The Boy in the Woods: Part 7
They finally arrived at the island after a long journey. The island had soft sand along its shores and large trees hiding any signs of habitation. Kameko led Michael and Bristol into the trees. They followed a path a short ways before coming upon a clearing with a house in the middle of it. The house was tiny, but very beautiful.
“Master!” Kameko cried. “I brought help, master.”
“Kameko?” a voice called from inside the house. “Have you brought Ginjiro?”
“No, I’m sorry master,” Kameko replied. “I’m afraid your old friend has passed on. But I have brought you his grandson.”
“Michael?” the voice asked. “But Michael is just a little boy.”
“Who are you calling little?” Michael cried.
An old man came out of the house. He looked to be in his late 90’s. He walked doubled over and shuffled forward slowly.
“I meant no offence, child,” Master Raiden said. “Please, how did your grandfather die?”
“He got sick, sir,” Michael replied.
Master Raiden sighed. “I’m sorry to hear that,” he said. “Why don’t you come inside? We can talk over tea.”
Michael and Bristol followed Master Raiden and Kameko inside. The house had a small kitchen, but the sitting area was fairly spacious.
“Please, take a seat,” Master Raiden told the children.
Bristol and Michael nodded and sat down on a large, comfortable couch.
Master Raiden got to work making tea. When it was finished, he carried it over to the children.
“What do you need our help with?” Michael asked.
“Please, I’m a traditional man,” Master Raiden replied. “First we exchange pleasantries, then we discuss business. Why don’t you children tell me about yourselves?”
“I thought you knew all about me,” Michael said.
Master Raiden chuckled. “Perhaps,” he said. “But I’d like to hear it from you.”
“Oh, well…I grew up with my grandpa,” Michael said. “My parents dies when I was a baby, so he’s all I had. He taught me everything I know. Then he died, and now I’m here.”
Master Raiden chuckled. “And what about you, young lady?” he asked Bristol.
“Um, let’s see,” Bristol said. “Well I’m 16. I graduated from high school last year, and I decided to travel a bit before university. I want to be a scientist and an engineer, like my parents. Oh, and I like shopping and boys, but I haven’t had a boyfriend yet.”
Master Raiden chuckled again. “Very impressive,” he said. “And your parents let you travel alone?”
“Yeah,” Bristol replied. “I’m very mature for my age.”
“And how did you two meet?” Master Raiden asked.
“I was driving on the highway, following some tips I was given, when I passed Michael,” Bristol said. “I guess I scared him, because he broke my car.”
“Oh dear,” Master Raiden said.
“Can we talk about why you need help now?” Michael interrupted.
“Very well,” Master Raiden replied. “I’m not sure if you’ll be able to manage, but I need somebody to retrieve something for me.”
“What is it?” Michael asked.
“It’s a white ball,” Master Raiden said. “I forgot it in a nearby village on the mainland. It’s very powerful magic, and I’m afraid that without the proper precautions it can do great harm.”
“Wait a minute,” Bristol said. “If you forgot it, why can’t you go get it?”
Master Raiden sighed. “I’m afraid I’m not as young as I once was,” he said. “I’m not strong enough to handle the ball for long.”
“Then how did you get it there?” Bristol asked.
Master Raiden sighed again. “I’m afraid I’m a bit absent minded in my old age,” he said. “I never intended to bring it, but it drained me. And then it was stolen. Will you please try and recover my white ball?”
Michael nodded. “Of course,” he said with excitement. “What does it look like?”
“I know what white balls look like,” Bristol said. “Come on.”
They jumped up quickly and hurried out the door.