Ten Roads

by Eunsu Kang, age 8
Ten Roads Eunsu lives in the UK. She is eight years old and loves writing stories. Her favorite sport is swimming, and her favorite book is "Little House on the Prairie." She wants to become an engineer and even has an engineering set at home.

“When I was walking home, back in February, a fortune teller told me to be careful, and she told me about a bottle with an invisibility potion and a secret room inside a creepy place. Maybe this was the weird, scary stuff?”

Today, my mom picked me up from school. We were going to my grandma’s house. Before we went, our teacher, Mr. Miller, gave us some homework to do on summer vacation. Our whole class was so frustrated. After we got our homework, I stomped out of class. Mom was there to pick me up from school.

“Katie, your grandmother actually decided to come to our house with your cousin.”

I just nodded, and we went in the car. When we got home, Grandma and Peter were waiting outside.

“Katie, Grandma says we can go on a little adventure before dinner. We can go in the forest,” Peter said.

So, Peter and I went to a little secret passageway that Peter found already.

“Peter, are you sure this is the right way?” I asked.

Peter said he was sure, so I believed him. We were passing strange houses and gardens. I think Peter didn’t even notice.

“Didn’t you notice those strange houses?” I asked.

“I noticed,” he said.

I felt better.

***

8:00 p.m.

It was getting late, and I was getting tired. I think Peter was also getting tired.

“Katie, we’re almost there.”

By now, it was really dark. I was getting worried that Mom and Grandma would worry that we (Peter and I) weren’t coming back home before dinner.

***

One hour later…

Now, I was really getting worried. I do not think Peter was that worried. We soon found a road. Next to the road was a sign that said,

 

Beware, witch ahead! Whoever kills witch can get $100!  

 

Peter and I just walked away like nothing happened, because we didn’t want to meet the witch. Soon, we came to another one of those signs. This time it said nothing. So, Peter and I went to the little road that didn’t say anything.

“Peter, what if we end up on a place with weird, scary stuff?” I asked.

When I was walking home, back in February, a fortune teller told me to be careful, and she told me about a bottle with an invisibility potion and a secret room inside a creepy place. Maybe this was the weird, scary stuff?

Peter said not to worry, so I didn’t. But, deep inside, I worried. Peter was only four years older than me.

***

15 minutes later…

Fifteen minutes later came the weirdest smell I ever smelled before. It was a throw-up and dog poop smell. I’m sure Peter smelled it.

 

Chapter Two: A Good Plan

“See, I told you, Peter! It’s no good going to this place!” I said.

It looked like a graveyard without the tombstones, and there was a big, creepy palace next to it.

“But pl-”

Just then, a creepy sound came. It was the creepiest sound I ever heard. When I was about to say, “Let’s go,” a weird shadow appeared in the graveyard. Peter and I screamed. All I wanted to do was go home, but I knew Peter wanted to stay, so I let him take the lead even if I was younger.

“So, I see two little children came to see me… that’ll be a nice, little dinner,” said the shadow.

At school, they say that goblins only come out on July 5th. The scary thing is, today’s July 5th. I never really believed that, but now I do.

“Peter!”

***                     

Meanwhile, at Katie’s house…

“Where are Katie and Peter?”

“Mom, don’t worry. I’m sure they’ll come back home soon. It’s ten p.m. I know my daughter well. Each time she gets lost, she always comes back.”

***

Back at the goblin’s palace…

Two minutes later, Peter was running back and forth like a crazy person. I wondered why he was doing that, but that thought only lasted a minute, or maybe a second. Sooner or later, I was also running like a crazy person. Why were we running like that?

The shadow started turning more solid, a little bit at a time. It was a little taller than a man. It had a blue, bird body and an old woman’s face. It had yellow around its eyes, and purple surrounding the yellow. It had long, black hair, and really sharp claws. The goblin was turning into more and more goblins. Each time there was an entrance to go out, a goblin appeared out of nowhere.

“Katie, what should we do?” asked Peter.

“Peter, I think we should let them capture us.”

“Are you crazy?!” asked Peter.

I said I was sure. I told him my plan. He said it was risky but good. This was the plan: Let the goblin take us, get inside the palace and find the secret room, find a bottle that says: drink & become invisible for 30 minutes.

“Peter, we should stand still so they can take us.”

“Okay, I’m ready.”

***

One minute later…

The goblins took us. Now I knew where the horrible smell was coming from. It was the old, stinky goblin. Peter and I could die in this horrible smell! To our luck, we didn’t die.

“Katie! I think that goblin on the left side is the boss. He has white hair, and all the other ones have black hair!”

“Peter, be quiet!” I didn’t want the goblins to hear us.

***

One minute later…

By now, we were in the palace. The palace was actually very small, but clean. The goblin who was holding us went into a room that was very far away from the secret room. (I knew about the secret place because that fortune teller in the town told me. I don’t know why, but when old people tell me things, I believe it.) The room that we were in was hot and steamy. Peter and I couldn’t stand it. While the goblin was doing his or her stuff, Peter and I quietly went outside.  

 

Chapter Three:  The Secret Room

“I’m so glad I, or we, have fresh air,” I said.

“I was not bothered in there that much,” said Peter.

“I’m surprised that no goblins heard us walking down the smelly, red hallway,” I said.

“I agree, Katie.”

We were almost at the end of the hallway.

“The room’s at the end of the hallway,” I told Peter.

I was right. The room was at the end of the hallway. To our luck, the door was open. First, I was a bit nervous, but after, Peter went inside to check. When he came back out, he said it was fine.

“I couldn’t see anything else, though. I wanted to come out,” said Peter.

“Do you think it will be pretty in there?” I asked.

“How should I know? As I told you, I didn’t look around!”

“Okay, Peter, you don’t have to shout at me.”  

“Sorry…”

“Anyway, let’s get inside the room,” I said.

So Peter and I went inside.

“Peter, this room is so beautiful!”  

“A little bit smelly, though.”   

“That’s okay. I think this room is cool.”  

It was a bad thing that there were a lot of bottles. It was hard to choose the right one we needed.

***

27 minutes later…

“Katie! Found it!”  

“Oh, good!”  

“Now we can go past the goblin soldiers!”

Just before I was going to drink the potion, a sign appeared. It said: Go to all ten roads and find one potion in each adventure.

“Peter, what do you think that sign means?”

“I think it means we have to go on ten adventures, and then find one potion on each trip.”   

  “Okay.”

Peter and I drank the potion in the bottle. We were dizzy.

“We should be careful,” he said nervously.

We knew we were invisible because we looked in a mirror that was in the secret room.

***

Meanwhile, at Katie’s house…

“Mom, don’t cry.”

“Why don’t you worry?!”

“Well, I’ll go outside and look for them, and you can just stay inside the house and wait. I’ll be back at twelve a.m.”

***

Back at the goblin’s palace…

Peter and I were almost at the end of the hallway. The guards were watching if any strangers were passing by, and I felt excited and nervous.

“It’s lucky we drank the invisible potion, because the guards would have noticed us passing by,” said Peter.

One of the fat guards puffed out his bird chest and yelled, “Who’s talking?”  

His voice boomed in the hallway. Peter and I were really scared.

Another one of the guards shouted to the other fat guard, “Find out who was talking, and bring the prisoner back to me! When the prisoner comes back, put him in the underground dungeon!”

“Yes, sir!” said another one of those fat guards.

***

30 minutes later…

“Sir, I have not found the prisoner, but I have noticed our invisibility potions are gone!”

What?”  

Peter and I heard all of this because they were all so loud. I thought they sounded like bad kids when they don’t get their way, or maybe my math teacher yelling at us when we didn’t listen.

“Katie, don’t bother with them. Let’s get out of this place.”  

“No, Peter, wait, I think they’re saying something important.”

“Yeah right, as if you’re right about that.”

I really hate when Peter does that. Peter can be really annoying sometimes. I get tears when he yells at me. Peter and I decided to set up camp in the forest.

 

Chapter Four: The Farmer

When Peter and I woke up, we smelled bacon and pancakes.

“Peter! Wake up!” I said, sitting straight up.

I could hear the pancakes sizzling on the pan. It smelled really good.

“Where are we?” Peter just woke up.

“I don’t exactly know, but I think we’re in a farm.”

The farmer was whistling a jolly melody. He was a small, old man. He looked really dirty, and in his hair there was lots of knots.

“Slept well?” asked the farmer.

The farmer had one goat in his house, two dogs, two horses, and three chickens. The goat’s name was Patty. One of the dog’s names was Wolf, and the other dog’s name was Biscuit. The farmer didn’t name the horses or the chickens.

***

Nine minutes later…

While eating breakfast, I told the farmer what happened.

“… And that’s what happened!”

“Would you like me, my goat, two dogs, and one chicken to help y’all?” asked the farmer.

“Sure, why not? It would be better with more helping hands!” I said, with good feeling.

“I guess so… it would be better…”  said Peter’s not-sure voice.  

Peter can be a little bit shy sometimes, so I told the farmer he was sure.

“Oh, I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Henry.”

“My name is Katie, and this is Peter, my cousin,” I said.

“Back to the story!” said the farmer. “I can bring my wagon if y’all would like.”

“That would be so nice! We can all leave at one o’clock,” I said.

***

1:00 

“Is everything ready, Henry and Peter?”

“Yes, ma’am!” said Henry and Peter.

“We have six loaves of bread, three tin cups, sweet potato seeds, as well as sweet potatoes, five pieces of steak, one butter stick, two big carrots, three blankets, one gun, one axe, and one knife,” I said.

“Then let’s go!”

And off we went… off we went to the deep forest.

 

Chapter Five: Crossing The River

The farmer and I were in the front. Peter was in the back, watching if something was chasing us. Now we were out of New York City. It was really quiet and peaceful. I was still worrying about Mom and Grandma. What if they were looking for us in the secret road? While I was talking to myself, Henry stopped the horses. I wondered why, but when I looked, I saw a huge, stormy river blocking our way. My long, brown hair blew in the summer wind.

“What should we do? The river is too strong for the horses, and no human can get across that river!” I told Henry.

“Well, if y’all want to get across that mad, stormy river, I can’t do nothing,” said Henry.

“If you can’t think of anything, let’s all get out and think. If anyone finds an idea, please tell me.”

“Get a good idea, I’m your boss!” I told Henry and Peter.

When they heard that, they scrambled out of their seats and went right under a willow tree to think.

“Henry, why are your eyebrows moving up and down?”

“That’s the way I think.”

I know for sure Peter claps his hands when he thinks hard and serious.

For now, I was the boss. I hope Peter does not become the boss. I want Henry or me to be the boss.       

  ***

15 minutes later…

“Henry, you can go first.”

“Thank you. My thought was that we could make a raft and then push the wagon on top of it. We could also go on the raft.”

 

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