trapped on an island. A secretive father. how to find answers? escape.
Island of Secrets
CHAPTER
1
The Twins
Colesha and Luca sat on a thin tree branch high in the sky, eyes closed, wind pulling at their hair.
The tree was extremely tall, stretching up so high that the two teenagers sitting on one of its boughs could see the entire island. This tree was as wide and round as a sequoia tree, too.
Despite how thin their branch was, the kids were in little danger of the branch breaking. The tree was infused with a special type of magic, so that it would never break or die.
Colesha felt the gentle breeze flowing past her, pulling slightly at her fair hair. Years of living on the island, with its forever warm and sunny climate, had bleached her hair to white. Her hair reached down only to her ears. Long hair on an island, even one with no predators such as this one, became nothing more than a burden-especially when climbing trees, which she and Luca loved to do above anything else.
Colesha had a rigidly-structured face, with high cheekbones and a strong jaw. Despite how aristocratic this usually makes people look, she could look mischievous and playful when she wanted to, which could sometimes be great words for her personality. Spending almost her entire life on the sunny island had given her a tan complexion. Her body was slender, but she had been well-cared for on the island, so she wasn’t dangerously skinny.
Luca was Colesha’s twin brother. His looks were extremely alike to his sister’s. He had white hair that matched his sister’s hair length, tan skin, and a lean body. His cheeks weren’t as steep and angular as his sister’s, though he had a strong jaw, like her. Luca could also look impish when he wanted to, and he was considerably more mischievous than his sister.
While the twins looked harmless, they both had strong muscles, and their slender bodies gifted them with speed and agility.
Sitting in the tree, memories spilled wildly across the twins’ minds. In her mind’s eye, Colesha saw the two of them as six-year-olds in a kitchen, attempting to create gelato – and failing miserably. The gelato was splashed all around the room – inside the bowl they had been using to make the ice cream, and plenty of it dripping down the outside of the bowl; on the walls; on the floor; on the cupboards; and on the counter.
She smiled at the memory. It was one of her favorites.
Opening her eyes, she found Luca gazing at her patiently, tears clouding his normally fiery orange eyes.
“What did you see?” she asked him simply.
“I remembered climbing up our first tree,” he answered softly, voice dripping with longing. “I thought it was about time to come back to that memory.”
Colesha nodded her head, blinking as tears sprung to her eyes, making her silvery irises gleam brighter. “It’s a good one,” she whispered, not trusting her voice.
“What about you?” Luca responded.
Colesha gave a single laugh. “I saw us trying to make gelato when we were six years old.”
Luca chuckled. “That was one of my favorite memories.”
They closed their eyes, wistful expressions on their faces, as they breathed in, pretending that they could smell the gelato. The twins opened their eyes, sighing nostalgically.
They played this game often. The siblings had been born on this island, but their father had taken them to the mainland when they were three years old.
After spending seven years on the mainland, their father had taken them back to the island, and wouldn’t tell them why, no matter how often they asked or pleaded. Eventually, their father had given them a dire warning, and the twins never tried asking him again. They still wondered, though.
“What is one of the things that I have always told you? Knowledge has power, and power can be dangerous,” their father had told them.
The twins desperately missed being among other people, and seeing animals.
Nothing lived on this island, other than the animals that ran amok in the water.
After returning to the island, they sought comfort by climbing up a tree together-this tree. They lovingly referred to it as the Memory Tree. The twins enjoyed remembering their time spent on the mainland in the Tree. They had made a regular habit of spending at least half an hour sitting on the tree in the morning, another half-hour in the afternoon, and at least a full hour in the evening.
The siblings never skipped this unspoken rule, no matter the situation. Even if one was upset about something, or both were upset at each other, they would still climb the Tree. Usually, the Memory Tree helped them figure things out.
The twins were a week off from their fifteenth birthday. Birthdays are usually happy occasions, but when their birthday came, they could only think about how another year on the island had passed by. It was on their birthdays that they reminisced about their time off the island the most.
“Why do you think Father took us from the mainland?” Luca queried. This was a question that had come up often in the past couple of years. They never questioned anything when they were younger, after their father had issued his warning, because it seemed like he was protecting them by not answering their inquiries, but as they grew older, the warning started seeming like it could be either a warning of safety, or a threat. Though they knew it was unlikely they would ever discover the answer, they still enjoyed imagining what might have happened.
“Hmm. Why don’t we try summarizing everything we’ve already come up with?” Colesha wondered aloud. “Maybe we’ll find something that way.”
Luca nodded seriously. “Father might be trying to protect us from something. If he is, he might not want to tell us anything about it because knowledge can be dangerous. Or maybe he’s worried about how we’ll react.
“But he might be trying to keep a secret,” he continued, diving into the other possibility. “He could have been threatening us, not warning us. He was acting in a way that made it seem like there was more to his warning than just him trying to protect us. He may have been keeping secrets and protecting us at the same time. Did I miss anything?”
Colesha slightly shifted her head from side to side. “No, that sounds to me like everything. I just wish we could get farther with our theories.”
Luca gave a sardonic smile. “Me too, but we can’t get any farther with this than we can from this island.”
The twins looked down at the ground in misery.
Suddenly, Luca snapped his head up, yelling, “That’s it!” He scrambled to stand up.
“What’s what?” Colesha asked, startled. She tilted her head up to see him, her eyebrows jumping high in surprise.
Luca beamed down at her. On the island, she had never seen him this excited.
“We could try getting off the island!”
Colesha winced. “Luca… That’s never going to work. Father doesn’t want us to leave, which means he never will. Remember, we’ve tried in the past.”
“Well, we didn’t have the proper resources. For one thing, we were too young to understand anything. We didn’t know how to plan a proper escape–”
“And we do now?” Colesha asked in disbelief.
Luca looked heartbroken. Colesha understood what he was thinking and feeling, but she doubted that his idea would work, and even if they managed to escape the island, what would happen then? This was too dangerous, planning such an enormous adventure on a whim, and without any idea of the world beyond their little island.
What if their father truly was protecting them from something? He may have had good reasons for keeping his secrets. Anyway, even if he didn’t, it would be better to live out the rest of their lives on the island than to shorten their lives, and maybe even make them suffer something worse than death. There was no way Colesha was about to risk this journey.
Luca didn’t seem to have the same views, though. Tears streaked down his cheeks, falling to the ground far below them.
He climbed down the tree as quickly as he could. Colesha knew better than to disturb him. She just hoped he understood how important her point was.
Don’t do anything stupid, Luca, she thought to herself. Please. I couldn’t bear to lose you.
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