153 Shares

Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2018 finalist, Olga Sofia Dominguez Salcedo! Olga finished 6th grade this past school year. The story she submitted is called “The Shapeshifters.”  Olga told us that her favorite part about the story is “the backstory of this new world, how everything changed, and how everything fits.” Enjoy!


 

Amelia looked around. A new beginning.

“Hey. I’m new here. My name is–” she started. She didn’t get to finish.

“You’re so ugly that I don’t care.” said the blue frog she was trying to speak to. He pushed her out of his way and kept walking.

It was true. Amelia the frog was as ugly as a putrid mango. Her brown, rotten scales with yellow spots were very much unsightly. But that didn’t define who she was inside. She may be rotten on the outside, but inside, she was as fresh as mint.

Amelia frowned. Some tears threatened to spill out, but she kept them down. She moved on to the next frog, determined to make a new friend. This time it was a bright red frog. He had a black top hat with a little badge pinned to it. It said something, but Amelia thought that it was unimportant.

“Hi! I’m–” she tried to greet. She was interrupted yet again. The red frog scowled at her, just as cold as death could be.

“Stop talking in that soft voice. It makes me sick. You make me sick, you ugly being. Go away.” growled the red frog. He turned and hopped away.

Suddenly, Amelia couldn’t take it anymore. Waves of tears threatened to spill out. She ran to her house, a shack made out of dull wood and ripping palm trees. The other houses around her were made of so many beautiful flowers and shining wood that Amelia was sure that they could fill at least two gardens.

If I was prettier, would they accept me here? Amelia pondered for a moment. She immediately felt a small tingling, as if ants were crawling on her, but in a more fairy-dust, magical way. She gasped and ran outside, the magical sort of stings growing in quantity, until every centimeter of her body was prikling. Just as she was hidden in the outskirts of a forest called the “Forbidden Forest,” a light so bright she could have easily mistaken it for the sun blinded her. She closed her eyes and took deep breaths. She felt a tsunami of coldness, as if she was buried under a glacier, and suddenly a wave of intense heat, as if a fireball was living inside her, but just for an instant. She opened her eyes. The blinding light had gone. She felt refreshed, as if she were new, or as if she had taken a bath of revitalizing water.

She looked down at the crystal clear lagoon before her. She focused on her reflection. Warm, brown eyes, black hair so dark it looked like shreds of coal, and smooth dark skin like milk chocolate. Her face was pretty, her eyes bright and beautiful, her skin smooth, in a big contrast to her frog form. She was way taller than before, probably about five times as tall.

She was no longer a frog.

She was a human.

She wasn’t surprised at all. After all, she was a shapeshifter. She could change shape whenever she wanted. She had mastered her powers when she was very young. Amelia could barely remember it, just the cheerful pride of childish victory inside her. Shapeshifters could only turn into their original shape (frog, human, etc.) and into one other form. This is not a lot of power in contrast to mythical creatures that can change into ideally anything, but Amelia was content with herself.

Her family were all shapeshifters, maybe a few human or animal exceptions here and there, from when some relatives would marry regular creatures, but they died when she was young—all of them. They were killed by some humans in uniforms with a gross green camouflage. They carried big, black metal things that could shoot some kind of tiny, killing silver-fire things that were so fast you couldn’t even see them.

You see, being a shapeshifter was serious business, although you couldn’t control if you were one or not. Regular humans and animals were scared of them, so much so that they were even skeptical with their own kind! But, somehow, Amelia survived. She didn’t know how—she was only four after all!—yet at some point she realised it wasn’t safe in Humanland, her old home. She found a cave deep in the Forbidden Forest, where it protected her from the booms and explosions back in Humanland. She stayed there for some time and eventually decided it would be better to live among other animals. It took about a year for her to get out of the big, confusing, and dangerous forest, but Amelia was smart and had been living in the wild for quite some time, so she was able to escape easily. That’s why it was a new beginning for her, because she had been living all those years alone.

Now, as she stared at the lagoon, she smiled. This was her favorite place. The water swayed sideways, leaving her hypnotized if she stared for too long. It was beautiful, really. The clean, pure, shimmering lagoon laying calmly before her, emerald green weeds on the outside dancing to the wind, the sun’s rays illuminating the cobalt water, and a sweet feeling rising above it like steam. This calm paradise was hidden under sparkling, shamrock palm tree leaves, made her feel wanted and chosen, as if she were special. Deep inside her, she believed she was.

She sighed happily and stepped into the water, clothes still on. Her white t-shirt gradually turned gray when it touched the warm water, and her jeans darkened too. She relaxed even more when her skin was completely immersed in the warm water.

Slowly, she turned into a frog, so she could swim better. Her ugly brown scales didn’t belong in the crystal clear water. But Amelia didn’t really care. This place made her tears just disappear.

Then her eyes followed the image of a blue and yellow fish, as petrified as a doll, its eyes wide like pancakes. Amelia knew it had seen everything.

“No, no, no, no, this isn’t what it looks like!” she started, hyperventilating. She accidentally turned into a human again. That sometimes happened when she was scared or weak and didn’t have any control over her powers. However, the fish swam towards her and smiled.

The beautiful fish slowly flashed. Amelia covered her eyes with her arm, to protect herself from not going blind, for the light that was coming from the fish was as bright as a thousand fires. When she opened her eyes, the fish was gone. Instead was a beautiful girl about her age. She was blonde, light skinned, and looked quite friendly. The girl wore a pink dress.

Amelia gasped, heart racing. She had met another shapeshifter!

“Hi my name is Amelia, what’s your name?” she blurted, not able to contain her excitement.

“Hi! My name is Alice. I’ve never met another shapeshifter!” greeted the girl.

“Me neither. I think we’re the last ones, to be honest. My parents were killed by those in Humanland. I somehow survived.” Amelia head lowered sadly when she thought of Alice and herself being the last shapeshifters in the whole world. However, she’d gotten used to the idea before, so it did not create as much grief as it used to.

She swam closer to Alice. Alice somehow made her feel safe and understood, just like the lagoon. Is this how it felt to have a friend?

“Oh, I don’t remember anything about my family. I just remember turning into a fish and jumping into these waters, which shielded me from the smoke and fire, its source beyond the Forbidden Forest.” explained Alice.

“From Humanland?” specified Amelia. Alice nodded.

Amelia shared her past with Alice. Only then did she really feel the loneliness that had been stored in a jar for years. Apparently Alice had been living in a lake close to Frogville, Amelia’s new home, called Capri. This lake’s name was Lapis. Alice had also been very lonely, but unlike Amelia, at least some fish acquaintances talked to her.

After a while, the sun was low in the sky. A magnificent spectrum of red, orange, and yellow painted the sky, and singular pink clouds littered the view. It was amazing.

The two new friends stepped out of the water. Inside of the water they were warm. Outside, they were freezing. The two girls shivered as they walked through the forest to Frogville and Capri. Soon, they could see the outline of the big, multicolored houses from Frogville and the sparkling (but not as beautiful as Lapis) view of Capri Lake. If you squinted and looked close enough, inside Capri you could see the shadows of an underwater fish city, with houses, paths, and even seaweed gardens. Amelia and Alice turned back into their animal selves behind some trees-Alice had to transform closer to the water and then quickly jump in. Amelia hopped happily back to her house. She tucked into her bed, almost instantly falling asleep. She lay still in the twilight darkness, comfortably unconscious.

Amelia’s eyes fluttered open. It was a brand new day. She dipped into the cold water of Capri which was a few steps from her house, an advantage of living in Frogville. Frogs were on lily pads, catching their breakfast with long tongues. Amelia copied them, as her taste buds were different as a frog. She was excited to see her new friend again.

Unexpectedly, she heard a familiar scream. It was coming from the town hall.

Like a lightning bolt, she dashed from Capri to the city hall. It was not far, for Frogville was a small town. When she got to the city hall, the air was hot and tense. She could barely breathe. Some frogs from the lake had followed, most likely curious. Amelia gasped at the sight of Alice in human form tied to a whipping post, frogs crowded around her. It was scary, with a droplet of painful to see her friend like this

Suddenly, a frog took the spotlight.

“I saw her change into a human and then a fish last night! She’s one of…them! We gotta do something! Shapeshifters are dangerous!” yelled the frog, quivering with anger and fear as it pushed its way to the whipping post. It was a gross mustard coloured frog. It said the word shapeshifters as if it was a bad word. Various frogs had paled slightly and gasped. Suddenly, Amelia heard another frog say,

“Wait! I am the mayor, so I will decide what to do!”

All of the frogs turned. They cleared their way to the red frog Amelia had tried to befriend the day before. So he was the mayor?

“You say that this human is a shapeshifter, huh?” inquired the Mayor. The mustard frog nodded. Amelia looked back at Alice. Alice seemed afraid for a moment, but then toughened up.

The Mayor considered the “evidence.”

“Call the Torturers. Let them do their thing. They already paid with everything they had. They are well trained.” decided the mayor. Amelia’s heart froze in horror.

The Torturers were these big, tough frogs. They had magic inside them. Evil magic. Magic so evil and powerful that to use it, they had to pay the price. It was a really bad price. You were sent to kill or destroy the thing or someone you loved most. You would pay the price once, then go to city hall with some evidence. They did a special frog ceremony, and you officially became a Torturer. That’s why the Mayors of the past always chose nice and good frogs to be Torturers: selfish frogs would have to destroy themselves. And only frogs could become Torturers.

You might be wondering, why would nice boys want to be Torturers? Let us think back to the time before many wars. Do you remember the young human boys who thought it was “cool” to fight in the war? It is the same case here, except with frogs and Torturers.

The Torturers walked into the scene, dressed in dark red capes, their long hoods dripping over their hidden faces like blood. Amelia felt a shiver go down her spine. She slowly hopped towards Alice, who had caught her eye, and was trying not to cry at the sight of her friend.

Suddenly, Amelia heard a great foosh. She turned to the Torturers. They were controlling a huge wave of fire, lined up in a circle around Alice. The heat from the wave was immense, as though the sun was right above Frogville. The Torturers were moving their hands in sync, making the fire wave curl around Alice like a snake about to squeeze its victim to death. Only then did Amelia notice how many there were. Dozens. Dozens of frogs sent to kill. She shivered.

The Mayor stepped forward. “Now is the time to redeem yourself, girl. Are you a shapeshifter?”

Alice bit her lip. The Torturers stopped moving their arms and hands, yet did not drop them, leaving the fire hesitating over Alice. No froggy spoke.

Amelia wished that Alice would lie and deny, but deep inside her, she knew that they had to carry on every dead shapeshifter’s pride. They couldn’t be cowards. She knew that Alice had to say the truth.

Alice took a deep breath and exclaimed, “Yes, I am a shapeshifter, you disgusting little frog. And I am proud of it!”

The words echoed across the town. Frogs gasped. The Mayor nodded at the Torturers. They continued to control the fire.

So suddenly that it almost made Amelia jump, the wave of hot fire plummeted into Alice’s heart. Amelia felt the piercing pain almost before Alice did, and ran towards her, but it was too late.

Alice screeched in agony, on fire, glowing like a torch. The Torturers let the pain and momentum sink in. Then, they started moving their hands again, making the fire shoot out of Alice’s chest and then crash into her again…

Amelia screamed, transforming and jumping just in time to save Alice. The heat burned through her like a big piece of metal holding the heat of a billion blazing fires, making her wail in torment. She had thrown away her shot at a better life in one movement, one transformation.

Amelia quickly untied Alice and they both ran along the side of Capri, into the Forbidden Forest. Frogs made war-like sounds and chased the two girls.

The frogs had a whole town and magic on their side. Amelia and Alice had nothing.

The girls sprinted, not stopping when their legs started to ache. They didn’t stop when hunger took over them. Nor did they stop when Fatigue was their new overlord. They only stopped when they could go absolutely no more. Only then did they drop down on the rough and thorny forest floor. They lied there, quiet. The war cries of the frogs had disappeared.

“Thank you. You saved my life.” thanked Alice finally after some time.

“That was really brave of you. You know, telling all of Frogville that you’re a shapeshifter isn’t exactly safe.” commented Amelia. Alice smiled and nodded.

“They say there’s another dimension. They say the other shapeshifters that escaped live there. But I think it’s a myth. Have you heard it before?” enquired Alice. Amelia shook her head.

“I don’t remember absolutely anything about my life before living in a cave. I guess I was too young.” she responded.

The girls resumed talking quietly and decided to camp on a tree. They climbed up a maple tree, then made a sort of primitive treehouse. They slept there, taking turns watching for any sort of danger. None came.

The morning was bright and smelled like fresh pine trees when Amelia woke up. Alice was already awake.

“I’ll go look for food. You stay and guard.” decided Amelia. She grabbed a stick from the ground and headed for a water source.

“What are you doing?” asked Alice.

“I’m going to go fishing.” responded Amelia. But when she looked at Alice’s sad face she had to dump the idea.

“Uh… I’ll just go find berries, then.” she whispered, reatreating.

Amelia walked for about a minute when she felt branches stab her thigh.

She turned around. In front of her was a raspberry bush. She gasped and ripped dark, juicy red berries into her hands.

“Alice!” she called, “I found a ton of raspberries! Let’s eat!”

Amelia ran towards Alice, heart thumping. Alice jumped and clasped Amelia’s mouth with a slap.

“Hey! What was that for?!” muffled Amelia. Alice gave her a look so powerful it could quiet down an angry bull.

“F-R-U-M-A-N A-R-M-Y.” Alice mouthed.

You might be wondering what Frumans were. Well, it’s in the name, if you look close enough. A Fruman army is a frog + human army. It is the toughest army anyone could make.

What?, you say, A cheetah-human army should be way more powerful than a Fruman army. That is not true in this time. All of the other creatures in the world bowed down to humans and frogs. As frogs were the only ones who could have Torturers, their hearts were solid ice. Fruman armies were the most vicious of all. At least lions had a heart. Frogs were literally cold-blooded.

Amelia pulled Alice’s hand off her mouth. She squeezed it and climbed the nearest tree, sheltering the raspberries.

The two girls were still for quite some time. They heard terrible noises of stomping feet and felt nauseated. They tightened their grip to the tree as the stomps grew louder.

Everything for just two innocent shapeshifters. We never did anything to them, and they think that we somehow deserve getting locked up and then killed just so they could feel ‘safer.’ thought Amelia.

Alice turned to her. “Did you just say something?” whispered Alice.

What? Does Alice know I thought something? How? thought Amelia, confused.

“Stop speaking already!” thought Alice.

“I’m not! I think we can communicate through thinking!”

The girls looked at each other in silence. Now, the stomping was so close that it shook the branch they were sitting on slightly. They could now see the army. Millions of frogs and humans lined side by side. Their expressions were hard, like stone. From the position Alice and Amelia were in, you could see no doubt. They believed in what they were doing. But if you looked close enough, you could see insecurity formulating in their eyes. The world was much different from before.

You see, long before the shapeshifter’s appearance, one of the most powerful, big countries’ leader sent all of their countries’ armies to war to gain money for themselves. So did many other countries. War was now a common thing. Everybody had to dedicate themselves to the bloodshed. Earth was beaten up. It was like this big, radioactive, grey rock with many explosions here and there. What was ice? Freshwater? Was that even a word? So, out of radioactive material and corpses, shapeshifters were built to bring peace to the land, to be the ones that “saved the day” in the end. The first shapeshifters were like trees: they inhaled carbon dioxide and radioactive waste and exhaled breathable air, but they were so much more powerful. The reason why they could change form was to communicate between creatures easily. Earth quickly evolved into a small planet of paradise. The lingering radiation of the war made animals be able to talk. Shapeshifters no longer needed to be like trees, so they stopped having that ability.

Since shapeshifters were not needed anymore, people started fearing them. They were afraid of them because they thought, like robots, that they would rebel and take over the world. However, they were sadly mistaken.

Amelia gasped slightly at the sight of all of these humans and frogs. Soldiers, trained to hear a person breathing from miles away, heard her well, and climbed up the tree.

“They’re here!” exclaimed a guy. Amelia jumped off of the tree in an effort to escape. She slipped and ended up falling. Her head crashed against the thorny forest floor. Pain exploded in her stomach, where she had fallen on top of.

Everything went black.

“Ugh.” whined Amelia. She sat up, eyes fluttering open. Amelia had no idea of the time, the place, or how she got here. In her mind there was only static, a jumbled mess of lost memories. She stood up. There were shiny mirrors below her feet. Left, mirrors. Right, mirrors. Above her head, mirrors. Even behind her and in front of her were mirrors.

She was in a mirror room.

Her reflection was a girl with torn clothing, cuts and scars all over her. She felt weak. She focused on it to ease the dizziness of her spinning mind. To her surprise, it talked.

“Well, well, well. Who do we have here? Miss Amelia, a disgrace to the shapeshifters.” cocked her reflection. “Instead of fighting, you coward, you hid. No shapeshifter would have done that. Shapeshifters were proud of who they were. They fought. You aren’t good enough. You don’t deserve to fight. Come with me and you will learn to be a true shapeshifter.” chanted the reflection. Amelia hung her head.

“You’re right. That’s why no one wants to be my friend.” whispered Amelia.

Her reflection smirked. “Exactly. Come with me and you shall see your parents again.” the reflection’s voice grew deep yet sounded like the buzzing of a million flies, “You will have your heart’s desire.”

Out of all the mirrors came hands just like hers, real and solid. She spinned. They were everywhere, reaching for the girl.

“N-no. No!” she screamed, retreating to the floor. She curled herself in a ball in an effort to protect herself. She didn’t have any strength to do anything else. Suddenly, hands lifted her up.

Come with me, Amelia. Face the truth. Come on.” taunted the mirrors. They repeated the sentence over and over each mirror in different times.

Amelia screamed, curling herself more. “N-no! Stop!” she screamed.

Suddenly, a familiar voice rung in her ears. “Amelia. Amelia! What’s happening? Are you okay?” called the voice in her mind. It was Alice’s.

“No! Now the mirror is using your voice to bring me with it!” exclaimed Amelia.

“What voice?” asked Alice. Amelia shook her head madly.

The mirrors’ voices grew louder. Amelia began to babble. Alice panicked.

“Look, whatever is happening, I know you can do it. Smash the danger.” encouraged Alice.

Amelia gasped. Smash the danger. That was it!

Amelia stood up. The hands reached for her, but she pushed them aside, furious of their intent to control her. Courage burst into her heart. She smiled.

She started smashing mirrors, which screamed in pain. The screams were high-pitched and ear-shattering. She punched with her bare knuckles at full speed, slowly feeling herself float away into a different land.

She sat up, panting. Had this been a nightmare? Probably, but she had cuts on her hands…

“Sh, sh. You were knocked out. I was able to talk with you in your unconscious state. What happened?” whispered Alice.

“Mirrors wanted to kill me.” croaked Amelia, weak. She slowly stood up. She was in a bare room made out of stone. It was like a cube of rock. She tried to walk, but something pulled on her ankle. It was a metal chain.

Amelia looked at Alice, weak and confused, but much less dizzy than in the mirror room.

Alice sighed.

“When you fell down, the army grabbed you. I jumped down foolishly and tried to save you, but they captured both of us. Now we’re in a castle, this is the prison. While we speak, humans and frogs are deciding what to do with us. I think they kept us alive so they could perform some kind of execution ceremony or something.”

“Not on our watch. We gotta get out.” encouraged Amelia. She tried to wiggle free. The chain remained squeezing her ankle. She sighed and sat down.

“If only I could make this chain bigger,” she thought. Alice nodded beside her.

Amelia smiled all of a sudden. She turned into a frog. Sure enough, she could slip right out. Alice smiled at the sight of her friend finding a way to escape.

“Come on, Alice! Transform!” Amelia called.

Alice frowned and shook her head. “I won’t be able to breathe as a fish. You go ahead. Leave me behind. I’ll find another way out.” she thought, as Amelia turned into a human. Amelia shook her head and came up with a plan, because there was no way she was leaving her friend behind.

“OK. Transform into a fish. Wiggle out and then change into a human.” she solutioned.

Alice nodded and transformed into a fish. She felt the air getting tighter and tighter. Her lungs were about to dry out…

She jumped free and turned into a human, gasping for breath. Her lungs expanded again with air. Amelia jumped in happiness and hugged Alice, elated that her friend wasn’t dead.

Alice scanned the room for an exit, as Amelia rubbed the cold stone walls for a secret door or passageway. “If we got in here, there must be a way out,” Alice thought.

Both girls didn’t succeed, until they looked up. Alice held her breath. Amelia gasped with discovery.

There was a hole in the high ceiling, just big enough to fit a human. It led to the roof. But how were they going to climb out? It was out of direct reach.

“Lift me up, then turn into a frog and jump as high as you can. I’ll catch you and pull you up.” thought Alice.

Amelia nodded and lifted Alice up, ignoring her pain-filled shoulders. Alice pulled herself out of the hole and waited outside it.

Amelia turned into a frog and jumped. Alice held out her arm, but Alice was still inches away from Amelia.

Amelia turned into a human as she fell down to break her fall.

“I need a boost, or you need a longer arm.” thought Amelia.

She scanned the room, but there was nothing but the chains.

The chains. The chains! If Alice held a chain, it would be far down enough to pull Amelia up!

Amelia pulled on a chain, which was stuck to the ground. She almost facepalmed when she reasoned that if they could have just pulled the chains, Alice wouldn’t have almost died! Although Amelia was weak, the badly-manufactured chain exploded off the floor. After this, Amelia wanted to just fall down on the floor and sleep.

“Just one more pull of effort. Just one.” she thought.

She walked over to Alice, who took the chain. Amelia jumped as a frog and grasped the chain at the last moment. Alice pulled Amelia up with minimal strength, as she was only a light frog. When Amelia was outside, she transformed into a human. The girls collapsed on the roof, exhausted.

“I see someone, Mr. Mayor!” called a frog. It was the mustard one.

The girls jumped up and started to run, the desire to live surging in them. They felt the small footsteps of frog chasing them.

“Wait!” screamed Alice, stopping. Amelia was about to slip off of the castle roof’s edge and onto the grass maybe twenty meters below, but Alice held her back by putting her arm in front of Amelia. They turned to the frogs, unsure of what to do, shaking.

Amelia let go of Alice’s hand and charged, knocking off the evil mustard frog, some torturers, and other frogs. Only the Mayor was left. Amelia scooped him into her hand. She was about to fling him off the side of the castle when he cried,

“Please! Have mercy!”

Amelia hesitated. It was a difficult choice between getting revenge or being a good person. But you have to understand that she was not evil or ruthless. She had mercy. She was not like the frogs or humans.

Amelia sighed and decided to not fling the Mayor off the castle.

Alice screamed. Amelia whipped around. Humans were grabbing Alice and taking her away.

“No!” exclaimed Amelia, reaching for Alice. But it was too late. Alice was taken away.

“I’ll help you save both of you if you let me explain.” whispered the Mayor. Amelia nodded, dubious but desperate and acted as if the Mayor had caught her, a show for the other humans and frogs. They slipped quietly into an empty room just like the jail.

The Mayor explained, “I was the one who cut a hole on top of your prison cell so you could escape.” he paused, letting the effect sink in. “You see, I made a mistake a long time ago. You have to understand that I was young and careless. My friends knew… ” he stopped and shaked his head. “One day, my friends wanted to use me to get something. To destroy a building. Because, I can… ” he paused again. Amelia could sense his dry throat. “I destroyed the building because then I could be cool with my friends. But so many frogs died.”

“So you blamed it on shapeshifters?” interrupted Amelia, voice cracking with anger.

The Mayor nodded. “I erased myself from the incident, and I was free. But even now I know I should have told the frogs that I was one of them. Then we frogs could have saved so many innocent shapeshifter’s lives.” he said sadly. Amelia felt a tear formulate between all her anger and disbelief at the Mayor.

“I took advantage of frog’s fear against shapeshifters to rise up and have a lot of power, but I’ve always known that while frogs look up to me and believe I am a brave hero, I am in reality a coward. A coward that refuses to accept what he is just because he is scared to not be accepted. A coward that refuses to accept that HE HIMSELF IS A SHAPESHIFTER!” admitted the Mayor.

They started hearing voices. Amelia stood up quickly and picked up the Mayor, who was crying. She petted him, knowing that the Mayor now had a dark hole as a heart, one that he had been trying to fix all this time. She wiped away tears. She had to focus on surviving. There was no time for crying.

Where are you, Alice? The Mayor’s on our side, thought Amelia.

I’m two floors below where I was captured. Come quickly, and we might escape before they put chains on me, or use me for bait to get you to sacrifice yourself, responded Alice. She sounded calm, but Amelia knew that she was freaking out on the inside. It was rational behavior.

Amelia sheltered the Mayor and bolted. She sprinted down curly stairs, careful not to slip. When she was right at the door, her heart pounded. She took her right hand, holding the crying Mayor with her left, and opened the door. Alice was about to be chained. Amelia nodded at her and transformed into a frog as a distraction. She bounced annoyingly from place to place, as Alice ran out the door, now holding the Mayor. After a few seconds Amelia turned back into a human and the two girls dashed to some place, just trying to lose the humans behind them. They didn’t know where to go, and they were running out of time, for now the army chasing them grew bigger and bigger.

“Go to the left, there’s a tunnel to a portal to the ‘other dimension,’ or at least an exit and a place to hide.” croaked the Mayor.

The girls nodded and obeyed the Mayor. Their hearts pumped as they escaped from the castle, humans and now frogs still behind them. Soon, stone walls turned into dirt tunnels as they went down.

However, the army was still too close.

“Go,” decided the Mayor, “I’ll hold them off. Time to pay for all the things I’ve done.”

The girls hesitated.

“Go!” ordered the Mayor.

The girls dropped the Mayor softly on the ground, and kept running. They wiped a few tears away, but the Mayor had been right. It was time he paid for what he’d done.

They heard screams and felt an overwhelming heat, but they kept running.

After some time, the army was behind them again. One thing was clear. The Mayor was dead.

They spotted a pink and blue archway and ran towards it. They grabbed a boulder and rolled it to block the entrance.

They jumped through the arc…

Thump! They landed on soft grass. They were in a whole new world.

 


Wondering how to support the youth writer in your life? We can help! Check out our cheat-sheet below which will help you have creative, writerly conversations with your Young Inkling—even if you’re not a writer yourself.

153 Shares

Ready to support your youth writer's developing voice?

Why writing is a powerful tool to help youth feel seen and heard.

What you can do to support youth as they develop their voices.

How on-the-go games strengthen critical thinking and courage.

Check your inbox for your free download!