The Sun, the Year, and the Comet: Part 2

 

When Terra opened her eyes, they were in a jungle. Green vines were hanging above her head, the area was thick with trees wrapped in moss, and the air was alive with chirps, caws, and roars.

“This looks like it’s gonna be fun,” Terra said. “Who’s gonna meet us here? Tarzan?”

“Close,” Gravity replied.

On cue, a girl landed a few feet from Terra, crouched low like a monkey. She looked up then stood straight, face alive with a childish, mischeivous grin.

Terra reached out her hand, expecting another invisible wall to stop her, but it didn’t. The girl stepped up to her until their faces were inches apart. Then she threw her arms around Terra and pulled her into a tight bear hug that lifted her off her feet.

“Whoa!” Terra cried as the girl put her down. “Nice to meet you too.”

“C’mon!” the girl said, running away. “I heard there’s hidden treasure in this jungle. This place is wild. You’re gonna love it!”

Terra looked at Gravity and pursed her mouth in a not-too-bad face. “Adventure? I think I like her.” She broke out into a sprint and chased the girl down. They ran through the jungle for what felt like an hour, climbing trees, swinging vines over rivers, diving off fifty-foot cliffs, swimming through lagoons, and riding on the backs of elephants to cross a swamp. They finally made it to the top of a mountain where a giant stone chest was waiting for them.

“We found it!” Terra cried. “We did it! I wonder what’s inside.”

But when she took a step towards the chest, the girl suddenly jumped off the mountain and disappeared over the edge.

“What the freak?” Terra breathed. She ran to the edge and looked over, but the girl was nowhere to be found.

“Is she…dead?” She looked at Gravity for an answer, but he just stared back at her.    “You’re gonna stop being useless, you know that? I can’t be out here running all these miles just for you to be standing there with your hands in your pockets.”

Gravity didn’t say anything.

Terra shrugged then walked back to the treasure chest. She pushed the stone lid off and her jaw dropped at what was inside. A diamond necklace was sitting at the bottom of the chest, shimmering in the sunlight. She lifted it up then put it around her neck.

“How do I look?” she asked Gravity.

He gave her a thumbs up.

With nothing else to do, Terra made her way back down the mountain. The second her foot touched the jungle floor again, the girl landed out of nowhere in front of her.

“It’s a necklace!” she cried. “Way to go! It looks great on you.”

Terra’s head swiveled in every direction, trying to figure out where this girl had come from. “How did you…?”

“It really brings out your eyes. We could find some tulips around here for your hair and you’ll look like an Amazon princess.” The girl was going on like she hadn’t just vanished before and was jumping in like there was no break in the conversation. It was jarring and a little annoying, but Terra couldn’t help but find herself moving along with it. For some reason, it felt like the girl had never left.

The girl plucked a flower from nearby and put it in Terra’s hair. “There you go.”

“Thanks.” Terra looked around for a puddle to look at her reflection, but when she looked back at the girl, she was gone. “Again? What is she, a magician?”

Gravity stepped up next to her. “This is Leep.”

“That sounds fitting,” Terra said.

“Leep is that friend who will jump in and out of your life every few years. You’ll connect with her more than Helio, but for whatever reason, she’ll never be as consistent and will always be hopping in and out.”

Terra sighed. “Again—this will make me happy how?”

Gravity raised his fingers and Terra ran to stop him.

“No, wait!”

But he snapped his fingers and everything went black.

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