Somehow They're Alive (part 15)

Sorry, I know it's been a while. Being a junior and taking half honors classes plus a very hard government class it's hard to find time for these. Sorry.

Plus, my brother has recently become addicted to computer games, and there's only one computer in my house. I hope you understand. Anyway, hopefully it's worth the wait. Comment and rate! :P

Created by: Topaz

  1. ***Jaslina's Point of View*** It took a long while for our excitement to settle down. Once it did we got to work on planning out how we’ll find the tunnels. Knowing that they’re being hidden on Purple Mountain is a huge step forward, but not quite huge enough. In order to take the next step to finding them we’re going to take a tour of Purple Mountain with a tour guide. While we’re there we can find out what side of the mountain the tunnel entrance is on. If our guess of hiding place is right, that is. Basically, it’s pretty clear what we’re going to do so far. Our only set back is who we want to watch our camp while the rest of us are gone. Rayla made a good point earlier when saying that we can’t leave it unattended. By being stupid like that we could get our stuff stolen or destroyed. So at the moment the only decision that remains is who must stay behind. So far it’s a tie between Ryan and Jay. Everyone is leaning more toward Jay; it’s just that he’s determined that he wants to come too. Apparently he’ll be able to tell by the surface and slope of the mountain where the best entrance is. Only, we aren’t sure if that’d be entirely true in this case. Ryan knows his mother’s mind better than anyone else. I don’t think that the woman would base the entrance to the tunnels on slope and surface structure. “Please let me come,” says Jay. “I’ve studied mountains. If I get the chance to view the mountain from all sides I could find it easily.” “Yes, Jay, but your skills would be more useful here. If a hungry pack of squirrels stopped by for a snack I’d have no idea how to protect the food. Really, you’ll be a lot more useful here than you would be at the mountain,” deduces Ryan. “So you don’t trust my skills?” Rayla says sweetly, “Are you kidding? We completely trust your skills. That’s why we want you here. Nobody else would be able to protect the campground as good as you.” He fakes an arrogant smile. “What you say is true. I am the best at this sort of thing. However, I’m still not sure if I want to stay…” Heaving a sigh I say, “Why don’t we all just take a vote? Whoever wants Jay to stay here please raise your hand.” Everyone’s hand goes up except for Jay’s.
  2. “Sorry, dude, you got outvoted,” Ryan remarks. “I feel betrayed.” “Well, you shouldn’t feel betrayed. You should feel loved because you’re the one we trust to keep watch over everything,” Audrey points out. “Fine, I’m feeling the love,” grumbles Jay. Giving him a pat on the back, Rayla says to him, “Don’t be sarcastic. You know we all love you.” A flirtatious grin crosses his face. “Hopefully some love me more than others?” “We’ll see,” she replies laughing. That’s the first smile I’ve seen on her face since Tammy’s departure. With little conversation we put out our camp fire and gather our belongings so we can take them to our tents. In the small gaps between the trees I can see the sky fading from its oranges, reds, pinks to a dark blue that’s growing darker. A few of the stars are even starting to come out. Since we’ll need our rest for tomorrow going to sleep sounds like a good idea. Before doing that, however, we make sure that the fire is put out completely; there isn’t even the dull glow of the embers by the time Ryan and Jay are done with it. A few minutes later Rayla, Audrey, and I are covered up in a thick pile of blankets waiting for sleep to overtake us. I can tell by the sound of soft snoring that Audrey’s already asleep. Rayla doesn’t snore, so there’s no way it can be her. Doing my best not to disturb anyone I toss and turn trying to find comfort. Finally in the right position I close my eyes and try to fall asleep. The only thing that stops me is the gentle whisper of Rayla’s voice. “Jaslina, are you awake?” she’s so quiet that I can barely hear her. “Yes. Why do you ask?” “I just wanted to ask you a question.” “Okay. What is it?” “If you know that Sapphire is walking around free, then why did you go into the woods by yourself?”
  3. When answering I have to try hard to keep my voice low so that I don’t wake Audrey. “I guess I just didn’t think about Sapphire at the moment. Look, I’m really sorry about causing all of you so much worry. I never meant to.” “You’re forgiven.” For a while she doesn’t say anything more, so I turn over once again attempting slumber. “Do you think that Tammy’s okay?” Startled I sit up. “Sorry, Rayla, what did you say?” “Nothing. I was just wondering about Tammy.” “Aren’t we all?” “It doesn’t seem like it. She could’ve been mugged on her way to the airport, and it doesn’t even seem like anybody’s thought of that.” “I’ve thought of that.” “You have? Why didn’t you say anything?” “I didn’t want to tell anyone. We’re already worried enough as it is. Causing more troubling thoughts won’t do any good.” “True. It’s stupid to just add on extra worry. Besides, Tammy is probably back in the US by now. She’s fine.” “That’s exactly it. She’s perfectly fine.” After a slight pause, I say, “Well, we’d better get some sleep. Tomorrow’s a big day. Goodnight, Rayla.” “Goodnight, Jaslina.” For several moments I lay there awake with my head buzzing with thoughts. Eventually I feel myself starting to drift off. The frightening thing is my very last thought before sleep overtakes me. It plays over and over again in my head until I’m certain that it will be in my dreams; or nightmares, more or less. All I can see is myself getting closer and closer to that bush in the woods from earlier today. None of the sounds of the rodents’ scurrying or the birds’ chirping gets to my ears. All I can hear is that cough. Hopefully there isn’t somebody watching our campground tonight.
  4. ***The Evening Before*** Tammy sighs as she walks toward the airport. Two hours and she's only halfway there. Only now does it occur to her that accepting her friends' offer of a ride might have been for the better. After all, Tammy would've had the willpower to ignore their pleads. Having to put up with their nagging would've been better than dealing with aching feet. "No, don't do this," Tammy grumbles to herself. "Thoughts of exhaustion will get you nowhere. Just keep walking and you'll make it." With her head held high she marches on trying not to think of herself alone in the dark streets of Ireland. It's scary to think that someone might be watching her... Slapping herself, she says, "Stop it! You aren't being followed, and nobody's watching you. Keep on walking, Tammy." The fact that nobody watching her isn't necessarily true. The people driving by her are staring at the crazy loned girl slapping herself. Yet, she doesn't care. Like everything else, she pushes it out of her mind and focuses only on her destination. Of course, maybe pushing everything else from her mind isn't necessarily the best. By focusing a bit more on her surroundings it might be possible for her to notice the couple quietly following her. Emphasis on "might be possible". The two of them blend in so well that it'd be hard for someone with the best knowledge of their surroundings to spot them.
  5. *** "Sapphire, do we really need to do this? She want's to go home. Why stop her? That puts one of Jaslina's friends out of our way!" Sapphire pulls Landon close to him and puts her green-painted finger nails over his mouth. Her voice low but threatining, she replies, "Yes, we do need to do this. She might go home and get the police involved in the search for Josephine. Do you think that having the police in the same coutry as us is a good thing?" "No, of course not. But is getting rid of her really the be-" Sapphire cuts him off. "Shush up! Do you want all of Ireland to know about our plans?!" He lowers his voice to a whisper. "Sorry, my love. As I was saying, is it really the best thing to get rid of her? What do we do if Rayla and Jay decide to leave? Do we do away with them too? You know that I'm not comfortable with this!" She chuckles a deep menacing chuckle. "You think I'd waste precious energy on those two? They'd never get anyone involved with this. Their IQ's aren't high enough. Tammy, on the other hand, is very smart. After she gets to thinking about it her loyalty and knowledge would make her feel inclined to tell someone." A deep sense of dread flows over Landon. Hours of trying to talk his girlfriend out of this stunt has proven useless. She's feels the need to kill Tammy, and nothing's going to stop her. Nothing, accept for Landon, that is. Sapphire walks over to him and rubs his shoulder soothingly. "Now don't be that way, honey. Doing a job like this is never fun, but sometimes it's necessary." After giving Landon a peck on the mouth she takes him by the arm and leads him in Tammy's direction. The idea that Tammy is living in the last few hours of her life is heartbreaking. Landon doesn't know how, but he has to stop Sapphire. Even if it means doing what Ryan had to do back in Iraq last summer. Hopefully her heart won't be too broken. Or violent.
  6. ***At the Airport*** Legs aching and gasping for breath, Tammy walks through the double doors of the airport. Strangely, it's still opened. It was a long walk, but it's totally worth it now that she can get her plane ticket. Before her plane ticket, however, she goes to the food area to get a bottled water and and something to eat. Hopefully they have burritos. Once she gets to the counter her hopes are dashed. There are salad and sandwhiches but no burritos. Shrugging off her disapointment she gets two sandwhiches and two bottled waters and sits down at a table across from the ticket selling lady. Tammy can't remember what the ticket selling people are called. Thinking only tires her more. As she's eating the ticket selling lady calls to her, "Excuse me, ma'am, are you buying a ticket?" Shaking off a momentary fog around her brain, she responds, "Yes, I am." "Well then, you'd better get over here. We'll be closing down in forty minutes." "If you're closing down in forty minutes, then why do I have to go over there now?" "You know the saying. 'Better safe than sorry.'" Tammy decides she's right and slowly trudges over there with her billfold in her hand.
  7. *** The expression on Sapphire's face couldn't possibly be more pleased. The airport is pretty deserted to begin with. However, the fact that Tammy chose a table even more secluded and left all of her food there makes this all the more easy. This homicide will be accomplished more cleanly than Sapphire ever could've dreamed. Not even the fact that she won't get to use her brand new handgun can dampen her joyus mood. Besides, when will she ever get another chance to use her mothers secret recipe that was given to her many years ago? No one, not ever her twin brother, knows about this "recipe". When that word runs through her head she can't resist the earge to wrap her hand around the miniscule vile of liquid that lies in her jacket pocket. Yes, it took a lot of her and Landon's savings to gather all the ingredients to concoct this tiny amount of liquid, but it'll be completely worth it. The bad news is that Landon doesn't even know what all of that money went toward making. She'll explain it too him later. For now, she has to give him an excuse to leave so that she can go through with what she's about to do. "Landon, dear, can you to the food counter and get me a salad. I'm starving!" "Sure, honey. Can I get something for myself, too?" "Sure you can! A big man like yourself must be exhausted after walking all that distance." "Okay, then. I'll right back." "Italin dressing!" she calls after him. Now that he's distracted she takes her chance. Quiet and nearly as professional as her mom, she discreetly walks past Tammy's table. Swiftly and unnoitced, she puts four drops of the clear, tasteless, and deadly liquid into Tammy's conviently opened bottle of water. Truthfully, two drops is all it takes, but four drops never hurt anyone. Except for Tammy, that is. Concealing her face even further with her hood, she goes seeking out Landon. Sadly, his eyes were on the menu board the whole time Sapphire was near that table.
  8. ***Jaslina's Point of View*** Nobody had to shake me awake this morning. The anxiety of possibly finding my father was enough to wake me up at sunrise. At first I thought that I had risen too early, but I discovered that I was actually one of the last to get up. Right now everyone is rushing around doing a different task. Jay is starting the fire while Rayla is gathering breakfast supplies. Audrey is busily folding blankets to make the camp feel a bit cleaner. Ryan is—actually, I’m not sure what Ryan’s doing. He’s holding a pen and a pad of paper. Maybe he’s taking inventory? “Ah, the lovely sleeping girl has finally awoken from her sweet slumber. How beautiful she looks in early morning light.” I laugh. “Good morning to you, too, Ryan.” Tossing twigs onto the fire, Jay says, “Must you two flirt with each other first thing in the morning? Isn’t it enough that I had to sleep next to someone who snores all night?” “Liar. I do not snore. It’s just deep breathing.” “Yeah, you breathe so deeply that it sounds like snoring. Jaslina, I’m going to get you high quality ear plugs for your future wedding gift.” “Thank you, Jay. I’m happy to hear that you’re thinking so far into the future.” “Don’t get sarcastic with me, missy. You and Ryan will get married eventually.” “What makes you so sure?” asks Audrey. “Because if that doesn’t happen, than I owe Rayla a lot of money.” We spend the rest of the morning eating, tidying up our camp site, and taking baths in the woods using the washtub. While going into the woods, however, there are some rules and regulations. In the words of Jay “All of us need a buddy. We’re not allowed to desert our buddy, our buddy has to be of the same gender, and we must never go into the woods without our buddy. Also, the buddy is to stand with their back turned at a respectful distance.” Usually I think his rules to be quite unnecessary, but not this time. Not going into the woods alone is a great idea. Our morning routine seems like it goes on forever. Finally, after about two hours, Ryan, Audrey, Rayla and I are ready to depart. Luckily Jay gave in to the vote and agreed to stay behind. Truthfully, this shocked us all to an extent due to his stubbornness. When he wants to be he’s almost as inflexible as Tammy. Well, like I said, almost. I don’t think that anyone can be as headstrong as Tammy.
  9. “Well, my friends, it is time,” says Ryan. “Let’s move out.” The three of us follow Ryan to the forest’s edge. Before entering, Rayla asks, “Jay, are you sure that you’ll be alright here by yourself. If you want, I can stay with you.” “Don’t worry, Rayla, I’m a big boy. I can take care of myself. Besides, Jaslina needs all the eyes she can get to help her out.” “Okay. If you’re really sure, then I guess I’ll go.” “We’ll try to be back around four or four-thirty,” I say before following Ryan into the forest. He yells something back to us. I can hardly make it out. It sounds something like, “I’ll stay patient!” With that we walk on until we come to the van. Luckily Purple Mountain is very close by. Twenty minutes is all it should take to get there. As the vehicle barrels down the street I’m praying with my fingers crossed that today is the day I get to see my dad and sister. I don’t think that I can bear waiting another minute. Seeing them again will be too wonderful to imagine. A little while later I see the peak of several mountains on the horizon. I guess one piece of information that Jay forgot to put down is that Purple Mountain is part of a range of three mountains. How are we supposed to know which one’s which? Hopefully there’s a tour guide willing to help us. Unable to go any farther, Ryan pulls over into a parking lot and we have to walk the rest of the way. At first I think that it’s going to be kind of deserted. It ends out that deserted is the exact opposite way of describing it. A smiling man in his thirties comes up to us. He must be the tour guide. “Welcome to Killarney National Park. Would you children like to go on the tour?” His accent makes him sound ten times more cheerful than he already appeared. “Yes, sir, we’d love to,” replies Audrey. “That’s wonderful. We’ll start out looking at Muckross House and then the Muckross Abbey after the other group gets here. I know that you tourists will enjoy that.”
  10. The cheerful tour guide is right, because we do enjoy it. The visitor and education centre at Muckross House is more captivating then I could’ve hoped for. The same goes for the Muckross Abbey. It’s not every day you get to see something that was founded in 1448. Or at least that’s the case in America since our country was founded in 1776. It’s been through so many attacks that part of the Abbey is roofless. Of course, not all of it is. In fact, part of it is pretty well preserved. After we leave the abbey I feel like I’m hardly taking anything else in. I guess it’s probably because my mind is so much on my father and sister. When will we get to the forests and the mountain ranges? The time we spend going through Ross Castle and Dinis Cottage I barely remember. I feel better once we get outside. It makes me feel like we’re getting closer to my dad. I did pay attention to Old Weir Bridge. Nobody is allowed to cross, but it’s still truly fascinating and beautiful to look at. After going through the woods and having various deer, bird and plant species pointed out to us, I realize that we’ve crossed over into the Tomies Oakwood. Finally! We’re a step closer to dad already! “Is anyone interested in a boat ride across the lake?” asks the pleasant tour guide man. Everyone else says yes while we decline. It’s not that we don’t like boat rides. In a different situation a boat ride would actually be fun. Of course, with the situation, it’d be best if the four of us went on ahead to Purple Mountain by ourselves. It’s one in the afternoon and we haven’t seen the slightest sign of the mountain yet. We’re supposed to be back at the campsite by four-thirty. That only gives us a few hours to try and find the secret entrance. Staying with the guide will make for even less time. “Don’t you children want to get on the boat?” he asks still retaining his cheerful nature. “Actually, we don’t. We’re really interested in seeing the mountains though. Would it be possible for us to go by ourselves?” says Audrey sweetly. Taking something from his satchel, he replies, “Why of course it is! I get asked that every day it seems like! If you really want to leave this group I have some maps that you can take with you.” Ryan takes one map and Rayla takes the other. Giving the man many thanks we jog to the trail.

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