Hey, guys! The story’s getting better and better, and this is the chapter where the important action starts.
If you haven’t read the other chapters, they’re at
Thanks for reading! The AJ Story still doesn’t have an official name, so if you have any suggestions, PLEASE post them in the comments.
If they hadn’t been sleeping so soundly that night, the four wolves might have heard two rasping, gravelly voices talking in the darkness.
“Is this the one?” said the first one. He had a strange crackling accent on his s sounds.
“The fool that made us look so powerless by the creek,” spat the other.
“Well, now we can show her who’s really powerless,” said the first one. A bolt of violet electricity sparked down his black body as he cackled.
The phantoms lunged.
Juniper sat bolt upright, breathing hard. Her dream wasn’t going well to begin with… but then she heard that scream. Most dreams about battle camp involved Lucky’s voice, but this was different. It sounded too… too real. More like her today, not her as an eight-year-old.
She turned over. Lucky was gone. She wasn’t worried at first, but there was a part of her buried deep inside that was struck with fear. Not even Flora was awake yet, and Lucky was always a late sleeper.
“Flora,” whispered Juniper, grabbing her big sister by the shoulder and giving her a little shake. “Psst. Flora. Wake up!”
Flora opened her dark blue eyes and looked at her sister. “What is it?” she asked.
“Lucky’s gone,” said Juniper.
Flora was instantly alert. “This early? Where could she have gone?”
“I don’t know. She’s never like this.”
They searched everywhere, but Lucky was nowhere to be found. She wasn’t in the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, Crashing’s room, or any of the closets. They even checked in all of Sparkle’s windows, which would have doubtlessly creeped Sparkle out if she’d been awake. At last they met back in the yard where Crashing was still sleeping peacefully.
“She’s nowhere,” said Juniper desperately. She looked to her right, and her eyes widened. “What’s that?”
The two sisters bounded over to the fence to look more closely. There were two purplish burned-out gouge marks in the wood. They knew it could only mean one thing.
“Phantoms!” gasped Juniper. “We have to save her!”
“What about Crashing? We can’t just leave her!”
Juniper watched the diminutive pup as she slept peacefully, oblivious to the disappearance of her adopted big sister. “We’ll take her to Sparkle’s. That’s a good place for her to stay if we… in case we stay a little longer than we mean to.” Flora caught her drift.
“Crashing,” Flora whispered, stroking her back. “Crashing, wake up.”
“Hmm?” She rolled over and opened her crystal-blue eyes a tiny bit.
“Juniper and I have to go, okay? We can’t find Lucky, but it might be a little bit dangerous, so you’re going to stay with Sparkle while we’re gone.”
Crashing liked Sparkle. She was nice, pretty, sweet, and had a huge garden. However, she was a smart little pup, and knew there was something Flora wasn’t telling her.
“Where are you going?” she asked, her eyes as wide as miniature blue moons. Flora and Juniper glanced at each other.
“We think it might have something to do with phantoms,” said Juniper carefully. “That’s why it’s not a good place for a little wolf like you.”
Sparkle looked sincerely happy when they showed up and said Crashing would stay for a while, even though it was barely 6:00 a.m. Once they’d got that taken care of, they went back home to get ready. Juniper packed her various medicines and poultices, and Flora shouldered her bow and put a spiked glove on one paw. She glanced at her little sister packing her own supplies.
“You look a little more weighed down than normal,” said Flora. She wasn’t talking about the mental load of losing their little sister; she actually meant Juniper was carrying more.
“Oh, yeah,” said Juniper with a shrug. “Always pays to be prepared.” Flora’s gaze lingered even after she looked away. Juniper was planning something, she knew it.
No time to worry about that now. At six-fifteen, the two wolves left on their quest.
Every paw-step made a sound like thunder as Greely sprinted down the path. Something was wrong. He had to tell Juniper, Flora, and Lucky before it was too late.
Before the curse took hold.
Greely halted at the wolves’ front door. “Flora,” he called in his low, growling voice. “Juniper. Lucky.” There was no answer. Getting suspicious, he trotted around the cottage and looked in every window. He didn’t see any sign of movement.
Not quick to panic, he went over to Sparkle’s house and knocked on the door. The arctic wolf squealed and fell into an umbrella stand when she opened the door.
“Sparkle,” he growled. “Where are Flora and Juniper and Lucky?”
“They – they went on a trip, sir,” she squeaked. “Lucky’s missing, and they went to the Phantom Hive to search for her.”
Greely’s hackles rose. The Phantom Hive was the heart of the phantom race, and it was about as dangerous as it got for missions. With a quick “Thank you”, Greely was off to the Hive.
He had no idea what he was getting himself into.
Oh, I love Greely.
Anyway, that’s today’s Fiction Friday. Stay tuned for next week’s chapter 5!! 😀