• “Then I’ll hitch hike there!” Anya snapped back. No matter what, Anya wanted to get as far away from the blonde idiot Gwen, her very, very evil and annoying slave master . . . And stepmother, as possible.

    Getting dressed into more formal clothes faster than ever before, Anya quickly braided her brown hair as she waited for the country bus on the porch.

    Now, Gwen wasn’t always so bad. Sometimes she was actually pretty nice. SOMETIMES. Like for example, today, when Anya was waiting for the country bus, Gwen made Anya some oatmeal. And so, Anya assumed, it was probably Gwen’s time of the month that led to her prissy attitude.

    “Do you want maple sugar?” Gwen asked, rushing about.

    Some times, how Gwen could possibily have a single maturnal bone in her body still shocked the h-e-double-tooth picks out of Anya.

    “Yes, please.”

    Gwen ran through the doorway on the veranda above Anya, and asked, “Do you have all your things? Socks? Shirts? Sweaters? Pants? Shorts? Under—“

    “Yes,” Anya laughed.

    Today was a good day. Either Gwen was just nice today, or she really, really, REALLY wanted Anya out of the house. Most likely the last.

    Gwen jumped as the bus skidded to a stop on the suddenly paved driveway, and threw down Anya’s luggage from the veranda. “Have fun, stay long!”

    “Hopefully I will!” Anya called back, boarding the bus to the train.

    The train led to the boating docks which would take her to Maure Island, for some Final Resort camp site thingy.

    “So, where are you going to?” asked the girl that Anya sat next to on the bus.

    “Azaro train station.”

    “Really? Wow, so am I!” the girl exclaimed. “Where are you going to from there?”

    Anya raised an eyebrow. “Um, the Docks.”

    “WOW! I am to!”

    Anya kept quiet and turned away.

    “What’s your name?” the girl asked, leaning forward. She looked a bit crazy, with her messy blonde hair in a very loose bun, probably fashionable in the twenty first century, but still, it complimented the girl’s brown eyes. “Well? What is it? Spit it out!” she giggled.

    “Anyali,” Anya replied. “Most people just call me Anya.”

    “Oh! My names Jessica!” the girl snorted. “I’m going to be seventeen soon! How old are you?!”

    Anya sat back from Jessica a bit. This girl was hyper. “Um . . . fifteen.”

    Jessica stared. “You look at least sixteen!”

    “Thanks . . .”

    “You’re welcome!” Jessica exclaimed. She giggled.

    Anya gazed out the window of the country bus and winced as it bounced over the rocks and logs.

    The road wasn’t very worn down; it was as if the bus was the first car and living thing to travel on it. Jessica hardly even noticed. She was busy singing The Wheels on the Bus through the entire ride.

    “So, want to play truth or dare?” Jessica asked.


    “Alrighty! Truth or dare?”

    “Dare,” Anya said with out hesitating.

    Jessica grinned. “I dare you to ask every one on the bus to see if they’re also going to Maure Island!”

    Anya wasn’t very impressed. “Sure.” Standing up in her seat, she waved he arms around her, shouting, “Raise your hand if you’re going to Maure Island!”

    The nine other kids on the bus slowly raised their hands.

    “Woot!” Jessica shouted. “Awesome! That means I get to hang with you all around the Island! Isn’t that great?!”

    One of the boys looked nervously to his friend. His friend shrugged and sank back into his seat.

    “I’m happy too!” Jessica exclaimed.

    One of the other girls coughed. “We can tell . . .”

    “Calm down back there, kiddies!” the bus driver said. “Sit down, honey, if we hit a bump you’ll be flying through the wind shield so fast the first thing that goes through your mind will be your butt!”

    A couple boys chuckled.

    Anya sat down, slightly embarrassed.

    “It’s okay,” Jessica smiled. “If that happens, I’ll scrap you off and take you to the emergency room so fast you won’t know what happened.”

    Anya sighed and turned to look out the window. It was going to be a very long day, indeed.


    By the time they reached the train station, all the kids were thrilled to get on the old fashioned bus. At least, the boys were.

    “Buh-bye misses bus driver!” Jessica waved.

    The bus driver slowly returned the kindness by waving back, and then sped away in the other direction.

    “Let’s get a seat together!” Jessica grinned.

    “Great. That way you can torture her all along the way to the Docks, no?” challenged a strangely familiar voice with that same strange accent.

    The two girls spinned around to meet their new bully. Anya gasped as she recognized, Julio. She only met him once, but by mistake . . .

    “Julio!” she exclaimed.

    He frowned. “Why are you going to Maure Island?”

    Anya blinked.

    “Because our loving parents want us to have fun?” Jessica offered.

    Julio didn’t hear her. “Anya, have you heard the rumors there?”

    Anya was about to say no, when the man who ran the train yelled, “All aboard to The Docks!”

    “We have to go!” Jessica said, glaring at Julio. “We’ll miss our train.”

    “Well, I have to go on that train, too,” Julio said through bared teeth.

    Anya rushed ahead the fighting duo, and leapt onto the train. She helped Jessica and Julio up, only to find the two exchanging dangerous glares.

    “Jessica, you’re not supposed to be here,” Julio glared, taking a seat across from Jessica and Anya. “You know better.”

    “So do you, you have no right to boss me around, Nepan—“

    “Quiet!!” Julio exclaimed. A few kids turned to look. Julio sent them a nice smile, and they turned away. “You should not be here!” he hissed

    “I have just as much a right to be here as you. Now what’s your name, huh? Lupio!?” Jessica returned the glare.

    “Um, did I just step into a conflict?” Anya asked.

    Julio turned to face her. He sighed. “Some what, yes.”

    “It’s not a conflict.” Jessica up turned her nose. “It’s a battle of the wits, and I refuse to attack an unarmed person!”

    Anya stifled a laugh.

    “Yes,” Julio snipped back. “And I assume you think I’m as witty as a twit, no?! Speak for yourself!”

    Anya had no idea what started this, but she was going to end it. “Look, as entertaining as this is, could you two please stop? The bus gave me a raging head ache, and I really don’t appreciate all this conflict.”

    “And just when I was having fun, too!” Jessica pouted.

    Julio scoffed.

    Anya sighed.

    Jessica zoned out. "I have to go to the bath room,” she announced after five milli-seconds of silence.

    "Then go!" Julio hissed.

    “Fine,” Jessica huffed. She picked up her long, light blue dress and stomped down the isle on her way to the toilet room . . . And tripped over a luggage case. “Oof!” she exclaimed.

    Julio rolled his eyes. “I haven’t seen her for two years, and you’d think that within that time she would have grown up some and lost her clumsiness.”

    “It adds to her character,” Anya commented.

    Julio scoffed a second time. “Sure adds to some thing,” he murmured.

    Anya couldn’t help but laugh.

    Julio sighed. “She’s such a cluade. You’d think she’d wise up some, as well.”

    “She’s a blonde, you can’t blame her.”


    “Are we there yet?”


    “How about now?”



    “. . . . No.”

    “What about now?”


    Anya was annoyed by the two’s fighting.

    “And now?”

    “No,” Julio grimanced.

    “How about now?” Jessica asked.

    “How about NO?!”

    Jessica was quiet . . . But only for a second. “Check again.”

    Julio lunged forward past Anya, and grabbed Jessica by the wrist.

    She gaped.

    “How about you keep quiet for FIVE MINUTES, and I try to regain my senses!?” he threatened.

    Jessica sighed. “What ever floats your boat.” She stuck her tongue out at him, and snickered as if she made a funny pun.

    He resisted the temptation to cut it off.

    Anya sighed again. “Will you two stop fighting already? It’s getting very old.”

    Now Julio stuck his tongue out. The two were making noises at each other.

    Anya got up and walked to an open seat three rows ahead, and sat herself down. She was exhausted. Finally, she doused off, only to be awakened by some one in her face.

    “Hey,” Julio grinned.

    “Grr, I’m trying to sleep,” Anya growled, turning over. Another head popped up.

    “But we’re sooo far from being there!” Jessica whined. She tugged on Anya’s braid. “And we still have to finish truth or dare!”

    “Noo, just let me sleep, I’m tired,” Anya sighed. “And these seats are much more comfy than my bed at home.”

    “You’re mother said you had a nice bed, that time you fell out of the tree when you were eavesdropping on me,” Julio pointed out, raising an eyebrow.

    Anya said, “Yes, but she lies like a rug. Her name isn’t Porsche, it’s just Gwen.”

    Julio stared for some time.

    Finally, Jessica said, “Aren’t you happy you made such a good friend as me?” She smiled sweetly. “And the best thing is, I’m a girl,” she said, glaring at Julio as she said the last sentence.

    “Lovely,” Anya commented, dousing off again.

    Some one tapped her on the tip of her nose . . .

    “OW!” Anya yelped.

    Julio laughed. “Very fragile, you are.”

    Jessica snorted. “Why, do you want to put her up in a case all day so she doesn’t get dusty or cracked?”

    Julio hit her.

    “Yes, because you, your grace, might just trip on her and she might just crack.”

    “Crack up laughing when she sees your house!” Jessica laughed.

    Julio glared. “Crack up laughing when she sees your usual attire!”

    Jessica returned the glare. “Hmph.” She walked back to her seat, and tripped over the same luggage case she had before. “Oof!”

    Julio laughed wickedly.

    “You put that there, didn’t you?” Anya asked.

    He looked away out the window. “Maybe.”

    “So,” Jessica shouted. “Truth or dare?”

    Julio and Anya walked up the isle. “Truth,” Julio said.

    “Ooooohhh!” Jessica laughed with an evil look on her face. “Should of said dare because I have a nasty for you!!”

    Julio looked slightly frightened.

    “Are you Nepanio, the Dread Pirate who just dyed his hair brown to not be identifiable??” Jessica whispered.

    Julio turned pale. “Chicken.”

    “You can’t chicken when I play!” Jessica whined.

    “I just did.”

    “But you can’t!”

    “I, just, DID!” Julio said, angrily.

    Jessica turned to ask Anya truth or dare, only to find that she was asleep. “Of course,” she sighed.

    “Truth or dare, Jessica,” Julio glowered.



    “I am not!” Jessica shouted.

    “Pfft, yes, right.”

    “Fine, dare.”

    “I dare you to lick the toilet in the bathroom,” Julio laughed.

    Jessica looked dumbstruck. “EEW, no!!” She paused. “Chicken.”

    “You can’t chicken.”

    “Says who?” Jessica challenged.

    “Says you, you told me I couldn’t chicken, so you can’t, either.”

    “WHAT?!” Jessica exclaimed. “Fine, chickens are aloud, but only one per person!”

    Anya woke up again from all the shouting. “Uggh . . . Can’t you two just get

    “Only when she’ll stop truth or daring me!” said Julio.

    “Come on, you guys.”

    “Anya, truth or dare?” Jessica asked.

    “Dare,” Anya said sleepily.

    “I dare you to ask a guy on this bus if he thinks I’m cute,” Jessica said with a cheap blush.

    Julio scoffed. “All the boys will say no and that you are an ugly and hideous beast and will regret ever coming within a town apart from you.”

    Jessica screamed. “Shut up!”

    And again with the tongue sticking.