Melody was young when her father mysteriously disappeared. She never understood why or where he had gone, but the coming of her 13th birthday brings new surprises that could lead to an adventure she never dreamed possible. Will she ever find out what really happened to her dad?


1. Just a Regular Birthday

          Melody Wild ran through the cold wind of the beautiful summer day. She couldn’t be late for her last day of school. The bell rang and she sat down in the back row, alone. The teacher, Ms. Mendall, walked into the eighth grade classroom of Melvark Middle School. “I know you’re all excited class because this is your last day in Melvark Middle, but I don’t want any funny-business in here today!” Her rich English accent rang through the quiet and anxious room.

          The whole class, Melody stared at the clock. Usually Melody was excited for school; after all, she was rather smart and always had high nineties. Finally! She thought, five, four, three, two, one! RING! RING! The bell rang and the class ran for the door.

          “Goodbye class! Enjoy your summer vacation!” cried out Ms. Mendall. The only person who heard her was Melody.

          “Bye Ms. Mendall! Thank you for a fantastic year,” replied Melody as she stepped out of the room.

“No, thank you Melody”

Melody roamed through the loud crowded halls and saw all the friends saying goodbye and many kids in her class celebrating. She walked out to the bus that was parked on the curb and sat in an empty seat. No one even bothered to say happy birthday, she thought.

           “Happy Birthday!” cried out Kate as she arrived on the bus. Finally someone said it other than her mother!

          She looked up her older sister, “Thanks! I’m finally a teen!” Her mouth formed a huge grin.

           When Kate and Melody got home, they had a special dinner of venison, mashed potatoes and green beans. It was Melody’s favorite dinner in the whole world. When Melody finally went up to bed she looked out her window and sighed.

          The Forbidden Forest was just out her window. She didn’t know why it was called that but she did know that her dad had disappeared into it when she was only four. It was said that if you went in, you never would come out. Her father, John Wild, was a kind man that always loved adventure. When he started going out for days on end, Mary Wild started to get worried. His wife had a right to get worried when he was gone for a whole day and he argued he had only been gone for an hour. Finally Mary saw her husband walk into the forest. She ran off after him but he had just disappeared! That day he didn’t come back, nor the next or the next. He never came back to this day. For all Melody knew, he may need help.

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