The Dagger of the Eagle’s Eye


Author: Annabell Dankert – First Place Junior Division 2021

Long, long ago, in a time of knights and dragons, there was a small village. In that small village there was a small cottage. In that small cottage there was a young girl, and her name was Roonie. She had strawberry-blonde hair, deep blue eyes, and a very unusual dream. She wanted to be a knight! Back then, girls weren’t allowed to be knights, but that didn’t stop her.

One day, when Roonie was doing her chores, she heard a strange noise. It sounded like humming. It was coming from an old, dusty chest. “Great-grandfather’s chest!” Roonie exclaimed. Slowly she started to open it.

“Ah! Bless me! Another Sedwick!” a voice boomed. Roonie jumped. A map rose from the chest. “Oh, You look much like your great-grandfather, Roonie!”

“You know me?” Roonie asked, now wondering why she was talking to a map.

The map said, “Hello great-granddaughter of Sir Howard the Third. You are about to go on a great journey. It will make you what you’ve always wanted to be: a knight,” the map said with a sigh.

“How? I’ll be all alone? Who even are you?” Roonie said, head full of questions.

“ I am a making of man and magic , and the will of your great-grandfather brought me to this world,” the map explained. “And you will not be alone. For on your journey, you will meet a young girl, with hair as red as a rose, eyes as green as a tree, and a heart as big as the sea. She is one, of many, to help you.” With that final word, the map flew out the window.

“No! Come back! Don’t go!” Roonie yelled. Before she realized what she was doing, she flung herself out the window. “Ahhhhh!” Roonie screamed. Thinking quickly, she reached out to a nearby branch. She grabbed it and held on to that flimsy branch for dear life. Five feet off the ground, Roonie decided to let go, but before she had the chance the branch broke and she fell on her behind.

“Ouch….” Roonie groaned. She could see the map in the distance. Swiftly, getting to her feet she ran after it.

The map flew through town. Nobody seemed to see it or care about it. Nobody, but a girl who looked to be about Roonie’s age. As the girl bent over to pick it up, Roonie yelled, “Don’t touch it! It’s mine!” The girl looked up, startled.

“Oh I’m sorry. I didn’t see you drop it,” the girl said, handing her the map. When Roonie looked up at her she noticed that the girl had hair as red as roses, and eyes the color of trees.

“I’m Roonie. I am leaving this village. I could use some company. Will you join me?” The girl looked stunned, but eventually managed a nod. Roonie realized something. “I never got your name.” The girl stopped in her tracks.

Slowly looking up she said, “Loonie. My name is Loonie.”

* * *

After 30 minutes of walking in silence, Roonie finally asked, “Where are you from, Loonie?”

“A village in the far north,” Loonie replied.

“Oh,” Roonie said. They didn’t say another word to each other until they came to Map Lord’s Maps.

“Do you think we need a map? I know the forest pretty well. Wait where are we even going?” Loonie asked.

“Well I have a magical map that can tell us…” Roonie began. But before she could explain Loonie stopped midstep. Roonie looked to see what distracted her.

“What is it?” Roonie asked. Roonie then saw that she wasn’t looking for something, she was looking at someone! There, leaning against the shop, hidden in the shadows, was a boy. He had thick black hair, blue eyes, and had been looking right at Loonie with a smile. He started to walk right toward them. Loonie was turning pink as he came over.

“Hello. I’m Seth. Who may you be?”

“This is Roonie, and I’m Loonie,” Loonie said awkwardly.

Seth smiled.

“Roonie and Loonie, nice to meet you.” As he was getting ready to shake their hands, four men came out of the shop across the street. One of them pointed at Seth, the other three ran toward him.

“We should probably get going,” Seth said, grabbing Loonie’s wrist. They weren’t sure what else to do, so they ran through town. As they started to run, the guards slipped, as though they just stepped on invisible ice. Before Roonie could think too much about it, they came to the kingdom gate.

“This might take a second,” Seth said. He moved his right arm to the left then right, then he did the same with his left hand. Roonie knew what he was doing, but it was impossible! Wizards died out 70 years ago! Roonie thought. Yet it seemed like the gate was getting thinner and thinner until, suddenly, there was a gap big enough for a teenager to slip through.

“Seth! You’re…. You… You’re a wizard?” Loonie stuttered. Just then the four men caught up with them.

“The King will be happy to have the last wizard as a prisoner,” the fat guard said.

“Go, go, go! In Fox Tail Woods!” Roonie yelled.

They stumbled through the opening and ran like their lives depended on it, because Seth’s did. No one ever dared to enter Fox Tail Woods, but it was the only place where they would be safe.

Now with the guards gone, their worries behind them, their adventure began.

* * *

“I suppose I should explain some things,” Seth said, trying to catch his breath. The trio had been running for an hour before they found a clearing where they could stop and rest for the night.

“So you are a wizard?” Loonie asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah. I guess I can tell you now: I’m a wizard.”

Still catching their breath Roonie asked, “Why were you following us? Why were those men chasing you?”

“Well, I had a good feeling about you two.” Seth shrugged. “Those men have been hunting the wizards for four years. I’m the last one. No others but me,” Seth explained, looking down.

“Ah that may not be true! There are many more than just you!” the map boomed from Roonie’s backpack.

“Ahhhh!” Loonie and Seth yelled.

The map flew up into the air and said, “Tis true! In town I saw seven wizards!”

“Why is there a flying, talking map in your bag, Roonie?” Seth asked, with eyes wide. All Loonie could do was nod.

“Seth, Loonie this is my great grandfather’s, Sir Howard the Third’s, map. It’s a creation of man and magic brought here by the will of my great-grandfather. I’m stuck with it,” Roonie said trying to calm her friends down.

“Stuck with me? You chose to jump out a window to follow me! You’re stuck with me?” the map grumbled, flying back into the bag.

“The important thing is, we’re here now. So, do either of you know how to survive in the wild?” Roonie yelled to make herself heard over the stream of questions being thrown at her.

No one heard her over the scream a few yards away. Roonie stumbled back looking for something to defend themselves with. She found a large stick. Seth knew it wouldn’t be enough to help them, so he snapped his fingers and the stick turned into a golden sword, and Loonie was suddenly holding a bronze dagger. Roonie was astonished. For being only fourteen, Seth was amazing at magic. On the handle of her sword was a silver eagle. On Loonie’s dagger was a golden bear.

Slowly they headed toward the scream. As they crept through the woods, an ember fox darted out from behind a tree. Roonie stopped to stare at it. The fox was so elegant. The longer she stared, the more entranced she became. Something was odd about this fox.

They heard the scream again. Quickly, Roonie snapped to attention. They ran to where they heard the scream. Seconds later they were face to face with a girl, who had to be 12 or 13 years old. She was on the ground writhing in pain. She had chocolate color skin, big brown eyes, and a thick black mop of hair. She stared at them, pleading with her eyes. Her leg was gushing blood. Something had bit her. Seth made a bandage appear. He was going to put it over her leg when the clouds shifted, and the moon appeared.

The injured girl let out a loud scream. Ears sprouted from her head, claws grew from her hands, and a tail perked up. The girl got a deadly look in her eyes. Roonie understood now why the fox they crossed paths with just a moment ago was so enchanting: it was a werefox. Roonie was putting the pieces together, like a puzzle in her mind. This girl had been bitten by the werefox, and she was hungry.

* * *

The werefox, who was a girl just seconds before, let out a blood-chilling yelp. Before anyone could do anything, the werefox lunged for Roonie. As quickly as she could, Roonie dived out of the way, but not before the warefox’s claws caught on Roonie’s bag and ripped it open. The werefox stumbled, then fell. Roonie unsheathed her sword and was prepared to drive the sword into the creature’s heart, when a cloud drifted over the moon. The creature was a girl once again, and had a horrified look on her face. Seth rushed over to her, wrapping the bandage around her leg. Giving her a hand, he helped her to her feet.

“I’m Seth. Are you OK?” he asked.

“I am Scarlet. No, I don’t think I’m OK. One minute I was running from guards, the next I was attacked by a rabid fox.”

“I’m Roonie, and that’s Loonie. Why are you running from guards?” Roonie asked.

“I stole something,” Scarlet admitted. “I didn’t really steal it — it belonged to my great-grandfather, so I just took what should have been mine in the first place,” Scarlet said, showing a silver dagger.

“The Dagger of the Eagle’s Eye! I’ve read about its curse!” Loonie said.

“A curse only to its enemies. A single scratch can kill you,” Scarlet said.

“We need to get back to camp. We’ll move on in the morning,” Roonie said, searching the ground to see if anything had fallen from her backpack.

As they walked through the woods, Scarlet asked, “What happened after the fox attack? I just don’t remember.”

Glancing at one another, wondering if they should tell her, Seth questioned her. “You mean you don’t remember? Anything about…” he paused, looking for help.

“Scarlet, there is a reason this is called Fox Tail woods. You were bitten by a werefox. You turned into one and attacked us,” Loonie said cautiously, trying to keep her calm.

No one spoke. Not until Scarlet shouted, “Sweet!” Everyone was shocked by this, but were relieved that she took the news so well.

When they finally reached camp they were quite ready to rest. Loonie and Seth practically collapsed. Only Roonie and Scarlet were still awake.

“Scarlet, how did you break into the castle where the dagger was?” Roonie whispered, so she wouldn’t wake the others.

“I was gifted the same way my great-grandfather was. He was a spy. He was the only one who could get in and out of castles undetected,” Scarlet responded. Roonie had more questions, but she fell asleep before she could ask them.

* * *

The morning sun rose, and Roonie rose with it. On her way to collect firewood Roonie heard a small voice. The voice was singing. The voice was calm and smooth. It made Roonie walk towards it like she was under a spell.

“Come now child, don’t be scared, you don’t make enemies everywhere! Come and see just how cruel and mean people can be. Open your eyes and take my hand. I’ll be your guide throughout the land.”

Roonie was fixated on the sound. She followed it — drawn to it — getting closer and closer until a pixie was visible. The pixie had dark black hair, and a dress made out of what looked like dead flower petals. The pixie did not seem startled at all by Roonie’s presence.

“Come child. Sit with me.” The pixie had to be, at most, six inches tall. “I am Beatrix, get your friends! I will take you all somewhere safe.” But before the pixie could start her song again, Roonie heard screaming back at their campsite. Without hesitation, Roonie ran as fast as she could back to camp.

“Wait! Don’t go that way! STOP!” Beatrix yelled behind her. Forcing herself to resist the voice, Roonie rushed to the campsite. She saw Seth and Scarlet tied up to a tree, and Loonie trapped in a net. They were surrounded by pixies.

* * *

“Owasya Owasya!” The fairies were circling Seth, Loonie, and Scarlet when Roonie got there. Roonie was shocked. What happened? A second ago she was talking to a pixie, now they were attacking her friends?

Before she could reach for her sword a net came down around her. The net was made of thorns. All she could do was give a cry of pain.

“Ha!” a pixie laughed. “We just wanted the werefox’s knife! But the last wizard, too? We got the gold now!”

The pixies continued their chant, “Owasya, Owasya!”

“What are you doing?!?!” Seth screamed.

“Oh nothing. Just absorbing your power,” another pixie said.

“Why? People love you! They look up to you!” Loonie asked.

“It’s not love we want! It’s fear! Fear of millions!!” a boy pixie said, “The sun will set in a few hours. Until then you’ll…” but his words were cut short by an arrow flying out of a tree. It demolished him.

An elf with golden blond curly hair, deep blue eyes, and a big smirk on her face swung down from the tree and landed next to Roonie. With a sword in her hand, she cut the net keeping Roonie pinned. Once Roonie was out, the elf shot an arrow at the rope that tied Loonie’s net to a tree. The arrow went right through the net, causing Loonie to drop to the ground. The net immediately fell apart.

“She’s trying to save them! Don’t let the wizard get away! Start the chant!” a pixie demanded.

“Owasya. Owasya,” the pixies started their chant again. A yellow light burst from Seth’s mouth and eyes. Scarlet began to transform into a werefox. That’s why the pixies needed a full moon. so that Scarlet was at her most powerful.

“Darn it!” the elf said, pulling back arrows. The elf had ten arrows for her bow. Aiming at the swarm of pixies, she shot. The arrows destroyed at least 60 pixies. She shot three more groups of ten arrows. The last few pixies fled into the woods.

The elf cut the rope that bound Seth and Scarlet. Scarlet collapsed to the ground and passed out. Seth managed enough strength to say, “Just… taking a… little… rest. Thanks.” Then he passed out too.

Flipping back her hair, the elf turned to Roonie and Loonie, “You have your hands full, I see. I’m Cala, Searcher of the Lost Order.”

“The Lost Order? You mean…” Loonie trailed off.

“Wizards, yeah.” Cala said. “I’m searching for the last group of wizards.The elves used to worship them.They were leaders. Ever since they vanished, elves have sent seven children to locate them. I’m one of them. We need our leaders back. We need to make sure that they are safe from the people who took them,” Cala said with a deep sigh.

“We should get moving,” Cala said, as she hoisted Seth on her shoulder. Roonie had Scarlet on hers. Loonie had her dagger out of its sheath, just in case the pixies came back.

They continued on their journey believing all was well. But that feeling would end in just a few minutes.

* * *

As they were walking, a strange sound could be heard. It sounded like a thousand birds. It was getting closer.

“Let’s get some cover,” Cala suggested, nodding to some bushes. Before they could move, a shadow flew over them. The shadow resembled a giant bird. Turning around they saw that the bird was a ten-foot tall condor, with talons as large as Roonie’s sword, and it was heading straight toward them!

Roonie could not see. There was so much movement; so much noise. She heard Loonie scream. Then, there was silence. Roonie looked up. She saw Loonie and Scarlet, looking pale. At first, Roonie was relieved, because it seemed the bird hadn’t done any damage, but soon it became clear that all was not well.

“It took them!” yelled Loonie. “It took Cala and Seth!” They didn’t know at the time, but the condor was taking their new friends somewhere. To someone. Although she could no longer see the bird, Roonie could hear the screams from a mile away.

* * *

In the Condor’s talons, all that Cala could see were trees and more trees, and an enormous castle in the distance. Before she could grab an arrow her bow slipped from her grip. She watched her only form of defense fall to the ground below.

The giant bird released them outside the castle where seven guards waited for them. “Get moving you two!” said the small guard with a deep voice. Four guards, one on each side, grabbed their arms and walked them into the castle. They took them to the throne room where a princess sat waiting for them.

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t the brat who stole the most powerful weapon in the world. So where is it? Where is the Dagger of the Eagle’s Eye?” she asked, rudely. Seth glanced at Cala. She seemed just as confused as he was. Suddenly he remembered: Scarlet’s dagger! What did she call it? he thought. Cala, however, looked like she could kill the princess in front of her.

“What are you talking about? Why did you bring us here?” she yelled.

“Hmm. That doesn’t sound like an answer to my question. Maybe a trip to the dungeon will help you think.” A smirk grew on the princess’s face. Guards rushed towards the bewildered pair. “Put them in Spike Eel Cell,” the princess commanded. They tried to dodge out of the way but the guards were fast and dragged them to the dungeon.

Not sure of their fate, they could only hope that their friends would come to save them.

* * *

As they were being led to the dungeon, they could have sworn that the guards were shaking. Before they knew what was happening, they were tossed into a pool full of dark water surrounded by bars.

“Welcome to Spike Eel Cell. Have a nice swim,” the guard smirked, slamming the cell door.

Trying to swim out of the pool, Cala felt something brush her leg. She looked down and let out a shriek. An eel was circling her. The eel was at least five feet long. It had grayish-blue scales. What scared her the most was the fact that it had sharp spikes buzzing with electricity. Seth saw it too and was frozen with fear.

“We have to get out of here,” Cala said. All Seth could do was nod. As if a lightbulb lit up in her head, Cala got an idea.

“That way!” she cried, pointing. “Swim that way! I’ll swim this way!”

Seth understood what she was trying to do. The eel couldn’t follow them both. The question was, though, who would it follow?

Seth began to swim. Then he swam faster, until the spike eel was no longer behind him. Quickly, he jumped onto the bars of the cell lifting his legs out of the water. Cala was swimming towards him, with the eel at her heels. She jumped for the bars, but not before the eel got a good zap on her leg. Seth caught her in mid jump. Her leg was shaking.

Seth took a deep breath. “Take my hand,” said Seth, extending his arm. Cala grabbed hold of it, though she wasn’t sure why. Before she knew it Seth muttered a few mixed up words. The wall became a doorway.

Outside they saw Roonie, Loonie and Scarlet trying to climb the castle walls. They nearly fell off it when they heard them calling their names.

Roonie was overjoyed to see Cala and Seth running towards them. “You guys are alright!!” she shouted.

Cala asked, “How did you guys get here so fast?”

“That’s a story for another time,” Roonie replied mysteriously.

“Uh, I hate to break up the happy reunion, but we need to stop the princess. I think she’s after Scarlet and her dagger,” Cala said while pointing at the castle. “I don’t think she’ll stop at anything to get the Dagger of the Eagle’s Eye.”

* * *

Scarlet led the way to the castle, everyone careful to follow her steps. When she darted around a corner, everyone else did too. They did this until they got to the throne room. The only one in the room was the princess. She sat up abruptly.

“Who dares to enter my throne room?!” she shrieked. Scarlet made her way to the throne, revealing the dagger.

When the princess saw the dagger, she sneered, “You! You…You thief! Guards! Guards!” Twenty-five guards marched into the room. When they saw Ronan pointing at the group of teenagers, they flew into action. Taking out their swords they charged at them.

Barely having time to prepare their weapons, Seth shot fireballs from his fingertips, sending the guards tumbling backwards. With that minor delay, the team whipped out their weapons, and engaged in battle with the guards. It was five to one, but they had a wizard, an elf, a master thief and two brave girls. The battle had begun.

Two guards charged towards Scarlet, but Scarlet being a master of stealth, easily dodged the attacks. Out of nowhere, Scarlet whipped out the dagger and drove it into one of the men’s armor. Luckily, the soldier’s armor was so thick, that it didn’t touch his skin. It did, however, send him running from the throne room, thinking that it had.

Loonie and Roonie were back to back, Roonie blocking as many swords as she could. Loonie was throwing her dagger at soldier after soldier. Whenever it missed, due to it’s magic powers, it would always come back to her like a boomerang. The dagger hit the guard in the shoulder, causing him to collapse onto the ground.

Seth and Cala were fighting close together. Cala, even without her bow, was a very good fighter. She was throwing kicks and punches. Seth could feel her presence behind him. He wondered if it was suddenly hot in the throne room, or if he was imagining it. They were drawn closer together — now back-to-back. Seth saw a tooth fall to the ground, and a guard clutch his mouth. Cala had knocked his tooth out. Seth knew at that moment that he was standing back-to-back with the coolest woman on the planet.

The princess kicked Scarlet in the gut. Scarlet, bent over in pain, let the dagger drop to the floor with a clatter. Roonie, and the rest of the squad, heard the most horrifying laugh they had ever heard. When they turned at the evil sound, they saw Scarlet on the ground, clutching her stomach, and the princess holding the dagger.

Roonie, Loonie, Seth and Cala ran towards the princess in a fit of rage. A guard grabbed Loonie. Roonie ran back to help free her. She drew her sword, and swung it at the man’s leg just as she heard a different blade fly through the air…

* * *

“NO!” Seth yelled, running towards Cala. The Dagger of the Eagle’s Eye was flying through the air, right towards Cala’s heart. Seth had never run so fast, but it felt like he was running in slow motion. Cala couldn’t get out of the way fast enough. She was prepared to die right there, but the dagger never hit her.

Seth was on the ground. Blade in his heart. Scarlet, rising slowly to her feet, saw Seth. Her kind heart was filled with anger and hate.

A voice in her head encouraged Scarlet to go to the dagger. She went over to Cala who was bending over Seth, the guards now gone. Roonie and Loonie were trying to do something. Anything. Scarlet marched over to them. They all looked up at her. She bent over Seth. Cala, with tears in her eyes, was heartbroken. One of Cala’s tears fell on his head. Gold spun around him. He coughed. Then opened his eyes.

Roonie and Loonie were shocked. So was Seth.

“H… How?” he stammered.

Cala thought she knew the answer, “Elves have a unique gift. I…I can heal.” Without thinking he pulled her in for a kiss. Scarlet wasn’t interested in that, though. Reaching down she pulled the dagger out of Seth’s chest.

“Ahhh!” Seth yelped. The princess was scowling on the throne when Scarlet walked up. She grabbed the princess by the throat and hoisted her up on the wall.

“Scarlet!! What are you doing?!” Roonie yelled.

“What I should have done a long time ago.” Scarlet sneered, spinning the dagger in her hand. “She came to my village when I was a young child to claim it as her own. She took my parents, and all the village leaders, and killed them. It’s time to make up for that.” She pulled back the dagger.

“Scarlet, please!! Stop! I know it must be hard. I have no idea what you have been through!” Loonie pleaded. “But trust me, it will get better! You have us now! You will never be alone again!”

Scarlet, on the verge of tears, dropped the dagger. Together they fled the castle before Scarlet could change her mind. They took a condor to the mountainside, where they prepared to say goodbye, and go their separate ways. Seth and Cala were off on a quest to search the world for the last wizards, trying to bring back the lost nation. Scarlet, Loonie, and Roonie were determined to continue Roonie’s original mission.

“We’ll see each other again… right?” Seth said, holding out his hand. Loonie placed her hand on Seth’s. Roonie, Cala, and Scarlett did the same. Seth, still clutching his wound, waved his hand over their joined hands. Bands appeared on their wrists like tattoos. Roonie looked at hers. It showed them all, right there, in that exact moment.

“They’ll help us see each other when we miss each other,” Seth said. With those final words, he hopped on the condor, Cala right behind him. They took off toward the mountain — the place where they would first look for the wizards.

“Ah. Well, that was fun. Now, if you listen to me, and stay focused, we have to head due north before the world ends,” the map suggested, interrupting the moment.

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