The autumn air was sharp against Tim’s chest as he breathed in. He felt colder than he had for a long time for he had no scarf wrapped around his neck or a coat. Tim wore only a plain white school T-shirt, which obviously was not enough to stop him from shivering and rattling his teeth. Jim however looked the more intelligent of the two as he wore what he liked to call “the full caboodle” which was made up of a T-shirt, jumper, and coat and was completed with clothes and a chequered scarf.
The two had just left school for the day and travelled through the Janto woods to their home on the other side. It was their own route that they had made for themselves and had used over the many years of attending Trompworth School. The two considered Trompworth to be the greatest school in the country. It proved to be a very different kind of school to what normal people would be used to. It had been standing for almost two hundred years and was built in a sort of French style architecture.
Each building block was made of a special kind of cream coloured brick, which gave each building a kind of forever and modern look to it. Each doorway leading inside the school was always completely covered in flowers around the top and sides and no one ever tried or even thought about picking them. The school got even better once inside for it had many special features and unique places and the corridors often had many twists and turns, which proved to become a sort of labyrinth in certain parts.
The architect who built the place believed that children should always be amused and entertained even in such a place as school. He thought that everyone should have very fond memories of their school if not the building at least the atmosphere that they got from it. Many people frowned upon this until they went to look themselves and see how a child could really benefit from enjoying themselves at the place they went to learn.
The sun glistened through the tress but did not give Jim or Tim even the slightest feeling of warmth. The amount of leaves on the path that they made got greater as the two went deeper into the woods as if the forest itself wanted them to loose their way. It didn’t matter however since they both knew the path well and would have surely noticed if they somehow managed to stray.
“Are you walking up that hill again Jim?” Tim joked as he pointed to a small hill, which had footprints on in a way that looked like as if some struggle took place on it.
Jim glared at Tim sternly as he tried his best not to smile at what Tim had just said.
“Hey! It wasn’t my fault, it was pouring with rain,” Jim said, as he started to laugh while looking at the embedded footprints in the hill.
“I seemed to get up it okay,” a grinning Tim replied, while walking in front of Jim by some metres.
“That’s only because you practically had a natural set of stairs made for you!” Jim shouted as he ran to catch Tim up.
“You were covered in mud from head to toe when you fell!” Tim chuckled.
Jim was silent for a moment trying to think of something good to say back to Tim. “Anyway it was a waste of time trying because it would have only taken about thirty seconds off our journey even if we did manage to get to the top. I
Jim did not have a second to think or a second to react but a small stone then hit Jim straight on the nose. Jim then yelled in pain as he put his hand on his nose.
“What happened?” Tim shouted, turning round to Jim to see what has just happened. Jim didn’t reply but just looked around in all directions obviously trying to find were the stone could have come from.
“Losers!” A voice came from behind Jim and Tim who immediately turned and saw two people they would have been happy not to have seen. It was Tim’s rival Mack with Morris who stood lower than Mack and kept a slouched posture and stood a few steps behind him.
“I thought I’d find you around here Tim,” Mack said, as he let his own weight move him down the hill from the shifting gravel stones and gravel. Morris then did the same but had trouble keeping his balance, which he did purposefully. Mack was considered to be one of the most popular kids in Trompworth and was idolized by people like Morris.
“What are you doing on our trail Mack?” Jim said bravely as he stepped in front of Mack’s way.
Mack then started to smile at Jim and then push him out of the way to get to of Tim. Mack and Jim then squared up to each other while Jim and Morris stood to the side of them. Jim stared into Mack’s eyes and the smile did not leave his face as he looked on. The expression on Mack’s face then suddenly changed and his head turned to Morris taking his eyes off Jim’s.
“What?” Morris said, surprised to why Mack is looking at him like that.
“Do you hear that?” Mack said, turning his head back to Tim. Tim didn’t answer just refocused his eyes onto Mack’s.
Mack then turned away and signalled Morris to follow him up a small hill. Mack ran strongly up the hill while Morris used his hands to climb even though it wasn’t very steep. “What’s his problem?” Jim said, as he watched Tim slowly walk up to the start of the hill with a curious look in his eyes.
“I don’t know but I’m starting to dislike Mack.” Tim said, laughing afterwards.
“Where are you going?” Jim said.
“Mack said he heard something. It could be something worth hearing.” Tim said, still with a smile on his face.
He then started to walk up the hill quite quickly and for some reason seemed to be very interested in what Mack had heard. Jim still remained at the bottom thinking about whether or not he should follow or carry on walking home. Tim then reached the top of the hill. Jim upon seeing Tim disappear over the other side immediately aroused his instinct for him to follow.
Jim stared to run up the hill using his hands where they helped since he was running at some speed. Jim usually felt naked without Tim with him so was hardly ever far behind him. He then reached the top of the hill but his sight was temporarily blocked by the sun coming out from behind a cloud. Jim then heard a splash and it was immediately followed by the sound of laughter by many people. Tim was also to be heard laughing in the distance.
Jim raised his hand towards the sun to block out the bright and intense sun, which always seemed to get brighter once you entered the woods and would once again go back to normal once you had left. The scenery then came into view. It was the Janto stream, which was the one place that Jim didn’t want to see any closer.
After all Janto was said to be an enchanted wood. Over a thousand years ago it was said that evil witches and wizards from all over the world would come here for strange rituals.
It was rumoured that many parts of the Janto woods had been cursed and could place a spell on you if it somehow could. There were many parts of the Janto woods where it was said that the witches and wizards would gather such as The Grotto and The Great Swell. By the stream stood Tim and a group of boys, which included Mack and Morris. The group of boys all went to Trompworth and had placed all their school bags in a large pile by the stream itself.
Jim then jogged over to the group and greeted each of them with a smile except Mack and Morris of course. He could now see that on the other side of the stream stood two girls. Jim knew the two girls quite well as he grew up with both of them. Their names were Isabella and Carrie and both had long blonde hair and both wore almost identical clothes.
The reason for the splash then came quite evident as their sat in the middle of the lake on a rock was Clay whose clothes were completely drenched. The group of boys including Tim were still laughing at him. Clay was renowned for his way with girls and always managed to get who he wanted. However he always seemed to embarrass himself one way or another but always had a clever way of keeping his composure.
“Laugh while you can peasants! You know that I am no longer going to like any of you unless you cease your laughing! Clay shouted, climbing to his feet.
The laughter then immediately ceased and Clay then reached the other side. The stream was around twenty-five foot in width and had six small jagged rocks placed from one side of the stream to the other. The water was around a foot from soil level and sometimes splashed above when the current increased, which it often did.
“What’s going on?” Jim finally asked. Tim turned round to Jim who was now standing next to him.
“Isabella and Carrie are kissing the boys that can make it over the stream without falling in.” Tim chuckled, who looked extremely eager to try it himself. Jim laughed and watched Clay tipping water out of his shoes on the other side.
“Okay next!” Carrie yelled. The next boy then approached the edge of the stream and looked down at the water. The boy was Mack.
There was never any fish or any other sort of life in the stream for it was said to contain some kind of substance, which made fish and other life unable to survive. However it seemed to have no affect on humans.
Mack then jumped onto the first rock with ease and was about to jump onto the second when a voice came from within the group of boys. “Don’t look down Mack!” The voice said. The group of boys then moved to reveal Yenke stood in the middle. Yenke was Trompworth’s foreign exchange student from somewhere that no one really knew. He was very short for his age and had a very odd accent, which sounded a mix of Australian and Welsh.
He often said odd things but not many of the boys had not heard one as weird as this one. Yenke chuckled nervously and struggled to talk in risk of more embarrassment. “Its Janto woods after. The stream is said to be cursed and will take you away if it could!” He said.
Mack had a very puzzled but sarcastic look on his face, which clearly offended Yenke.
“You’re a fool to believe in such things Yenke!” Mack yelled but did not look down once after. Mack then jumped to the second and his shoes squeaked on the rock but he managed to keep his balance. “It’s easy!” He shouted.
Mack then looked up at Carrie and Isabella who stood cheering on the edge. The edge of the stream suddenly seemed to suddenly stretch. Just a little at first. Only a few centimetres but then became a dot on the horizon.
“What’s a matter Mack you lost your nerve?” Clay shouted even though Mack could no longer see him. Mack shook his head as if awaking from a trance that he had been subjected to.
“Come on Mack!” Morris shouted while jumping up and down in the air.
“Hurry up! Other people would like a chance as well.” Tim shouted on the edge of the stream. With that Jim then walked over to Tim and placed his hand on his shoulder.
“Your not thinking about crossing is you? It’s dangerous.” Jim whispered, making sure that the group of boys don’t hear.
“Listen to Jim you must Tim. Jim understands dangers of the Janto woods. You would be wise to take his advice.” Yenke said from behind Jim.
Tim stepped in front of Jim forcing him to move out of the way so he could get in front of Yenke. “You’ve been going to Trompworth School for about five minutes Yenke. How would you know what’s dangerous and what’s safe around here?” Tim said knelling down to him. Yenke’s eyes then darkened and became angry.
The group of boys then backed away as if they knew what Yenke was about to do. “What? Who are you to dare talk to me like that?” Yenke yelled at the top of his voice. Tim then started walking backwards as Yenke slowly approached him.
“What are you going to do now?” He said as he led Tim backwards until he came to the pile of bags placed behind him.
“Nothing I guess!” Tim said. It was a rare sight to see when Tim step down from a challenge but there was just something about Yenke, which was unusually unsettling to people.
“Exactly nothing and I doubt your going to do anything about this either.” Yenke calmly said.
Yenke then walked back to the group of boys who looked on at Tim and wondered why he didn’t stand up for himself. Tim was well known at Trompworth since people believed him to be someone who always stands up for himself and others. However it wasn’t the case this time.
By this time Mack was already over the other side of the stream and was now messing around with Isabella, which Tim was clearly angered by. It was common knowledge at Trompworth that Tim had been forever in love with Isabella so obviously became angry once he seen this. “Okay my turn!” Tim said as he then pushed his way through the group of boys stood in front of him. He passed Jim who now had a very worried look on his face.
Tim stopped at the edge of the river and looked down at the water for a considerable amount of time. Jim then joined him and saw that the expression on Tim’s face had dramatically changed. “What’s that?” He said not taking his eyes of the water below.
“What’s what?” Jim quickly replied.
“That voice. Can you hear it?” Tim said as he went all pale and frightened. He turned his head to Jim who was looking on at him very puzzled about what he could hear. “Does anyone else hear that voice?” Tim asked the group of boys behind him who were now whispering again amongst themselves. Tim had never heard such a sound before. It seemed to sound like a voice talking in some strange language from under the water. The voice was very ruff and intimidating and seemed to stop when Tim took his eyes off the water.
Clearly frightened by what he just heard however it didn’t make him want to make him change his mind about crossing the stream. “Tim you shouldn’t shout about hearing voices here.” Jim whispered.
“Next!” Carrie shouted from the other side of the stream. Tim then stepped in front of the first rock but was again restrained by Jim who held him back by his shoulder.
“You’re not actually walking over there are you?” He whispered quietly but very much forcefully. Tim laughed and turned round to Jim making his hand drop from his shoulder. Tim was again smiling.
“Come on Jim. It’s just a stream at the end of the day.” He said although he seemed very discouraged after hearing that voice. Tim then turned back to the rock as Jim stood there not willing to try and stop him any longer.
“Why must you always follow Mack?” Jim said although it was too quiet for Tim to hear. Without any further hesitation Tim jumped to the first stone and immediately found trouble keeping his balance and had to move his arm to stay upright. He then quickly stuck his foot out for the second one so he could cross in a better time than anyone else.
The voice then returned as he looked downwards. He quickly raised his head, which made him start to slip from the rock. Mack then started laughing but Tim didn’t take notice and tried not to respond. He carried on laughing and Tim couldn’t take it any more and sharply raised his head, which resulted him losing balance yet again.
Luckily the second stone was around three foot away from Tim so he quickly jumped to it. The second stone was much larger than the first so found no trouble keeping his balance. Tim was then found it possible to look round at Jim and the others. Jim seemed to be mouthing something while pointing at something.
He turned his head back to Mack who was also pointing towards the rock and talking but no words came out. Tim then looked down at his feet and saw that the water was now passing over the rock and covering his feet.
“Tim!” Jim shouted in desperation but it seemed that Tim could no longer hear a thing.
“The water looks as if it’s moving faster doesn’t it?” Mack said to Carrie.
Tim was not moving he had turned however and was now watching upstream. The speed of the stream then increased and now everyone was now shouting Jims name but wouldn’t dare go and grab him.
Tim seemed unaffected however by the increasing speed of the water, which should be throwing him off the rock right about now. The water level then started to rise and the came over the side and onto the grass forcing back the two groups of people on each side.
The water around Tim’s feet suddenly got higher almost up to his knees but the water level around the stone stayed the same as the water seemed to curve upwards.
“Jim, what’s going on?” Mack yelled at Jim as he walked backwards towards the woods. Everyone one had now left leaving Jim and Tim.
“Tim, can you hear me?” Jim shouted as he then braved through the water but was somehow unaffected by Jim’s voice. Tim wasn’t going to answer no matter what Jim shouted. Jim then got the courage to jump into the water. The water was obviously well below zero and was much deeper than Jim first thought it to be. By this time the water was up to Jim’s neck and struggled to swim against the current, which was slowly pulling and pushing him down the stream. However he still found the strength to swim over to the second rock, which Tim was still standing on not having moved since he steeped onto it.
He got as close to the second rock as he could since the force of the shifting water around the rock repelled him. Jim then found a moment where he could stick his hand right in the spiral of water around Tim’s rock and grab the bottom of his trouser leg, which he then pulled at but Tim still remained stationary. He didn’t let go however and tugged it again this time making sure that Tim would fall forward instead of backwards no matter how dangerous it might be. It worked and Tim then fell forward losing his footing into the freezing water.
Jim however made sure that he held onto Tim’s trouser leg, which made him able to slide over the rock and onto the side that Tim had fallen into. The shifting water around the rock then ended but immediately the tide picked up. Jim pulled Tim’s head out of the water. Tim spat up water from his mouth and coughed it in Jim’s face. “What happened?” Tim asked while tugging at his clothes, which Jim was hanging onto with one hand while the other hand remained clung to the rock.
“Grab onto the rock!” Jim shouted back trying not to shiver.
Tim then kicked his legs behind him and was able to grab the rock trying not to get his own hands in the way of Jims. Tim managed to get to the over side of the rock and was pushed straight into it, which made him find it hard to breathe as the speed of the stream kept rising. Jim’s legs dangled from behind him but Tim made sure his hands did not slip from the rock.
The speed of the stream was now very strong and both Jim and Tim struggled to hold on as the stream sort of changed direction on Tim’s side, which tried to make him loose grip. There was no way either of them could pull themselves up to the rock as it somehow repelled them from getting any higher above the rock.
“What do we do?” Tim asked as he shivered and kicked his legs to the left still trying to hold on.
The two kept their heads downwards the water, which helped them to concentrate. Jim’s right hand then suddenly slipped from the rock the rock and Tim couldn’t grab onto it again as it was forced too far out. Tim struggled to keep Jim’s left hand in his as well since it soon started to slip. Either of the two could shout or yell for help for it was way too cold for them to even murmur by now. Jim then suddenly felt another hand touch his left and felt Tim’s release.
Jim then looked up and saw Mack positioned upon the rock with his hand stretched out towards him. Jim grabbed it and was then pulled up to the rock with Tim who already was pulled up by Mack.
“You okay?” He asked.
“I think so.” Jim replied acknowledging Tim. Mack then was about to jump over the rock closest to the shore but water passed over it before he could and it stayed travelling over. He then turned to the other side where there were four rocks but water was already passing over them.
“The river is in performance with us!” Mack yelled. The water passing all over the other five rocks then stopped.
“Come on!” Tim yelled as he then jumped to the rock nearest to the shore. Jim then followed immediately after Tim jumped to the soil.
“Hurry up Mack!” Jim shouted as he then reached the soil.
Mack then turned his head up river and saw that the stream seemed to bulge from ahead upwards. It then slowly turned into a wave and instantaneously accelerated towards him at an inconceivable speed. Just as well Mack was the fasted person in Trompworth since he sprinted to the second stone and then jumped to the soil but was dragged somewhat downwards as the wave clipped his legs, which made him land on his stomach.
Mack was then helped up by both Jim and Tim.
“Why did you save us for? I thought you’d be happy getting us out of your life.” Jim asked trying to catch his breath.
“You are joking aren’t you? I’m not going to let the two people I admire just sink am I?” He replied looking on at the water settle once more.
“Are you serious? I could vow that you hated us.” Jim replied shaking some of the water out of his clothes. Tim stayed sat further away than both Mack and Jim who looked as if he had just been through a lot in that trance of his.
“No I admire your friendship with each other, but I’m just jealous I guess.” Mack said looking back to Tim who still didn’t talk. Jim looked on at Mack but then saw his eyes intensify towards Tim.
“What are you doing here?” Mack demanded while standing up. Jim turned round also and seen Yenke standing behind Tim by a few feet. Tim however didn’t seem to notice.
“I’m not allowed near my own stream anymore?” Yenke said while raising a hand with the palm pointing upwards. With that Tim got to his feet slowly.
“You’re stream?” Jim asked.
“Wait, you did all this?” Mack shouted towards Yenke.
“I just wanted a game.” Yenke said still holding his hand up.
“What are you?” Jim stuttered. Yenke just smiled and then pushed out his hand towards the stream.
Tim then started to sprint towards the stream at a huge pace.
“Tim, what are you doing?” Mack shouted running after him. Tim was then about to jump into the stream but was tackled down by Mack, which managed to stop him. Yenke then approached with the smile still on his face and walked straight into the stream disappearing beneath the surface.
“Get off me!” Tim shouted pushing Mack off him.
“Yenke almost made you drown Tim. Mack saved you.” Jim said walking over to them.
“What are you talking about?” Tim yelled towards Mack.
“Yenke was controlling you and the river Tim. I doubt he’s actually human.” Mack said. Tim then started to laugh a little at first but it soon turned into a hysterical one. Jim put a hand on Tim’s shoulder and started to walk him towards the woods as Mack followed.
“So where’s Morris then?” Jim asked.
“I made him leave. He wouldn’t have wanted me helping you.” Mack replied as they all disappeared into the woods.