Heavenly Chapter 1“Aloha,” The fresh-faced, beautifully tan Hawaiian hula girl smiled at me and my friends. When she recognized our faces she bowed into a graceful curtsy. “Welcome to the Festival of the Tribes.”
The tall wooden gates of the private beach creaked open for us and the noise of the festivities rushed towards me. The full moon hung low in the darkened blue sky. The first thing I notice are the large amounts of people that I don’t recognize immediately. Excitement twirls in my stomach and I bounce up and down while I walk. Mila, my best friend, glares at me and grabs my arm.
“Lucy, be cool.” She whispers harshly.
I compose myself quickly but have to hold back a giggle. As Mila, Alana, Sebastian, Alec, and I walk down the sandy path to the beach; I try to gulp up every image that I see. This night only comes once a year. To my right are several wooden stages with hula dancing, Tahitian performances, and singers. Palm trees bend side ways over the beach and the tense tropical forestry lines the private area. To my left are men juggling fire and open bars with sweet-smelling drinks and fruits. I hear steel drums and ocean waves and lots of chatter. I see distant bonfires closer to the water with laughing friends sitting in the sand, most likely telling stories of the year. Everything about this festival feels like the most thrilling day of the year. If this was any other night, tensions would be high with all the Hawaiian tribes together in one place, interacting. Boys and girls would shy away from each other in fear of testing the law. Dating between tribes is forbidden, but everyone also knows that even liking someone from another tribe is strongly looked down upon. Tonight no one cares. Tonight, this festival is like eating the forbidden fruit without consequence.
I couldn’t decide which way I wanted to turn first; the music, the food, the dancing? But, my friends decide for me. As soon as they catch the sight of some people out ripping up the full moon waves, they nearly sprint for the ocean. Mila grabs me and pulls me with her before I can even argue. Pookie, my little puppy was following us close behind and now breaks into a care-free, joyful run with his tongue flapping out the side of his mouth.
I try not to notice the way people look at us as we pass them. Some are a little wide-eyed and others smile humbly in our direction. To everyone who recognizes us, we are a band of teenage Hawaiian royalty. I forget to blush and hide from their eyes tonight because tonight, I just don’t care if they look at me like that. My mother had found me a nice dress to wear. It was silky white and a came a little above to my knees in front, but in back swished past my ankles. The collar of the sleeveless dress is rimmed with shimmering gold hearts. Everyone told me that it was fitting of my personality.
No matter that all of us had attempted to dress nice tonight, we are islanders. We are always up for a good surf. Sebastian called out bravely to the strangers splashing up the shore.
“Hey, mind if we take a ride?” He attempts a friendly smile, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. Typical Sebastian, but it is probably to dark for the strangers to notice. They walk closer and look us up and down. Sebastian and Alec, being the warriors that they are, puff up their chests and return the stare-down. Alana and Mila smile sweetly in the buff men’s direction while I just admire the large cresting of the waves.
Tonight is a good night for surfing. The glowing of the moon is flickering across the black ocean, so it’s not completely pitch black. If we were novice surfers, this might be dangerous. But, every Hawaiian in all four tribes has been doing this since they were three years old. Pookie runs around my ankles impatiently, his soft black fur brushing against my legs.
“What tribe are you from?” The largest of the strangers asks not unkindly. I try to guess which tribe they are from. They are all buff, but not exceedingly so. They are leaner. Plus, I had caught sight of their impressive surfing skills. Definitely from Oahu. Kona tribe.
“Mahina tribe.” Sebastian replied proudly. The stranger nodded then broke into a pearly white smile.
“Of course! It’s rough out there, but go ahead.” The group passed their surfboards over to Sebastian, Alec, Mila, and Alana. There was not a board left for me. Mila looked at me regrettably.
“That’s okay, I’ll just judge.” I laugh it off and then they take off into the moon-kissed ocean. I take a seat in the cool sand and the strangers sit next to me. I feel a little nervous being alone with them but realize that there are tons of people near by and they seem nice enough.
“Mahina tribe, huh?” The stranger asks me. “Are you guys royals?”
I blush and look down, petting Pookie. “Yeah…I’m Lucy, by the way.”
“Jacob,” He responds with a smile.
“How did you know we are royals?” I wonder curiously. Pookie walks over and sniffs Jacob cautiously.
“You’re all beautiful, of course.” Jacob responds bravely. I laugh out loud and look away, feeling my face heat up.
It’s true; Mila and her long limbs and chestnut hair could knock anyone dead. Alana’s smile was electric white and expertly seductive. Alec is the perfect tall, dark, and handsome man with a silent personality. And Sebastian of course is prince charming incarnated with auburn hair, hazel eyes, and next in line to be chief of our tribe. Mila is a tribal princess, Alec is a warrior, Alana is a the tribes prophetess, and I’m in line to be the next healer. There is no way that Jacob could have guessed that from just looking at us.
Pookie begins to bark at Jacob and his eerily silent friends.
“What has gotten into you?” I snap at him. He doesn’t stop barking. I sigh and stand up.
“Sorry guys, I’m going to have to take him home. Nice meeting you.” I wave goodbye to them and walk closer to festival. Thankfully, my dog follows. It was strange that he is acting so jumpy, this wasn’t like him. Once we are away from the tide, he stops barking. I take that as a good sign and can’t resist stopping at the smoothie bar set up by the flame-twirling performers. I don’t feel too back for abandoning my friends, they wont miss me. In fact, they will probably spend the whole night out on the waves. Pookie sits down patiently while I take a seat at the tropical bar. After ordering a refreshing fruit smoothie, I become hypnotized by the Traditional Hawaiian fire dance. In the dark of the night, the fire illuminates the beautiful Hawaiian man as he twirls and tosses the flaming stick above his head and behind his back. Super fast-paced, entrancing drums beats are keeping the beat of the magical performance. Wow, I think to myself. He spins it faster and faster in one has until the golden-yellow light becomes a blurry orb of fire and then he tosses it in the air with mighty confidence.
Right when he catches the stick, a surprising burst of thunder shakes the sky. My heart drops. Will this night really be ruined by a rain storm? I realize that the air is already thick with humidity and the possibility for warm rain. I look down at Pookie and…he’s not there. I jump up and look around. Feet away, I see the small dog sprinting and barking in the direction of the jungle.
“Pookie!” I yell, confused. I quickly chase after him, feeling the eyes of several people following me. “Pookie, bad dog! Come back!”
My pretty sandals squish into the soft mud that signifies that this is changing from the sandy beach to the spooky jungle. I have no choice though. I run away from the sound of the music and towards the sound of my hysterical barking dog. What is going on? I hadn’t realized how fast my dog can actually go as I chase after Pookie breathlessly. I hear a loud snap to my left in the jungle and freeze in fear. A moment passes and nothing happens. I whimper in fear when I realize that I’m way down the beach, away from everyone else, half way in the jungle, at night, and Pookie has now officially disappeared from my view.
“Pookie!” I shout in a shaky voice. I move forward slowly, scanning the trees. Where would my dog be heading? Home? Towards food? Towards the water? None of those things are in this direction. I gulp and try to hold back my fear. A bright shock of lightning lights up the jungle brilliantly, thunder following its tail. Distantly, I hear Pookie’s sharp bark. I run as fast as I can in that direction, which is towards the small cove down the beach. I emerge back onto the sandy shore again thankfully, but this slows down my run. Soft sand kicks up under my heels and attacks my dress. Now my shoes and dress are probably soiled for the night. I silently decide that once I get my dog back, I’m going home.
I get closer and closer to the barking as I jog up the beach, until I see Pookie sitting there, waiting for me.
“Ugh,” I moan while reaching down to pick him up. “I can’t believe you made me do that. Let’s go home.”
Right before I can snatch him out of the sand, he whimpers and shimmies away. Concerned, I squat down and touch his head gently. My sixth sense reaches out and inside him, looking to see if he is hurt in any way. My healer personality revolves around trying to fix people, but all I sense in Pookie is urgency and nervousness; no injuries. Pookie wiggles out of my palm and runs around a corn of rock wall, into the small cove on this side of the beach. I groan again. How long is this going to last?
Rounding the corner reluctantly, I freeze and let out a quiet gasp when I see three guys standing about twenty feet away. I jump behind a large rock near the waterline and see Pookie walking in their direction.
“Pookie you mangy mutt, get back here right now!” I shout-whisper. Pookie actually comes back and hides behind the rock with me.
I peak at the three men and take in their rigid, hard-jawed postures. Every muscle seems to be pulled tight. One of them I recognize as Dustin, from my tribe. Dustin’s fists are clenched and his whole face displays anger. The other two guys are strangers though. My eyes land on the first one; he had golden-drown locks with a gentle wave. His skin was luminous his eyes sparked. I realized that he was sweating and his eyes showed honest fear. Fear for what? The second stranger is the tallest of the three with shimmering black hair and manly scruff on his chin. I strain my ears to hear them better.
“This is stupid guys; you don’t need to do this! Let’s just go home, Max.” The first stranger grabs the second strangers arm and looks at him in the eyes, willing him to agree.
“I’m not going to let this scum step all over us, Wes.” Max responses with venom in his voice. Max rips out of his friend’s grip and looks at Dustin who has a wicked smirk on his face. My stomach drops low into my abdomen and I shiver a little at the scary energy filling the air. I feel something coming.
Dustin hears the insult of scum and his eyes ripple with anger. In a flash, Dustin whips out a pocket knife that glints in the moonlight. I gasp out loud, my heart fluttering in surprise and fear. Is this really happening?
“I challenged you! Be man enough to fight!” Dustin shouts at the stranger names Max. I watch Max’s face expression harden and he pulls out his own knife.
“Are you crazy!” The stranger named Wesley shouts furiously. He begins to walk between them, when Max shoves back.
“Stay back Wesley, this is my fight!” He yells.
The scene before me looks like an ancient painting. The men are standing ankle-deep in the frothing ocean tide with their bare-chested bodies gleaming in the moonlight. I take a shaky breath. What do I do? Just watch? Go tell someone? Try and stop it? I know I should go get help and stop cowering and eavesdropping but I can’t make myself move. If they get hurt, will I be able to help them? I don’t have enough training, I tell myself with out knowing whether it’s the truth or not.
Max and Dustin begin to circle each other with their muscles flexing and jaws clenched. Their knives are held expertly in their hands; both of their knuckles are white. Wesley is obviously in pain watching and I can see in his eyes that he isn’t going to let them hurt each other.
“This was a bad idea for you, Dustin.” Max growls at him as they continue to circle each other.
“You are nothing compared to me.” Dustin spits back. “You and all your people are useless, expendable warriors and I hope you all die in battle against my superior tribe.”
I am completely thrown off that Dustin would say something like that. I don’t know him that well but never saw this side of him. Everyone says crazy things when they’re mad though, right?
I watch in silent terror as Max’s eyes darken and he lunges at Dustin powerfully with his knife, letting out a scream. Dustin narrowly misses the surging weapon and he whips around quickly. Dustin jumps on Max and plunges him into the water forcefully. My heart thumps so quickly I can barely comprehend what I’m seeing. I feel a little dizzy as Dustin’s knife comes down on Max’s shoulder.
“NO!” The second stranger, Wesley, yells and jumps forward. With the power of a bull he knocks Dustin over into the bloody tide. I see blood coming from Max, but he gets up. I guess that Dustin must have just scratched him before Wesley jumped on him. Max pushed his furious friend away and grabs Dustin by the throat and lifts him up. Dustin fights out of his grasp and elbows him in the stomach, stumbling back.
I can’t believe I’m watching this. I can’t believe I’m watching this.
Can I heal the stranger? Should I? He is trying to kill someone from my own tribe! But, Dustin is trying to kill him. I can’t watch anyone die, it goes against every atom in my body.
Dustin starts taunting his opponents again. “I know your kind; simple-minded, filled with uncontrollable anger. I have seen your woman too, Max, and I wish I hadn’t. Too bad you aren’t good enough for a beautiful girl from my tribe.”
A wild, animalistic howl comes from the stranger and just like that, he rushes forward faster than Dustin can move and stabs him right in the stomach.
“Max!” Wesley cries in shock.
Watching the blood spurt from my neighbor’s stomach and trickle out of his mouth, I jump up from my hiding place and scream at the top of my lungs. Dustin’s eyes loose their light like a flame being extinguished and he flops over sideways into the ruby red water. I continue to scream blindly until I decide to do the smart thing. I turn towards the beach and begin to run.
“Lydia! Lydia! Help! He’s been stabbed! Help!” I run blindly with horrified tears streaming from my eyes. Pookie barks and sprints in front of me.
The people nearest to me listen to my words and begin to scramble. I continue to run towards a group of my tribe mates and spot Lydia, my tribe’s healer.
“Lydia,” I say breathlessly. She looks up at me with wide eyes. “Dustin has been stabbed. He is bleeding…he—he is in the cove…hurry!” I shout. She rushes to stand up, no matter her old age and begins to run. Dozens of others follow, shouting at each other. I feel really wobbly on my feet and nearly fall over, but then my friends emerge from the crowd. Mila runs to me and puts an arm around me to steady me.
“Oh my god, what happened?” Mila asks. She is dripping wet, along with my other friends. Alec, Alana, and Sebastian all look at me expectantly.
“I—I watched the whole thing. Dustin…he got into a fight with someone from the other tribe. He…he was stabbed!” I sob into her shoulder. “I didn’t think I could heal him! I was too scared!”
Mila comforts me silently then asks, “Where did this happen?”
I point down to the cove filling with people.
“Dustin…oh my god, Dustin…” Alana looks down at the sand and shivers. “Do you think Lydia can save him?”
“Lydia is a very experienced healer. She will fix him.” Sebastian replies methodically.
“Whoever did this…” Alec clenches his fists and stares down toward the cove. “They will not get away with it.”
All of my friends nod resolutely in agreement. I shiver and my stomach clenches when I see the same look in their eyes that I did in the two guys holding the knives.
“They were from the Noa tribe.” I suddenly remember to mention. The Noa tribe is the warrior tribe and based on what Dustin said, I know that’s their tribe.
“Who? I need to know their names.” Sebastian growls and suddenly turns a fierce expression on me.
I pause. The panicked, enraged, and regretful faces of the strangers I have come to know as Max and Wesley appear in my mind. Then I look at the bloodthirsty prince in front of me and I swallow the names on my tongue.
“I…I don’t know. Sorry.” My lie comes out shaky and Sebastian stares at me for a moment longer.
Out of the crowd next comes my father. He sees me and my friends and looks at us all sternly and seriously.
“Go home, now. All of you. This festival is over.” He meets all of our eyes so that we feel the full effect of his command, and then he leaves.
Part of me is so ready to be going home. Maybe I can go to sleep and wake up with this all just being a nightmare. But the other, more curious side of me is desperate to know if Dustin is okay. I admit to myself that what I really want to know though is what will become of the Noa tribe members. When Dustin is all fixed, which I’m sure that will happen soon since Lydia has been doing this for a long time, he will tell everyone what they did. Then what?
I don’t even want to think about, so I don’t.
The path back up the beach is flooded with whispering groups of teenagers who have been sent home reluctantly. We all begin to part ways towards our home. Alec and Alana both go to their separate houses. Sebastian walks home with purpose and vengeance, obviously on a mission. For what, that’s always a mystery. That leaves Mila and I to walk together
“I cannot believe you saw that…poor Dustin.” Mila tells me with wide, curious eyes.
“It’s not what you think.” I whisper to her harshly. “They didn’t want to fight him; in fact one was trying to hold his friend back! Dustin was taunting them and I think he might have challenged them to a fight.”
Mila growls like an animal. “There were two of them against Dustin and you are standing up for them? I’m just going to ignore that you just did that.”
My heart drops. I should have seen that coming. Loyalty to the tribe overrules all logic.
“You’re right, I’m sorry.” I mutter to her.
We come to my house first, just up the street from the beach. Sebastian and Mila both live at the top of the hill in the large mansion since they are both children of the chief. Mila hugs me and then we part ways.
I step into my house with a lump in my throat. I have a horrible feeling about what happened tonight. This is weird because Lydia has never failed to heal anyone before. But I remember, unfortunately, the dead look in Dustin’s brown eyes and the huge amount of blood in the water. Can Lydia bring people back from the dead?
I see Julian, Cole, and Kristopher, my brothers in the living room. Thankfully, my home is warmer than outside and I relish the feel of it. The sun had long since gone down and a light wind had begun to bother me. I let out a deep breath and join my siblings in our lavish living room, in front of the fire.
Our home is one of the bigger ones on this side of Kauai. This is only because our family can be traced from strong divine connections in this tribe. Royalty, of course, must have their castles. Our large tropical house though seems kind of small in comparison to the chief’s house. I would prefer a smaller, cozier beach house right on the sand than a large house.
“Where have you been?” Cole asks me suspiciously. “They closed down the festival a while ago.”
Cole is a couple years younger than me but acts like he is much older.
“I…I saw someone get hurt.” I say timidly. I take a seat next to Kristopher, my five year old younger brother. He immediately sits in my lap and continues to tinker with his little car toy.
“You were there? You saw?” Cole asks with wide-eyes. Pookie jumps up on the couch with me, always my little shadow. Julian raises an eyebrow at me. Julian is eighteen and is stoic like my father. Similar to Alec and Sebastian, he is a future warrior in our tribe. All three of my brothers have the sparkling blue eyes of our family.
“Yeah, I was, unfortunately.” I reply solemnly.
“Whoa, what happened? Was it a long fight? What weapons did they use? Did they fight with their bare hands? Did Dustin win? I bet he did win. I can’t wait to talk to him.” Cole babbles on excitedly and I sigh.
“Actually, Dustin didn’t win. I saw him get stabbed and then I ran to get help. That was about it.” I say bluntly. Cole closes his mouth and Julian looks soberly into the fire. Kristopher looks up at me with a cute little furrowed brow.
“Is Dustin going to be okay?” He asks in his cute little voice. I nod reassuringly and smooth down his chestnut hair.
“Don’t worry, Kris, we all know Lydia can handle it. Heck, Lucy probably could have even handled it.” Cole remarks.
I gulp and feel my gut twist. I take deep breaths to clam myself and I get lost in the hypnotic crackle of the fireplace. I tighten my arms around my little brother. The house is silent. We all know we are waiting for our parents to come home to give us the news of what happened. After what feels like two whole hours, my parents emerge into the house.
As soon as I see my parent’s expressions I know what happen. I stand up quickly and sit Kristopher back down on the couch. My mother’s beautiful face looks sickened and my father looks angry and shocked. Julian and Cole jump up as well.
“What happened?” Cole questions.
My mom and dad exchange a worried look and then my mom quietly walks to her room without a word.
“Dad?” I start timidly. He walks stiffly over to the couch and sits slowly. We all stare at him. He talks towards the fire with his jaw extremely tight.
“Lydia…couldn’t save him. The identity of the person who stabbed him is a mystery.”
“What? What do you mean she couldn’t save him?” Cole’s face is pained.
All of my insides are twisting and twirling in a mixing bowl of emotions. I feel shock that Lydia failed. I feel sadness for Dustin’s family. But, worst of all I feel relief. I feel relieved that Max and Wesley weren’t killed in response to Dustin’s death. This emotion makes me feel like I’m going to puke.
“Lydia is very old. This happens with age, her powers are failing. This large task was too much…Dustin was very badly injured.” My father says.
“So, Dustin he is really…?” Julian speaks in a hollow voice.
My dad looks him square in the eye and his voice echoes in my head.
“Yes, Dustin is dead at the hand of the Noa tribe.”