April 30, 2008
By Katy Lin, Jericho, NY

To add to all the misery, the heavens opened up, and it began to pour. The pair were now soaked and chilled to the bone; they didn’t exactly have soggy socks in mind when they started their adventure for the day. Thomas’s eyes were glazed, and his face was flushed. He whimpered as debris struck him on the cheek. Adele looked worriedly over at her youngest brother; at seven years of age, he had a weak immune system. She worried that he was running a fever and fervently hoped he did not. She did not have the training of expertise her mother had when caring for children. In fact, Adele did not even have the patience to wait on the whims of children. Being the oldest of three was hard for Adele, and often, she would escape the responsibilities by slipping into reverie.

Samuel had always been the good boy, so he had refused when Adele suggested the adventure for the day. Thomas agreed to Adele’s notion, due to the fact that he simply adored Adele. She was always the courageous, the outspoken of the three siblings. But now, in their dire situation, Adele was at a loss as to what she should do. The wind was blowing, howling, tugging at their clothes. Their teeth chattered and they shivered unconsciously.

Adele bent low to Thomas’s ear and shouted over the shrieking of the wind, “THOMAS, HEAD FOR THAT CLUMP OF TREES!” She desperately hoped that he had heard her, or he would be terribly muddled.

Poor Thomas! There were bits and clumps of unknown things hitting him in the face, and he even swallowed some of them. His head throbbed terribly, and he felt awfully warm in his wool jacket, yet his feet were cold, and he was soaked from when he had fell into the river, and he had no idea as to where he was. And now Adele was shouting at him, and it was all too much for him to bear with. Naturally, the boy burst into tears. Adele looked at the wailing child in alarm. She had never had to deal with his tantrums, and usually, she just slipped into reverie or out of the room. Adele often distanced herself from reality; she much rather preferred her make-believe life over her ordinary life. Regularly, she would decide to bring her make-believe world partially to life and drag brothers into it as well. That morning, Adele woke up as a great explorer of the wild and upon rousing her comrades, Samuel had absolutely refused to come along with arms folded stiffly.

“Adele, remember what happened last time?” he asked, hoping to ignite her memory.

“I didn’t mean to push that stranger off the bridge . . . “Adele stated airily, looking around the room so as to avoid eye contact.

“He was in a coma for three weeks,” stated Samuel sternly.

“It wasn’t that big of a bridge. I mean, it was one of those super tiny ones you walk on with your dog.” Adele fidgeted in her seat, clenching and unclenching her fists.

“Then how did he get a concussion?”

“Well,” she said, “it was because I knocked him off as I was running by. And the area under the bridge in which I knocked him over just happened to be rocky,” concluded Adele. And with that, Adele dashed out of her seat and out of the door. But not before dragging along Thomas as well. “Adele! Come back here, you’re going to be in BIG trouble!” shouted Samuel in their direction.

“No way,” she stuck her tongue out, “an adventure is calling us today, we’re gonna be explorers!” An extra burst of speed was put on, and the pair tore across the grass. And that was how they ended up in the clump of trees.

Huddled in a mass of darkness, Adele and Thomas shuddered, as the wet drops fell from above. The droplets felt sticky as they slid down the shirts of the children. Behind them, a pair of golden eyes watched them, evaluating them. Adele felt the hair on the back of her neck rise, and she squealed in excitement. “The adventure of a lifetime’s coming; I can sense it!” Thomas jutted out his lips in stubbornness.

“I don’t care; I want to go HOME.”

“Thomas, don’t do that. Something’s coming our way!” Just as Adele exclaimed, the eyes came closer and closer. In the shady light filtering through the branches, it was hard to make out what the creature was.

“What is it, Adele?” asked Thomas, tugging at her sleeves.

“I dunno. Perhaps it’s a mythical creature.”

“A myfical creature? What is that?”

“No, it’s a mythical creature. A mythical creature can be a griffin or dragon or some other crazy, out there creature.”

“Can we keep it? I wanna name it Spot.”

“No silly, that’s a name for a dog. For something like a mythical creature, we want to name it something exotic, like Lilly or Sun God or Fish-in-River.

“We can’t name it Spot?”

“Maybe, you never know, there could be a dragon that looks like a ‘Spot’ or a unicorn that looks like it should be called ‘Spike’; and that is why we have to see what it looks like. If it’s friendly and spotty, then name it Spot! That’s how you name pets, you know, by their personality.”

“Oh, is that why Samuel’s friend, Otis, named his dog Furry?”

“No, he named his dog Flurry because he is white and soft like snow. Now no more dilly dallying! Let’s advance!” But before they could take a step, the creature revealed itself by stepping into a misty patch of sun; it was clearer to see because the rain had long subsided during their discussion, and the clouds swung open to let the sun fall dazzlingly upon the land.

“Wow!” Thomas exclaimed. “It’s so soft and furry and so cute!”

“Hmm… it’s much more ordinary than I suspected,” Adele speculated.

“But can we keep it, Adele?”

“Of course, it can be our new explorer-in-chief.”

“Yippee! Let’s go, Amber!”

“Whoa there, hold you horses! Who said that cat is an Amber?”

“Well,” he started timidly, “She’s a warm and fluffy and the color of amber.”

“But how do you know she is a girl?”

“I just do,” said Thomas stubbornly.

“Wait a sec while I check,” Adele said as she lifted the cat up. “Hey, that rhymed!” Adele quickly checked the cat and confirmed that it was female. “Alright, Amber it is. Let’s go home, buckaroo.”

“Ok. Adele.” Thomas gathered Amber into his arms. “Amber, you’re a good girl, aren’t you?” he asked, stroking her fur softly.

By the time they reached home, it was way past suppertime and the skies were dark. “Where have you been?” demanded Samuel, the moment they stepped through the door.

Thomas thrust Amber into Samuel’s face, “Look! We have a family member.”

“And explorer-in-chief,” Adele added.

“And her name is Amber,” Thomas concluded.

Thrown off by the surprising turn of events, Samuel just stood and stared at the cat. “Wow, it’s so cute!”

“What’s so cute?” their mother asked, entering the room.

“Look, Mommy; look at this really cute kitty. Her name is Amber! Can we keep her?” Thomas looked up with puppy eyes.

“Oh no! You named her? I guess that means we can keep her,” she smiled. “It’s always been my childhood dream to have a pet.”

“Wow, that’s fantastic. We can bring Amber out with us on our escapades!” Adele commented.

“I, for one, will be happy that there will be one sane mind in this house, even if she is a cat.” Samuel shyly petted the cat on the head.

“Yay! I can finally taste cat food!” giggled Thomas.

“I’m sure that Amber will be a fantastic new addition to our family.” And to show that she agreed, Amber gave a cheery meow.

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