Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've Been Working Hard and Hardly Working

With this year half way gone, I must admit I'm not where I wanted to be by now.

Let me explain...

I am the mother of 4 children. (the picture of me on here reflects the me I want to get back too. Having kids don't make that easy, but it is worth it!) My oldest will be 8 in September and my youngest 6 months this month (August 2008) With my health conditions as they are (not very good, but getting better) and being a new mom for the forth time, things tend to get chaotic around here. Writing is my desire, and I set a goal to work at least 4 hours a day, but I usually don't get to it until after the kiddo's have all gone to bed. Night time is the best time for my creative juices. Especially when I try to go to sleep...yeah sleep? What's that? (smile)

I have to admit I am very excited for the second book to be finished and published! So many new creatures for you to explore and enjoy. the good and the bad all a creation of their own and all make me want to shout out everything about the book before it's finished! (smile)

I may never be as big as JK Rowling, Face it, she really hit the big time and no one can out do Harry Potter, but I sure love writing my own fantasy world upon several Islands known as the KobiKobis Islands. I find that the more I write the better I am becoming and that also excites me.

FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT - book 1 KobiKobis Island: The Journey Begins (I have re-edited and added more action you won't find in the current book, and my publisher refuses to update it, even though they never read the first one or the update to begin with.

Those of you who want to PUBLISH YOUR OWN BOOK... DON'T EVER GO WITH PUBLISH AMERICA!!! THEY LIE UP THE WAZOO! The contract is sneaky and it's for 7 years. I have 6 left...Waaa!:(

Okay back on the subject READ THE BOOK FREE on my website . Did I mention it's FREE???

So when you have the time stop by and start reading...remember the Island and creatures don't start coming until around Chapter 5....This is the opening book to a series you know. (smile) But it does get really exciting from there.

So now you know what I've been doing with my time and why I haven't been (Author) blogging. (smile)

I hope that you like it. If your new to my world and have read my first book please go to my website and post a review - I'd love to hear what you think, good or bad.

AND FYI as of today 8/1/08 I only have the first 3 chapters posted, I'm working on it every day to get it all up, but is equals about 150 pages in small soft back it will still take you a bit of time. (smile) so I'll be updating while you are reading. (smile)

Aimee Linde

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fantasy book

KobiKobis Island was published in September 2007. Since that time several books have been sold off the internet. In December 2007 I was able to get my book into 3 book stores locally
Bookworm in Richland, WA, Infinate Frontiers, in Kennewick, WA, and Hastings Book in Kennewick, WA. Also in December I was invited to Hastings Book for 2 Book Signings. Both were successful and exciting. My goal was to have the second of the series out at the end of this summer, but has now been pushed off until December because of the time I had to take off after giving birth in February and healing from surgery in March.

Now that things have settled down a bit, I have the time to write and finish book 2. To view my official website check out

The book is sold for $19.95 but on my website I am selling signed copies for $14.99.
IBSN: 1-4241-9007-X

Sunday, July 15, 2007


KobiKobis Island has a new Website that has my drawings a place to post reviews (for now you need to email the review to me and I will add it........... Author BIO, and much much more. There will soon be a blog up there for the public to discuss the book and post any question they might have.

This also includes a 5 star rating system. you can rate it after you've read it so that everyone knows what you think...or what the average of everyone together thinks.

Anyway- ALL in all it's very exciting. Posted on the website it says $19.95 for the book.....this is just a place holder as I have no Idea at this time what the cost is going to be. So keep that in mind before you freat out about the price.



Thursday, June 21, 2007

KobiKobis Island

Chapter 1

Teag stood with his nose in the window by the door of the dining hall, looking out. His interest in natural disasters made him more curious than ever now that he was right in the middle of one. The tropical cyclone was just starting and the ship kept sailing through. Teag could hear the several of the passengers talking they were concerned because the Captain wasn’t turning around to escape the storms path. The strong wind was becoming ever so powerful as it tossed the ship from side to side. The large ocean waves barreled over the bow and crashed onto the deck spraying a surge of its salty mist high into the air, causing it to pound hard on the windows like hail. The forceful wind blew across the Pacific causing the waves to grow larger as the storm gained strength. Most everyone on board was seasick. Up on deck, the crew raced around trying to secure the ship for the strong winds and waves ahead. The bell rang, and one of the crewmen ran door-to-door telling everyone to gather in the dining hall. The chatter in the room was as loud as the waves crashing on the deck.
Teag was curious to see what a real storm on the sea looked like. Knowing that his mother wouldn’t let him go far, he had been inching his way to the door hoping she wouldn’t see.
"Teag!" Milly yelled over all the noise, "Stay inside! It’s too dangerous out there! Why don’t you come and sit by me?" She motioned him over.
"I just want to look out the window," Teag shouted while pointing to the small window by the door. He watched and waited for his mother to say something else, when she became distracted by his little sister and brother who were fighting over a card game. While she tried to break up the argument he knew this would be his only chance. He opened the door and walked out.
The deck outside was wet and slick. Two inches of water lingered whirling around his feet and soaking into his sneakers. A chill ran up his spine as the ice cold water saturated his socks. The ocean mist stung his face and hands as the wind carried it past him. Teag held on to the railing and made his way to the stairs to the lower decks. When the lightning flashed he was able to see when the waves were headed towards him, leaving him only seconds to brace himself before the ocean flooded over him. He held on for dear life, but was not detoured from wanting to be outside in the storm. He quickly made his way to the bow of the ship hanging on and feeling free. He held his breath each time a wave came crushing down on him. The strength and sheer velocity of the waves amazed him.
With each wave, Teag was being tossed about the deck. Trying not to slip overboard, he was holding the side rail with all his strength. Growing tired quickly he looked back to where he had come from. He couldn’t see the door to the dining hall and knew it would be harder to go back then it was to come down. ‘How am I going to get back,’ he thought, ‘I’m in trouble.’ A sudden loud boom of thunder cackled through the sky making Teag jump with surprise. Another wave crashed over his head. A gust of strong wind hit his shivering body making his chattering teeth click so hard he thought they might crack. Several lightning large bolts of lightning flashed all around the ship lighting up the sky. The light was so bright Teag wanted to look away but what was behind it caught his eye. Panic flushed through him as his adrenaline burst through his body. "OH, NO!" He yelled in terror. ‘I’m not gonna make it this time,’ he thought as he watched the fifty-foot wave heading right for him. ‘Maybe I can run back to the dining hall,’ he thought but the wave was moving too fast it was now right on top of them. Riding the wave straight up into the air for what seemed to be minutes, Teag feared the worst. The higher and higher the bow of the ship climbed straight up into the air. Teag lost his footing and was only hanging onto the wet railing. His cold hands started to slip and he knew he couldn’t hold on any longer, and it seemed the wave couldn’t either. It tipped and folded the ship into the sea like taffy.
Teag’s throat was burning for air, kicking and swimming as hard as he could to make it to the top. But he didn’t know which way was up. The pain was immense, kicking and fluttering around, hoping to reach the top for air. The ocean whirled around him as if trying to tear him apart. He struggled, but at last couldn’t hold it any longer and breathed in.
Teag sat straight up, gasping for air and grabbing his chest and throat with pain, only to realize he had just had the worst nightmare of his life. Jacob was walking past his door when he heard the sudden gasping. With fatherly concern, Jacob went over to him and asked, "are you okay?" Milly heard him from the other room, and ran in to see if everything was all right.
Teag’s heart was pounding, he was trying to shake the awful dream, but remnants of it lingered while he tried to understand what had just happened, "I think so. I just had the worst nightmare."
"What happened?" Milly asked him, alarmed at the excitement.
"Teag just had a nightmare," Jacob informed her.
"Oh, well what happened in your dream?" Having heard the gasps and the conversation as she was running into the room, Milly didn’t want to make a big deal about it.
Knowing his mothers belief in dreams and their meanings and thinking about their upcoming cruise, he didn’t want to stress her, "It was just a bad dream. I’ll be okay."
"Are you sure you don’t want to talk about it? Sometimes it helps," Milly coaxed curious at what could have happened. It just so happened she had been reading her book about dreams moments before and had the book in her hands. "I can look it up for you, it might make you feel better."
"No, mom, it was nothing, I’ll be okay," he said politely.
"All right, but if you want to talk, I’ll be packing," Milly said as she walked out of the room.
Jacob was still standing there, "so what was that really about?"
"It was just a dream. It wasn’t real," Teag said as he rubbed his eyes. He glanced over to his alarm clock, hoping to find the time, but it was unplugged. ‘I must have yanked the cord out when I woke up,’ he thought.
"Dad?" Teag called out to him as he started to walk out of his room.
"Yeah?" Jacob turned to look at him.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Sure," Jacob was curious.
"Can dreams come true? I mean, can they really happen?"
Well what about deja vu?"
"Well, some people have said that daja vu is experiencing something that you feel like you’ve seen before or have already been through. But it’s said that most people have dreamed it before it happens. That is why they think they remember it when it really happens. At least that is how it was explained to me when I was a kid."
"So you’re sayin’ it’s possible for dreams to come true then?"
"No, I’m just telling you what I know about daja vu, they say that sometimes, in some situations, it’s happened to some people, or so I’ve heard.""Has it ever happened to you?"
"Yeah, I’ve had daja vu before."
"What happened?"
"Oh nothing big, actually I can’t remember now, but you’ll know it when it happens. What brought on these questions?"
"Well," Teag started, and then decided he really didn’t want to talk about it, "nothing. I was just wondering."
"Was it your dream? Because I know a good therapist, and she’s on call all day everyday. In fact she’s sitting in the other room, I’m sure her bible of dreams can help you," Jacob joked knowing that Teag didn’t care for that book.
Mostly he didn’t like hearing someone else’s boring nonsense about how, ‘a drowning dream is really your sub-conscious telling you that you’re feeling helpless and out of control,’ Teag could hear his mother say in his mind. He shook his head at the thought.
"I’m sure dad, I’m good now, it was just a stupid dream, no big deal." Teag said it out loud but didn’t really feel that way. He started to wonder if that was all it was, him feeling out of control, after all, he didn’t have any friends, his final grades came way down from last year, and there really wasn’t anything he liked to do except play his gameboy and read. His rambling thoughts were interrupted by Jacob’s voice once again.
"You’re sure that’s all you wanted to talk about?" Jacob asked, inquisitively.
"Yeah, I’m sure. It was nothing."
Jacob took off his glasses and cleaned them carefully with a cloth he had pulled out of his pants pocket. When he was done, he carefully placed them back on his face and turned to walk out of the room, "okay, well…go to sleep quickly because morning comes early."
"What time is it?" Teag asked looking at his clock again. He had forgotten that it was unplugged.
"It’s ten-seventeen."
Teag leaned over, plugged in his clock and set the correct time, "thanks, dad, oh, can you shut the door on your way out?"
"Sure,"Jacob smiled. As he started to shut the door, he opened it again with one more question, "Oh…are you done packing?"
"Yeah, except I have a few more things to finish in the morning."
"Okay, well, you’d better get up early to take care of it all, I don’t want to be late tomorrow," Jacob smiled, shut off the light, and then closed the door as he walked out of the room.
Teag thought a little bit longer about his dream. It was hard to believe that a dream like that could really come true, but something in his gut told him that something bad was going to happen. Not wanting to consider it any further, he tried to think about something else and soon fell back to sleep.
Somewhere far away, in a dark and chilly room, sat a man and a woman. The draperies were drawn keeping the sunlight out. The only light in the room was a small, slow burning candle that burned on the coffee table in between them. The illumination from the small candle was so dim it was hard to see anything. The smell of burning matches lingered in the air like the candles were lit moments before. The woman’s voice broke the long silence; it was calm and collected, even sweet, "do you know why I chose you?" She asked quietly.
"No," came the deep voice of the man.
"Because I know that you will keep a secret, and I know that I can trust you."
"Yes, I’ll do as you ask, but are you absolutely certain that it has to be done this way?" He asked with a light English accent.
"I’m sure, I told you I saw him, I know it’s him this time, the one we’ve been searching for all these years, but the parents will be in the way. No one else will understand why things must be done this way, but you know, you know what’s at stake, you understand what must be done, for the good of our kingdom, and your family," She looked at him knowing he would obey her, but slightly aggravated that he was asking questions.
"But, with all due respect, isn’t there another way, a better way? I’m sure if we just talk to them and help them understand they’ll...," he broke off knowing he had crossed the line.
She slightly changed her position and sat up a little straighter. Her eyes were wide and full of fury, though he couldn’t see it, he could feel it. In an aggravated voice, "have I not been good to you? Have I not given you everything you have asked for? Have I ever been wrong?"
"No…, no on all counts, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again," he quaked with fear.
"Do you understand your instructions?" She barked back at him.
"Yes," he replied knowing he had better not push her any further.
"Remember, just take care of the boy’s parents, and make sure they are not found, you’ll know what to do with them. And don’t forget to return the crew to their homes. I don’t need them in the way."
"Consider it done."
"And speak of this to no one. I do not wish anyone to know until it is time."
"Yes ‘em," he stood up and slowly walked toward the door, opened it and looked back at the woman sitting alone in the dark. She was starting at the wall with no expression on her face. She slowly turned to look at him leaving. He bowed his head as if ashamed then walked out carefully closing the door behind him.
She stood up and walked to turn on the lights. There stood a beautiful woman with soft olive skin and long dark brown hair. She was wearing an elegant red evening gown that accentuated her slender waist and made her feel beautiful and glamorous. Her light brown eyes danced in the light as she grinned wickedly at the thought of her brilliant plan.
It was June first. The morning was warm and beautiful like a warm fuzzy blanket, the sun had just come up, Teag opened the blinds on his window to take in the warm light. The night had been chilly. A gust of cool wind blew through his already open window. Teag went to close it but took a moment to look at the beautiful landscape around the back yard. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The fresh air that whizzed past him smelled clean and crisp like the night rain had washed away the filthy air. He could hear birds chirping and the sound of life moving all about. The tall evergreen trees chattered lightly in the soft breeze. The excitement of the long-awaited cruise filled the air. Knowing they had to leave soon Teag closed the window and began to rush around his room to pack his last minute items.
The Tragers’ were minutes away from leaving their home in Bellevue, Washington. Teag stood by his bed and went over all the things he had packed a week ago, making sure everything was there. When he was finished checking off his list, he sat on his bed and began playing his gameboy.
Something flashed out of the corner of his eye. He quickly looked up for a moment to see what it was, but only caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. He stood up and tossed the gameboy aside then started admiring himself. His dark brown hair was short in the back but long on top and dangled in his eyes. He brushed it back carefully admiring himself more, his brilliant blue eyes and deep smile were strangely attractive. His tall thin build made him feel puny compared to the other boys at school. He fell deep in thought about the problems he had in class; he was different from the other kids, a loner, though he tried so hard to make friends. He looked deep into his own eyes ‘Maybe they don’t like me because of the light blue star around my left pupil.’ He wondered as he stood there staring. He was used to it, but ‘maybe it freaks them out.’ While the rest of his eye color would change from a brilliant blue to gray, the star would always stay light blue.
His mind drifted off as he sat on his bed. All he ever wanted was to be liked, to fit in and have someone other than his family to talk too. His mind drifted to a phone call he had gotten the day before:
"Hello?" he answered.
"Hi…Teag?" The girl on the opposite end of the phone asked hesitantly.
"Yeah?" There was a pause. Teag didn’t know who she was, so he waited for her to say something else.
"Um, I hope I’m not calling too early. I didn’t wake you, did I?
"Uh…no, it’s okay."
"Oh, good. Umm…I was wondering…I mean…I don’t do this very often, but…well…do you wanna catch a movie with me tonight or something, and then hit the Bortan House Party after?" She asked. Teag knew that the Bortans’ always had the bomb of parties and anyone who was anyone was always there, and you had to be one of the elite to even be invited.
"Well, who is this?" Teag asked, a little confused at the call.
"Oh, I didn’t tell you? I’m sorry. This is Cara Taylor from school."
"Oh. Hi, Cara. I didn’t recognize your voice," Teag was a little excited because she was the most popular girl in school, and he was, well, nothing. He didn’t even know she knew he was alive, "Listen, about tonight…"
"Yeah?" she interrupted cheerfully.
He was afraid to say yes, the kids in school had terrorized him, made him believe they liked him and then played horrible pranks on him, even humiliated him in front of everyone, but she sounded so sincere, and he really did think she was cute so he agreed, "Sure, what time should I pick you up?"
"Well, uh-oh, my dad has to use the phone, can you like, call me back in like, five minutes?" she asked. Teag thought he heard giggling in the background.
"Sure, what’s your num…" He started but heard a click. She had hung up the phone before he could get her number. He hung up his end of the phone and sat on his messed up bed. He looked around the room, but wasn’t really looking; he was contemplating what had just happened. ‘Was it a joke? She didn’t say it was, she did say to call back in five minutes. Maybe she was forced to hang up, maybe she thought he knew her number. He looked at the clock on his night stand and stared at it, but it wasn’t moving. Time felt as though it was standing still. Driving himself crazy thinking about what her real intentions might have been he started pacing his room. Then he remembered a week before the whole school got phone books with everyone’s phone numbers in them. He quickly ran to his closet and looked at the heap of papers on the floor. He started rifling through them searching for the booklet. When he didn’t find it there he looked in his backpack that was hanging off his doorknob just waiting to be cleaned out from the previous year of school. He rummaged through his notebooks and folders and at last found it. He pulled it out and brushed off a few crumbs that had become glued to the front page. He flipped through and found her name and then quickly dialed her number. He found himself, unintentionally, breathing heavy, like he had just run a marathon. The other side was ringing, "Pick up, Pick up, Pick up," he said as he tried to calm himself down.
"Hello?" came a girls voice from the other end of the phone after the fifth ring.
"This is Teag," he paused for a moment, "I’m just calling you back," when there was still silence he added, "we were going to go to a movie and then the Bortan house party."
"Who is this?"
"Teag Trager, you just called me a few minutes ago," Teag was confused, why didn’t she know who he was. Then dread hit, it had to be a joke. This knowledge was confirmed when she spoke again.
"Is this some kind of joke?" She paused for a moment (there was giggling in the background) and acted like she didn’t know what he was talking about, "I haven’t called anyone at all this morning and anyway I’m going with my boyfriend, Tom Erick, to the Bortan party, sorry," her voice was harsh and rude.
Angry that he was a joke to them he slammed down the phone. "Dang it," he felt so stupid for trusting her. His heart was pounding; he was horrified and humiliated once again. It seemed to be a ritual now; there wasn’t a day that went by that they didn’t tease him in some way. School was out and they were still laughing at him, and he fell for another one of their tricks.
So there he was now, lying on his back on his unmade bed, tears filled his eyes. He wanted revenge, justice, but no one would listen to him. His parents told him he wasn’t trying hard enough, and that there is always someone who gets it worse. He refused to tell his teachers because that would just make it worse. After holding back the tears of emotional pain, he took a deep breath, but it was no use, he turned over and let out a few muffled cries into his pillow.
After a few minutes he settled himself down, He wiped off his eyes and then stood in front of the mirror once more. Thinking of all the things he wanted, he began to imagine he was popular "And here he comes, the man of the year, the most handsome tenth grader in the world: Teag Trager," he announced to himself, and then made cheering sounds, imagining a crowd cheering him on. He whistled the catcall, and screamed in a higher-pitched voice, "I love you, Teag. Will you go out with me?" He then nodded his head and pointed to himself in the mirror, flexing his muscles like he was the greatest thing to come to earth.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha," Teag jolted around to find his younger brother, John, mimicking him and laughing.
"What are you doing in my room Johnny?" Teag yelled, chasing him away, "That’s it, you’re getting a swirly."
John tried to apologize, "Teag, I won’t tell anyone. Please don’t flush my hair in the toilet, no stop it," they wrestled as Teag tried to drag John into the bathroom. After a long struggle and tumbling into walls they stumbled into the bathroom. Teag struggled to keep hold of his brother who was now half way dangling over the toilet and trying desperately to get away.
Teag was only teasing, but didn’t want his brother to know it yet.
"What are you doing?" Suraionee asked with a gasp as she saw Teag struggling to push John’s head in the toilet. She quickly turned around and ran to her mother’s room that was just around the corner from them, to tell her what was happening.
"Teag," Milly started with a calm but serious tone. She wasn’t really listening to what Suraionee was saying about what Teag was doing, so her orders weren’t as sharp as they would have been. "Stop it right now, and get down stairs. The shuttle will be here any time," She yelled from her room.
"Mom, he was in my room again," Teag tried to defend himself after letting his brother go and walking into the hallway and standing in his mothers’ doorway, but his mother wasn’t listening to him either. She was rushing around gathering last minute items and stuffing them in her suitcase.
"Johnny, leave your brother alone, and stay out of his room," she looked back at Teag, "Now he’s younger than you, so please set a good example," Trying to neutralize the problem without knowing the details.
"It was just a joke, I wasn’t really…," Teag was interrupted
"Teag, just do as your mother asks, now, please," Jacob insisted as he stepped up the last step of the staircase and entered the hallway.
"Huh, fine." Knowing there would be consequences if he didn’t do as he was told, he went back to his room for his gameboy shaking his head. John followed him.
"Milly," Jacob started as he stood in the doorway of their room, "if you don’t hurry, we are going to be late. Traffic at this hour is going to be bad," his nicely combed, dark brown hair and well built physique stood in the doorway looking at his wife and then he turned around and looked at his sons whispering in secret just down the hallway. He took off his stylish, thin black glasses to clean them, and then again placed them nicely on his face. He pulled out his checklist and skimmed over it again, making sure he had everything.
"I know, I just have to finish Suraionee’s hair, we’ll only be a second more," she replied. Milly had long auburn hair that was always in place, even after just waking up in the morning. She had an air of elegance to her that others tried to emulate but failed horribly. She loved her family, and had the rare luxury of staying at home to raise her children.
A horn honked in the background, "The shuttle is here, I’ll take down the luggage," Jacob said as he picked up the luggage from his bedroom and walked down the hall then started down the stairs.
Teag took his large duffel bag from his room and then followed his father out the door. Just outside the front door was a small porch and walkway that lead to the curb of the street where the shuttle sat idling. The grass on both sides of the walkway were dark green and freshly cut. Flowers sat in pots at both sides of the door. They were well taken care of and brightly colored blooms. The neighboring houses were connected like town homes and each with their own colorful but tasteful designs to them. Teag dropped his bag at the trunk of the big white shuttle van, and then ran upstairs for more. John was at the top of the stairs challenging Teag to be the first one down the stairs to the shuttle. They both picked up two bags each, then tried to race to the bottom and out the door. John followed close behind Teag. They were pushing and shoving each other down the stairs to be the first one out the door, when John lost his balance and started to fall dropping his bag, grabbing Teag and pulling him down with him. They tumbled for a moment laughing, and then kept going. After they reached the doorway, they stumbled through, both thinking they had won; which gave them something new to argue about.
John was a striking, fourteen-year-old boy. His short, light brown hair, flawless face, stunning brown eyes and timeless smile could captivate even the most unresponsive person. It was hard to tell he was the younger of the two because he could easily keep up with his older brother.
Jacob was standing by the drivers’ door talking to the shuttle driver through the window, with his luggage at his feet when Teag and John appeared stumbling through the doorway. The shuttle driver opened the door and stepped out of the shuttle. He walked passed Teag and John and started loading the suitcases in the back doors of the van. Teag followed John and climbed into the back seat. The van had white interior walls while the seats were dark blue vinyl. A blue rubber mat covered the floor of the van like carpet. The van smelled new but was clearly well used. Teag found his seatbelt and put it on. Then the two continued wrestling and teasing one another, growing louder by the second, "Boys," Jacob spoke firmly, "calm down," checking his watch, he started pacing back and forth on the sidewalk, "what could she possibly be doing? Does it really take that long to fix Suraionee’s hair?" He mumbled under his breath.
Moments later Suraionee ran outside. Her long natural auburn highlights glistened in the sun against her dark brown hair and made her big green eyes stand out more than usual. Her lips were a naturally deep pink and her eyelashes so long that even her mother envied them. She held the dark brown, fuzzy-soft teddy bear her father gave her when she was five under her arm. The bear was worn and tattered, but Suraionee insisted that she couldn’t leave home without it, "this is going to be our best vacation ever," she remarked in excitement, climbing into the back seat next to Teag.
"Where is your mother?" Jacob asked, worried they were never going to get out of there. He put his left hand on his hip and used his right hand to scratch his head through his hair. His tall mass was standing there anxiously awaiting Milly’s appearance.
"Here I am," Milly said with a warm smile on her face. She turned to lock the door, then swiftly got into the shuttle. Jacob slid the door shut behind her, climbed in on the other side and sat next to her. As soon as he shut the door, the shuttle pulled out and raced to the pier.
On the Freeway the vehicles were at a quick pace and several passed them on the left speeding into the distance. Teag pulled out his gameboy and started to play it while John and Suraionee watched out the window as they passed all kinds of cars and trucks and the thick layer of large evergreen trees that bordered the freeway.
The game felt boring at the moment he knew the game so well he didn’t really need his full attention to play it. He suddenly found himself envisioning his dream, the crashing of the waves and how the mist stung his face. A bad scenario came to his mind, instead of himself he watched, while wide awake, as his mother drown. He shook it off, but then another vision of his father drowning. He shook his head as if it would clear his mind, it helped for a moment and then he thought about something else. ‘I’m not crazy, I’m not’s just my imagination,’ he thought, then he forced himself to think about the birds chirping while he stood in the window. The thought successfully took out the horrible images and thoughts.
It wasn’t long before they reached the Evergreen Point floating bridge. The water was high and choppy. Several boats were already out and floating around on the lake. The bridge moved slightly from side to side from the shifting water giving a light sense of insecurity. The view was beautiful. All the millions of trees that landscaped the terrain were so vibrant with life. A few clouds lined the sky but the sunny day just kept getting better.
Milly riffled through her purse and pulled out the tickets looking at them again. Over the top of the large rectangle ticket it said Princess Ruby Cruises to Juneau, Alaska on June first. Leaving at seven am. The ticket also said they were in suite Three Hundred Fifty Nine and Three Hundred Sixty. Milly smiled as she remembered her friend insisting that she and her family take the tickets and go on this "well deserved trip." It was hard for Milly to accept such an expensive trip, but her wonderful friend wouldn’t take, "No," for an answer and had said, "Besides, we can’t get the vacation time to go and it expires, so someone better make use of them, and who better than you and your family?" Milly knew that they would never be able to afford going on a trip like this because it was way out of their budget, but she felt better about accepting when she was told that the tickets were free to her from her boss for making top sales woman of the year.
Twenty minutes after they had left, they were at pier Sixty Six and unloading. The air had the fragrant of salt and fish. Suraionee got out and started walking toward the large building. Milly, not paying attention, said, "Oh good, we still have ten minutes and there’s no line. I knew everything would be alright," she hoped it would please her tense husband. Then noticing Suraionee, Milly called out, "Sura, stay by me please. We don’t need you wandering off and getting lost," Milly motioned her back. John grabbed a bag from the back and then and walked with them.
"I’m ten, Mom. I’m not a child," Suraionee said, annoyed that her mother still treated her like a baby.
"Sura, you’re Nine - you’ll be Ten in five days, and you’re still my child…and we don’t have time to play this silly game," Milly said, taking Suraionee’s arm and following Jacob to check in. "This is going to be so much fun. You’re just going to love the cruise," she added with a big grin on her face.
Suraionee wasn’t upset with her mother long; especially when she saw the huge Cruise Liner they were getting closer to, "Wow!" she and John exclaimed simultaneously.
John ran to catch up with Teag who was leading the group with Jacob, his duffel bag over his shoulder.
"Look Teag," John pointed at the Cruise liner. They both stopped walking.
"Just a minute. I almost have it . . .," Teag paused the game, then looked up from his gameboy. "Whoa," he said, taking a step back to get the full picture. A big grin filled his face. "Is that the ship we’re going on?" he asked John.
"I guess so, Mom was just talking to Sura and ..."
"I’m gonna beat ya there," Teag teased his brother, running closer to the Cruise Liner entrance.
"Wait boys," Milly yelled after them, "come back! We need to check in first."
Teag and John quickly turned around and ran back to stand with their mother. They were standing a few feet behind Jacob, waiting and chatting amongst themselves. Milly could tell there was something wrong and tried to listen in, but John was now teasing Suraionee, and Teags gameboy was beeping too loud.
"What do you mean it’s the small ship? The tickets said the Princess Ruby, and the whole family was included," Jacob said in protest pointing to the tickets he held in his hand, faced at the woman behind the counter.
The woman took the tickets and turned them to face Jacob and pointed, "I’m sorry, sir, but your tickets say otherwise. It says here a family of three and the ship is The Treasure and you have two rooms number five and six," The large woman behind the counter said apologetically.
Jacob was perplexed, he looked back at Milly and then shook his head, "I’m sorry my wife said it was something totally different," Then taking a moment to think he asked, "well how much is it to add my other two children?" he asked, feeling stupid for not looking at the tickets himself earlier.
"It will be Twelve Hundred Dollars."
Jacob grunted, "Twelve hundred each?" He shrieked, " No, no, we can’t do that," his cheeks grew red with frustration.
"No, I’m sorry, sir. It’s Twelve Hundred for both of them."
"Well, how much more is it to upgrade to the Princess Ruby?"
"Let me just see what I can do here," she was staring at her screen and typing fast, "It looks like I can get you on the Princess Ruby, I only have two suites left and I’m afraid you’ll have to pay an extra two thousand per person. It also leaves tomorrow morning. Would you like to change your plans?"
Not even hesitating Jacob replied, "no, let me just pay for my other two children and we’ll go on The Treasure," there was a short pause as Jacob pulled out his money to pay, "but out of curiosity, where is the Princess Ruby going?" Jacob asked, knowing they had just enough money to buy food and gifts while staying in Alaska, and paying the extra money would eat that all up.
"Juneau, Alaska," she nicely replied.
"Oh, I’m sorry I meant where is The Treasure going?"
"To Anchorage, Alaska," She smiled back at him.
Jacob nodded and then handed her the money. She handed him his receipt and then his tickets and then pointed him in the right direction.
After they were all checked in, they started toward their ship. Milly asked Jacob what had happened. When the kids walked ahead of them, he told her.
"No, I looked at the tickets while I was sitting in the Shuttle, I know what they said, I’m not crazy," she exclaimed thinking back.
"Well the lady showed them to me and that isn’t what was printed on them at all."
"Maybe she switched them."
"How? When? She didn’t have time to do that, and anyway, why would she? Why do you always think so negatively? You just read it wrong. Next time I’ll make sure I read it carefully."
"I don’t always think negatively and I wish you had looked at them, because you would have seen that I’m not crazy."
"I know dear, lets just get to the ship." Jacob nodded in agreement but was frustrated at the mistake. Milly felt bad that the trip wasn’t what she had thought, but they agreed that they wouldn’t tell the kids because they knew they would beg to go without food if it meant taking the larger ship, "I guess that’s what we get for free tickets. Where did we get it from again?" He asked.
"From my friend Sally, she got them from work as a prize but they couldn’t get the holiday time to go, so she gave it to us."
"Oh, well, that was nice," Jacob said as they walked.
Teag watched in amazement as they got closer and closer. The ship had to be the same size as the Titanic. He had learned about the shipwreck in school last year. His ninth grade teacher, Miss Washburn, made him redo his report. She said it had no feeling, lacked in facts and hadn’t made the proper notations as she had previously asked him to do. He remembered that before his dream it alone had made him afraid to get on a ship, but then the memory of his dream reminded him of the panic of not being able to breath and then the pain of breathing in the water. The excitement that was once thick on his mind, was now gone and left an intense fear. His stomach turned and twisted as he tried to relax and forget about it. He looked back at the large ship. The cruise liner had what appeared to be eleven levels. It was huge and so beautiful. The white paint was so brilliant with the sun hitting the side that he had to look away. As they approached, he watched his father walk past the entrance. Teag, Suraionee, and John stopped.
"Dad, where are you going?" Teag asked, confused.
"To our ship. It’s this way," Jacob replied, looking at his kids crushed faces.
"But dad, I thought this was our ship," Suraionee said with obvious discontent.
"Nope, that would have been fun, but way too expensive for us right now," Jacob said, "but you should like the one we get on."
Milly pointed to the tiny ship that dwarfed the massive Cruise liner. It was such a difference in size that they were disenchanted. Teag took a good long look at the small ship. It was old and dilapidated, and it appeared as though it had seen many years and even more storms. The name on the side of the ship said, The Treasure. ‘Some Treasure,’ he thought. One of the windows on the bridge was cracked. When he walked on board, the deck creaked as though it was ready to break beneath him. He even noticed a small trace of slime on the railing and a bit of seaweed on the deck here and there. He slowly inched his way forward and then caught the smell of food cooking in the dining hall. Teag, John, and Suraionee peaked inside. It was decorated like a cabin. There were only four small tables each of which seated four in the middle of the floor. Along the walls were several booths with large brown panels on the walls separating the booths. Suraionee read aloud a note on the wall. It read:
In case of a severe storm,
everyone must report
to the Dining Hall.
The thought of his dream crept back into Teag’s mind, ‘Even though this is a smaller ship, the same thing could still happen,’ he thought, ‘that is if we don’t sink before we leave the dock first.’
Jacob took the bags to their room while Teag, John, Suraionee, and Milly stepped on the deck to watch the pier slowly drift away as they departed. The engine, though old, made light, sh…sh…sh, sounds in a rhythmic sort of way.
There weren’t many people on the ship. Teag counted four other small families that had young children. They hadn’t gone far when he caught the excitement on one small child’s face after he spotted a family of Orca whales swimming close by.
"Kyle," his mother called him, "lets get closer," they quickly walked past the Tragers’ and slipped out of sight.
John and Suraionee raced each other down to the bow of the ship. Teag watched them as they played tag and other silly games. He looked down below and one level down was a small pool that looked like it was as old as the ship. It was full of clear water but the tiles inside appeared to be lightly stained with mold. There were deck chairs all along the side of it but no one was using them.
The smell of salt water was in the breeze, then suddenly, the smell of rain. The once sunny day was now turning into another rainstorm. The ocean, though rainy, was quiet and calm. ‘Something doesn’t feel right,’ Teag thought to himself, noticing he was standing alone under the overhang. He glanced around to find his mother. She was standing at the railing about twenty feet away, staring off into space, and getting wetter by the minute. Her long auburn hair, flowing gracefully in the wind just moments before was, now stuck to her face lashed by the rain. Her light brown eyes looked troubled. She was always nicely put-together and seemed to always have everything in order. Even in the worst situations, she always had a smile on her face. Yet as she stood there, it was as if she knew something the rest of them didn’t. For the first time in his life, she was showing concern. Teag walked over to her, "Mother," he started, "why are you just standing in the rain?"
Milly looked at him, then pulled him close with one arm and said, "oh, it’s nothing dear. Everything will be fine, just fine," she said calmly trying to shield Teag from her fears. She had an overwhelming feeling that something bad was about to happen the enveloped her as soon as she set foot on the ship. Yet she didn’t know what or even understand why she felt that way. She stood there looking off into the distance as if the ocean and clouds were talking to her, trying to tell her something important.
Teag could feel her apprehension, and could tell she wasn’t being truthful. He knew she was just saying it to protect him, but she wasn’t a very good liar. "You’re worried, aren’t you?...about the storm, I mean," Teag questioned, calling her on it in a nice way.
Milly and Teag looked over to John and Suraionee who were now standing near them on the same level. John was playing and wrapped his arm around her pretending he was going to toss her over the rail into the pool below. Suraionee fought back, trying to loosen his grip and get away, "Stop it. You’re hurting me," she complained.
Looking back at Teag, she said, "No, no, it will pass. You’ll see," Milly tried to convince herself. Noticing the noise John and Suraionee were making she, glanced back over to John and Suraionee, and yelled, "John! Leave her be!"
John released her and then grinned, while poking at her. He saw his father peek out of a nearby room, then he looked back at Suraionee, who started walking back down to the Bow of the ship because she wanted to stay outside in the rain. John started grabbing at her trying to make her go inside. Struggling to get free, Suraionee kept yelling at him, saying, "Let me GO!"
Irritated that they weren’t listening to her, Milly ignored them and was concentrating on her conversation with Teag and trying to tune out the background noise her children were making.
"How do you know? Mom, I just have this feeling…," Teag started, but was interrupted when Jacob called to them.
"Hey," he said to all of them, "I can’t have you all getting sick. Come in here where it’s nice, warm, and dry." Then directing his attention to John and Suraionee, he warned, "John, let go of your sister and get in here. You’re soaked."
When they got to their room, Suraionee said in surprise, "Wow, is this room all mine?"
"No, Suraionee. The bed is for your mother and me, and the small couch you see over there," he pointed to the couch at the foot of the bed, "well, you pull the pillows off, and that becomes your bed," Jacob was half laughing.
Suraionee was so used to having her own room and a big bed that the thought of sleeping on a couch in a room the size of a large walk-in-closet appalled her, "You’re kidding, right? Ha, ha, ha, daddy. Really, where is my room?" She demanded.
"Really, Sura, I’m not joking, this was all they had," Jacob noticed the tears in her eyes, then added with his hand on her shoulder, "listen, it isn’t going to be that bad. It’s only for three nights, and we don’t’ have to stay in here all the time, just to sleep, and maybe when it’s raining outside but that’s all. The rest of the time you can spend up on deck enjoying the sun, air, and your brothers."
"Daddy, how can you expect me to sleep on a couch the size of a peanut? All I have to do is roll over and I’m on the floor."
"Now, really, Suraionee. You’re exaggerating. You roll over on that couch, and you will be wedged between the queen bed and the couch, you won’t ever touch the floor," Milly jumped in, suddenly feeling jovial.
Suraionee glared at her mother. Then, realizing that there was nothing she could do, she stomped over to the couch and sat down, "I can’t wait till this is all over," she pouted under her breath.
Jacob and Milly laughed.
"Why are you laughing?" Suraionee asked, very annoyed.
"Well, you never asked where your brothers were going to sleep," Jacob said, getting a kick out of teasing her and the fact that she was taking the bait.
Suraionee’s fury overwhelmed her, and her eyes grew dark, "they’d better be sleeping on the floor," she demanded.
Jacob tried to contain his laughter. Suraionee had never let him get to her like this before. She normally just brushed it off, and knew he was joking. Making one last attempt to tease her and make her realize that he was joking, he said, "well, actually, all three of you are going to sleep on the couch together," This time Teag and John joined in laughing, knowing that Jacob was teasing.
After a moment of steaming, she couldn’t hold a straight face any longer and joined in laughing, "very nice Dad, but you wont be so lucky next time. You won’t get that close."
"We’ll see, we’ll see," Jacob said, wiping the fresh tears of laughter off his face.
"You two have a sick sense of humor," Milly said as she lightly hit Jacob on the shoulder.
"You joined in too," he defended.
"Yeah, well...if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em," Milly explained, still laughing, "come with me, Suraionee. You and I will sleep in the room next door. This should be the door here," she unlocked an adjoining door from inside. Then she walked into a room the same size and design as the other.
"Dad and Teag will sleep on the bed, and John will sleep on the couch. You and I are in here," Milly clarified.
John, catching the conversation teased Suraionee, "Oh, so now I have to sleep on the couch?" Then he stomped around the room, trying not to laugh.
Teag looked at his father and said, "if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather sleep on the floor."
Jacob didn’t hesitate. He nodded in agreement and handed Teag his pillow.
Suraionee pretended not to hear John. She sat on the bed in her room and glanced around. The room had a sort of warmth to it - small and cozy, yet, if it were her own, it would have felt comfortable. There was an old musky smell to both of the room, as if they hadn’t been used in many years. It reminded her of her grandmother’s house. The walls were an old velvety red, brick color, as if someone was trying to create an elegant-type royalty room and was not succeeding. Above the queen bed was a copy of Monet’s Rough Sea 1883. It was a painting of a ship on the stormy seas, "Funny," she said to herself.
"What?" Milly asked
"What?" Suraionee then asked her mother as she snapped out of her trance.
"You said funny so, what’s so funny?"
"I said that out loud?"
"Oh," Then there was a short pause as Suraionee thought about it again, "I was just looking at the painting and thinking it was funny that they would put a picture of a storm on the ocean in a room on a ship," Suraionee replied.
Teag heard her from the other room and took a look at the painting over the bed in their room. It happened to be the same painting. The more he thought about it, the more he worried that the storm was going to get a lot worse. He closed his eyes and wished himself to Hawaii. But when he opened them again, he was still in the small, cramped room. His father was sitting on the edge of the bed close to the door to his sisters room. He was reading today’s newspaper which he had brought from home. He must have been really involved, because Milly came back in and talked to him for over 15 minutes, and he never even looked up. She didn’t seem to mind though.
John threw the pillows off the couch and then sat down. Suraionee closed her eyes and fell asleep.
John and Jacob were talking while sitting on the couch. Teag’s thoughts were consumed with the ocean and the storm ahead. On his back and with his head at the foot of the bed, he stared at the painting on the wall. The rocking of the ship was somehow soothing. He looked to his left and could see the door to leave the room, there was a porthole on the left for the door. Directly behind him was the sofa that John was going to sleep on but on the Left of that was the full bathroom and tiny closet. On the right of the sofa was a little table with a phone that was bolted down. There was just a little walking room between the queen bed and the wall on Teags’ right that lead to his sister’s room. The door was open and Teag could hear her snoring.
Milly riffled through her luggage and pulled out a page of activities. She sat down on the bed next to Teag and started to read it to herself, "Are you interested in some activities?"
"Like what?" Teag closed his eyes feeling that there couldn’t be anything on the ship that he would want to do.
"Well, it says here that there are crafts, looks like they’re making necklaces and bracelets."
Teag turned and looked at her like she was crazy, "do you really think I want to make a necklace or a bracelet?"
"Well, you could make it for Sura, she would like it and you could give it to her for her birthday."
"Yeah, but if I show my face to something like that I wont have any chance of making any friends on this ship. And if anyone back home got wind of it, I’ll never hear the end of it," Teag was annoyed that she would even think he would enjoy something like that.
"Okay, well, there is bowling and also swimming, but the weather would have to clear up for that one." Milly scratched the top of her nose then kept reading, "here’s one, there’s a wood shop somewhere around here and you could make anything you want with the teachers help. That would be nice, I know you like your shop class back home, you get good grades in it, wouldn’t you like to do that?" Milly stared down at him in hopes to see some kind of reaction from him.
"Fine, if I must, I’ll go bowling, and maybe later I’ll head down to the shop and see what they have."
"I know you’re just going to love it."
"Right, thanks mom."
"Right after lunch we should go bowling, that would be a great family activity," Milly commented to the room of people. Teag had already told her he would go so he didn’t bother to move or say anything else, he just closed his eyes and the smooth rocking of the ship lulled him to sleep.