Tuesday, 16 October 2012

"Where the Heart Is"

Well friends, we have come to the end of our journey with Lillian and Jude. I thank you so much for reading "Red Shores and Pirate Anchors" and I sincerely hope that you've enjoyed it! It was a true joy to write and share with all of you at ABC Life Literacy.

Next week on Friday you'll have a very new story to look forward to! I'm so happy to be presenting "From Away", an adult serial story that exhibits just how peculiar things can get when chance meetings take place, Please join me again next Friday for the first chapter of "From Away".



Chapter Ten

"Where the Heart Is"

As the sunrise reflected in pink and yellow hues on the ocean it left a beautiful background for Jude to slowly open up the treasure chest in front of him. This was the moment that Lillian would have been waiting for, she would have filled her pockets with coins and ran to his house to dump them on the table and tell his mother that their farm had been saved. He too wanted to do something much like that but without his energetic, smiling friend beside him opening the chest seemed a somber duty. He was left wondering for a moment what Lilly was doing on the Ghost Ship with her Father while they were invisible to the rest of the world. He could picture her climbing masts and even as Jude thought about it he could imagine her calling to him.

Throwing the lid of the chest completely open something happened that was more shocking than anything else during their long journey. Jude was tackled by a hug right into the sand and holding onto him tightly was the person he wanted to see more than anything. "Lilly!!" He said happily as the two sat together in the sand, laughing and smiling. The girl nodded. "Yup, you didn’t think I could leave you behind, did you?" She asked. "But…your Father, I thought you wanted to stay with him." No matter how happy Jude was to see his friend he couldn’t understand why she had left Harlington behind to come back to the Island. "I thought that was what I wanted too." Lilly admitted. "But when I thought really hard about it and listened to what my heart wanted…I knew this was where I wanted to stay. You’re the best friend I’ve ever had Jude and even if I love my Father, he understood that I couldn’t stand never seeing you again. This is home to me because you’re here and my heart wants to be with you." She explained, the two standing on the beach together and watching as Nokomis and Meryl swam away so they wouldn’t be seen by the fishermen heading out to sea. "The mermaids meant what they said about the treasure too." Lilly said with a smile. "You can save your family’s home now!" She celebrated, pulling Jude over to the chest with her and put his hand into it so he could get some of the coins that were inside. "There’s enough here to help everyone from Souris to East Point!" Jude exclaimed.

"And the mermaids said they wanted the treasure to be used in the right way…so that means we should share it with everyone." He said softly but finding a bracelet inside amongst the jewels and coins Jude pulled it out and held the piece of jewelry to the light. "It shines so brilliantly!" Lilly said, watching the sparkling ruby that shone on the bracelet. "Just like our friendship." Jude added, placing the bracelet in Lilly’s hand. "I want you to have it as a symbol of our friendship. We’re worth more to each other than any treasure and we’re best friends." Jude said, watching as Lilly slipped the bracelet on. "We’ll be best friends forever." Lilly added, holding Jude’s hand. "Forever." He agreed as the two looked out at the ocean and wondered what life held for them knowing that together they would be able to enjoy every minute.

*****

As days went by Jude kept his promise to the mermaids and with Lillian’s help the two children explained how they had gotten such an amazing pirate treasure. Some people believed them and others thought the story was too outlandish to be real, but no matter what everyone benefitted from the generous amount of money that was in the chest. Families with many children could now afford to have food on their tables, elderly people could live in good security knowing that they would never be poor and the local store was able to set up a fund to give needy people the things they needed. East Prince Edward Island flourished from the generosity of Jude and Lilly. Of course, Jude’s family farm was saved and they got to plant a crop that grew every type of vegetable imaginable. The family that Lillian was staying with had been so worried when she was missing that they were overjoyed upon seeing her again. She had been so focused on finding her father that she never realised just how much they loved her.

"The most important part is what we do with the things and people we’re given." Her father’s words rang in her mind and from that moment on Lilly promised herself to love everyone that came into her life and realise how valuable they are and what she could learn from them. Lilly also realised that life wasn’t about what a person didn’t have or even what they wanted, it was making the most of everything they had. Seeing life through new eyes, Lilly was able to enjoy everything more. Best of all Lilly and Jude looked forward to growing up together. They walked to school, went to the beach, worked and played together. They learned from one another’s differences, taught people new ways to see things and learned from others how they could see the world. Everything was perfect on Prince Edward Island in the year 1870 not because it had always been but because that was what everyone made it to be. And on the very special day of Lilly’s Thirteenth Birthday, as her and Jude were walking home from school and taking a detour along the beach as they often did the two found a bottle washed up on the shore with a sheet of paper in it. Picking it up, Jude opened the bottle and shook the letter out. Lilly opened it and read the letter aloud.

"Dear Lilly and Jude,

I’m so proud of everything you both have done, even if you don’t know it, I’ve kept an eye on you two scallywags and I knew that the mermaids could trust you with their treasure. You’ve both learned a lot on your journey and couldn’t be growing up any better than you are. There’s a big world out there for you to experience in so many ways and being bright as you are I know you’ll find ways to learn everything there is to know. Trust in each other, depend on your families and everything will turn out for the best.

Captain Harlington Webbe

P.S. Happy Birthday to my dear Lillian, for your present I give you a new adventure. If you want to discover more things and find even more pirate treasure to share, then turn this letter over to find what you’re looking for."

Flipping the letter that Captain Webbe had sent to them, Lillian revealed a treasure map that would lead them somewhere new and exciting. It was an adventure that was no doubt to be exciting. "A map!" Lillian exclaimed. "Wow…should we follow it?" Jude asked, puzzling over the map. Lilly looked at it for a moment and considered it; this was a large map that would take them across the water. After thinking very hard, Lilly folded it back up and slipped it into her pocket. "Maybe someday…" She said. "But for now, I want to just stay here and have adventures with our friends and family because pirate treasure can be fun but sometimes just being in the place you are is an adventure that can never compare to gold coins, sailing and sword fights."

*****

So you see dear friend through this story of Jude McLean and Lillian Webbe that everything can be a discovery of fantasy and fun. The ocean is a source of so many wonders and if you’re quiet enough on a sunny day you may hear the song of a mermaid. Or maybe some night when the stars are shining in the sky and all is at peace you might catch a glimpse of Captain Harlington Webbe’s ghost ship. The world is like a story waiting to be told and each of you play a part in it. All you have to do it choose what part you play. You can be bold like Lillian, shy like Jude, happy like Captain Harlington or mysterious as the mermaids. No matter what though, be a good friend, be curious in search for answers to questions that you can’t yet answer and learn as much as you can from others never forgetting to respect them and yourself in everything you do. Because no matter what story is being told, the most important thing to always look for is a happy ending.

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