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As we searched on through the miserable, frigidly cold mist on the tiny island we lived on, I turned to look at my pretty 17-year-old cousin, Samantha Perkin.
“Come on!” I pleaded with her, “We need to find Mandy and James—and fast! They couldn’t have gotten that far in the fog!” Numbing fog closed in and made me wish that I’d never brought up taking a walk.
Little Amanda and her 2-year-older brother were outside with us when the fog rolled over our little crew. I felt somewhat guilty and upset that I was able to persuade my three cousins to come with me to the store. Now our baby cousins were both lost! I had no clue where they could be!
“I’m trying! I’m trying!” Sally whined back at me, none of her perk and cheer making it through to the outside, or even being inside her at the current moment. She stopped to rub her sore feet for a few seconds. “We’ve been at it for an hour now. Where could they be, anyway? The yard was fenced off last Saturday! And James would never have jumped a fence from his own back yard.”
“I know.” I answered. I wasn’t exactly in a good mood myself. “Maybe we passed them up, but how could we? I’m sure they would’ve been shouting for help. Aren’t they lost?” I wanted to quit, but I knew better. Throwing in the towel would put our cousins in terrible danger.
Their beautiful paradise of a “backyard”, which happened to be more like Central Park or something, was at least 60-70 acres. I had to admit it, even to myself: I was being worn out by all of this searching. I was exhausted and could barely take it any more! And besides that, it was getting on both of our nerves that we could barely see our own hands through the thick cloud we were in. We were both mentally worn out. My aunt and uncle, who were eccentric millionaires, had just recently had the fencing put in—in an irregular, funky shape. I wonder if their reasoning was just to confuse anybody trying to break in. Although it looked absolutely beautiful in the sunlight, it wasn’t the best for a situation like this.
Samantha finally spoke up, “Hey, Kris, why don’t they even have a fence—you know, a normal one? I’m pretty sure we’ve been walking in circles so far.”
I didn’t really have an answer. “It’s kind of hard to tell where we might be. All of this mist makes it hard to see what’s right in front of you.”
As we approached some vaguely familiar shadows, the cool mist grew slightly thicker. We could almost make things out in the distance, but our minds were probably playing tricks.
“We’ve passed this spot, haven’t we?” I asked, not being quite sure of myself for once.
I’d probably be in trouble, since Samantha and I were watching the 5-year-old and 7-year-old while Aunt Josephine was at the mall and Uncle Andre’ was in Alaska for an animal shelter fund-raiser. Every few seconds, I could still see my older cousin’s hot pink jacket, her black skinny jeans that showed off her great figure, or long dirty blonde ponytail fading in and out of the cloud that had captured us.
She finally broke the cold and awkward silence that had also captured us, but just for the moment, “Oh, no! Kristy! That—that gate! It’s—It’s, well, opened!” I could hear her eyes bulging with fright of our young cousins’ fates, “They could be… anywhere now!” Her voice lowered itself to a whisper as she breather the last few words.
My heartbeat tripled in speed. What were we going to do? These were my cousins, who I loved. I didn’t want them to get hurt out there. Now that they could be pretty much everywhere that I hadn’t already thought of, I started to panic. I had pretty good reason, too.
Beyond this enormous yard, lay only woodlands. The decorative fencing wasn’t actually designed to keep the good-mannered children in— It was to keep the animals out. We lived on Bear Isle, which had been aptly named by our predecessors. Not only did we have to deal with the real dangers of Grandfather Grizzly and Smokey (nicknames given to the two largest bears on the island), but there were also some recent sightings of escaped zoo animals.
We walked a little faster as we approached the little blue and green gate, although it looked pale and dull in the misty gray light. This cold fog made the trees, grass, and everything else, too, seem so eerie. It was like watching a bad quality black and white film. The only color I could really make out was from Samantha and my own purple T-shirt, denim skirt, and worn out but pretty sandals.
Then we heard our cousins shouting. Samantha and I both called back, “James, Mandy!! Where are you guys?” We began to run across the grass as fast as our tired legs could carry us. I was a lot taller, and slightly more athletic than her, and I ended up at least 3 yards in the lead.
I let out a cry of pain as my foot became trapped in something tightly, and I was yanked to the cold, wet ground, painfully twisting my left ankle in the process.
“Sam?” we heard Mandy shout. “Sam, Kris, Guys?” “James, Mandy—“ but I never finished that sentence, because that’s when I noticed that Aunt Josephine was standing directly over me, her face wrinkled with worry. Although I could barely see her tall body through the wispy clouds, I could see enough of her face to know that she wasn’t thrilled.
Before I could explain, she interrupted me, “Kristina Melinda Dodger, how in the heavens did you get out there?” I looked over what I could make out of her pretty face, and then attempted to stand. I cried out as I remembered my leg was still twisted badly. The pain pulled me back into the muddy puddle and hit my head against—Was that… plastic?
The lingering fog had kept us from before seeing what was now obvious. James, Amanda, and Samantha all rushed over to my side. My ankle throbbed and my legs had never hurt so much in just about forever. But I was more interested in where I was.
“Are you all right?” Aunt Josephine asked worriedly. “You look like you really hurt yourself.” I didn’t actually answer her question, but she grew silent for a moment.
I looked about the perfectly manicured lawn and saw beach chairs, a humongous in ground pool, a balcony, a swing set (which is what I hit my head on), a giant garden, and the treehouse whose rope ladder had injured my leg. We weren’t beyond the gate, so we must’ve been in the middle of nowhere before we passed through to the yard.
“We were looking for you,” James started, “We must’ve forgotten to shut our gate. We were really worried, because when this fog settled down on us, we came home.”
“We thought you were right behind us,” Mandy joined her brother in their explanation, “You were both looking for us, but we weren’t the ones lost. You two were!!”
My jaw dropped in shock and I could see that Samantha finally understood as well. I was pretty sure that we’d gone back into their yard before, so maybe we walked back past the little gate without noticing! The one thing we couldn’t deny was that we’d both been lost in the fog while our younger cousins were safely at home! As the clouds around us were slowly being lifted, my confusion also disappeared!!