Kumbaya-yas Part 3
Chewie and Dakota’s father, Mr. Smith, work in the small metal works area. Chewie creates a canteen filled with razors and gasoline, with some help from Mr. Smith. He creates a small bracelet for her that turns into a small shiv. For protection, of course.
Dakota and Lucas’ dad, Mr. Epstein, work on making macaroni pictures. Dakota makes what resembles a smiley face (She says it’s her dad) while Mr. Epstein makes what appears to be an almost exact replica of the glen visited the day before. They try to have a conversation, but Mr. Epstein is as awkward and robotic as ever.
Travis and Chewie’s Dad, Senior Sanchez, work on painting portraits. Travis sees how much Senior Sanchez cares about his hijo, but how he wished just ONE of his children were more athletic, rather than academic. Travis is a bit put off by the level of energy radiating off of him, but he’s able to turn the father’s competitive streak against him to get some silence.
While working on her project, Dakota notices the old woman outside the craft area. She walks out, with Lucas’ dad following close behind her. She convinces Mr. Epstein to work on his art piece, which he does.
She meets up with the old woman; she states (in a rather…colorful fashion) that The Wendigos will make their move that night. That they will gather together and rage. Dakota asks where they live, how many there are, and how do they kill them? The old woman says they live up the road, 4 or 6 or more! And she shrugs
At that moment, Ranger Rick appeared from around the corner, and chases the old woman away. They both disappear into the woods.
Going back inside, Dakota tells everyone about what she heard, and they need to prepare each other. Chewie gestures toward Dakota’s Christmas gift, the “beeper” that she carries around with her, that would notify Nathan when she’s in danger. She activates it.
The Neptunes spend the rest of the day trying to figure out what resources they have to defend themselves against the Wendigos. They tried calling Nathan, but instead Fido picked up and much creepiness ensued. Lukas thought he might be able to come up with a spell to lock up the cabins, to prevent folks from leaving once they’re inside. He finds out that Danielle actually has a lot of the ingredients he needs in her incense case.
The rest of the team tries to find weapons, but with little success.
That night, Ranger Rick tells everyone that they’ll be saying their goodbyes and everyone will be participating in the going away bonfire, with singing and storytelling, and fun. The team decides this is where the Wendigos will make their move.
That evening, the rangers gather everyone together. They begin to dance around the bonfire, while telling a tale about a princess who got lost in the wood. At first it’s corny and silly, but as they get futher into the tale, the rangers begin to dance better and better. Soon they’re dancing up a storm; with their shadows begin to weave in and out of the flames, making the story come to life. Everyone becomes entranced and involved.
Dakota sees this and tries to trip up the dancers. Her father grabs her before she does so, and carries her off away from the crowd. Furious, she yells at her father, telling him he’s ruined everything. He yells back, telling her to stop being a brat.
Chewie with his magic goggles, sees the rangers complete a spell. A burst of energy zips out of the bonfire itself, rising into the sky and then spreading over the entire camp. Everyone feels sleepy and tired after that, and they are sent back to their cabins.
As everyone goes back into their cabins, and Dakota and her dad continue fighting, they hear a loud SNAP. Chewie sees that the barrier around the camp bursts and disappears. A car comes racing into the camp, the ACE Academy van. Nathan comes running out, saying, “I did it! I broke through the barrier! Are you okay!?”
That’s when the animal howls begin. From a distance, from all around, they hear the inhumane howls of the Wendigos.
Ranger Rick yells, “What have you done!? That ward was there to keep the Wendigos out, not trap anyone in!”
The kids team up with Ranger Rick and the other rangers to try and replace the barrier. The rangers quickly march everyone into their cabins, while Lukas and Danielle gather up supplies, and Chewie begins the spell itself. Dakota & Travis begin loading up on weapons that Nathan had brought.
Chewie sees Nathan talking to the dads, who seem resistant in going back into the cabins, wanting to know what’s going on. He sees Nathan wave his hand, which seems to cause Chewie and Dakota’s dad to go back inside. But he sees Lucas’ dad stiffen up, yelling out, “How dare you!?”
Chewie continues working on the spell, when Lucas and Danielle arrive with the ingredients. They start to place the items around the campire, the howls in the distance coming ever closer.
Mr. Epstein appears out of nowhere and tries to take Lukas away. Chewie stands up to him, insulting him while trying to get him to leave. Mr. Epstein, speaking in a loud and very clear and stern voice, says, “You will NOT talk to me like that, mortal! If you do so, you will face the consequences.” Chewie insults him once more.
With a snap of his finger, Mr. Epstein casts a spell. Chewie is knocked out, his consciousness ripped out of his body and thrown into the ether. He feels himself falling, his memories disappearing, until there is nothing left.
Chewie is gone.
Lukas drops to his knees, shaking Chewie’s comatose body, crying tears on him.
Dakota runs up to Mr. Epstein, pleading with him to let Chewie go. That they need Chewie, they need him to protect the rest of the students. Mr. Epstein states that he doesn’t care what happens to anyone, except his son. That everyone there can die for all he cares. She continues pleading with him, saying how important it is that he comes back.
Lukas gets up, tears in his eyes and anger on his face. He says, “Bring him back.” Lukas father starts to speak, but Lukas interrupts him. “Bring. Him. Back!” Mr. Epstein cocks an eyebrow, snaps his fingers, and Chewie is brought back to consciousness. To life.
Lukas stands up to his father and goes, “Just go.” Lukas’ dad shakes his head, goes, “What fools these mortals be.” And walks away, back into the cabin.
After a quick reunion, the howls come ever closer, just on the edge of the forest. Lukas, Nathan, Danielle and Chewie gather around the bonfire and cast the spell.
The spells works with effects similar to before, but not as successful. While 6 and a half of the cabins are protected by the ward,3.5 of them are left out the open. This helps narrow down the areas that the Wendigos can attack.
The spellcasters, except for Ranger Rick, collapse from exhaustion. Lukas’ dad appears once again out of nowhere, lifts up the children, and takes them back to a cabin.
As they prep, Dakota asks about the Old Lady, about her warning. Ranger Rick goes, “She was trying to get you to go into the woods, to “investigate,” to make it easier for her to catch you. If you had left after the barrier was up, she and her kind would’ve hunted you down and killed you.” Dakota felt very used.
Travis, Nathan, Dakota and Ranger Rick fight against the savage Wendigos, each one taking them one on one. After defeating the first 3, Dakota tracks the last one into one of the cabin. A swift fight occurs, but no one wake up, no matter how loud the action got. Defeating the last of the Wendigos, the teens and mentors settle in for a quiet night.
Early the next morning, Chewie wakes up next to Lukas in bed. Mr. Epstein sits at the edge of the bed, watching him. He speaks, “I have never said this to a mortal before, so listen well. You are an arrogant, stubborn, and willful child. One who plays with forces he cannot possibly comprehend. And I was wrong about you. I’m…sorry. You protected my son, at the potential cost of your own life. I thank you for that. I can see,” he strokes Lukas’ hair, “that he is in good hands.”
Chewie thinks about it for a second, before saying, “You need to tell us what you are. What he is” motioning to Lukas. “It’s not fair to us, and it’s not fair to him. You need to give us answers.”
Mr. Epstein nods. “You will get your answers. Back in the school, you will get the answers you deserve. But for now, sleep.” He goes back to his bed and lays down, going back to sleep. Chewie cuddles with Lukas and goes back to sleep as well.