Sometime during the boat ride, the water began to get choppy. To be precise, the trunk I was in wasn't tied down. Any chance of sleeping through the rest of the journey was demolished as the trunk slid from here to there in the hold of the ship.
In between the roar of the ocean, I whispered to Tam out of one of the air holes. "Tam? . . . Tam?"
"Yasmine!" Tamara exclaimed quietly. She sounded relieved to hear a fellow human's voice. "You know what's wrong with this?"
"What? Besides the fact we've been kidnapped, are about to be sold as slaves, and are sliding all over the floor of a ship stuck in trunks?"
"Yeah. Well. From Binster to Scareymon, across the part of the Rural Sea, should only take an hour, or two, tops. It's been three hours."
"How do you know how long it's been? I've been napping on and off since we started sailing," I replied quizzically.
"I'm wearing a watch. Anyways, unless they're taking us back to Jadeland trying to get the police off their tail -"
"How do you know there are police following them?" I asked again.
"I just do!" Tam sounded on the verge of yelling.
"Okay, okay. Continue."
"Right. So, I doubt they are going back to Jadeland. I think they're taking the Stardust HMS to Clam Insula."
"What?" Now it was my turn to nearly yell. "Are you crazy?" Clam Insula was a small island with one of two portals from Jadeland to Earth. The only explanation for them was some type of worm hole - not the type that digs through the ground, but the type that theoretically exists in outer space. "Anyways, why would they want us on Earth?"
Tam didn't reply for a few seconds. Finally, her voice full of defeat, she said, "I don't know."
That came as a blow to me. Tamara always seemed to know, though she didn't always explain how. Her not knowing meant I had no choice but to walk blindfolded into a lion's den.
Two hours later, according to Tam, we arrived at our destination, bruised and battered. Clam Insula was a beautiful island with palm trees and sand that was almost as white as snow. The water was a beautiful turquoise, which was my favourite colour. It reminded me all of some storybook about mermaids.
"I'm lifting you up now," someone said to me. As my trunk rose up, I felt like a fly who could be squished at any moment by a flyswatter. What if the person carrying me decided to drop me?
A few minutes later I was set down again, back into a carriage, I guessed. Somebody unlocked my trunk, and it took my eyes a few seconds to adjust to the light.
"Up you get," the person said, and I realized it was the lady I thought was the leader of the slave traders. She helped me up, uncharacteristically kind. "You'll be wanting to look good for the interview."
What interview? Has she gone crazy? I wondered. She seemed to read my mind. "You'll find out soon."