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Rolfin's Orb
Book 10 - Argentina – Tanzanite
Chapter 4


         “Hello! Wake up! Nap time is over!” Petiso rattled the bars by dragging a tin cup across them.

          Fiona, Callum, Elspet and Jimmy jumped. A ray of light streamed through a high window. “At least we can see.” Jimmy whispered to Fiona.

          Fiona moved close to the bars. “Tell me, Petiso, why you ended up in this prison. Were you a bad boy?” She teased the man.

          “Oh, I was a very bad boy. I robbed banks. I was rich, until I got caught.” Petiso scowled. “They sent me here in 1925. They actually had the nerve to make the prisoners build their own prison. I missed out on that, but I had to spend every waking minute of my life building shops and piers, no matter how bad the weather. I hated this place, yet I am cursed to stay here, either living in that wax statue or wandering back and forth among the cells that once imprisoned me.”

          “Rough life, isn’t it, Petiso? Maybe you should have thought about that before you robbed banks. What about Pedro? Why is he here?” Fiona looked at the short, fat prisoner.

          “Go ahead and tell her, Pedro,” Petiso said, stepping back from the bars.

          “I’m insane. When I was a boy I murdered my mother and father and they locked me up in a jail in Chile. I was sent here about the same time as Petiso. I had to work out at the harbor, building it stone by stone. Every day I was soaked to the bone and shivered all night. I didn’t live as long as the other two. Hee hee hee hee hee hee.”

          Fiona stared at him and then looked up at Petiso, who circled his finger in front of his ear. “Crackers! Nuts!”

          “And you, Ricardo? Why were you sent here?” Fiona was enjoying herself.

          “I got in a fight with a policeman and they threw me in here. I was sent in a boat from Peru to Chile and then over here to Tierra del Fuego, to the Argentinean prison here, just because I had a fight. The policeman started it. I hate policemen.” Ricardo snarled and spat.

          “I see. Well, we want to leave. We’ve got work to do. I must say, you’re not a very good trap. I’m not afraid of you at all. In fact, you bore me to death.” Fiona made herself invisible.

          The three ghosts jumped backwards. “What? Where?” Petiso was at a loss for words.

          “Where did the cheeky girl go?” Ricardo pushed his face in between the bars. Fiona grabbed hold of his nose and twisted. “Ouch!” Ricardo pulled back. “Something just bit my nose.”

          “It’s the girl. She’s made herself invisible. I thought only ghosts could do that.” Pedro looked into the cell. “Are you ghosts?”

          “Boo!” Jimmy jumped at him and the man tripped backwards and landed on top of Petiso. “Some ghost you are.”

          Fiona reappeared. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She turned and winked at Callum and Fiona, who were having a jolly good time too. “Let’s see how you like this.” Fiona made a fire appear next to Pedro; too close. His filthy striped uniform caught on fire.

          “Ah! It’s a fire! She’s put me on fire. It’s my best convict outfit too.” He slapped the flames off his shirt and stomped on the fire.

          “What a shame. You put out the fire.” Fiona pouted. She called to the rabbits and thousands of them came pouring through the barred window high up and fell on the three prisoners. “Oh boys.” Fiona pointed.

          “Rabbits! Get them off me. I hate rabbits!” Petiso screamed and hit them off, but there were too many. Soon the three were buried under a huge pile of gray, brown, white and black rabbits; their cries muffled.

          Fiona, Callum, Elspet and Jimmy roared with laughter.

          “This has been fun, but we’ve got a jewel to find and can’t stay in here any longer. Open the door and I’ll make the rabbits go away.” Fiona called through the bars. She waved her arm and the rabbits ran off into another part of the building.

          Petiso pulled out a knife. The blade was long and sharp. He ran at the bars. Fiona stepped back and pulled her friends with her.

          “Enough of this, girl. I was commanded to kill you and that’s what I intend to do. No rabbits are going to stop me. You can make tigers appear and still I would have to kill you.” Petiso’s eyes narrowed. “I see you take me seriously now.”

          Pedro coughed. “Petiso, do you want me to open the door and you can kill them? Can I kill the boy?”

          “Where are the keys?” Petiso didn’t see them in Pedro’s hands.

          “Um, uh, I think I left them in one of the other cells.” Pedro shook with fear.

          “Go and get them, you fool. Ricardo, go and help him.” Petiso moved closer to the bars of the cell.

          Fiona called her three friends into a huddle. “You guys cause some sort of distraction. I’m going to shrink down and fit between the bars and then find the keys. Keep Petiso busy for a few minutes until I get back.” They nodded.

          Callum fell to the ground and started convulsing. Strange gargling sounds poured from his mouth.

          “What is that boy doing? What’s wrong with him?” Petiso peered at Callum.

          While he gawked at Callum, Fiona shrunk down and slipped through the bars near his feet. Once she was away from him she grew back to normal size, turned invisible and ran down the corridor looking for Ricardo and Pedro. She saw them going from cell to cell. She spotted the keys lying on the floor in a cell in front of her. She grabbed them and put them in her pocket.

          When Pedro had his back to her, Fiona picked up an ashtray from one of the cells and threw it at him.

          “What did you do that for, Ricardo? You nearly broke my head.” Pedro rubbed his skull.

          “What? I didn’t do anything,” the confused man said.

          “Don’t give me that. Nobody else is around but you. You threw this ashtray at me.” Pedro picked it up.

          “Did not.”

          “Did too. Why, I ought to punch you.” Pedro walked over to Ricardo.

          “Go ahead. It won’t hurt. I’m a ghost, remember?”

          Pedro rushed at Ricardo and the two of them wrestled across the stone floor. Screams and cries filled the prison.

          Petiso pulled his gaze from Callum. “What are those two doing? Make that boy better, or I’ll have to kill him first. I’ll be back.”

          When Petiso ran off to find Ricardo and Pedro, Fiona opened the cell. “Come on, we’ve got to get out of here before they come back.”

          “How, Fiona?” Callum looked at the high white-painted walls. “I did a good job pretending to be sick, didn’t I?”

          “Yes, now come on.” Fiona led them down the corridor, turning down another before they were seen by the prisoner ghosts. “Hold on.” She instructed the rabbits to attack the men and keep them busy for ten minutes. “Here they come.”

          The rabbits hopped past them in hordes and soon found the fighting ghosts. Ear piercing screams filled the room.

          “Ha! Let’s get out of this prison.” Fiona led them down another hall and out of the door, using the keys. Before she left, she wrote a note telling the man at the door about the natural gas and diamonds beneath the jail. Somewhat surprised, he took it from her hand on her way out and then she tossed the keys back into the prison. The four of them rushed outside, thankful to be in fresh air.

          “That was almost fun. I didn’t like his knife, but the rest of it was a laugh. What bumbling fools they were!” Elspet laughed out loud. “I’m free! I’m free! I can’t wait to draw a picture of those ghosts, the wax figures and the cells.”

          “Would you like me to take a photo of the prison from the outside?” Jimmy grabbed the camera from Fiona’s pack. “The three of you go and stand next to it and say cheese.” Jimmy snapped the shot.

          “That was fun, but it is now early afternoon and we’ve got to get that jewel and get back home. I imagine Callum’s dad is frantic by now.” Fiona looked down the street. “There’s the train station. I see a train there. If we hurry, we can get on and head to the end of the world.”

          “By the way, the man responsible for these so called traps is Serbel. I’m not sure what his name will be once he gets to Inveralba and your Uncle Angus. You will have to have a chat with him about his traps, Fiona.” Jimmy rubbed the top of her head.

          “Careful with the do, Jimmy.” Fiona burst out laughing when she saw Jimmy’s confusion. “It’s a 21st century thing. It means, don’t touch my hair. Be careful and not mess it up.”

          “Oh. I’ll remember that.” Jimmy ran off toward the railroad station and the others chased after him.

          “Wait for us!” This time Callum shouted after the man.


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