ASK Part 11

“So, Shayne, what are you going to do now?” Arlene said, yanking Ginny up by the arm with her left. Ginny yelped, but Arlene put the blade back to her throat with her right and growled, “Shut up!”

“Please, I’ll do whatever you want. Just please let my sister go,” I said.

“Don’t do that, Shaynie!” Ginny said.

“Shut up!” Arlene said again.

I tried to think fast. I had the knife in my pocket. But if I tried anything, Arlene would jam the blade into Ginny’s throat. God, please help us, I prayed.

If I could just get her away from Ginny, then maybe I could stab her.

“Arlene, you know, I know who you are. I’m a danger to you. When we get rescued, I’ll tell everyone who you are and what you’ve done. You won’t get away with killing the people you have here.”

“Oh, you think so? By the time anyone gets here, you all will be dead and buried, and I’ll tell them that I’m Caroline Tyler, the only survivor from the cruise crash.”

“Well, you might as well just kill me and get it over with. It’s not like if you kill me, it would be a bad thing for me. I know I’d be in Heaven.”

“You think you’re so brave, don’t you? Well, you know what? I think I’d rather let you see your little sister suffer and die before I kill you.”

She pulled the knife away from Ginny’s neck and would have jammed it into the lower part of Ginny’s side, except Ginny jerked to the left and Arlene got her right hip instead. Ginny screamed and tried to pull away, but Arlene kept a firm grip around her middle and the knife in her hip. Blood ran down Ginny’s leg.

“Stop! Why are you doing this to her? She didn’t do anything to you!”

“I already told you. The more pain I cause you, the happier I’ll be,” she said, glaring with the blue eyes that no longer hid behind green contacts.

My mind raced. What could I do? At least Arlene’s blade wasn’t at Ginny’s throat any more. I pulled the knife from my pocket and unsheathed it. I ran at Arlene and tried to stab her, but she jerked away, putting Ginny in front of the blade. As Ginny cried out from the knife Arlene still held in her leg, I stopped just in time to not stab Ginny.

“Just let her go and fight me. She’s only ten,” I said.

“You think I care how old she is? My son was younger than ten when I killed him.”

“Well, maybe you don’t care about your family, but I care about mine. Leave her alone and deal with me. I’m the one you want.”

“Okay, fine. Since you’re so eager to die, I’ll kill you first.”

“Let Ginny go.”

She yanked the knife out of Ginny’s leg. Ginny screamed. Arlene shoved Ginny to the ground and lunged at me. A more intense fear than I ever felt in my life gripped me. I saw this woman kill her own family and knew she killed so many others.

She tried to stab me, but I dodged it and tried to stab her. She saw it coming and dodged.

I kept trying to stab Arlene, but her skill surpassed mine by far. But another idea struck me. If I could get her closer to the edge, maybe I could force her over the side. The fall could kill her. I backed up and moved to my left, closer to the edge.

I stood only about a foot away. Thinking of forcing her over the edge made me think of Rupert. Arlene caught me by surprise and I didn’t dodge fast enough. Her knife got me in the lower right arm. I screamed in pain and grabbed my right with my left as my knife went flying over the edge. Arlene smiled.

“Well, little girl, this is the end. Any last words?”

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” I forced out.

“How admirable. Now, goodbye.”

I braced myself, ready for my only chance. I put out my arms and when she came at me, I pushed her to the left with all my might, but not fast enough. Pain seared my other forearm. “Ow!” I yelled. I drew back, expecting her to finish me off at any second. But to my surprise, I heard a scream. I looked up to find Ginny beside me.

“Where’s Arlene?” I asked.

“We pushed her over the edge.”

“Thank you, Ginny!” I said, grabbing her in an embrace and ignoring the pain in my arms.

She wrapped her arms around me and we both thanked God for His deliverance. Then, I caught sight of her leg. Blood saturated the right leg of her shorts. I pulled my shirt off, leaving on my tank top, and tied it around Ginny’s leg.


“Ginny, you got a tank top on?” I asked.


“Rip your shirt in half and use the halves to tie up my arms.”

“Okay.” Ginny pulled the shirt off and did as I instructed. My arms stung really badly, but the cut on my left arm wasn’t too bad and had already stopped bleeding for the most part.


Suddenly, I remembered.

“Oh, Ginny,” I said, but couldn’t go on.


“Do you know about Natalie?”

“Yes,” Ginny said, tears welling up in her eyes. “Arlene told me.”

I wrapped my arms around her. She hugged me back. I started crying, too. We cried for about ten minutes.

“Ginny, I think we should stay up here tonight, to let your leg rest, but tomorrow, we should go down.”


“I wonder how I ever believed Rupert did it. I can’t believe I didn’t recognize Arlene right off.”

“Oh, Shaynie…Rupert.”

“I know. He was a cool kid.”

“I liked him, Shayne.”

“I’m sorry, Ginny.”

I hugged her. She started crying again and I felt bad for bring Rupert up.

“Well, thanks for fixing my leg,” Ginny said after a few minutes as she lay on the ground.

“Thank you for saving my life,” I said, lying beside her.

“Good night, Shayne.”

“Good night, Ginny. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

When morning came, we started our struggle down the mountain. Not only did I have the fear of heights to deal with, but I also had to help Ginny with her leg despite my wounded arms.

When we reached the cave, we found a surprise. Rupert poked his head out. “Hey, guys.”


“Rupert!” Ginny and I shouted.

We went into the cave and threw our arms around him. He winced. We both pulled away.

“Thank God you’re alive! How badly are you hurt?” I said.

“My side hurts a lot. I think I broke some ribs. And my arm hurts a whole lot, too.”

“We thought you were dead!” Ginny exclaimed.

“Well, I was lucky enough to land on that ledge, and I crawled into the cave,” Rupert said.

“But where’s Arlene?” I said, now afraid that if Rupert survived the fall, Arlene had.

“She’s dead. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have to! See, this knife fell from the top of the mountain and landed on the ledge, so I grabbed it. I heard Arlene screaming as she fell, but then, she caught hold of the mountain and climbed up to this cave. So, I … I killed her,” Rupert said. “Killing someone wasn’t what I expected. I always watched movies where killing the villain was amazing. But, to know that you stopped a person from living…She had a knife, though, and when she saw me, there was so much hatred in her eyes, and then she came toward me. I had to kill her or she would have killed me. But when I stabbed her, her eyes went all wide and she started gasping and I felt awful.” Rupert sounded close to tears.

“Don’t feel bad, Rupert,” Ginny said, putting her arms around him.

“It was completely self-defense!” I exclaimed. “And she was so evil. You know she killed all those other people. Now she can’t hurt anyone else. You shouldn’t feel any guilt for killing her.”

“But what if I get put in jail after someone finds us?” Rupert said.

“I don’t think they would put a kid in jail for defending himself. Especially when she was a convicted killer.”

That seemed to comfort him a bit. He took a deep breath. “Well, after I killed her, I pushed her over the side. So, she’s down there somewhere.”

When we reached the bottom of the mountain, after some searching, I found Arlene, covered in blood and very much dead.


“You know what, guys? I think we should bury her and mark the grave ‘ASK’,” I said.



ASK Part 10

I got up and dried my eyes. I had to tell Ginny about Natalie’s death and to apologize. I ran back to the shelters. Ginny wasn’t in either of them.


Then, it occurred to me that Rupert wasn’t around when I found Natalie. The little creep! Had he killed everyone and then just tried to get me to believe he was innocent? Did he have Ginny now? I tried to think if Caroline really had looked like Arlene Smith-Kensington. I went to the thorn tunnel to search for Ginny and Rupert, but still no sign of them.


I ran back to the shelters, and something I didn’t notice before caught my eye. A big leaf lay on the ground. I picked it up.


On the other side, in still wet blood, it read, “Come by sundown, or they die. ASK.”

My breath caught. Arlene had Ginny and Rupert. Why had I left Ginny alone? I was so stupid. Why hadn’t I brought Ginny with me? Like an idiot, I left her alone. And now, Arlene would kill them. I put my hand in my pocket and feeling the knife there, I left to search the island. Where could they be? I looked at the sun. It was close to the horizon, but not touching it yet. Then, a scream echoed over the treetops. Ginny! Oh, God, please not her, too! I raced toward the scream, coming to the base of the mountain.

“Ginny?” I yelled.

She screamed in reply. I looked up. Did Arlene really have them all the way up there? Under normal circumstances, I would never have climbed this mountain, but my sister could die. I started climbing. I climbed the best I could, but I was terrified. I looked down. I shouldn’t have. I only managed to make it ten feet so far. The only heights I liked led to waterslides. I pressed on, just suppressing a scream when I grabbed a rock and it fell out of sight. Even though I tried not to make noise, I figured Arlene knew I approached by the sound of all the falling rocks and the scream. After what seemed like forever, I reached the ledge at the opening of the cave. I climbed onto the ledge and crawled into the cave. I strained to see the inside. It looked empty. Okay, so they weren’t there. Where were they?

The sun nearly touched the water in the distance. I had to get to them.

“Ginny?” I called. “Rupert?”

I thought I heard a stifled scream from above. I mustered up my courage and kept climbing. I looked up. Only a little farther to the next ledge. I kept climbing toward it. When I pulled myself up, I realized I’d reached the mountain top.

Arlene stood in front of me, holding Ginny around the neck with her right arm, the blade of the knife Rupert had had at Ginny’s throat. She held a knife in her left on Rupert, who sat at her feet.

“Let them go, Arlene,” I said, trying to sound brave.

“So you finally figured out who I am. Took your aunt only a day. And even your little sister figured it out before you did,” Arlene said, her typical whiny voice gone. Coldness emanated from her voice.

“So, you kill people when they find out who you are.”

“When I found out you were on the cruise, I wanted do whatever it took to hurt and kill you. Even if others had to die, I wanted to make sure you never made it home alive.”

She crashed the ship! I thought.

“Why’d you kill Liam and Daniella?” I said.

“I don’t think that’s any of your business. Now come here, Shayne.”

“Don’t do it, Shayne!” Ginny said.

“Shut up!” Arlene shouted.

“Let them go!” I said.

“No. You know what? I’ll let you choose who will die. You can have one or the other.”

“No. Take me instead.”

“You think that will save them?”

She held the knife to Rupert’s arm, and then said, “Get up.” I noticed that blood covered Rupert’s arm. I wondered if the blood on the note came from there.

Rupert stood.

“Over there,” she said, gesturing to the edge of the mountain to her right with the knife.

Rupert obeyed, but stopped about a foot and a half from the edge.

“Back up!” Arlene ordered.

Rupert shook his head.

“I said, back up!”

Rupert shook his head again.

“Stop it! Leave him alone!” I said.

“Move!” Arlene shouted to Rupert.

When Rupert didn’t, Arlene let go of Ginny and forced Rupert over the side. Ginny and I screamed.

Rupert’s scream echoed and ended abruptly as a thud resounded.

ASK Part 9

I pulled at a piece of my peeling skin. I couldn’t stand how much the sunburn itched! For once in my life, I wished for winter. But at least we wouldn’t freeze to death. Then again, we might burn to death in this weather. I longed for home. July in California felt so much better than this. Ginny burned most of us all. I sunburn or tan a little in the summer, but Ginny only has two skin shades, pale or burnt.

“I wonder what Arlene has been up to,” I said. It felt weird using her real name. And being on this island with her creeped me out. I knew if she recognized me, which she probably did, she’d want me dead for sure. “We haven’t seen her since her fake death.”

“Well, our seeing her would prove she isn’t dead, and she doesn’t want that,” Natalie said.

“What did she look like when you found her?” I asked.

“She had blood on her shirt and face,” Natalie said.

“A lot of blood?”

“Not a ton.”

“Were her eyes open?”

“No, they were closed.”

“Everyone I saw dead had their eyes open.”

“She’s probably trying to figure out who she wants to kill next,” said Ginny.

“Oh, I’m so thirsty!” Natalie said. “Will someone please come with me to the pool to get water?”

“Are you sure that would be safe?” I asked.

“I’ll go with her,” Rupert said. “Natalie’s got one of the knives. We might be okay.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. We should all go together,” I said.

“I don’t feel like getting up. My ankle still hurts,” Ginny said.

“Well, okay, but be careful,” I said to Natalie. “But if you aren’t back in five minutes, I’m never letting you out of my sight again.”

“Thanks,” Natalie said, and she and Rupert crawled out of the tunnel. They walked away.


A few minutes after Natalie and Rupert left, Ginny said, “I wish it wasn’t so hot. Or, at least that someone had found us by now and we were in the air conditioning someplace.”


“Yeah, but what are we supposed to do but just try to live?” I said. I immediately felt sick to my stomach. I originally meant survive the island environment, but Arlene was more likely to kill us. I wondered if we would make it off this island, or if we’d eventually be killed.

Natalie and Rupert still hadn’t returned after several minutes.

“I’m going to go check on Natalie and Rupert. They’ve been gone way too long, and having the two of them out there with Arlene Smith-Kensington freaks me out.”

“Wait, Shayne! Don’t just leave me here by myself!”

“Don’t leave the shelter. You’ll be fine.”

I left the brush and started in the direction of the water pool. A scream pierced the air. I ran. Natalie screamed again, this time longer. I ran faster. How stupid could get? I let her out with just a little boy. Now, Arlene was attacking her. Natalie screamed a third time, but stopped abruptly, as though someone covered her mouth. I raced on.

“Natalie? Natalie!” I shouted.

When I came to the pool, I found her. I covered my mouth.


Tears ran down my face as I looked at my little sister on the ground, covered in blood. I didn’t believe it. Natalie couldn’t be dead. I had just seen her alive fifteen minutes ago. She wasn’t really dead. But as I looked at her, there was no way to convince myself of a lie. Why would Arlene do this to her? Natalie never had an enemy in her life. Why?

I sat next to Natalie, took her hand and cried. I think I sat there crying for at least half an hour.


“I’m sorry, Nattie. I’m so, so sorry.”

And I truly was. For everything. So often Natalie had kindly pointed out some flaw in my character and I always retorted instead of thanking her and trying to work on it. I’d been a horrible sister to her and to Ginny.

“God, forgive me,” I whispered. It was the first time I’d prayed in years.

I had wasted so much time in pride and selfishness. I could have had such a better relationship with both my sisters and with God. And now, it was too late for me to ever fix things with Natalie. It was too late for me to tell her how wrong I’d been and how sorry I was.


ASK Part 8

“So, I wonder if this ‘ask’ stuff has anything to do with figuring out who the killer is,” Natalie said.

“All I can think of is ask who the killer is,” Ginny said.

“No, because why would anyone admit to being the murderer?” I said.

“Maybe it has something to do with killer. Like a trademark or an identity,” Rupert said.

“You know, that’s not a bad idea, ARRR” Ginny said.

“ARRR?” I said.

“That’s what my friends call me, because my full name is Rupert Ronald Rutter. I like it. It’s like I’m a pirate,” Rupert said.


“Oh. So, what names have ‘ask’ in them?” I said.

“I don’t know if any do,” Natalie said.

“How about Alaska?” Rupert said.

“Alaska? Who’d name their kid Alaska?” I asked.

“I know a girl named Alaska at school. And hey, I could think of worse names than that. What about Queenie, Prudence, and all the names of Miss Prudence’s cats?”


“I can’t think of any other names that have ‘ask’ in them,” Ginny said.

“Maybe this person kills people for a company and the letters stand for the company,” Rupert said.

“What kind of company sends people to kill people except mafia and terrorists?” I said.

“Good point.”

“What about initials?” Natalie suggested.

“You think maybe someone here used a fake name?” Rupert asked.

“Well, if they’ve killed other people before, don’t you think they would change their name?”

I sighed. “Well, initials really limits things. It could be any combination of A, S, and K names. It would take us forever to figure it out. If we’re even right that they are initials. And we don’t even know if it stands for a guy name or a girl name.”

“Well, there are more girls than guys on this island, so there’s a better chance it’s a girl name,” said Natalie.

We listed all the A names we could think of. As far as I could tell, none of these names meant anything.

“A, S, K. A, S, K,” Natalie said.

“Maybe we should work on the last name and come back to the first name later. That could narrow it down a bit,” Ginny suggested.

After listing a bunch of K names, I felt no closer to figuring out what ASK meant until Rupert said, “What about Khan? Or Kensington?”

“Kensington! Arlene Smith-Kensington!” Natalie said.


“What?” Rupert asked.

“When I was 10, I testified against a woman named Arlene Smith-Kensington for killing her husband and son. It’s Caroline!” I said.

“Are you sure it’s her, Shayne?” Ginny said.

“I’m positive. Her hair is a different color now, and she’s wearing color contacts, but it’s the same face! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before. If only I didn’t have this stupid bad memory!”

“But, Shayne, they sentenced her to life in prison. How could it be her?” Ginny said.

“I bet she escaped. Remember that talk Mom and Dad had, all quiet, and Mom said, ‘No, we shouldn’t tell Shayne. We don’t want her to worry’? That’s what they were talking about!”

“So, we’re here on this island with a convicted murderer who probably wants us dead?” Rupert said.


“Maybe we should pray, then.”

“That’s a great idea. Would you like to, Rupert?” Natalie said.

“What, out loud? Well, I mean, I guess I could, but I’m not really good at it yet.” We bowed our heads and Rupert said, “Uh, okay. God, I think we’re all kind of scared right now, even me. Please keep us safe and get us off this island. Let the girls get back to their parents and please give me a good family one day. Please, don’t let Caroline come after us. Thanks for dying for me and becoming my Father. Amen.”

“Well, now, you don’t only have a Heavenly Father, but you also have sisters and brothers, because everyone who trusts Jesus is God’s child. So, we’re your sisters,” Natalie said.

“Yeah, welcome to the family, ARRR,” Ginny said.

A smile lit up Rupert’s face.



ASK Part 7

“I know she did it. I saw her stab them both a bunch of times with a knife,” the blonde girl said.

“How many times would you say she stabbed each of them?” the attorney asked.

“I’m not exactly sure. I was kind of far away. Maybe a dozen times each.”

“And how are you sure Mrs. Smith-Kensington killed them, if you were, as you put it, ‘kind of far away’?”

“They lived down the street from us. I knew them well enough to know it was her. I saw her stabbing Jack. He screamed, which made Mr. Kensington come running. By the time he got to her, I think Jack was dead, because he didn’t get up or scream any more. Then, she stabbed Mr. Kensington until he stopped screaming. I know she did it.”

The judge pounded her gavel. “The jury will deliberate and come to a decision.”

Later, the foreman of the jury said, “Guilty of the first-degree murder of Jack Kensington and the second-degree murder of Thomas Kensington.”

“The court sentences you to life in prison,” the judge said.

The creepy, glaring green eyes. “You will pay.”

Again, screaming.

I woke suddenly. My fear of Daniella coming and killing me already made it so that I couldn’t sleep well. And now, I had to have one of those dreams. Ever since I testified against her when I was ten, I had creepy dreams about Mrs. Smith-Kensington and couldn’t help worrying that one day, she’d come after me, even though I knew she lived behind bars.

A scream pierced the quiet. I thought the screaming came from my dream, but I couldn’t have imagined that. A second scream echoed through the night. I crawled out of the thorns. I didn’t want to just sit around if someone needed help. But I had no weapon. I wondered if I should go to the community pile to see if a knife was there, but by that time, the person could be dead. The lack of light made it hard to see. I wanted to follow the screams, but no more came.


I realized as I ran that I should have checked my sisters’ safety before I left. I tore through trees and brush in search of whoever screamed, scared now, that it was one of my sisters. Thorns scraped my arms and legs as I ran through the forest. I found nothing. Maybe my dream confused me and just thought I heard a scream? It got a little lighter as I continued farther. I looked down and stopped short. Daniella lay on the forest floor. Blood saturated her clothes. And again, on the ground, in capital letters I read the word, “ASK”.


I screamed and ran back to the thorn shelter. I couldn’t believe Rupert did this, but what other choice did I have?

When I got back, the sun shone brighter and Rupert and my sisters sat awake in the tunnel.

“Shayne, where were you? We were a bit worried,” Natalie said.

“Rupert, you need to go,” I said.


“I need to talk to my sisters. Go away.”

“Okay?” Rupert said, looking confused and crawling out of the thorny tunnel. He walked away.


After he left, I crawled in.

“Guys, I just found Daniella dead. That means Rupert’s the murderer.”


“What?” both my sisters said.

“Daniella’s dead. Isn’t that clear enough? Rupert killed her. He was the one with the knife.”

“But he’s only a kid. How could a kid do something like that?” Natalie said.

“Well, none of us did it.”

“But Rupert’s a nice guy,” Ginny said.

“Anyone can act.”

“But Rupert’s not like that.”

“How can you say that, Ginny? You hardly know him. If he didn’t, who do you think did?”

“I just can’t believe it. I can’t wrap my mind around it,” Natalie said.

“We need to stay away from him. If he already killed all those other people, how can we say he won’t kill us?”

“But how can we expect him to leave us alone?”

“I think we should move back to our shelter. He can stay here,” I said.

“But I still can’t believe it’s him,” Ginny said.

“Ginny, everyone else is dead. He killed them, unless there’s some thing one of you aren’t telling me.”

“Are you accusing me of murder? Of murdering my own aunt?”

“No. We clearly didn’t. Therefore, he did.”


“Wow, I’m really hungry and thirsty,” Ginny said later that day, after the initial shock about Rupert lessened.

“We could probably be safe if we all went together. We could go to the community pile and get the other knife,” I said.

“Shayne, you’re not going to stab Rupert, are you?” Ginny said.

“If he attacks us, yes! I’m not letting a little creep murder any of us. We shouldn’t act like this is nothing just because he’s a little kid.”

We crawled back through the tunnel and stayed close to each other as we walked. We went to the community pile, but all the knives were gone.

“See? He took them to leave us defenseless. We need to hurry up and get water. Them we need to get to safe place. Maybe we should go somewhere else so he won’t find us,” I said.

We made it to the water pool and Natalie started drinking. I had just knelt down, when Ginny gasped. I looked at her. She stared at the ground. About a foot in front of her a snake slithered toward her. I was as terrified as she looked. We both hated snakes. We both crouched there, not moving. The snake moved closer. I tried to think of what to do, but couldn’t. The snake struck and bit Ginny’s ankle. She screamed. At that, Natalie turned and looked at Ginny. Leaves cracked to my right. It sounded like rapid footsteps getting closer. Rupert ran up, knife in hand. I was terrified. Who did he intend to kill? Next thing I knew, Rupert jumped in front of me and cut the snake’s head off. I breathed hard. I looked at Ginny. She looked close to tears. Rupert knelt next to her.

“I don’t think you should move a lot. It’s better for you to stay calm and still,” Rupert said. “But we should stop that bleeding.”

I looked at Ginny’s ankle. I hadn’t even noticed the blood. Rupert pulled off his shirt and tied it around her ankle.


“You okay?” he asked.

Ginny nodded and sniffed. Rupert looked the snake.

“Lucky for you, Ginny, that snake wasn’t poisonous,” he said.

“Well, that’s a relief,” Ginny said, her face paler than normal.

“We better get away from the snake. They can still bite after they’re dead.”

“You! Why would you save her?” I asked Rupert.

“Umm, why wouldn’t I?”

“When you’ve killed all these other people, how can I not expect you to come after us?”

“What are you talking about? I didn’t kill anyone.”

“How can any of us believe you?”

“What motive could I have for killing all those people? I don’t want to go to jail.”

“How do I know you aren’t just making things up? You’re the only one besides us here.”

“I don’t know if this makes any difference, but I decided to make God my Heavenly Father after you sent me away.”

“Really, Rupert? That’s great!” Natalie said.

“So, please will you let me come back with you guys?”

I thought about it. If he was the killer and just made up his getting saved, I didn’t want him near me and my sisters. And how could he not be the murderer? What if he just wanted to get me to trust him again?

“Shayne, what if he gave us all the knives? Then, say he just happened to be the murderer. He couldn’t do anything to us,” Ginny said.

“If he didn’t do it, who do you think did, Ginny?” I asked harshly.

“Could there be natives after all?” Ginny said.

“I’ve been all over this island. We’re the only ones here,” Rupert said.

“How can we trust anything you say?” I said.

“If I was the killer, wouldn’t I want you to think there were natives on this island to get the blame off myself?” Rupert said.

Ginny looked at Rupert, then at me. “Shayne, I don’t know why, I just feel like we can trust him. I mean, he just jumped in front a snake for me.”

“Maybe we should see what bodies are still around,” Natalie said.

“Why? What good would that do?” I said.

“What if someone just faked being dead?”

“To get us to eliminate them as a suspect?” I said.

“Yeah. That would be smart. I can more see that than Rupert being the killer.”

I thought about it. I guess it didn’t make sense for Rupert to be the murderer. He always seemed like a nice kid and why would he save Ginny from the snake if he wanted us dead?

“Fine. Rupert, give us the three knives,” I said.

“Three? I only have the knife that we found with Caroline’s body, and another from the community pile,”

“Then, where’s the other knife?” I said.

“Whoever faked being dead must have it. That’s how they’ve been killing people,” Natalie said.

“But why do you have another knife?” I asked Rupert.

“I took it form the pile so the murderer wouldn’t get it.”

“That seems suspicious to me. How can we know you didn’t take it so you could use it to kill the rest of us, who are defenseless?”

“Well, I’m going to give you guys them both and make myself defenseless. Isn’t that good enough for you?”

“How do we know you don’t have the third one hiding somewhere? How do we know you won’t attack us in our sleep?”

“I seriously don’t have it. What do I have to do to prove that to you?”

“We’ll go look for the bodies. If one of them is gone, I’ll be more likely to believe you. But that doesn’t mean I do yet. Anyway, are you going to give those knives over?” I said.

“Shayne, do you really still think he’s the murderer?” Ginny said.

“Well, you certainly can’t expect me to believe him just like that. I say he’s guilty unless proven otherwise.”

“That’s fair enough, I guess,” Rupert said. Rupert handed one of the knives to me and the other to Natalie. “Now, Ginny, I don’t think you should go walking around a lot. You need to rest.”

“All right. Maybe we should just go to the shelter and look around tomorrow.”

“We could stay in our stick shelters now,” Natalie suggested.

“All right, then Rupert can stay in his own shelter. Let’s go,” I said.

“Can you walk?” Rupert asked Ginny.

“Maybe. It hurts.”

Rupert helped her to her feet and said, “Lean on me a second.”

Ginny leaned her weight on Rupert and her good leg and tried to stand on the bad leg.

“Shayne, come here. I don’t want girl cooties,” Rupert said.

I walked over and Rupert transferred Ginny’s weight to me. I helped her limp to the shelters.

Suddenly, Ginny threw up. Natalie made a face that showed her disgust at the vomit but then her expression changed to one of compassion.

“You okay?” I asked Ginny.

She nodded. We crawled into the girl shelter.

ASK Part 6 (2)

“Shayne! Shayne!”

I woke up. Natalie and Ginny crouched in the doorway of the shelter.

“Shayne, we just found Caroline dead!” Natalie said. “We need to hide! Daniella killed her and if we don’t hide, she could come find us!”

I sat up fast. Caroline was dead? Then she had needed help when I heard her scream. And what did I do? Nothing.

“Come on, Shayne! Rupert’s outside. He thinks he knows a place we can hide,” Ginny said.

“Okay,” I said, my head still swimming with the fact that Caroline was dead. That just left Daniella and us kids. Who would die next? I was terrified. I wanted to scream or cry or break something. I wanted to be off this stupid island and safe at home. But I had to hold it together for my sisters.

We went outside the shelter.

“Come on, guys,” Rupert said. “She won’t find us where we’re going.”

We followed Rupert through the forest, past where the ferns grew, to an overgrown tangle of thorns and bushes.

“If we go in here far enough that she can’t see us, she might not bother coming in to find us,” Rupert said. He pulled a knife out of his pocket, got on his hands and knees and said, “I’ll clear a bit of a path through here.” He crawled through the brush, cutting away branches. When he made a kind of long tunnel through the thorns, he said, “Come on in, guys.”

We crawled in after him and sat


“Look what we found near Caroline’s body, Shayne,” Rupert said, holding out the knife, whcih I recognized as a knife from the pile. “And the word ‘ask’ was there, just like with Liam.”

“Guys, I feel bad. I heard Caroline scream, but I just stayed in the shelter. I tried to make myself believe she just stubbed her toe or something. But I kind of had a feeling. I just didn’t want to believe it. If I’d gotten up and done something, Caroline might not be dead.”

“Did you confess that to God? That will probably help you feel a little better,” Natalie said.

I didn’t answer. I really didn’t see the good that would do.

Later that day, Rupert used the knife to cut away more thorns so we all had room to lie down. By that time, it was dark, and I surprisingly fell asleep right away. I slept for a little while, but then I woke up again. I groaned. Why couldn’t I just lie down and sleep normally?


ASK Part 3

I awoke shivering. My clothes still weren’t dry. I sat up from leaning on Aunt Lorelei’s shoulder and rubbed my sore neck. I wondered why no help came yet. I looked around. Everyone in the life raft was awake, but no one said anything. The many bodies, life rafts, and pieces of the ship dwindled to only a few overnight. I assumed they must have floated away or sank. Off in the distance, to the right of the raft, I could have sworn I saw land.

“Hey, guys, is that land up there?” I said, pointing.

Aunt Lorelei turned to the right and looked where I pointed.

“You know, Shayne, I think you’re right!” She looked around at everyone else. “Guys, does that look like land to you?”

The other people looked.

“I think it is. Let’s paddle toward it,” the blonde lady said.

Using our hands or whatever metal pieces from the ship we found still floating around, we paddled slowly but surely toward land. It took us somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour to reach a beach. Beyond the beach grew a thick forest, and a mountain peeked over the treetops. I got out of the raft and plopped onto the sand. I lay on my back and just rested.


Aunt Lorelei and Natalie thanked God aloud. The rest lay on the sand near me, except the man and the black-haired woman, who pulled the raft far enough onto the beach for it not to get taken away by the tide. Then they collapsed onto the sand with the rest of us. I fell asleep again.



When I woke, the sun just peeked over the horizon. The sunset colored the sky orange and purple. I sat up. Everyone else sat around a fire a couple yards away. My skin burned. I guess I got sunburned while lying there. I wished I’d thought of that earlier.

“Aah!” one of the women screamed as I approached.

“What’s wrong?” Aunt Lorelei asked.

I sat down next to Aunt Lorelei as the blonde lady said in the most disgusting, high-pitched, whiny voice I ever heard, “These mosquitoes are just dreadful! I can’t stand bugs! Why are they still attacking me when there’s a fire?”

I already didn’t like her. I couldn’t stand her voice. Maybe that was mean.

“Shayne, you haven’t met everyone yet,” Aunt Lorelei said and motioned to each person as she said their name.

She motioned to the black-haired lady. “This is Daniella.”

Next the blonde lady. “Caroline.”

After her, the man. “This is Liam.”

And finally, the boy. “And this is Rupert.”

“Hi, I’m Shayne,” I said.

“Hi,” the two ladies responded, Caroline still swatting around her face. Mikaio nodded, and Rupert straightened his round glasses, and then waved.

“Here, Shayne, eat some of these,” Aunt Lorelei said, handing me a baseball cap full of berries. I thanked her and put some in my mouth. The idea of eating out of someone else’s sweaty old hat made me cringe, but my hunger overcame that. At least the berries were pretty good.

“Where did you get these?” I asked.

“I found them, and gathered them in my hat. Since I’m a Webelos Cub Scout, I know what kinds of plants are safe to eat. And if there are any animals around here, we can eat them, too,” Rupert said.

“What in the world is a Webe-what?” I asked.

“Webelos Cub Scout. It’s what you are right before you become a Boy Scout. You can’t be an actual Boy Scout till you’re ten. Well, not you, but you know, a boy.”

“Well, good,” said Aunt Lorelei. “With your experience, Rupert, you’ll definitely be a help.”

Rupert smiled a super conceited-looking smile.

“Does anyone have anything to kill animals with?” I asked.

“Well, some things from the crash washed up onto the shore. There are a couple knives,” Aunt Lorelei said. “We put everything in a community pile so everybody can use them if they just happen to need them. Not that a lot of the stuff is super useful.”

“What’s in the pile and where is it?” I asked.

“We put it over next to the life raft,” she said, pointing. “A deflated floaty ring, a few ship pieces, a wooden cutting board, a broken CD case, a bedpost, and three knives with sheaths.”

“Well, I certainly wouldn’t use a knife. I couldn’t dream of killing an animal. That’s so gross and cruel!” Caroline said.

“So, Rupert, do you have any parents?” Aunt Lorelei asked, ignoring Caroline.


“But what about the woman on the boat with you?” I asked.

“Oh, you mean my foster mom. My real mom died a few months after my seventh birthday. Then I got put into foster care with this awful woman named Miss Queenie. See, she doesn’t let me have or do anything, except Scouts. She only took me on the cruise because I won it in a sweepstakes. I needed a parent or guardian and she wanted to go, but she wouldn’t have taken me unless she had to. She would have made me stay with her mother, Miss Prudence.”

“Is Miss Prudence any better than Miss Queenie?” Ginny asked.

“No! She’s so old and she has twenty cats and she made me memorize all their names and which ones are which, and she calls me ‘sonny boy’ and her house stinks.”

“What are their names?” Natalie asked.

“Watson, Gladys, Elliot Ness, Matilda, Archibald Hammerstein the third, Oscar Schnarfenbergendorf, Ralphie, Jehoshaphat, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg-”

“Okay, I’ve heard enough,” I said.

“Aren’t they horrible names?”

“Yep!” Ginny and I said at the same time.

“Well, sorry about your mom,” I said. “I  mean, your real mom. I guess you don’t miss Miss Queenie very much.”

The others murmured their regrets.

“Thanks,” Rupert said. “It’s not like Miss Queenie wanted me. She only took me in for the money. Nobody ever wanted me. I’m just a useless orphan.”

“You’re not a useless orphan. And I know someone who really wants you as part of His family,” Natalie said.

“Yeah? Who?” Rupert said, as he crossed his arms.


Here she goes again! I thought. Natalie took every available chance to talk about God.

Caroline looked over at Aunt Lorelei and said, “I always love to see religious children. They’re so nice.”

Aunt Lorelei smiled.

“Yeah, that’s nice, but a big invisible guy in the sky doesn’t sound like great family,” Rupert said.

Natalie looked disappointed, but she didn’t push the point.

We sat around the fire, talking about whatever we thought of. I learned that Daniella was a divorced hairstylist who worked at a fancy salon. The hairstylist part explained the blue streak in her hair. Liam was a single businessman who spent all his free time at the gym or surfing at the beach. Caroline said she’d had a husband and son, but they died in a car accident, so she lived alone and taught preschool. After a while, Daniella said, “Well, I’m tired. I’m going to go find a place to sleep.”

“Okay, good night,” Aunt Lorelei said.

“I’m going to go to sleep, too,” Caroline said.

“All right. You three girls find a good place to sleep and I’ll be there in a bit. I want to do something,” Aunt Lorelei said.

“Okay. Good night, Aunt Lorelei,” I said and gave her a hug.


My sisters did the same.

“Well, see you, Rupert,” Ginny said.

“See you guys tomorrow,” Rupert said.

Natalie, Ginny and I waved to Liam, and left to search for a place.

We found a spot under the low hanging branches of some trees and lay down.


Falling asleep took me longer than normal. My sunburn hurt a lot and I couldn’t get comfortable on the rough ground.

I had an awful dream. A blonde girl stood on the witness stand, testifying she saw a lady kill a man and a little boy. Then, the judge pounded her gavel, and sentenced the woman to life in prison. As the police led the woman out, she stopped in front of the girl and glared at her with piercing green eyes.


“I’ll get you one day. You will pay,” the woman whispered so just the girl could hear. The woman continued to glare at the girl as the police took her away. The girl screamed.

I jerked out of sleep. That scream sounded so real. But now, no noises came from the dark. The dream probably just made me think I heard a scream. I dreamed that a lot and it always felt real. My sisters, but not Aunt Lorelei, lay on the ground beside me. I figured she must have decided to sleep somewhere else. Maybe she couldn’t find us. I lay down again and went back to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, Aunt Lorelei still wasn’t there. I got up to search for her. I walked along the beach at the front of the island. The sand burned my feet. The sea had claimed my flip flops the day before. I found no sign of her. I decided to look in the forest. I walked through the forest for a while, looking under trees.


Not finding her, I almost turned back, when red sand caught my eye. It looked like blood stained the sand. I jogged farther into the forest, following the blood trail, and then screamed at what I saw. Aunt Lorelei lay on the ground, bloody slashes covering her body, soaking her clothes. Her eyes were open and glazed over. Tears welled up in my eyes. I dropped to my knees, sobbing into my hands. I couldn’t think straight. Why would someone kill her?



Natalie and Ginny’s voices surprised me.

Oh no, how can I tell them?

I ran away from the body, not wanting them to see it.

I found both my sisters a little way away.

I tried to compose myself, but I was breathing hard, and I started crying again.

“Guys, oh my goodness, blood,” I panted.

“Oh my word, Shayne, what’s wrong? You look awful. What happened?” Natalie said, putting her hand on my shoulder.

“Dead,” I forced out.

“Who’s dead?” Ginny said.

“Aunt Lorelei.”

“What? Shayne, how?” Natalie said, tears forming in her eyes.

“Found her dead. Blood all over.”

Both my sisters started crying and hugged me. I hugged them, not sure what to do. I felt helpless. We just hugged and cried for a long time.


Then, a thought occurred to me. Someone on this island was a murderer. I didn’t know who it was, but I had to protect my sisters from them.

Doll Christmas Outfits

Hey! I actually managed to get my dolls dressed for Christmas the day after Christmas. Some are fancy and some are more comfy. I didn’t have enough to do all in the same kind of clothing.

Johnnie Ray

I based Lorie’s outfit on the adorable hat my brother Nathan got me for Christmas.


You can’t see very well, but she’s wearing the new Felicity shoes my brother got me. I had lost one of mine a long time ago and kept the other in the hopes that one day I’d fine the other one, but Nathan got me a new pair! Thanks, buddy!


She’s wearing the last present for my dolls that Nathan got me, new purple glasses! I put them on a few dolls, but when I put them on Bella, I was like, “They are so hers!”

Aren’t they cute? I’ll have to do a photoshoot with her soon so her profile pic can have her in her glasses.

I hope you enjoyed. Which outfit is your favorite? Did you all have a good Christmas? Any new additions to your AG collections?



Profile Pictures!

Hey, guys! As you may have noticed, some of the photos on my blog became little black x’s, including the profile pics on the Meet My Dolls page. This is because I had to delete photos from my WordPress to make room for more. Hence, a bunch of the dolls’ profile pics were deleted. But I took some pics yesterday, and now all my dolls have a profile picture again! I’m pretty happy with most of them. I might re-do Toby’s and Johnnie Ray’s. Anyway, check them out if you so desire. I hope you like them! I also changed my little profile picture.