Read The Mysterious Island Online
Authors: Tony Abbott
To all children
Lightning crackled and flashed outside the windows of Eric Hinkle’s basement.
But he and his friend Julie could only look at the soccer ball in the corner.
The thunder two seconds later told them the storm was only a couple of miles away.
“Neal is going to freak out when he sees,” said Eric. Neal was Eric and Julie’s friend.
Julie stared over his shoulders. “I’m freaking out already,” she said. “Let’s call him. His eyes will bug out. He’s got to see this – now.”
The two friends ran up the basement stairs to the kitchen. Eric picked up the telephone and punched in Neal’s number. Another flash of lightning made the phone crackle in his ear.
“Hello, Neal?” Eric said when his friend answered. “You’ve got to come over right away.”
“Are you kidding? There’s going to be a humongous storm in five minutes,” Neal replied. “Besides, I’m getting ready to eat. It’s lunchtime.”
“It’s always lunchtime for you,” Eric said. “Forget food, Neal. This is important.”
Neal sighed. “It’d better be, for me to pass up one of my mom’s tuna fish sandwiches. I’m coming.”
After Neal hung up, Eric and Julie glanced out the window. The sky was getting very dark.
Eric began to smile. “Good day to hang out in my basement.”
“You mean, hang out in Droon,” Julie added.
Eric chuckled. “Of course that’s what I mean.”
In Eric’s basement there was an entrance to another world.
A world that Eric, Julie, and Neal kept secret. The mysterious and magical world of Droon.
Droon was a place where a good wizard called Galen Longbeard and a young princess named Keeah battled a very evil sorcerer by the name of Lord Sparr.
Droon had all kinds of strange creatures, too. Galen’s assistant, Max, was a spider troll, half spider, half troll. He could climb up anything and spin sticky webs with his eight long legs.
And then there were the Ninns. They were Lord Sparr’s nasty, red-faced warriors who flew around on big lizards known as groggles.
And a witch named Demither. And –
The sky flashed outside, and thunder boomed just as the back door opened.
“Yikes!” Neal charged into the kitchen. “I think that storm followed me!”
Eric opened the basement door. “No time for talk. Everybody downstairs.”
The moment they got to the bottom of the stairs –
– the basement flashed white, and –
– the walls rumbled, and –
– rain splashed hard against the house.
, storm,” Julie said.
“All right,” said Neal, stepping into the basement. “What is more important that tuna fish sandwiches?”
“That.” Eric pointed to a corner of the basement. The soccer ball – Julie’s soccer ball – was sitting on the workbench.
Actually, it was sitting
It was floating in the air.
“Whoa!” Neal gasped. “I repeat – whoa!”
“Not only that,” Eric said. “You remember the first time we went to Droon and the soccer ball came with us and then it did that magical thing when we came back? Well, Julie and I were looking at it before and –“
“Shhh!” Julie whispered. “It’s doing it again!”
By the glow of the ceiling light they watched the ball begin to change.
The black and white patches moves slowly across the surface of the ball. The patches became the shapes of countries. And the ball itself became a globe of another world.
The world of Droon.
“It means we need to go,” Julie said, looking at her two friends. “What else could it mean?”
“Last time, our dreams told us to go to Droon,” Eric said. “But this time is different. I think it’s a sign from Keeah.”
Neal took a deep breath. “What if something bad is happening? What if Lord Sparr is, like, attacking Keeah? Or Galen?”
The room flashed white.
The lightbulb in the ceiling flickered and dimmed.
“There’s only one way to find out,” Eric said.
Thunder exploded overhead.
“Hurry before the power goes,” Julie added.
Eric felt his heart race as they went to the closet under the steps. Just like the other times, he pulled the door open and turned on the light.
They entered the small room.
Where are we going this time?
So far, the stairs had never taken them to the same place twice. And the stairways always faded and reappeared in the new part of Droon.
That was just one of the secrets of Droon.
Julie shut the door behind them. Neal flicked off the light. The room was dark for an instant.
Then it wasn’t.
The floor vanished, and a long flight of colored stairs shimmered into place.
“I love that!” said Eric.
A sudden, cold wind blew into their faces.
“Whoa!” Julie said. “Hold onto the railing.”
“Hold your nose!” Neal said. “I smell fish!”
“Seawater!” said Eric. “The stairs are over an ocean or something. Maybe we should go back.”
But even as he said that, it was too late.
– a huge wave of icey water splashed across the stairs.
Eric’s feet slipped out from under him.
“Help!” He clutched for the railing. He missed.
“Eric!” Julie grasped his hand, but another wave followed the first. Eric slid off the stairs, pulling Julie with him. She grabbed for something to hold on to.
“That’s my foot!” Neal yelled.
Neal slipped down, too.
Splish! Splash! Sploosh!
The three friends hit the water hard.
“Neal! Julie!” Eric cried.
Tall waves leaped and crashed around him.
“I’m here!” Julie shouted, gulping for air.
“Something’s coming!” Neal yelled.
A dark shape plowed across the waes. It was the bow of a giant ship.
“Watch out for us!” Eric shouted. But the ship charged towards them, faster and faster.
Suddenly the ship slowed.
“Down sail!” boomed a deep voice above them. “Circle around! Drop a rope!”
A thick rope slapped the surface of the water. Eric, Neal, and Julie grabbed hold of the rope and climbed up.
The ship was huge, with red-and-yellow sails and blue wings that swept to the back.
As he climbed, Eric read the golden letters on the ship’s side.
. Jaffa City is where Princess Keeah lives. This must be her boat!”
A strong hand reached down and helped them aboard.
“Our friends from the Upper World!” said a man in a long blue robe, smiling at them. It was Galen Longbeard, first wizard of Droon.
“You have come to us again,” he said. “And again we can offer you nothing but danger.”
“We had to come,” Julie said. “The soccer ball turned into a globe of Droon. Did Keeah do that?”
“Eric! Julie! Neal!” cried Princess Keeah, running over. “you got my message. The magic must be working. I’m so happy to see you.” She gave them all big hugs even though they were soaking wet.
“How can anyone be happy with
thing on board?” snapped Max. The spider troll’s orange hair stood on end as he pointed to a small gold chest on the deck.
“Whoa,” Neal said. “The Red Eye of Dawn is in there!”
The Red Eye of Dawn was a jewel of amazing power. Neal, Eric, and Julie had helped Keeah steal it from Lord Sparr’s volcano palace.
“We’re going to hide it in Jaffa City,” said Keeah. “We can use your help. Then my father and I are going to search for my mother.”
“You can count on us,” said Eric.
A strange witch named Demither had told them that Keeah’s mother was alive. But, like Demither herself, Queen Relna was under a curse.
Galen nodded. “But Sparr will do whatever he can to stop us. It is his angry heart that makes the Red Eye so dangerous. Come, we must hurry.”
Icy waves crashed against the sides of the ship as it gathered speed once again.
“With two wizards aboard we should be safe,” Eric said, looking at Galen and Keeah.
“One and a half,” Keeah said. “I’ve been practicing spells. But so far all I do is break things. Like this morning –”
A sudden bolt of lightning lit up the sky.
A dark swarm streaked across the clouds.