No Heart Pain
Thirteen-year-old Daniel Franksence had been gone for two weeks now. There was no sign of how or where he had gone. His mother was so worried. All his friends down in South Carolina were worried about him. But none as much as Alyssa Maide.
This thirteen-year-old girl had only known Daniel for about two years before his parents divorced. He, his mom, and his three brothers moved up to Rhode Island. He sometimes came down with his brothers to visit their dad. Alyssa always tried to be the first to know. But not this year. He ran away for some unknown reason. How she wished to see him!
It was late on a mid-summer night; Alyssa was fast asleep in her room. Tap, tap, tap, went something on the window, waking her up. She lifted her head, blinked, and looked around the room: nothing. She dropped her head and fell asleep again, but not as deeply this time. Tap, tap, tap, it went again even louder than the first time. Alyssa got up now. She sleepily walked over to the window and peeked through. Seeing a face in the window, she quickly jumped. Cautiously, she looked through the window again. Alyssa recognized the face now. Why, it was Daniel! Alyssa quickly opened the window.
“Daniel!” she cried,” I can’t believe it’s you! How did you do it! Where have you been? Oh-my-gosh! I’ve got to tell my mom!”
“No!” Daniel ordered as he covered her mouth with his hand, then pushed her in as he flew in. “Don’t you dare tell a soul. It will ruin everything.”
Watching her carefully as if she would run away, he removed his hand.
“You just flew in through the window!” she sputtered. “And what do you mean I’ll ruin everything?”
“You might as well sit down. This’ll take awhile.
“As you might have guessed, it all started about a two weeks ago. It was hot outside; even though it was night. I went inside to get a glass of water. When I finished, my mom said to go turn off my light in my room. So of course, I went. But the light didn’t come from my lamp; it came from the two fairies sitting on my bed. I didn’t know it until they were buzzing- sorry -flying around me. They started to speak to me in a different language, but I somehow understood them. Years ago, they said, pirates came to there island and began terrorizing it. The fairies tried to ignore the pirates but they really started to hurt the island. So now they needed my help. At first, I thought, I’d love to help, but what can I do. Then I figured, this is a once in a lifetime thing. Why not? So I said yes but asked how would I get there and where I was going? I would go to an island called Faylin. And you probably guessed I would get there by flying. So the next day, I should say night, they came for me and I left.”
“Yeah, right! That’s unbelievable.” Alyssa said in disbelief.
Daniel grinned with pride.
“Yeah, it is.”
”I wouldn’t have believed you if you hadn’t flown through the window.” she said, “ but then why did you come back?”
“I was getting really lonely. There was only the fairies to hang out with, which is cool and all but-I don’t know- they’re only 5 inches tall.”
“I see where you’re coming from, but why did you come here?”
Two small lights flew in through the window and around Daniel. One bit his arm.
“Ow!” he cried as he rubbed his arm, “Ok, ok, I’ll tell. Sheesh! Alyssa, this is Fushia and Latanya. Fushia: big mouth, Latanya: know it all. No, I’m just teasing; they adore me.”
“Now let’s go.” Daniel exclaimed.
“What? What do you mean?” Alyssa asked, taken aback. “Go where?”
“To Faylin, of course.” He smiled, expecting screams and elation.
“No way! You’re crazy! I’m not leaving this room.”
“Cause I’m not going some desolate island where I’d be lonely and have nothing to do.”
“You won’t be lonely, I’ll be there.”
“Oh, thanks, that’s convincing.”
“Anyways, there will be tons to do. There’ll be no one in command; we could do whatever we want, whenever we want. And that’s not the best part,” he came close to her and whispered in her ear, “There will be no heart pain.”
“You know that pain when you deeply hurt inside? There is none of that, no deep sorrow. No heartaches or broken hearts. It’s perfect. Just like Neverland, but better. Come on. Come back with me.” His face lit up as he spoke.
Alyssa debated, wondering if he meant it. Was it worth leaving her family behind, even for no sorrow? Would there be love there, too?
“Well…alright…” She looked down at the floor and said quietly, “ I’ll go.”
“Yeah! Fushia, Latanya, pixie dust please.”
The excitement of a magical new adventure began to sparkle and tingle through her veins, bringing a pink blush to her cheeks.
So both the fairies began to frolic and fly around her. Fairy dust powdered the air and alighted gently upon Alyssa, giving her a pixie-like look.
“Now it’s just happy thoughts. That’s it, happy thoughts.” said Daniel.
“Hm, happy thoughts,” thought Alyssa. “Flowers on a summer evening, rainbows on a clear blue sky, stars twinkling, and lots and lots of magic!” She thrilled to the bone. All of a sudden, Daniel shouted, “Good! You’re doing it, Alyssa!”
Startled, she realized that she was (very badly, but she was), though a little unstable.
“Ok, now to get on your stomach, like this, just flip your legs up a little till you balance. Make sure you don’t flip your legs up too much.”
“On the count of three. One-two-THREE.”
Alyssa did just the opposite of what Daniel told her. She flipped up her legs way to hard and started to do front flips madly. Daniel had to grab her legs to make her stop. She felt dizzy.
“Oh!” she moaned, “I don’t want to do that ever again.”
“It’s alright. I did that the first six times, too. At least you have someone to stop you. I had to learn by myself. I had nothing to stop me, and I’m still dizzy. But anyways let’s try it this way.”
He put his hand on her stomach (“Don’t mind me.”) and grabbed her legs. He slowly started to tilt her forward until she was flying on her stomach.
“Hey! I’m doing it! Now how do I go forward?” She asked, excitement making her giddy.
“Just, well, just kinda wish yourself forward. That’s it. To stop and stand upright tilt your body upward, or in all positions just tell yourself to stop. To go up when you’re on your stomach just tilt up and always think happy thoughts. The same goes when you’re in your straight positions and the opposite to go down. What I mean to say is just go down, I don’t how you do it really but this is what helps me.”
“Ok, so you’re saying to do all this but you aren’t quite sure yourself.”
“Um, yeah. Pretty much.”
Alyssa just rolled her eyes. That boy is a nut.
“Just go on.”
“Right, to turn just lean your body to the left, the same for the right. The more you tilt the sharper the turn. For the quickest, and what I noticed to be more natural and easier way, bend your body toward the same direction you want to turn while you’re leaning at the same time. One more thing, this is both bodily and mental. Always remember this because it is the most important thing in any position. Your flying reacts to it better and faster, this is very important. Never forget it.”
“I think I get it, but I might ask for reminders a lot at first.”
She started to whisper to herself “Mind before body; mind before body…” till it stuck to her thoughts like glue.
“Ok, lets go,” Daniel said he started to go through the window. But before he reached it he landed and, dredging, turned around, “Wait, before we go I must tell you something.” he sighed, “A couple of years before I came to Faylin, these other boys came before me. After they started to attack the pirates, they somehow become captive and were never seen again. Except one, he was found floating in the sea. He had been beaten to death. So I’ll understand if you’d wanna change your mind about coming.”
How she did! The boy couldn’t have been much older than herself, found floating (dead!) in a sea. And being beaten to death. She shuddered. But there were fairies who needed help, and she couldn’t just leave them. It wouldn’t be right. She knew that if she didn’t make the right decision now, she would have to live with her conscience the rest of her life. Perhaps there was away other then sword fighting..
“What’s there to lose?” she replied. She tilted her head up a grin smeared across her face.
Daniel was overjoyed and he shouted with glee as he soared out the window, turning and flipping. Alyssa was enchanted with his excitement. He soon came back to the window waiting for her. Quickly turning around, she grabbed a backpack and threw in a pair of pants and a top from her chest of drawers. She also grabbed her tankini that hung on the wall. Alyssa hesitated at the window. Maybe she had better stay behind. Truth be told, she was quite afraid to go. But Daniel held out his hand toward her as if for encouragement. She didn’t take his hand but took his encouragement, she needed that more. Slowly flying through the window, she followed Daniel. They were off. She didn’t look back, though many memories raced through her mind, she knew if she did looked back she could never leave.
They didn’t say much as they flew, for there wasn’t much to say. Wind blowing on their face, they enjoyed it greatly. That is, until Alyssa realized that she had no idea how or were she was going.
“How do we get there?” she asked.
“North and up!” he shouted to her, then said to himself quietly as if for assurance,
“North and up.”
Fushia and Latanya were the only lights they had in the dark. Alyssa and Daniel were never quite sure how long it took them to get there. They never knew. You might ask where Faylin is located. Some say in the middle of the sea. Others in space. But none can be sure for it is on no map. And if there is a map that has it, it hasn’t been found. Even the directions Daniel gave didn’t tell exactly were it was. As they flew the stars were all around them.
Morning came approaching, and it cast its light on the ocean far beneath them. Soon an island came to eye and gradually came closer till they were practically above it. Daniel stopped immediately, Alyssa soon to follow with some difficulty. He spread out his arms and said, “This is Faylin.” Then he started to point out places.
“There is Odd Peek Mountain,” pointing at a mountain at the far end of the island.
“Smokey marsh, Lions fall, it flows out from an underground river,” he said pointing at a large thundering waterfall on the east side.
“Over there, in the south, is Pirate Bay. And due west is Hooked Beach (’cause it looks like a hook). Under it is Treasure Cave. It doesn’t really have treasure in it, but it looks like it by the way the water reflects. Then up north is Green Bush Valley, that’s where we stay. Come on, you have to see it up close. I already have a camp set up for two.”
When they landed in Green Bush Valley it was lushes and green. Trees surrounded it. But out of the whole twelve acres in the valley there was not a single tree. In the center of the valley was a small spring. And by this crystal clear spring was some kind of camp. It had just a tent and a fireplace with a pole of twigs to burn with nearby. Daniel opened the tent door as Alyssa walked in.
“It’s not much,” he said, “I got it for ten dollars at the thrift store the day I left. I can hang up a sheet, if you like, in the middle for you have soma kind of privacy.”
“Where did you get all these old sheets from?” Alyssa asked, she touched her hand a pile of them.
“Oh, here and there. Mostly from a box of rags my mom kept in her closet. I packed a ton of them. I wasn’t sure how cold it got here. But then I forgot to bring a lot of clothes. I mean more then three pairs. ”
He laughed a whoops-can’t-believe-I-did-that.
“Anyways, do you want me to spilt it?” he still asked.
“No, don’t take the trouble. I like it how it is. It’s cozy.” she walked around.
“Thanks.” he had worked long and hard.
“You’re welcome. Um, not to be rude, but I’m starving! When’s breakfast?”
“As soon as I check my traps.”
“You have traps?”
“Yeah,” he rubbed his hand on the back of his neck, “My mom had us go to summer camp for boys the last two years. We would stay for two weeks. I learned all sorts of stuff if I got lost in the woods; like how to fish without a fishing pole, how to make traps (that work). And how to make a bow and arrow and use it. I learned other stuff like how to skin with just s pocketknife. Maybe later I can show you my collection of skins. Hey, hand me that stuff over there. Thanks. I’ll be off now. Sorry I can’t stay long to get you more settled, but if you want breakfast.”
“Can I go?”
“I don’t know. You might scare away the animals if you’re to loud.”
“Please? I’ll be quite.”
“Alright,” Daniel said rolling his eyes, “if you promise you won’t get all girly or grossed out when I kill a rabbit.”
“I promise. Let’s go.”
So Daniel slung on his archery set and walked out the door with Alyssa on his heels.
Stopping at every trap and sound of animals in the brush, they trudged through the woods.. They had caught two small rabbits and a large bird of some sort. Laughing and talking, they headed back, when all of a sudden there was a low growl and rustle from the brush. Daniel, ahead, stopped shortly but Alyssa hadn’t heard it and just on talking. (To herself, of course.) He had to cover her mouth with his hand, again, to stop her.
“Shhh!” he hushed.
Then he listened. It was coming from in front of them. Daniel, with his bow ready, cautiously moved aside the bush. On the ground rolling and playing were two bear cubs. He sighed with some relief.
“Ah, how cute!” Alyssa said stepping forward. Daniel tried to stop her but it was to late. A large, fearsome growling arose; then a bear. Daniel yanked the bird that Alyssa had been holding and threw it at the bear, hoping to distract it. But it did no good. The bear lunged after them.
“Run!” Daniel yelled as he grabbed Alyssa’s wrist and started to run.
Running as fast as they could, the bear kept on gaining until Daniel could almost feel its breath on his back. Daniel wished there was some way he could go faster. Then it hit him like a rock.
“Duh, fly,” he said to himself and then to Alyssa louder so she could hear him. “Fly!”
Alyssa didn’t catch on until Daniel’s feet were already off the ground. Then she lifted herself up, also. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts, she told herself when she started to feel herself drop.
Finally the bear was out of sight and they landed at camp. But Alyssa personally would rather of been back with the bear at this point then with Daniel. He was furious. He didn’t bother to see if she was all right or to hang the rabbits, rather instead he just marched off into the tent. Alyssa stayed outside for a minute to think of what to do or to see if he might come out, he didn’t; she timidly walked in.
“Is something wrong?” she asked.
“Yes,” he replied shortly.
“Can you tell me?” biting her lip, she inquired.
“Yeah, sure. Plain and simple, that was totally stooped.”
“No it wasn’t. I didn’t know!”
“Common sense says never approach bear cubs. Especially wild one!”
“Are you saying that I don’t have common sense?”
“In that area, yes!”
Alyssa was speechless. How could he say that!
“In that case,” lip trembling, she finally said, “I’ll just leave.”
She ran out. Daniel thought for a moment, then he got up to go after her.
“Girls… I knew I shouldn’t have taken her hunting with me,” he mumbled as he got up.
Actually, Alyssa hadn't left she was just a few yards out of camp. Daniel being a boy
naturally didn’t quite know what to say. He just did what came first.
“Um, maybe I was wrong- you do have a little common sense about hunting. At least you didn’t go run off when we killed the animals.
“A little?” she demanded more.
“Ok, maybe a lot. Besides you can’t leave, you don’t know how to get back.” Daniel was reluctant to give out.
“Oh, now you’re forcing me to stay. Well I should let you know that I can get there by myself.”
“No, I didn’t mean that, I meant- just don’t go. I would be so lonely without you," a grin spread across his face. he knew exactly what to say to have her stay. " I would want no other person then you.”
Whether he meant all that or not, I don’t know, but it got Alyssa; she had fallen for it.
“Alright, I’ll stay.”
Daniel, excited, almost hugged her but thought better. Instead he acted casually.
“Thanks. You wanna make breakfast now.”
“Are you kidding, I’m starving! Let’s go!”
So they both run back to camp.
Initially when Daniel and Alyssa arrived in Faylin they had slept in the tent or outside on the grassy plains under the stars. This would be nice for a few days but Alyssa convinced Daniel that if they were going to stay there for a long while they would need a better shelter. At first when they planned to build a shelter, it was going to be a tree house. But Daniel realized that he didn’t know how to build one. Then they thought it could be an underground house, but it would take too long to dig it and they didn’t have any shovels. So in the end they decided to live in a tree.
The next day they started on the biggest tree they could find. . It was even almost bigger then a red wood tree. Ten men could barely reach all the way around it with their arms out stretched. It was located in the thickest part of the woods, where the trees were so close that the trunks almost touched. In the center was where their tree was. It had a clearing big enough to fit comfortably thirty people comfortably. Daniel started first to cut two large wholes on the north and south side of the tree; this would be the doors. After a few hours of cutting the doors, they began a fire inside both “doors”. This would be the boring part. For they had to burn the tree hollow so they cold sleep inside it. It was almost dusk and the tree wasn’t even halfway burned through. So they decided that they would take turns watching the fire. Alyssa would watch the fire for about an hour then it would be Daniel’s turn. While he watched the fire she would get a break to sleep or do what ever she wanted to do. As they sat there late that night Alyssa and Daniel had their backs against each other to give each other back support. The night was full of enchantment and magic. They both had been rambling about different things and Daniel had just got this question.
“If you died tonight what would you want to be you last feeling?” Daniel solemnly asked.
Alyssa was surprised by this question. Why in carnation does her care? Still, she thought about it.
“If I died tonight what would I want my last felling to be? Well, I think happiness and love.” she said.
“Do you think that’s the most important?” David inquired.
“Yes and no. I think that and what you leave behind you when you go.”
“And what do you think you’d leave with me if you died right now?”
She didn’t know quite how to answer it at first.
“ With you?” she said.
“Mmhhmm.” he answered, there was a slight grin on his face that he was glad she couldn't see.
“Well for sure lots of happiness, and maybe just a tad bit of love. Why?”
“No one asks that kind of question just because they’re wondering. Really, why?”
“I was just wondering, really.”
Alyssa couldn’t argue with him for it would be of no use and all they would end up doing would be to go around in circles. It just wasn’t worth it. Besides they were both tired. She slid down and closed her eyes. Daniel watched the fire then turned to find Alyssa sleeping peacefully. Ears red with embarrassment, he smiled and touched her face softly with his fingers. Then pulled quickly back when she stirred. He didn't dare wake her. Smiling, he returned his attention back toward the fire. Though his mind was far off.
They finished the tree by mid-afternoon the next day. It was bristling hot and the two of them wished with all their might that it might cool off some how.
“I wish there was some way to cool off , I’m dieing in this heat.” Alyssa said fanning herself with her hand then wiping the top of her forehead.
“Me, too. I think everything is wishing that just about know,” Daniel sighed.
The two kids lied there imagining a cool pool and some nice, fresh water to drink.
“Hey!” Daniel suddenly shouted as he bolted up, making Alyssa jump. “ I just had an idea!”
“Obviously,” Alyssa said sarcastically, then pointed out, “But I’ll take it if it means I’ll get cooled off.”
“You bet you would. I thought we could go to Loins Fall.”
“That’s a great idea. Duh, Alyssa, swimming,” Alyssa said to herself, “But how will we get there? I mean are we going to fly or walk?”
“I want to say fly, but Latanya isn’t in a mood to be disturbed. She’s really hot, and when she gets hot she gets cranky.”
Alyssa made a face about walking but she slowly got up and went to change. Then they dashed off toward Lions fall.
They were climbing up a giant bolder that was right next to the waterfall. The cool mist brushed against their skin. It felt good, especially on that hot day.
“Careful, it’s slippery up here!” Daniel, up front, yelled. Just in time for him slip himself.
“Ha, ha- Wow!” Alyssa started to laugh, then slipped.
But they didn’t bother moving from there. For their position was comfortable and had a wonderful view of Lions Fall.
“It’s beautiful,” Alyssa said breathily.
“Who cares,” Daniel, like most boys would, exclaimed, “ if it looks good, as long as it feels good.”
“I beg to differ,” she said in an (pretend) English accent. Teasing him, of course.
“Why would you do that?” he asked, not catching on.
Alyssa rolled her eyes.
“I think it matters if the view is nice or not.”
“I don’t know. I just do.”
“Well you should know why you think.”
“I do. I just can’t think of it this minute.”
“Whatever.” Daniel said realizing that the conversation was going nowhere.
It all fell silent.
“I’m bored,” Daniel, seemly never satisfied, said after a while.
“Me, too.” Alyssa, just as Daniel, replied.
“You want to go swimming?”
“And climb all the way down?!”
“No,” and with that he took off his pants. But don’t worry, he always were black shorts under his pants. He turned and jumped off the edge. Alyssa leaned over the edge. Daniel hooped and hollered with glee.
“Come on in!” he yelled, “ The water’s real nice.”
Alyssa was glad, as any girl might be, that she got her tankini for 75% off. And that she had brought it with her.
Squeezing her eyes shut she jumped. The cool water engulped her, when her head emerged she flung her hair, making it slap against her neck. She wiped her eyes to see were Daniel was. But she couldn’t find him! Did he get sucked under the falls?!
“Daniel!” she yelled, “ Daniel!! Daniel!!!”
All of a sudden something grabbed her leg and pulled her under. She gasped for air as she went to the surface. Daniel was right behind her, laughing. Alyssa, in playful anger, splashed him as hard as she could. He splashed back. Alyssa swam over to him and dunked him under. He popped up behind her. If you could have been there to see the sight, you would be laughing with them. Having two kids splashing, laughing, a waterfall thundering, and over all just being in Faylin. No one could of helped but love it.
Alyssa and Daniel stayed in the water till dusk. Either having a splash fight, laying on the sand, or sitting side-by-side wading there feet. While wading, Alyssa and Daniel struck up a conversation.
“Do you think we should be heading back?” Alyssa asked.
“No, it’s almost dark and I think we should stay the night. We could get lost not having any light.”
“But Latanya might worry.”
“Yeah, and my foots blue.” Daniel sarcastically said. Meaning that he really didn’t care.
“Alright, I get it.”
Alyssa suddenly jumped up.
“Were are you going, Alyssa?”
“To get some wood. If we stay, we’ll need to keep warm. Besides, we’ll need some kind of shelter.”
“Good point,” Daniel said also getting up. “Let me help.”
“Okay, I’m game. You go to that side and I’ll take this side.”
“We’ll just go together.”
“But it’ll go faster if we separate.”
“But it’ll go faster.” Daniel mimicked as he went to “his side”.
It took an hour or so before they came back. It was so dark they had hardly enough light to see what there doing. They skipped dinner, because of the light; this made them both in a bad sort of mood when they went to bed. But when they got up the next morning they were in such a good mood, they practically forgot about the night before. They caught two fish and cooked them on the coals.
“So when do we plan to attack the pirates?” Alyssa asked.
“Wha? Oh, maybe tomorrow. But it depends on you.”
“Me! Why me?”
“’Cause I don’t know if you would want to dress as a boy.”
“A boy? Why in the world would I dress as a boy?”
“How many pirates would be afraid of a girl?” he rested his head on his hand and gazed at her.
“None, I guess.”
“And if we got caught what would happen?”
Alyssa didn’t answer.
“Exactly. So what you do is this: you dress up as a boy and we go over and attack.”
He went on and on about what they would do. I would normally write what he said but you most likely would get bored, and I, a hand cramp. There isn’t, I assure you, much importance of what he said. But let us forget, for at least now, all about that and get on with the story.
Alyssa bent down and lie on the sand. She sifted threw it with her fingures. As she did she found a delicate little shell about the size of her thumbnail. It was very beautiful. She wished she could have it as a necklace.
“Daniel,” she asked, “do you have a nail or something?”
“Why?” he inquired as he crawled up to her on his elbow.
“So I can punch a hole in this shell. I want to make a necklace.”
“Here, let me see it.”
He pulled out a small pocketknife and started to slowly twist it into the shell. But the knife slipped and pierced his finger.
“Ouch!” he yelled as he quickly stuck his finger in his mouth. He dropped the shell.
Alyssa picked up the shell and took the knife out of Daniel’s hand.
“Let me try.”
Daniel was about to protest but before he could, Alyssa easily slipped the knife in and made a hole. He was left with his mouth wide open. She ripped a long, thin piece of cloth of the bottom of her top. Then strung it through the hole she had made in the shell. Daniel was impressed.
“Can you make me one?” he asked.
“Later. We should be heading back.” __________________________________________________ _______________