My mummy was standing by the sink doing the washing  up.  I always wondered what the point of washing things were, when they were just going to get dirty again.  Clutching Rufus by his paw, I walked over to her and pulled the bottom of her dress to get her attention.

“Mummy, I can’t find Mist anywhere.”

Without looking down she said, “Milicent June Walker, you’ve got a million toys.  Go and play with one of those.”

I looked down sadly and squeezed Rufus’ paw.  He barked loudly and I giggled when I saw mummy jump.

“Milly, mummy’s busy now.  Go talk to daddy.”

With Rufus bouncing along behind me, I ran over to daddy who was reading a big, big, big newspaper in the garden.

“Hey, Milly.  What you up to today?” Daddy said, as he brushed a hand through my hair.

“Me and Rufus are looking for Mist.  We lost her.”

Daddy rubbed his prickly chin.  “You have a million toys.  Which one’s Mist?”

“Mist! She’s my alby line.  Rufus’ best friend.”

“Alby line? Oh albino lion.  I haven’t seen Mist.  Why don’t you and Rufus go and find her?”

Squeezing Rufus’ soft paw, I ran to our spaceships.

****

I had parked our spaceship at the edge of the jungle that me, Rufus and Mist had finished exploring.  This was where we had lost Mist.  We were in the Valley of Thorns, when she had disappeared.  After I had briefed Rufus on this, I strapped him into his spaceship and climbed into mine.  Our spaceship was called the Build a Bear workshop.  I put my headset on and started speaking to Rufus.

“Captain Rufus, this is Major Milly and we need to find Captain Mist.  Set coordinates for 0,6, North West, over by that tree.”

Rufus barked a yes.

“Engage your engines and we’re taking off! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” I cheered, as our spaceships whizzed past burning suns and multicoloured planets.  We flew faster than comets and shooting stars.  I had to steer sharply to avoid a big big big floating spaceman, but then the spaceman reached into my spaceship.

“Milly! Why did you take my colander? You know I need that for the pasta tonight!”

“But, mummy, it’s my headset.”

“You’re 5.  You’re too old for this.” Mum walked away sighing and I returned to my mission.  My mum was wrong.  I’m 5 and ¾, not 5.

“We’re landing now!” I yelled out, taken back by the power of the twin fire engines.  As soon as we had touched down, I leapt out of my ship like a little frog, grabbed Rufus and ran into the jungle.

****

To reach Mist and the Valley of Thorns, me and Rufus had to reach the middle of the jungle.

“Don’t be scared, Rufus.  I’ve got my Dark Sword to protect us.” Holding Rufus’ paw in one hand and my weapon in the other, I pressed forward.  It was very quiet in the jungle, there was just the funny sound of the crickets chirping.  Rufus barked behind me.

“What is it boy?” I couldn’t see anything, just hanging vines and a wobbly old rope bridge.  Rufus barked again and I gasped what I saw.  In front of us, stood a big, big, big spider with huge teeth and a funny liquid dripping from its mouth.  The spider launched forward with one leg, which I blocked with a quick swipe from my sword.  The spider screeched, as its leg was eaten by the dark magic.  With seven working legs, it limped around me and without warning, knocked me onto my back.  The spider scuttled up to me and as it stabbed down with its stinging bit, I stabbed up with my sword.  The spider screamed and reared up.  I took more swipes at its legs, causing it to crawl back into the undergrowth.  I picked up Rufus who had been hiding behind a tree.

“Come on, boy.  Let’s find Mist.”

We carried on walking through the jungle fighting off spiders, hiding from black eagles and dodging traps set by the natives.  We finally reached a rickety old rope bridge set over a very angry river.  I felt Rufus clutch my hand tightly.

“Do we have to go over that?” He whined softly and then there was a very scared roar.

“That’s Mist roaring, Rufus.  She’s scared and she needs us.  Be brave for her.  That’s a good boy.”

Slowly, I stepped onto the bridge and flinched, as it shook violently.  Rufus whimpered and I picked him up and held him in my arms.  I continued across the bridge, ignoring the river below me that was shouting like my mummy when she was mad.  I kept breathing and continued walking.  My left hand was gripping the rope tightly, while Rufus buried his head in my chest.  Steadily, we made it to the other side.

“You’re a very brave dog, Rufus.” I said, just as I heard another terrified roar.  I knew that Mist was close.  Letting Rufus walk along side me, we slowly approached the Valley of Thorns and that was when we saw Mist.  Her white fur easily stood out from the green thorns and there were spots of red in her fur.  What were they, I wondered? When she saw me, she started excitedly mewing.

“Mist, I’m so sorry we left you behind, but we’re going home now.” Using my Dark Sword, I cut away the thorns that Mist had gotten tangled in.  When she was free, Rufus started licking the red spots on her fur.  I wasn’t sure why.

“Come on.  Let’s go home.”

****

The three of us walked out of the Valley of Thorns and back over the wobbly old rope bridge.  Rufus was still too scared to walk over it, so he rode on Mist’s back.  She was weak, but strong enough to walk.  As we reached the spot where I fought the big, big, big spider, we heard a loud rumbling behind us.

“Is that an animal?” I asked.  I took out my Dark Sword and both Rufus and Mist started roaring.  As I saw the whole jungle running, I knew this wasn’t an animal.  I told my two friends to hide somewhere safe and turned back to the rumbling.

“What’s she doing?” Rufus asked, worriedly.

Mist smiled toothily.  “Being Milly.”

I knew what the rumbling was.  I always heard it when I was in the jungle.  The giant boulder came crashing towards me, squashing trees as if they were ants.  As I held up my Dark Sword, I saw the boulder chase everything out of the jungle and then it came for me.  But, it never got that far.  As soon as the boulder touched the sword, it ka-boomed into a million, zillion pieces.  I walked back to Rufus and Mist.

“Let’s go home.”

As soon as I landed the spaceship, I saw my mummy march up to me.  She did not look happy.  I could only imagine Rufus and Mist hiding behind me.

“Millicent Walker! Where have you been? Why do you have my wooden spoon?”

“It’s my Dark Sword.” Without wanting to, I gave it back.

I heard my mummy’s voice turn nicer.  “You’re all muddy and there are leaves and twigs in your hair.  Where have you been?”

“Over the plank at the river, where the woods are.”

“Milly, you know I’ve told you it’s not safe for you down there at the bottom of the garden.  Why don’t you listen to me?”

I shrugged and smiled innocently.  “I had to find what I lost.”

*Author’s Notes*

So this is a story I wrote for the Newcastle University Creative Writing Society competition based on the theme of ‘Lost and Found.’  Writing something like this was very new to me, as I’ve never written a story from the perspective of a child, which is something I really enjoyed.  This is also the third thing that I have had published: https://issuu.com/scrittura_mag/docs/scrittura_magazine_issue_3_spring_2/1

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