Lost Friends, Year 4

One warm, summery February morning, nine-year-old Shelby Kipling and her dog, Prue, were messing about in their front yard when the mailman came and delivered a letter to their mailbox. Shelby immediately took it out and verified the recipient’s name. It was for her, but it didn’t say who sent it. She whistled to Prue and carried the letter through the front door. Locking the door as Prue entered, Shelby sat herself down at her giant desk. She was wondering what might be inside. It was paper, and as it wasn’t her birthday, she had no clue what could be inside. She cautiously tore open the envelope, being careful to not damage the letter’s contents.

After ten seconds of anticipation, the envelope was open, and Shelby was reading the paper. She blotched the paper with tears as she made sense of what she had read. The letter was clear and simple. It said, “I have captured your friends and scattered them across Diamond Longbeach and the Casey Islands. You have until the end of May to find them.”

It was signed, but in a way that Shelby couldn’t read it. The first friends Shelby could think of were Ivy and Ruby Jones, Ashlynn Walter, Emily White, Eva and Matilda Greenwattle, Maya and Faith Rose, Eliza Black, Violet Manua and Sasha Avery. Shelby had heard of Diamond Longbeach and the Casey Islands before, and everybody told her their stays were brilliant at those places. She felt as though it wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as brilliant when her friends’ lives were on the line. Shelby was contented that the end of May was a fair three and a half months off. She went to go put the letter back in its envelope when two water-stained

pieces of paper fell out. Shelby dismally unfolded them, and when she saw what the paper was, she became much more lighthearted. They were maps of Diamond Longbeach and the Casey Islands - even better, they revealed where her friends were! She was greatly overjoyed, as this meant it wouldn’t take nearly as long to locate them.

At school the next several days, Shelby read over the maps pretty much whenever she could. She felt it was crucial that she memorized her friends’ locations, just in case she misplaced the maps. After three weeks, her friends’ locations were undoubtably adhered in her mind.

That night, Shelby struggled to sleep. May was approaching fast, and she hadn’t even began searching. “I’ll leave for Diamond Longbeach first tomorrow because it’s only three kilometres away.” Shelby told herself.

When Shelby woke up a few hours later, she silently made herself a piece of buttered toast, slid through the front door and ran down Willes Drive, remembering to leave the maps on the kitchen table so her parents could find her. She could hear Prue whining at the gate, begging to come. Shelby raced back to get her beloved dog, as Prue was the most important thing on Earth to her.