- Vol. 08
- Chapter 06
"So, what now?" Jay said, his hot face glistening.
They had to find Doctor Jankle. The last two survivors of the TOP SECRET expedition that set out SIX WEEKS ago, JAY and KAY had used the MAGIC MAGNIFIER to locate and follow her tracks. Something told them that their toughest test was still ahead and that they would have to work together if they were going to FIND the only person who knew the way home.
They had left camp at dawn’s CRACK. The plan was to keep up a steady pace through the morning, knowing by afternoon that progress would be slow as they entered the NOTORIOUS SWAMPFOREST with its vile, knotted stenchweed and oozing, luminescent pusrocks. The day had reached high heat.
"Doctor Jankle’s directions, they seem to end here," said Kay, checking the list he had carefully drawn on his palm in SUPER-MINI script, just as Jankle had taught him. "Left or right?" said Jay, talking more to himself than his friend, examining the ground in both directions. "There’s something urging me right," Kay said, "I feel I have to go that way…" "Then you know we must take the left path," said Jay. "Doctor Jankle warned us about the presence of the ORBEARANGE manipulating our thoughts once we pass the last pusrock."
A loud thrashing came from a gramjam tree to their right and then… a SILENCE. "Watch out!" shouted Jay. They ducked as a cloud of micro-battybats skimmed across their face freckles. "Left. Definitely left!" Jay said, making the move. "We MUST keep our WITS about us my friend; we didn’t get this far by being careless."
The boys moved on down the left path. A canopy of giant fronds began to envelop them and a faint glow illuminated the woody walls. As the space around them became tighter, a strange, FRUITY smell surrounded them.
"She’s been here," said Jay. "Look!"
Jay pointed to Jankle’s backpack in a clearing just ahead, its contents strewn across the grassless floor. The boys rummaged through the bag. Kay reversed the ZIP, unlocking the SECRET pouch in which she kept her diary.
"It’s still here. She wouldn’t leave it behind." "This doesn’t look good," said Jay. "But if the diary is here she might still be ok."
It was at that moment that a hush descended on the forest; the birds stopped in mid-song and the breeze brought with it a strong, sweet scent. The boys turned around, knowing now they were too late.
"Doctor Jankle… ran out of time," growled the ORBEARANGE through its sharp, shiny teeth.