As the Clouds Clear: Part Two
“Okay, Mr. What’s-his-face is gone. So tell me, what were
you shouting about earlier that was impossible? Why didn’t you want the doctor
to hear, anyway?” Jake asked, following Nili down the sidewalk.
“Because,” she said, briefly glancing back to Jake.
“He already thinks I’m crazy. I don’t need to give him more of a reason to think
that, do I?” She walked up the stairs to the Lenny Library and pushed open the
They walked between the aisles of books and sat at
a table in a rather empty corner of the library. “I’m sure you’ve figured out
by now that you and I were on the island together for a period of three days,”
“Yes, of course I realized that. What I can’t figure
out though, is where you stayed while you were there. The island isn’t big;
there aren’t that many places to stay there.”
“That’s just the thing... I think I stayed at the
same cave that you described–the one that you supposedly stayed in.”
“But that couldn’t be possible! If you were there
for three days, I would have run into or at least seen you during that period
“That’s exactly it! I can’t figure it out. Is it
even possible that there are two islands, exactly identical, where it never
stops raining, grey pets run amuck, and pets trapped there are doomed to fade
“I suppose it’s possible, but certainly not all that
“Maybe we were on separate islands though!
Describe the island, in as much detail as you still remember...”
The descriptions of both islands were still identical.
No matter how many tiny details Jake or Nili brought up, they still could not
find a single difference. Finally, they both decided to call it a day and to
meet back at the library the next morning.
“This is so impossible!” complained Jake. So far
he and Nili had been at the library for several hours, trying to figure out
the island. “It’s just simply not possible; you and I were on the island at
the same time, staying in the same cave, so we should have seen each other before!
It’s as simple as that!”
“It should be, but it isn’t,” Nili reminded him.
“I wish we could go back to explore the island, just
to see if we really did stay in the same cave,” he mumbled, frustrated
by the lack of information.
“Wait!” shouted Nili, attracting the attention of
several pets in the library. “That’s a great idea, Jake!”
“Huh?” asked Jake, completely confused.
“Well, maybe you were on to something. If we could
go back to the island, we could get the information we need quite easily!”
“You seem to be missing something, though, Nili.
We don’t know how to get there, and we don’t know where it is.”
“True, you’ve got a point, but what if–How did you
get to the island in the first place?”
Jake shrugged. “I don’t know... I just opened my
eyes, and there I was! No explanation available!”
“But before you got there, it was raining, correct?”
“Well, yes, but what does that have to do with anything?”
He paused. “You don’t mean to say that you want to recreate it!”
Nili nodded. “It’s definitely worth a shot.”
“Do you have the hose?” Jake shouted.
Nili walked out of her garage, hose in hand. “Yup,
I’ve got it.” The plan that the two had was simple. Because they had both arrived
at the island after rain, they wanted to recreate the rain, in an effort to
whisk them back to the island.
She walked over to the faucet and turned the handle.
Cold water sprayed out of the long, green garden hose and all over the two pets.
They stood side by side, anxiously awaiting a sign.
“This isn’t going to work,” Jake whined.
“Oh, stop it! Just because you’re grey and look sad
doesn’t mean that you have to be such a pessimist!” said Nili, tired of Jake’s
“It isn’t! We’ve been standing here for minutes and
nothing has happened! Not even a sign! In fact, all that’s happened while I’ve
been standing here is that I’ve been getting soaking we--” He stopped in mid-word
as some dark, grey rain clouds rolled across the sky.
“Ha, see! Told you it would work!” she boasted. The
clouds then opened up, drenching the pair in real rain. As they waited in the
pouring rain, minutes slowly dragged by. Finally, after standing there for fifteen
minutes, Nili admitted defeat. “This is hopeless,” she moaned.
“Well, what’s your next plan?”
“I don’t know, but I guess it’s back to the drawing
board for us.” They shuffled inside to dry off.
Over cups of hot chocolate, they discussed new ideas.
“We could research Blue Tuskaninnies and try to find the one that was on the
island,” she suggested, even though she knew that the idea was ridiculous.
“Blue Tuskaninny?” Jake shot her a strange look.
“What do you know about a Blue Tuskaninny?”
“Y-you mean...” she stuttered. “You know about the
Blue Tuskaninny?” Her voice rose in excitement. “I had convinced myself that
he was just a figment of my imagination!”
“I had as well! But if you saw him too... then maybe
he wasn’t after all!”
“This may be a lead. Where should we start looking?”
He thought for a moment, then answered, “Mystery
Island. For some reason, I just cannot get over the similarities.”
Over the next week, the pair packed and bought tickets
for a ferry ride to the island. Finally, the day of the trip came, and they
left, hopeful for new discoveries in the mysterious case of the island.
After boarding the ferry, there was a silence between
the two, a type of silence that hadn’t existed between them since their first
“You know, Nili,” said Jake finally. “I was thinking
about the Blue Tuskaninny and how we thought he was a figment of our imaginations.
Then I realized: what if the island itself was just a daydream? It
never existed; it’s all something we imagined, and it has never existed. If
that’s true, we’re chasing after nothing, and we won’t ever find any information,
because there’s none to be found!”
She was startled by the proposition. “Admittedly,
I’ve thought that too. After thinking about it though, I’ve realized that the
island had to exist. If it didn’t, it would be impossible for both of us to
be grey. I highly doubt that I somehow managed to paint myself while I was daydreaming.
Plus, I woke up in a hospital bed, not in my bed at home, which was the last
place I was before appearing on the island. In addition to that, it’d be just
plain creepy, not to mention a huge coincidence, if we both imagined the same
Her words seemed to comfort him, but nothing more
was said for the remainder of the ride. The boat reached the dock, and they
On Mystery Island that day, the weather was warm
and sunny, with not a single cloud of any type littering the beautiful sky.
“Today would be such a perfect day to visit the beach,”
Nili sighed, momentarily forgetting her mission.
“Uh, hello? We’re here for research, not for relaxation,”
Jake reminded her. He rummaged around in his backpack for a map of the island.
“Okay, if we’re here, then we should take this path to get up to the main road
where the library is located...” He rambled off some more directions, but Nili
paid no attention. She was already daydreaming of lying on a sunny beach, sipping
a drink served in half a coconut shell with one of those little drink umbrellas
“Nili!” The dream ended, and she snapped back to
attention. “We should get going to the library,” Jake said, grabbing his bag
and taking a nearby path.
There was some beautiful scenery along the path they
took. On the side of the path at one point was a huge, dark rock formation,
which they both stopped to look at. Large plants and vines grew up and around
it, almost completely covering some areas of the rocks.
“Wow, it’s amazing, isn’t it?” Jake commented while
staring. Nili uttered no reply back to him; she was too busy gaping at the rocks.
She had the strangest sense of deja vu, but she dismissed the feeling and continued
down the path, following Jake, who had started walking some time ago. He was
far ahead of her, but she wasn’t in any particular rush to run and catch up
with him. Finally, Jake realized that she was behind and stopped to wait for
her. “What was up with you back there? You were just staring at that thing and
“I–Well, you see...” She tried to make sense of what
she had just realized. “Jake, back there, I got the strangest feeling...”
“What kind of feeling?”
“A feeling like–and this may sound crazy–but a feeling
like I’ve been here before. And I don’t mean that I feel like I’ve been to Mystery
Island before. I think...I think that rock formation back there was the cave
we both stayed in. So, I definitely think Mystery Island has something to do
with our island. I think we’re discovering why they call it Mystery
To be continued...