I made the mistake of telling Mrs. Monday that I felt a little like some of the explorers I read about in the old History books. She told me I should consider writing down all of our adventures so everyone could read about them, and maybe we would become famous. She even scrounged up enough paper and sewed together a little notebook for me to write in, so I kind of feel like I have to do it now.
But I don't really feel like an adventurer. I feel scared.
That night we left Shandor Rei was awful. We barely cleared the airdocks when other airships popped up in pursuit. They didn't fire on us or anything, just put-putted after. Hez tried every trick he could think of and finally lost them in the evening fog over the Shandor river.
Skylar disappeared as soon as it was safe, and I found him curled up in one of the cabins crying. It was a horrible thing. I could almost hear his heart breaking.
It made me think of Brick and Hamlet. I vaguely remember when Hamlet showed up at the library—he was this scrawny kid who Needle caught breaking into the kitchen. Of course it's ironic that he grew up to become our cook. I thought Needle would have scrubbed the love of the kitchen out of him, since for the first six months he stayed with us, his chore was doing the dishes. Brick was one of the many kids Needle brought home from Digory Street, but he was just as special as anyone.
I really miss them both.
No, that's a ridiculous understatement. The truth is that if Skylar wasn’t here with me, I don't think I'd be able to hold myself together.
And then there's the forest.
All my life I've dreamed of running away and finding the forest. I wanted to sit in a mossy tree and play my flute. Skylar lost his limbs because he saved me from wild dogs when I tried to run away to the forest.
We landed in the bunker that morning. We hovered and let Skylar down on a rope ladder, then he went behind the waterfall and opened it so Hez could fly right into the bunker. That was so awesome! I managed to sneak away as Mrs. Monday organized the rest of the kids to gather their things—I suppose having adults around comes in handy sometimes—and went back outside.
The trees stretched on forever, all dark and shadowy. I could barely hear the wind because everything rustled—even the grass under my feet didn't feel soft and velvety like all the books said it was, but coarse and prickly. I didn't like it. It felt too closed in, too stuffy. At least in Shandor Rei I could see the sky.
The only familiar thing was the smell—kind of musty and damp, almost like a few of the Library rooms. When I started to go back to the bunker, I heard a distant howl, and the hair on the back of my neck prickled, and I ran back as fast as I could.
I miss the city. I don't think I'm going to like it here. I feel like my life is going up in flames all around me, and I can't do anything to stop it.