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Tex’s Quest: A Journey Home by Zaku Hyuga

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“Mom, what are you doing?” Tex asked as he watched his mother go around his room putting his things into a traveling sack. She stopped and looked at him.

“Honey, they weren’t able to find Lance. And your father is pretty sure that he’s with his gang. He thinks they’ll attack tomorrow.”

“So why are you packing my bags?” Tex asked with a quizzical look on his face.

His mom looked down. “It’s not safe here. Lance has a vendetta against you and your father. We can’t take any chances that he finds you. If he does he’ll kill you.” Tears began filling her eyes. “We’re sending you on the ship up North to your Aunt’s. Just tell her what has happened. I know she won’t have a problem with you showing up unannounced.” She began crying even harder.

“Mom, let me stay! I don’t won’t to go! Let me fight too!” Tex pleaded.

“No! We can’t risk it.”

“Then why don’t you all come too?”

“We can only afford to send you. And besides your father is the sheriff and your brothers are the depute and jailor, they can’t leave. Now help me finish packing.” She wiped her tears from her eyes and started putting more things into the sack. Tex slowly started to help.

[half an hour later]

Tex and his mother stood on the dock in front of the ship. “Mom, why do I have to go by ship?” Tex asked staring at her disappointedly.

“We don’t want him to be able to track you down if he manages to get away.” Tex’s eyes grew wide with fright. His mother quickly tried calming him.

“Don’t worry. Everything will be alright. Your father and brothers with the rest of the town will chase them all off and they won’t be coming back. Once it’s over with we’ll send for you okay.” She said looking into his eyes. She could see his fear. “It’ll be alright.” she said again as she hugged him. Tex began walking up the ramp to the ship. He turned and looked back at his mom. Tears filled her eyes again as she waved to him. She blew him a kiss and he waved back, and turned away. He felt tears coming into his eyes, but tried to force them back. He hadn’t cried since he was a small child.

Tex sat on the deck and watched the land start to grow smaller. Thoughts of going back against his families wishes kept racing through his mind until he couldn’t fight it anymore. Tex judged the distance to be about a mile from the shore. He’d swum that far before, nothing he couldn’t handle. He tied his sack to his back and jumped over the side of the ship. He hit the water pretty hard, but it wasn’t enough to slow him down. Tex began swimming then the cold hit him. He had swum a mile before, but not that far out from shore. It was too cold for him to handle, he tried with all he could to just stay afloat. Luckily a ship leaving the docks saw him jump over and headed towards him. Tex flailed in the water gasping for air.He tried to yell for help , but couldn’t get any words to come out. He could feel his body shutting down from the cold. Everything went black.

He saw his family and his home. They all began shrinking away. He was thrust awake coughing up water. He looked around, he was on the ship that had come after him. He was shivering violently, but looked up at the captain, who had fished him out of the water.

“What were you doing kid? You almost killed yourself.” The captain said staring at him, through his big bushy black eyebrows.

“Please take me back to the shore.” Tex choked out weakly.

“Oh, no kid. Were not heading back that way for a while. Besides your lucky if you don’t get sick from your little stunt. That water’s pretty cold. We’re going to put you in a room and wrap you up in some blankets. Just take it easy and rest kid. Your going to need it. Tex lay his head down, not able to support it anymore.

Tex eyes opened very weakly. He felt extremely ill. He couldn’t feel his body, and he felt like he was being carried. The only thing he remembered before falling back to unconsciousness was the captain’s voice saying, “I think he’s really ill. He jumped overboard, and I think he’s got something bad, he’s been out for four days. Will you take care of him.” someone else replied “Of Course.” and Tex was returned to unconsciousness.
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