I knew what I was doing, I was dream-seeking. I knew exactly how to do it, and exactly what had to be done. The task I had was fairly simple, follow my bird to the bottled message, and guide the the message to my parents who were stranded on an island that could not be located by anyone without magic in their blood and the ability to dream-seek.
Starling swarmed around the room frantically, as I crawled out of bed. Everything looked exactly the same, but I knew I was sleeping. The air was light, almost as if it didn’t exist, and every sound ran through my ears in an echo.
According to my studies, I could not be seen while dream-seeking. I knew it was crucial that I follow Starling out the door, and follow her wherever she flew. But as I shut my door, I saw the door to Donna’s room. The temptation was just too much.
Starling stubbornly perched on my shoulder, and firmly pinched me with her talons. I knew that if I had been awake, it would have been enough to pierce through my skin.
“Oh, calm down!” I whispered. “It won’t take long, just one peek.”
I quietly crept into Donna’s room and sat down on the floor.
“I think Yellow loves me, Misfit!” She squealed to misfit as she playfully rubbed her face. I could feel my ears perk up as I became even more interested in what she was saying.
“I think he’s perfect for me. We’re just lovely together!” She continued.
I watched her as she continued on with her night. I had no clue what she does behind closed doors, and although I knew it was a bit weird for me to spy on her, I couldn’t help it. She’s always full of life and wonder, and every little move she made was fascinating to me.
Without me being aware, hours passed by as I studied all of Donna’s ways to pass the time.
As Donna finally fell tired and crawled into her bed, I realized just how much time I’ve been spending with her.
I then realized that I failed at my goal for the night. I was so distracted by Donna and my new ability, that I completely lost track of time, and didn’t have enough time to follow Starling to the message in a bottle.
Although I was incredibly disappointed in myself, I still felt that it was worth it, and knew that there would always be tomorrow.
The next morning, which was a beautiful summer morning, Donna and I walked hand in hand through the market, as the rest of my family trailed behind.
Today was a very special day, we had several guests from Appaloosa Plains that traveled here to spend the summer with us. We agreed to all meet at the market, after they arrived.
It was originally only going to be Clementine, but Clementine insisted that she bring one of her “besties” along. His name was Ghost. I knew a little bit about him, but not much.
And because Clementine was magically traveling to a different land all alone with a boy, of course Brandt took it upon himself to join them for the summer. Brandt brought his girlfriend, Gracie, or as I know her, Ms. Loveland.
And last but not least, when Clementine ran into Cricket, an old homeless man I made friends with as a child, she insisted he also joined them for the trip.
It was great to see all of them! And apparently the feeling was very mutual for Clementine, who went bananas when she saw all of us approaching.
As everyone greeted one another, I held my hand out, to shake hands with Ghost, who was very silent, and wore a stern look on his face.
“I’m Yellow,” I greeted with a smile.
Ghost casually looked away without shaking my hand. “I know.” He replied.
“Okay…” I said, trying to discreetly hide my embarrassment.
Clementine gently tapped me on my shoulder, and I gladly turned away from Ghost to face her.
“Lo…” She sighed, “You look great!”
As all the memories of Clementine having a crush on me flooded back, I didn’t want to make Donna uncomfortable, so I avoided eye contact with Clementine.
“You too, Clem.” I smiled, still looking away.
She then threw her arms around me and squeezed me tight.
“It’s so good to see you again.” I said, not really knowing what else to say.
Clementine quickly turned her focus back to Donna.
“Oh my god, so you have to tell me about Lo’s April Fool’s prank! Did he really get Salem to kiss someone?!” She said, grabbing Donna’s arms enthusiastically.
As amusing as I thought this conversation was, I decided to let all the girls have girl time, since I could use a little me-time anyway.
“I’ll be right over there playing chess if you need me, dear.” I smiled shyly.
After building up the courage, I gave Donna a quick peck on the lips. I was hoping that it would ease some of the awkwardness involving Clementine and I. It also happened to be our second kiss.
As Clementine gasped loudly, Donna was slightly taken aback, but luckily she didn’t pull away.
“OH MY GOD. You two are so cute!” Clementine squealed, as she clapped her hands manically.
I sat alone and studied the chessboard intently, trying to decipher what made chess so appealing to my grandpa. I didn’t know much about chess, but I needed an excuse to get away from the large crowd of people.
Unexpectedly, Clementine’s friend Ghost approached the chess table and sat down in front of me.
“So you’re the kid Clementine is always talking about… interesting.” He said, condescendingly.
“Umm… yeah I guess so…” I said.
“And you’re named after the late Yellow-Foot, I see. Do you think you deserve that kind of honor?”
Obviously this Ghost fellow had an issue with me from the start. I wasn’t exactly sure how to respond, because I was taught that if I have nothing nice to say, then I shouldn’t say it at all.
“I didn’t think you’d have anything to say.” He said. “I was just curious. After all, you didn’t even know him, did you?”
I decided I needed to diffuse this bomb, so I stood up as he shadowed my every move.
“Look, Mr…. um- Ghost..” I stumbled, “I’m sorry if my name offends you in any way. If it’s any consolation, it was also my father’s favorite color, so there’s that…”
“Right. Because you know nothing of him.” Ghost added.
” I don’t claim to know everything about him, just that he was unfairly murdered, and my parents exposed the truth to set him free.”
“…And it wasn’t their place to do that. They didn’t know him either. He should have been set free by someone in his tribe… Someone like me.”
“Look, I’m sorry you feel that way. My parents ran into a spirit that needed their help, and they did what they had to do to help him.” I said.
“I still stand by what I said. Naming you after him was taking it too far. You and your family should be ashamed of yourselves, pretending like you knew him personally.”
At this point, I was starting to get very angry with Ghost. Obviously he had a problem with me, that had little to do with Clementine.
“Okay, I think you don’t know enough about my family to understand completely.” I scoffed.
“Oh, I’m quite familiar with your family, Darling.” He said. “Do you know what I do for a living?”
I stared at him blankly.
“My job is to find lost spirits and help them find their way to the afterlife. I was trained by my father, who was mentored by Yellow-Foot. I was the one who was supposed to free him, not a couple of white college kids sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.”
“And you and your family make my job that much harder. You resurrect people, messing with very strong powers that were never meant to be used in the first place. There are plenty of people in this world, and you think your only choice is to bring someone back from the dead. You’re playing god, and It’s wrong. when someone dies, they die for a reason, and they’re not meant to be brought back.”
“Your little red girl over there? She was next on my list to set free, until you and your family of witches captured her soul.” He continued. “Long story short, what you’re doing is wrong.”
“Meh, I guess everyone has different opinions then…” I shrugged, trying to avoid confrontation.
He silently glared at me.
“I gave Donna a second chance at life, she was taken too soon, and deserves to live a full life like your ancestors and mine.” I said.
“Sure.” He replied, ending the conversation.
As the summer went along, we continued enjoying the time we had with our friends. It was a lot of fun to introduce Clementine to our witch friends. I saw very little of Ghost since the day I met him, and he never once came to our house. Clementine said he’s busy working, and I couldn’t help but wonder how his job is going in a place like Pony-Bones Island.
While everyone else hung out, I tried my best to go to bed early almost every night to continue my mission.
A few hours later, I’d awake in a dream-seeking state, as always.
On this particular night, I was determined to not get distracted by what Donna was doing.
“Okay Starling, I know I’ve been screwing up a lot lately, so tonight I’m going to do my best okay?”
I followed Starling out the door, but was immediately stopped in my tracks when I heard giggling coming from the other direction. Starling continued to fly away but I was still trying to see what was going on.
From a distance, I saw Donna and Clementine telling secrets, while Salem and Flynn sat on the ground next to one another.
I couldn’t help myself, as curiosity got the best of me, and before I knew it, I was standing in front of Clementine and Donna, eavesdropping.
“Oh my god! You were both naked and in the water? Get out, that’s so hot!” Clementine squealed.
I couldn’t help but laugh at Clementine’s reactions as Donna explained our first kiss in detail.
I then noticed Salem grew tired of being outside, and invited Flynn inside. I found that rather strange.
Clementine and Donna then took a seat on the grass.
“Soo….” Clementine began. “What was he like in… you know…” She inquired, squinting her eyes curiously.
I was caught off guard by Clementine’s question, and my face would have turned bright red had I been awake.
Donna looked up at her in confusion. “I don’t believe I follow?” She said.
“You know… like how is he, when he’s.. making love?”
Donna was taken aback when everything clicked, and she finally understood Clementine’s question.
“Oh that! No, we haven’t done that yet!” She exclaimed sheepishly, like an embarrassed little kid. I started to laugh to myself, her adorableness was too much to take sometimes.
“What! You haven’t done it yet? Why not?!” Clementine asked.
“Well we’re not married yet.” Donna answered.
“OH MY GOD GIRL! Stop being so old-fashioned! Nobody goes by those rules anymore.”
“You’re right…” Donna began. “I don’t live in those times anymore.”
“That’s the spirit!” Clementine smiled.
“I suppose I’d like to fairly soon…” Donna said, as my ears suddenly perked up. Yeah… I knew I wasn’t going anywhere tonight.
“You should.” Said Clementine. “But you’ll have to make the first move. Lo is way too much of a gentleman to try anything. Trust me, I know Yellow.”
“What about you? Have you ever…” Donna asked bravely.
“Plenty of times.” Clementine answered quickly.
“With that Mr. Ghost fellow, right?”
“Hahaha, oh Ghost?” Clementine laughed. “No, I promise Ghost is just a friend. I mean he’s hot and stuff, but he just has too much of a protect-y big brother-y vibe, not my style.”
Donna smiled and nodded as if she could understand exactly what Clementine was saying.
“But yeah…” Clementine continued. “I guess you can say I’m pretty experienced by now. I’ve had a couple of boyfriends in the past year.”
“None of them like Yellow though…” She said, smiling slightly. “You’re a really lucky girl Don, he’s amazing in every way.”
“I could have sworn he was going to be my first.” She said. “But I’m happy for you! You guys are a great couple!”
The more and more I fell for Donna, the more and more difficult it was for me to accomplish my dream-seeking mission. Especially every since that conversation she had with Clementine.
Days went by.
The passion between the two of us grew stronger and stronger.
Like the hot summer sun, my heart burned with desire.
Confusion and guilt haunted my every thought. I felt as if I were betraying my parents by not making them a priority. But I was in love Donna Grace Parr-Teague, and there was no denying it. I couldn’t stay away from her.
After all, I was still only a measly teenage boy. How could the Crumplebottom sisters possibly trust me with such an important role? Maybe Salem was right, maybe it was foolish to leave the fate of my parents in my hands. No matter how distracting and tempting Donna was, I knew it was time to get my crap together and do the right thing, but something would have to change…
Suddenly, an idea struck, as I jumped to my feet, and began the process of waking myself up. I had the perfect plan…
Stumbling out of bed in the dark, I quickly threw the blankets off, and ran out the door.
Of course barging into Donna’s room without knocking is rude, but she’s a heavy sleeper, so I knew that she wouldn’t hear me if I knocked. I would have to formally apologize later.
“Donna! Wake up, wake up!” I shouted excitedly.
“Huuuhh?” She moaned drowsily.
“I’m sorry to wake you, but I need to talk to you about something very important…”
I watched as she slowly sat up and yawned.
“What’s going on?” She asked, still yawning, as she stood to her feet.
“First of all, how did you sleep?” I asked politely.
“Just fine, Yellow. What was it that you need to speak with me about so hastily?”
“Okay, so this is going to sound crazy…” I began. “But remember that top secret mission assigned to me by the Crumplebottom sisters, that I was telling you about, a few months ago?”
She slowly nodded, signaling for me to continue.
“Well I have an idea and I need your help, I think I’m ready to tell you all about it…”
Lovingly gazing into my eyes, a smile formed in the corner of her lips.