Josh, Jake, and Jill Emmer, 11 year old triplets, were in their house packing. Their parents had just died in a car accident a few hours earlier. The triplets accepted the fact that their parents had died the day after their birthday. Still, it was very saddening. All Ann and Wessley Emmer had left for their children were two clues.
As Josh, Jake, and Jill packed a police officer came into their room. "Time to go," he said. Josh, Jake, and Jill quickly finished packing and followed the officer out the front door.
"Bye house," Jill whispered.
Josh, Jake, and Jill had always wanted to see a real police car, but they weren't in the mood to enjoy it.
When they got to the orphanage Miss Ousdragon, the orphanage lady, answered the door. "Well, hello," she said in a raspy voice. "Welcome." Miss Ousdragon showed them their rooms and then the policeman left.
"There are no dogs allowed," Miss Ousdragon said, her voice very crisp.
"Well, we aren't sending Buddy away!" The triplets said together. Buddy was their beagle puppy.
"Very well," Miss Ousdragon replied.
When Miss Ousdragon left Josh said, "She kinda creeps me out."
"Yeah," agreed Jake.
The triplets took a look at their surroundings. Trees covered the yard and the Appalachian trail was about a mile away. When they looked out the window they saw many animals including squirrels, rabbits, and deer.
In their rooms there were three very uncomfortable looking, un-bouncy beds. The pillows had hardly any fluff. The room was painted a dull mustard yellow and the thin sheets were brown.
When Josh, Jake, and Jill went downstairs to eat supper, they got a small spoonful of spaghetti and a half a meatball each. While Miss Ousdragon got three huge servings of sphaghetti and six of the biggest meatballs. Her huge, fat fingers grabbed the spoon and started eating greedily. Josh, Jake, and Jill each gave their half of a meatball to Buddy.
Josh, Jake, Jill, and Buddy went to bed starving
Buddy woke up at 6:30 a.m. and woke Josh, Jack and Jill. They went downstairs for breakfast.
Since Miss Ousdragon was still sleeping Josh, Jake, and Jill cooked some oatmeal. They took out hamburger from the freezer for Buddy.
Josh took out the syrup and started pouring. "Wow!" Jake said. "This is the best..." He trailed off.
"Where is my oatmeal?" Miss Ousdragon said. Her nightgown with little pink flowers was still on.
"Um," Jill spoke bravely. "We thought you could make your own breakfast."
"And what is that dog doing with my hamburger!" Miss Ousdragon practically shouted at them.
"Excuse me," Jake said getting angry. "But Buddy needs to eat also!"
Miss Ousdragon turned red. "Make me my oatmeal!" Her voice didn't sound human.
Josh, Jake, and Jill did not move.
"Alright then," her voice had an evil satisfaction. "You will make me my oatmeal, then get slapped with my ruler, and last, but not least I will send you away from the orphanage and you must never come back! If you do, I have my ways," her voice was strangely calm after her great outburst.
So not having any choice of what to do and for fear their punishment would get worse and worse, they set to work. They got out the oatmeal, a gray pan, and enough water. Jill turned the burner to medium. Jake poured the water into the pan. Josh measured out the oats and Buddy barked at Miss Ousdragon until he was sent outside.
After the oatmeal was done, Josh, Jake, and Jill were about to go outside when Miss Ousdragon said, "Pour me my oatmeal."
After the triplets were done with that she said, "Get me the syrup."
Josh, Jake, and Jill obeyed. Then Miss Ousdragon said, "Give me my spoon." After they were done giving Miss Ousdragon her spoon they triplets rushed to the door.
"No!" Miss Ousdragon said suddenly. "Sit down and wait for me!"
Josh, Jake, and Jill obeyed without a word.
When Miss Ousdragon was finished eating she asked the triplets to get her a ruler.
Josh got up to get it. When he came back Miss Ousdragon said aloud, "Hmmm, who should I do first?" The evilness in her voice wasn't hidden at all.
Miss Ousdragan decided after a very long, tense moment. She chose Jill.
Jill was slapped eleven times. Each time Jill was slapped she said, "Ouch! That really hurt!" Jill tried to sound sarcastic, but every time she said it her eyes told her brothers the truth. It really hurt.
When it was Jake's turn, he didn't flinch, not through all his eleven slaps. However, his face was tense, all tightened up, ready for the next blow, wherever it may be.
When Josh was up, he just sat there looking outside. He took some big gulps, once every three slaps, but otherwise that was it.
When Miss Ousdragon was done slapping him, Jill went up to the chair Josh was sitting on tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Josh, we're leaving right now."
Relieved Josh said, "Oh good. It's all over."
The triplets went outside together only to find Buddy all white because he had been playing in the snow. They had to laugh a little. Buddy wagged his tail and let out a playful bark.
Jake stopped in his tracks. "Hey guys, it our chance."
"Our chance to what?" Jill asked.
"To find the time capsule," Jake explained patiently. "We're a mile away from the Appalachian Trail."
A long time ago Matthew and Sarah Emmer, the triplets great, great, great grandparents, buried a time capsule for their family to find. They passed down a clue, but through the generations nobody had found the strength to climb the Appalachian Trail. Nobody knows for sure what's in the time capsule.
"Hey, yeah!" Josh exclaimed. "Let's go!"
"Wait a minute," Jill said. "Are you guys sure about this?"
"I think so," Jake replied. "We should at least give it a try."
"After all, it's what Mom and Dad left us with," Josh said.
The triplets looked sad for a moment. Then it erased from their faces.
"So what are the clues?" Jill asked.
"Well, the first one is this," Jake said as he took from his pocket an old looking piece of crumpled up paper. This is what it read:
You will find the key
exactly in the middle
of the Appalachian Trail.
"And this is the second one." Jake pulled out another piece of old looking, crumpled up paper. This is what the second clue read:
You will find the time casule
at the end of the Appalachian Trail.
"Well then, let's be off," Jill said.
"Yeah," Josh and Jake agreed. "Let's be off."
As Josh, Jake, Jill, and Buddy were trudging through the snow Jill asked, "Hey guys, how are we going to find the middle of the Appalachian Trail?"
"Well," Josh said, "I'm guessing from where we're at the middle of the Appalachian Trial is about two miles away."
"Sounds good," Jake replied.
As they walked along they came to the Appalachian Trail.
"Wow! This is really neat," Jill said.
"Totally," Jake agreed.
As they walked the triplets and Buddy looked around. The snow was melting and was very sticky. The trees were budding and some trees already had a few small, bright green leaves. The air was fresh, sweet, and crisp all at the same time. Here and there little areas of grass showed. The sky was a light blue color with a few birds flying.
"Hey!" Josh shouted. "I see a cloud that looks like a snake playing baseball!"
"So do I!" Jake and Jill said in unison.
They laughed. Buddy barked.
"Hey," Josh said, stopping. "I think this is it."
"So do I," Jake agreed.
"We're going to need a shovel," Jill said.
They looked around. Josh spotted a rusty old shovel. "Found one," Josh said.
The triplets took turns digging. Buddy dug the whole time.
After they had dug two feet something shiny caught Jake's eye. "Stop!" he said.
Jill, who's turn it was for digging, stopped.
Josh whistled for Buddy to come.
"Here it is," Jake said, holding up the key.
"We found it!" Josh shouted.
"Now all we have to do is hike to the end of the Appalachian Trail," Jill said.
"That's way easier said than done," Jake replied.
"I know," Josh agreed.
Jill found some broken branches they could use for hiking sticks.
They they started hiking. They hiked for a whole month. Each night the triplets found a good place to sleep, normally under a tree of some sort, and started a fire. They hadn't brought any matches along. They started the fires with two dry sticks, which were hard to find because it was spring and everything was very wet.
Miss Ousdragon had given them each a large loaf of bread, but it was stale and very hard. Each day they normally had a thin slice of stale and very hard bread.
The triplets were always very exhausted and by 7:00 p.m. they were fast asleep. For pillows they used backpacks. Miss Ousdragon had given them the mustard yellow sheets they had slept with at the orphanage.
Each morning they woke up at about 6:35 a.m. and began their long journey. They never complained about being thirsty, hungry, or tired. They drank water from clean streams.
Finally, the last day had come.
"I think we're almost to the end!" Jake shouted one morning when they woke up.
"Yeah," Josh said. "I'd say about one more day of traveling and we'll be there."
"Awesome!" Jill exclaimed.
They hiked nine more miles until they saw a sign that said, "END OF APPLALACHIAN TRAIL."
The triplets shouted together, "We made it!".
About a block away there was a lodge where you could get food, water, and stay overnight for free.
The triplets went inside. They ordered a hot dog, a glass of water, and chocolate ice cream. Everything tasted delicious!
When the triplets were done eating some reporters came and the triplets told them everything. They told about their parent's sudden death, about Miss Ousdragon, and their long journey across the Appalachian Trail. When they were asked why they decided to hike the Appalachian Trail they said they could rather not discuss that topic.
When the reporters left, the triplets asked to go back to the end of the Applachian Trail. The people said that would be fine. So the triplets left.
Josh got the old, rusty shove and started digging.
Like last time they each took turns digging. After they had dug three feet Jill heard a hollow sound. She stopped digging. "I think I found it!" Jill said excitedly.
"You mean we," Jake corrected her.
Josh, Jake, and Jill lifted the box out of the hole. The triplets sutdied the box. It was a strong, wooden box. The wood was a medium brown color. The lock was made of metal.
Josh grabbed the key from his backpack and unlocked it.
The triplets stared. Inside the box were twelve precious stones, three slingshots with twenty perfectly smooth stones, a beautiful painting of the Earth, and a parchment telling the importance of each item.
This is what the parchment read.
The twelve precious stones:
Garnet represents loyalty
Amethyst represents sincerity
Aquamarine represents courage
Diamond represents enduring love
Emerald represents pure love
Pearl represents innocence
Ruby represents contentment
Peridot represents happiness
Sapphire represents clear thinking
Opal represents hope
Topaz represents faithfulness
Turquoise represents success
The three slingshots with twenty perfectly smooth stones:
Matthew and Sarah Emmer were shepherds. The slingshots were used
by them to scare lions and bears away.
The beautiful painting of the Earth:
The Earth picture always reminded the Emmer family of what God had
done for them.
"Amazing!" Jill breathed.
"Wow!" Jake said in amazement.
"This is really cool," Josh said.
They went back to the lodge and asked the spend the night. The people said they had lots of room. The triplets were led to a three bed bedroom. There they each took a shower, put on their pajamas which they had 't worn during their trip because they would have just gotten dirty.
As they were lying in bed, Jill said, "This is really comfortable."
"Yeah," Josh and Jake agreed.
And with that they went to sleep.
When Josh, Jake, and Jill woke up it was 9:00 a.m. The sun was shining through the closed curtains. Buddy was still sleeping.
The triplets went downstairs after they had gotten dressed.
For breakfast they ordered chocolate chip pancakes with turkey sausage links.
"Mmm...this is so good," Jill said between mouthfuls.
"Yeah," Josh agreed.
Just then a lady, who looked to be in her mid-thirties, came by their table and asked, "May I sit with you?"
"Sure," Jake said and the triplets scooted over.
Soon the triplets found out she was Catholic like themselves and that her name was Laura Smith. She had blue eyes and blonde hair. She was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt.
When the triplets were done eating they got up to go.
"Wait a minute," Laura said.
"What is it?" Jill asked.
"I know someone who you could live with," Laura said smiling.
"Who?" the triplets asked eagerly.
"My brother and his wife," Laura said with a twinkle in her eye.
"Can we go there today?" Josh asked.
"Sure," Laura said. "Do you want to go now?"
"Yeah, that would be great!" Jake said enthusiastically.
Jill woke up Buddy and bought him some dog food. Then the triplets all went into Laura's silver car.
When they got to the two story house, the triplets piled out of the vehicle. Laura had called ahead of time so the Smith's were expecting them.
Laura rang the bell. A man of 38 stepped out.
"Welcome," he said. "My name is John Smith."
Josh said, "Thanks. I'm Josh. This is Jake. That is Jill and the dog is Buddy."
Mr. Smith gestured them to come inside.
When the triplets were seated in the living room they looked around. They were seated on a very comfortable brown couch. Around them there was a red chair, a coffee table, and a love seat.
Laura was sitting in the red chair and Mr. Smith, a girl, and his wife were sitting on the love seat.
"Let's start with telling people our names and ages," Mr. Smith said.
"My name is Lizbeth and I'm 14," the girl next to Mr. Smith said.
"I am Mary Smith and I'm 35," Mr. Smith's wife said.
Jake introduced themselves and Buddy.
"So I hear you guys want a home," Mr. Smith said.
"Yes," Josh replied.
"Would you guys like to sleep here tonight?" Mrs. Smith asked warmly.
"Sure," Jill said.
The triplets were led to their rooms where they unpacked everything.
By the time the triplets unpacked it was lunch time. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were waiting for them when they came downstairs.
Mr. Smith, Lizbeth, and Mrs. Smith, and Laura had already eaten so it was just the triplets and Buddy.
Jill found where the bowls were and poured some dog food for Buddy.
Then the triplets sat down, said prayers, and ate.
When they finished eating they went into the living room. There the Smith's were about to play a game of Go Fish.
"Hello," Mrs. Smith said. "How was your lunch?"
"It was good," Josh said.
"Just good?" Mr. Smith joked.
"Fine," Jake grinned. "It was fabulous!"
"Now that's more like it!" Mr. Smith said.
Everybody laughed, except Buddy, who barked.
"So do you guys want to play Go Fish?" Lizbeth asked.
"Sure," Jill said.
Lizbeth dealt the cards. Mr. Smith went first. "Hmmmm...,"he said. "Laura give all of your sixes."
"Rats!" Laura said as she handed over three.
"Yes!" Mr. Smith shouted as he laid down his pair. "My turn again!" He said gleefully. "Josh, give me all of your tens."
"Go fish," Josh replied.
"Come one!" Mr. Smith said as he picked up a card.
At the end of the game, they counted their cards. Mr. Smith had won.
"Good game everyone," he said.
"I should probable make supper," Mrs. Smith said. "Anybody want to help?"
"I will," Laura said.
Laura and Mrs. Smith went into the kitchen. Mr. Smith, Lizbeth, the triplets, and Buddy stayed in the living room.
Soon it was supper time. Everybody rushed into the kitchen.
On the table was spaghetti with meatballs, green beans, and pineapple. They said prayer and started eating.
When they were done eating, strawberry pie with whipped cream was served.
When they were finished with dessert Mr. Smith said, "If you guys want, we'll adopt you."
"Umm...we'll think about it," Josh replied.
Then the triplets excused themselves, went upstairs and started getting ready for bed. When they were done, they each sat on their beds.
"So, what do you guys think?" Josh asked.
"About what?" Jake replied.
"About them adopting us," Josh said.
"Well," Jake said. "I think we should accept. Here are the reasons: One. They practice the same religion as us. Two. They have blond hair and blue eyes. Three. They're nice people."
"Josh said, "That's what I was thinking. How about you Jill?"
"I agree with you guys," she said.
Buddy let out a bark.
"Then it's agreed," Josh said. "We'll accept!"
Then the triplets said their prayers and went to sleep.
The triplets awoke to the smell of pancakes. They woke up Buddy and got dressed and went downstairs.
"Good morning," Mrs. Smith said when she saw them.
"Thanks," the triplets said in unison.
Jake go out a bowl for Buddy and poured dog food into it.
"Breakfast is ready!" Mrs. Smith said.
Everybody sat down, said prayers and started eating.
"Have you made up your minds?" Mr. Smith asked.
"Yes," Josh said. "We accept!"
"Good," Mr. Smith said. "Welcome into the family! You may call me and Mary Dad and Mom. You may call Laura Aunt Laura."
"Great!" Jill exclaimed. "He Mom, would you mind passing the syrup?"
"Sure thing!" Mrs. Smith replied.
And as for Miss Ousdragon, the triplets told the police about her. She was arrested for abandoning children, starving them, and hurting them.
One evening after supper, Mrs. Smith asked, "So, why did you guys climb the Appalachian Trail?"
"Well," Josh said, "That's a very long story."
"But," Jill added, "If you really want to know we'll tell you."
Then they began telling their VERY long story.
LPH Writing Class stories 2013-2014