Chapter Five: The Whirlpool (The Adventures of Jolean and the Magic Eraser)


Katelyn Styborski, Writer/Designer

The two landed hard in the bottom of the ditch. A cloud of dust poofed up around them, covering their wet skin, (or rubber, in Smiley’s case,) in a thick layer of gritty dirt.

“Ouch,” Jolean groaned, rubbing her elbows.

“Hey! Where did the water go?” asked Smiley.

“I don’t know. It disappeared like-” her eyes shot to the eraser floating beside her, “Magic!”

She dived towards him, grabbing him with both hands. “Smiley, did you do this?” She scowled at him, pouting over the tan dust coating her stomach and arms.

Smiley shook his head. “Wasn’t me! All I can do is float.”

“You’re lying! I know you’re lying.”

“Jolean, I promise, this wasn’t me.”

“Then who- Eep!”

The ground beneath them began to tremble. Rocks started to tap violently against the ground while a dull rumbling started to hum beneath their feet.


Jolean was thrown backward by the force of the shaking. She lost her grip on Smiley who bounced along the ground for a minute before he finally shook himself off and got the strength to float, unaffected by the shaking ground. Standing at an impossible angle, Jolean attempted to combat the earthquake. She was bent straight over by her waist, her arms extended out, windmilling about her sides in a desperate attempt to keep her balance.

Then, as suddenly as it started, it stopped.

Jolean collapsed to the ground, her arms shaking. “What-” she groaned between gasping breaths, “was that?”

“I don’t know,” Smiley bit his lip, his eyes looking around frantically, “but I have a feeling its about to get worse.”

“Yikes!” Jolean shrieked as she felt cold water rush over her feet. They looked down.

Water was leaking through the cracks in the side of the ditch. Smiley moved closer to the girl.

“It’s starting.”

“What’s starting-?” Her voice cut off in a shrill yell as water began gushing from the cracks in the walls of the ditch.

The force of the water swirled around them creating a twisting whirlpool. It surrounded them from every angle, but never moved close enough to draw them in.

Blinking in the spray of the whirlpool, Jolean and Smiley marveled at the wall of water. It churned around and around, glinting in the sunlight. The friends didn’t even need to say anything. They both looked at it for a minute then jumped in.

Their heads popped up above the water, but they were surprised to see that instead of up, the two seemed to be positioned sideways, with the center of the whirlpool above their heads. Laughing, Smiley and Jolean whirled around in the pool of water, much gentler than they had anticipated. They chased each other in circles, diving under the water to avoid getting caught.

Eventually, they got tired. The two  floated straight up in the whirlpool, lazily lifting their heads up to admire the small opening to the sky.

Jolean’s eyes were half-closed. Smiley lay on her chest, admiring how the water glinted in the sunlight. The rippling light danced over the pair, illuminating their faces in rainbow colors.

Smiley sat up. “Jolean, what was that?”

“What was what?”

A shadow passed over them, leaving a deep indigo stain in the light blue water.

Jolean immediately tensed up. She and Smiley floated back to back in the whirlpool, their eyes straining to see through the murky blue.


A large shape was moving towards them, hidden by the blur of the water. It started to circle them, moving faster than the whirlpool. For a moment, the pair wondered if they were seeing double. Then they realized:

“Smiley,” the girl braced him against her back, “There’s five of them!”

The shadows grew closer and closer, forming a ring around Jolean and Smiley’s air pocket. Inches from Jolean’s face, a scaly green snout poked through the water, smiling with huge, yellow teeth.