Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Their Special Place

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Their Special Place

The water lapped quietly at the shore as the young boy led his little sister down the bank. The spring air tasted sweet and new, but the complete silence of the forest behind them ruined the peacefulness. The girl nervously tugged at her Sunday dress. She was never supposed to wear that dress, but its flowing material and beautiful pure whiteness seemed to pull her towards it. The boy was wearing his good clothes, but unlike the girl he was taking no care of them and had already muddied the knee of the trousers. The girl stood on a sandy rock, peering into the darkness of the night. The two children knew that, if danger ever occurred, they were to come to their special place, and so here they were.

"Oliver, wake up! I can hear someone coming!" Tessa whispered nervously. Oliver sighed, rolling over to face the little girl. "It's probably just the wind, Tessa. Go back to sleep." He shuffled into a sitting position. "If it makes you feel any better, I will stay awake for a while. How about that?" She smiled tiredly in consent, and closed her eyes. Oliver sat there for what seemed like forever, listening to the gentle chirp of the crickets. Suddenly, his eyes flew open. He heard what sounded like a footstep. He paused, hardly daring to breath, and softly muffled Tessa's snores with his hand, but it was too late. Someone had seen them.

"Well, 'ello there!" A voice boomed into the darkness. "What do we 'ave 'ere?" Tessa and Oliver huddled against a wet rock, their clothes slowly dampening from the dew clinging to the sand around them. A tall, large figured loomed in the darkness above them. "It's okay, I won't bite! What are two little munchkins like you doing out here?" Tessa, thinking that the voice sounded friendly, cried, "We're waiting for mummy and daddy!" Oliver glared and tried quickly to hush her, but she had already stood up and walked over to the farmer. Seeing no other option, Oliver followed Tessa. The farmer beamed down at the two children and stuck out her hand. "My name's Amanda, but everyone calls me Moo. What's your name, Honey?" Tessa looked at Oliver for reassurance, and he grudgingly nodded his head at her. She smiled shyly and replied, "My name is Tessa and this is my big brother, Oliver!" Moo laughed at Tessa's formality. "Delighted, I'm sure!" She said with a grin. Sensing Oliver was the one in charge, she turned to him and asked, "Why don't you come back to my farm? You can have some supper, and you and your sister can get a good night's sleep!" Oliver nodded hesitantly, so Moo held out her hands for the two children's hands, and they walked to Moo's farm.

Oliver and Tessa sat at the old, weatherbeaten table in Moo's kitchen. The mixed smells of freshly baked bread and warm milk wafting towards them made their tummies rumble with hunger. Moo walked in, carrying a tray of food. As she placed it on the table, she cried " Bob, supper's on the table!" Oliver stiffened as a broad-shouldered man loped in. "Good afternoon, my two little stowaways!" the man boomed. Oliver was the first to speak. "Good afternoon, sir. My name is Oliver, and this-" Oliver got no further, as the man gave a loud belly laugh and almost shouted "Oh, don't worry about formalities! I know who you and your little sister are! My name's Bob, but you can call me old Bobby, or 'The Bobster' or..." Bob paused to take a bite of food, and then fell silent for the rest of the meal. After a few minutes, Moo sat down and began eating and talking. "So, children, why were you sleeping on a rock?" Tessa, her mouth full of food, cried out, "We were waiting for mummy and daddy!" Oliver gave her a warning glance, and she fell silent. "Tessa, you know mummy and daddy aren't coming back!" he said. She looked at him, and a flash of understanding passed over her face. Her lip quivered, and, sensing a drama, Oliver stood up. "Is there anywhere Tessa and I might be able to sleep?" Moo stood, picking up their plates and placing them in the sink. "Bob, do you think the spare bedroom would be suitable?" She asked brightly, and Bob nodded. "It might be a bit dusty, but if I open the window, it will be perfect!" Tessa and Oliver smiled gratefully, and followed Bob down the corridor.

Moo knocked quietly on the door of the spare bedroom, and upon hearing two timid calls of 'come in', she entered the room. Tessa, wearing an old nightie of Moo's, and Oliver, wearing oversized pyjama pants and an old shirt of Bob's, lay on the two small single beds that they had pushed together to form one large bed. She sat down, and looked at the two children staring expectantly back at her. She sighed, and said softly, "Children, where did you come from? Why were you all alone on the edge of a lake? Where are your parents?" Oliver and Tessa looked fearfully at one another, and burst into tears. Tessa buried her face in Oliver's waist, and they both sat there crying. "I think they are on a holiday!" Oliver said, in an attempt to convince Moo that everything was fine. Tessa looked at Oliver, and he looked back with a regretful half-smile. Tessa took a deep breath, and said "Yes, a holiday! That's where they went! They couldn't take us, though." She nodded her head a few times, as if to convince herself, and then started crying silently again. Moo looked at the girl in sympathy, and then said, "I'll come back later." She walked out, and when she went back into the kitchen, she told Bob that she was sure that the children's parents were dead. Bob nodded unhappily in agreement, and after a while, he walked out into the garden to think.

A little while later, Moo made the children some warm milk. She padded softly to their bedroom door, and paused, listening to see if they were still crying. Instead, she heard Oliver murmuring softly to a sniffling Tessa. "Tessa, I know they are lovely people, and I know it feels horrible to lie to them, but we have to! It's the only way to protect Mummy and Daddy!" Moo heard Tessa sniff loudly, and at that moment, she reached her decision. She opened the door and looked them. "Children, I heard what you were saying, and Bob and I have decided that this has gone too far, and our only option is to involve the police. We have to find your parents, or at least try to notify someone that you have been found." Oliver and Tessa simultaneously started shouting. "No! No! Please, don't tell the police!" Tessa cried. "Please! We promises that we will take you to our house tomorrow, but please don't involve the police!" Oliver yelled, and Tessa stopped and looked at him in fear. "But Oliver, Mummy and Daddy told us not to go back to the house! They made us promise!" Oliver stared at his fingers, and said "We can't let people like the police take Mummy and Daddy away. We have to show them Moo and Bob, so they know we are safe." Moo stood, and said in a firm but kind voice, "Oliver is right. Your parents must know that you two are safe, and Bob and I have to meet your parents. Now, I think you should get some rest. Lie down and close your eyes, and in the morning we will go find your house. Goodnight, children."

"Do you think we are close?" asked Bob, as he trundled along through the forest. Oliver replied in a quiet voice, "Yes, I think so." The two children and the two farmers had been walking through the leafy trees for about half an hour, without much conversation. All they had heard was the rustling of the wind and their own footsteps and breathing. At the front of the group walked the two children, Tessa clinging tightly to Oliver's hand. Next came Bob, and lastly came Moo. After a while, they reached the bank of the river. "Our house is near here!" Tessa said, and Oliver nodded at her, pleased she remembered. When they reached the house, they were meet with a horrific sight. Dust and rubble lay in piles everywhere. The trees surrounding the clearing where the house had sat were charred, and the smell of death and burning was everywhere. Near the pathway, lay a worn teddy bear. It was missing an eye, and it was black on one side. Tessa was the first to move. She walked over to the teddy bear, picking it up and holding it tightly to her chest. Oliver slowly walked over to her, and together they stood, hand in hand, staring at the ruin they used to call home.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback