The Curse of Ruthesiam

9 Sep

By Claire Mann
5th Grade

Barbra Washington is my best friend. She comes to school every day and always (It’s a little bit weird) she smells like lavender-and-lilac hairspray. She is so perfect. Her house even smells like pine air-freshener. She even gets to have a dog. I didn’t know she had one because whenever I saw her there was no dog hair in sight. But I’m a little suspicious because every day she disappears after school. It has been this way for about a year now. And it’s time for me to figure out what’s going on.

Chapter One – Menace

As some of you may have read, my best friend is acting mysterious. She is disappearing and I am going to figure out what’s happening.

Oh, wait. You don’t even know who I am. I’m Christina Vine, but Barbra calls me Cat. I don’t like ever talking to people anymore now that my best friend is basically gone. I used to talk to people all the time. We would laugh and everyone loved me. But it’s almost like my voice went down a long, ringing well. I try to hold back my sorrow from showing. I want people to think I’m still cheery, but I can’t. I just want to drown my sorrows down that well forever.

I need to find my friend. It was like we were sisters. So, today I devised a plan to get my own friend back

Chapter Two – Barbra

I cannot stand holding back any longer. I’ve heard about Cat and I cannot bear to see her like this! But I have to. Nothing can be done. I am forced to do this! Barbara told this to herself solemnly as she took her usual route to school.

Walking along, she brushed her fingers along the tall ivy-covered tree trunks that tickled her fingers. The flowers brushed against her feet as she walked through the dead, silent, still meadows, cut off from the other world. The meadow smelled of honeydew and soft sweet grass as she walked toward the small but deadly blade of grass. As she silently touched it, all the world went to sleep.

The moon rose up over the small, frail, decaying body of Barbra Rose. Her eyes were small red pellets, the only new light brought to the world. Her hair was tousled, and many parts had been ripped out. Her clothes were all black and ripped. She was barefoot and her skin was pinched and burned.

Barbra Rose was not who she used to be. The spell had ripped through her, turning her inside out. She knew what was going on. She knew what happened. She knew who did it. All she didn’t know was that she was not alone.

Chapter 3 – Foggy

I don’t want to follow my best friend into the dark world, but then I find myself watching Barbra as she repeats the curse of ominous sleep. Watching sadly, I finally figure out where she is, and it’s not good at all. At all.

Something brushes past my face and lands on the floor. Patting my ear, I gently pick the object up. It’s a piece of paper. I smile. It must be from Barbra.

Unfolding it, I see Barbra’s handwriting. The paper reads:

 

Dear Friend,

I think it is time to tell you where I am. (Too late for that, Cat thought.) I have been cursed and I have to put the world to sleep and remain trapped here. I’ve tried to get out, but I can’t. I just wanted to tell you so you wouldn’t feel bad. I get food that tastes like stamps and respect like an ant that gets stepped on. It’s bad. I just thought you deserved to know. I miss you!

Love,
Barbra

 

I feel like crying. She did that for my sake. She’s awesome. The stamp part reminds me of when she and I had a sleepover and she showed me her stamp kit and we were looking at it and ended up with stamps in our mouths. Good times, good timeI know now that Barbra is in Ruthesiam, which is a strange world. Well, it is now. Ruthesiam was inhabited 1500 years ago and was filled with creatures of all kinds: large, small, hairy, long, short. It had land, water, and things of all sorts. It was a beautiful place, once filled with beautiful waterfalls and streams and trees and honeydew grass. The land was hidden away, so there were all these wonderful things but no joy.

One day a beautiful girl came upon the land and called it her own. Her name was Malient. Then there was joy in the land. But as she grew older, kings and armies came looking for gold. She had to kill. Her blood turned cold. She destroyed her own land in fury. Now when anyone comes near she destroys them with deadly fog.

I can’t leave Barbra to that fate! I will go get her right now.

I grab the letter and stick one arm in. I feel a strong tug on my arm. Something gently pulls my body in. It feels weird. It feels humid and cold at the same time. It feels harder to breathe in there.

I pull out the note. Uh-oh, I didn’t read the P.S. It reads:

 

DON’T COME IN HERE TO SAVE ME! No matter what!

 

Double uh-oh. I try to hide, but I step on some leaves

Barbra turns around, sees me, and gasps. “What are you doing here?”

“Wow, nice to see you too!” I say.

“I’m sorry, but why did you come here?”

“To save you!”

“Did you read my letter?”

“Yes, I did. But I felt bad for you.”

“Do you realize what you’ve done?”

“What?” Angry, I lean over and slap Barbra in the face, hard.

Gasping, Barbra immediately puts a hand up to her face. Feeling the red mark, her face hardens. “Well if you want to play that game…” She raises her hand high. Her hand comes down.

Expecting this, I reach up to take hold of her arm. “Stop it,” I say.

She unclenches her hand.

“Thank you,” I say. “Barbra?”

Barbra’s eyes are open very wide and she stands stock-still with fear.

“What? What is it?” I say.

Finally coming to her senses, Barbara drops onto one knee. Turning around, she almost stops breathing.

The curser is here.

Chapter 4 – Blind

Cat falls to one knee, looking up at the woman. She had pictured the curser more like a rodeo guy with a pistol. This figure was six-foot-four and dressed in a purple shirt, black pants, and a sky blue cloak.

“Well, well, shorty,” the woman said. “ Barbra, I thought you were sensible enough to not bring someone else here.”

“But, but I—”

“Silence!” the woman said. “You have gone far enough with the curse.”

Barbra’s eyes lit up, hoping she would be free.

“So,” the woman said, “you will be taking on the savior test.”

“What does that mean?” Cat said when she had the courage to talk.

“Oh, you’ll see,” the woman said. “Oh, and if you need me, say ‘Malient.’ That’s my name. Not like I was going to help you. I already gave you some help, so no more. That is where you’ll be taking the test.” Malient pointed behind them a ways. “Over there.” Malient smiled.

“Wait, what do you mean?” Barbra turned around, but Malient was gone.

“Great. What do we do now?” Cat asked. She felt worried. Her insides were turning inside out.

“Well, let’s go and see what we have to do,” Barbra said with a sigh. She was very frightened, but she did not want to show it. “And maybe I will stop tasting shapes. Apples are so sharp here!”

Okay…um, that is not at all weird. What the heck? Cat thought, confused.

“Well, let’s go do this random test.” Barbra made it sound easy.

Walking up the hill, Barbra wondered if she was going to get out alive. They both walked up the hill to nothing but a single flower. No! it’s another curse plant! Barbra thought, shuddering slightly.

“Why is there only one flower? There should be more like it in the rest of the fields,” Cat said. Hmmm, a little suspicious, but pretty, she thought.

“Whatever you do, don’t touch it,” Barbra squealed, afraid. She knew it was a lost fight. Cat always tricked her.

“Why not?” Cat asked. It can’t be that bad, she thought.

“The first time I touched something unfamiliar in here I got cursed. Almost for life,” Barbara said. Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it! the words repeated over and over in her head.

“But it’s so pretty,” Cat said dreamily. I’ll just go ahead, she thought.

“Don’t touch it,” Barbra growled this time. She was about to lose her best friend. Yes, Cat was still her best friend, even if she had gotten them both stuck in this world.

“Too late,” said Cat in a mocking tone. “It couldn’t hurt, right?” She reached out and plucked the little flower from its root. Cat smiled. “See. Nothing happened.” Barbra was wrong, finally. Yes!

“Really? Nothing happened?” said Barbra, annoyed by Cat’s lack of attention. Ugh. Dumb Cat. Again. Barbra pointed to the other end of the strange world.

A dark sky was rapidly coming toward them. A dangerous storm started. Lightning flashed all over the darkening sky. It lit up the now black world. Shivering, they both looked up. The faint figure of Malient was hanging in the sky.

“I knew it!” they both shouted at once.

Malient shouted a strange incantation as she hung over the world. It was in the Ruthesiam language. She grinned evilly. “This is your first test,” Malient shouted. She smirked at the sight of their frightened faces. She cackled and disappeared.

The storm stopped as fast as it started, but something new came in. Ready for this, Malient thought. A dark grey fog washed over the land, clouding their vision. It was killing everything in sight.

Cat cried out. “Barbra! Barbra!” Not being used to things like these, Cat was freaked out with no sense of directi

“I’m here!” Barbra shouted through the fog. She had to stay strong for Cat.

“We are going to run through it together,” Cat yelled. “We will stay together no matter what.”

They put their arms around each other, crying. They had tried their best. Cat was shaking. I will never let go of Barbra, ever! she thought.

“Cat!” Barbra shouted. “I’m with you.” I will keep her safe, she thought guiltily.

Cat felt better with Barbra by her side. “Run!” Cat yelled. “Let’s go

They sped off, and Barbra reached out and groped for a wall, clenching it tightly. Barbra pulled Cat over to the wall.

“Let go of me! Just hold onto the wall,” Barbra shouted. After seeing Cat’s face, Barbra shouted, “Do it! Do you want to die?”

“Fine!” Cat yelled in pain. “It’s getting harder to breathe.”

“I know. Just run!” Barbra shouted.

Cat sprinted, holding the wall as well, breathing heavily. She wondered, Why would Malient do this to us? Why?!

Barbra was getting farther and farther away from Cat, but she did not care anymore. She just wanted to get out of there. Cat was now ahead of the fog.

Cat realized they were in the same place where they had gotten into the dark world. Maybe they could get out.
“Barbra, I found it!” Cat called out.

“Coming!” Cat could hear Barbra’s faint voice.

Now it was Barbra’s turn to make her break. Gathering up all the strength she had left, she conjured up a ball of purple light and shot it out of her hand. In a split second, she appeared next to Cat. Cat’s eyes went wide.

“How did you get here so fast?”

“I’ll explain later, okay? Now let’s get out of here before the fog gets any closer. We don’t have to do anything, I don’t think. Just walk through. Three, two, one, go!”

They both ran at the wall, hoping to get through. Barbra braced herself. To her surprise and joy, she ran right through.

“Yes! We did it, Cat!” Barbra exclaimed with joy. “Cat? Cat?” She turned around, and her grin faded when she saw that Cat did not get through the wall. “No! Nooo!” Barbra yelled, sobbing, and threw herself against the wall, hoping to slide through. No luck. She stared at Cat’s wide eyes on the other side of the wall. Then she could look no longer as her friend got devoured by the fog.

She cursed under her breath as the fog slowly receded. As it became clearer, Barbra could see Cat lying on the ground, not moving.

Barbra was angry with Malient. She fired out an incantation in Ruthesiam. She had never heard it before. The dome started to collapse. A large gaping hole formed. Cat’s body rolled straight out of the hole. The fiery glow around Barbra receded, but then it fired up again. A red ball of light sped out of her fingers, into the sky, and back down on Cat. Cat slowly opened her eyes in pai

Barbra tackled her in a hug. “Cat! Let’s go home.”

“Yes, please,” Cat said.

They walked along the path back to their home. They walked up to Barbra’s front door.

Then they both shouted at once. “We’re back!” They stared at each other in surprise. “Uh-oh. Hahahahaha…”

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