Tuesday, 9 October 2012

"An Important Visit"

What an amazing choice Jude made at the end of Chapter Eight! It was a difficult thing to give up the treasure to help Lilly but in the end, Jude knew what meant the most. Friendship. And now Lilly has the chance of a lifetime! It's been an amazing time with all my ABC Life Literacy readers and I can't believe we're at the second to last chapter!

Now we get to see what happens when Lilly visits her Father upon the ghost ship "Wandering Maiden" and there might even be a little bit of a cliffhanger and the end of this chapter...

Read on to see!

Chapter Nine

"An Important Visit"

As the treasure they had worked so hard for slipped into the ocean, Lilly tried her best to snatch up some of the remaining coins. It wasn’t possible though, every single piece of the pirate loot had been lost to the sea. Jude unlike Lilly wasn’t bothered by this at all. In fact he seemed very happy with the trade that was made and placed a hand on each of Lilly’s shoulders to calm her. "It’s gone Jude!" The girl said sadly. "What about your family’s farm? How are we going to save it now?" She asked in distress. "Don’t worry, we’ll find a way to keep the farm. This is more important than that to me Lilly. I have my family with me all the time…you’ve never gotten to talk your Father before. Family and friends are more important than all the pirate treasure in the world." Jude assured Lilly and she was very, very quiet for a moment before squeezing her friend into a big hug.

"Thank you Jude, I won’t ever forget you." She whispered in his ear and Lilly would have said more but the mermaids couldn’t let her. "We have to reach your Father’s ship before the morning light." Nokomis explained softly. "Yes! That is very soon, so we must go now." Meryl added, reaching a hand out to help Lilly join them in the water. There was so much more that Lillian wanted to say to her friend but there was just no time, so taking Meryl’s hand she slipped into the water with the two mermaids. "Goodbye Jude!" Lilly yelled back to him as the sea women started to lead her away. "I’ll watch for you in my telescope!" Jude called back, waving to her with the spyglass Lilly’s Father had given him. And as Jude became a tiny speck in the distance to Lilly she knew that through his telescope he would be able to see her smiling at him. There were butterflies in Lilly’s tummy as she thought about joining her Father on his ship, Jude had told her how nice he was but she could hardly imagine how she might feel. "Your Father will be so happy to see you." Nokomis told Lilly as they were approaching the ghost ship.

It was huge like no ship Lilly had ever seen before and the sails were all tattered and torn, but it looked welcoming as any home to her when a man with curly black hair waved to her from it with his big toothy grin. Leaving the helping hands of the mermaid’s Lilly swam the rest of the way and grabbed onto the anchor of her Father’s vessel. "Lillian!" She heard him cry as his crew pulled the anchor on deck for her. "Father!" Lilly smiled brightly as Harlington scooped her up into his arms. He held her there for a moment as she hugged him back; this was a priceless present from Jude. "I’ve missed you so much daughter!" Captain Webbe told Lilly as he set her on the deck again. "My, my look how you’ve grown into such a beautiful girl." He complimented Lilly and started to lead her across the deck of the Wandering Maiden.

Everything was captivating and amazing, from the transparent floors to the pixies guarding the ship but most important was the presence of her Father. Yet something was nagging at Lillian’s mind, her heart felt full but an important piece was still missing. It showed on her face as she forced a smile for her Father. It was true, she loved him but this ship didn’t feel like home. "Is something bothering you?" Captain Webbe asked caringly. In her Father’s eyes Lillian saw herself and she saw a deep trust which told her she could be honest with her feelings. "I always dreamt that this was what I would want most in my life…to be here with you and Jude gave that to me because he knew it was my dream…" She started, her father nodding in understanding. "But now that I’m here…it doesn’t feel like I thought it would. I miss the Island, the fields, flowers, fresh milk…" She kept naming things but inside Lillian knew it was something else, someone else who she wanted to be with. "And you miss your friend Jude." The Captain said with a soft smile, bending down so that he was level with Lillian. "Let me tell you something, my dear. Sometimes in life we’re given something unexpected. I was given this ship and my responsibility and you were given someone very special to watch over you and for you watch over too. Not everything goes according to plan but the most important part is what we do with the things and people we’re given." Leaning in to hug Lillian he continued speaking. "You’ve bloomed into a beautiful flower, using the chances you’ve been given to help people and gain a lifelong friend in Jude. It was fate that brought us together at this moment Lillian but what I want more than anything for you is that you are happy." Letting go of his daughter, Harlington took a good long look at her face. "Tell me, are you happy here? Is this where your heart is?"

Lilly thought about it for a moment she loved her Father and he loved her, she wanted to know him more and could imagine all the fun they would have on his ship. She considered where her heart was. Maybe she didn’t get along with all the children in her class and maybe she wouldn’t always want to live on a ship. Was it possible that her heart was in both places, with Jude and her Father? "I don’t know Father…I’m so confused…" Lillian whispered to him. The man didn’t say anything for a long time, but lifted Lilly so that she could sit on his shoulder. "You think about it Lilly, I trust you’ll follow your heart. We still have a little time together which is more than we’ve ever had, so I’m grateful no matter what. You’ll have to tell me before sunrise though; because if you spend one full night on the ship you’re bound to it."

*****

Meryl’s French mermaid friends had brought Jude home from Charlottetown and as he sit on the North Lake beach looking out at the horizon with his spyglass trailed on it, he couldn’t see any trace of the fading ghost ship while morning dawned. Putting his telescope back down into the sand, Jude thought about Lilly and how much he already missed her. She was his best friend and despite their differences, through her eyes Jude had seen a whole new world on Prince Edward Island.

He could remember her laugh and how that first day they spoke she had shown him her treasure. Now she would be able to be with her Father but he had to wonder if she missed him too. Every night, he planned to come to the beach and watch for the Wandering Maiden with his telescope. But for now the sunrise would remind him of Lilly’s bright smile and twinkling eyes. When Jude was just about to leave he heard a familiar voice, it was that of the mermaids who had helped him and Lilly on their journey. Turning back to Meryl and Nokomis on the shore he was shocked to see the treasure chest that had been lost between them. He went over to the two as Meryl beckoned and both mermaids smiled with great understanding. "We’ve brought something for you Jude." The French mermaid cooed.

"Indeed, it is the treasure that you gave to help your friend. You see long ago this very chest was stolen from the mermaids by a Pirate Captain who hid it in Charlottetown. He was greedy and didn’t care for anyone but himself and the day it was stolen all the mermaids vowed that once it was found we wouldn’t let it fall into the hands of greed again." Nokomis explained. "Yes and when you and Lilly found it, we knew we must give you one test to see if you were worthy of the treasure." Meryl continued the story. "So we gave you the chance to give Lilly what she wanted the most…and you were selfless enough to help your friend." Nokomis said as her and Meryl pushed the chest onto the sandy beach for Jude to take. "You’ve proven that there is no greed in your heart and we trust that you will use the treasure for the better of your family and everyone around you. This is the one way that we can make sure no greedy person will ever steal our treasure again." Nokomis concluded, watching Jude as he stared at the chest. He was overwhelmed by what had happened and although he still missed Lilly more than anything he knew that she would want him to have the treasure. So Jude approached the chest, carefully lifting the lid to peer inside…

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