The Boy in the Woods: Part 6

by bdhesse


“We should hurry,” Kameko said nervously. “I don’t think we’re alone out here.”
Michael looked up at him from the spring. “Are you sure?” he asked.
“Definitely,” Kameko replied.
“Don’t go yet,” a voice said from the tree line. A big, balding man stepped out from the shadows. His clothes were dirty and torn. “Give me your money. Then you can go,” the man said as he aimed a gun at Bristol.
“Bully!” Michael cried. “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” He stood up as he yelled at the man.
“What? Like you, kid?” the man asked with a laugh. He shifted the gun away from Bristol and towards Michael. As he did so, Michael ran at him and smacked the man’s arm before he could take aim. The gun flew out of the man’s hand.
“Leave us alone!” Michael cried.
“You’ll pay for that, kid,” the man said. He swung his fist at Michael’s head. Michael ducked and came up under the man’s arm. He hit the man hard just below his chest. The man gasped and stumbled backwards.
“I said leave us alone!” Michael cried.
The man snarled at him. “You think you’re tough, kid?” he said. “I’ll crush you.”
Michael ran at the man, who hadn’t recovered yet. The man stumbled backwards and tripped. Michael kicked the man in the head, then he put his foot on the man’s throat. “If you don’t leave us alone, I’ll have to make sure you can’t hurt anybody ever again.”
“Okay, fine,” the man said in a croak. “I’ll let you leave.”
Bristol and Kameko hurried into the trees. Michael followed closely behind them. They walked quickly for an hour before anyone spoke.
“How did you do that?” Bristol asked Michael.
Michael shrugged. “My grandpa taught me,” he said.
“But I thought you said you weren’t ready to fight yet,” Bristol replied.
“I’m not,” Michael said. “I still have a lot of training to do before I’m ready to go professional.”
Bristol blinked at him. “Really?” she asked.
Michael nodded.
Kameko giggled. “I’ve seen fighters a lot worse than you win competitions,” he said.
“You have?” Michael asked. “My grandpa said I wasn’t ready to compete.”
“From what I saw you should have started competing years ago,” Kameko said. “But I’m sure Ginjiro had his reasons.”
“Um…Michael?” Bristol asked. “Would you actually have killed that man?”
Michael shook his head. “My grandpa said that killing is wrong. He said that violence should only be used as a last resort, but that man was a bully.”
Bristol nodded. “I don’t think he would have let us pass if you hadn’t done what you did,” she said.
“Over here,” Kameko said from up ahead. “My master is this way.”
Michael and Bristol hurried to catch up. They followed Kameko out of the trees and onto a sandy beach.
“Where’s your master?” Michael asked.
“Out there,” Kameko said, pointing out into the sea.
“He lives in the water?” Michael asked.
“No,” Kameko said. “He lives on an island.
“I don’t see an island,” Michael said.
“How can we help your master if we can’t get to him?” Bristol asked.
Kameko motioned at the water. The surface stilled and became as smooth as glass. “There,” Kameko said. “Now you can walk there.”
“Wow,” Bristol cried. “How did you do that?”
Kameko shrugged. “I’m a fairy,” he said. “We can control nature. Or, at least we can to a degree.”
Michael stepped on the surface tentatively. “Cool!” he cried. He began to jump up and down on the surface, laughing.
“Michael!” Bristol cried.
“Let’s go,” Kameko said. He flew across the sea quickly. Michael and Bristol ran to catch up with him. It wasn’t long before they could see the island in the distance.
“It’ll take forever to get there!” Bristol cried.
“No it won’t,” Michael replied. “We’re almost there.”
“Hey, Kameko,” Bristol cried. “How long will the water stay like this?”
“Until I release it,” Kameko replied.
They hurried forward. Eventually they slowed down, unable to keep up the pace.
“I need a rest,” Bristol said as she sank down onto the surface.
“Don’t be so lazy,” Michael cried. “We’re almost there. Let’s go!”
Kameko stopped flying. “We still have about an hour before we’ll get there,” he said. “We might as well take a break.
Michael sat down hard. “Fine,” he said grumpily.