“Huff, puff,” I panted hard as I climbed the practically Mount Everest tree. I told myself not to look down, because I knew that if I did I would be frozen in place for a long time. I was scared. I had always been afraid of heights, ever since the fourth grade, when I had fallen off a tall climbing wall and broken both of my arms. Now each time I climb up something even semi-tall, for a moment a vision of me falling down and never getting up again haunts my mind. Every single time since then someone has helped me down, at least after telling me to try to jump a dozen times.
But this time I was trying. Not the jumping-down-from-really-high part, but the climbing-up-really-high part. I was determined to overcome my fear of heights, and to feel at home in the air, like I had before the fall. Right then I was taking an even bigger chance than most kids do. I was carrying my dog, my beagle puppy, up with me. So, I wasn’t the only one in that tree who was scared.
“It’s okay Cookie Dough,” I told the shaking four-month-old puppy. “We can do this.” As if he had heard me, my best friend, Sam, called to me from so far below on the ground: “You can do it! What do you see?” “All I see is woods for miles and miles!” I yelled back, starting to climb back down, “Nothing else!”
Sam and I were lost. We had decided to explore our small (or so we thought) town of Mihhoma, and had ended up in a strange, very dense woods. We had traveled for hours, and now we did not know how to get back. There was no sign of any houses or schools or anything. So we were lost.
Suddenly, as I was climbing down, I saw something large coming up behind Sam. “Huh?” I said. I leaned forward to look, one hand holding on very tightly to a branch, and the other holding Cookie Dough. I gasped, and as I did I lost my grip on the tree branches and fell to the ground far below.
“Uumph!” I landed hard on the ground, right behind Sam, and right behind the shark. “Kiara are you all right?” Sam asked worriedly. My only response was a scream. My eyes were glued to the shark that was strangely floating in mid-air, as if it could fly. Its teeth were bared, like it was ready to strike at any moment. Sharks. Another one of my major fears since I was little.
Sam spun around and fell back in shock. I heard him draw in his breath when he landed. I was still scooting back, and I ran into some thick bushes. I huddled inside, praying the shark would not notice me, and definitely not attack Sam! Sam started scooting back into some other bushes, but the shark’s eyes were still trained on him. The shark let out a growl, and even though it was not loud, it sent my heart beating fast.
The humongous normally sea-predator had to be a great white shark because of its size. I could now see why it was called a great white shark for its skin was gleaming and practically reflecting the sun light into my eyes. And its jaw, oh its jaw! Its teeth looked like spears and the mouth was so big I was certain it could swallow me whole in a second. The shark’s eyes were an evil green, so evil that I felt that they alone would hurt me more than anything else on the shark.
My eyes were all of a sudden drawn to something hanging onto a branch just above the shark. Cookie Dough! The poor puppy was barely hanging onto the branch with one paw, and with a sharp yelp he immediately lost his grip and catapulted down… right onto the shark’s back.
Everything was silent. Sam was now safely hidden in the bushes. I held my breath and did not dare move for fear that the huge beast would turn and target me. And for a moment little Cookie Dough sat motionless.
Then Cookie Dough slowly raised his head. Bad move. Dagger (that was what I started calling the shark later on) started swinging his tail around vigorously trying to free himself from the strange creature on his back. The puppy clung on with his claws, and that made Dagger roar even louder. The evil creature started swinging around to and fro, around in circles, and up and down. Finally Cookie Dough was slung off, right into my lap. He whimpered and ran in the bushes right next to a tree behind me.
Dagger caught his breath for a second, and then glared at… the bushes I was in! Slowly I turned around, not wanting to see the shark any longer. If he did eat me, I did not want to see it! I closed my eyes and took a deep breath...