#16 Ocellus & Chitkin © The Mystery of the Silver Leaf

Ocellus wondered what would happen tomorrow, but she knew that it was time for her and Chitkin to find out what the silver leaf meant.

Ocellus and Chitkin tried to escape, do you remember? They had crawled through some tunnels to see how to get away and they also set a trap to make sure Shrieker, one of the Mandis, and Piçon would stop bothering them.

“Look at that silver leaf on the ground, Ocellus!” Chitkin whispered with excitement. “I think it’s a special clue!”

That’s what Chitkin and Ocellus had found on the floor of one of the tunnels. “Cello, it’s not a leaf! It just looks like one. It’s actually the moonlight coming through the tunnel roof, I think. It’s in the shape of a leaf. This is where we have to go to get out of here!” Chitkin cheered.

But what did the silver leaf mean? Was it really a clue? And if it was, a clue to what? Well, they’d just have to go back into the tunnels to find out after everyone had gone to sleep tonight.

So, that night Ocellus and Chitkin silently crept out of their chamber and slipped through the tiny opening after they had pulled away some branches and debris.

Chitkin said, “I know it’s along one of these tunnels, but which one?” Ocellus was worried, as usual, about possible dangers, like geting lost, or, worse, getting caught! Just when she started thinking about turning back, Chitkin waggled two legs and pointed to something up ahead. It was the silver leaf!

They looked all around and up on the ceiling of the tunnel to see where the silver leaf might have come from. Ocellus reached out to touch it but, of course, she couldn’t actually touch it, but as soon as she tried another silver leaf just ahead of them suddenly appeared. And then another and another, all of them leading them further into the tunnel.

Ocellus and Chitkin came around a curve of the tunnel and they were suddenly sliding down what seemed to be a path made of silver leaves! They finally came to a gentle stop as they bumped up against a pile of silver leaves and wondered where they were now. Then, little by little, the darkness was less black, a bit more grey, and, finally, a bit of honey-coloured light showed Ocellus and Chitkin an astounding place.

Light, they realized, was now everywhere and all of it coming from little globes hanging from the ceiling, like…like the honeypots! There were so many of our sisters, all doing different things: moving something here and there, helping others with a heavy load, and so many other activities.

Ocellus and Chitkin stopped staring at everything and let their eyes focus on someone who seemed to be standing right in front of them. “My name is Fortuna, and I’m here to guide you around the Silver Leaf Chamber, and, of course, to answer your questions. You must have a few!” Girl, did we have questions! Where was this place? What is everyone doing? Why hadn’t we heard or sensed that so many were here? You know, what’s going on?!

“And…and…” Chitkin and I needed to know more. We had lots of questions. But, when we turned to look at Fortuna, we were alone, the light was fading, almost gone. We heard only a faint whisper, “See you again, Ocellus and Chitkin.”

We rubbed our eyes and realized we were back in our chamber with a silver leaf glowing faintly above us.

END CHAPTER #16