It was a sweltering summer day — the first day of summer vacation. And, surprisingly enough, I was bored.
Naturally, I turned to my friend Aciana for entertainment. But her owner, a fashion-obsessed doll named Saige Copeland, had plans in store for Aciana: a day full of trying on clothes and experimenting with new hairstyles. Aciana had kindly asked me if I’d like to come with her (“I’m sure Señorita Saige would love another model”), but that sounded dreadful. I’d politely turned her down (“Ew, no way, Jose!”).
I decided to find my sidekick Kelise. She would go adventuring with me.
I searched for her all over the house, and eventually found her outside, sitting with the Ever After Highs. The teenagers were lounging about in the shade and gossiping, while Kelsie looked on, excluded but content to be close to them.
I motioned her over. “Hey, Kelsie, want to explore with me?”
She grinned brightly. “Ooh, I’d love that!” She turned to wave at the EAHs. “Goodbye!”
Giggling, they blew kisses to Kelsie before returning to their conversation. We set off into the relentless heat, searching for trouble — or at least another spot of shade.
It didn’t take very long to find an adventure.
Right next to the house, where there used to be a sprawling green lawn, was a deep, gaping pit in the ground.
Kelsie and I ran over to check it out, plopping down at the edge of the hole. Looking down into it made me slightly dizzy.
We glanced at each other and grinned. We’d found our adventure.
There was an area on the other side of the pit that sloped downward more gently. If we could reach it, we’d be able to climb into the hole.
“Come on, Kelsie,” I urged, scrambling up a rockslide next to us. “Let’s get going!”
The chunks of dirt poked my bare feet as I dragged myself up the incline. Handholds crumbled away. Kelsie, who was having a hard time, grabbed onto my hand.
I was sweating by the time I reached the top of the hill. Exploring was exhausting!
It took us nearly half an hour to reach the peak above our destination. I just wanted to lie down and take a nap; that’s how tired I was. But Kelsie had other plans.
She scampered to the edge of the cliff and peered down into the pit. “We’re almost there, Becca!” she sang, leaning farther forward.
“Yeah,” I puffed, wiping my brow.
Suddenly, the hard-packed dirt Kelsie was leaning against gave way. With a shriek, she tumbled forward, rolling down the hill head-over-heels.
“Kelsie! My sidekick!” I gasped. I rushed to the edge of the cliff and watched in horror as she bounced down the slope. “Hold on, I’m coming!”
I picked my way down as quickly as I could.
Kelsie had come to rest at the bottom of the hill amidst clumps of rock and stone. She was lying on her face, motionless.
I collapsed on the ground next to her. “Get up, loser . . .” I prodded her arm urgently.
A moment later, she groaned and rolled onto her back. Her knees, elbows, and face were a bit scuffed up, but overall, she was fine. I scolded her about safety to cover up the fact that she had scared me half to death.
Once my lecture was over, I took Kelsie by the hand, and we hiked into the pit. Orange-ish cliffs rose up around us. Soft, uneven ground stretched out in every direction.
“So we’re here,” I muttered. “Now what?”
Kelsie pointed in front of us and a little to the right. “What’s that?”
I shrugged. “Let’s check it out.”
We sprinted over to it. A deep, circular hole was cut straight into the ground.
“Ooh, we should go down there!” I suggested.
Kelsie crawled up to the drop off, gazing down into the hole.
“Careful, Kelsie,” I cautioned. We didn’t want a repeat of the rockslide incident!
Of course, she didn’t heed my warning. The dirt beneath her shuddered and crumbled, and she keeled over into the abyss.
But I was prepared. My hand shot forward and clamped around her ankle. “Kelsie!”
She flailed about, sobbing, and swung into the side of the hole, getting a mouthful of dirt.
With almost superhuman strength, I hauled her up over the edge. She buried her dirty, tear-streaked face into my shoulder and cried.
She got over her near-death experience fairly quickly, and we set off to find a way into the hole. After poking around for a bit, I found a long, sturdy stick. I stood at the edge of the pit and jabbed the end of the stick into the soft dirt below. I wobbled it back and forth; it was fairly secure.
“Wait here,” I ordered Kelsie, wrapping my legs around the stick and inching down it. “I’ll help you once I’m down there.”
I landed in the mud below with a squelch. “OK, come down!” I called up to the sidekick. “Just grab the stick with both hands . . . wrap your legs around it . . . edge your way down . . . good, good . . .”
“Eep!” She was halfway down when the stick shifted. She fell off and landed in my arms.
“Was that too bad?” I asked, setting her down.
Shaking her head, Kelsie stomped in the mud, giggling at the sucking sounds it made.
“Whoa . . .,” I breathed as I spotted something in the mud.
A huge, foot-shaped dent.
The huge, foot-shaped dent of a human.
Humans were trouble. They could step on you without realizing, and not care at all as you laid dying beneath their great big smelly foot. If the human that made the track returned, Kelsie and I would be toast. And as much as I loved adventures, I didn’t fancy dying while on one.
“Kelsie, we need to go,” I announced forcefully. When she didn’t respond, I picked her up and stuck her on the stick. She climbed reluctantly.
“Kelsie, hurry up!” I snapped.
“W-why?” she inquired innocently, not going any faster.
I pointed back at the mud. “You see that track? It belongs to a human. They’re enormous, mini-doll trampling beasts. It might come back, so we need to get a move on!”
We hurried out of the hole and scaled the cliffs swiftly.
We scrambled up the rockslide Kelsie had tumbled down earlier.
In under twenty minutes, we had escaped the pit.
I stood on the grass beside the first hill, breathing hard. “Kelsie — we’re safe –” I panted. I turned to smile at her . . . but she was gone. “Kelsie?” I shouted.
She must have fallen behind when I wasn’t paying attention. But where had she scampered off to?
I yelled her name again and heard a giggle. I rushed to the edge of the pit and caught my breath. She was down in the hole with the human footprint, singing to herself and playing in the mud.
“Kelsie!” I screamed.
She glanced up at me, waved, and returned to dancing in the goop.
I held my head, pacing back and forth. It would take me close to an hour to trek back into the pit and drag her out. The human would surely stumble by in the time.
I raced off toward the house. I needed a hero. I needed Tracy.
I dashed through the house until I reached the lime green room on the second floor. It was the one my owner, Tracy, shared with her adopted sister Savannah Kingsley. Tracy was reclining on her bed with her iPhone, oblivious to the danger Kelsie was in.
“Help! Help!” I begged, rushing up to her bed. “Tracy, you’ve got to help . . .” I poured out the whole story and stared at her beseechingly.
Groaning, my owner tucked her phone into her pocket and stood up. She perched me on her shoulder and trudged out of the room. Her dog, a chocolate lab appropriately named Chocolate Chip, stirred from his nap and followed us out.
“Ugh, I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Tracy muttered. “This is summer vacation — I’m supposed to be lazy, not rescue annoying mini dolls . . .”
Soon, we arrived at the edge of the pit in the lawn.
“See? She’s down there! She needs help!” I squeaked in Tracy’s ear. To Kelsie, I shouted, “Just a minute longer, soldier, help is on the way!”
Tracy sighed and put me on the ground next to Chocolate Chip. “Stay here,” she told both of us, and jumped down into the pit.
I perched on top of Chocolate Chip’s head to get a better view.
Tracy had just reached Kelsie when the ground started to shake. Gigantic, pale legs appeared, and a terrible voice from the sky asked, “What are you doing in the pond?”
Pond? I wondered, gazing up the terrifying human. She must have been talking about the pit in the ground. But it wasn’t a pond. Ponds are filled with water a lily pads and little fish, and this was just a hole.
“Well? What are you doing in the pond?” the human repeated.
Tracy’s voice came from the hole. “Hey, Mom . . . Uh, my doll said her friend had gotten stuck in here. She wanted me to help her out. But, as you can tell, I have Rebecca’s friend” — she held up Kelsie so that the human, “Mom,” could see — “so we’ll go.”
Kelsie squealed, “Heeeeelp, it’s an enormous, mini-doll trampling beast!”
The human picked Tracy up and deposited her on the grass next to me and Chip. I was shaking. What would she do to us?
“I’m glad that you got outside, Tracy, but I’d like it if you stayed away from the pond for now. It’s not exactly safe for people your height,” the human said with a slight grin. “Head inside and clean up your feet, girls — they’re covered in mud!” And she stomped away, each footfall making the earth tremble.
We hurried inside, and Tracy fetched some wet paper towels for us to clean up with. She leaned against the wall and started texting someone as we wiped the mud off of the floor and ourselves.
It wasn’t too bad of a day, I thought to myself, picking a stray clump of dried mud from my frizzy curls. I’d had an adventure with one of my best friends, spent some time with my neglectful owner, and even met a human!
If the rest of summer was like this, it would be the best one ever.
-Mini Rebecca Rubin the First