I will never forget my first evening in Roma
Every now and then I just hear that old adventure theme running through my head and I need to throw on my hat and jacket and head out on an adventure.
“Biliyormusun insanları öldürüyorum..”
“Bunu nasıl yapıyorsun Zeze..¿”
Jose Mauro De Vasconcelos
Brooke stared for a moment longer. Then a grin emerged across her face, which turned into a hysterical laugh, one that was usually only heard from a crazy person. Blossom winced.
Oh, God, she thought. I’ve broken her.
“Am I dreaming?” Brooke asked. “Am I in some ultra-realistic dream? Or is this just some incredibly high-budget joke? Am I being filmed?”
“I wish that’s what it was, Brooke,” Blossom said quietly. “But…things have just gotten super weird for me. I need to go to the island where I was born, so I can save my real parents. I’m going right after school.”
“Yeah,” Brooke giggled. “Because the talking hedgehog told you to.”
Blossom was mad at Brooke. She understood that her reaction was justified, but still, she was mad. And worried. Blossom had had this coming for a while. Of course, the initial shock had been strong, but she’d known that this kind of thing was possible for a while. The only real shock was that the answer was a lot more complex than she thought, and so was her life. But Brooke…she’d just had a lot of information dumped on her at once, which may have caused her to lose her mind. She didn’t deserve that.
“Brooke,” Blossom whispered, surprised at her tone of voice and the tears suddenly streaming down her face. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…” Blossom fumbled for the right words. “I just…I didn’t want to leave you without a word.”
Brooke was quieter now. She blinked. “You really are telling the truth, aren’t you?”
Blossom nodded. Brooke leaned forward and picked the small sunflower from the ground, staring at it as if it might disappear.
“Just…let me see you off. At this river you’re supposed to go to.”
“Of course,” Blossom said, lifting herself to her feet. Brooke carefully put the sunflower into her bag and zipped it shut, following Blossom as they made their way to their next class as the bell rang in the distance, both oblivious to the figure hiding in the shadows of the trees.
“I suppose you’re here for your hedgehog?”
“And Blossom is here…why?”
Blossom shuffled her feet nervously. “Brooke is coming to my place after school.”
Mr Britton glanced at Brooke with narrowed eyes. Brooke blinked, smiled, and nodded her head. “And I’ll remember to take him home this time, promise.”
Their principal stared at the pair in uncomfortable silence for a while longer but finally stood up, walked over to the science teacher’s dog’s cage and took out the hedgehog that sat there. “Just remember to ask for permission next time you bring an animal on school grounds,” he called after them as they took Scruff back and quickly made their way out the door.
As the girls let out a sigh of relief, Blossom spotted her father walking towards them. She refrained from greeting him with a wave and a cheery smile, and instead gently placed Scruff back into her bag and followed Brooke over to Filip, keeping her eyes on her black school shoes.
“Hi, Mr Smith!” Brooke greeted.
“Hey, Brooke. Hi, Blossom. Is Brooke coming home with us?”
“Yeah. I…” Blossom’s voice broke and she cleared her throat. “I wanted to say goodbye.”
Both Brooke and Filip’s faces darkened. Neither wanted Blossom to leave, she could tell, but neither was going to stop her either. She had to do this. She had to save her real parents, and she had to find out who she was. Even if everyone in the world had tried to stop her, Blossom Evergreen was determined.
The whole car ride home, Blossom stared out the window, experimenting with her powers. She’d see a tree as they drove past, think flower, and one appeared within the second it took for them to drive past. Brooke had taken out the sunflower and was examining it, probably looking for signs that it was fake. Blossom was worried about her friend. She’d been so eager to tell her about her strange abilities and her newfound destiny, so desperate to have her support, that she’d completely overlooked the fact that warping a person’s perception of reality could damage their mental health.
After what seemed like a century the car finally pulled up in the driveway.
“Come with me, Brooke.” Blossom got out of the car and made her way around the house, to the backyard and the forest that came right up to the back gate. She got as far as the backyard before she stopped.
Her not-mother, Sarah, was waiting for her, her hands clasped together in a nervous gesture. When Blossom came around the side of the house and into the backyard Sarah froze, tears welling in her eyes.
Blossom knew she had to say something. Brooke and Filip had caught up to her and were now waiting quietly behind her. Everyone was waiting for Blossom to speak.
“I, uh, I’m sorry. I just…I need to…” Blossom trailed off, not sure what to say. “I’m sure you understand that I need to find them. I need to save them.”
Sarah was nodding. “Of course,” she said. “I’m just…worried. I don’t want to lose you. Maybe I’m not your…your real mother, but I still raised you and I love you. More than anything.”
All Blossom could do was nod. She looked to the forest, almost asking it for confidence. But she didn’t want to leave yet. She was still mad at her fake parents - she could never help holding a grudge - but she didn’t want to just storm off. Without making eye contact, she held her arms out wide for a hug.
Sarah ran to her, hugging her tightly while shaking uncontrollably. “I’m sorry I never told you,” she told Blossom. “I really am.”
Blossom squeezed her eyes shut, wanting desperately to be anywhere else. She knew she was being harsh on the person she’d thought was her mother. But she had to find her parents. They were locked up somewhere…probably. Blossom knew that there was no guarantee that her parents were on the island, or if they were even alive.
No, she saw them in the dream. She’d seen her siblings in her dream, and they were real.
Sarah backed away and forced an encouraging smile. Before either of them could say anything, Filip stepped forwards and hugged Blossom tightly.
The three of them looked at each other. Brooke fidgeted nervously at the corner of Blossom’s vision.
“I’m going into the forest,” Blossom told them. “I probably won’t be back for a while. Maybe a few days. Maybe…longer. Brooke’s going to see me off at the river. I kind of need someone with me.”
The couple looked offended but tried to hide it. Filip took a shaky breath and nodded, the movement prompting a tear to fall. “You’re mad at us. I understand.”
Blossom smiled weakly. “I love you.”
With those words hanging in the air, she turned and walked through the back gate into the forest. She didn’t look back. She knew the forest as well as she knew that Brooke was following her, too loyal to stay behind. The clearing with the river was quite far away, but if Blossom followed the path that led from the gate and took a detour here…No, here…past the watchful eyes in the shrubbery and down this smaller path, past the tree that was super fun and easy to climb, past the tree that had fallen over and left a hole covered in roots that almost perfectly hid the dark figure sitting there, ignore the third set of footsteps that were staying just out of sight…
Blossom came to a stop in the clearing near Scruff’s tree, the one where two strangers that had washed up on an island once had found a little girl named Blossom.
She was vaguely aware of Brooke entering the clearing as she set her bag on the forest floor and shimmied out of her skirt, rolling down the legs of her jeans, and threw off her school shirt to reveal her much more comfortable yellow one. She wasn’t about to fulfil her destiny in her school uniform. She knelt to unzip her bag and let Scruff out, who was curled into a ball on top of her lunch.
“Are we here?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Blossom told him, lifting him out. “So, how do I get to this island from here?”
“I’m not entirely sure. I think the river helps.”
Blossom examined the river. It looked ordinary, nothing supernatural about it. She glanced back to Brooke, who quickly hid a deeply confused expression and offered an encouraging smile. Blossom turned back to the river and cautiously made her way over to it, not sure what she was expecting but trying to prepare herself for anything. She couldn’t shake the feeling that her every move was being watched, and not just by Brooke and Scruff, who had climbed out of Blossom’s bag and was now sitting on the forest floor at her friend’s feet.
The river was no less ordinary up close. Blossom could faintly see her reflection in the rushing water. Actually, her reflection was a lot easier to see than it should, with the water being far from still. Maybe it wasn’t so ordinary. Curious, Blossom reached out to touch the water. As soon as her fingertips brushed the surface, she saw the flicker of a shadow behind her. She pulled her hand away from the water and glanced over her shoulder.
Curiosity taking control now, Blossom reached out her hand again and left it in the cool water. The shadow returned, becoming more clear the longer she kept her hand still. Soon, a voice was reaching her.
“Oh, good, you came!” It was Rose’s voice, her image becoming clear in the water. She appeared to be right beside Blossom, but when she looked around all she saw was Brooke and Scruff, who had come closer out of their own curiosity.
“Rose?” Blossom called. “That’s you, right?”
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“Who are you talking to?” Brooke asked, peering into the water.
“My sister. You can’t see her?” Blossom gestured with her free hand to the water. Brooke shook her head. “Here, put your hand in the water.”
As soon as Brooke’s hand reached into the water, Rose gasped. “You, uh…You brought a friend?”
Blossom turned red. “Sorry, I wanted her to be with me. Should I not have?”
“Uh…” Rose’s voice faltered. “Well, as long as she doesn’t come with you it should be fine.”
Brooke pulled her hand out of the water. “Was I not supposed to know?”
“I guess not.”
“Blossom, you need to get here as soon as possible. I’m already at Element Island with the Water Kingdom’s heir. Her name’s Aqua, she’s helping me to communicate with you through this stream. And she’s going to help you get to Element Island.” Rose explained. “Now known as Fire Island.”
“Where is she?”
“Here with me.”
“Birch and Spruce?”
“Birch is here. Spruce is on his way.”
“So I guess all that’s left is me.”
Rose nodded. “When you’re ready.”
“What do I have to do?”
“Get in the water,” Rose ordered. “And leave your friend.”
Blossom turned to Brooke with a guilty smile. “I…uh…I’ll see you…um…”
“Go save your parents,” Brooke said with a reassuring smile. She hugged her friend tightly and helped Scruff into Blossom’s arms as she knelt and sat with her legs in the water, heart thumping from the fear of drowning. But while she could feel the water on her legs, in her shoes, soaking her socks, when she lifted them, her skin was dry. And so were her socks, thank goodness. She lowered herself, careful to keep Scruff above the water, and looked back to smile at her best friend, maybe for the last time.
But instead of smiling, her eyes widened in shock.
“Brooke, behind you!”
Surprised, Brooke turned to see what Blossom was yelling about. A dark figure was running from the edge of the clearing, the impossibly orange eyes all too familiar. With no time for either of them to react, the figure knocked the air out of Brooke’s lungs and left her gasping for breath beside the mysterious attacker. It was a girl, maybe a little younger than Blossom, with long, blonde-ish ginger hair that made it look like it was on fire. Or, maybe it was. Her skin was tanned, her face was covered in a light layer of make-up, her clothes were burnt and charred, and her stalking fiery eyes were staring right at Blossom.
“Hey!” Blossom yelled, already setting Scruff down on the grass and pulling herself out of the river.
“Is something wrong?” Rose asked.
“Yeah, gimme a second, Rose.”
“Blossom, what’s going-”
Blossom climbed out of the river and came face to face with the fire girl. “You’re the one that’s been stalking me. Who are you?” she demanded. She was worried that she already knew the answer - she’d heard a lot about the Fire Kingdom and how it had taken over. She hadn’t met one yet, but judging by the red and orange colour scheme that the girl had, and the small flickers of flame appearing all over her arms and in her hair, that had just changed.
“You shouldn’t have come here,” the girl said, avoiding the question. “Especially her.” She pointed to Brooke, who was slowly regaining her composure.
“I don’t care!” Blossom yelled. “I’m saving my parents and everyone else from you and your stupid kingdom!”
The girl sighed. “I didn’t want to have to do this.”
“Said every bad guy ever,” Blossom mumbled, before she realized that a ball of fire was growing in the girl’s hands. Right, she thought. That line is usually used before the bad guy kills someone.
Not knowing what else to do, and not wanting to leave Brooke to fend for herself, she nudged Scruff into the river and pushed her friend in after him. But not before the fire girl managed to throw her ball of pure heat - now the size of a tennis ball - in Brooke’s direction, skimming her arm and causing her to cry out in pain. Blossom turned back to the fire girl, furious.
“Leave my friend alone!” she yelled. She looked up to the sky and noticed that a tree branch reached out just above the girl’s head. She thrust her arms towards it and commanded it to fall.
The girl jumped back just as the branch hit the ground where she’d been standing a moment before. Blossom was already gone, zooming at increasingly impossible speeds in the river. She was vaguely aware of Rose telling her things like, “there’s enough oxygen to breathe, but not as much as what you’re used to, so you may pass out.” But the adrenaline was making it hard for Blossom to think, and she was already feeling light-headed.
Come pLay with me ☺😍
Chill at Home in Las Vegas Live
That blue so sky
this picture is deceiving. this pile of rocks was actually gigantic. she’s pretty cool.
Galaxy Destroyer (1986)
i’m so sorry i haven’t been active!! life has been so busy - from moving house to o levels to planning a camp. but now it’s my ‘free’ time and i decided to attend a public lecture which was pretty cool :-) happy studying all!
Left 4 Dead 2 Dead Center
Happy Trails! Yosemite, July 2019.
A walk through the woods, as dusk came whispering in.