The Meeting is the first chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on
I was hanging out in the woods near my house, having some alone time with myself.
As I was walking, I spotted a girl knocked unconscious under a tree thirty feet away and I quickly ran over to her to see if she was ok.
She was covered in some leaves.
I pushed them off of her and looked her over.
She looked to be about my age, but with dirt covering most of her, it was hard to see her clear appearance.
She had a big bruise on her forehead, a cut on her right arm, and a scabbard tied around her waist, the three-foot-long sword lying on the ground a few feet away from her.
I’m guessing she’s some kind of combat warrior or something.
I leaned down to her chest and checked her heartbeat. It was very faint.
She needed help.
I decided to pick her up, and bring her to Mom and Dad to see what they could do to help her.
She was a little heavy, but I was able to carry her home.
When I got inside, Fisk, Mom, Dad, and Komodo were there, and when they saw me carrying the girl, they had a surprised look on their faces.
“Zak, who do you have there?” Mom asked. “What happened?”
“I found her unconscious under a tree,” I said. “Her heartbeat is very faint. She needs help!”
“Let’s take her to the infirmary,” Dad said.
I handed her to Fisk and he carried her to the infirmary.
He laid her down on a bed.
Mom and Dad gave her some treatment, and her heart eventually was beating normally.
I dabbed her forehead and right arm with a wet cloth, washing away as much of the blood as I could, then wrapped Band-Aids around them.
Mom untied the scabbard from around her waist.
She narrowed her eyes. “Did she have a sword with her when you found her?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I’ll go get it.”
After I returned with the girl’s sword, I put the sword in it’s sheath, and Mom leaned it against the right side of the girl’s bed.
Now that she was cleaned up, I could finally get a good look at her.
She was really pretty.
She had long golden-brown hair, a slightly tanned skin, and was wearing a sleeveless dark purple shirt that had “LO” in the middle, the O shaped like a heart, and “VE” right below it, spelling “LOVE.”
Along with it she wore matching shorts that went below her knees, and purple sandals on her feet.
Man, she really loves the color purple.
“She’ll be ok now and should wake up soon,” Mom said. “Right now, she needs rest.”
“Ok,” I replied.
And we left the infirmary.
The next morning, I went back to the infirmary to see if the girl had woken up yet.
When I got there, I saw that she was still asleep.
Watching her sleep, she looked cute.
My parents told me that we had a cryptid to deal with right now.
“Can we put her in the infirmary on the airship?” I asked. “I don’t want her to wake up here alone.”
“That’s a good idea, Zak,” Mom said.
So Dad picked her up, I grabbed her sword, and together we headed toward the airship.
We were in a rain forest, looking for the flashlight frog.
What is a flashlight frog? I think that’s self-explanatory, which is why we're looking for it at night.
Anyway, we found one and we all chased after it.
It apparently knew we were looking for it, and started jumping away.
We launched ourselves at it, but it had really good timing, and dodged our attempts on catching it each time.
Eventually, we all got separated from each other, trying to find the flashlight frog.
I was following really close behind it, it only being a few feet in front of me.
Komodo was more focused on capturing it and eating it, while the rest of us were just trying to research it, so we had to keep a close eye on him and make sure that he doesn’t get him before we do. But it’s hard to do that when he can turn himself invisible.
Komodo was following the frog across a logged bridge over a chasm.
I followed behind him.
But of course, the log was not strong enough to hold my weight, and broke in half.
I started to fall into the chasm, and just barely grabbing onto a ledge with both my hands.
I managed to climb up to the edge.
I almost got over the edge, but the ledge that my foot was on crumbled, and I began to fall back into the chasm.
I tried desperately to get a grip, but I couldn’t hold on much longer.
Just as I slipped over the edge, Fiskerton jumped over the chasm, lowered himself down, hanging only by his foot, grabbed the bottom of my foot, pulled me up a little bit to grab the back of my shirt.
I gave him a grateful smile, and he pulled us up the rest of the way.
He placed me on his back, I put my arms around his neck, and we raced off to continue looking for the flashlight frog.
We found it perched on a stump, but when we got close to it, we suddenly tripped.
Komodo was invisible, trying to eat the frog without it noticing.
After we infiltrated his plan, the frog jumped away, but the three of us just kept rolling.
We rolled into some vines, which I think were made to trigger some kind of trap, and we continued rolling down a hill until we landed in a pond at the bottom.
That wasn’t fun.
And just to make it worse, there was a large boulder coming down the hill to crush us.
We closed our eyes, bracing ourselves to be smashed flat.
The light behind my eyelids darkened, but I didn’t feel any impact.
Once the light came back, I opened one of my eyes and saw that my dad had put himself between the boulder and us, momentarily stopping it.
“So . . .” he said, struggling a little bit to hold back the boulder. “Who wants to tell me . . . what’s going on here?”
“Science?” I suggested.
“That’s my . . . boy.”
He rolled the boulder out of the way.
On the other side of the pond, the flashlight frog hopped past, my mom following behind it with her transmitter.
“Doc,” she said. “Got the frog.”
We got out of the pond, Fiskerton and Komodo shaking themselves dry, and followed her.
The frog perched itself on top of a rock.
A fly flew near it, so it stuck out its long tongue quickly, caught the fly, sucked it back into it’s mouth, and ate it, just like regular frogs do.
“Do you think your cryptid-influencing powers can handle this?” Mom asked me.
“A frog?” I asked incredulously.
“Every cryptid is different, Zak. There’s still so much we don’t know about this . . . thing you can do.”
“It’s a controlled experiment,” Dad said. “He’s gotta test the extent of his abilities sooner or later. And I’d rather it happen with his parents right next to him. And it is a frog.”
Another fly flew around the frog, and it ate that one too.
Mom brought out the little claw hanging from her belt.
“Remember,” she said. “The Hand of Tsul Kalu is just an artifact, a tool to help you focus. You’re the one with the power.”
I grabbed the Hand and walked halfway to the frog.
“Find your center,” Mom said, trying to help, but really isn’t. “Let your instinct tell you when to—”
“Mom.” I gave her a confident smile. “I got it.”
I turned back to the frog, held out the Hand towards it, and activated my powers.
My eyes glowed orange, and so did the Hand.
The frog’s eyes glowed orange, too, and I was in control of it.
Behind me, I could hear Komodo slithering his tongue in anticipation.
“Not food,” Mom chided him.
He whimpered, disappointed.
Dad came up next to me.
“The legendary Cameroon flashlight frog,” he said. “I’d say we’ve verified the existence of another cryptid. Nicely done, Zak.”
“Oh, you like that, huh?” I gloated. “Zak Saturday, working the cryptid powers.” I played with my powers a little bit, having the orange glow on the frog’s eyes go away and return. “Frog on. Frog off. Frog on. Frog off.”
“Please don’t toy with nature,” Dad said.
I was beginning to sweat. Even with something this easy, it takes a lot of power and concentration to keep it up.
“I’d like to measure the lumens on that glow,” Dad said. “Think you can keep the connection going, Zak?”
“No problem,” I said, hoping that I could.
Dad walked over to the frog and used the transmitter on his wrist to kind of scan over it.
“Now don’t push the Hand of Tsul 'Kalu too hard,” Mom said. “Mystical objects are unstable things.”
“It’s ok, Mom,” I assured her. “I’m—”
“Careful with the tongue, Zak,” Dad said. “It’s saliva is highly toxic.”
“Dad, really, I can—”
“Darling, let him focus,” Mom said. “He’s losing it.”
“Mom, I’m fine.”
I was definitely not fine. The frog could feel my emotions through our connection, and it wasn’t liking it. It was trying to break free.
“Give me three more seconds, Zak,” Dad said.
The frog now looked like it was becoming bloated.
“Ok, break it off,” Mom said. “Break it—it’s too much.”
Dad backed away from the frog.
Fisk ran over to me and told me to stop it.
“Guys!” I said. “Really. I got it.”
Suddenly, a whole lot of other flashlight frogs appeared around the one I was controlling, and they didn’t look happy.
I broke off my connection.
The frogs started hopping toward us as a group.
Fisk did the smart thing: he screamed and ran for his life. He’s dramatic that way.
The rest of us all followed his lead.
We reached an opening in the forest where our airship was hovering, and ran for it.
There were three ropes hanging from it.
Fisk reached one, grabbed it with one hand, grabbed me by the back of the shirt with the other, grabbed Komodo with both his feet, and up to the airship we went.
My parents grabbed the other two ropes hanging and followed us in, narrowly escaping the frogs.
The panel slid close below our feet.
We were all breathing heavily, trying to catch our breaths.
Well, that was another successful adventure.
After my heartbeat slowed to normal, I went to check on the girl again in the infirmary.
She was still asleep.
I grabbed a chair and sat down next to her, watching her.
Then her eyes started opening slowly. She blinked a few times.
When they were completely open, I saw her dazzling blue eyes, and I gave her a comforting smile.
She was so pretty.
But when she saw me, she screamed.
She sat up quickly and looked around her.
She spotted her sword lying against her bed, unsheathed it with her right hand, and pointed it at me.
“Who are you?” she asked. Then she winced in pain.
I tried to help her, but she grabbed her sword with her left hand and pointed it at me again.
“Stay back,” she warned. “Who are you?”
“I’m—” I started to say, but then my parents, Fiskerton, and Komodo walked into room.
“Look who woke up,” Mom said.
“You can put your sword away,” Dad said to the girl. “We’re not going to hurt you.”
The girl hesitated a little bit, but she sheathed her sword.
She got off the bed slowly, on the opposite side that I was on, not taking her eyes off us once, then she tied her scabbard back around her waist, again, not looking away from us.
“What’s your name, sweetie?” Mom asked her.
She looked confused, but after a few seconds, she finally answered.
“Umm, Sarah. Sarah Hollinger,” she said. “Who are you guys?”
“We're the Saturdays,” Dad said. “I’m Solomon, but most of our friends call me Doc. This is my wife, Drew; our son, Zak; and these are our pets, Fiskerton and Komodo.”
“You guys have a pet Komodo Dragon and Bigfoot?” Sarah asked. “Aren’t they dangerous?”
“Some are, yes,” I said. “But they’re not deadly. Fisk is the most friendliest gorilla cat you’re ever going to meet. And Komodo, well, he’s not always friendly, but he’s not deadly, either. He can turn invisible, unlike most komodo Dragons.”
To prove my point, Komodo turned himself invisible.
Sarah bent down and put her hand out.
I didn’t understand why until Komodo reappeared a moment later, Sarah’s hand rubbing his head.
How did she know he was there . . . ?
“Cool,” Sarah said. She stood. “So, where am I?”
“In our airship,” I replied.
She raised an eyebrow. “Ok . . . and how long have I been knocked out?”
“At least a couple days,” Mom answered.
Sarah looked confused again. “Huh. My family should have found me by now.”
“Sarah, do you remember what happened to you?”
“Umm, yeah,” she replied. “Me, my mom, and my brother were looking for this family who’s apparently similar to our family, but we didn’t know who they were or where to find them. So while we were looking for them, we ran into some enemies of ours, our ‘evil-clones’, and we got into a battle. We have these powers, but unfortunately my powers haven’t activated yet, so I could only fight with my sword. I was battling my evil-clone, Danielle, and she was using her powers, which was kind of unfair since I don’t have my powers yet, but she has hers. Anyway, she obviously over-powered me, and lifted me into the air. I tried to slash my sword at her, but I couldn’t move. Then she grabbed her own sword and hit me in the head with the hilt of it really hard.” She rubbed the bandaged bruise on her head. “I blacked out, and then I woke up here.”
“Your family has evil-clones?” I asked.
“Umm, well, only the people in my family who have powers, which are me, my mom, and my brother,” Sarah said. “And I guess since you guys don’t know who I am, I’ll have to explain it. Ok, well, some of my family members have powers that can do almost anything. If you’re born with these powers, like me and my brother were, they don’t activate at birth, but at a later time in your life. My brother already has his powers, and you’d think that since we’re twins they would activate at the same time. But no. It’s random for everyone. But if you are given these powers, like my mom was, they activate immediately. These powers can also make us immortal, so we can live forever and can’t die at all. The great thing about them is that we can make people and animals who are mortal live like they’re immortal. You know, never age or die, and can stay with us forever. But the bad things is is that we all get an evil-clone, with their own names, and they will try to ruin our lives as much as they can.”
“So you’re immortal,” I said. “Does that mean that you’re, what, hundreds of years old?”
Sarah laughed, which sounded good. “No. I’m almost eleven years old. But my mom is a hundred years old. You see, if you’re a kid with these kind of powers, you will grow in age, but when you turn twenty, you’ll look like you’re twenty for the rest of your life. And my mom does look like she’s in her early 20s, too young to have eleven-year-old twins, though not too young to have a two-month-old baby daughter.”
“Cool,” I said.
“Sarah, you said that since we didn’t know who you were, you would have to explain it to us,” Mom said. “I’m assuming that where you’re from, everyone knows who and what you are?”
“Well, I live in the United States,” Sarah replied. “And my mom is the Protector of America, and she has been for almost sixty years. So, yes, everyone in America knows who and what I am. But it kind of surprised me that you guys didn’t know who I was, because you guys look and sound like you’re Americans.”
“Well, we are,” Dad said. “I was born and raised in Louisiana. And we do live near the United States. But, you see, we travel a lot, and we’re not always in America.”
“Your mom’s the Protector of America?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Sarah replied. “She stops every kind of crime in every state. Even in territories owned by the U.S. She has this watch that can tell when and where a crime is going to happen before it happens. And when someone’s missing, she can always find that person, thanks to the help of her powers, of course. She can also stop a terrorist attack, but too bad she wasn’t born before 2001. Well, actually, she was, but she was still a baby. Yeah, my mom’s practically invincible. Nobody on earth can defeat her. Or, at least, not people who are mortal can defeat her.”
Sarah’s family sounds really cool.
I really liked her. She’s pretty.
Why do I keep thinking that way about her?
“Sarah, do you have any way of contacting your family?” Dad asked.
Sarah patted her shoulders, like she was expecting something to be slung over them. “Unfortunately, no. But they’ll eventually find me. This isn’t exactly the first time I’ve been separated from them. But do you guys mind if I could stay here for a while? I mean, you all look like a really cool and nice family, and I’d really like to get to know all of you.”
“You can stay here as long as you’d like,” Mom said.
“Thank you, and thank you also for helping me out.”
She smiled at me, and I smiled back.
I’m really going to enjoy her staying with us.
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