Adam stared too, his blue eyes open wide. “Splash!” went the wave, knocking us off our feet. The boat flipped, and we all went under. I felt the water whisk by me, twirling me around and around like I was a wave myself. Charlotte was holding onto a rope, her silk nightie flowing in the water like a flag.
We all swirled around and around as hail stones dropped into the water, hitting Adam on the head. I swam towards the light, but I realised we were under the boat. I felt myself losing breath, my head dizzying in pain. Adam was unconscious and sinking towards the bottom. I grabbed his arm, swerved sideways and charged towards the top. Nearly there, nearly time to breath, I thought.
My heart was racing like a horse and my breath was nearly gone. It was like someone was slowly yanking out my life, taking my heart, brain, memory and then breath. I leapt into the light, grasping for air, never feeling so grateful for oxygen. Adam was clinging to my back. I tried to keep us both above the water. I couldn’t see Charlotte … or Violet. My back ached but I pushed on, looking anxiously around the sea for the two girls.
The waves and thunderous winds were calm but small, frothy waves splashed into my face. I kept swimming, to who knows where. Suddenly something touched my leg. I kicked faster, moving away from the animal that lurked bellow. The water became a darker, creek-like green while trees formed around me. I was no longer swimming in the ocean; I was in a swamp.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I threw Adam off my back and onto the muddy island. My silk pyjamas were ruined now, their soft material drenched and muddy. Adam’s pyjamas were a dirty shade of brown as he lay, unconscious, beside me. I looked around for a ride, a boat, but all I could see was dark green water and small, muddy islands scattered through the swamp.
A long green, scaly back appeared above the water. I grabbed Adam and pulled his feet out of the water, his mind still in a flurry of dreams. The monster’s back grew into a tail, then some feet, and then I saw his blood-red eyes, peeking above the murky water. He jumped at me, launching himself onto the muddy island, surprising me with his long legs. I jumped up, dragging Adam to his feet as Adam’s body came back to life.
“W … where am I?” he asked, finding his balance. His eyes flew open, seeing the scaly monster lurking in front of us. The monster had long, strong legs and arms, with scaly snakeskin and a long head like a crocodile. Adam turned towards me, utterly confused.
I grinned and grabbed his arm, dragging him into the creek. “What’s going on? My head hurts!” he whined, moving through the swamp, the muddy water slowing us down. I felt something brush my leg again and again, until tiny teeth dug into my thigh. I screamed, alarming Adam. He screamed, too.
The monster swam behind us, launching himself in the air but missing us by an inch. We kept swimming, more things brushing by our thighs. I saw an exceedingly small boat sitting against a muddy island. “There!” I screamed, swimming faster towards it. Adam saw it too. He swam past me and jumped onto the boat.
As we grabbed the oars and started to paddle away from this adventure, the crocodile-monster-thing tried to launch itself at us. Adam swung his oar around and stabbed it away. The monster fell into the creek, yelping in pain. We cheered with joy as we paddled back into the ocean.
“Well, if it isn’t the famous Flint Fisher,” yelled a familiar voice. I huffed before turning around to face Captain Abigale Cobblestone. She looked at me, obviously amused by the way we were sitting, tired and muddy, in this small rowing boat.
“Where’s your crew?” She laughed, pointing first at Adam and then at me with her sword. I looked down at my hands, ashamed. Adam’s eyes grew red. “Aww!” she cried sarcastically, before her face turned back into a grin. Then I realised, the map! I dug my dirty fingers into the pocket of my pyjamas. I breathed a sigh of relief as I felt the fragile pages of the map.