The morning wind blew steadily as the front masks guided our 60 foot schooner into the English Channel. A brilliant sun rise welcomed the way. John Taylor skillfully maneuvered the ship through the choppy waves. John was the father of David Taylor. David brought two friends with him for company. Their names were Adam and Ann Erickson. John’s wife Lisa was preparing the morning meal down below deck. Around 8:00am She called out to all “Breakfast is ready, come and get it.” Someone had to stay at the steering wheel while we ate breakfast. Like always John volunteered and remained at the wheel. Lisa brought him some coffee.

As the day progressed, the ocean water began to get rugged. Thick dark clouds overcast the skies. It was certain a storm was approaching and a bad one. John called out, “Batten down the masks a storm is coming. Grab a life vest. “ David and Adam took a life vest and then did their best to fasten the sails down. The ship was really rocking backwards and forward now when suddenly the ship hit a rock. In front of the boat was a big hole. Water flooded the boat quickly. Everyone tried to get the water out as quick as possible but the water took over. We grabbed anything we could to hold on too as a float. In no time the boat sank. At least we were all alive and hanging for life on our boards.

Finally the skies brightened again and the waters calmed down. We were all still floating on the boards when Adam called out. “Look! There is land.” Everyone began to push the board towards the island. It took us about fifteen minutes to make it their. When we reached the beach, everybody fell down from exhaustion. Once we all recovered from the event, we got up and looked around the beach. It looked to be a deserted island. John said to everybody after awhile, “We are lost and alone on an abandoned island. What to do. “ “At least we are all alive,” said Lisa. “Let’s see if there is anything we can find for food and maybe make some shelter for the day, “ said John.

Everybody started looking for food. Banana trees and coconut trees were found. With some broken branches and palm leaves we were able to create a kind of hut for us to live in. The boys went and found a long stick and created a kind of spear to use for hunting. With some luck there would be fish for dinner.

Our first night on the island was over. The boys never managed to catch anything the first night. I guess they didn’t realize how hard it would be. We lived on bananas and coconut for the dinner After dinner everybody turned in for the night.

The next day everyone rose around dawn and started to explore the island. As we explored the island, the trees and shrub became thicker and more condensed to walk through. Suddenly David called out, “I see something, I see something come over here.” The group approached David and saw a cliff covered with vines. John started to pull the vines down and to everyone’s disbelief there was a cave entrance.
Adam called out, “Let’s go see what is in there. This is so cool.” First we need a light to see where we are going. “Grab a stick and light it okay all,” ordered John. When that task was accomplished successfully, John led the way into the cave. It went very deep down. Ann called out. “I hope we find our way back.” “All we have to do is turn around and we will be safe,” said John.

Suddenly Ann called out, “Look? I see sun light.” “No you don’t, that is impossible,” cried Adam. “Yes, look see through the cracks of the cave there is light. Follow me everybody.” Sure enough Ann was correct. There was an opening further down the caves path. “It must be the other side of the island,” announced David.

When everyone left the cave, another world lay before their eyes. It looked like a fairytale island instead of a wild jungle. Large palm trees embraced the caves entrance, and in the distance one could see a castle and small town houses. The villagers were scurrying back and forth going about their daily business. Suddenly an old man approached them. He had a long gray Santa clause like beard, and wore very colorful close. He said, “Welcome to our island of Nukumba. I am Suridian and King of the land. Our people have never seen strangers come to this land. You look different then our people. Where do you come from?” “We come from England. It is a land far away from here,” announced John.

Suridean spoke in a leadership way to the family saying, “Come and visit our world, all I ask is do not leave our boundaries. Once you depart this place, you are at prey of the pirates, and any sort of danger. Our people are gentle and peaceful group. As long as you leave them alone, they won’t harm you. Stay in the castle it is free.” Graciously John accepted the offer. Surridean lead the way for them, and at the end of the road said “Just follow the signs it will take you to the castle. I will return later. I must complete my rounds for the day.”

The Taylor’s and Ericson children entered the castle gates. The door almost reminded you of the Castle of Oz. Inside caretakers rushed about doing there chores and guests hurrying about their tasks. It was exciting for the children. Suddenly one of the caretakers approached them and said, “Come, follow me, I will give you a place to stay.” The group followed the caretaker to a room on the second floor of the castle. “Here is your room; the children will sleep next door. Dinner is at six pm. “

Each room came with two large beds. A table and a set of chairs stood in the middle of the room. Everything was simple but adequate enough for them. The stress of the day tired the children so all grabbed a bed in there appropriate rooms and took a rest. Around six pm and bell rang calling all guests for dinner. Dinner was on the first floor in a large room. Tables stood set for all to eat. A Hostess stood and assigned the guests to appropriate tables. When we all sat down for dinner, food was served quickly. There was plenty for all. The servants served corn, bread, butter, a piece of chicken, or beef, water for the children and bear for the parents. After dinner, we all went to our rooms and went to bed.
The next morning after breakfast John suggested that we explore the town. All agreed to the plan. Outside on Main Street was a market for the locals. You could buy about anything there. Some of the things were beyond what you were used to seeing. Then this wasn’t England.

One of the table keepers approached Lisa and asked her to try a dress. It was colorful, and unusually cut. Lisa shook her head to the table keeper, “No thanks.” In the distance unusual music could be heard. It looked to be a band, but the players were not of normal appearance. The trumpet player was like an elephant, the drum player was a monkey, and the guitar player was a man dressed in a clown suite. We certainly were in a different world. England was nothing like this. The deeper we went into the village the stranger the people came.

Suddenly a very thin man with a long unkempt appearance approached us. He hissed and said, “Hello I am Jabar. I have much to offer if you’re interested to buy. For a reasonable price that is.” “What do you sell Jabar,” asked John. Passage, information, oh! And maybe goods. Depends what you wish from me.” “No thanks, we are okay for now,” Replied Lisa.

“This town gives me the creeps,” whispered David. “I know what you mean,” Replied Ann.
“So where are we going from here John,” Asked Lisa. “Let’s leave this town and see what is so dangerous. I am not convinced yet,” Answered John. Together the group left the main road unaware of the dangers that lay before them.

Once outside the village, dirt paths lead them deeper and deeper into the forest. No sign of houses or villagers were visible. Suddenly a tiger appeared in the distance. John and the group froze. Luckily the tiger just kept on going. Then a colorful giraffe walked by and started eating leaves on one of the tall trees. “This is such a weird place. Nothing seems normal. I wish we could just go back home to England.” That was all Adam could say to everybody about the place.

Then from nowhere a Witch appeared in front of the children. “Hehehehe” laughed the Witch. “What have we here now? You are such a nice looking family from somewhere else. Tell me now where you are all going to? This is my forest. No one ever leaves here without my saying so. Hehehehe.” Fuming mad John cried, “Who do you tell us what to do? We are our own boss and do what we want. When we are ready we will leave Miss Witch.” The Witch threw her broom out and said, “Be careful what you say to me. I cast a spell on all of you and if any leave this forest you will turn to a toad, and never return to your land.”

“Take those words back” hollered David. “I will never. Unless you come to my palace and stay with me, I will not release your spell. You must stay for at least one night and if you survive that time, you will be set free. Otherwise I will turn you all into toads. You must agree to these terms.” John responded to the Witch’s request by saying “What choice do we have then your Witch’s majesty. We will obey. But after the night we leave free. No spells to us. Is that clear.” “Hehehehe, we shall see, we shall see hehehehehe” cried the witch.

Everybody followed the witch to her mountain. She lived in fantastic castle. More grand then the one we stayed overnight in Nukumba.” People sure know how to live in style in this land. One castle is bigger than the next one,” replied Lisa. The entrance door was open for them and all continued inside without hesitance. Inside the castle was very different to the other castle. It was more dungeon like and dark in appearance. Nukumbas castle was cheery and colorful in style. The Witch’s castle just expressed evil and fear.

When everyone was inside the castle the Witch took the family to a room on the lower end of the castle. It was like a cellar. It was dark and cold, and there were no beds to sleep on. Everyone stared at each other in a kind of disbelief that we were in such a place. “I wish we were back at home again,” cried Ann. John just gave Ann a big hug and noted to her, “We all do, we all do Ann.” All we have to do is survive the night and we can leave here. Let’s do our best to do that,” announced John.

It was hopeless to try to escape the room. It was sealed shut by a heavy door. Nobody came by for hours. Towards dark somebody unlocked the door and left some food for us. It was nothing more than water and some dry bread. The food barely fed all of us. After we all ate the little food, everybody fell fast asleep hoping time would go by faster.

Around 12pm Adam awoke to a strange noise. It sounded like a ghost cry. Then in the air it came at him. Three white sheets swaying back and forth at Adam making an eary crying sound. They disappeared as fast as they came. Adam was the only one who saw this. The others still slept soundly. Adam tried to wake John up and ask for help. He cried desperately to him, “Wake up, wake up John. This place is haunted really. Please wake up.” John woke then and saw the fear in Adams eyes. “You look like you saw a spook. Did you?” “Yes, I did see a spook. It was like a ghost.” “Okay, then I will get up and see for myself.” Replied John.

Time went on and there were no signs of ghosts. Then around 2pm another sound happened. It looked like a human entering the room. It cried out, “Leave this place, go back to where you came from.” The figure disappeared into the wall. John stared at Adam. “You’re right about this place being spooky.” Then John laughed out loud and with that everybody else woke up. “This Witch is really trying to scare us good. Nothing has happened that could harm us yet. I think it is a good show what do you think Adam?” “Yes I agree John nothing but a show. “Then a hissing laugh could be heard. It was the Witch. “Hehehehehe” her signature cry. “That is only the beginning of your fears.” “You got to do better than that,” cried Adam.

Then the door opened and a group of guards took them by surprise and dragged them to the top. It was just dawn now. When they got to the top of the stares one guard said, “You are free go before the Witch sees you. She will turn you into toads if she catches you.” Why do you do this for us?” asked David. Because I know the Witch, she is very evil and will do her craft without hesitance. Go, go now.”

When everyone was outside the castle, we started to walk briskly towards Nukumba. The sun hadn’t risen yet, and we knew we were still in the hours of the Witches spell. Once we were down from the mountain, and trekked through the woods a while, the village began to appear. Just when we thought we were out of harm’s way the Witch flew above crying, heehehe, your not free yet it is not morning. Remember you broke the promise, and now I will turn you all into toads. Just as the Witch started to turn the group into toads, the wind blew and a beautiful princess approached us and cast a spell on the Witch. She was blocked from us in a glass ball, and floated away never to be seen again.

This beautiful lady was dressed in a white gown, approached us and asked what we were doing in this forest. We told her that we left the village of Nukumba and wanted to explore the land about. At the castle, the servants told us not to leave and I think we found out why. I thank you for coming to our rescue. “Who are you if I may ask?” These words came from Lisa. I am Princess Narelle. I am the good doer of the lands. When I see danger or someone in need of help, I come to your aid. Please go back to where you came from you do not belong in this land of ours. I can send you back to where ever you wish with my magic powers.” John said, “We come from another world you may not be able to.” “Then go back to Nukumba and leave this forest forever,” cried Narelle.

The group started to walk back when David cried out, “Let’s look for the cave and maybe we can return to the other side of the island.” “Good idea, son” Together everyone searched for the cave, we had to walk passed the grand castle we stayed the first night, and passed the main street of the village back into the jungle. Then at last Ann cried “There. I see the cave. Everyone entered the cave and we were back inside the dark path. As we entered it, the entrance suddenly closed behind us. It was as if there was never an entrance. It was dark inside the cave so we stuck together to find the other side of the tunnel. It didn’t take long. In a few minutes we found our way back to our world.

The sun shown above and palm trees lead the path to sea. We were back on the deserted island. Then Adam cried out, I see a ship, I see a ship.” In the distance a sail boat approached the island. It had a white flag on it meaning it was not a pirate ship.” Rescued at last,” cried Lisa. The ship docked anchor and picked us all up. Everyone was relieved and happy to be going home again.


Monica Engeler

Little Falls, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 4

Artist's Description

I actually wrote this a few years ago. I dug it up just little while ago and decided it might be good challenge to animate it. Great fantasy and adventure.

Artwork Comments

  • Catherine  Howell
  • Monica Engeler
  • Catherine  Howell
  • Monica Engeler
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