“Whoa! Did it happen? Are we there now?”
Anjola blinked up at her cousin Deji. “Huh?”
“Look around! Is this Bilandia?” Deji jumped up and flung out his arms in excitement. “The room got very bright as Gran was reading us that Bible story about Joshua, and I had to shut my eyes. When I opened them, Gran and the room were gone. I’ve been hoping this would happen since you told me about your last adventure! Will you get up already?!”
Anjola sat up. Her head felt fuzzy and it took a few moments before she realized she was sitting on a mossy hill. All around was grass as far as her eyes could see. “This doesn’t look like the same place I landed in last time,” she said. Then she thought about the Queen from her last adventure and shivered. “If this is Bilandia, I hope we don’t run into any crazy monarchs this time.”
Deji reached out to help his cousin up. Anjola looked at him closely as she stood. “How come you’re so bright eyed and full of energy? I feel as if I passed out or something.”
Deji shrugged. “Dunno. You were kinda falling asleep already when it happened. Or maybe it’s because you’re a giirrrrl.” He took off running as Anjola lunged at him.
The cousins ran and walked for several minutes without meeting anyone. The landscape gradually changed to include widely spaced trees and eventually they found a little stream.
“Water, thank God!” Deji gasped.
They ran over to the stream and splashed their hot faces as they gulped water down. Anjola was just wiping her mouth when she and Deji were grabbed from behind and their hands pinned behind their backs!
“Hey!” Deji yelled. “What are you doing? Let us go!” He squirmed and kicked, trying to get free.
“Who are you and where did you come from?” shouted a voice.
Anjola sighed. Not another capture! “We’re visitors from a distant land,” she said in her most grown up voice.
“A distant land? Bah! You’re spies!” said the voice. It belonged to a short, stocky man dressed in leather.
“We’re not spies!” Deji shouted.
“Take them to the Commander,” said his companion. “He’ll know what to do.”
The cousins were marched into a camp and led to a tent in the middle. Inside was a young man also dressed in leather, laying on a mat. He looked up as they entered. “What do we have here?” He asked, eyeing the children.
“We think they may be spies,” the stocky man began. But he was interrupted when a teenager dressed in sheep skin rushed into the tent.
“Commander!” He gasped. “I was out with the sheep when I saw a huge army approaching in the distance!”
The Commander’s face hardened. “Those must be Gibba’s enemies. How I wish I’d never been fooled into signing a treaty with them!” He jumped up and strapped on a sword as he barked out orders. “Gather the troops! We must set off immediately.”
Everyone rushed to obey the commander’s orders in a flurry of activity. Anjola was trying to signal Deji to slip out of the tent when the Commander noticed them again. “You two are coming as well. Maybe you’re spies, maybe not; we’ll know the truth before this war is over.”
Anjola and Deji exchanged looks of dismay. They hadn’t expected to be in a war! How on earth would they get out of this mess?