And So It Begins Again is the eighty-fifth chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on March 25, 2016.
“Mommy! Daddy!” our daughter called.
“We’re coming,” Sarah responded, both of us leaving our room and entering her room next door.
“I want out,” Jasmine told us, holding her arms up.
“I know you do.” Sarah helped her out of her crib.
Jasmine was now about a year and a half old, and as cute as ever. She was walking and talking. She was also energetic as well. Like her mother, she loves music. But she seems to like dancing to it more than singing, though she was still young.
We were playing outside, throwing and catching a ball, then Jasmine wanted to listen to music and dance, like everyday, so Sarah got some hip-hop, which Jasmine likes more, and they both started dancing together.
I video taped them with my camera.
Sarah and Jasmine wanted me to dance with them. I objected at first, but then obliged. I shouldn’t have. Once I busted out a few moves, they both laughed. Apparently, I was so bad that Sarah had to cover our daughter’s eyes to spare her the humiliation. I stopped dancing there and just left them to do it.
A few animals came from the forest to meet the girls. Birds and squirrels.
Jasmine had inherited Sarah’s aura, so the animals were also attracted to her. But I didn’t know that she had inherited my powers until that moment.
It just happened suddenly. Jasmine held her hand out toward the animals and it and her eyes started glowing orange, like mine would. I don’t know who was more surprised: me or Sarah.
The animals’ eyes glowed orange too, which meant she was in control of them. They ran up to her and greeted her, then they danced around her. She started clapping and laughing. Sarah and I smiled at the sight of our daughter laughing.
I grabbed my camera and video recorded it.
“She has your powers,” Sarah said, sitting down next to me on the log.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “I guess I’m going to have to teach her how to control them. At least she’ll have a mentor instead of learning how to control them by herself.”
“That wasn’t your parents fault.”
“I know. I never said it was. It was as much of a mystery to them as it was to me. But it won’t be for Jasmine.”
“That probably explains why the powers surging from her is very strong, stronger than even mine when I was her age.”
Sarah nodded. “Yeah. The mixture of my powers with yours is apparently very strong. And it can also be dangerous.”
“I don’t like thinking that our daughter is dangerous,” I said.
“Me neither. So we’ve got to watch her as she grows up.”
“Yeah. But let’s just enjoy this moment right now. She’s still got a long way before she’s fully grown.”
Sarah nodded in agreement. She laid her head on my shoulder and continued to watch our daughter happily dance with the animals.
That moment didn’t last long.
A couple days later, I was left with Jasmine while Sarah went to school. It was her last year and both of us couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Jasmine and I were playing with her stuffed animals in her room, then she wanted us to do something else.
“Come chase me, Daddy,” she said.
“Ok,” I replied.
I gave her a five-second head start and she ran out of the room and down the hall. I followed behind her, all the way to the living room, then I picked her up. She laughed.
Then she stopped suddenly and looked around the room.
“What is it, Jasmine?” I asked.
“Where is Grandma and Grandpa?” she asked.
“Uh, I’m not sure.”
Now that she mentioned it, it was quiet. Too quiet.
“Mom! Dad!” I called.
Huh. Where is everyone?
I looked in a few rooms, but no sign of anyone. Something was very wrong here, and I had yet to find out what.
“Daddy, over there!” Jasmine said. “I think she knows where they are.”
“She?” I asked.”
“Daddy, put me down.”
She was squirming in my arms, so I put her down. Then she ran down the hall.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“She knows where Grandma and Grandpa are,” Jasmine replied.
“Snake? What snake?”
Along the baseboard, there was a small black, yellow, and red striped snake moving in front of us. Jasmine followed it.
“This way to your family, little Saturday,” it said with a raspy voice that sounded female. And it sounded familiar.
Wait . . . snake . . . female . . . Then it hit me.
I looked at the snake, and it regarded me with its cold, familiar eyes. We were in serious trouble.
Too late. It happened so quickly that my eyes barely had time to adjust.
A black naga, the male one I recognized, come out of a connected hallway, grabbed Jasmine, and slithered away.
She screamed. “Daddy!”
I ran down the hall and tackled the naga, causing him to drop her. I picked her up and tried to run, but more nagas showed up, including the queen. They had us surrounded.
“Hello, Zak Saturday,” Rani Nagi said to me. “It’s been a long time.”
“Not long enough,” I replied, holding Jasmine tightly. “What do you want with my daughter?”
“Have you not see her power? She would be quite useful to us more than you could’ve been.”
“That’s never going to happen. She’s just a baby.”
“For now. But when she grows up, she’ll be an all powerful cryptid.”
“Fat chance. Where’s my family?”
“Your family is somewhere tied up. Just where is the real question. Now, seize her!”
The nagas advanced on us.
I punched and kicked one away, making an opening, and ran. I was a lot stronger than I was the last time I fought them. I ran fast enough to lose them and headed to Jasmine’s room. Once there, I put Jasmine under her crib. There were drapes around the bottom of it, so she would be hidden. No one could see her unless they lifted up the drapes.
She was crying.
“Shh. It’s ok, Jasmine,” I told her. “I’m not going to let them take you. Listen, I’m going to go fight them off while you stay here and be quiet. Here’s my phone. Call Mommy and tell her to come. Stay here. If anyone comes in here, stay quiet and don’t move. You got it?”
“Yes, Daddy,” she said, taking my phone, then she hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “Be careful, Daddy.”
“I will. I love you.”
I left her there and ran off to fight the nagas.
I hope she’ll be able to get a hold of Sarah. I know that she’s just one year old, but she really knows how to use our cell phones, and has called us with them many times before. I just hope Sarah gets to her before they do if I’m not able to stop them.
I was in the middle of my history class when my phone suddenly rang. I forgot to put it on silent, or at least vibrate. I looked at the Caller I.D.: Zak. Why was he calling me now?
“No phones in the classroom, Ms. Hollinger,” the teacher told me.
“I know,” I replied. “But I think this is important. I’ll be right back.”
I left the classroom and answered my phone in the hallway. “Hello?”
“Jasmine?” I asked. She sounded scared. “What’s wrong? Where’s Daddy?”
“Big snakes are hurting us.”
“Uh-huh. And they can talk, like you and Daddy.”
“Talking snakes?” Then it hit me. “Jasmine, where are you?”
“In my room,” she replied. “Under my crib.”
“Ok. Where’s Daddy?”
“He is—” she faltered.
“Shhh,” she whispered.
“What?” I whispered back into the phone. “What is it?”
“Someone’s in here.”
That worried me. “Ok. Jasmine, you need to listen to what I tell you—”
The line disconnected.
I put my phone away and activated my powers, teleporting myself to the Saturday’s home to save my daughter.
I ran to Jasmine’s room.
“Jasmine, are you here?” I called.
“Yes, Mommy.” She crawled out from under her crib.
“Oh, thank God.” I picked her up. “Why’d you scream?”
In response to my question, Komodo came out from under the crib.
“Oh. Where is everybody, Komodo?”
He walked out of the room and gestured for me to follow him. I did.
He led me to the airship. Inside, I found the Saturdays, except Zak, alone in separate rooms, tied up with tape covering their mouths.
I sighed. “Oh, come on.”
I put Jasmine down, and she helped me drag each of them to the main control room. In hindsight, I probably should’ve just cut the ropes from around them as I found them, but I found it easier to cut their ropes all at once. I ripped the tapes off with my super strength. That made it sound like it hurt a lot.
“Ow,” Doyle said.
“Sorry. Now, hold on.”
I summoned my sword to my hand and cut their ropes.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Rani Nagi and her nagas are back,” Doc replied.
“Yeah, I kind of figured that out now.”
“Where’s Zak?” Drew asked.
“Umm, I don’t know. Jasmine?”
“He went to go fight those big snakes.”
“We need to help him.”
They grabbed their weapons, I picked up Jasmine, and we ran off to find Zak.
When we found him, he was the living room, fighting off about a dozen nagas, having already destroyed half the room, including breaking the TV, the coffee table, and the couch slashed to pieces.
Zak’s back was to us. He had his claw in hand, holding his own against the nagas, but he appeared to be limping.
I ran over to him and touched his shoulder. He turned to me, and I saw the full extent of his injuries. He had a couple cuts on his face, and some bruises on his arm. He staggered and almost fell to the ground, but I managed to catch him with just one arm since I was still holding Jasmine in the other.
His family and I pulled him away and to the side, me putting Jasmine down next to him, and we took over.
The nagas seemed scared now. Except Rani Nagi, of course. Her being the queen and all.
“Our daughter,” Zak mumbled. “They want our daughter.”
“Well, they’re not getting her.” I said.
Rani Nagi tried to respond, but I wasn’t going to listen to her same bullshit again. I activated my fire powers, summoned a big fire ball, and threw it at them, sending them flying through the walls to the outside. They seemed to have come to the agreement that since we had arrived, it would be best if they retreated now, and they were gone.
Jasmine clapped. “Yay, Mommy.”
I smiled. “Yes, yay. And sorry about your house.”
“It’s ok,” Drew replied. “It’s been destroyed much worse, as you well know.”
Jasmine climbed onto Zak and kissed his cheek. “You were brave, Daddy.”
“Aww,” I said and took a picture with my phone.
“I hate snakes.”
“Join the club,” Doyle said.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “Now let’s talk about that.”
During the talk, Jasmine was helping me put healing cream on Zak’s wounds and bandaging them.
“So they know that Jasmine has powers like yours and that they’re much stronger,” I said, more like a statement than a question.
“Yes,” Zak replied.
“But how? We just found out ourselves two days ago. There’s no way they could’ve found out this soon.”
“I know. Do you think they were spying on us?”
“Maybe. But why? And how long?”
“Maybe they were waiting for you two to have kids, knowing that they would have Zak’s powers through their genes since the War of the Cryptids,” Doc suggested.
“Maybe,” I said. “But that was five years ago. They’ve been spying on us that long, and now we know?”
“Well, however they found out, it doesn’t matter now,” Zak said. “What does matter is that they’re going after Jasmine now, and they won’t stop until they get her, kind of like they did with me. We’re going to have to keep a close eye on her and move her into our room, Sarah, to make sure that no one will ever take her from us.”
I nodded in agreement. So did everyone else.
Jasmine was confused by the whole situation, looking back and forth between each of us, trying to understand everything we were saying.
Poor girl. She had no idea how much danger she was in.
No, she doesn't. Not right now, anyway. I had to bring the nagas back in since I'm not really sure what happened with them, and this is how I'm doing it.
The answer to my last quiz, for the second song, was: I Loved Her First, by Heartland.
You guys can guess the first one too if you want, though it's not quite like the other songs that Sarah's sung in this story.
Please review here.