Grace Island | Teen Ink

Grace Island

December 31, 2020
By Anonymous

Author's note:

i was inspired by the movie Green Inferno. I wanted to write a book about a boy who wanted to run away from home. To make the entire village seem evil is a farfetched idea, so I decided to make them innocent but just the government system of the village is corrupt. 

It was a cool, chilly night on Grace Island. Six torches were planted in a circle as the villagers, my sister and I celebrated Fare day. Every year on Fare day, three young women and men would be chosen to get married at Surge Island. This year, my sister Jodi was chosen to get married to Kaisen, prince of Surge Island. The only problem with Fare day was that we will never be able to see the three villagers again. The reason is Surge Island has a law that villagers of Grace Island can never leave or enter Surge Island unless given permission. I partied the whole night spending my last moments with Jodi. 

“Will I ever see you again, Jodi? It’s not fair that they get to take you from me forever. You’re my only family!” I said. 

“Vlad, you know Surge’s laws. I’m not allowed to come back home.” Jodi replied. 

“I am really glad to have been your sister Vlad. I couldn’t have asked for a better brother than you. However, I must follow the law of our island.” Jodi and I hugged for the last time before her departure. 

“Jodi!” one of the villagers called. “Our boat is ready; we must leave now.” Jodi nodded to the villager. 

“Don’t forget me okay? Maybe in about three years when you are sixteen, you will be chosen to get married on Surge Island too. Then we will be together forever.” 

I nodded, then she left waving goodbye. 

            Thirty minutes after Jodi left, I felt empty and hopeless. She and I had lived together since my parents passed away and she filled in as a mother to protect and raise me. I felt exhausted so I decided to take a nap in my room for a while. As I stepped into my bedroom, I saw a mysterious figure standing inside playing with my bow. 

“Put that down or I will hurt you, really bad.” I threatened him. 

The figure slowly put down the bow. The stranger wasn’t that much taller than me and he was quite thin. I lit a torch and raised it towards his face to get a better look at him. He had long black hair, tired-looking eyes, and an oval shaped face. 

“Who are you, and why are you in my room?” I interrogated. 

“Levi, just Levi. I am looking around, that's all. Sounded like you had a fun time partying earlier.” He replied calmly with no change of emotion to his face. 

“Yes, my sister Jodi is going to get married on Surge Island. Why wouldn’t we be partying?” I asked rhetorically. 

“Jodi? How old?” Levi asked, he looked slightly concerned.

I looked at him with a puzzled face, then answered, “She is obviously sixteen, why?”

Levi nodded. “Let’s go check on her. Now!” He pushed me aside and walked out my bedroom door. 

“Wait, it’s been thirty minutes already, I’m pretty sure my Jodi is on Surge Island by now!” I informed.

Levi stopped and looked back, “Don’t be so stupid kid, Surge Island doesn’t exist.”          

“What are you talking about? My sister just got on the boat enroute to Surge Island.” I said, Levi’s slow responses was gradually making me lose my mind. 

“Did you ever see her get on the boat? Or even reach the beach of Surge Island?” Levi asked me. 

“Why are you asking me this anyway?” I said, ignoring his question. 

“Come with me kid, it's time you learn the truth about Grace Island.”

I followed Levi to a secluded wooded area on top of a hill, I began to feel a little bit awkward, so I decided to spark up a conversation. 

“Hey Levi, how old are you exactly?” 

“Fifteen, I am fifteen years old.” he replied in a monotone voice. 

“Nice, I’m thirteen turning fourteen next week. So… what did you mean when you said Surge Island doesn’t exist?” I questioned. 

“I rather not say until we actually get there, Vladimir.” 

I choked up a bit when he said my name. “Levi... I don’t ever remember telling you my full name, how do you know that?” I asked nervously. 

“We’re here,” Levi stated, without answering my question. He looked down the hill and let out a slight gasp. “It looks like we are too late Vlad.” Levi looked down at me with sorry eyes. 

“What do you mean? We just arrived, what could have possibly happened?” I asked. 

He pointed to the bottom of the hill. I stepped a bit closer to get a better look at what he was pointing at.

 “J... Jodi...?” I slowly stepped towards her body. “Holy…” When I crept closer, staring at her corpse. I dropped to my knees trying to shake her awake, but Jodi’s soul had already left her body. Jodi’s dead, Jodi’s dead, Jodi’s dead… A million thoughts ran through my head. I stifled a scream by slapping my hand over my mouth and preventing myself from throwing up. 

“Vlad, now you know the truth, Grace Island is full of evil. Surge Island is a story the Chief created to supply food for Thanksgiving Day. That turkey you eat every year isn’t turkey, but it is young men and women who were, unfortunately, sacrificed.” 

I started thinking about the days Jodi and I spent on Thanksgiving Day gobbling up as much turkey as we could eat. I quivered in fear, and at the same time felt disgusted, finally realizing I had been eating human bodies this whole time. 

“You can stay over at my house for today and rest up.” Levi offered. We walked down the hill and made our way to his house. Eventually we arrived at a modest home in an open grass field. We made a fireplace in his backyard and ate roasted duck, and we had a small conversation.

“How are you feeling?” Levi asked me. He wrapped his arms around me and gave me a big hug.

“In three years, I am going to die. Me, my friends are all going to die. I just saw my sister's mangled body at the bottom of the hill! What do you think, Levi?” I screeched frustratingly.

“I was just asking. I know how you feel, Vlad.” Levi replied softly.

“You have no idea what I am feeling. My sister is going to get eaten, and I am going to die as well!” I replied angrily.

“Well, what are you going to do about it?” Levi calmly responded.

I looked at the ground at first, holding back tears. Then, I looked Levi straight in the eye, “I am going to find, and I'm going to kill the chief and every one of his subordinates. Then I will make the chief suffer for what he has done!” I screamed. Levi looked at me with a disappointed look.

“Revenge is never the answer, Vlad. Trust me on this, it is not worth the pain or time. I’ve met people who feel the way you do. People who choose to get revenge, it never ends well. Even if you succeed, what will you have left? Nothing.” Levi retorted. 

“What makes you think you have any idea what it feels like? Maybe if I kill the one person you adore the most you will know how it feels!” I threatened.

Levi looked down, and then smiled. “You’re a little bit late for that... Everyone I loved has already been killed.” Levi responded looking back at me.

I choked up on my breath when Levi revealed his secret. I always felt like he was hiding something, but I didn’t think it would be this tragic. I fell back down on the floor in a sitting position and broke down crying. “I’m so sorry Levi, I didn’t mean it. I won’t kill anyone, I’m not like that, I promise.”

“Don’t feel bad Vlad. We won’t die on this Island, I swear. Together, we will escape Grace Island once and for all!” Levi shouted. “We will be free!”

“How?” I wondered. 

I woke up on the mouldy floor of Levi’s house. All night I had been thinking about what Levi told me. Did everyone he loved die because they tried getting revenge? Were they killed on Fare Day? I got up from the floor and saw Levi cooking soup outside. 

            “Oh, you’re up! Here have some breakfast.” He poured me a bowl of duck bone soup and handed me a bent, rusty spoon. 

            “Thank you for the meal!” I exclaimed. I drank my soup, and we discussed our escape plan together. 

            “First off, we have to think about how well the Grace soldiers guard the beach. We must track their positioning, time their shifts and sabotage their weapons.” Levi said. “Have you had a good look at how they guard the beach?” Levi asked me.

            “Wait, I thought you knew?” I replied. 

            “No, going near the beach is illegal. Why would I break the law?” Levi responded. “Anyways, so far we know that they only kill sixteen-year-olds. We also understand that the person isn’t brought all the way to the beach, but just at the top of the hill where they are killed and pushed down. We just have to go down that hill, and hopefully not get caught while observing the beach, got it?” Levi planned. 

            “Yup!” I agreed.

            “Good! Let’s go.” he started marching away with a hiking stick he found this morning. I put on my shoes and headed out with Levi. We came up the same hill we went up last night and looked down. Jodi’s body was no longer at the bottom of the hill.

“They probably hid your sister's corpse before daytime.” Levi theorized. We slowly climbed down the hill together and continued hiking to look for the beach. 

            “I think I see it!” I shrieked.

            “Be quiet! The guards on duty might hear you!” Levi whispered loudly. I covered my mouth with my hands, and we slowly crawled towards the beach. We hid behind bushes and strolled around analyzing the perimeter of the beach. There were two partnered guards, and every fifty meters was another pair of guards all around the island. The area where they kept all the boats was where most of the guards were. I counted at least fifteen in one area and they all carried swords and shields. The pair of guards guarding the perimeter of the beach used spears and maces. 

            “So how are we going to escape when this island is heavily guarded through day and night?” I asked. 

            “You will find out in about three hours, let's go back home first and eat lunch. I’m hungry!” Levi and I crawled out of the bush we were hiding in. As I got up, I bumped into a half-naked man wielding a spear.

            “What the are you guys doing here!” a Grace guard roared. His scream alerted the other guards defending the beach and they all came running towards us. By now, there were at least thirty guards surrounding Levi and I.

“You fools do know that coming to the beach is illegal, correct?” the guard interrogated while looking me dead in the eye. I froze up and I could barely spit out a word.

            “Sorry, sorry sir! My little brother and I were playing a game of tag!” Levi made an excuse out of nowhere. “I promise it won’t happen again. We’ll be leaving now.” 

            “We will let you go this time, but if we ever see you again. We will kill you.” one of the guards threatened.

            “Ok sure, we won’t come back.” Levi grabbed me by the arm, and we returned to his house. 

            “Alright, so there is no way we can go back to the beach or else we will die. What are we supposed to do now?” I asked Levi.

            Levi shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know.”

            “What do you mean you don’t know? This whole escape thing was your idea! Do you seriously not have another plan or something?” I angrily shouted. 

            “I’m kidding, he's coming right now,” Levi teased without looking at me. I looked outside a window and spotted a Grace guard marching towards Levi’s house. He was tall, strong and had a gigantic scar going around his chest. 

            “Levi, why is there a Grace guard coming over? Are you turning me in?” I asked, feeling betrayed.

            “He is an acquaintance of mine; he will assist us in our escape plan.” Levi replied. I heard four knocks on the door that sounded like it was a secret code. “Come in!” Levi hollered. The doorknob turned, and the Grace guard entered his home. 

            “Hey hey hey, Blade! Long time no see!” the guard greeted loudly.

            “Blade?” I said with confusion. “Why did this weirdo just call Levi, Blade?” I thought.

 He looked at me and held out his hand. “Hey! My name is Scott, but you can call me Scout!” he said as he smiled. Scout probably had the most innocent and pure smile I had ever seen.

            I shook his hand and introduced myself, “My name is Vladimir, but you can call me Vlad for short.”

            “Well nice to meet you, Ace!” Scout said, smiling again.

            “No, my name is Vlad. what is wrong with you?” I asked.

            “Don’t worry about it Vlad, he likes giving people random nicknames. Honestly, you’re lucky to get a cool one.” Levi explained. “This is Scout, and he will be assisting our escape from this island.”

            “But Scout will be killed if they catch him helping us! Are you sure you thought this through carefully?” I asked with concern.

            “Don’t worry about that, I have a plan for that already. And even if something does go wrong, this big guy is willing to die for us. Isn’t that right, Scott?” Levi replied, slapping Scott on the back.

            “Of course, I would die for ‘The Legendary Blade’ and his new partner, ‘The Ace’!” Scout yelled and dropped to his knees and bowed his head. We looked at each other and laughed.

            “Let's get this plan started!” Levi said with a sinister smile and rubbing his hands together.

            Scott began to tell me his story after he got up from bowing. “But seriously,” said Scott. “I will help you guys escape this island and find a new home.” Scott promised. 

 “Why are you so eager to help us, Scott?” I inquired. 

            “Scout.” Scott corrected me.

            “Right, Scout. Why do you want to help us so bad? Considering you are a Grace guard; you’re supposed to contain us. Please tell me.” I begged.

            Scout sat on Levi’s coffee table and started to explain. “Long ago, my best friend and I were chosen to get married on Surge Island. We were both so excited to see who our wives were.” He paused for a second and continued. “Once we made it to the beach we were greeted by the chief, and he tied our arms and legs. We didn’t know what would happen, I looked at my friend to see his reaction.” Scout's eyes started to water, and he started stuttering on his words. “They… had already killed him while I wasn’t looking. I begged for mercy and promised I would become the best guard Grace Island will ever have. And so, the chief let me live and I became a guard.” Scout finished his story.

            “Wow.” I said. “So, you want to help us, so we won’t have to face the same fate again.”

            “Exactly. I’m not supposed to be alive right now, but I am. I will use the rest of my life to help you two achieve freedom together.”

 “All right, the only way we can escape is taking a boat, but the boats are heavily guarded day and night. How are we going to sneak past all fifteen of them?” I asked.

            “Well, we know that they all move as one.” Levi answered.

            “As one? What do you mean?” I questioned.

            “Remember when we got caught snooping around the beach? Notice how when an individual guard acknowledged us, every single guard that heard him yell came swarming towards us? We could use that to our advantage by luring them someplace else.” Levi explained.

            “Wow! Great plan, Blade. You always come up with amazing strategies.” Scott acknowledged.

            “What information do you have, Scout?” I asked. 

            “Well, I actually wrote it down in my notebook.” Scott said while digging into his pocket. 

            “Why can’t you just tell us right now?” I asked with confusion.

“Because I don’t have a good memory.” Scott answered. “Ah! There it is!” he handed Levi and I a notebook that was covered in mud stains. I snatched it from Scott’s hands and began to read it.

All weapons are kept in a little hut furthest east of this island. Maces, swords, shields.
Chief has a sidekick nicknamed “Bubbles,” Looks: unknown
Threat level: unknown
Whereabouts: unknown
Guard’s note:
Very ruthless
Would kill each other to assert dominance
Chief’s second assistant nicknamed “Shadow,” Purpose: find any villager who knows the secret of Grace Island. Once found out, tells - - chief and subject will be assassinated
Escape tools: boat
Can create raft using sticks in the forest or steal one


            “That's all the information you have?” I asked. 

            “What else do you want from me? I tried to get as much as I could. There's not a lot to talk about,” Scott replied annoyed. 

            “Shadow, where did you hear that name from?” Levi asked Scott.

            “I overheard one of the villagers talking about Shadow while I was supervising them. This villager's cousin found out about the secret. This cousin was later found dead in his sleep the next day. Some people mentioned they saw a hooded figure the day his cousin talked about his theory.” Scott explained. 

I felt goosebumps crawl down my arms and back. “I hope I never have to meet shadow.” I whispered.

            “Ok first thing we have to do. We must find out who Shadow is.” Levi planned.

            “What about Bubbles?” I asked. 

            “Vlad, his name is Bubbles. Why should any of us be worried about a person named Bubbles?” Levi questioned me with a sarcastic tone.

            “I guess you’re right. I think I know a way to find out who Shadow is.” I spoke.

            “How?!” Scott jumped up from his chair.

            I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen. On the paper I wrote:

            Tonight, we can lure Shadow in by talking loudly outside. I’m assuming he is drawn to loud people and stories. We can set up booby traps around our spot. Once we hear one of our traps go off, we have got our culprit!

            “Why didn’t you just tell us this?” Scott asked.

            “Because IT might hear.” I replied with caution.

            “Oh right! I forgot.” Scott admitted his mistake.

            “Meet outside my house tonight. We’ll make a fireplace and work together to set up traps.” I planned.

            Later that day, Scott and Levi showed up at my house. They both brought gigantic sacks. 

            “You guys brought the materials?” I asked.

            “No, we didn’t. We just decided to bring a sack filled with stuff.” Levi replied sarcastically.

            “Ok let's get started!” I exclaimed.

            We probably spent two hours creating and setting up booby traps around our campsite. Once we finally finished, we fell on the ground exhausted, gasping for air.

            “So… hungry…” Scott groaned.

            “I caught a rabbit earlier; you guys want to eat now?” I asked.

            Levi and Scott jumped up in the air and yelled enthusiastically, “Yeah!”

            As Levi and Scott wolfed down their rabbit, I began to stage the trap. “Guys, I have a little secret to tell you guys.”

            Levi looked up, “What do you want to tell us?” he asked with his mouth full. 

            “I Believe people on this island are eating people.” I deliberately said out loud.

            “Don’t say that so loud! People will hear you!” Scott winked and whispered loudly.

            “It’s my way of expressing myself, I don’t care if I get killed. I know this island is evil.”

            “Vlad, I know you are desperate, but you have to be toned down.” Levi told me.

            “I don’t think I need to talk anymore.” I turned around and faced the brush behind me. “I’ve found you!” I yelled pointing at the bush. Suddenly someone dashed out of the bush and fell right into our ten feet deep trap.

            “Ahhh!” It screeched. I looked down in the hole. Inside lay a little boy wearing black and purple clothing. He finally stood up after a few minutes and looked up. 

            “No way.” I whispered under my breath. Scott and Levi both looked at me with confusion.

            “Skaarl?!” I shrieked while pointing at him. “What are you doing here?”

            “Out of anyone who could've trapped me, it had to be you, Vlad!” Skaarl screamed.

            “Wait, wait! You’re telling me, this kid is Shadow?” Levi exclaimed.

            “Yes, I am Shadow. I would really appreciate it if you let me out of this hole.” Skaarl complained. 

            “Wait, Ace. What's going on? You know him?” Scott asked.

            “Yes. Skaarl is one of the biggest tattletales I know. He is my tag-along archery disciple.” I revealed. 

“Does your mom know about this?” I asked Skaarl.

            “No, the chief offered me this job and I took it. He told me if I ever told anyone about my position, I would be killed.” Skaarl answered.

            “Okay. Now we have captured you, you have to help us now.” I told him. I was willing to use him as a secret weapon if I were forced to.

            “What do I gain from it?” Skaarl asked greedily.

            “Well, we can protect you from being killed and help you escape this island. I can also teach you some more archery skills that I never showed you before.” I offered. 

“Alright, deal. I will help you on one condition.” Skaarl agreed.

“What is your condition?” I asked.

“We have to save my mother and father too!” Skaarl said.

 I didn’t know if I could keep his promise.

“Oh… but the only way our plan can work is if only us four escape together.” I broke the 

truth to him. “Any more than that, and we’ll surely be caught.”

“You’re pretty stupid you know that?” Skaarl snapped. “We need adults to monitor us and make sure we don’t go crazy. And did you forget about females? So, what if we escape? Without another female we will never be able to reproduce and keep our life cycle going! Grow some brains, Vlad!” Skaarl screamed at me.

            I huddled up with Levi and Scott to see what they think.

            “Well, I guess we could make room for three more. This kid's parents and a female but that's it. We can only save ourselves.” Levi said.

            I turned to Skaarl and said. “Okay, you’re right. Your parents can come, and we can bring along one female.”

            “Thank you.” Skaarl said. I could tell he really meant it.


The next day, I woke up with dirt filled in my mouth. I spat out the dirt and looked around to see who did it. I noticed Skaarl trying to hide behind a table, giggling like a little girl at.

“I’m gonna get you back for this!” I yelled chasing him around.

“Sit down Vlad!” Levi ordered. I immediately obeyed his command and sat on the ground. “We are taking action tonight. First off, we must steal their weapons. Scout will lure the guards away and give us an opening to steal one for each of us. Unfortunately, Scout will not be joining our escape.” Levi revealed.

“What? Scott why not?” I asked.

“You guys deserve freedom more than I do. You all have such a great future ahead of you and I don’t want to ruin it for you all.” Scout answered. I knew I had to accept his decision, but there was no way I would let him die on this island. Once people find out Scott helped us escape, he would be known as a traitor. However, before I could say another word, Levi cut me off.

“Once we have stolen enough weapons, we will meet back at my place. Then tomorrow night we will escape. Understood?” Levi asked. 

“Yes!” We all hollered. 

“What kind of weapons should we steal?” Skaarl asked.

“Well considering both you and Vlad are our archery experts, both of you should steal their bow and arrows.” Levi answered. “And grab a sword for me too.”

Minutes before our plan, Skaarl walked up to me and said, “Vlad, I don’t know where my parents are!”

“What? Where did you last see them?” I asked.

“I don’t know! I'm sure they were at home the last time I saw them.” Skaarl answered. I could tell he was starting to get anxious.

“Skaarl listen. I know you are super stressed but now is not the time to get distracted. Just stay calm and we can talk about this after our mission, alright?” I promised him.

“Okay, I trust you.” Skaarl replied. I noticed he was trying his best to be calmer.

“Vlad, let’s move.” Levi called. We marched over to the beach where the three of us hid while we waited for Scott’s signal. 

“Guards! There is someone spying on us in the forest!” We heard Scott howl, pointing in the opposite direction of us. Around ten guards followed Scott’s lead into the forest and disappeared.

“Thank you for your effort, Scout.” I whispered quietly. This was probably going to be my last memory of him. I felt upset and scared for Scott’s life.

“Go!” Levi instructed loudly. We ran into their hut filled with lethal weapons. We stole one sword for Levi and two bows for Skaarl and I. We also took as many arrows as possible.

“Now, we quietly get out of here!” Levi said. Immediately when he said that, he ran into one lonely guard. He was about to start screaming for reinforcements, but Levi swiftly executed him like a butterfly, fluttering in the sky. The guard’s head dropped to the floor and rolled like a bowling ball into my feet.

“Woah, you just sliced his head off!” I gagged.

“Woah! That was so smooth!” Skaarl exclaimed.

“So that's why Scott calls you, Blade!” I finally realized. It was because Levi can handle a sword extremely well! We dashed back into the forest and returned to Levi’s house. 

“Hide the weapons under my floorboards. It is less obvious that way.” We shoved all of our weapons into the ground. “Good job boys. That is phase one finished. Phase two, we find this kid's parents and a girl to reproduce with.” Levi planned.

“Um, about that… Skaarl, do you want to tell him?” I reminded Skaarl. I noticed Skaarl had forgotten that his parents were missing in the first place.

“I can’t find my parents! I checked everywhere and haven’t seen them all day!” Skaarl whined quietly. 

“Kid, listen. We will find them tomorrow, but you must promise me you will stay calm for the entire process. Understand?” Levi ordered. 

Skaarl nodded. 

“Go to sleep boys, we have to wake up extra early today.” Levi reminded us. 

I lay on Levi’s moldy wooden floor and fell into a restless sleep.

“Wake up Vlad!” Skaarl howled and he jumped on my stomach.

“Blarghh!” I vomited all over Levi’s floor. I snagged Skaarl by the hair and shoved his face into my vomit. “Doesn’t feel good does it?” I taunted.

“Okay I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Skaarl screamed for his life. I lifted his head from my barf, finally letting him take a breather.

“Shut up! And sit on the ground!” Levi commanded. Both Skaarl and I quickly sat straight up on the ground. I sneakily jabbed Skaarl in the rib before Levi started to go over our plan again.

“That’s a cheap shot!” Skaarl whispered. “I’ll get you back for this!”

Before Levi could let out a word, there was a heavy knock on the door.

“Who could be knocking on our door?” I thought. I stood up to open the door, but Levi immediately motioned for me to stay down. He calmly crept towards the door with his sword in his hand. Levi opened the door and poked his face through the crack.

“Hello!” two people greeted. Skaarl stretched his neck and his face lit up like the sun.

“Mom! Dad! You’re here!” Skaarl dashed towards the door and hugged both of his parents. Something was wrong, I could feel it. I didn’t know whether it was the fact that I didn’t recognize his parents or the fact that they knew exactly where Levi’s house was. I probably didn’t recognize them because I haven’t visited them in a while. I decided to greet his parents too, but now I knew something was amiss.

“What’s wrong, Vlad?” Levi questioned me.

“His parents, those are not his parents!” I replied. I noticed I spoke too loudly and they both heard me. The dad laughed loudly.

“I see, you saw through our disguise!” He admitted. 

I quickly pulled out my bow from under the floorboards and aimed it at his head.

“Ha-ha! Trust me, you should save your supply for the bigger boss!” the dad yapped. Levi jabbed his blade deep into the dad's stomach.

“What are you doing! That’s my dad!” Skaarl screamed, kicking Levi in the back.

“Skaarl, look at him carefully. I haven’t visited your family in a bit but even I can tell those are definitely not your parents.” I told him, dragging his tiny body away from Levi. Skaarl took a second look, and he noticed as well. I aimed and shot one arrow into the mom's head, she flopped on the floor dead.

“Why are you here.” Levi interrogated. The dad groaned in pain and tried his best to fight back. “I don’t have time for this!” Levi angrily screamed. He pulled out the blade and stabbed three more times. After that, the dad was willing to talk.

“Too late for you… Bubbles is coming!” the imposter gurgled his last words before finally succumbing to his wounds.

“Bubbles… is here?” I spoke with confusion. Suddenly, I heard thundering footsteps outside. I promptly looked out the window, and my heart almost dropped in fear. There was a man over seven feet tall with muscles bigger than watermelons. He was shirtless and wore a black mask. As well, he had two titanium gauntlets over his fists. 

“Grab your weapons boys! This will be the biggest battle of our lives!” Levi commanded. We each took our defence and got ready to face this giant.

“Boom, boom, crack! I smell the blood of three troubling boys! I’ll give you two options: you either surrender now or prepare to die! No one escapes Bubble’s wrath!” Bubbles warned.

I loosened up my arms, held my breath and fired my first arrow. “Ping!” Bubbles effortlessly snatched my arrow midair with his gauntlet. 

“Hahahaha! One tiny arrow won’t draw blood from me!” Bubbles screamed. 

Levi held his sword tight, and charged at Bubbles, yelling. Bubbles ruthlessly swept Levi’s leg and             swung his body in the air. Levi landed painfully on his back and was knocked unconscious. 

“Vlad! What are we going to do? This guy is invincible!” Skaarl yelled nervously. 

I thought hard about what we could do, but nothing came up.

“Is this it?” I thought to myself. This giant was truly on another level in terms of strength, the only way to beat him is to somehow outsmart him. Suddenly, it hit me.

“Skaarl, you remember our practice, right?” I asked him.

“Kinda, I don’t know if I can pull it off on this guy. And before was different! We practiced on animals!” Skaarl screeched. 

“Well just pretend this guy is an animal, alright? On three, we rush him!” I declared. “3...2...1… Now!” 

Skaarl and I charged him from opposite ends. I jumped up in the air and fired three arrows at once. He managed to catch one, but two arrows pierced through his back and his calf. He fell on one knee and was immediately shot in the chest by Skaarl. 

“Aggh!” He screamed in pain. He had trouble standing up, but he managed to do so and charged towards Skaarl.

“Stay away from him!” I angrily yelled. Out of rage, I pulled out five arrows and rapidly fired them at his calf and achilles. This time, I was able to cripple him. I cautiously walked up to him and pulled off his mask. His mouth was filled with many scars and he didn’t have any teeth.

“What happened to your mouth?” I asked.

“The chief… abused me…” He replied sadly.

“If you join us, you can get revenge on the chief and kill him.” I offered him.

“I’m good… I much rather kill you all!” He unexpectedly snatched Skaarl's leg and swung his body at me.

“Ow!” I screamed in pain. Unable to move, I was forced to watch Bubbles swing Skaarl’s frail body around like a ragdoll. In the corner of my eye, I saw two men running towards Bubbles. It was Levi and Scott!

“Get off the Ace’s friend!” Scott yelled and stabbed a spear through Bubbles back. Bubbles let go of Skaarl and put up his hands, admitting defeat.

“Yeah, keep them up! And don’t try to do anything stupid!” Levi told him. 

Almost immediately, Bubbles grabbed Scott's head and pulled him towards his chest. Bubble held him in a headlock and was going to choke him to death! I pulled out an arrow and desperately tried to fire one more arrow. I aimed towards Bubble's head, held my breath, and fired my arrow. It was a direct hit and Bubbles became lifeless.

“We did it!” I jumped up in the air. I danced around but noticed Skaarl and Levi weren’t smiling. I shuffled up to them and asked, "What's wrong?” I looked at Scott and noticed Scott’s face was completely pale and he was limp. Bubbles had strangled him to death, I took too long to shoot my arrow.

“No!” I yelled remorsefully, punching myself in the face. I blamed myself for Scott’s death, I knew I could've killed Bubbles earlier. 

“We can’t worry about him right now; our main priority is to escape this island.” Levi commanded. I could tell Levi was emotionally wounded, but he was trying to hide it. I helped dig a hole for Scott’s grave and buried his corpse.

By his grave, I said out loud, “Thank you for your efforts Scott, we would never have this chance without you...”

 “Don’t worry, we are going to escape tonight. We are going to live for your sake.”

 Levi added. “You are the best Scout we could ever ask for!”

“We leave in three minutes and we will raid their boats! No more Bubbles, no more threats!” Levi exclaimed.

            “Let's do this!” Skaarl and I pumped our fists in the air, holding up our bows. 

            “Put on this face paint.” Levi handed each of us two containers of black and white paint. “This way, the guards won’t recognize us.”

            I smeared half of my face with white paint and the other half black. Skaarl made checkered patterns all over his face.

            “We look intimidating!” Skaarl said. 

            “Alright, let's move!” Levi commanded. Skaarl and I marched behind his tail, and back to the beach where the boats were kept.

            “Hey, Vlad!” Skaarl poked my ribs to get my attention.

            “What?” I asked.

            “We forgot to bring a girl! How are we supposed to reproduce?” He reminded me.

            I immediately stopped in my tracks. I also completely forgot about bringing a girl with us.

            “Levi! We forgot to bring a girl!” I told him.

            “Oh dang it! I forgot too!”

            “What are we gonna do now? We’re already on the beach!” Skaarl shrieked. 

            “You know what, screw it. Let's just live our lives together on an island all to ourselves. Just us boys. Does that sound good or what?” Levi suggested.

            “Sure whatever. We have no time anyway.” I answered.

            Skaarl and I scouted the pier. There were less guards than before, only eight. We pulled out our bow and arrows and sniped each guard down one by one. 

            “Move!” I commanded. We bolted towards the boats and climbed in one. It was a sailboat filled with food and tools. 

            “Hey!” a booming voice sounded behind us. I turned around and I was shook to the core.

            “Chief!” Skaarl screeched. The Chief was slightly smaller than Bubbles but had a majorly intimidating facial expression.

            “You dare betray me Shadow? Who are these idiots accompanying you?” the Chief roared.

            Skaarl was shivering, he was fearing for his precious life.

            “If you kill them right now, I’ll tell you where your parents are!” the Chief bribed Skaarl. At this rate, the Chief could easily brainwash Skaarl into switching sides again.

            “Don’t listen to him Skaarl! He’s lying to you!” I told him. “Please, we’ve been friends for years! I love you, brother.”

            “I’m sorry Vlad… I need this.” He aimed his bow at my head, pulled back on the string and fired.

            “Oh my… Skaarl you did it…” Levi was caught off guard. 

            I turned around and faced the chief. Skaarl had shot the arrow over my shoulder at the last second and hit the Chief right between his eyes. The Chief slowly dropped to the floor, drowning in the ocean.

            “Bullseye!” Skaarl exclaimed. “I did it! I did it!” Skaarl celebrated jumping up and down like an ecstatic child.

            “Blargh!” I threw up all over the deck of the boat.

            “Clean that up now!” Levi demanded.

            Two days into our journey to find a new home, we came across a beautiful beach on an island. I turned around to check on Levi and Skaarl. They were fast asleep while I stayed on watch searching for a place to land that could be nearby.

            “I found the place! Wake up!” I screamed.

            “Agh, what now?” Skaarl asked, waking up from his three nap.

            “Look!” I pointed to the beach excitedly.

            We landed on the beach and I fell face first on the sand. The ground warmed up my face and body and I could finally relax for once in my life.

            “Let's go find some food first, and then we can start building a home for ourselves.” Levi planned. We had eaten all our food on our two-day journey. 

            Skaarl and I ran through the forest, looking for any animal we could hunt.

            “You know, if you use three arrows simultaneously, you’re guaranteed to hit your target once.” I gave Skaarl some tips. He put three arrows on the string, aimed it at a moose, and fired.

“We received tons of help, and I am forever grateful for your help. Cheers!” We raised our cups of raspberry juice in the air.

“To celebrate our new friendship!” Levi exclaimed. Levi let out a stream of tears, tears that I had never seen.

“To our new home!” Skaarl shouted. 

“And to your belated birthday, Vladimir.” Levi said with a big smile on his face.

“You remembered!” I almost cried. I remembered telling Levi my birthday when we first met, but I didn’t expect him to remember after all this time.

“Happy birthday Vlad!” Skaarl and Levi celebrated.

“Eat up big boy,” Levi added as he smiled and patted me on the back.

I took one bite into the cooked moose meat we caught. My eyes widened as I discovered how wonderful it tasted. I started thinking about how this entire journey began. I recalled from the time I witnessed my sister's death and worked with Levi. Then, I met Scott the scout, and reunited with Skaarl. Finally, with the execution of the chief, we are free. I started laughing.

“We are free!” I exclaimed. I turned to Skaarl and Levi and they started laughing too. We all hugged each other like a family. Our mission that once seemed impossible, was finally accomplished. 

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