The Jungle Labyrinth
As nightfall began to circle around her Zoe decided to make camp. She spent a quick 20 minutes setting up her tent and building a fire. She rummaged quickly through her backpack and pulled out her rations. As her food cooked on the fire Zoe took out her pocket calendar and marked down another day. 3 weeks… That is how long she had been stuck in this labyrinth of a jungle. Zoe had lost her pocket compass while out on her exploration of the Great Crystal Caves. Without it she had been wandering the jungle endlessly trying to escape. Zoe finished her dinner and set out her sleeping roll and prepared to settle in for the night.
Zoe began to look up at the stars. They were exceptionally beautiful that night. She started to think of her family. Her mom, always telling her to chase her dreams but always be careful. She was such a wonderful mom and Zoe couldn’t help but tear a little while thinking of her and all the worry she has probably put her through do. Her sister Rose, sweet and bright just like a flower but don’t mess with that girl because she was so strong and brave she gave Zoe a run for her money. Zoe had promised when she reached 16 she would take Rose on her next adventure. Zoe began crying thinking of all the things she wanted to tell her sister and mom about her adventures and quickly started to worry that she would never escape of this jungle. Zoe gazed up again at the stars and wished upon them harder than she ever had before. If only there was a way to at least tell them she was safe.
Zoe felt her eyes begin to get heavy. And as she gazed one last time at the night sky, something caught her attention. Zoe bolted out of her sleeping roll and watched as a star came whizzing down, heading straight towards her. She watched as it zigzagged down and braced for impact as it crashed down in front of her. Zoe huddled next to the nearest tree awaiting the impact. A minute passed and nothing happened. Zoe stood up and peered ever so slightly around the tree and saw something she would never forget.
It was a bottle…but it had legs and arms. It was small in size with small bumps all over its body. It carried what seemed like a bow and arrow, but the arrows were enclosed with paper. Zoe walked slowly over as she watched the bottle turn to her and smile. “Hello Zoe!” the bottle exclaimed. “My name is Alexander Pip and I am here to help you get a message to your sister!” Zoe stepped back quickly snagging her foot on a branch and falling over. “You sp..sp..sp….spoke..” Zoe stuttered out. She had seen many things on all her adventures but never a talking bottle. “I am an InterGalactic Messenger” the bottle began, “I can talk, run, sing and dance but I am here because you wished it and I will do whatever it takes to help you.” Zoe looked again at the bottle and decided to not waste any time.
“I need to get a message to my sister and my mother. They must be worried sick.” Alexander looked at her for only a moment before reaching for an arrow and unrolling a piece of scroll paper. Zoe took it quickly and jotted down a quick message to her mother and sister telling them she was safe but lost and she would try to get home to them as soon as she could.
Zoe watched in astonishment as Pip rolled the scroll and tucked it away. “Just sit tight Zoe. I’ll be back before you know it” Pip exclaimed. Zoe watched as Pip zipped back into the heavens. Zoe slipped back into her sleeping roll and closed her eyes praying that the whole encounter was not just a figment of her imagination or a dream.
The night was young as Rose sat in the flower garden. Rose’s spent the last 15 nights praying for her sister’s safe arrival home. Her sister was an adventurer who traveled the world looking for new discoveries. Rose couldn’t wait till she was old enough to join her her sister but Rose was only 10. She had to wait till she was 16. Rose continued her prayer, wishing harder than ever that her sister would get home soon when all of a sudden Rose heard a loud Thump! Rose bolted up and looked around her. The almost set sun gave her just a little light. Rose watched in amazement as a little bottle stood up and began to brush himself off. “Hello there Rose!” The bottle exclaimed ” My name is Alexander Pip but you can call me Pip for short! I have come all the way from the Labyrinth Jungle with a message from your sister.” Rose fell back slightly tears already sprung in her eyes with the relief that her sister was safe.
She watched as the little bottle pulled out a small piece of scroll paper and handed it to her. She read the scroll slowly allowing each word to fill her heart. ” Dear mom and Rose, I am safe but lost in the Labyrinth jungle. I lost my compass while exploring the Crystal Caves and can’t seem to find my way out. I will try to travel home as soon as I can. Love Zoe.” Rose bolted up immediately, “Mr. Pip? Is it ok to send a message back?” The bottle smiled up at her. “Of course!” He exclaimed. Rose looked down again and bit the inside of her cheek, she didn’t want to ask too much of the little bottle who had answered her prayer but she had to help her sister and this little bottle could be her only hope. She began speaking again, “and Mr. Pip?” She began while reaching for the chain around her neck. The bottle looked up at her while he prepared her scroll for a message. “My sister gave this to me when I turned 10 this year. Is there any possibility you could bring it to her?” Rose pulled out the rest of the chain from her shirt revealing a small but beautiful compass. Pip smiled up at her with a large and warm smile. “Of course!” He exclaimed “I am and InterGalactic Messenger Ms. Rose, it is my duty to help bring people together and I would be more than honored to be able to bring this compass to your sister so she can make it home.” Rose smiled from ear to ear while she passed him the compass. Pip passed her the small piece of scroll and she quickly wrote down her message. “Well then!” Pip exclaimed “I will be on my way!” And without a moment to spare Rose watched as the little bottle zipped back into the stars.
Zoe sat huddled by the fire. It turned out to be another eventless day. The night air had become cool and Zoe knew that meant the rainy season was coming. She knew it meant she needed to find her way home soon. Zoe began to wonder again of the event that took place 2 nights ago. She began to wonder if maybe the whole thing was just a dream. She allowed herself to drift into sleep when she heard a loud Thump right next to her. Zoe shot up as she watched again as the little bottle brushed himself off. “Wow I reallllly need to work on my landing” the bottle laughed out. “Hello again, Zoe! I have returned bearing a message from your sister as well as a gift!” Zoe kneeled down and took the note as well as the small package. She read the note first. “Dear Zoe, I am so happy to know you are safe, I hope that my small gift can help you get home to mom and I soon. I can’t wait to hear all about your incredible adventure!”
Zoe looked down at the message with tears in her eyes and began to unwrap the gift. Zoe felt a glimmer of hope fill her body as she laid her eyes on the little gold compass she had given her sister last year for her birthday. She knelt down to the little bottle and thanked him over and over. Without him she may have never made it home. She looked down at the compass again and sighed in relief, “I’ll be home soon!” She settled again into her sleeping bag knowing she would need to get a good night’s sleep. She watched as the small bottle grabbed her blanket and tucked her in. “Thank you again, Mr. Pip” Zoe said as she felt her eyes begin to get heavy again. She heard him whisper something to her again but she could not make it out entirely in her wave of exhaustion and watch again as he zipped back into the stars. Zoe felt herself fall asleep with a smile on her face knowing she was finally going home.
-RF from NY