. My mom would choose a slightly shorter mountain with both forests and lakes surrounding it. It's also need to be one where she could mess around and not seem suspicious." "I understand, and that's why I think Mangerton Mountain is a good choice. There's forests surrounding it and the western half is part of a national park." "No there isn't. It's part of a valley. Mom wants a mountain surrounded by forests and water."
  6. "Why?" "The reason is simple. With more trees it's easier to sneak around and stay hidden. Plus the authorities would never think that she'd choose a mountain near a lake. Mom does the opposite of what the police would expect." "What does the lake have to do with anything?" "If you were being chased would you want to be trapped near a body of water with no escape?" Jay laughs. "Ryan, you've won me over. All right, let's move on to the next mountain on the list." Unable to take in any more information I stand up. A walk in the woods would do me well. As I walk away nobody even notices that I'm leaving. It's still daylight enough for me to see the beauty of Ireland's wilderness. The sunlight shines through the top of the trees making them shimmer green. The trees here are very tall. If I could climb one I wonder how high I'd be willing to go. The noises the animals make delight me. I can hear the scurrying of squirrels and chipmunks. I look over at a tree and see a squirrel on a branch nibbling a seed or some type. It's so cute that I wish I could hug it. Since I live in the warmer part of California I don't see too many of them. Keeping my distance, I say, "Hi, little guy."
  7. Astounded by nature, I walk deeper into the woods. I'm walking in a straight line, so finding my way back to camp shouldn't be hard. In a singing mood, I start humming the tune to Winter Wonderland. It's odd that that's the song that comes to mind. Everything surrounding me is green. Suddenly, an unexpected sound makes me jump. It sounded like somebody coughing. Deciding that it could've been a gust of wind, I ignore it and keep walking. Just then I hear it again. Only it's louder now. Like the bedspring thing at the bed and breakfast... "Hello?" I ask. "Is someone there?" I hear it again. It's coming from a nearby bush. Instead of running away from it, I walk slowly toward it. "Whoever it is, show yourself." As I work my way near it I see the bush move. Five steps later I'm so close that I can almost touch it. Then"”
  8. ***Ryan's Point of View*** As Jay's reading off practically useless information about mountains I try hard to not let my mind drift. This is a major case and I must stay focused. Strangely, my mind still drifts even as I'm thinking that. Yet again, I guess it doesn't matter that much. Knowing that hieght of a mountain in Northern Ireland can't possibly be of any help. I sigh. Where are Jaslina's dad and sister? Where are Audrey's parents? Where in Ireland can they possibly be? There're so many mountains here that it could take years to find them. It's too bad that we only have a few weeks left. I'm about to turn around to give Jaslina a glance, but, to my surprise, she's gone. Without even realizing it, I shout out, "Jaslina's gone!" Jay stops midsentence and looks at me. "Sorry, Ryan, what'd you say?" "Didn't you hear me? Jaslina isn't here!" For the first time everyone else sees it. "Where'd she go?" says Rayla. "I don't know," Audrey replies. "She left about a half hour ago. I thought that she had to pee." "A half hour ago?! She's been gone that long?!"
  9. Jay sets his notebook down and stands up next to me. "Dude, relax. You know Jaslina. She probably decided to go on a walk because her legs fell asleep or something." As he's talking to me I'm already moving toward the woods. "Normally I'd be fine with that, but it isn't safe here right now. Sapphire is on the loose with Landon tied around her thumb. She's putting herself in danger." "Ryan, come sit down. I promise you that she'll be back." I ignore him and continue walking. "I'm not taking any chances. I'm going to find her with or without your approval." I see a look of sympathy cross his face. Running to catch up with me, Jay whispers, "You know what Ryan, I think that I'll come with you." A grin crosses my face as we walk into the forest side by side. "Jay, why were you whispering?" "Because I was going to say that I would be just as concerned if it were Rayla." "So my assumption was right. You do care about her." "More than you know." That's the last thing he says before we start calling out Jaslina's name at the tops of our lungs. Hopefully she hasn't wondered too far.
  10. ***Jaslina's Point of View*** "Jaslina! Jaslina, where are you?!" Scared out of my mind I turn around prepared to see Landon. Instead I see Ryan with Jay closely behind him. "Oh, there you are. We've been looking everywhere for you," says Jay sounding relived. "Why did you wonder off?" Ryan sounds both thankful and upset. "No reason," I say. "My legs were falling asleep and my brain was hurting, so I thought that I'd take a walk." "See, Ryan. We told you that's probably what she did. You shouldn't worry so much." Confused, I ask, "What?" "When we discovered you had disappeared Ryan thought that you were kidnapped by Sapphire or something. We told him that you most likely went on a walk or something. Yet again, it really doesn't matter. Either way we would've come looking for you." "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cause any worry." "It's fine. Just don't wonder off by yourself next time. Sapphire could be anywhere waiting to catch one of us alone." "Ryan, you don't need to lecture her. She knows better than to do it again." Ryan pulls me into a protective hug. "Yes, but you can't blame me. This is my girlfriend we're talking about. Wait until you get a girlfriend. I bet that you wouldn't feel so comfortable if she was in possible danger." "I guess we'll have to see. Now let's get back to camp before Rayla and Audrey start looking for us."
  11. Willingly, I follow them back to our camping spot. Before the bush is out of sight, however, I look back at it. I can't help but wonder who or what was hiding behind it. When we come to the clearing Rayla and Audrey greet me with hugs. Apparently their thoughts on what happened to me went more with Ryan's idea than with Jay's. Once we're all settled we go back to going through the notes. While I was gone they made it to the P's. Really, there's only one mountain that starts with the letter p, and that's Purple Mountain. As Jay's reading off all of the notes on it I can feel myself blanking out. All of this information is basically the same stuff we've been hearing all day. How is this supposed to help us? There has to be some sort of clue that can help us! Didn't Ryan's mother give anything away? Anything at all? Then it comes to me. "Hey, Ryan, what is that thing you said a couple nights ago?" "What thing?" "The thing you said at the bed and breakfast. Your mom always said it to Rosie right before she left? You remember don't you?" Audrey helps me out here. "Oh, I know what you're talking about! Something about her favorite color..." "Oh, that! Yes I know what you mean. Rosie would ask if she was going to her usual spot, and she would respond, "˜Yes I am. After all, my favorite color is purple.' It never made any sense to me." In that moment everything comes together inside my head. "Jay, what is the name of the mountain we're talking about right now?" "The Purple Mountain," says Jay not understanding. "Exactly!" I exclaim. "Her favorite color is purple. She's hiding them on the Purple Mountain." Suddenly everybody understands because everyone starts clapping and cheering and shouting, "We found them!" This is the second best moment of my life, but only second to seeing my father and sister for the first time in ages.

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