Lost Undertaking

An Otter Story about Loyalty, Friendship, Hardship, and Sibling Love

Lost+Undertaking

Elizabeth Dreier, Writer

Quicklilly peaked out of the seaweed she was hiding in. She and her siblings were playing hide and seek with her five siblings. Three older and two younger. Riverbank, Quicklilly’s younger sister. Splash, her younger brother. Fastcurrent, her older sister. and Waterwolf and Firefox her older brothers.

 

What Quicklilly saw when she peeked out was Fastcurrent only  a few feet away, searching another clump of seaweed. Quicklilly darted back into her own clump of seaweed. Then she darted upward towards the air. She took a deep breath then floated back down. She was in the seaweed again for 30 seconds then…

“Found you”,” A voice said from behind her. Quicklilly was so startled she did a backflip. Floating behind her was firefox with a goofy grin on his face.

“I thought Current was searching For everyone?.” Quicklilly said, confused. 

Well, she is searching. She found me Splash, so we are helping her search. Also, you aren’t going to tell Waterwolf or Riverbank, right?” He asked. 

“Right.” Quicklilly said aloud. In her head, however, she was thinking that was the first thing she would do when she found them. 

“Now come help us search.” Firefox said as if he hadn’t just threatened her. 

“Fine, but.”

 “But what, you are going to hide with them?” Firefox said, his threatening tone returning. 

“No, I just wanted to know if you wanted me to search somewhere.” Quicklilly lied. 

“You can look across the river in the cave hidden behind seaweed.” He said a grin on his face.”

“Okay, thanks.” Quicklilly said, shaken. 

That was where Waterwolf and River were hidden. So yes, this was a test. She had thought so. There was a rivalry between Waterwolf and River against Firefox and Current. This test was to see what side she and splash were on. Apparently, according to Firefox, Splash was on his side. She didn’t want to choose sides between her siblings. If she helps Firefox, then she betrays Waterwolf. If she helps Waterwolf, she betrays Firefox. Quicklilly swam out of the seaweed. She went to the surface and took another deep breath. She climbed onto the riverbank and curled up in her seaweed blanket on the shore. She wouldn’t “find” or “hide” with her siblings. She would forfeit this Hide ‘n Seek challenge. There was no way she was going to choose between her siblings. Quicklilly somehow found a way to go to sleep.

 

Quicklilly was shaken awake by a warm and firm pad. 

“Lilly, are you okay?” Quicklilly shook sleepiness away and opened her eyes to see her mom sitting beside her with her tail neatly wrapped around her paws. The sun was starting to rise.. She went to bed around when the sun was in the middle of the sky yesterday.

“Do you want to tell me what happened? You only go to bed early when there is something on your mind.” 

“Well, you know how Waterwolf and Firefox are always fighting?” 

“Yes, I have noticed this but I dismissed it as how twins sometimes treat each other.” Her mom said.

 “No it’s more than that. Everyone is choosing sides. Waterwolf and River are on the same side. Then Firefox and Current on the same side. According to Firefox, Sam choose his side, too.”

“And this has anything to do with you, how?”

”Well we were playing Hide & Seek yesterday and Firefox sort of threatened me to help him, Current, and Sam. They knew where Waterwolf and River hid but I was supposed to find them. My choice to either find them and tell Firefox or hide with Waterwolf and River. This would finally tell them what side I was on.”

“But you don’t want to choose a side.” Her mother finished.

“Right but they are making it sound like I don’t have a choice.”

“You always have a choice. I think you did the right thing swimming away from the situation. You don’t have to choose.” Her mom said

“Thanks mom. It’s just that I don’t know if I can deal with the pressure of my siblings. They really want me to choose a side.”

“Well you have a little time to decide.” Quicklilly’s mom said.

“I think I am going choose Waterwolf and River if I had to do. But only if I really have to choose. After all they didn’t threaten me and didn’t cheat.”

“Whatever you do I know you will make the right decision. Also this may be off topic but do you know how you got your name?”

“No why mom?”

“Not many otters know this at least no here but my name is Lilly. I have not told any of your siblings this. The only ones who actually knew my real name were your dad and the other otters in my old home.” After that Quicklilly’s mom went silent. She seemed to be sucked into a memory. 

“Splash. She said still looking dazed. Then to herself she said 

“Oh how I miss him and our adventures. I miss the other otters, who always teased us.”

“You okay mom.” Quicklilly asked.

“Yeah. Now let’s go talk to your siblings.”

She turned around and dove into the water. Quicklilly had moved where she slept the moment Her siblings started fighting. Waterwolf and River slept together and Firefox Current slept together. Splash used to sleep with Quicklilly but he didn’t last night. Maybe Firefox told the truth about Splash joining his team. Quicklilly followed her mom into the river. Quicklilly only remembered one thing about her dad, that he was very protective of his family.

Quicklilly followed her mom into the river. Then swam across the river after her mom to the other Riverbank…

 

How come mom didn’t name Current after her? She was born a few seconds before me. Quicklilly thought to herself. 

“Waterwolf, Firefox, Fasturrent, Splash, Riverbank! Where are you?” 

Quicklilly’s mom called out when Quicklilly surfaced.

 “Over here.” A squeak came from through the light sprinkle of trees. 

Quicklilly climbed on shore and followed her mom through the trees. In the clearing, there was a large pond with water leading from the main river. Waterwolf was splashing in the water and River was was laying on a warm bolder, watching him. It had been her that they had heard.

  “Will you two come with us? We have a matter to discuss.” 

“Okay, what’s up?” Waterwolf asked. 

“We need Firefox, Current, and Splash to hear this too.” 

“O-kay” Waterwolf responded, a little suspicious. River, Quicklilly, and Waterwolf followed their mom back to the river. 

“By any chance do you know where they are?” Their mom asked as she slowed down to a stop. 

“Yeah, they may have stolen our first camp. You know the place where we always hide?” River said. 

“With Sam, they overpowered us. We also know how Firefox threatened you yesterday.”

River said bluntly. 

“So, Splash really is on his side…?” Quicklilly asked, taken aback.

“Well, not officially. They’re going to make him do something lame, then he’ll be a part of them.” River yipped.

At that moment, their mom stopped.

“Mom, are you okay?” Waterwolf asked

She didn’t respond. She seemed to be having one of her moments where she has a flashback.

 

“He said he would race me to the seaweed palace but as he raced ahead and I tried to catch up a stray strand of seaweed tangled itself around my paw. When I desperately tried to escape by pulling and tugging it only got tighter. I was running out of air. I felt like I could never get free!” Their mom said tears springing to her eyes, 

“I needed air, I didn’t want to drown. So I kept tugging at the seaweed. Suddenly, I felt a great deal of pain and a sharp snap shooting from my paw. Panicked, I only pulled harder.

 

“Suddenly, I saw a friendly face dash from the seemingly deadly waters and race to my side. It was Splash! I felt a sudden pang of hope in my heart. Splash quickly nipped the seaweed off to set my numb paw free. I was dragged up to the surface where I greedily breathed in the clean air. I weakly swam toward the rock shore, graceful for Splash’s help.

“Are you alright..? That was a really close call!” Splash looked at me, a worried look clouding his eyes.

“I-I’m okay. Just a little shock.. and perhaps an injured paw, but I’m fine. Thanks for the help, though. If it wasn’t for you, my paw might not be the worst thing that’s happened to me.”

Splash let out a small laugh. Of course, this situation would not be worth a laugh if that was true.

“No problem,” Splash answered.

“You should probably rest that paw, though. It’s really bad.”If their mom said anything else it was lost at a mumble.
“Mom why don’t you wait here while we get everyone rounded up.” 

“Sure.” She mumbled.

Waterwolf led the way turning this way and that until they got to a clump of seaweed. He led the way inside.

“Why are you here?” Asked a raspy voice 

“Mom wanted to have a meeting.” Waterwolf repiled.

“Well were a little busy at the moment, not that you would care.” The voice was heavy with sadness.

Quicklilly and River surfaced to see who Waterwolf was talking to. 

They had expected to see some old otter that had lost a loved one or something along those lines. Instead they found Current curled up in a corner eyes red from crying. Splash had a little more control however he kept sniffling.

“What’s wrong?” River asked.

“Wouldn’t you like to know.” Current cried.

“All you will do is taunt us and celebrate.” Splash added

“Not true also we can’t help you if your being grumpy guses?” River snapped back.

“Just leave us alone.” Splash mumbled.

“No way.” Waterwolf said cheerfully.

“We aren’t going to leave you alone until you tell us what is wrong.” Quicklilly piped up.

“So you finally chose what side your on.” Current looked up with disappointed eyes.

“No, not really, Well what I mean is that I still have no idea but Firefox sort of maybe threatened me yesterday. So…” Quicklilly was cut off

“So he just wanted you to join us. We’re better anyway.” Current said

“Can I?” Splash asked looking towards Current.

“Sure,” she said to herself, “Not like I could.”

“The only reason we are showing any weakness to you is because Firefox has gone missing,” Sam paused for effect.”

“Where could he have gone.” River asked

“How would we know.” Current said.

“What about that meeting?” Splash asked.”

“Oh that can wait, I say we go looking for Firefox.” River said enthusiastically.

“Actually we are going to look and you are going to hang out with Reed and Leap.” Splash said

“No way we are coming with you.” Waterwolf said.

As if that was final he turned and dove into the water. Quicklilly followed. But when she made it out of the cave and into the water she couldn’t see Waterwolf.

Maybe he  already made it to mom. Quicklilly thought. 

There was a splash as Current and River Followed her into the water. Quicklilly swam to the area where they had left their mom. She surfaced and quickly scanned the area where her mom should have been. She was not there.

Could there maybe be a slim chance that Waterwolf had taken mom somewhere more private and otters like Leap couldn’t hear. They were always teasing mom on how they we right about splash and her. I don’t know what it has to do with my mom and brother but that wasn’t what I had my mind on. 

“I think we have a bigger problem than just Firefox going missing,” Sam said who I didn’t even notice.

  “Are you saying an otter goes missing while every otter is still sleeping and then two more otters go missing around the same time.” Quicklilly said.

“That is precisely what is happening. Also 5 otters have gone missing.” Said a strange voice Quicklilly had never heard before. Along with new voice was a metallic taste to the water that she couldn’t place. Whatever it was it tasted wrong.

To be continued  in the next chapter…