At the bottom, Fiona sat on a
low stone wall. “I am not going up those steps again, no matter what!”
“What will we do? Can we take
the brick back to Inveralba and get the obsidian out at home?” Callum wanted
to go home as soon as possible.
“No, Callum. We’ve got to get
it out before we go home.” Fiona caught her breath, exhausted from the day’s
events. “It’s part of the rules. We have to have the stone in our hand in
the country we find it.”
“Is the obsidian a jewel or a
stone?” Elspet took the brick from Callum’s hand.
“It’s really a stone, but
it’s so valuable that it’s also a jewel, or so Uncle Angus said. Call it
whatever you want,” Fiona said.
“Let’s get a big rock and
drop it on the brick. I know it’s marble, but if the rock is really big, it
will break it, won’t it?” Callum wasn’t sure his idea would work.
“If it’s big enough to break
that brick, how in the world would we be able to pick it up? Imagine how
heavy a rock we’d have to lift. We need to come up with another idea. All we
need to do is break it in half,” Fiona said.
“I have an idea. Why don’t we
go up to the top of that church over there, the one with the blue dome? Two
of us can go up to the top and drop it over the edge. The other one of us
can get the jewel before any one else comes along,” Callum said. “It’s a
“That’s marvelous, Callum. I
wish I’d thought of it.” Fiona patted him on the back.
They moved through the narrow
alleys, making their way toward the larger Byzantine church. When they stood
at the entrance and looked up, Elspet said, “It’s not as white and pretty as
some of the ones on the other Greek Islands, but it’s nice enough. Who’s
going to go up?”
“I’ll go. Callum, why don’t
you come with me? Elspet, you stay here and grab the jewel right away,”
Fiona said. “Don’t let anyone else near it.” She turned and opened the door
to the church.
“Here’s the brick,” Elspet
said, handing it to Callum.
He and Fiona went inside.
“We’ve got to be quiet in here This is still a church and we need to respect
They disappeared, leaving
Elspet standing alone outside the circular stone building. She used this
time by herself to look around the town. “What a lovely view,” she said,
watching the sun sparkle on the sea. A man walked past carrying an octopus.
Its eight suction-cupped tentacles dangled from his arms, nearly touching
the ground. “That’s gross. It’s all slimy. Yuck. I hope he’s not going to
eat that.” Elspet whispered, hoping he didn’t hear.
The grubby-faced man smiled
at her before disappearing around a corner.
She saw a donkey approach and
ran to hide behind the curved wall of the church, in case it was Nikolas.
A gray-haired man holding a
rope, guided the hay-laden donkey through the alleys.
“Whew! Thank goodness it
“Elspet!” Fiona shouted down.
“Where are you?”
Elspet came out from behind
the wall and looked up.
Fiona’s and Callum’s heads
stuck out through a narrow, slotted window.
“Stand back,” Callum called.
“I’m going to drop it.” He let go of the brick. It fell to the ground,
shattering into several pieces.
Elspet moved the broken
pieces apart and saw the jewel. “Wow, this is beautiful.” She picked it up.
The jewel, about two inches in diameter, glittered when the sun hit it. She
held it up to her eye and looked through it. “It’s like glass. I can see
right through it.”
Fiona and Callum came rushing
outside through the open door.
“You’ve got it. Thank
goodness.” Fiona sighed with relief. “Let me see it.”
Elspet dropped it in her
“We’re lucky. There were only
2 traps for this jewel.”
“Uh, Fiona. I think you spoke
too soon,” Callum said, pushing the two girls out of harm’s way. He pointed
at the broken pieces of marble. It bubbled and melted, turning into a thick,
white liquid, running all over the ground. The drops of gooey marble ran
together and formed into a shape.
“What is it? What’s
happening?” Fiona put the stone in her pocket. The three of them backed up,
not taking their eyes off it. Horror filled their bodies as it took the form
of a snake. “It’s turning into a Hydra monster.” She gasped in disbelief.
“This is all your fault, Callum. You kept talking about Hydra monsters all
the time. Now look what’s happening!”
The shape grew taller. Nine
snakes grew from its head, each with sharp fangs and hissing with flickering
“I can’t help it. I hate
Hydra monsters. Let’s get out of here,” Callum said. They turned and ran. He
looked back. “Oh no! It’s following us. Run faster.”
They darted in and out of
buildings. “How can a brick melt and turn into a monster from Greek
mythology? This is all too weird. Let’s get to the bay and go home before it
gets any weirder,” Fiona ran toward the sea. The church bells starting
ringing, stopping her. “Wait. Maybe we’d be safer if we went back into the
church. We’re going the wrong way.”
“Are you crazy, Fiona? We
can’t turn around and go back. The Hydra will find us. Those snake heads
have fangs.” Callum cried in despair. “I don’t want to be bitten by a marble
snake nine times.”
“We have to go back. Don’t
ask me why, but I just know we must. It will find us and kill us if we
don’t. It’s going to happen. You’ll have to trust me this time. My heart
tells me to get back to that Byzantine Church,” Fiona said. “Come on. We’ll
go a different way.” With hesitancy the other two followed, too afraid not
Elspet heard the hissing
sounds first. “Do you hear those noises? It sounds close.”
Callum and Fiona heard too.
“It’s right behind us. Hurry.” Fiona shouted. The marble hardened, but
somehow the stone monster was able to move. “It’s like it’s hovering above
the ground.” She glanced at it. “There’s the church and the door is still
open. Whoever is the last one in, slam it shut behind you.”
When they reached the door,
Callum was first inside, with Fiona right behind him. Elspet entered last.
“Shut it, Elspet. Shut it
now!” Callum shook with fear. He helped her slam the door shut just as the
monster reached it. “Did you see its ugly face?”
“I think I’ll pass on that.
Let’s go upstairs. We’ll be safer.” Fiona climbed the steps leading to the
window they dropped the brick from.”
They looked down and saw the
monster at the door. The fanged heads bumped against the wood. “It won’t
come inside the church. We’re safe in here, aren’t we?” Cracking sounds and
splintered pieces of wood falling to the ground frightened Elspet.
“We’re safe for now, but we
can’t stay here forever,” Fiona said.
“But it’s chewing through the
door. It’s coming to kill us.” Callum slid to the floor and pulled his legs
close to his chest, wrapping his arms around them. “I want to go home.”
Fiona took the jewel out of
her pocket and looked at it. She saw the dragon carving, etched deep inside.
It emitted a slight glow. She slouched to the floor next to Callum and
closed her eyes. In her vision she saw a giant black dragon, with eyes
shining like the jewel. It swooped down from the clouds, caught the Hydra
monster in its sharp teeth and carried it away.
“Wow! Look at that!” Elspet
shook Fiona’s shoulder. “Come and see this, Fiona. Callum, get up. You’ll
miss it. It’s a dragon! It must have a fifty foot wing span.”
Loud screeches rattled their
They jumped up and looked out
the window. The glossy black dragon had a row of even darker black spikes
running down the middle of its back and a long pointed tail dangled behind
“How can that be? I just
dreamed this. It’s the same dragon from my vision.” It flew so close to
Fiona that she saw the veins in its leathery wings. Its long snout, scaly
and emitting puffs of brownish-red smoke, attacked the Hydra. It picked the
marble monster up with its fangs and carried it away. The Hydra hissed and
struck at the dragon’s legs, but it didn’t loosen its grip and disappeared
into the clouds.
“It tried to bite the
dragon,” Elspet said, “but the dragon was too big.”
“I didn’t know they had
dragons in Greece,” Callum said.
“They don’t have dragons in
Greece, or anywhere else in the world!” Fiona said. “This is all really
“Where did it come from
then?” Callum leaned out the window.
“I think it came from my
dream. It was in my vision and then it became real. I think King Kegan had
something to do with it, or else it was his wizard, Zerahemna.” Fiona
“I don’t care who did it or
where the dragon came from. I’m just glad that thing, that ugly monster
thing with all the heads is gone. I hate snakes,” Elspet said.
With relief, they went down
the steps and outside, looking into the sky. “The dragon’s gone now. I
wonder where it went? I hope none of the local people saw that, or heard it
either,” Fiona said. “It happened so fast though. I’m sure nobody did.” But
as they walked through town they noticed people pointing at the sky and
talking. “Oops. Well, some of them did.” She burst out laughing. Callum and
Elspet joined in. “They’ll have something to talk about for a while. Are you
both ready to go home?”
“I am,” Callum said.
“Me too.” Elspet skipped down
the cobbled street. “Even though this was a very scary day, it was a lot of
fun and I learned a lot too.” Fiona and Callum agreed.
As they neared the departure
point, they noticed a few boats bobbing up and down in the bay. From shore,
dozens of rowboats made their way out to greet them. Shouts of bargaining
went on amongst the two groups. “It’s a floating market,” Fiona said. “I saw
an advertisement taped up in one of the shop windows. Once a week, farmers
come from surrounding islands and bring their produce to sell. My mum would
“The boats are full of
vegetables, fruits and fish. I can see aubergines, kiwis and avocados. I
wish I had a camera with me. It’s all so colorful. I’d take pictures of the
donkeys, the floating market, the church, the monastery, even the
scorpions,” Elspet said.
“Don’t you want to paint them
too, Elspet? Not me. I’d have taken a picture of the dragon. Nobody will
believe me when I tell them I saw a dragon,” Callum said.
“Do you think they’ll believe
any of this? Who’d believe we had to run from a brick that turned to liquid
and then formed the shape of a marble Hydra monster that chased us all over
town? Do you think they’ll believe any of it? I don’t. They’ll think we’re
nuts. I think we need to keep this to ourselves, at least for now,” Fiona
“I think you’re right. Nobody
will believe us,” Callum said.
Elspet said, “Before we go,
let’s get something sweet to take back to your Uncle Angus. I don’t think
he’s ever been to Greece before.”
“Good idea, Elspet. Let’s see
what they have in the bakery,” Fiona went inside and looked in the glass
cases, her mouth drooling. “What should we buy?”
“See that cake?” Callum
pointed. “It’s called an amigdalota. I remember my teacher saying that’s an
almond cake. We can also buy him one of those galaktoboureko. It’s a milk
pie with cinnamon and syrup. It’s messy, but I’ll bet it tastes good.”
“You buy some for him and
then get something for us too. I’m taking the rest of our money and changing
it back into British pounds.” Fiona walked off, leaving the two of them to
ogle the sweets. She returned with her original money. “Got it.”
Callum held the bag of
They walked down to the
pebbly beach, eating and licking their fingers clean.
“This is the spot,” Fiona
said. They looked around at the town one last time. “I think I’m going to
“I will too, but I’m glad we
got to come here, even if we were chased by policemen and marble monsters.”
Elspet said. “I’ve got a lot to write in my journal.”
“Let’s all hold hands,” Fiona
said. Callum and Elspet slipped their hands into hers. “Be careful not to
drop the bag.” She winked at Callum. “Are you ready?” They nodded. “Daleth
shapish yam bet.”
The clouds seemed to come
down from the sky and encircle them in a cocoon, swirling in dozens of
colors. Dizziness engulfed them. When they opened their eyes, they stood in
the middle of Uncle Angus’s croft.
“Hello children. I’m glad
you’re back.” Uncle Angus got up off the floor and dropping the wooden
blocks from his hands to the floor.