Claire And Oliver’s Adventure
By Sanjam Kaur
“Something just doesn’t feel right about this place,” Clarison muttered under her breath as she stood beside her parents staring at the house in front of them. The house was of aqua blue color with a white door. It was the only house located on the beach of this strange island that the Perriwick family had landed upon.
For 8-year-old Clarison, the memory of their sailboat being tossed around in the stormy sea kept coming back to scare her even now when they had landed safely on this deserted island. On the other hand, her elder brother, 11-year-old Oliver, was fussing over the lack of internet service on the island for he couldn’t play videogames on his tablet anymore. Their parents tried to cheer them up by looking at the bright side of the situation.
“This is a great place to spend our vacation, isn’t it Clarie?” asked their dad as he saw his daughter gazing rather peculiarly at the house.
“Mmm, I guess” she responded as the family of four went into the house. That night Claire overheard her parents’ concern of finding a way back home as soon as possible. She could sense the urgency in their voice even though they were masking it with bright smiles the next day.
A few days later, Oliver found Clarie in a small room at the back of the house, holding a piece of paper. He usually would have ignored her and continued playing his video game, but since he had nothing to do, he asked,“What are you doing sis?”
“I found something here. You’re going to want to see this Oliver.” Clarie signaled her brother to come closer and have a look at the piece of paper she had found hidden behind the mirror in this room. She had spotted its corner peeking out from behind the mirror and curiosity got the better of her.
Oliver went closer, he didn’t really want to, but he did anyway.
“Read, what's on it,” Claire said.
Oliver read out loud, “What flows left and right, and falls from the sky? What can’t you touch? What hurts you if you try?
What is always there but can’t be seen? Without what will all die?
What are you always on, whether you’re low or high?
When four intersect, when energy combines,
You will find your answer fitted in a box safe and sound,
And what is lost will soon be found,” Oliver read out loud. He wasn’t very smart, so he had no idea what this meant, he just shrugged at his sister when she asked him if he understood it.
“ I think I know what the first riddle’s answer is. Water!,” Claire exclaimed.
“Yeah,” Oliver said. He never spoke much.
“So now we just have to figure out what the others mean.” Claire didn’t get any response from her brother, he wasn’t really interested in this stuff, he just wanted a way to pass time.
The parents didn’t notice that their kids were solving a mystery, they were both too busy trying to find a way out of this place.
As the next 2 days passed, both the siblings pondered upon the second line of the riddle. Oliver was also trying to give inputs. The children didn’t talk about anything else.
“Oliver, we’ve thought about this for 2 days now, I think we should focus on the other parts of the riddle and come to this one in the end.”
“I agree, so what’s the next line?”
Claire pulled out the paper from her jacket’s pocket.
“What is always there, but can’t be seen?” Claire paused for a moment, then she said,” something invisible I guess.”
“The next day, Oliver rushed to Calire and said, “Claire, I got it! I know the answer!”
“Really? Well what is it?”
“Air! Think Claire, air is always there, but we can’t see it. And without air all life will die.”
Claire was ecstatic and very surprised, she had seen a whole new side of her brother. She gave him a tight hug, and said,
“Great job Oliver, and thank you for helping me solve this.”
Oliver himself felt amazing, for the first time, he actually loosened up and explored the world of mysteries around him.
“So far we have water and air, let’s try and solve the next one. What are you always on, whether you’re low or high? Any ideas?” asked Claire.
“Not yet, but we’ll figure it out eventually.”
Once when Claire was helping her mum dust the house, she asked her, “Hey mum, let me ask you a question, what are we always on whether we are low or high?”
“Um, land maybe? I don’t know, anyway I have way more important stuff to figure out. Your dad and I have tried everything, we tried finding other pieces of land where maybe there is wifi, we tried building a raft to reach back home, we tried signaling for help, we even left a message in a bottle. Everything failed.”
After a couple of hours, Claire had a conversation with Oliver and explained, “Mom said land when I asked her the answer. I don’t think it is land as sometimes we’re in water or air, but I think it is Earth, our planet. Now I know when somebody goes to space, they’re not on Earth, but I can’t think of any other answer and this paper looks very old. It has brown spots and some torn pieces, so maybe man hadn’t discovered space back then.” “I agree. So now we just have to figure out the one we said we’d come back to.” Claire read from the paper, “What can’t you touch? What hurts you if you try?”
Claire thought for a minute, but nothing came to her mind.
“This one’s tough,” she said.
“Hmm, we’ve got Water, Wind, and Earth. So the last ones got to be fire. The four elements! After all the riddles, the line does say, when four intersect, when energy combines! Elements are natural energies. And you can’t touch fire, it hurts when you try,” Oliver exclaimed. Claire was so amazed when she saw her brother figure it all out.
“You’re right! Awesome job Oliver” After a moment of thinking, she said “I think we somehow have to find a place where these energies combine, and in that place, we will find what is lost.”
“Woah! Look at that,” Claire said to her brother two days later. Claire found another room whose ceiling had the carvings of the symbols of all the elements.
Oliver spotted a small brick standing out from the rest. Curious, he pushed it only to stand speechless by the result.
“I don’t believe it! Oliver said as he saw the ceiling almost rearrange and the carvings came closer together.
Then, a ray of golden light projected out of the four symbols. It pointed to a hidden corner at the side of the room. As they approached the area where the light was pointing, they realized that there was a small door. Excited, they opened it and found a mysterious brown box. It had peculiar patterns all around it.
“How do we open it?” said Claire fidgeting with the box.
Oliver took the box from her hand. He flipped the box upside down, and the strange patterns were actually letters written upside down. They spelled, ‘TAP THE BUTTON,’ in a big and bold font.
The children found a button at one side of the box, and pressed it. The box opened, revealing a key with a small note saying, ‘The book is the key.’
The kids picked up the key, and Claire said, “Now we just have to find a keyhole.”
The next day, as the kids sat near the tiny keyhole they just found, Oliver tried to fit in the key for the 50th time. The keyhole was located in Claire’s room.
“Nope, I don’t think this is the right keyhole Claire, we have to find another,” Oliver said as he gave up’
“How many keyholes do you think we’ll find in this place? Give me that,” Claire said as she took the key from his hand.
Clair picked up the key and investigated it. She was dumbfounded when she saw the back of the key was shaped like a book!
“Oliver, look at this,” Claire exclaimed as she showed her brother the fascinating discovery that she made.
Oliver didn’t waste a second, he took the key, and inserted the back of it into the keyhole. It fit perfectly.
“You were right sis!”
The place on the wall on which the keyhole was slowly started to creak. The children were bursting with eagerness to see what was on the other side of the wall. As the wall fully opened, the children saw a huge scroll of paper and a necklace with a ginormous green gem on it. They hurriedly took the things out of this secret door.
They walked to their parents who were having a meeting in the living room.
“Ah Claire, Oliver, we hardly see you these days. What can we help you with,” their dad said.
The children narrated the whole story and then showed them the necklace and the scroll.
The parents needed a few minutes to process this. Then they said, “Wow kids, this is literally unbelievable. Great job! So have you seen what’s in the scroll?”
“We wanted to share the moment with you,” Oliver said.
Claire scrolled open the peper, and read, “This house belongs to our family. But alas a few days back, a terrible storm took place here. Waves crashed onto our island. But we just can’t abandon this house which our ancestors created from scratch. It was part of our family history. However, the situation has gotten very severe and we have to escape. I don’t know whether I will see this house again, so I set up this mystery for some other Perriwick to solve. If you are reading this, my wish has been granted. The necklace,"
“Does it say that the necklace is a beautiful piece with a great green ruby on it, and shiny white pearls on the sides. And that this necklace also belonged to our family?” Claire’s dad said.
“Yes dad, word to word.”
“Honey, how do you know what it said?” their mom asked.
“My grandma used to tell me stories about a green necklace, which long ago, was gifted to a woman of our family by her husband on their wedding day. She also said that it was passed down through several generations. And when I would ask her where it was, she would say that it was long gone.”
“So this is our family’s house, and this necklace is also our family’s?” Oliver asked.
“Yes Oliver, we just found two very important things!”
“And I think nobody has bought this land, maybe when we go home, I will buy it for us, so it is officially ours. Oh and Claire, does it say who wrote this letter?”
“Yes, it is written by Martha Perriwick.”
“My great great grandma!” their dad said.
The next day, the police reached the island on a cruise and said, “Hello Ma’am, a young man received a message in a bottle and contacted me. By any chance are you the one who wrote this,” he showed the message to their mom and it was the message that they had sent.
“Yes! I have written this. Let me go get my husband,” their mom said excitedly.
They all started packing their bags, and went on the cruise.
On the cruise, their mom said, “it’s crazy how we ended up on this island, out of all others. You guys solved a mystery. Just in time, we get rescued. Isn’t it weird? In the letter, Martha Perriwick keeps writing, our family, as if she knew only a perriwick would find it. It’s like magic”
Claire responded, “Well maybe it is.”
By Sanjam Kaur