You can read the first two installments of Hannah’s novella, which placed third in our 2019 book contest, in the April and May 2020 issues of Stone Soup. This is the final installment.
CHARACTERS – In order of appearance
ELANA (Uh-LAY-nuh) A young furow girl who is the Chosen One
MS. SMIT Elana’s science teacher, who later reveals a secret identity
HENRY A tiny, green-haired fairy who guides Elana
CASEY FLUMPTON An evil rock star and Elana’s mortal enemy
ASTREA, DANIEL, HERA, ALLEN, and SOPHIA Henry’s friends
TWEETLE and TWOOTLE Casey’s messengers
TOONA A Neptune devil
MRS. RICHARD Elana’s writing teacher
MOM, DAD, MARY, DAISY, JOHN, FIONA, and EDGAR Elana’s family
KĀLEKA CAKE (Kay-LEE-kah), TAFFY CRUSTULUM, MEL LIMBUM, SUGAR SWEET, CHOCOLAT TREAT, COCO SCELERISQUE, and VANILLE GLAÇAGE Gingerbread workers in the Palace of Honey
GALETTA A snappy owner at a bakery in Sugar Top
BUBBLES, GUMMER, LICORE, and CHOCO Workers at the Background Theater
SPOTS Coco’s pet dog
PRANKSTER Vanille’s pet cat
HALLOWEEN and EASTER Bubbles’s pets
FILLINUS The ambassador of light
HAU’OLI A girl who befriends Elana in Casey’s palace
PHILADELPHIA Hau’oli’s pet rat
CAPTAIN HAWKINS The police chief
MR. REMY and MR. SAGARD Two police officers
XIII: Speaking to Casey on the Telephone
Elana knew that there was a high chance of somebody finding her. If only I could hide my bright red hair, she thought.
Then she came up with a great idea. She sat on the ground, made a bunch of lightning rope appear, and began to weave. Elana didn’t know how to sew, but she was an excellent weaver. Soon enough, she was finished with her new work: a wig! Elana put the wig on her hair and tugged on it. Some strands of her hair peeked out, but she figured it just looked like red highlights against the wig. Elana didn’t worry about her face; she didn’t think anyone would recognize her.
Elana hurried along the hall and suddenly came to a stop when she saw a maid who was about her age. The girl had long, curly black hair and a patchwork dress. She wasn’t looking ahead and ended up bumping into Elana.
“Oh!” the girl exclaimed in a startled voice. “Didn’t see you there. Well, I thought you didn’t notice me either. After all, when you get blinded by the lightning that Casey makes, you are instantly under her command. If the lightning doesn’t strike you, she’ll come after you and try to put you under her mind control.” Elana froze as the talkative girl carelessly babbled on. “Now she’s trying to get this girl named Elana in the dungeons, but she must’ve escaped. I mean, she’s not in there anymore. Have you, perhaps, seen her? She has red hair, blue eyes, and a high-pitched voice.”
Elana froze in terror. She hoped her disguise worked. Then, using her deepest voice, she lied. “I saw her in the kitchen. She was trying to help the house staff polish the silverware.”
The maid grabbed a hidden phone from her pocket and then said, “Casey, someone knows where Elana is.” She paused, waiting for an answer. After a few seconds, the maid said, “Okay, okay, I’ll ask her.” Then, speaking to Elana, she inquired, “What’s your name?”
“El—” Elana paused. What name would she say? Elana knew she had to think of one fast. Without thinking any further she blurted out, “Elmaña!”
“Do you mean El Maña?” the maid asked, pausing between “El” and “Maña” for emphasis. “That sounds kind of like ‘the hand’ in the human language Spanish,” she remarked.
“No,” Elana answered, lowering her voice again. “Elmaña,” she bellowed a bit more confidently.
“Her name’s Elmaña,” the maid said into the phone. She paused again, then said, “I’ll hand her the phone.” Then she gave the phone to Elana.
“Hello?!” Elana called, using her deep voice. She paused expectantly.
“Can you give me some details?” Casey asked on the other end.
“Yes,” Elana answered quickly, then explained. “I was there to clean the kitchen, and then I heard someone. She was dressed up in rags, and I asked her what her name was. She said ‘Elana.’ I asked her what she was doing in the kitchen, and she told me she was trying to surprise you by polishing the silverware.”
“Why didn’t you put her in the dungeon?” Casey demanded.
“I didn’t know that she was supposed to be there,” Elana responded, as innocently as she could.
“Okay, then. Bye,” Casey answered in a why-didn’t-you-do-that tone of voice, then hung up.
“What did she say?” The maid asked.
“Just asked some questions, and then she hung up.” Elana answered.
“That means she’s mad at you!” the maid explained in a terrified voice.
“Do you like her?” Elana questioned.
“Like her?!” the maid screeched. “Of course not! But that’s not the point. If she doesn’t like you, she’ll send your most horrifying dream at you!”
Elana quickly changed the subject by asking the maid’s name.
“Oh, sorry I didn’t tell you that before. I’m Hau’oli (HOW-oh-lee); it means ‘joyful’ in Hawaiian. Are you . . . Elana? I remember all the names of Casey’s house staff, and Elmaña is not one of them.”
“Yes, my name is Elana,” Elana replied truthfully. “Sorry I didn’t tell you; I thought you got blinded by the light and were under Casey’s orders.”
“Um, no,” Hau’oli replied. “I’m kinda like you—all my folks are under Casey’s orders. How are your friends and family?”
“I don’t know about my family, but my friends are in the dungeon,” Elana replied. “Do you know why? . . . Wait! I also have another question! How did you get to talk to Casey? Because you weren’t under her command? Wait! Is it okay if you answer this one too—why were you babbling about random stuff when you met me? I could’ve been someone else—like Casey!”
“First I’ll answer question one, and then question two, and then I’ll answer question four!” Hau’oli said.
“I didn’t ask four questions, I asked—” Elana interrupted, feeling confused. But Hau’oli kept talking.
“I know your parents or your siblings, though you may not have any, are not under Casey’s orders because then Casey would be busy chasing your family and making them spill everything they know about you. If this were the case, when I called her, she would’ve screamed that she was busy, and you’d never have gotten the chance to talk to her.
“Now I’ll answer the next question. I’m also disguised as a maid. When the flash of lightning came, my parents started running toward the castle— Casey’s castle. You see, all Neptunians who are blinded go straight there and become Casey’s servants unless Casey assigns them a mission. They get around using their other senses, particularly their sense of smell, which they use to locate the castle.
“They were really fast, and I tried to follow them. I suspect that Casey’s lightning gave them some powers because they oddly ran across the water, but I couldn’t do it. So I got a paddleboat and paddled after them. I watched as they shouted to one another and pointed to the castle looming in the distance. I knew I had to get in front of them if I wanted to stop them. I paddled faster and faster and was able to get to the castle before they did. By that point, stars were twinkling in the sky. As soon as I got to the shore, I looked out, trying to find them.
“I couldn’t see my parents anymore, but someone had stepped out of the castle and was coming toward me. A woman was in front of me, and she cooed, ‘Come here, little girl. I’m Casey. You’re probably really tired. Come here, you itsy-poo. Here’s a phone; you can use it when you need me. Now, follow me.’ I followed her through the door that led to the castle. I suspect Casey thought I was already blinded by her lightning and didn’t notice my rowboat docked behind the brick castle wall. I followed her inside because I wanted to find out where my parents were.”
“Wow, what a great tale,” Elana complimented her new friend. “You told it with so much feeling.” She still had tons of unanswered questions but was distracted by the magnificent story.
“Thanks, Elana,” Hau’oli said, blushing. “I’m thinking of becoming a storyteller. NOT a writer. I always get an ‘E’ on writing and typing. But now I’ll answer your last two questions. Yes, I will answer your third question, and yes, I will answer the fourth you didn’t know you had.”
Elana giggled as Hau’oli continued.
“I knew it was you because I purposely bumped into you. You tried to dodge me, and if you were not paying attention, you would have said ‘sorry’ and moved on. But you didn’t. That’s when I realized you had to be Elana. No one else wanders around the staff hall.”
“So, do you want to attack Casey?” Elana asked Hau’oli. She had been dying to ask her that question.
But Hau’oli didn’t seem to hear Elana’s invitation. Instead, she was staring at a bloody, white hand that had appeared on the ground. It was Elana’s worst dream . . .
XIV: Speaking to Casey Not on a Telephone
Elana froze in place. The bloody hand was moving toward her. For a minute there was a deadly silence, and then Hau’oli screamed, “RUN!”
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Elana screamed back. “It’ll chase us H-H-H-Hau’oli!”
“Trust me! I know what to do!” Hau’oli yelled.
“Then tell me and stop shouting!” Elana yelled back.
“I said run!” Hau’oli snapped, screaming even louder.
“Finnnne,” Elana groaned. She wasn’t very fast, but she didn’t like the idea of a bloody hand chasing her. Elana ran as fast as she could and as hard as she could.
“Wait for meeeee!” Hau’oli yelled again.
Elana couldn’t stop. She was running as hard as she could and didn’t dare look back.
“Oh, wait! What are we running from?” Hau’oli inquired.
Elana thought that the answer was pretty obvious, but still replied: “I’m running away from the bloody hand of death—duh!”
“You’re running away from a hallucination!” Hau’oli corrected.
Elana stopped and realized that Hau’oli was right. She stepped on the bloody hand, and it felt like nothing was there. Smiling, she wiped her sweaty hands on her dress, then asked, “Now, how are we going to see Casey, Hau’oli?”
Hau’oli didn’t respond. Instead, she pulled out a piece of paper, an invisible-ink marker (more on this later), a regular pencil, and a red pen. Then she began to write.
“Uh, what are you writing?” Elana asked Hau’oli.
Hau’oli didn’t reply. When she was done, she gave the note to Elana, and Elana slowly read it.
THE PLAN TO ESCAPE
- H leads E all the way to the broom closet.
- E finds pickaxe in broom closet and breaks the wall.
- H and E find the big pipes and crawl through together.
- H and E meet Ph, and Ph leads the way to C.
- H, E, and Ph plead with C to send everyone back home (if yes, stop plan).
- Ph crawls up C’s clothes.
- C screams, “Guards!”
- H, E, or Ph attack and throw guards in prison whenever they arrive.
- H crawls up behind C, then jumps on her.
- Ph tickles C.
- E threatens C.
- C gives up.
- Everyone asks C AGAIN to send us home.
There was a big blank space at the bottom of the list. “The rest is in invisible ink,” Hau’oli explained as she handed Elana the invisible-ink pen. This helps us keep our plan secret. “The pen has a light at the end so when you shine it at the invisible writing you can read what it says.”
Elana took the pen from Hau’oli and read the invisible part of the plan:
H = Hau’oli
E = Elana
C = Casey
Ph = Philadelphia
“Done!” Elana exclaimed. “But who is Philadelphia?” Elana asked.
“I’ll tell you later,” replied Hau’oli. “For now, follow me.”
Elana followed Hau’oli through the halls, occasionally bumping into some of Casey’s supporters, who mistook them for other supporters.
Then, Hau’oli stopped so suddenly that Elana almost fell on top of her. There was a small, crooked door in front of them. Hau’oli heaved the door open with such a loud groan that nearby staff stared at them.
“Casey wants me and Hau’oli to grab one of her threading spools,” Elana explained to the people staring.
“There are no threading spools in the broom closet!” one of Casey’s house staff protested, but Elana and Hau’oli were already inside.
“Is there anything in here?” Hau’oli inquired.
“I can’t find anything useful like the—wait, what’s on the list again?” Elana questioned. She heard the wrestling of Hau’oli pulling out the paper.
“We need to find the pickaxe,” Hau’oli said determinedly. “Wait, is that the pickaxe?! No, no, no!” Hau’oli said, frustrated. “That’s a spatula!”
“Do you need my lightning rope?” Elana offered.
“No, no, no . . . wait, WHAT?! You have lightning rope?” Hau’oli exclaimed. “I heard that it’s very rare nowadays.”
“I just create them with my hands. I called them lightning ropes, but they may not be lightning ropes.”
“Create them now so I can see them!” Hau’oli demanded.
Elana clasped her hands together and created one very long lightning rope.
“That’s what I’m talking about!” Hau’oli exclaimed again. “I’ve only seen it in photos, but I’ve never seen it in real life. It’s . . . it’s beautiful!”
“I’ve never heard of it before,” Elana said. “But you seem to know a LOT about it.”
“My teacher just kept going on and on about it . . . I nearly fell asleep until she said it was very precious and showed us a lot of photos.”
“So you don’t really know anything about it?” Elana asked.
“Yeah. Only that bit of information,” Hau’oli admitted. “Let’s just forget about it. Now, where’s the pickaxe?”
“Oh, where do you usually find the pickaxe?” Elana inquired.
“It’s usually in the corner, behind the broom,” Hau’oli answered.
Elana checked behind the broom.
“There it is!” she sighed in relief. “I thought we’d never find it.”
“Good,” Hau’oli said. “Now it’s time for the next step. Let’s go through the portal and meet Philadelphia.”
“Who is Philadelphia anyway?” Elana pressed again.
“It’s my pet rat!” Hau’oli explained cheerfully.
“Ugh. Rats are disgusting,” Elana responded, wrinkling her face.
“Actually, I think all rats are cute,” Hau’oli said defensively. “Besides, some furows have rats as pets.”
“Um. Okay,” Elana agreed reluctantly, trying to be polite. “Should we meet her, then?”
“Yeah, she’s a very nice rat,” Hau’oli said, nodding. “She’s also a talking rat. Not many of them talk nowadays, right?”
“Are you joking?” Elana shrieked. But Hau’oli had already grabbed the pickaxe from her and started pounding on the wall.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait . . .” Elana yelped. “Isn’t there a different way? You seemed to already know Philadelphia, and there’s no hole in the wall because if you met Philadelphia inside, there’d already be a hole in it!”
“She went into hiding when Casey saw rat hairs all over her dress. Last time, I saw her in a different place. And she said that Casey had found her rat hair, so she’s hiding in this broom closet.” Hau’oli banged the pickax harder. “Now, no more questions! Let’s get back to work.”
“What am I supposed to do?” Elana questioned.
“Just a second,” Hau’oli replied. “Just a sec, just a sec . . . Be patient . . . There!” Hau’oli sat back, admiring her work. There was a huge hole with a rat sleeping inside. “Oh, Philadelphia!” Hau’oli called in a sing-song voice. The rat woke up.
“Hello!” she squeaked. “What can I do for you, Hau’oli? Oh, oh, I see you brought a friend!”
“Yes! And now we’re going to attack Casey!” Elana added.
“Who are you?” Philadelphia asked.
“I’m Elana, spelled with an ‘a’ in the middle.” Elana held out her hand to shake the little rat’s paw as she introduced herself.
“Nice to meet you, nice to meet you. I’m a friend of Hau’oli. Now I’m a friend of you. Friend of Hau’oli, friend of you!”
“Soooo, do you wanna tell her the details?” Elana asked Hau’oli.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Hau’oli responded. “So this is my new friend, Elana, and she agrees that we should attack Casey together. Do you want to join?”
“Yes, because I’m friend of Elana! And friend of Hau’oli!”
Hau’oli picked up Philadelphia, who kept squeaking, “Elana friend, Hau’oli friend!”
“Sssshhhhh,” Elana hissed at Philadelphia when Hau’oli slowly creaked open the broom closet door.
Philadelphia whispered something that sounded a lot like “Mad at friend Elana.”
“Did you find what you need?” one of Casey’s butlers snapped sarcastically, rolling his eyes.
“Yes, we found the one Casey needed. She said that she left it in the broom closet,” Elana lied.
“Oh, well, that’s good,” the butler snapped again, with an I-don’t-believe-you tone of voice. Then, whispering pretty loudly to a maid that was passing by, “I’m gonna call Casey and tell her that this girl’s crazy—she’s losing her marbles!”
Elana overheard that and paused, remembering that Casey was probably within one mile and so could probably read her mind. But luckily, the palace seemed to be bigger than she thought.
“Who are you?” the butler bellowed, looking directly at Elana. She knew he was going to force her to talk to Casey, and Casey was already mad at “Elma.a,” so she would have to think of a different name, and fast.
“Uh, Linda,” Elana lied, thinking of her Portuguese class, and how the word meant “beautiful.”
“Come here,” the butler commanded. “You’re going to speak with Casey. You’re acting odd; I’m sure she’ll not approve of that.”
The butler, who had been blinded by the flash of lightning, took out his walkie-talkie and dialed Casey’s number before he gave it to Elana. He had mistaken her for a butler, a maid, or some other member of the house staff.
“Hello!” Elana croaked, trying as hard as she could to make a very scratchy and croaky voice. It sounded a lot like a toad would sound if it could talk.
“Who are you, and why are you speaking to me?” Casey cackled, in a now-familiar voice.
“I’m El— I mean, Linda, uh—”
“She’s talking to you because I found her acting weird,” the butler promptly explained. “She claimed that you, Casey, told her that you had left your spool of thread in the broom closet. Which is impossible, because it’s where all the house staff live—all except Tweetle and Twootle, of course.”
“Uh, yeah, that’s true,” Elana admitted. “I’m a bit hard of hearing, so I thought you told me to get the spool of thread—”
“And I have trouble sleeping because I can’t remember you coming over to talk to me today,” Casey snapped back sarcastically, then hung up.
Elana took a step forward, and all the things she had done today swarmed through her mind. Unfortunately for her, that single step put her closer to Casey, and she was now exactly one mile away from her! Now Casey knew where Elana was, and she knew Elana had pretended to be two people in her house staff, and she knew about the plan Elana and Hau’oli had made up!
XV: Tweetle and Twootle Speaking to Casey
“Tweetle! Twootle! Come here!” Casey snapped. A rushing flurry of steps could be heard upstairs.
“I said, ‘come here!’” Casey roared. Tweetle and Twootle, the twins, burst into the room, panting.
“S-so sorry!” Twootle apologized.
“Uh, sorry,” Tweetle lied.
“This is the 56th time you hesitated or lied to me! As your punishment, you will go ALL BY YOURSELVES to take the rest of the light from those Neptunians. And once you’re done, you’ll take the light from the Uranusians, and then the Saturnites! Then do the same thing to the Martians and then move on to the Earthlings. On Earth, start at the places with the most light, like New Pork, or New York—whatever!”
Tweetle and Tootle exchanged glances at Casey’s worse-than-usual crazy outburst.
She continued, “Then move on to the Venusians, then the Mercurians. When you go to Mercury, learn the local language; they speak an Earthen language called Porean. No, no, no . . . they speak Korean. They also are the closest planet to the bunny! No, the bummy, or is it the tummy?” Casey gasped for air.
“No, that’s wrong; it’s the bun! No, wait, the sun!”
“Uh, okay,” Tweetle replied. “Is it safe?”
Instead of answering, Casey screamed, “That’s the 56th time that you lied to me, the 57th time you hesitated in front of me, the 77th time you got scared, and the 127th time you questioned me!”
Tweetle could feel anger pouring over himself. It’s true that he had lied, hesitated, questioned, and gotten scared—but there were good reasons why. He was a very shy boy, and when Casey asked him to join her, he had hesitated, then stuttered the word “yes.” Then she threatened him, saying he would have to take a test to prove that he was worthy of working for her, and if he failed she would blind him with her lightning. His brother didn’t need to take the test because he got blinded from the light on Casey’s first mission to a small town to steal a candle. Tweetle was scared, so he hesitated at first. Then he asked in a pouting tone, “Do I have to?” Then he lied and said he was very sick, so he couldn’t do the test. Casey could read minds, so she got angry with him and made him take the test three times, and he passed.
And that’s how it started. While thinking about this, he thought of more and more reasons why he didn’t like Casey. Mustering up all the courage he could, he shouted, “I . . . . . . . . . QUIT!!!!!!”
“What?!” Casey screeched. “Y-you can’t q-quit w-we—”
“That is the 14th, 15th, and 16th time you stuttered in front of me!” Tweetle glared at Casey, his voice rising, “and the 105th time you have refused to let me express my ideas. So, goodbye! See you soon! P.S., I’m off to find Elana!”
“Well, I bet you won’t, ’cause now I have a plan with your brother, and you can only hear it if you unquit!” Casey roared.
Well, that is a lie, Tweetle thought. He stormed off and pretended to leave, but when Casey wasn’t looking he hid under a table to hear what Casey was about to reveal to his brother.
“Now that your brother’s gone, I’ll explain something to you. Elana is exactly one mile away from me, so I can read her mind,” Casey explained. She went on to describe what she heard. Once she was finished, she added, “Go and collect an army for me.”
XVI: The Warning
Tweetle ran through the hallways as fast as he could. He greatly disliked racing against his own brother, but this was an emergency. He had heard that Elana was in the really big hall where their butlers, maids, and other house staff lived, so he had a long way to run. He also knew that he, Hau’oli, and Elana were in danger. The whole situation reminded him of a race. The starting line was Casey, who didn’t want him to warn Elana. He was the racer who was going to do almost anything to get to the finish line. The finish line was Elana and Hau’oli. As he ran
up the stairs,
and up . . .
and up . . .
up . . .
he spotted an old man walking down and bumped into him.
“Easy, Tweetle,” the mysterious man sputtered in a harsher voice than Tweetle expected. “Danger is ahead. Now don’t rush, and remember: there is danger ahead. Password is L-I-G-H-T, Tweetle. Elana’s nearby.”
The old man left as quickly as he appeared. Tweetle stood frozen in place, aghast. Then he ran up the stairs while thinking, Who was that man? And what did he mean?
He thought about the second question. He must think I’m trying to capture Elana. So he’s telling me all the information he’ll think I’ll need—
“WHOA!” Tweetle yelped as a humongous gargoyle with stinky feet jumped out at him, making him tumble down five steps.
“PASSWORD!” the gargoyle shrieked.
“L-I-G-H-T!” Tweetle exclaimed to the creature, thinking of what the man had said.
“Correcto!” the gargoyle said, as he jumped out of the way to reveal a tiny wooden door. Tweetle stood up and ran to it.
“PASSWORD!” the gargoyle, who was blinded by Casey’s light, shrieked as he thought someone new had run by.
Tweetle burst through the door, ignoring the gargoyle’s screams of “PASSWORD! PASSWORD!” at his heels.
The door led to a corridor with bright sunlight but unfresh air. He pulled out a magical map that he had stolen from Casey. It had the names of her enemies who were inside the castle. Most of the names appeared to be in the dungeon, but there were three that were out and walking around the castle: Elana, Hau’oli, and himself.
He ran through the corridor as fast as he could. Then he got to a circular room with many people inside it arguing. In the center of it stood Elana. He wasn’t absolutely sure it was her, but then he remembered that Casey told his brother about the wig she was wearing. He also remembered that Elana was with another young girl holding a rat. Tweetle figured that the girl with the rat must be Hau’oli, and the rat had to be Philadelphia.
He shoved his way through the bickering crowd as they became louder and louder. It sounded like they were trying to decide what to do with Elana.
“Halt!” yelled a voice. Everyone spun around to see Casey standing in the crowd.
Tweetle knew that this was his only chance to warn Elana and Hau’oli. He ran to the center of the crowd, ignoring Casey’s shouts. He heard a jumbled roar from the crowd, with Elana’s name being shouted over and over again.
As soon as Elana saw Tweetle, she gasped and said, “Hau’oli, run!”
Tweetle knew he had to act quickly. He saw Elana and Hau’oli dive behind a pillar, and he dove behind too. Elana tried to make some lightning rope to tie him up, but Tweetle dodged out of the way and quickly tied Elana and Hau’oli up instead.
“Hau’oli! We need to get out of here,” he heard Elana whisper.
“No, wait. Seriously, I’ve come here to warn you,” Tweetle corrected her.
“What?” Hau’oli snapped in an I-don’t-believe-you tone.
“Casey’s after you!” Tweetle explained frantically.
“Where’s your proof?” Elana asked suspiciously.
“Listen to her!” Tweetle exclaimed. “And check out my map. It shows all of Casey’s enemies.”
He showed Hau’oli and Elana the magic map that had their names on it.
Hau’oli and Elana still didn’t seem convinced that Tweetle was telling the truth. They started to listen to Casey explaining to the crowd how Tweetle had joined Elana’s team. Everyone except Tweetle gasped.
“So it’s really true!” Hau’oli gasped, as Tweetle untied her and Elana.
“It is,” Tweetle said. “And now we have to run.”
XVII: Elana, Hau’oli, Philadelphia, and Tweetle Speaking to Casey—Not on a Telephone!
“Are we running away from Casey?” Elana asked Tweetle. “I thought we were trying to get to Casey”
“True,” Tweetle admitted. “We just need to think of a plan first. Maybe we should host a meeting between us and Casey.”
“Tweetle friends! Hau’oli friends! Elana friends!” Philadelphia squeaked.
“Be quiet!” Hau’oli hissed.
Philadelphia squeaked what sounded a lot like “Mad at Hau’oli friend.”
“Do you have a map of the castle and all of its rooms?” Elana asked, changing the subject. “Not the one that has Casey’s enemies’ names and a list of where they are.”
“Yes!” Tweetle replied, taking out another map from his pocket.
It looked like this:
Elana peered over the map, knowing she was going to get shoved by Hau’oli. She was right. Hau’oli shoved Elana to the side as she peered over the map herself.
“This shows exactly how lazy Casey is,” Hau’oli grumbled back to Elana.
“Okay, let’s stop her at the end of the House Staff Hall,” Tweetle said, quickly developing a plan while biting his thumbnail.
“How are we going to get there? Casey probably already finished the meeting with the house staff,” Elana wondered aloud. “And she’s probably walking over there right now!”
“That’s why I have a shortcut,” Tweetle exclaimed, bouncing to his feet. “Follow me!” He led them to a door that had been painted red. It was very short. Elana and Hau’oli had to duck to get through the little door, but Tweetle had no problem fitting.
The doors they were going through started to shrink. They got smaller and smaller, like in Alice in Wonderland, until even Tweetle had to duck down to fi t through them.
These doors, Elana thought, had to be made by Tweetle himself. After they got through the smallest door, the doors began to gradually grow bigger and bigger until they fi nally looked like the biggest doors Elana had ever seen.
As they walked through the last giant door and ducked under a gargoyle, the three of them came face to face with Casey!
“Well, well, well,” she cackled. “Nice to see you again.”
Elana discreetly pulled out the list from her pocket and, trying to clear her thoughts, quietly motioned for Hau’oli to come over. Hau’oli came over, and they reviewed the attack plan they had worked on.
“Pppppplllllleeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeeee!” Elana and Hau’oli pleaded, when they saw which part of the plan they were on.
“Please!” Philadelphia added.
“What? Guys!” Tweetle exclaimed. “This isn’t part of the plan.”
“You never told us the plan,” Elana reminded him. “And we never said we were going to follow it.”
“GIRLS!” Tweetle yelled in frustration. “They’re so annoying!”
“What do you want?” Casey said, wincing.
“For you to send us home,” Hau’oli insisted.
“For you to take the spell off your house staff,” Elana added.
“And not to swat my family members,” Philadelphia added.
“Why should I care?” Casey snorted.
Tweetle felt rage explode inside him. He couldn’t help swatting Casey as hard as he could.
“Hey!” Casey shrieked. “Owwww! Stop that! Your friend is just a rat, and I don’t think you’ve met her family members!”
“You are just a dead furow!” Elana yelled at Casey.
“No, I’m not!” Casey protested.
Elana ignored her protest and began to slap, punch, and kick furiously at Casey. Then everything became dark, and Elana knew what was going to happen next.
“Close your eyes!” she yelled. Everyone followed Elana’s order.
Casey made a burst of lightning appear, and Tweetle remembered the time she had taught him how to get rid of it. He had to zoom up to the lightning bolt and touch a certain part of it, with eyes shut tight to avoid getting blinded. You see, when the lightning strikes, it always contains a note about Casey’s thoughts. Anyone can see its reflection on the ground, so you can use the note as a map to figure out what part of the lightning bolt to touch. It’s a very risky mission, and those who had tried before struggled to reach the lightning bolt, touched the wrong part, or forgot to shut their eyes.
The flying part was easy for Tweetle. The hardest part was remembering where exactly he had to touch the lightning bolt. He thought hard, and then remembered that it all depended on what month it was! Each month had a certain probability of seeing Casey’s lightning. Tweetle knew it was July, and so there was a 15% chance of lightning. The “15%” is code for the 15th letter of the alphabet: O!
Now Tweetle realized he had to touch the O on Casey’s note. He looked down, looking for the message the lightning had left. He hoped he would see an O—and only one so he would know exactly where to strike. The note was faint at first, then became brighter and brighter until he could clearly read: NOTHING CAN DEFEAT ME. The letter O reflected right in front of his feet!
He thought it was worth the risk, but he was scared. Casey had once said that he would get badly injured if he touched any other letter. Tweetle took a deep breath, shut his eyes tightly, and flew up to touch the O . . .
Elana stood up and blinked. The lightning was still there, and she looked straight into it but still had no instinct to work for Casey. She was confused and pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. It hurt. Suddenly she started to panic. Did Hau’oli lie about the lightning? Elana asked herself. Horror and fear spread throughout her body. Do I have any friends at all? Is Henry just an evil fairy who works for Casey and lured me here to destroy me?
“Try not to think the impossible,” recommended a gentle voice behind Elana. Elana spun around. A fairy with a purple shirt and—okay, you get it—was standing behind Elana. Suddenly,all her fears disappeared.
“Henry!” Elana cried. “I missed you soooooo much!”
“I’m glad you’re being reasonable again,” Henry said, smiling gently. “It’s only been a day since I was under Casey’s orders, but I guess it was half of your adventure!”
“I have a million questions for you! The first one is, who put the doubling stone in my pocket?” Elana asked eagerly.
“I did, because I didn’t want you to starve.”
“What about the lightning rope? How does it work?”
“The lightning rope can never be broken, and it is very rare to possess the power of creating it,” Henry said with an emotionless face. Then she continued, “You have MANY powers, Elana. You just have to work hard to find them.”
Elana was surprised and shocked at the same time, but she didn’t show it. Instead, she went on with her questions. “Oh, and why did you cheer me on if you were under Casey’s order when I traveled to the castle on the boat?” Elana inquired.
“Because I was trying to lure you to Casey’s castle so she could defeat you.” Henry paused. “So I guess that part of your thought was true for a very, very short window of time,” she added with a laugh.
“Where’s Casey anyway?” Elana inquired again.
“In the dungeon,” Henry replied.
“WHAT!” Elana shrieked. “I must’ve blacked out!”
“No. Your eyes were just closed. Tweetle learned how to get rid of the lightning when he was on Casey’s side, and she said something bad would happen to him if he touched the wrong letter—and he did.”
“What happened to him?” Elana gasped.
“Well, if Tweetle were still on Casey’s side, then something bad would’ve happened to him. But, since he’s not on her side anymore, something bad happened to Casey instead. She got locked in the dungeon!” Henry responded.
“How do you know?” Elana asked.
“I just do. Just like you know how to talk,” Henry said briskly. “We fairies have some powers too, you know. Now let’s watch Casey get questioned before she goes to the most unbreakable prison in the world . . . the Titanic Trapper!” Henry said grandly. “It’s the boat that we stole from the Lumans on Perth. No, no, no. Humans on Earth!”
“Oh, please don’t get anything from other planets mixed up again. I’ve heard a LOT already,” Elana muttered under her breath.
“What did you use to take over Neptunian citizens?” Captain Hawkins questioned.
“Magic, but . . .” Casey grumbled.
“Did you know it is illegal to use magic for evil?” Captain Hawkins asked.
“Yeah, but . . .” Casey admitted.
“About how many crimes have you committed?” Captain Hawkins inquired.
Casey looked thoughtful as she put her fi ngers up, one at a time, while muttering to herself. “Fifty-six times, but . . .”
“Okay! Got it!” Captain Hawins replied cheerfully. “Mr. Remy, Mr. Sagard!” he called to his guards. “Take her to the Titanic Trapper!” The guards appeared with handcuff s, clamping them on Casey’s hands.
Seeing that she was doomed, Casey made one last eff ort. “Those two boys!” she panted. “They did it all. I just gave them some advice!” Captain Hawkins turned around to see that Casey was talking about Tweetle and Twootle.
“Did she?” he asked.
“No, she told us what to do,” Twootle answered.
“And we only obeyed because she told us that it was the right thing to do. And she kept Twootle under her mind control,” Tweetle added.
“But why did you believe her?” Captain Hawkins inquired. Casey gave an evil smile. Tweetle looked terrified.
Elana knew this was her time to speak up.
“I wouldn’t question Tweetle’s motives,” Elana said, defending her friend. “If Tweetle hadn’t touched the N on the lightning bolt, many people would still be under Casey’s orders,”
Tweetle gave her a grateful smile.
“True,” Captain Hawkins said, smiling again. “Now, Casey, I will see you into the Titanic Trapper!!” Casey gave a horrible glare in Elana’s direction as Mr. Remy and Mr. Sagard guided her.
Elana smiled to herself. With some help from her friends, she had finally defeated Casey!
“Hope to see you soon!”
“I’ll miss you!”
Elana was in Casey’s humongous bathroom. Henry claimed that the spell to bring her home only worked in the bathroom. Everyone, including people she didn’t know and Hau’oli, reunited with her parents, was bidding her goodbye. Henry fl ew up to her and whispered, “Don’t tell your parents about your adventure.” Then she gave her a kiss on her cheek, and Elana was home in her bed.
* * *
“Oh, Elana, sweetie!” Elana’s mom cried, rushing to her side. “We loved the story that you wrote, the one about how you met that fairy named Henry. I’m so proud of you! Ms. Richard gave you an A+ on writing, and she said that she was going to publish it!”
Elana was confused at first, and then she remembered Henry’s powers. She realized that Henry had captured all of her adventures in a book and made everyone think that Elana had written it instead of lived it!
“Um,” Elana paused, then said enthusiastically, “Thanks so much, Mom!”
Elana’s mom smiled at her before announcing, “Bedtime!”
As Elana brushed her teeth, she realized that the adventure had been amazing. She hoped she would see her magical new friends again!