He then nodded at Tiny who scooped her up and they continued to run deeper into the forest. Within seconds a chill gripped them, and the darkness seemed to grow oppressive, but they kept running until they could no longer see the crew. Then, as they began to turn around, they found they could barely see anything except for the massive trees that now surrounded them. Jack locked eyes with Thomas and opened his mouth to speak but either no words came out, or the sound simply didn’t travel. Thomas frowned and Jack took on a look of surprise as he tried again to speak and nothing. Still confused, Jack began clapping his hands and found it made no sound. Tiny quickly put Isabella down and tried to ask her what they were going to do now, but since no sound could be made or heard she simply stared at him blankly. She then turned her attention to the trees around them and her lips began moving quickly and her hands started making small but precise gestures. A faint memory began growing in the back of Jack mind and without hesitation he grabbed his both brother‘s and Tiny’s hands and ushered them to do the same, forming a circle around Isabella. As soon as it was formed a wind began picked up and started to swirl, picking up leaves and sticks and dirt from the ground and flicking around them creating a vortex. Isabella raised her hands and dropped to her knees. By the way her mouth moved Jack thought if they could hear her she’d be yelling and the wind only grew stronger. Suddenly Isabella slammed her hands on the ground and for an instant, her eyes seemed to shine an electric violet and the darkness broke and they could hear her panting. Unsure of if it would work Jack first cleared his throat to see if it made a sound then said
“What… What did you do?”
She looked at him with her usual smile.
“I asked the good spirits to protect us. But how did you know to make a circle?”
“As we said, our mother was also a witch.”
The two brothers smiled at the woman while Tiny began to shuffle his feet nervously.
“What are we going to do now?”
Jack’s expression turned grave and he looked at his brother.
“You’ve got the map?”
“Then we’re going to go find us some buried treasure.”
Jack took the map from his brother and handed it to Isabella.
“Does anything on this mean anything to you?”
She looked over the map for a few minutes while the others simply stared at her expectantly. It gave a rough outline of the island itself and a list of cryptic clues, clearly intended to only be understood by its author. But Isabella had lived on the island long enough to understand some of them.
“I think this part here about ‘beware the darkness’ refers to the woods we’re currently standing in, and if that’s right then this part here, ‘thunder on a clear day’, Is talking about the cliffs on the other side. Which means your treasure is in one of the caves there.”
Thomas’s face lit up with a smile of success.
“Fantastic! So lead the way, that treasure is as good as ours.”
But Isabella didn’t look as enthusiastic.
“Well, not really, the caves there are pretty much impossible to get to.”
“What? Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’ve tried a few times and failed, and without a rope it is impossible.”
Smiles quickly faded.
“But, but there has to be away. Does the map not explain how to actually get to the treasure?”
Jack, Thomas and Tiny all joined in staring at the piece of paper. Minutes passed as they searched for clues until Tiny pointed down at it.
“What about this little circle here? What could that be?”
Next to it was a small note saying. “God doesn’t make circles.”
Again attention went to Isabella.
“That could be, … that would explain a lot. The cliffs are north of here, but northeast of us is a small clearing where the spirits don’t go. There is a large round flat rock there in the middle. Perhaps that’s covering a safe entrance into the caves?”
Jack and Thomas smiled at each other.
“That sounds like buried treasure talk to me. Lead the way, let us go find where a circle marks the spot.”.