The Little Lost Corker Island - By Rosy Rivitir

   I should begin by telling you about our spaceship, the All-Vehicle Rivitir. Created by our clan of elves, the Rivitirs, in the wilderness of Elvenstead, it is an all vehicle in every way, meaning it can go anywhere and it has the magical ability to reconfigure itself into any shape to suit the occasion. It's super fast having a Hypergosh Engine with an Ogolly Overdrive and the famous Bradco Artgrav A100 Stabilizer so we don't feel any of the tremendous pressures of its amazing speed and maneuverability while always having gravity, no matter what. Plus we got two new Bradco Boombat batteries, that just keep on ticking long after the others have stopped, for back-up power like when Father Sun is off the grid, so to speak. It's a swell spaceship and we love her.

   We are me, Captain Rosy; Rover, our navigator; Brak, our pilot and Jant our radio and radar specialist. Brak and Jant, brother and sister, are professional heroes who took their training at the Heroes Я Us Collective in Elvenstead. We have an 11:11BS service bot to take care of us called Ellim. The BS stands for ballistic sensory meaning he can read minds so that we have whatever we want or need before we even know that we want or need it. We travel with a magic wand named Zingellawabix who is older than the solar system and we have a brilliant automatic pilot named Clarabelle who takes over when Brak is busy or just taking a break.   

   The AV Rivitir has traveled through many environs and dimensions, even to outer space, but the traveling I like best is the easy meandering along the Great Yudonke River on the alternate earth, Yudonke. The part we're on now is a lake so big it ought to be called an ocean, except its got one input on one end and one output on the other, both being the Great Yudonke River so that technically it is a river. But the locals have agreed that it is more than a river and are okay with calling it a lake. Never an ocean because everyone knows that Yudonke has no oceans. Common knowledge. But lake, well, okay.

   Lake Bigwata is what its called and it's huge, taking a month at least to cross. Way out in the middle are a string of six islands called the Little Lost Corkers, which are not little or lost or cork. They are islands though. The largest is East Cork, then Fobble, which is where Wataspot, the Corker's premier city and capital is located.

   We are again headed to the Little Lost Corker Islands and Wataspot because we've heard wonderful things about it, but I don't recall what all. Good things. Rover says they grow coconuts and pineapples there, on large estates, and that Wataspot's beaches are the best in the universe.  So that's good. Rover, being the navigator would know all about this stuff.

   It has been our intention to visit these Little Lost Corkers Islands, which are, apparently, a tropical paradise, for a good long while now, yet somehow we always seem to get waylaid, distracted or pulled aside. We tend to end up in places where we're needed for something or other so that's okay I guess, but still it's been our goal for a good long while. I hope we make it this time.

   Brak set Clarabelle, our automatic pilot, a course and left her to it while we all lounged on the spacious deck, enjoying the salt air and sipping iced teas that Ellim brought us. It is a beautiful day for sailing, balmy conditions as we are near the equator, and there's a joyful, good to be alive feeling in the air. I know there have been terrible storms in these waters and we keep a watchful eye but in fact, this moment is perfect.     

   Rover tells us we are still four days from the islands but, with our idyllic situation, we were unconcerned. I wanted to do some reading and grabbed a book from the top of my stack, Brak was either watching videos or working on his tan with his sister Jant on the deck with me. I stayed under an umbrella, of course, having no desire to become tanned. Rover was roaming about doing this or that or stretched out on a deck chair, unconcerned with tanning or burning, just enjoying the heat of Father Sun.


   The next morning as dawn's golden rays caressed us we awoke to another fine day on the glorious Bigwata. I was napping lightly after breakfast when Rover came to wake me.

   "Captain!" he yelled from a meter away. "Captain, wake up! You needa see this," now speaking loudly in my face. I was groggy and at first thought I was dreaming. Now he was shaking me, "Captain! Wake up!"

   "Huh?" I said, completely disoriented.

   "Captain, you gotta come see this!" 

   I looked around and it all came back to me. I stood, shakily, and followed Rover to where the others were at the rail looking into the distance at a very dark mass of clouds moving our way. Ellim was already packing the tables and chairs away. You could see lightning flashes below the clouds in what was, even from here, discernible as heavy rain. I was shocked at how quickly it was moving.

   "Brak!" I yelled, although it was calm and sunny here. The sudden drop in barometric pressure had me giddy I think. "Brak, we needa get the sails down and the mast folded and secured pronto. Rover, help him with that would ya? Jant," I called into the Rivitir, "how's the radar look?"

   "It's a big one Captain, and it's coming fast," she yelled from inside. I watched the storm with concern even though we'd always be safe no matter what, being in an All-Vehicle like the Rivitir.

   "The mast is secure Captain," Brak reported.

   "Good job!" I answered. "Put Clarabelle to keeping us pointed into the waves and let's get inside to enjoy this storm!"

   "Aye-aye Captain," he replied, ducking inside with Rover right behind. Taking a quick glance at the approaching storm, now ominous and looming, I followed.

   Already it was windy and the Rivitir rocked back and forth. We all sat in the front by the big window and belted ourselves in. Ellim, who was nearly impossible to topple, brought us drinks in sippy cups that fit snugly in special holders attached to our chairs. He also brought popcorn and other light snacks as we sat transfixed, watching the approaching storm. As Jant said, it was a big one and we were soon engulfed by it. Waves three times higher than the Rivitir's length came at us from several different directions at once, but Clarabelle, using her uncanny abilities and other advanced features, easily rode us through. The storm was a genuine thrill, lasting three whole days, with nearly constant lightning, howling winds and a torrential, unrelenting downpour that thrilled us, each and every one, even while we slept. It also put us millions of kilometers off course.   

   When we had calm again Rover looked at me curiously. "We're in uncharted water," he reported.

   "Huh?" I answered. "What do you mean, uncharted?"

   "Our current coordinates are not on the map, Captain. It just says, uncharted. Apparently no one's ever been here before."

   "Wait, how is that possible?"

   "Everyone keeps to the primary lanes, from the Great Yudonke straight across to the Little Lost Corkers then straight on to the Great Yudonke again and on you go. Usually."

   "No one's ever gotten blown off course before?" I asked, amazed at what I was hearing.

   "Not to my knowledge and certainly never this far, Ma'am," Rover said, scowling at the map.

   "This is unexplored water?" I was having trouble with the concept. 

   "Yes, Ma'am, looks like it. But if we keep going west we should come to the lake shore and we can follow that down and back to the Yudonke."

   "Okay then, let's do it," I commanded, using my Captain's voice. Everyone jumped to comply.


   We were soon sailing westward, again under beautiful weather. After three days we came to an island. I could tell even before we landed it wasn't a Corker. A ne'er-do-well named Gilligan greeted us and took us to see his Captain, called Skipper. There was a movie star, a millionaire, his wife, a professor and a fair maiden on the island, all waiting to be rescued. They were shipwrecked or something. The whole thing sounded pretty implausible to me and I could see the others nodding and saying uh-huh, pretending they believed it, but I perked up when they said they'd been on a three hour tour. This cheered me up because that meant that the mainland wasn't too far away. We left the next morning after wishing them the best of luck. We offered to carry them to the mainland but they declined, saying their contract wasn't up yet, whatever that meant.

   When we got to the mainland we headed south until we got to the Great Yudonke River, then continued our voyage down stream, which meant, of course that we would again miss the Little Lost Corkers. I shrugged despondently. "Maybe next time," I muttered but the others seemed unconcerned.


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