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It all started last summer, during the climax of my year when the weather is perfect and the tourists will be easily suckered into buying any old thing with a logo on it. Some people, dare I say it would hate living in a place that always has tourists and people asking directions but I thought it was perfect. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina is home to me and my namesake. My name is Cara. This is the story of how I saved the island anonymously and embarrassed myself thoroughly. I'll take you back to the day it all began, June fourth. I was waiting for the tide to come back and hit my ankles when a loud noise more annoying than my sibling, smashed into my eardrums. It was the eeriest noise I had ever heard and then in a flash it was gone. Before I could ponder this, a huge wave knocked me to the ground. This was just the beginning to a day that would make Barney go Goth.
I rode my bike from the beach to town square, which is actually shaped more like a rectangle. I took back roads until I was home walking into the kitchen I found my mom.
"Hey, did you hear that noise earlier?"
"No, what noise?"
"Oh, I'm sure it was nothing." But I wasn't so sure, and by the next day I was positive it was much more than nothing. I was woken up by the noise and jumped out of bed quicker than the speed of light, got dressed and jumped onto my bike. I followed the noise until I was by the docks where a huge truck was sitting in the middle of the road. I parked my bike at the National Park Center, and walked in.
"HI, Martha, do you know what's going on outside?"
Martha was a park ranger on the island. She had bright red hair that flew around her face.
"HI, Cara. That out there is the government in action."
"What do you mean?"
"They are planning on tearing down trees from the island and selling them to China to make pencils, paper and other useless things."
"Yeah, it’s a real tragedy, but unless you have enough cash to pay them off, there's nothing we can do about it." She said in her southern drawl.
"See you later, Martha." She waved in response. I grabbed my bike and frantically started on my way home but was stopped by a sight that made my stomach lurch; chain saws, chain saws in very large trucks. In front of the trucks was a tall, lanky man with slicked back hair and a white suit. He was talking to a construction worker who lived on the island. The construction workers name was Bob and me being the feisty, wild, and very possibly mental girl I was, hopped off my bike and walked up to them.
"Are you the man who's cutting down all the trees?" I asked fuming.
"Why yes, I am little lady, my name is Larry West. It's gonna start a revolution. I have big plans for this place."
"Well you can take your big plans back to where ever you came from cause' we don't want them. Why are you even helping him with this?" I screamed turning to Bob.
"I'm sorry Cara, but times are hard."
"You are a traitor. " I turned to the 'Larry' "and you'd do well to stay far away from this island."
I pedaled faster than I ever had before and couldn't even eat dinner that night. "There has got to be a way to save the island." I whispered before I fell into a restless slumber.
I woke up the next morning with a plan, albeit an insane plan, but hey that’s better than no plan. You see, Ocracoke is famous for being the death place of the malicious pirate Blackbeard, and rumor says that he left his buried treasure on the island. I was determined to find that treasure or die trying… But as it turns out I was sent to jail instead of dying. I was ready to go treasure hunting, in treasure-hunting-ninja clothes , black combat boots, eye black, black jeans, and a camo tee shirt. "You're going down Larry!" I biked down to an old section of beach I knew well, balancing a shovel on the handlebars and receiving more than a dozen strange looks from tourists and locals alike. I started to dig near a few old trees, but by the end of the day I had found nothing more than; a few metal nails, some seaweed, an old boot, and an old book wrapped in a red scarf. I threw these items into my bike basket without a second glance…well except the seaweed I threw that away. I rode back receiving even more strange looks because now on top of everything else I was covered in sand. Great, just great, this has been a total success. Huh, maybe mom's right and I am a bit sarcastic, I thought on the way home
So I hung up my shovel and ditched that idea, but had a new one, a good old fashioned protest. How could it not work, right? Well just keep reading to find out. I got dressed in the same outfit which I had renamed as my 'saving the island uniform'. I grabbed a few old bike chains and a rusty old padlock and key, I headed toward the demolition site. Once I got there I saw 'Larry' and a huge dirt digger in front of a lush group of trees. I walked up in front of the digger wrapped my bike chains around a tree in the middle of the group and tied the chains around my waist, attaching myself to the tree. A few construction workers laughed a few locals cheered and 'Larry' looked absolutely dumbstruck, which was so worth it. 'Larry' walked up with a megaphone in one hand He stopped in front of me, and without using the megaphone he said.
"Now, now, little Lady, a demolition site is no place for children."
"Good thing, I'm not a child then, huh?" I am fourteen for Pete's sake!
"I'm gonna' have to ask you to leave."
"Go on and ask, but I won't listen."
"I will have you removed by force if I have to."
"Well, you definitely have to, cause' I ain't leaving without a fight"
And that my friends, is how I ended up in the 'Ocracoke Island County Jail'. I ended up in a holding cell waiting for my mom to pick me up and trying to decide what plan of action to take next. There was a scratching noise of the door opening and I looked up to see my mom and police officers enter the room. Mom and I walked to the car silently, which was strange cause' I was so expecting a lecture on respecting 'public authorities' and such. When we were half way home I gathered my courage and spoke up.
"You're not mad?"
"Of course I am, but you've set your mind to this so I only have one thing to say;
Choose your battles well."
I thought about what mom said all the way home, and the rest of the night. I had practically given up by now, walked past my bike and noticed that all of the items I had recovered were still in the basket. I lifted them out and took them up to my room. I washed the eye black off of my face, got into pjs and put lotion on my wrists. Thank you mean police officer with handcuffs. I started to look through my findings again. I fiddled with the metal nails and saved them deciding that they might be useful in future pranks. Sadly, the boot didn't fit me so pretty much useless. That left the book; I open the cover and found out that it was a journal. I read on the inside cover where a name was printed in fancy script. After a few minutes s of decoding I made out the name, 'Anna Marie Zwarvanski' I had heard of an old lady named Anna Marie who worked at the library. I decided to go there tomorrow and check if it was hers. I fell sound asleep the moment I hit my pillow.
I woke up early and headed down to the library with the journal. When I got there I immediately recognized 'Anna Marie'. She was an old lady with a kind face and long silvery hair. I walked up to her with the journal in my hands.
"Hello, can I help you find anything?"
"Actually, I was just wondering if this was yours?" I said while putting the journal on the counter.
"Oh, my, my, my, I haven't seen it in so many years." she gasped while gingerly fingering the journal. "I buried it on the beach." She tilted her glasses as if to get a better look at me. "How did you find it?"
I told her all about how I'd gone looking for treasure, and about 'Larry' destroying the island, about how I'd done time in the slammer, ending with how I'd given up.
"I wouldn't worry about things like that, sometimes the best things happen when they are least expected."
I left the library happier than I'd been in a long time.
The next day I went to see Martha at the National Park center. We were watching from the window as the diggers and trucks boarded a ferry and left. It turns out that an anonymous donor paid them to leave, it hasn't been proven but I have a few ideas as to whom.