Curse of the Stolen Tiger is the twenty-seventh chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on January 27, 2016.


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Zak's POV

This sucks.

We’re all in a country somewhere in Asia, and along the way, we picked up Wadi, because we haven’t hung out with her in a while. So, since she’s really good at stealing, we decided to make a game out of it called capture the flag, and Sarah was the only one on her team.

On the other team, it was Fiskerton, my mom, Komodo, Zack, and me. Yeah, it was unfair, but just because we have more members on our team, doesn’t mean we were gonna win every time, because we didn’t. Not even once. We played seven times, and every time Sarah and Wadi won since they’re so good at stealing.

My dad and Uncle Doyle were timing it and they kept breaking the record.

“I call rematch,” I said while trying to catch my breath and keeping my pants up because Wadi just has to take my belt every single time.

“That’s seven times in a row,” Doyle reminded me. “I’m supposed to be training Zak here, super girls. Can’t you go easy on him for one round?”

Wadi crossed her arms. “I thought I was.”

“I don’t need anybody to go easy on me,” I protested.

“Good, because I’m not going to,” Sarah said.

“God, you two are like daughters of Hermes,” Raylee said.

She was throwing a Frisbee with the animals really far away and they went to catch it, using their super speed before it could touch the ground, but Shillow was mostly hogging it. Well, she was still a dog.

“I knew you were going to say that,” Sarah said to her mom.

She just shrugged. “The thought just came to mind.”

“I guess it did.”

Raylee was looking past us and she looked confused. I looked where she was looking, and understood why. There was a girl sneaking around behind us. All I could see of her before she hid behind the trees was her long blond hair.

She looked around a tree and noticed that I had seen her. She held up her index finger to her lips, telling me not to say anything. I looked at Raylee, and she nodded.

Sarah and Zack noticed. “What?”

Their mom shook her head. “Nothing.”

“We can tell it’s something,” Sarah said. “So what?”

In response to her question, the girl appeared right behind them and placed a hand on her and Zack’s shoulders. They turned their heads toward her and looked startled.

“Selena?!” they asked.

The girl smiled. “Hi, guys.”

She had blue eyes, a little tan, and she looked like someone who was ready to go hiking.

Sarah sighed in relief. “You almost gave me a heart attack. How did you get here?”

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Raylee said.

Selena hesitated a little before answering. “Well, I took your Charizard, and he gave me a ride.”

“I was wondering where he was,” Sarah said. “Can I have him back, please?”

Selena reached into her pocket, pulled out the Poké ball, and gave it to her.

“Thank you. Now can you tell us why you did that?”

I missed you guys. We’ve barely spent any time together this summer. I especially missed you, Zack.”

He smiled at her apologetically and wrapped his arms around her. “I guess it has been a while.”

“Yeah,” Sarah agreed and gave her a sideways hug. “We’ve just been really busy.”

“Obviously,” Selena said, looking at me.

Sarah looked at me too, and seemed to remember that I was there. “Oh, sorry. I guess I should introduce you guys. Everybody, this is my long time best friend since birth, and Zack’s girlfriend, Selena. Selena, this is Zak, and his entire family and our friend Wadi.”

“Hello, everyone,” Selena greeted. “And hello to you too, Zak. Sarah’s told me a lot about you.”

She held her hand out to me.

I shook it. “Hi.”

“Hey, Selena?” Raylee called. “Do your—”

“Guys,” Wadi interrupted.

She was pointing at smoke rising in the distance.

“That’s a serious fire,” Mom said.

“That’s a serious problem,” Doyle said. “I’ve trained here before. There’s a village just over that bridge.”

“Let’s go,” Dad said.

When we got to the village, there were about a few dozen people that seemed to be praying in front of a small temple.

“Hey, uh, rough day?” I asked.

They all heard me and turned toward us. One of them said something in a language I didn’t understand, then they all began saying it together and ran up to us, surrounding us. We thought they were attacking us.

“Doyle, hang on to Zak and Wadi,” Dad said, putting on his power glove.

“No, wait, wait,” Mom said, stopping him. “They’re not trying to hurt us. They think we’ve come to save them.”

“From what?” Sarah asked.

“Or who?” Raylee said. “But before we ask that, let’s get them some food and water. They look very dehydrated and very hungry.”

We all agreed. She used her powers to summon a lot of food and water and we passed them around while Mom talked to them.

“It’s been nothing but bad luck for a while here,” she explained to us. “Ever since they lost their village protector.”

“A blue tiger?” I assumed, gesturing to a statue of one a few feet away. “Just a guess.”

“There’s been talk of blue tiger cryptids for decades,” Dad said. “But nothing to suggest they bring bad luck.”

“Well, actually, it brings good luck,” Mom said. “Or, it did, until it got stolen.”

Hearing her say it was stolen made me look at Wadi. She noticed.

“Yes, I stole a blue tiger, which I am keeping inside my pants pocket right now,” she said sarcastically. “Say hello to everyone, tiger.”

“Hey, I’m just saying,” I said.

“It really chaps how she skunked you at capture the flag, huh?” Doyle said to me.

“I don’t care what she does.”

“They know who stole it,” Mom said, turning it back on the subject. “A new warlord just came to the area, but with their bad luck streak, they don’t dare go after it.”

“Then let’s help them get it back,” Sarah suggested.

“I agree,” Dad said.

So we did.

We all went to the warlord’s place, and it was big. I could see a lot of guards in front of one house in the distance.

“I think I know which house the warlord lives in,” Dad said.

“I can jet pack up a stealth team,” Doyle suggested. “Say, Zak, Wadi, Sarah, Zack, and Selena get the tiger.”

“What?” I asked.

“Perfect,” Wadi said.

“Ok,” Sarah, Zack, and Selena said.

“Stealth mission,” Doyle said. “Gotta go with the biggest sneaks.”

I looked at the four of them, and they seemed to agree.

“I don’t know that I’m comfortable with this idea, either,” Dad said.

“You wanted me to start training Zak my way,” Doyle reminded him. “Well, this is how it works.”

That got him to agree.

“We’ll by you five some time with a diversion,” Mom said.

“Don’t worry, Mom,” I assured her. “I’ll take care of her.”

I said that in reference to Wadi. They all stared at me, but we nodded in agreement.

Doyle picked Wadi and I up and flew off. Sarah and Zack, holding onto Selena, followed behind us.

We hid behind a couple of boulders about thirty feet away from the bridge.

“Just two guards?” I asked in disbelief. “I’ll take this one solo.”

Doyle looked at me.

“It’s a training mission, right? So take off the training wheels.”

“Show me what you got,” he said.

And that I did.

I ran past the guards without them noticing me, jumped into the chasm, grabbed out the claw and slingshot it under the bridge, and swung myself from board to board. Suddenly, I felt someone bump into me from behind.

“Excuse me,” Wadi said, swinging on the bridge like it was monkey bars.

I did the same and we raced to the end.

“I win,” we both said in unison.

Zack, Selena, and Sarah were watching us with interest, and we tied.

We noticed a sewer pipe big enough to fit the five of us below us.

“First one inside breaks the tie breaker?” Wadi suggested.

“Deal,” I said.

I swung the claw at it, let go of the bar on the bridge, swung myself around the sewer pipe, and landed on top of it.

I looked up at Wadi. “So, how do you plan on getting down?”

“Shivery,” she said in response, then let go of the bridge and began to fall.

“Huh? Whoa!”

I slingshot the claw toward her. It wrapped around her waist, and I pulled her up next to me.

“Are you insane?” I said. “What if I hadn’t caught you?”

“There’s a ledge four feet down,” she replied. “You think I would trust my life to someone who can’t even hold on to a red flag? Race you inside.”

I was getting very annoyed with her. The other three found it amusing.

We began walking around and me and Wadi were arguing over who gets to be the leader, but Sarah stopped us.

“Shut up!” she yelled. “I’ll be the leader. Now try to keep up.”

She started running. We ran after her. I don’t think she was watching where she was going, because she passed a hatch up above.

“Wait!” I called.

She didn’t hear me, but Wadi did. She was in front of me, following close behind Sarah, and turned to face me. But then Zack had ran into me and that’s when things got worse. When he ran into me, he pushed me forward, right into Wadi, and I, somehow, caught her lips with mine.

But that wasn’t the worst part.

Sarah had realized we stopped and turned around, seeing me and Wadi accidentally kiss. I pulled away and Wadi seemed just as surprised as I was. But not as surprised as Sarah.

Nobody spoke for a while. Eventually, Sarah found the courage to.

“Umm, why did you stop?” she asked, her voice barely a whisper.

“I, uh, noticed the hatch,” I replied, pointing up at it.

She looked up and nodded. “Ok.”

I lifted it up a bit and looked around. I noticed about four guards with weapons near a throne.

“Looks like a warlord’s weapons dealer,” I said. Then I noticed the blue tiger near the throne. “So that’s Lucky, huh? Then we’ve just got to wait for the diversion.”

“But how will we know—”

Wadi was interrupted when the guards ran over the hatch after I had noticed them coming.

“That’s how,” Selena said.

Once the guards were gone, I lifted the hatch up all the way and we all climbed out, then ran toward Lucky. He saw us.

“That’s right. Friend,” I told him. “Nice kitty. We’ll get you right out of—wait. Guys, the tiles around the tiger. It’s some kind of pressure alarm.”

“And you think this worries me?” Wadi asked.

“I know,” Sarah agreed.

We jumped over it. The tiger greeted us. Wadi was working on the panel on the throne, but I managed to get the tiger’s chains off.

“Too slow, Wadi,” I said. “We’re already on our—”

I accidentally stepped on the tiger’s tail. He growled in pain and ran.

“Whoa, whoa,” I said. “Kitty, stop!”

I grabbed onto his tail to stop him, but he pulled me along.

Sarah, Zack, and Selena started laughing instead of helping.

Lucky was dragging me, so I grabbed the claw and slingshot it to grab onto something, but it didn’t.

“Stop!” Sarah called to him.

He ran to her and stopped. I bumped into him. Then suddenly, a net fell on top of us.

“Your mother will be so proud,” Wadi told me sarcastically.

I ignored her. “Hang on. I’ll get us out of this.”

I used the claw to cut the rope, but after I did, it shot out, hit some kind of weapon that shot launchers into the air.

“Oh, please don’t hit anything important,” I begged.

Of course, it does.

The guards had come back and managed to stop us and forced us onto our knees in front of the throne. They had chained back up Lucky and put cuffs only on Sarah and Zack. Why? I didn’t know.

They also confiscated our weapons. Then they brought the rest of our families and forced them onto their knees as well. Raylee also had cuffs on her wrists and the animals were tied together and their collars were taken off.

“Mom, Dad, I’m sorry,” I told them. “I don’t know what happened.”

“It’s alright, Zak,” Mom said. “We’re just glad you five are ok.”

“You have a very strange definition of ‘ok’,” a voice said.

A man appeared in front of us, and I recognized him.

“Shoji Fuzen,” Dad said.

“Hanichiwa, Saturdays,” he replied. “I hadn’t expected to have my revenge on you so soon. This must be my lucky day. Please enjoy my hospitality. It is the least I can offer after you and the Hibagon beast destroyed my criminal empire in Tokyo.”

“Really?” Doyle asked me, sounding impressed. “A whole empire?”

“Eh, it was a good day,” I admitted.

“I escaped from police custody,” Fuzen continued. “And once I heard the legend of the lucky blue tiger, I knew where I must go to rebuild. You see, I learn from my mistakes.”

“And yet, here you are, going up against us again,” Dad said.

One of the guards hit him in the back with their weapon.

“Last time, you defeated me with the help of your pet monsters,” Fuzen said. “But now, I have a pet of my own. You should see the advances in weapons technology his luck has brought us.”

He tried to touch the tiger, but it growled at him. He threw a piece of meat at him, but the tiger just swatted it away too.

Huh. Lucky and smart.

“I don’t care if you love me,” Fuzen told him. “As long as you give me good fortune. Take them away.”

The guards grabbed us and took us to the dungeon.

They put the animals all in one cell together and the rest of us in another across from it.

“Somebody tell me what happened,” Doyle said.

“You mean who happened,” Wadi corrected, gesturing to me.

“Hey, it wasn’t my fault,” I protested. “It was like everything went wrong for me at once. I thought that tiger was suppose to be good luck.”

Mom and Dad made eye contact, and seemed to come to some kind of agreement.

Mom sighed. “I was afraid of this when we agreed to bring her along.”

I was confused. “Afraid of what?”

I was so sorry I asked.

“The clumsiness, the awkwardness, the seeming war between you and your own body,” Dad explained.

I still didn’t understand.

“Zak, puberty is difficult for everyone,” Mom said.

I understood now, and I didn’t like it.

“What?” I said. “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.”

Doyle was trying to keep from laughing. Wadi and Sarah looked shocked. Zack and Selena seemed to grow interest at their feet, and Raylee looked angry.

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Mom assured me. “Hormonal changes can be awkward, even at the best of times.”

Nothing to be ashamed of? Did she not know that me and Sarah are dating?

“Who knows how your special powers are affected,” Dad said. “And with the trigger of an attracted young girl you’re obviously trying to impress.”

“What?!” I asked.

“She is a pretty girl, mini-man,” Doyle said.

He was not helping at all.

I looked at Sarah and she looked completely heart broken. She was probably thinking that my parents were right since she did see me and Wadi kiss earlier, even though it was an accident. I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t true, but I doubt she’d believe me now.

I ran to the cell door.

“Please,” I told the guard outside the cell, practically begging. “You can take me first.”

He ignored me. Probably because he was too busy putting on one of the animals collars around his neck. That was weird and disturbing.

“Hey, dude, those collars are not going to give you any kind of powers at all,” Raylee told him. “They’re designed for one specific person—or animal, actually—and that animal only. All you’re doing is making yourself look like an idiot.”

He seemed to understand and took the collar off.

“Alright,” Raylee continued. “Now, Zak, I am really sorry that you’re being embarrassed like this. Believe me, I know how embarrassing it is.”

“You do?” I asked. “Like this?”

“Well, I never got anything like this from my parents”—She glared at my parents. —“mostly because I was rarely ever around boys who weren’t related to me, but I have from friends. And it’s because of that that I’ve never embarrassed my children like that. Have I, Sarah? Zack?”

They shook their heads. “No.”

“Right. I especially have never said the word puberty”—she shrieked after she said the word—“But we need to focus on getting out of here. Not on—”

“Raylee!” a voice said frantically.

“Oh, not now,” Raylee complained. Then she lifted her left wrist, which had a green bracelet on it, to her mouth. “What is it, Jed?”

“There’s a big car accident near your area,” a voice said from the bracelet.

“Wait. Near our area? Jed, you’re suppose to tell me crime that happens in America, not . . . where are we? Somewhere in Asia?”

“Sorry, Raylee. Let me rephrase that. By ‘in your area’, I meant the area of where you live in America.”

“Oh, ok. What happened?”

“Well, a driver was driving too fast during rush hour, drunk, and ran into a car, causing him to flip over and some other cars got involved as well.”

“Ok. How many people are involved?”

“Six. Five adults and a child.”

“What’s the damage?”

“No deaths yet, but a lot of them do have injuries, and the drunk driver and the child’s injuries are very life threatening.”

“Wait. This just happened? Again, you’re suppose to tell me this before it happens. You have a short vision of the future.”

“I know, and I’m sorry, Raylee, but you were busy at the time.”

“It’s ok, I understand. And thanks for letting me know, even though I probably won’t get to it for a while. Anything else?”

“Yes. Your phone is about to ring.”

Not a moment later did her phone ring.

“Oh,” she said. “I’m surprised I get bars down here, or even a signal.”

“You designed it that way,” Jed reminded her.

“Oh, right.” She grabbed her phone out of her back pocket and looked at the screen. “It’s your mother, Selena. She’s probably wondering where you are.”

“She knows I’m here with you,” she said.

“She does? Does she know how you got here?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

Raylee rolled her eyes. “Ok.” She answered her phone. “Hello? . . . Hey, Britney, what’s up?”

A moment of silence.

“What do you mean, do I know where Cj is? I haven’t been home in a couple days. Why? Where is he?”

Another moment of silence.

“He is. Or was. He’s started drinking again lately. I don’t know why, but—” She looked at Sarah “—well, I have an idea on why he’s drinking again, but what’s going on?”


“Well, if he took Emily with him, I think he would know better than to go to a bar, even if he is drunk. But where he went? I’m not sure. Maybe to . . .” Raylee faltered. Her eyes widened with fear and she looked at Jed the watch. “Hold on a second, Britney.” She put the phone down. “Jed, you said that there was a child involved in that car accident, right?”

“That’s correct, Raylee,” he replied.

“How old is that child, and which car was that child in?”

“The child is a baby girl. She’s a few months old, and she was in the car with the drunk driver that caused the accident. His baby daughter, I assume.”

Raylee looked about ready to break. “Oh my God.” She lifted her phone back to her ear. “Britney, I know where he is. Go up the highway and you’ll find him. You’ll know what I mean when you go. I’ll try to get there as soon as I can, but we’re in a little trouble right now and it’ll probably take a while, ok?”

A moment of silence.

“Ok. Oh, and Britney? Do you know that Selena’s here? . . . You did?” She sighed. “Ok. I’ll see you later. Bye.” She hung up and put the phone back in her pocket. Then she leaned against the wall. “We have to get out of here.” A couple tears streaked down her face. “Now.”

“Why, Mom?” Sarah asked, her voice also breaking. “What—what’s wrong with Dad and Emily?”

“I don’t know, exactly. But what I do know is that they’re in an accident, and, by the sounds of it, a very terrible one. If my powers would work, then we can get out of here.” She pounded the cell bars with her fist, but seemed to regret it right afterwards, because she clutched it with her other hand in pain. “Owwwww.”

Sarah and Zack laughed a little.

“Oh, you think that’s funny?” Raylee asked them. “Hit your hand into the bar and feel how funny that is.”

“Sorry, but we’re not laughing because you broke your hand,” Zack said.

“Yeah,” Sarah agreed. “We’re laughing because usually you would break whatever you punch, not whatever you punch breaks you instead.”

“Well, that’s because I have super strength,” Raylee said. “Or, at least, I use to.”

I realized what she just said.

“Wait,” I said. “Your powers aren’t working? Why?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. These chains are somehow keeping us from using our powers at all.”

“Yeah,” Sarah agreed. “I feel like a regular mortal.”

“Well, regular mortal or not, I don’t care. At the moment, anyway. What I do care about is—”

Suddenly, the guard was thrown against the wall, his head hitting it really hard, and he was unconscious. We were confused by how that happened to him, but then two women appeared in front of our cell.

“Hi, Raylee,” one of them said.

“Long time no see,” the other one said.

“Oh my God,” she groaned. “What the hell are you two doing here?”

“Well, that’s a way to respond to your sisters,” one of them said. She had long, slightly curled, brown hair, and blue eyes.

“We’re not sisters anymore. And we probably never will be again.”

“Ok,” the other one said. She looked similar to the other woman, so I assumed that they were sisters.

She karate-chopped the cell door lock and it opened.

“So?” Raylee asked. “What the hell are you two doing here?”

“Well, we were flying by and sensed you here,” the first woman replied, then broke open the cell that the animals were in.

Shillow and the cheetahs greeted the two women happily.

“No,” Raylee said. “I meant what the hell are you two doing here? On earth?”

“Oh,” the first woman said. “Narma gave our whole family a mission to hunt down a few men about a decade ago, and they spend most of their time on earth. And we’re still hunting them. Earth is so complicated for us.”

“Well, you weren’t born on it like I was,” Raylee said. “But you say you’ve had this mission for a decade now. Why is earth still complicated for you?”

“We’re getting the hang of it,” the second woman said.

Raylee rolled her eyes. “Whatever. But who are these men? Why wasn’t I asked to help out since I do know earth better than any other Immortal? Do I know these men?”

The women hesitated.

“Umm, yes,” the second woman said.

“I’m guessing by the way you said that that I don’t like them,” Raylee guessed.

“For many reasons,” the second woman said.

“And what are those reasons?”

“Well, for starters, they’re men,” the first woman explained. “Their the ones who killed Nick, and they raped and impregnated you so many, many years ago.”

“WHAT?!” Sarah and Zack asked, completely surprised.

“You couldn’t have left it at ‘They killed Nick’?” Raylee sighed. “That would’ve been enough.”

“Mom, what are they talking about?” Sarah asked, shaking a little bit. “What men? And who is Nick?”

“I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that you haven’t told them about your past life,” the first woman said.

“Oh, shut up,” Raylee said. “You know how I am. What happens in the past, stays in the past, and is never brought up again in the present or future.”

“That’s sad, Raylee. And I don’t mean for us, but for Alex, Madison, and Kiara.”

Raylee looked sad. “I know. I really am sorry for that, and half the time I regret it.”

“Raylee, why have you avoided and ignored us all these years?” the second woman asked. “We use to be sisters, but ever since you’ve moved on, you—”

“I haven’t moved on from him, and you know it,” she interrupted. “To be honest, I don’t think I ever will move on from him. But the reason I’ve avoided you is because it hurts.”

“What do you mean?” the first woman asked.

Raylee had tears in her eyes. “You know what I mean. It hurts to see you two and not think about him. Not that I want to forget about him, because I don’t. Not ever. But, the fact that you two are his sisters, you look similar to him, and it hurts to think that I’ve technically moved on.”

“I guess we can understand that,” the second woman said. “But what about the others?”

“Same thing. But, speaking about him, have you two found out what happened to his grave yet?”

They hesitated again. “No.”

“What? Do you know what happened to his grave?”

They shook their heads.

“No, Raylee,” the second woman said. “We still don’t know what happened to it.”

“Do you think they had anything to do with it?” she asked them.

“It’s possible,” the first woman agreed. “But we don’t know for sure.”

Raylee sighed. “Please let me know when you do.”

“We will.” The two women looked guilty, like they were hiding something.

Raylee nodded. “Ok, well, I need to go home. Or to the hospital.”

“Oh. Do you want us to take those off your wrists?” the first woman asked, gesturing to her chains.

“Yes, please.”

They karate-chopped them off. Then they turned toward Sarah and Zack. “What about you two?”

They nodded and got their chains broken off. “Thank you.”

They put the animals collars back on them.

“Ok, we need to go,” Raylee said, then turned toward the animals. “Umm, I’m going to need all of you guys. Sarah, Zack, Selena, do you guys want to stay?”

Zack and Selena nodded, but Sarah hesitated.

She looked at me, looking sad. She sighed. “I guess I’ll stay too.”

“Ok,” Raylee said. “Give me a call as soon as you guys are done with this, ok?”

They nodded.

“Alright. Then we’re going.”

“Wait, Raylee,” the first woman said. “Do you think that maybe we could be friends again?”

“Well, you two are better friends then Britney is,” she replied.

“What’s that suppose to mean?” Selena asked, sounding offended.

“Selena, you don’t know your mother like I do.”

“Yeah,” the first woman asked. “And is she really Britney’s biological daughter?”

“Believe it or not, yes.”

“Why does that surprise you?” Selena asked.

“Again, Selena, you don’t know her like I do. but in response to your question, Nikki, no. I just can’t handle that right now.”

“It’s ok,” she replied, whose name I assumed was Nikki. “We understand.”

“Ok, well, bye, guys.” Raylee activated her powers, and she and the animals were gone.”

“That went well,” Nikki said.

“Speak for yourself,” her sister said.

Nikki turned toward the corner of the room. “What do you think?”

At first it seemed like she was talking just to the wall. But then a man suddenly appeared. He had short brown hair, and blue eyes. Sarah and Zack seemed to recognize him.

“You!” they said with a little resentment.

He smiled at them. “Hello, Sarah and Zack. It’s nice to finally meet you two.”

“How do you know us?” Sarah asked.

“Because he’s been spying on your family for the past ten years,” Nikki muttered.

He glared at her. “I wouldn’t say spying. I’d say looking out for them.”

“And I’d say spying.”

“How do you two know him?” Nikki’s sister asked.

“Well, we don’t know his name, but—” Sarah began, but the man interrupted.

“They found an old picture of me and Raylee together and think that she’s having an affair with me,” he said.

“Are you?”

Nikki snorted. “Well, she would with him, but then again, there would’ve been no reason for her to do so.”

“That maybe true,” the man said. “But Raylee’s not like that at all.”

“Ok,” Zack said. “Why have you guys been spying on us, and how do you know our mom?”

The two sisters looked at the man to explain.

He sighed. “We’ll let your mother tell you when she is ready to. But can you two not tell her that you saw me?”

“What’s gonna stop us?” Sarah asked.

He smiled mischievously. “I am an Immortal as well, and I am capable of doing many things with my powers that neither of you two are capable of doing yourselves yet.”

“Well, like you said, not yet.”

“Yeah,” Zack agreed.

The man smiled. “You two really are your mother’s children, aren’t you?”

“You bet we are,” Sarah said.

The three of them laughed.

“Good times,” the man said. “Well, we’ll leave you guys now. And Sarah, Zack, we will meet again someday.”

“I’m sure we will,” Sarah said.

The three of them activated their powers and they were gone.

“Well, we still don’t know who he is, but at least we know he’s not having an affair with our mom,” Sarah said.

Zack nodded in agreement. “Yeah.”

I decided to change the subject back to the main reason.

“Alright, can we get back to real business now?” I said. “I want a second chance at Lucky the tiger.”

“No, thank you,” Wadi said. “My survival is more important than your show-off-teenage-boy problems. I will do it myself this time.”

“Wadi, wait,” Mom called after her.

She left through a small exit on the side, and she was gone.

“It’s like she doesn’t even listen,” I said. “How could you think I’d like a girl like that?”

They all stared at me.


Sarah rolled her eyes. “I don’t know why, but I’m going with her.”

And she left too.

“Let’s go,” Dad said.

We left through a different exit.

We went back to where the tiger was and noticed that there were a lot more weapons and guards.

“Upgraded security,” Dad said. “Fuzen’s quick.”

Then we noticed Wadi and Sarah climbing out of the sewer hatch. We tried to get their attention and tell them to stop, but they didn’t noticed us. They jumped through the new traps and got to the tiger, getting his chains off. But they ended up dropping them and the guards heard it and caught them.

“They’ve seen them,” I said. “I told you the tiger was bad luck.”

The guards aimed their weapons at them, but Sarah used her powers and threw fire balls at them, scaring them away. Sarah and Wadi walked over to us with the tiger.

“Tiger’s fault, huh?” Doyle asked me.

I glared at him.

We ran around the village carefully, but there were so many guards. We hid on a staircase.

“There’s a ton of guards down here,” I whispered.

“Even more at the main gate,” Doyle added, looking out the window.

“With our weapons confiscated, I don’t like our odds in a fight,” Dad said.

“No Doyle jet pack either,” Mom said. “Our only option is the elevator left back in town. Any ideas how to get there?”

Komodo, I guess, saw something outside the window next to him and jumped out of it.

“Komodo,” Wadi called. She grabbed the back half of him and held him back. “I found a back door.”

My parents looked out the window and noticed it too.

“Nice work, Wadi,” Dad said.

I snorted, mostly to myself. “I could’ve found a back door.”

Then I accidentally knocked some kind of round metal thing that was hanging on the wall down and it fell down the stairs, making a lot of noise.

“Think anybody heard that?” I asked hopefully.

In response to my question, we heard the guards and they sounded like they were coming our way.

“Yes, they heard that,” Zack said.

We ran up the stairs. We went into the room with the window and closed the door behind us. Then we pushed a table in front of it.

“Here, guys,” Sarah said.

She and Zack summoned hooks for us to use on the rope. We took them and went one after the other. Mom and Sarah took care of the tiger. Dad and I stayed back and held the table against the door. The guards were trying to get in.

“Go, Zak!” Dad told me after everyone else went. “I’ll be right behind you.”

I nodded, then grabbed a hook, connected it to the rope, and went.

I guess my weight was too much for it to handle, because it broke and I fell onto a cliff below. Dad grabbed the other rope and jumped down right next to me.

“You know, it was just like this for me when I met your mother,” he said.

I felt the urge to push him over the cliff. “I am not in love with Wadi

He didn’t respond.

We climbed back up the cliff to where the village was and met up with our family.

“Quickly, friends,” a guy called to us, standing in front of a door to a house. “Here! Here!”

We didn’t argue and followed him inside.

We looked around outside to make sure that no one could see us.

“My allies at the compound were able to recover some of your weapons,” the guy told us, holding a few of them up.

The only weapons were my dad’s power glove, Mom’s fire sword, and the claw. We took them and thanked him.

“Wait,” Doyle said. “I get nothing?”

“I promise we’ll be back with our airship and a lot more fire power,” Dad assured him. “But I think we better be moving.”

“Wait,” the guy said, stopping us. “Fuzen’s men have severed every connection to the ground. I’m afraid there’s no way down.”

“There’s still one way,” Doyle said.

We stared at him.

“Ok, two,” he said. “But one ends in a nasty splatter.”

“I request the not splatter version,” Wadi said.

“I think we all do,” Selena said.

We began to climb down the cliff. Sarah and Zack were flying near us, waiting to catch us if we slipped. But Zack was more focused on Selena, who was having a harder time than even Fiskerton, and he was carrying the tiger down.

“Hold on, Fisk,” I called to him. “I’ll help.”

I climbed up to him.

“Careful, Zak,” Mom told me. “You’re not exactly on a hot streak right now.”

“Yes,” Wadi agreed. “If you would just keep a safe distance, please, until your puberty goes away.”

I glared at her.

“Oh, it never goes away, Wadi,” Sarah said.

“Unfortunately, no,” Zack agreed.

“Unfortunately?” Selena asked, sounding offended.

“I didn’t mean for me. I meant for other guys, like Zak.”

“Thanks,” I told him sarcastically.

Maybe if I push Wadi down, that’ll prove that I don’t like her, especially to Sarah.

“That sounds tempting,” Sarah said, I guess reading my mind.

“It was just a suggestion,” I said.

“I know. And it’s tempting.”

“What is?” Wadi asked.

“Nothing,” we both said in unison.

I turned back to the situation and climbed up to the tiger.

“Relax, guys,” I said. “Calming cryptids is what I do.”

I lost my footing and was about to fall over, so I instinctively grabbed onto Lucky’s tail to keep me up. He growled in pain and sank his claws into Fiskerton’s hands, which also caused him to yell in pain. Then a moment later, Fuzen, wearing some kind of new armor, and his men appeared about twenty feet away, flying on hovercrafts.

“Secure the tiger,” Fuzen said to his men. “The Saturdays are mine.”

They started blasting at us and we held on desperately.

Then some ropes appeared next to us and we noticed the guy that helped us earlier and his men were blasting back with their own guns, but Fuzen’s armor was blocking every hit, so in return, he shot rockets at them, and they retreated. More men appeared.

“We’ve got to help them,” Dad said.

Mom unsheathed her fire sword. “Zak, just keep the tiger safe. Wadi, keep Zak safe.”

“What?” we both asked in disbelief.

Sarah and Zack took care of Fuzen’s men for us no problem. I moved a little, but Lucky kept swinging his tail in front of my face.

“It’s you,” I told him. “I know you’re doing this. What have you got against me?”

He growled a little bit and swung his tail again.

“Ok, that’s it.” I grabbed the claw. “You’re giving me good luck whether you want to or not.”

I heard Sarah sigh. “And here we go again.”

I wasn’t sure what she meant, but right now I didn’t care. I activated my powers, then suddenly, a tornado of a wind came up from the chasm below. I didn’t understand it, but Mom did.

“Zak, it’s you,” she said. “Your power. It’s causing some kind of feedback, turning the tiger’s good luck to bad.”

“Just stay away from it,” Dad said.

I deactivated my powers, and the wind went away. Then I got an idea.

“Or . . .” I said. “Hey, Fisk, think you can toss that tiger back up top?”

He nodded.

“Ok, do it. Then toss me.”

He did as I told him.

The tiger and I were back up top, with me on his back. We that noticed some of Fuzen’s men had the guy that helped us earlier and his men surrounded. They noticed us.

“Ok, who feels lucky?” I asked, then raised the claw and activated my powers.

The bad luck only effected Fuzen’s men, then we ran all over the village.

“On ward, my stead,” I told Lucky. “Bad luck go!”

We destroyed the whole place. Then we all gathered back with my family. I got off of Lucky’s back and he went and greeted the people in his village. They all cheered at his return.

“Come on,” I said. “Can’t we even soak up a little Ju-Ju love?”

“Can’t take the chance,” Dad said. “Whatever chaos field that tiger generates to alters the laws of probability. Your power seems to twist it from good to bad when you get too close.”

“Even when your powers aren’t active, it’s enough to turn luck bad for you personally,” Mom added. “And when you actually activate them—”

“Human bad luck bomb,” I finished. “Fine. The only reward I need is proving all of you wrong. So can we just apologize and admit I don’t have a puberty thing for Wadi?”

“Too bad,” she said. “You’re kind of cute.”

I found that surprising.

“Oh, yeah,” Doyle said. “Definitely no puberty going on there.”

This was not making it any easier for me and Sarah, who looked even more hurt than before.

We had taken Wadi home, and then we went back to our home as well. After we got back, Sarah pulled me aside into a room to talk. She had tears in her eyes, but seemed to be trying to hold them back.

“I can’t believe you kissed her,” she said. “And in front of me, no less.”

“Sarah, it was an accident,” I said. “I didn’t mean to—”

“What was an accident, exactly? You kissing her, or you doing it in front of me?”

“Umm, the first one. Zack had—”

“You’re blaming it on my brother? My twin brother? How dare you?”

“Sarah, just let me explain,” I pleaded.

“No, Zak,” she said. “I don’t wanna hear it. You’re just going to make up some sorry excuse just to keep me, but that’s not gonna happen.”

“Sarah, please.”

“No. It’s over, Zak. We’re done.”

She left the room, crying. I wanted to stop her, but something held me back.

I sat down in a chair. I just couldn’t believe it was over between me and Sarah. And, I’ll admit it, I cried too.

Aww. Poor Zak. That really was a whole day of bad luck for him. Sarah may have overreacted a little bit, but it's understandable why. Things are definitely going to get awkward for them now. But who do you guys think that man and those two women were that helped them escape? How do you think they know Raylee?

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