Ben had followed Ryan and Joe but soon let Gary slip in front. He followed for a while then at the first chance he moved away. Ben ducked into the woods then along the rocks and up over cliffs. He walked along the top of the cliffs watching the bees. Followed the bees around the beach until they settled on to an overhanging ledge. Ben sat and watched them buzzing around. Occasionally some would leave then return, but the mass stayed. Ben thought it was fascinating watching the giant flying insects, leaving the giant cocoon then returning covered in yellow fluff. After a while, he climbed up to the top of the overhanging ledge.
Ben found a straight branch and ripped and pulled off most of the smaller branches that sprouted along the rough bark. Lying flat on his stomach, he edged his way over the top of the cliff. Hanging over the ledge, he banged down hard with the piece of wood. It worked. The dark cocoon fell hard onto the sand. Dropping the branch, he jumped to his feet and scampered as fast as he could - laughing as he ran. He could hear the buzzing getting closer and closer. He flew down the rocks missing most of them and falling onto the soft sand below. A few of the bees had caught him, and he felt their vicious stings. He stopped laughing when large welts appeared like saucers at every bite. Reaching the cooling water, he took a deep breath and dived down. Something grabbed him and dragged him before he could see. He could still feel himself being stung. The bees were like bullets piercing through the water.
‘Bees aren't supposed to like water.' He thought as the water grew darker and colder.
Suddenly he could breathe. His head was above water. He gulped at the fresh air as he surfaced in a dark cave.
"This way." A voice came from the darkness and he felt something pull at his shirt. He followed the voice. He crawled from the water over the sand and onto dry rocks.
"That was incredibly brave." The voice from the darkness spoke again.
"Or just plain stupid. Who are you and where am I?" Ben asked into the darkness.
"We are safe from the bees. And my name is Noke. We met before, but I was different then."
Before Ben could speak, a strange noise rose from the water.
"Oh, they are upset. The bees are coming after you. I think we had better go this way."
Noke grabbed Ben by the arm and led him over the rocks. A pale light shone through as Noke removed a few of the large boulders.
"You first." Noke said pushing Ben through.
Ben fell onto to soft sand, and Noke landed on top of him. Ben blinked hard as he looked up to see a strange looking boy pushing boulders back over the hole. He looked around at the sandy white beach. It felt so calm it made him feel sleepy.
"Come on we have to trap them in the cave, or they will never stop hunting you down."
He pulled at Ben as he ran past him. Ben followed quickly behind. Noke picked up a large conch shell as he ran and started blowing as hard as he could. No sound came from the conch, and a feeling of doom loomed over Ben. He kept looking behind expecting the oversized bees to emerge from the rocks. Noke running in front seemed to glow in the light as if he were iridescent.
‘Is that spikes down his back or hair?' Ben couldn't quite see.
Ben stopped to look around. The sky looked an iridescent grey. He could feel drops of water falling on his skin now like rain. A cold wind started to whistle around him. His instinct made him drop on one knee. Ready to run. He looked around for somewhere to hide. He saw nothing. Noke turned to see him crouching. He ran back and dragged him on. They entered the water, and Noke pulled Ben all the way. Finally, they stopped. He pushed Ben against the rocks where he could breathe in small pockets of air and told him to stay. Water and air rushed past Ben who was now too stunned to move. He saw two flashes of light past in front of his eyes. Soon being pulled back up through the water. Gasping air, Noke helped him swim ashore, and they both lay on the sandy beach. Ben was taking slow deep - breaths watched by Noke. He pulled his top of examining his body. The bee stings had gone.
"The bees don't usually sting. They aren't vicious unless provoked."
"How come I didn't drown? What did you do to those bees? Who are you?" Ben had hundreds of questions racing through his head.
"My name is Noke; this is my home. You have met me before, but I was just a bit different then. Listen, Ben. I can't stay here it’s too dangerous. Your honey should be good to eat if the ants haven't smelt it out yet. The bees are okay. They don't sting unless angered. You think they sting because they're bees. We haven't hurt them. We'll leave them down there for a few days to cool off. Then let them out to make more honey. They have a short memory span so they won't remember you after a few days." Noke's voice was soft and calm.
"How - how do you know my name? Where have I met you? Not here on this island. I would remember meeting you. How come we haven't seen you before? Can you help us get home?"
"I have to go. Come and play with us. You should try the honey on the fish."
Fourteen-year-old Ben Mason has known for some time he’s a little bit different than other people. It isn’t until traveling back to Australia from a holiday in the United States he discovers just how true that is.
Ben and his friends are flying home when their airplane crashes on a remote island. Guided by the captain, the passengers try to stay alive and safe until rescue arrives. But Ben feels strange things happening. Soon he meets a boy named Noke who saves Ben from drowning and a swarm of killer bees.
Then, twenty-six days into their ordeal, Ben meets Goldevere, a prisoner of the dragon, Black Knight. Goldevere tells Ben he has the gift that can help both of their people and that he needs to find his wife Silver for help. They must work quickly to save the world from the angry black dragon.
About the Author
Tracey C. Ayres was born in England and moved to Australia with her family in 1988. She has worked with small children most of her life and written articles for local newspapers. This is Tracey’s second book.