Escaping Raven Island
Valerie slammed into the cold, muddy ground. As she turned around, the color from her face drained. There, behind her, was her biggest nightmare, the queen herself. Only now, she did not look like a queen. Her face was muddy, her gown was torn, and she was holding a sword to Valerie’s throat. Valerie held her breath, and her life flashed before her eyes. She saw her father, when he started a secret school, when he got caught, and when he made her hide in the kitchen while he fought for his, and her, life. Then, she saw herself running away from everything, her home, her childhood, and her friends.
“Ungrateful girl!” hissed the queen “Haven’t you seen what I had done for you, for the kingdom? But no, that wasn’t enough. You wanted more. I had warned you about what happens if children learn to read and write. They would wage war with each other, and more importantly, me.” She sneered “But now, that won’t happen. And that’s because after I kill you, the beautiful land of Raven Island will again, be illiterate and prosperous.” She smiled at the thought.
Valerie took this moment to kick the sword out of her hands. The sword hit the ground with a loud clang and skid across the leaves. The queen yelled in anger and attacked Valerie, sending both of them flying into a tree. But, the queen did not time her attack right, and Valerie ended up hitting the queen on the head, knocking her unconscious. Slowly and weakly, Valerie lifted the queen, whose name was queen, and set her to the side. When she composed her thoughts, she ran away as fast as her feet could carry her. For, if anyone found her with the body, she would be imprisoned, or worse killed. So, she ran and ran, until she could run no more, and she felt like she would faint of thirst. So, she roamed the forest until she reached a beautiful clearing filled with the sweet scent of honey and berries of all sorts.
But that wasn’t the most interesting thing. Because there, in the middle of it all, stood the strangest girl Valerie had ever seen. She wore ripped clothes, had long, unruly hair, violet eyes, and the palest skin Valerie had ever seen. She slowly stepped forward to Valerie, who remained frozen in fear. Who could she be? Was she one of the queen’s people? Or, is she like her, an outcast, an outsider to society?
“Who are you?” asked the girl. She had a cold voice, but it could be clearly seen on her face that she was afraid.
“I-I could ask you the same.” Valerie blurted. “For all I know, I could be telling my name to the queen’s spy.” She tried with all her might to sound confident, but there was still a flutter of fear in her voice. It was obvious. She couldn’t deny it.
“All right. I’m Maya. Maya Roberts. I was banished for spreading my knowledge of writing and reading. That is all I’m going to tell you… for now” They looked at each other in an awkward silence for some time.
Valerie cleared her throat. “I’m Valerie. Daughter of the governor. I am here for the same reason as you, and I got here running away from the queen, who is trying to kill me. So, That’s my story.” They stayed in silence for some time. Many long minutes passed. Finally, one small voice spoke.
“Do you think we’ll ever escape? I mean, we could work together. And we could…” Maya’s thoughts were lost as one long, sad tear rolled down her cheek and onto the ground. She fell to her knees and started shakily crying. It felt as though all hope was lost, and that they would be stuck here forever, or at least until they were found by the queen and her guards. Valerie sat down in defeat. In the midst of all this sorrow and hopelessness, Valerie could no longer see the sunshine as she used to. Now, all traces of the bright, always happy girl she used to be are gone, possibly forever. There was no “bright side” to look at, nothing to cheer her up.
So, they sat there, crying, wishing that this was all just one big nightmare. Wanting some type of miracle to show them the way. And somehow, their voices were heard, and a marvelous event occurred. Neither girl noticed it at first, but the ring on Valerie’s right hand started to glow. It was faint at first but soon grew brighter. But that was not what caught Valerie’s attention. She heard a song, one that she hadn’t heard in a long time. One she hadn’t heard since her mother went missing.
She looked up, frightened at first, but when she saw the soft violet glow the ring she recognized it. Suddenly, she was hit by a new wave of memories. She saw someone, she couldn’t tell who it was at first, but she recognized her from the pictures her father used to keep on his desk. She saw her mom! Her mom, who had always been a mystery to her. But her happiness dissolved when she heard her mother plead to her dad“I have to go! I have to! It won’t be long until she will come after me. But I will promise you one thing, I will come back no matter what. No matter what happens, I will come for you, and Valerie.”She turned to her. “Dearest daughter, I don’t know if you will remember me, but take his ring. So that I will be there with you. Always.” With that, she slipped her ring into her little fingers and leaves without another word.
“Valerie! VALERIE! Wake up!” Valerie woke up to Mayas urging. She jumped to her feet, surprised.
“We have to get out of here. We have to try.”Valerie stressed. She paused when she saw Maya’s eyes. They were wider than saucers. She lifted one trembling finger and pointed at Valerie’s hands. Valerie looked down and screamed. In her hands were flames. Only, she wasn’t on fire. She was creating the fire. Before she knew it, she was flying, too. “Woah! We could totally use this against the queen! We could actually beat her.” exclaimed Valerie.
Over the next few days, both girls worked together to practice their powers and skills. In no time, Valerie was able to harness an energy from inside her and focus it to shoot fire and fly. She was even able to transfer some of her powers to Maya. Maya also taught Valerie how to sword fight, fight, and climb trees. Despite how hard they were working, they never felt tired and kept working hard. Soon, they were ready to fight but, they didn’t try to escape. They were going to wait until the queen finds them, leaving her thinking that she has an advantage. One chilly summer night, their plan sprung into action. They have seen the queen coming from the north coming with her army and quickly pretended to sleep. Their trick worked. The queen came, grumbling about the long walk, and noticed the two girls, who the queen thought were sleeping without a clue to what is happening outside their dreams.
Little did she know that she was very wrong about that. As soon as she got close enough to the girls, they sprang up, kicking she and shooting fireballs at the soldiers one by one. In this commotion, Valerie realized that, even with their powers, even with all their training, there was one thing the girls forgot to think about: the number of soldiers. Soon, when the girls had pelted as many soldiers as they could and they had no more energy to fight back, they decided to run.
“Stop right there!” cackled the queen around her, it seemed like more and more guards were suddenly appearing. “You have no way escape, so I suggest that you surrender now.” It was true. Just then, out of the corner of her eye, Maya sees a mysterious hooded figure hidden in the trees. It gets up and shoots giant fireballs, that somehow look exactly like Valerie’s, but bigger, at the soldiers. Then, when the figure had surprisingly thrashed every single guard with fire, it turned to the queen, who was visibly frightened, and blasted her to flakes with a flick of their finger, as if the figure didn’t even have to try. Then, as suddenly the figure had arrived, they disappeared. The girls were dead tired. But they ran after the figure in the direction they had seen it go, but whoever it was had vanished into thin air.
“Wow. WOW. Did you see that?! That was amazing! That person came like so mysteriously, and then just killed everyone without even trying! ” Maya screamed in excitement. “And then they just vanished! Just like that!”
But Valerie wasn’t paying attention. She was going over the recent line of events and why the figure would want to even think about helping them. I know that we were children in need of help, but we broke the LAW. But she quickly brushed off her thoughts and started heading to the cliff of the island to move the plan to stage B, escape. They got to the coast in about 10 minutes, but when they got there, they found cans of food and water, everything you could imagine.
The girls ran there and ate to their heart’s content, then packed their leftovers into a makeshift bag they had created out of palm leaves. As they were doing so, they heard a suck snap close by. The girls quickly looked at each other and slowly turned their heads toward the sound, expecting to see the queen, What they saw next took them both by surprise. There, in front of them, was the hooded figure.
“W-Wh-Who are you? And why did you help us?”Valerie asked in a shaky voice. The figure lifted her hands and revealed herself. Maya gasped. Valerie almost fainted. “Mom?”Valerie questioned.