Gillfie gasped. “Oh my God” and jumped down on the soft sand screaming “Help!” When she hit the bottom she ran.
Nikol was second to regain his senses and began climbing down as fast as his long legs could carry him.
I wasn’t so lucky. The owl lunged and I jumped but it caught me in the air. Nikol took a needle and stuck it in the owls back. The owl screeched, then dropped me going back to its hollow.
“That was close!” panted Gillfie, who looked kind of ashamed that she hadn’t done anything.
“I can see a black speck getting bigger as we get closer,” whispered Nikol with enthusiasm and tiredness.
“What black speck?” I asked, hardly even looking in front or even paying attention.
“Pay attention!” Nikol commanded angrily. “It looks like a castle!” he pointed and this time I looked and sure enough a black castle was there, 100 yards away, and that’s a lot for squirrels.
“Gimmy your food!” said a demanding voice from behind us. We turned startled and there was a rat.
“Run!” screamed Gillfie.
“Now, now my friend, gimmy your food!” said the rat. It was a rat with yellow eyes, grey fur and it was very big for a rat.
Then Nikol did the most unexpected thing. He spoke calmly to the rat. “Let us go Jongey. We are on a quest for foodies. Do you want to join us?”
“What are you doing Nikol? Don’t tell me you know him?” Gillfie screeched and began smoothing her ears back nervously.
“You have to be kidding Nikol, there has never been a rat in our forest for years and you are smaller than me. You are only 7 years old. I am two years older than you!” I screamed! “Get back to your senses! Do you literally want a rat with us?”
“Yes I want Jongey to come along, there has been a rat. And that rat is Jongey.” He answered calmly. Then turned to the rat Jongey “Do you want to come?” he asked.
“Yes I do want. Though there is a problem. That castle over there is full of foodies and rats! So once we steal them they will have a full reason to attack the forest!” Then Jongey whispered kindly, “I have fragile feelings so don’t make me mad. Inside the gate is the secret of the rats!”
“You mean they are the same rats that attacked the forest? How could they make foodies? What is…the secret of the rats?” I gasped amazed.
“Talk quietly because the rats have spies everywhere!” he hissed.
“Oookeyy you can join,” I told him.
“You’re both out of your minds!” Screeched Gillfie. “First Nikol and now you!” she pointed at me angrily.
“Think about it again Gillfie!” I shouted back.
“OK I accept,” she sighed.
“Really!” I gasped.
“Be quiet you two!” whispered Nikol and Jongey at the same time. “Rats have an amazing sense of smell!” continued Jongey. “ I can smell some at the gate.”
As we approached them they grinned showing their sharp yellow teeth.
I slowly began doubting this plan would work.
“Um hello. Can you let us enter your castle?” I asked nervously. My teeth were nibbling on our last nut.
“Yieeesss, though what are you here for?” the lead rat hissed suspiciously, barring his sharp yellow teeth.
“I think they have come to steal our secret,” hissed one rat in a croaky voice that was old.
Then I remembered what had happened. When I was little I remembered when rats came with torches and begun burning down the forests yelling “destroy, destroy.” Small and big squirrels threw nuts at the rats’ heads from the trees until the rats retreated and finally ran away.
“No, we just want foodies and to learn how they are made.” I answered as politely as possible (after a moment of remembering).
‘What are you thinking?” croaked the old rat with three wiskers that apparently had a sore throat.
“Can we just have some foodies please?” begged Gillfie in a very childish tone.
“Okay then,” whispered the old rat.
“No” snarled the lead rat and glared at the old rat. “You are being tricked Roll! How could they have passed the dessert by themselves?”
The moment the leader began talking Roll gave us two papers. The lead rat snared and screamed “Traitor!” as he lunged with his claws scratching at Roll.
“Run!” croaked Roll who extended his claws in defense. And that was the last time I would see him. Or maybe not.
We were running away as fast as possible and we heard his screams as he was dragged to jail.
When we couldn’t hear him, I whispered urgently “Open it, open it!”
As Gillfie unfolded the paper I saw something amazing. The letter said “Look for the room of Lava.”
“Open the second letter,” I whispered.
“Everybody be quiet!” Whispered Gillfie so quietly that I almost couldn’t hear.
When the second letter was opened I read “ Come from the back door or open the secret door on the fifth cactus from the front door, which leads to the prison and to the Room of Lava!”
“Let us split up! I and Gillfie will go to the back door and Dwellwap and you will go to the secret passage, first to get Roll from the jail, then go and meet us in the room of fire,” whispered Nikol to Jongey. Then he and Gillfie bounced toward the castle.
“I guess we are together, lets go!” I said “follow me.”
We began running towards the entrance. When we were about 5 feet away I signaled at Jongey to stop. We immediately began to search the needles of the cactus in front of us until Jongey whispered “I think I found it!”
He opened a door-shaped ring of needles and there was a passage. We began walking huddled close together deep inside the ruins of the secret passage. At last we found a crossing and I pointed right and we continued. At last we saw light!
“C’mon Jongey, almost there!” I whispered. But Jongey didn’t budge “No I can’t go there!” He was freaking out. “No, no, no! Don’t take me there. It is the place where the rats came from on our attack. I can’t go. I have sworn never to go there again.”
“What do you mean “again”, tell me.”
“When I was your age I came from here and learned about how the rats are cruel and about Nikol, how I became his friend.”
“Hey look there is light over there in that cave” said a very familiar voice.
Then I realized two very scary things. One that the voice was Vill’s (the Bully). And the tunnel led straight to the forest.
“Hey, Who is there?” growled Vill. We stayed quiet.
Then Vill did an unexpected thing. She said “Go to your parents, I’m going to deal with whatever is in this cave!”
She charged in the cave and saw us. She fainted with a scared expression on her face. She looked to me like a scared squirrel for the first time in my life.
“Run?” I asked.
“So let’s run” agreed Jongey quietly as the other squirrel that had went to its home came to the entrance. It had to be looking for Vill.
I only saw a rat and a familiar squirrel back run into the darkness.
To be continued…