dusk – noun
- the time when day changes into night and the sky begins to get darker
vase – noun
[veys, veyz, vahz]
1. a container that is used for holding flowers or for decoration
kerflooey – adverb
ludic – adjective
The sun would be setting soon. Bad things happened at dusk when the shadows came out of hiding. This was not good. Of course leaving their home without permission was not good either. The girls had no idea how soon their adoptive parents would come looking for them.
The girls lived with an English family who had rescued them. When the girls were just babies their parents had been killed in a fire trying to save them. As they had been told, the English couple had known their parents and were visiting when the fire broke out.
Now that the girls were each thirteen years of age, they wanted to return to their Aborigine people. They had learned enough of the aboriginal culture to know that only the boys did a walkabout but they were sure their people would welcome them home especially when the elders of the tribe realized they had outsmarted the Quinkins.
“Kala, did you bring the vase with you?” Kyeema asked.
The vase was the key to this being a night they will live to remember or a night they wish forgotten.
“Yes, Kyeema. I have it hidden here in this sack.”
“Good deal then. With our walkabout camouflage, there should be no chance of anything going kerflooey.”
Kala and Kyemma knew the shiny, silver vase would attract both of the Quinkins’ attention possibly allowing the girls to pass by the cave at night, unnoticed. Then they could safely make it to their new home. Their hope was that the Quinkins would fight over the shiny object (both spirits were entranced by shiny things and often only showed themselves to humans when the humans had shiny objects upon them) and pay no attention to them.
Now that the girls were each thirteen years of age, they wanted to return to their people. They had learned enough of the aboriginal culture to know that only the boys did a walkabout but they were sure their people would welcome them home especially when the elders of the tribe realized they had outsmarted the Quinkins.
“Have you ever seen a real Quinkin?” Kala.
Kyeema raised an eyebrow. “We are twins Kala, when have you ever known me to leave your side unless I am with Mum or Dad?”
“I know but I thought maybe you had dreams about them like you do other things.”
“Luckily, I have never seen one in my dreams. However I think I saw a Timara when Mum and I went to market. Legend says they stay invisible though so I am not sure.”
“Why do you think you saw one then?”
“Well, at the market, something kept pulling Mum’s scarf off of her and she kept blaming me. It wasn’t me and I saw a tall, wafer thin rabbit looking person shimmy through the narrow alley after Mum accused me of pulling it again, and crazy laughter from the alley followed.”
Quinkins are spirit people, and there are two kinds, both usually invisible to humans which make them dangerous enough. Imjims are the mean ones who will steal children and take them to their caves to raise the children as monsters. Imjims are short, hairy, plump bellied people who have large scary heads and claws and some say, fangs too.
Now the Timaras were quite the opposite. Though they could be dangerous when they played tricks on humans, often it was just for fun. The Timaras were tall, extremely thin (thin enough to fit between the larger cracks of the caves) and had ears similar to a rabbits. Humans were a source of fun for the Timaras so usually they did their best to keep the humans safe from the Imjims.
“It is time Kala,” Kyeema said.
Kala and Kyeema crept to the side of the cave where the Imjims lived. The moon was hidden for the time being by a creeping cloud. The girls had just a sliver of time to place the vase while the moon was hidden and run before the cloud passed. They counted on this so if an Imjim came out, the vase would catch the wink of the moon and shine brightly.
Kyeema checked the sky.
“Ready? When I hold up my third finger, set it down and run as fast you can,” Kyeema whispered.
Kala took out the vase. She watched Kyeema’s shadow.
Kala set the vase down and ran as fast she could past the cave opening.
Kyeema and Kala made it a few yards past the opening when the moon winked out of the cloud and they heard loud screams. Terrified, they halted, going kerflooey.
“OOOOOOOOOOO!” and feet pounding on pavement was heard loud and clear as the moon came out of hiding.
Kala grabbed her sisters’ hand and pulled her behind her, running.
Suddenly, Kyeema pulled Kala to a stop.
“What are you…” Kala protested.
Kyeema shushed her and motioned for Kala to look back.
In the moonlit distance the girls could make out short forms and tall forms rolling around the ground, the vase shining in the scuffle.
Laughter now made it’s way to their ears. Not scary laughter but more of a giggling laughter.
The Quinkins scuffled and rolled like ludic pups.
Kala and Kyeema turned and ran toward their new home with a vivid story to tell when they got there.