We all felt exhausted and seasick. We had just come out of a huge storm full of tidal waves and heavy rain, but luckily my friends and I had managed to stay on our made raft that we made out of the trees from the beach that we set sail from after our trip from El Dorado.
I was still rowing with the oar that was also made from the beach trees. Altivo had been lying down on the raft ever since we set off; it was probably due to the headaches that he got from knocking down the trees for us to build with his head. Chel was feeling seasick and so was my best friend Tulio, who was leaning on his edge of the raft and making awful noises.
“Oh, God!” he finally snapped after hours of silence. “I can’t take anymore! Why don’t we just dive down and swim ourselves to death?”
“Come on, Tulio, look on the positive side,” I told him.
“What? The fact that all of us are out in the middle of the ocean with no food, no water and no gold?”
“Well, for the gold part,” I said, “you don’t have any, Cortez doesn’t have any and no one except the people in El Dorado have it. As for food and water, we still got to have faith and hope. Because without it – ”
“What hope?” went on Tulio. “Miguel, we have been on sea water for four months with nothing but – ”
Then we all heard Chel making slurping sounds.
“Chel!” cried Tulio who crawled very weakly towards her. “What are you doing?”
“Oh, nothing,” smiled Chel. “Just drinking fresh water.”
“Fresh?” Tulio took a mouthful of the water. It was the first time I saw him smile in months. Alvito joined in the drinking, too.
Using my right arm to use the oars, I used my left hand to put a mouthful of tasty fresh water down my desert-dry throat. I felt really good after being so long without any good water.
Then Alvito neighed in a very excited mood.
“What is it, boy?” asked Tulio. He looked at where the horse was neighing. “Land!” he cried happily. “It’s land!”
I looked ahead and see that five miles away there was land. It had green trees, green grass and a little beach.
“Miguel, keep it up for another thirty minutes,” Tulio said to me. “We’re nearly there.”
I frowned at him as I saw him sit with Chel. While I was doing all the hard work, all they did was just enjoy watching the land come closer and closer. Ever since we left El Dorado, he had been spending more time with Chel than with me. Altivo neighing happily in front of me didn’t help me either – both my mood and my navigation. Even though they spoke to me occasionally and gave me jobs to do, I wondered if I still existed to them.
I managed to land the raft on the little beach. Then Tulio helped me pull it further up so it wouldn’t drift off.
Tulio looked at the sky. “It’s getting dark,” he told us. “Let’s make camp for here tonight.”
“I’ll go and get the firewood,” I said.
“I’ll find us dinner,” said Chel.
Tulio yawned. “I’ll stay here and…”
Alvtio yawned, fell down and went to sleep.
“…guard the horse,” said Tulio.
Then Chel and I went off in our own directions.
It didn’t take me long to find the firewood. I had about eight or ten logs in my arms. I was on my way to head back for the camp when something caught my left eye – something very bright and glowing red. Still carrying the logs, I headed over to the bushes where the red light was coming from.
“Excuse me,” said a voice. “Can I get past?”
I turned around to see someone a lot smaller than me walking past.
“Thank you,” he said.
“You’re welcome,” I smiled. Then I looked back to see the creature again. He was a body and a head made out of white stuff. He had a carrot for his nose and twigs on the top of his head. On his face, he had big eyes and buck teeth hanging out of his mouth. On his body, he had three black rocks and two twigs as his arms. And above his head was a cloud with white things falling onto him.
Dropping the logs, I screamed and ran to hide behind a big tree.
“Hey, those logs could’ve knocked me to pieces!” shouted the creature.
I peered back around the tree. “Well, I’m sorry,” I said. “I didn’t mean – ” Then I stopped and faced the creature again. “Wait a minute! Who are you?” I asked.
“I’m Olaf and I’m a snowman,” said the creature.
“What man?” I asked
“Snow man,” repeated Olaf. “I’m made out of snow. You’ve never seen snow before, let alone a snowman?”
“No,” I replied. “Well, we don’t get snow in Spain. Well, not the part I lived in anyway.”
“So what brings you here?” asked Olaf.
“Me and my friends have been at sea for weeks,” I told him, “and we’ve stopped at that beach over there to rest. What are you doing here?”
“I’m looking for my friend,” replied Olaf. “She’s been missing for two months now and – ”
Then the red light from the bushes shone back on us again.
“What’s behind those bushes?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” replied Olaf, “but let’s find out!”
He used his twig arms to push the bush branches aside to find the light. The light was gone but something or more like some things came out. From what I could describe, they were some green scaly bald creatures with sharp teeth. They were wearing heavy black armor and had sharp swords and daggers. They pinned Olaf to the ground.
I turned around and ran for my life, but something heavy hit on the back of my head and I fell down unconscious.
“Oh,” I groaned, as I woke up. I stood up and rubbed my eyes. Then I noticed that I was in bars and they were moving! I was in a prison carriage. And I saw that the green monsters were pulling it.
I was feeling cold and, as I began to rub my chest to keep myself warm, I noticed my red shirt had been taken away.
I turned to the green monsters. “Uh, where is my shirt?”
“Shut up!” snapped one of the monsters.
“I wouldn’t make small talk to these goblins if I were you.”
I turned around to see Olaf trapped inside with me. “Goblins?” I said.
“Yeah, this is where they all live,” went on Olaf.
I looked around and saw nothing but a rocky and brown mossy plain.
“It’s not much for scenery, is it?” moaned Olaf. “I can see why no one has set foot here in centuries.”
Then I saw the sun coming out of the sky.
“Olaf, how long have I been unconscious for?” I asked.
“About eight or nine hours,” replied Olaf.
I started to wonder if my friends had been captured or if they were worrying about me.
Then the goblins took us down a large hole in the ground. They used a rocky path that took us down further and further. When we reached the bottom, I saw more goblins digging with pickaxes and spades. I could just see some diamonds being unearthed. It was a mine!
Our ride was over when the goblins stopped. They opened the prison carriage and dragged Olaf and me out of it. Then we were taken to a very tall and muscular with teeth-like-a-wolf goblin. He had armor ten times the average size for other goblins. He sniffed Olaf and then he came to me.
“Can I trust you to find me all the riches in this mine?” he asked.
I was about to stand up to him, but then I stopped. I tried to use the ‘little voice’ that Tulio said I didn’t have. All it said was to say, “Yes, I will do my very best”, so I said that to the sneering goblin.
“Well, Captain?” asked the leader of the scout party.
“They will all do,” the Captain declared. “Put them with the girl.”
Well, at least, they hadn’t killed us yet and I was sure there was a way out of this. Tulio and I had always managed to get out scrapes, including escaping the brig from Cortez’s ship. But Tulio was always the one with the plans and all I had with me was a talking snowman. So how I was going to escape from these goblins, I had no idea. For the moment, anyway.
Olaf and I were thrown into a prison cell and locked in. The goblins giggled as they walked away.
“Careful!” Olaf shouted to them, as he picked himself up and put his carrot back on his face. “My nose could have been broken!”
That was a female voice. A lovely female voice. Out of the darkness came a beautiful woman. Her red sleeveless dress was deeply scratched, but her lovely fair skin and her strawberry-blonde hair were completely unharmed.
“Anna!” cried Olaf, as he ran to the woman and hugged her. “Oh, I missed your warm hugs.”
“I missed you, too,” smiled Anna. Then she looked at me. “Who’s your friend?” she asked the Olaf.
“Oh,” said the snowman, turning back to face me. “This is Princess Anna of Arendelle.”
“Your Highness,” I said, bowing to her.
“Oh, please, don’t bother bowing,” said Anna. “I’m more of a slave than a princess here.”
“Anna, this is my new friend,” said Olaf. “All the way from Spain. His name is… Uh, I didn’t get you name, did I?”
Well, he never asked, did he?
“My name is Miguel,” I told them.