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Shreya Aggarwal

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Chapter 1 :

Off to Lilly island

“Mom, come here! Look! There is a letter from my cousin Anne!” Isabelle O’Sullivan exclaimed, waving the letter in the air to show it to her mother. She came running in the house from the garden where the postman had dropped the letter in the post box. Her twin Laura O’Sullivan also peeped in the letter and nodded in agreement, when her sister had come into the house. “A letter from Anne? Read it aloud, let me hear it too,” Mrs. O’Sullivan said, reading a magazine sitting on a cozy sofa near the fireplace. So Isabelle read it aloud. It said: Dear Laura and Isabelle. I wanted to tell you that my winter holidays are starting from next week. I hope yours will also be starting soon. Well, I want to invite you both to ‘Anne O’Sullivan Cottage’. Please do come, it's a request from your cousin. We’ll celebrate Christmas together. Give my love to Uncle and Aunt. Yours lovingly, Anne O’Sullivan “Oh, so she invited us on the vacations!” Laura exclaimed happily. “Mom, Dad, please let us go. It was so much fun with her last summer,” requested Isabelle in a honey sweet voice. Mr. O’Sullivan, their father, was as usual reading a newspaper, also sitting near the fireplace in a rocking chair, just in front of his wife. He kept the newspaper down on the table, when he heard what discussion was going on. “Hmmmmm, we know how much fun and adventures you had with her last summer,” he said in a teasing tone. In the summer when the twins’ summer vacations were going on, the O’Sullivan family went to the twins' cousin’s home. The “Anne O’Sullivan cottage” which is on Lilly island. The three girls had many adventures as they were finding a mysterious hidden treasure, without telling their parents with the help of a dog. They were caught in a storm, but somehow managed to get back home safely. Then they were prisoned in a room by a gang of thieves living in a fifty years old lighthouse. “Oh Dad, nothing will happen like that again. Please let us go,” requested Laura. “Well you can’t, your dad has a business trip in London. So you cannot go,” said the twins’ mother. ‘Oh dad, is it true?” Isabelle asked, looking dismayed. Then she continued, “But mom, please let us go. You can drop us off at aunt's place, and then go. After all, we have to go there on next week’s Monday, and dad has to go to London on next week’s Friday, isn’t it dad?” she asked with hope. “Ya mom, please let us go. I’m sure my aunt won’t mind a bit. And Anne has also requested us,” Laura said also with a hope. “Anybody would think that you simply hated your own house and loved Lilly Island,” said their father laughing, and then continued, “So I’ll drop you to your aunt’s home next week’s Monday. Now happy?” “Hurrah!” chorused the twins happily. That day the twins were all day busy packing their clothes and things. “Oh, where is my comb? Have you seen it Laura?” Isabelle asked, looking here and there for her comb. “No. Oh, have you seen my swimming costume?” Laura asked, throwing out all her clothes out of her cupboard. “So you will swim in winters?” Isabelle asked with a teasing manner. “How foolish of me. Now I have to put those clothes back in the cupboard,” said Laura scratching her head with her hand. In the night when the two girls had packed their suitcases they were very tired, because of the morning’s rush. They were relieved when supper was ready. The supper was good as there was a hot vegetable stew, buns and fruit salad. The twins gobbled everything as they were very hungry. They went to their room, said goodnight to each other and slept. In the dawn when the first sun rays fell on their cheeks, as usual Isabelle woke first. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and stretched her arms. “Wake-up you sleeping beauty, wake-up! Whatever are you waiting for? Your prince? To wake you up?” Isabelle exclaimed, grinning. At once she received a pillow on her face thrown by Laura. “Wake-up otherwise I’ll throw a bucket full of cold water on you,” Isabelle teased Laura. Listening to Isabelle's sentence, Laura woke at once. She didn’t want to get drenched in cold water that too in winters. She might have caught a bad cold. “Don’t you dare to throw cold water on me!” Laura warned Isabelle. “Now get ready, we have to go to school,” said Isabelle grinning ear to ear. So the two girls took baths and got ready. Isabelle was humming a merry tune while standing below the hot-shower and rubbing the soap on her arms, whilst her twin Laura was combing her strawberry blonde hair and tying them in two long nice plaits. “Oh, won’t it be fun to meet Anne again!” both of them thought at the same time, doing their tasks. They went downstairs to have breakfast, once they were ready. There were boiled eggs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk and homemade cookies. Their mother was always kind enough to give them the two brownest eggs from the dozen she bought from the market. The twins drank the milk and ate the sandwiches and the eggs first. They decided to eat the cookies on the way to the bus-stop, because now they were really getting late. “Bye mom, bye dad,” said the twins running on the garden path and undoing the bolt of the big black main gate. Isabelle bolted it back. Both the girls went to the bus-stop nibbling at their cookies hurriedly. The twins were very cheerful that day, nothing could make their mind’s attention divert to anything else but their cousin Anne, her dog Eddie and Lilly Island. The girls at school often asked them why they were looking so cheerful. “Have you scored very good marks in the assessments,” asked Alison, in the lunch-break. “No,” Isabelle replied. “Then your mother must have made you a very scrumptious lunch indeed,” said the plump Pat. “No, they’re just jelly sandwiches,” said Laura. “Then have you won a lottery or what?” asked Deirdre, looking exasperated. “Not at all!” exclaimed the twins. Why, they have never bought a lottery ticket. “Then what’s the matter?” asked all of them at last. So the twins told them at last. “Do you remember our adventures on Lilly Island?” Isabelle asked, boasting a little. “Of course,” replied all of them. They were the only ones who had believed in the twins' adventures of last summer. By that time there was almost a group of girls around the twins, listening to the conversation. “Well we are going to Lilly Island again!” said Laura. “Oh, you and your silly adventures on Lilly Island,” suddenly said a voice from behind. The girls looked behind to see who had made this scornful remark. It was Jack, with a group of boys behind him. They all laughed heartily at the twins. “We are not lying. We really had an adventure on Lilly Island,” said Laura angrily. “So what’s the proof?” asked the irritating Peter. There was silence. The twins were not able to think of anything to beat this remark. “See, you just made that all up,” said Jack. “We didn’t,” replied the twins. “Leave them, they are just like that,” whispered Alison in twins’ ears. So the two girls left them laughing. Once Isabelle was so lost in these thoughts that Miss McKinley, the English teacher made her stand outside the class as a punishment for looking all the time out of the window during the lessons. Then how the days just flew, they didn’t know. Friday…, Saturday…, Sunday…, Monday! It was Monday and the two girls were very excited. “Finally it came,” said Laura, looking cheerful. “It’s Monday today! We’re going to meet Anne again!” Isabelle exclaimed happily, running down the spiral stairs from her bedroom to the ground-floor. “Mom, dad, come fast, we’re getting late,” said Laura coming out of the house and closing the wooden door behind her. She climbed down the little staircase dragging her suitcase with the initial ‘L’ printed with red on her pink suitcase. “Coming,” replied their mother. Laura moved towards the BMW parked outside their garden. She undid the black main-gate’s bolt and put her suitcase in the large luggage compartment of the car. Isabelle dragged her purple suitcase with the initial ‘I’ printed on it. She kept her suitcase along with Laura’s. “Oh, where are the keys of the car now? I kept them on the table,” suddenly said their father, looking here and there and searching for the keys in his pants pocket. Finally, he found the keys and all of them got into the car. “Now we’re off to Lilly Island,” said the twins’ father pressing the accelerator of the car. “Hurrah!” exclaimed the twins together, and the car started to move. As the car was moving, and had covered some distance Isabelle spoke “Do you know Laura, I finally found my comb” “Where did you find it?” Laura asked, a little intrigued. “I found it on the dressing table. It was lying there. How foolish of me not to search for it on the dressing table,” Isabelle replied. Laura laughed and said “You are very careless, but I’m thinking about how much fun we’ll have on Lilly Island” “You’re right, I was also thinking that only. Mom, can't we have luncheon? I’m feeling hungry,” said Isabelle, rubbing her stomach with her hand. “Oh you both always feel hungry,” said their mother. “There is a restaurant nearby, we’ll go there,” said their father. Soon they reached the restaurant and started ordering the meals. “Delicious,” said Laura. “Scrumptious,” said their mother. “Mouth Watering,” said their father. “Yummy,” said Isabelle. They said no more as they were busy gobbling their meals. Their father paid the bill, and went to the car with the twins and their mother. “Now we’ll continue with our journey,” said the twins’ father and started the car. Like this the time passed, and they rode and rode. It was 4 o’clock and they were near the sea shore. “From here we’ll take a boat,” said their father. “Last time we enjoyed sailing a lot in a boat,” said Laura happily. And soon the twins were sailing in a boat with their eyes as blue as the sea. The cold water sometimes fell on them with a splash sound “Ahh!! The water is very cold!” Isabelle exclaimed when the chilled sea water fell on her. “Look Uncle George is waiting for us on the sea shore with his car!” Laura exclaimed when they were near the sea shore. The twins saw their uncle waving to them. They also waved to him and shouted “UNCLE GEORGE!! We are here!” Soon all of them reached the shore and the two girls were putting their suitcases in their uncle’s car. “How was your journey?” asked the twins’ uncle. “It was nice, but tiresome also,” chorused the twins together. The girls waved goodbye to their parents. “Bye mom, bye dad” Their parents went into the boat and that was the last time the twins saw them in their winter vacations.