As she peered over the side, Mandalar, Tiana, and Alatar came up beside her.
"What do you see?" Alatar asked.
Sarai told them of the line falling away beneath them.
Elie: They should take a submarine!
Me: Those haven't been invented yet, but it's a very good idea.
Sarai tried to explain the idea of a boat that goes under the water to them. They looked skeptical at first, but willing to listen.
Me: What might they use to try to make one?
Elie: The other raft boat?
Me: A good start, but it needs something to hold the air in.
Elie: A sail?
They built a few arches from loose lumber and stretched a length of sail over it.
"I can seal it with magic, and enchant this rope to act like... well, a sort of a straw of sorts up to the surface," Alatar surmised.
They also took small pieces of glass and tied them in place front, back, and both sides in the canvas so they could see out. They fashioned a pair of the oars into a spinning rudder they could turn about to change direction. With that, they all climbed aboard and the captain and crew lowered them to the water.
Alatar ran his hands around the seams, chanting a solemn spell. When he nodded, they all crowded toward the front and the lifeboat plunged into the sea. They held on as Mandalar spun the rudder to force them down farther still. As they descended it grew darker and darker and soon they could see nothing but a faint light twinkling from the surface high above them. Still, Sarai could see the path stretching farther down into the blackness.
Me: What do you think might help them see?
Just when they worried they would lose all light, small fish darted past, glowing in brilliant blues, greens, and purples. A whole school of them darted before the boat, revealing a shipwreck below. The craft's side was split in two, a huge whole opening inside. It looked as though the vessel had been smashed by the monster they met, cracked by its strong tentacles. The blue line led straight inside.
As they passed through the hole, Sarai was surprised to see that the line blurred and split into three. One ended at a treasure chest on the floor. The second went to a small box smeared all over with wax and chained on a shelf. The third led behind a toppled table.
Me: What do you think they might find back there?
Elie: I don't know?
Me: They've already found the crown and scepter. What else is there?
Elie: The throne!
Sure enough, when they came to the other side of the table there was the frame of a wooden chair. It was well preserved, but had no cushion or cloth. If it were not for the magic line, Sarai could mistake it for any other well-crafted wooden chair.
Me: What might they use to try to get these things?
They made a lasso out of a length of rope and threaded it through the side. With this, they grabbed the chair and were able to pull it aboard as Alatar strengthened his magic to keep the water out. The chest they snared too, but the box on the shelf was stuck fast by the chain.
Me: How can they get that?
Elie: Alatar can push it with his staff.
Sure enough, when Alatar shoved it with the end of his staff, the rusted chain broke apart. They pulled the box into their boat, too. With no other blue lines visible, they turned to head back to the surface.
When they emerged from the shipwreck, the glowfish suddenly panicked and scattered as something else approached.
Me: What might it be?
Elie: A whale.
Me: Many whales don't eat fish but things even smaller. What's something else that might scare the fish?
Elie: A shark!
A shark swam lazily through the water, silently circling them. Every now and again it turned its beady eyes toward them, watching their movements. They would have to find a way to get past it as it could swim far faster than they could maneuver their boat.
Elie: They could try talking to it.
Me: Reasoning with it, hmm?
Alatar tried cupping his hands against the sail and speaking into them to help his voice echo out through the water. He made a sound like a low hiss, punctuated with several pops and clicks. The shark spun towards them and rammed the wood hard.
"I tried to tell it we have no food for it here, but it didn't seem to care," the wizard apologized.
Elie: They could blind it with some more sail!
Me: Like the sea monster! That might work.
They tied some sail on the end of another length of rope, quickly slipping it out the side. It wriggled in the water, looking very much like a floundering fish. The shark charged it full speed and quickly became tangled in the sail and rope. As it twisted to try to get away, it just became more trapped in the fabric.
They quickly spun the rudder to rise as quickly as they could, watching below as the shark fell away, twisting and turning in circles. They broke the surface a moment later with an explosion of seaspray. The captain and crew helped them back aboard, admiring the craft they'd built.
Me: We'll stop there for the night, but what do you think the treasure chest and wax-sealed box might be?
Elie: The pirate's treasure.
Me: Pirates? Which pirates?
Elie: The lobster captain and his crew.
Me: Oh - they're pirates are they? Interesting twist - we'll have to see what we can do with that.
Part of the "There Once Was a Kingdom" bedtime stories series.