Category: Issac’s Adventures Underwater

Isaac’s Adventures Underwater: Chapter Twenty

The egg’s poem about a wasp with a dreadful wig was very long. And it repeated a lot. And the egg spoke in a sing-song voice that made even normal sentences sound like nonsense. So, it was probably not surprising that Isaac dozed off at some point. The egg, however, found it inexcusable.

“You didn’t even clap at the end,” the egg shouted. “You just snored.”

“I’m sorry. It was just such a long poem.” Isaac smiled apologetically.

The egg frowned. “You promised to clap.”

“Would it help if I clapped now?” Isaac asked.

“You already tried that,” the egg said sulkily. “It doesn’t count if it’s not right at the end. If you clap late, you might be clapping about anything after all.”

“But isn’t late better than not at all? And twice better than once?”

“If the first slice of cake isn’t any good, is the second going to be welcome?” the egg’s crayon face looked angry.

Isaac shrugged. “Perhaps I should just leave. I can look around for a bit on my own.”

The egg looked angrier. “This is my island. I say whether or not you can look around. And I say you are too rude to stay here a minute longer. Leave now and don’t touch or look at anything at all.”

Isaac laughed nervously. “But that’s impossible. I have to touch the ground to walk, and I’ll get lost if I can’t look around, and then I’ll stay here even longer.”

“Well, stop touching the ground right this moment. I mean it.” The egg was shaking with anger.

“I can’t,” Isaac said. “I don’t know how. I’m sorry.” The egg shook even harder. Isaac was alarmed. “Please stop shaking like that! You’re going to fall off the wall.”

“You can’t tell me what to do on my island!” The egg was swaying dangerously now.

Isaac, alarmed, tried to speak in a calm, soothing voice. “You’re right. My mistake. It’s just that…”

“Your mistake? I told you everything on thing on this island is mine!” The egg bounced once, twice, and then fell from the wall. It landed with a loud crunching sound that echoed strangely.

Isaac rushed to the egg, which was cracked right through its crayon-drawn face. He wasn’t sure what to do, and his hands fluttered uselessly over the large egg that, up close, was almost as tall as he was.

His mind raced. Was there anyway to fix the egg? If only he’d managed to find the party sooner, then maybe he’d be the king of doctors. But can doctors repair eggs? And there were no guarantees he become a doctor. He might end up as the king of horses, and horses didn’t even have hands. There was no way they could fix broken eggs.

The egg was still making small cracking sounds. Isaac leaned forward, worried that it was about to collapse in on itself. He still had no idea what he could do to help. “Are you okay?” He asked.

There was no answer. The egg continued to make little cracking sounds. The crack across the face grew wider, and suddenly a scaly green face popped through, right in the middle of the egg’s old face.

Isaac jumped back in surprise. “Who are you? What just happened?”

“I’m the same person I always was,” the green thing said. “And you’re still on my island.”

“But I thought that it was the egg’s island… Oh.” Of course. It had hatched.

The green thing snorted and smoke trickled out of its nostrils. It climbed out of the remains of the egg shell, crunching it under its large taloned feet. A long tail whipped back and forth behind it.

It climbed up on the low wall and stretched out its massive wings. It was a dragon.

Isaac’s Adventures Underwater: Chapter Nineteen

Isaac waded to shore, dragging the rowboat behind him. Now that he knew how to row, he hoped that he could use it to travel to the other islands if this wasn’t the island he was looking for. It would be nice to have one less thing to worry about.

Unfortunately, as soon as it touched the shore, the rowboat turned into a little round white pebble that rolled into the underbrush. Isaac chased after it, hoping that once it touched water again, it would change back into a rowboat. He followed the crackling, crashing sounds, hoping that it was the little white stone.

The sounds led him through clumps of bushes and vines, until he hit his shin on a low wall, hidden in the bushes. He clutched his shin and looked down. The little white pebble was lying next to the wall right in front of him. Isaac picked it up and put it in his pocket.

“Whatever you just took, it’s mine,” a voice said. Read More

Isaac’s Adventures Underwater: Chapter Eighteen

“I can give you a ride to the next island on my rowboat,” the lady said.

“You have a rowboat?” Isaac looked around.

The lady laughed. “Of course I do. I’m the Queen of Everything, remember?” She pointed at a scrap of notebook paper and it turned itself into a rowboat. “See?” She pointed at the rowboat, and once again it was a scrap of paper.

Isaac looked at the paper with surprise. “Wait, didn’t we need that?”

The lady raised an eyebrow. “Why carry that heavy old thing to the beach when I can change something into a boat there?”

“Right.” Isaac felt foolish. He followed the lady out the door, where she changed into a swan and launched herself into the air.

“I’ll meet you at the beach,” she said, and then flew away.

Isaac trudged across the bridge without looking down and picked his way through the swamp. Then he walked around the beach until he found the swan waiting for him, preening her wings.

“What took you so long?” she asked.

“I can’t fly.”

The swan fluffed up its wings. “Well, that’s no excuse. Hurry up then. The rowboat is waiting, just over there.”

Isaac walked over to the rowboat, and then turned to look at the swan. “Aren’t you coming?”

“No, I don’t want to leave my island. I want to watch the closet doors and be there when they open. But, once you’re rowing away, I’ll send some lucky feathers along to guide you. Just catch them before they hit the water, or they’re not lucky any more.”

Isaac looked at the little rowboat. “I don’t know how to row.”

“You can do it, I believe in you,” the swan said. “Did that help?”

“Not really, no.”

The swan sighed and turned into a sheep. “Hop in and I’ll give you a push to start.”

Isaac climbed into the rowboat and held tightly to the oars and the sheep shoved the rowboat into the waves. The sheep changed into a large white whale that gave the boat one large final push, and Isaac and the rowboat were out to sea.

Overhead, a dove flapped its wings and several feathers blew off to the left. Isaac tried to push the oars back through the water to pull the boat forward. It didn’t work very well. The water seemed heavy, like he was pushing through cement. The feathers floated down, just out of reach.

Isaac remembered what the lady said, and reached out, trying to catch the feathers before he hit the water. A small breeze caught the largest, prettiest feathers and flung them far away. But nearby, a little fluffy bit of down was tumbling through the air.

Reaching out as far as he dared, Isaac’s fingers just barely managed to close around the bit of fluff. It dissolved like a snowflake when it hit his palm. The other feathers disappeared into the water. Now what?

A dolphin popped its head out of the water. “Have we met before?” she asked. “You seem familiar somehow.”

“I think you escorted me to land once,” Isaac said. “Thank you for that.”

“I do try to help where I can,” the dolphin said. “Say, did you happen to need help again?”

“Yes please.” Isaac held up the oars. “I don’t know how to row.”

“Well, show me what you’ve done so far.”

Isaac tried scooping the water again. “It’s too heavy,” he said.

“Then scoop less water,” the dolphin suggested.

Isaac tried again. The boat inched forward. The dolphin followed, giving encouragement and advice, until an island appeared on the horizon. The dolphin whistled. “I need to go now. Good luck, friend.”

“Thank you, friend,” Isaac said. And he rested a moment, and then rowed his way to shore. Rowing was hard work, much harder than he’d thought.

Isaac’s Adventures Underwater: Chapter Seventeen

“So, how are you the queen of everything?” Isaac asked.

The sheep smiled. “Would you like to see my store?”

“I don’t have any money.” For some reason, Isaac felt a twinge of embarrassment, even though even if he’d brought money to this world with him, it probably wouldn’t be the right kind.

“Oh, I wouldn’t sell you anything,” the sheep said. “If I sold something, then I wouldn’t have it anymore, and then I wouldn’t be the Queen of Everything.”

“Then isn’t it more like a museum?” Read More

Isaac’s Adventures Underwater: Chapter Sixteen

Isaac waded to shore once he reached the next island. He turned to thank the turtles and octopuses, but they were gone, and they’d taken the pieces of driftwood with them. “Thank you,” he yelled to the empty waves anyway. A tentacle reached up out of the water, waved at him, and then disappeared again.

Isaac turned around, and immediately something flew at his face. He couldn’t see. He grabbed the soft, thin thing and pulled it away from him. It was a shawl, woven with intricate gray and white patterns.

He looked up when he heard the sound of a bicycle horn. Who could be riding their bicycle on the beach? But, it wasn’t a bicycle. A white swan was honking and running towards him, flapping its wings and looking rather large and terrifying.

Isaac held the shawl up like a shield and considered running back into the ocean. Could he swim around to another part of the island that swans didn’t like? And then he realized that nothing was happening.

He peeked over the edge of the shawl. The swan was watching him. “Hello?” Isaac said.

“What are you waiting for?” the swan asked. “Drape it around me. I am so tired of feathers. Do you know how much work it takes to keep them straightened and clean when all you have to work with is a beak?”

Cautiously, Isaac draped the shawl around the swan. It shivered like it was cold and somehow shook itself into a motherly looking lady in a long white dress who fussed with the shawl until she’d tied it and it hung just so.

“Are you a were-swan?” Isaac asked. He looked up. “I guess you change back when it’s noon?”

The lady laughed. “Of course not. I’m a shapeshifter. I change to whatever I want whenever I want to. Except that someone is going to curse me to only be able to change when I’m wearing this shawl.”

Wait a minute. “You mean it hasn’t happened yet?”

“Of course not. But I know it will happen someday, because I can’t change when I’m not wearing the shawl.” The lady smoothed the ends of the shawl that were dangling from where she’d knotted it.

“That doesn’t make sense. How do you know it hasn’t already happened?”

The lady smiled. “Because I can’t lift the curse yet. I can cancel it after it happens, of course, but not before.”

Isaac shook his head. “I don’t understand how it can work backwards like that.”

“You are happy about the holidays before they happen, right? Sometimes weeks and weeks ahead of time?” she asked.

“But that’s not the same thing at all,” Isaac said. “That just happens because I know they’re coming. If I didn’t know about them, I wouldn’t be looking forward to anything at all.”

“Well, I suppose this could happen because I believe it will,” the lady said. She looked uncertain.

“You could try believing that it won’t happen,” Isaac said. “But believing things is hard.”

“Nonsense,” the lady said. “Everyone believes unbelievable things all the time. It’s what makes the world round.”

“Don’t you mean ‘go ’round’?” Isaac asked.

“That too, dear,” the lady said. She handed him the shawl. “Hmmm. Now let’s see…” She wrinkled her brow and tapped her chin with a finger. A few moments later, she began to shiver, and then she shook herself into a sheep.

“It worked!” Isaac said.

“Or the person changed their mind and decided not to curse me after all. I’ll have to thank all the magic users I meet, just to be safe.” The fluffy white sheep turned and looked at Isaac. “Now who are you? I don’t think we’ve met before. Are you a magic user?”

“No, I’m just Isaac. I’m here looking for a party.”

“Ah.” the sheep nodded. “I understand. I once was in your shoes. And now, I’m the Queen of Everything.”

“But what does that mean?” Isaac asked. “How can you be the queen of everything?”

“It’s a long story,” the sheep said.

Isaac’s Adventures Underwater: Chapter Fifteen

Isaac led the octopus down to the beach. “Thank you for your assistance,” the octopus said. “Now let’s swim around to the other side of the island. It will be easier for you to get to the next island on your map from there.”

“I don’t swim very well in the ocean,” Isaac admitted. “The waves get me all mixed up. I’m not really a strong swimmer to begin with. That’s why I need help getting to the next island.”

The octopus tapped his glass helmet. “I understand. I have a hard time getting around on land.” He looked out at the waves. “As exciting as discovery is, I suppose it’s best to be practical when we have a task to complete.”

Isaac looked out at the ocean, and then back at the octopus. “What do you mean?”

The octopus looked back at Isaac. “Isn’t it obvious? I’ll take the sea route and you take the land route. I have no doubt that I’ll reach the other side of the island before you. But have no fear, that will only give me time to arrange a solution to your difficulty.”

That made sense. “Thank you. I’ll see you there.”

The octopus scurried into the waves and disappeared. Isaac turned around. Which way to go? Right or left? It didn’t really matter. Both ways would take him there eventually.

But which was the easier path? He’d like to get there quickly. The path to the right was rocky and steep, but it was also shady at this time of day, which would be nice.

Isaac looked to the left. The path was shallow and flat and very sunny. It would be a much easier path to follow. Did that mean it would take longer to get there? He didn’t really want to spend any longer in the sun than he had to.

Easy and sunny or difficult and shady? Which one was longer? On the map, they looked the same. Isaac looked right, and then he looked left. And then he chose the right. It looked more difficult and less traveled-by, but the shade made all the difference. Too much sun gave him a headache.

Isaac picked his way carefully through the rocks, humming a tune to himself. The shady path grew darker as he walked around the side of the hill that led up to the sisters’ house. Sunlight filtered through the bushes high overhead and left dappled patterns at the edge of the path.

The wind blew and the bushes made a whispering sound. The patches of sunlight on his right danced. “Twinkle, twinkle, little sunbeams. How I wish I had some ice cream,” he sang to himself. He almost expected someone to join in, but the path was quiet except for the whisper of the wind.

Soon enough, Isaac was rounding the far end of the path and stepping back into the sunlight. The octopus was waiting on the beach. “You are fortunate,” he said.

“Good! Why?”

The octopus waved an arm towards the water. It looked like there was a trail of things floating out there. “I was able to communicate with both my fellow octopodes and a traveling bale of turtles. We’ve built you a bridge.”

Isaac looked back at the water. He couldn’t see a bridge. “Is it invisible?”

“Of course not. Maybe you don’t see well at a distance. My research on human sight is rather limited. Try walking a little closer.” He made shooing motions with his noodley arms.

Isaac walked closer to the water. Up close, he could see that the floating things were bits of driftwood and turtles, all lined up, making a sort of path out to sea. “That’s the bridge?” Isaac was pretty sure he was too heavy to walk on a turtle bridge.

“Oh good, you can see it now. Well, hop on!” The octopus waded into the waves.

Isaac followed him into the water and looked back. High above, he could see a wall of rosebushes. He turned back and swam towards the first bit of driftwood. Two octopuses were holding it in place, one on each end.

Isaac’s friend, still wearing his glass helmet, helped him climb up. Cautiously, Isaac stepped onto a large log. The octopuses behind him swam away with the driftwood. So far so good.

The turtle treading water ahead of him was waiting patiently. It was a big turtle, but it didn’t really look large enough to carry his weight. “Are you okay?” it asked.

“Just a little nervous,” Isaac said.

“No worries, then. Just a quick step and you’ll be onto the next. If you go quickly, you won’t even notice you’re not on land.”

“But won’t that make me more likely to fall?”

The turtle laughed. “I guess it depends on how good your balance is.”

“Just hurry up and go,” the octopus on Isaac’s right said. “We can’t hold you in place much longer like this.”

“Take it at a run,” the octopus on the left said. “On your mark, get set, go!”

Isaac started running.

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