[2005 Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Second Placed Writer]
He fired from the car, as a bullet would a gun, dashing through the clearing and running towards the sparkling, ivory sand. He rejoiced when he felt the heat and heard the crunching sound of sand under his feet as he ran eagerly ahead.
“Damon, chile…min’ yu nah bruk yuh neck.”
Damon ignored Nana’s protests but propelled his lanky body faster. He did not stop until he settled into the turquoise cocoon with a loud splash.
Giggling, he dived and surfaced, calling out to Nana to join him. He floated, staring at the crystal, blue sky above then he turned his attention to where Nana had set up picnic under the shade of a mango tree.
Damon occupied himself frisking in the water. He dived and resurfaced repeatedly. Upon his fifth dive, he felt warmth enclose him. An amber glow emanated from a large whirlpool a few feet ahead. Curious, Damon surfaced to obtain more oxygen before he submerged and dived towards the vortex.
As he approached it, the warmth and the force of current increased. The current pulled Damon into the vortex as the warmth soothed him.
Reality lost its authority when Damon found himself in sapphire waters. Marble rocks were visible along the coastline and the sky was a deep violet. His mouth gaped when he viewed the shore which sparkled with fragments of diamonds.
Curiosity compelled him to further observe this uncanny island, for beside a coconut tree grew an apple tree. A heavily accented voice, conveyed in a lazy drawl, floated into audibility.
“What’yu declaration? What’yu motivation? What right d’yu have to trespass on the Isle of the Rastamagician?”
Damon looked for the speaker but saw nothing but swaying trees.
He could barely contain the shock when he sighted him. He was tall and slender, attired in a burgundy robe. His neat dreadlocks were now as white as the marble stone that lined the coast.
“Eh you…what’yu declaration?”
“Me I nah come here on purpose,” Damon stated immediately, in defence of himself.
The Rastamagician grinned, “Couldn’t have.”
The Rastamagician, whose name was Tamag, revealed to Damon the treasures of his island. Tamag took him to a cave, carved from Emeralds where the Rastamagician kept his possessions. There were books, a leaf-collection and shells. In the middle of the cave was a sturdy copper cauldron, where Damon supposed Tamag brewed enchantments and potions.
They toured the rest of the island, which to Damon’s surprise provided a habitat to many mythical creatures. He chased a Gnome and was able to watch a Selkie swim. Damon thought he would burst with excitement and happiness.
After the tour, Tamag offered to demonstrate to Damon a simple spell. Damon was delighted. Tamag placed a book a few feet from Damon, and told him that they were to make it fly.
“Point at it with yuh finger, say Evolvo. Then flick yuh wrist towards you and say Promotum.”
It took many attempts but eventually Damon caused the book to soar towards him. He could not contain his glee.
“You da first to ever come mi island and see it like dis,” Tamag noted.
“People come here, before?”
“They only see barren rocks. They call it Rhedonda. Yu Nana must miss you. You have to go.’
Damon protested to no avail. Tamag placed his hands on his shoulder and cried, “Reverto.”
When Damon pulled himself from the water and headed to Nana, it all seemed like a dream.
“What happen to you, boy?” Nana demanded on seeing Damon’s bemused face.
“Rhedonda is beautiful,” he murmured.
Nana ‘cheupsed’, “Rhedonda’s just a bunch ah rocks.”
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