The Cave That Conceals All by Elena Wu (excerpt from the book)

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“Look!” I heard a little five-year old girl’s shrill screech in the middle of the dessert shop.  My mother was still in the bathroom. The little girl was pointing to the window. I heard a few other people near the window gasp such loudly that I was sure it could have woken me up from a nap, not that I take naps anymore. Gradually, people started looking and taking photos. I tried to squeeze into the crowd to see what in the world was going on so fascinating, but there were way too many people. I went outside to see, and when I saw, my mouth dropped open. I had never seen such a thing in my life. 

Then I remembered that my mom was probably looking for me so I rushed back inside just in time. My mother frowned. 

“Luna, what’s all the commotion?” she asked me. 

“Go look for yourself,”I said smiling. I imagined her to be like “Wow” or “That’s sooooo cool” “Woah” with a surprised and awed look. What I did not imagine was her gasping with surprise, but not an awed look, a look that was frightened and scared. 

“Get in the car,” she ordered. 

I was confused. But I obeyed.

 My mom drove all the way home with such amazing speed that she almost forgot to stop at a red light. 

Just to tell you a little bit about myself, my name is Luna. I’m turning thirteen in three days, so I’m basically twelve right now. I have a mom, dad, a twin sister, and an annoying little brother. My brother is five. I go to my neighborhood public school called Lala Poppy. Don’t ask me why it’s called that. My parents say I need to be more patient, but I think I am very patient. 

That night, I heard my parents talking. Look, I’m not the person that eavesdrops and I didn’t mean to, but I had to. I was on my way to the bathroom and I just heard them.

 “I knew they were coming,” I heard my mother whisper. 

“They’ll leave, ” my dad reassured her, but he didn’t sound so sure.

 “I knew they would come ever since I was eleven,” my mother insisted. 

I heard my father sigh. “You’re right Coral, We’ll just have to do the best we can.”

 “I just can’t–” Oops. I dropped my bracelet. It landed on the floor with a loud thump

“What was that?” I heard my father whisper. 

I kicked the bracelet and rushed to the bathroom next door. I heard the door creak open. 

“Luna? Or Ivy or Avery?” My mom called out. “Was that you?” 

Luckily she didn’t see my bracelet. 

“I’m going to check on the kids,” I heard my mother say. Then she cautiously walked into the hallway. 

I panicked. I heard my mom ask my twin sister “Have you seen Luna, dear?” 

I heard my sister Ivy say “She said she went to the bathroom.”

 I dashed downstairs and poured myself a cup of water. 

My mom called “Luna?”

 “Yes?” I replied. She hurried downstairs. “Hi mom!” I said innocently. “I was just getting a drink,” I lied. 

My mother frowned. I could tell she wasn’t buying it. “Well go back to bed now dear,” 

“‘Kay,” I replied.

The next day at school, everything was normal. There was this new girl at my school. She kept staring at me for some reason. 

DUring lunch, I walked up to her. I noticed she had this really pretty sleigh bracelet on her wrist .“Hi,” I said smiling. “What’s your name?” 

The girl thought for a moment and said ”Rose, are you Luna?” 

“Yes,” I said. Then I frowned. “How’d you know my name?” 

Rose thought for a moment again and said “It was on your locker,”

“Ok” I said. To break the tension, I asked “What class do you have next?” 

“English,” was her reply. 

This made me uneasy. She had the same classes as me the whole morning. “Same,” I said. 

“It’s my first day. Everything is so weird,” she said. I could relate. 

She ripped the sleigh bracelet off and threw it in the air. The glass beads fell to the ground but the sleigh charm hoved in the air and grew bigger and turned into a real sleigh. 

The girl turned into a young man that grabbed me and threw me into the sleigh like I was some kind of present that Santa would be giving out.

“Ahhhhh!” I screamed as I fell into the back. It was filled with blankets. I watched another man drag my sister and toss her in with me. 

“Ivy!” I exclaimed as I made space for her. We watched as the Rose-who-turned-into-a-male-kidnapper ripped off a necklace with seven cute reindeer charms.

The reindeer grew bigger until they turned real. The two men climbed into the sleigh. People screamed and ran out of the hallway. 

After about five minutes, they took off into the sky. “Ahhhhh!”, we both screamed. 

“Shut up,” one man snarled. 

We didn’t dare make a sound after he said.

The man suddenly said, “We’re getting close.” He took some pieces of cloth and blindfolded us.  

Elena loves reading and writing works of fiction. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, painting, playing piano, tennis, and spending time outdoors with friends.

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