BANG! Hanna landed with a thud on her bedroom floor. Or was it her bedroom floor? Her bedroom had a smooth hardwood floor, not grass. Grass??? Hanna thought, opening her eyes quickly and looking up she saw the fact that she had landed not landed in her bedroom was for sure. It looked like she had landed in some kind of meadow. There were hundreds of thousands of flora everywhere! There were thousands of different ranges of flower colors, from orange to black, from yellow to green, and everything in between! In the midst of the explosion of flowers there were trees and bushes with millions of colors, some even bearing odd fruit. Hanna, in her state of shock, slowly got up to her feet and started taking it all in. When she was fully recovered she started exploring. At first, her steps were slow and timid, but after a short time she was running happily in and out, darting through the mystical fragrance that the trees smelled of so strongly. Finally, she came to a river. As she bent over it, she gasped. There were fish everywhere! Some she didn’t recognize, which was odd because she had been on many father – daughter fishing trips with her dad, and knew the names of over two thousand types of fish. But as she gazed into the river, she didn’t know any of the names of these fish that were swimming so close to the top of the water. There was a small gap that she could see, close to the edge of the river. She crouched before it, and peered in. To her immense delight and surprise, she saw a large underwater castle and a glimpse of a woman resting on a rock, combing her hair. But what surprised Hanna the most was that the woman had a tail, and the rock that seemed was like a rock was not a rock at all, but a dolphin curled up sleeping. Mer-people! thought Hanna with shock. Her glimpse ended as a fish put it’s tail up and brought it down, slapping it on the water, splashing it everywhere, including in Hanna’s face! “Urgh!” shouted Hanna, her red hair dripping water.
“Hahahaha!” said a voice behind her, making Hanna whirl around. There, right behind Hanna, was a deer rolling around, laughing! Hanna let out a large gasp and kicked the deer in the leg, afraid that it might hurt her, which was a silly thought, because the deer had meant no harm. “Hey!” yelled the deer. “What did I ever do to you???”
Hanna, shocked, stuttered “Y-you c-can talk?”
“Don’t be stupid, human!” The deer rolled his eyes. “Of course I can talk. What surprises me is that you can understand me, human!”
Hanna, in pride, said boldly, “My name is NOT human, it is Hanna, thank you very much!”
“You’re welcome, human.” The deer yawned loudly.
“My name is Hanna, NOT human!” Hanna said at the top of her voice. “And I do not appreciate being called human, for that matter!”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever you say, human.” the deer said obnoxiously.
“Hanna! My name is Hanna!”
“ ‘Course it is, human!” Hanna stared the deer down, and, quickly, the deer said, “Er… I mean, um, uh, Hanna!”
Satisfied, Hanna bowed her head and said, “Thank you.”
The deer started backing away slowly from Hanna while saying, “Good bye! I have some important business to attend. By the way my name is Deron. If you need any help just holler and I’ll be there. Ta Ta!”
Hanna glanced into the river for a second, and just a second, but when she looked back Deron had gone. “Oh well.” Hanna sighed “It’s not like he was doing anything that could help me, anyway.” All of the sudden Hanna felt a strange weight fall upon her back. It felt as though she was carrying something very heavy. Hanna reached behind her and felt for whatever was on her back. It feels like leather. Hanna thought What am I thinking? Like leather would ever appear out here, wherever here is. Hanna took the thing off her back and found out that it was a backpack, a rather large one too. It was, to Hanna’s surprise, made out of black leather. Inside of the backpack was a compass, flashlight, matches, pencils, a black blank-paged notebook, and, surprisingly, a detailed map that Hanna had started to study. Hanna gasped out in surprise when she saw the title of the map. It read Hanna’s Quest. Clearly someone knows about Hanna. Maybe they sent her here for a reason.
“Odd.” said Hanna “It’s as if someone wanted me to come here. Well, I wonder what I’m supposed to do now. I don’t really want to travel. Possibly in an hour or so, I’ll be ready. I’ll just occupy my time somehow.” With that, she took out a pencil and the notebook from her backpack and started to sketch the scene in front of her. Hanna wanted to be an artist when she is older, and is good at art at her school. After ten minutes, she had finished everything but a bridge that Hanna had just noticed she quickly drew it, blending it in with the moss and tall grass that surrounded it. She succeeded in capturing the way that if you put a foot on it the bridge might fall down, by the look of the way it was creaking and swaying back and forth with every small gust of wind. Once she finished the drawing she said out loud, “Okay, I’m ready to go now, but where am I supposed to go?
“Look at your map, stupid! I can’t believe how dense humans are these days.”
“What- oh, it’s you Deron, MY NAME IS HANNA!”
“Yeah, whatever.” replied Deron. “Look at your map, I have to go. You’re an all right drawer, for a human. You’ll see me again, human. Don’t you worry!”
“Hanna! Not-” But Deron had already gone. “Rude, much? Jeese, he keeps on going when I am speaking, I hate that!” Taking his advice, she reached back into her backpack and took out the map that read Hanna’s Quest on it. Amazed, she looked at the map more closely. It had marked the place where she had woke up, rather unpleasantly, with the word START and showed a dotted line beginning at the START and running in the course of a progression of obstacles, including a vast lake, something that looked like, to Hanna’s horror, a area full of lava, and a immense mountain, that Hanna would soon be not very fond of. There was her path while running through the meadow, and the spot where she got splashed by the fish. The bridge was marked on the map and the dotted line seemed to go across it. A few millimeters away from the bridge was the place where Hanna was currently standing, and it was marked as HANNA IS HERE.
“Huh, that must mark where I currently am. I wonder-.” Hanna, still holding the map with one hand in front of her, ran to the base of the bridge, using the other hand to push away the tall grass that stands near the bridge. She watched as the HANNA IS HERE moved slowly along until she stopped at the base of the old creaky bridge. “Awesome! This can be very useful!” said Hanna, grinning from ear to ear, her green eyes sparkling with excitement. Hanna put the map back into the bag, and stepped onto the base of the bridge. “WHAT DO YOU WANT AT MY BRIDGE, HUMAN?” A voice rang out loud and clear, making Hanna stumble back on to Deron!
“Be quiet, human! Get behind this tree!”
“Hanna!” hissed Hanna back at him. They both crept behind the tree.
“We’re going to have to trick him into letting us pass.”
“Us? Who is us? I’m not traveling with you, thank you very much!”
“Don’t worry, your not just traveling with me!” Deron whistled softly.
“What?!” said Hanna as three other deer suddenly seemed to appear before her eyes.
“Hanna, these are my two brothers and my sister,” Deron pointed to the smallest one. “His name is Didain, my youngest brother.” Didain was a brown deer, with a single black stripe across his back. Didain looked like a much smaller version of Deron, except Deron had two white stripes on either side of the black stripe.
“And this is my sister, Maddy, the second biggest one behind Didain, do you see her? She has done many things, like when she defeated a pack of wolves, all by herself…” Hanna looked behind Didain at Maddy. Maddy was pure white, and had an expression on her face that would make anyone weak in his or her knees. But Hanna wasn’t the person who judged people by how they looked, and in this case, she didn’t judge deer by their expression. Hanna looked further into Maddy’s eyes and broke though the barrier that led to Maddy’s mind. This is a very interesting girl. Startled, Hanna broke eye contact with Maddy. Deron was still talking about Maddy and her amazing deeds. “And when she stood up to the Giant of the South, and tricked him into giving up the gold that he stole from-”
“That is enough, Deron.” Maddy said strictly.
“Oh, yes, of course,” said Deron, quite flustered. “This,” continued Deron, pointing at the largest deer, “is Dalhart, one of the most respected members of the Congress, he is very brave.”
“The Congress?” said Hanna taken aback; she had never heard of something called The Congress.
“Ahhh, um, did I say The Congress? I meant, uh … the courageous. Yes, Dalhart is very courageous, yes, extremely. Very much so, yes indeed.” Deron said, thinking quickly.
Hanna could’ve sworn that out of the corner of her eye she saw Maddy roll her eyes. Dalhart repressed a smile and said to Hanna, “You’re very observant, I see. That will serve you good in time, don’t you worry.”
“Ok then, I guess,” Hanna said unsteadily. “but you are not traveling with me, because the map said Hanna’s Quest, not Hanna and Company’s Quest. If you were to come with me it would have said so on the map, but it doesn’t. Anyways, I don’t want to travel with someone who won’t even call me by the first name!” Hanna looked pointedly over at Deron.
Deron pouted but then sighed. “Ok, ok. I won’t call you human anymore.”
“What will you call me now?” Hanna said making sure she had made her point. Dalhart and Maddy looked to Deron expectantly.
“I’ll call you HannaHuman!” Deron narrowly missed a kick in the leg coming from Maddy.
“Deron can be very exasperating, but he is vital to your expedition, Hanna. As for the map, it might not of said anything about us, but you will be encountering numerous things that will not be mentioned on the map. It is not a seer, Hanna. How do you even know that you can trust the map to reveal the right directions?” Dalhart replied.
“How do you know the map will give the wrong information? You can come, if you want, if you tell me about whatever is over at that bridge that was yelling at me.” Hanna gestured over to the bridge. The grass around it was swayed back and forth with the wind.
“You are sensible for asking that, Hanna. An old goblin, going by the name of Crankiop, lives under that bridge. I will be able to trick him into letting us cross, if you let us travel with you,” Dalhart replied. “He charges 10 onts per passage, and I am sure you don’t have that much, if any at all.”
“Onts? What the heck are onts? Can someone please explain things to me? Like, oh, I don’t know, why are deer talking? And where I am? I don’t think I’m in Lancaster anymore, maybe not even on Earth!” Hanna said dejectedly.