Zutak By Ripley Buckhantz

Zutak” | Ripley Buckhantz | Camas Ridge Community Elementary School

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Once there were four siblings, Sophie, Mia, Julian, and Kayle. Julian had always been unhappy because he didn’t have a brother but he had three sisters. One night after dinner their mom told them to go play so she could work. 

“Do you guys want to play hide and seek?” Sophie asked as they walked upstairs. They all agreed and Mia started to count. The three kids ran in different directions Julian went into the closet, Kayle went downstairs and hid behind their dog’s bed (they haven’t decided on a name yet because they couldn’t agree) as for Sophie she went into a little bathroom cabinet upstairs. Sophie went behind a couple of boxes and suddenly she fell…  As she fell she got very scared. She looked down and it was nothing but trees and water! She hoped to land in the water but no she landed on rock solid ground.  But yet it didn’t hurt? As she looked around she thought oh gosh oh gosh oh gosh where am I? It seemed she was in a jungle but not exactly. She heard quiet little voices 

“Hello! Anybody here? Where am I!?” Sophie said as she walked. 

Back up at their house, Mia had finished counting, and she had already found Julian and Kayle. 

“Sophie…. you win where are you? You win come out come on! I give up, Sophie comes Zutak out! I looked everywhere!” Mia yelled as she ran around the house. 

Meanwhile, Sophie helped herself to some water from the stream. As she walked around she was hearing Mia, Julian, and Kayle. She thought it must be my imagination. But it really was them she looked up in the sky…she saw the bathroom cabinet that she fell from “Oh it is them…!” 

“MIA! KAYLE! JULIAN!” Sophie screamed. Just then a baby lion came by and said “Hey why are you screaming?” 

“Oh hi um… I got stuck here and I’m trying to get out of here. I’m sorry.” 

“No problem, You are in Zutak, a magical place. I can probably help you get out of here my name is Atlas!” said the cub.

“Oh thank you so much my name is Sophie.”

 “Ah, that’s a nice name and is there anybody with you?” asked Atlas.

“Well I wish… me and my siblings were just playing hide and seek and I hid behind some boxes in the bathroom cabinet and then…I fell here.” 

Sophie explained how exactly she got here and about some of her life. “Oh gosh well… there is only one way to get out of here…if you want to leave…?” asked Atlas. 

“Oh yes yes yes I would like to get out of here as soon as possible!” Sophie said.

“Ok well, there is only one way. There is an evil witch Beatrix and she has cursed this land. Beatrix made a little box with a key in it. She put a paw print on it made by her lion…My father…my father is on the witches’ side. The box has to be opened by a lion which is where I can help but… the box is way down in the lake. I can swim down to get it, ok?” asked the cub.

“Oh thank you so much are you sure you can swim that far?” “Yes of course. I’ll be right back and stay right here!” 

“Ok!” Sophie watched as Atlas walked into the water. Sophie waited and waited for Atlas to get back but he didn’t. Under the water, Atlas was having trouble getting the case open so he decided to bring it up to the surface. 

“Sorry I took so long I couldn’t get the case open, I think it kept soaking up the water instead of my paw,” said Atlas 

“Oh that’s ok but… I’m getting pretty hungry so could we either get up there soon or get some food?” Asked Sophie. 

“Oh, of course, I think there’s some berries in the forest!” said Atlas.

“Ok! Let’s go before opening the box!” Sophie said and they walked and found a couple strawberries and blueberries. After they ate, they opened the box. They saw stairs leading up to their bathroom cabinet. 

“Oh Atlas I just hope I get to see you again.” said Sophie 

“ya me too i guess this is… maybe goodbye? unless you come back…” 

“hmm maybe, well bye Atlas! Thanks again!” Sophie hugged Atlas. “bye.” *Sophie walked up the stairs hearing her siblings more and more* “Guys, I’m down here!” She got up to the cabinet and crawled out “Wait, I looked there!” Mia said “Guess what, guess what!” Sophie said “what!?” Mia, Julian, and Kayle asked and Sophie told them everything. “Sophie…” Mia said, “What it’s real I swear!” Sophie said 

The Next Day

“Let’s play hide and seek again!” Kayle said. Julian started to count. Mia and Kayle followed Sophie into the bathroom cabinet 

“Sophie this again?” Mia asked. But just then…they fell! As Julian stopped counting, he went to the bathroom first because he thought that Sophie might be in there again. He crawled into the cabinet and then… he fell!  As everyone fell Mia and Kayle screamed but Sophie kept quiet then said “guys it’s ok we won’t hit the floor like I have been saying this is the place that I fell into yesterday!” 

“ohhhh” said both the girls in shock that this place was real meanwhile Julian was so scared that he would land on his little sisters he called down “GUYS WATCH OUT!!!” 

“Oh gosh guys watch out when we land. I’m not sure if he’s going to land on us” Sophie said. Mia, Sophie and Kayle dropped and ran out of the way. Julian thought he was going to break every bone he had because he didn’t see his sisters land meanwhile Mia and Kayle were shocked that they didn’t hit the floor. Once they were all on the floor Sophie said “I told you guys!” 

“Wow! I really thought that was all your imagination.” Mia said 

“We have to find Atlas! We have to find Atlas” Sophie said over and over. 

“Who is Atlas!?” 

“Where are we!?” 

“What’s that!?” Mia, Julian and Kayle kept asking. “Ok Atlas is a baby lion who saved me. We are in Zutak and that is…what is that I’m not sure but we HAVE to find Atlas!” 

“Alright where is he?” Kayle asked “we will start yelling his name, then he should come!” said Sophie. They all screamed for Atlas until they saw the baby lion cub come from the forest. “Atlas, we need your help. These are my brother and sister’s and we all fell!” Sophie said. 

“Hello Sophie, I’m afraid this time I cannot help…” Atlas said almost in a whisper. “What?… I know I need the lion’s footprint and you’re a lion!” Sophie said in terror. “Yes, well the witch heard about your escape from Zutak and she got the box and changed it so now you need my fathers footprint instead of any lion…” Atlas said, feeling sorry for the children. 

“Oh no! How are we going to get out of here?” Sophie asked Atlas.

 “Well first we need to pick your gems up.” Atlas said 

“What are gems?” Kayle asked “Well there is a forest filled with gems. One gem is one death from the witch.” Atlas answered. 

“Wait, so the witch has killed so many creators that there is a forest!?” Julian asked 

“Yep she is pure evil.” Atlas said 

“But what do you mean we need are gems?” Sophie said. 

“Everybody gets three gems when they come here, Unless you were born here then you become immortal…Well here if I were to leave Zutak and go somewhere else then I could die.” Atlas said. “But then…can the witch not die?” Mia asked. 

“No she can die alright she’s already lost one life.”Atlas said 

“Hold on then where was she born?” Julian asked. 

“Well it all started before I was born. My dad told me the whole story that she Beatrix was born in the world you came from. She was the youngest of eight. Her parents split up when she was only two and her mom kept all the kids. She couldn’t work for nine so Beatrix didn’t get much food. She never got to pick the game, pick dinner, or ever get to be in charge. One day Beatrix fell from under her bed when she was hiding from her sister but once she fell and realized nobody was in charge she decided she would be. So she also had to get her gems.” Atlas explained. 

“Wow so it’s possible for her to die?” Sophie asked. 

“Yes but she has to two times” Atlas answered. By then they were at the little bag of gems “Now only grab three” Atlas said. The kids got their gems and Mia asked “Well where is this lion that we need?” 

“He should be at the queen’s lair. I can try to convince him to put his paw in.” Atlas answered. 

“Atlas where is the witch’s lair?” Sophie asked. 

“Do you see that huge place across the lake? That’s her castle” Atlas said. “Wow!” All kids said. “But how are we going to get across?” Sophie asked. 

“I’ll check the water and see if we can swim across,” Atlas answered. Mia looked at Sophie giving her kind of a scared look. Atlas walked back and said “it’s a good temperature so if you guys can swim then lets get there as soon as possible” They all got into the water and started swimming it took twenty-five minutes. As they finally got across Atlas asked “you guys ok?” 

“Yes, we’re fine.” Sophia replied. They looked up at the castle “Wow!” Kayle said. They walked up to the castle gates. 

“How do we get in?” Julian asked. 

“Well I can get over it with those rocks and I’ll unlock it for you guys.” Atlas said The kids watched Atlas jump from rock to rock then over the fence. Atlas used his paw to push the gate open. Once he got it open the kids ran in “now just to find my father…” Atlas said. 

“Where do you think he is?” Kayle asked. 

“Well probably at his throne. I’ll go first. Try to act surprised when I start lying ok?” Atlas asked.

“What do you mean lying?” Sophie asked. 

“Well I’m going to try to convince my dad that I want to join Beatrix’s team then…I’ll try getting his paw print” Atlas explained. 

“Ok.” Sophie said. The kids followed Atlas inside and they found his dad. “Father,” Atlas said. 

“Son why have you come here?” Atlas’ dad asked in a deep voice. 

“I-i’d like to…join your team,” Atlas said. The kids taking Atlas instructions “WHAT!” “ATLAS NO” “WHAT’S GOING ON WITH YOU!?” 

“There’s only one thing I need to do before I join you.” Atlas said. 

“Anything, the witch needs only one more lion to complete her lion army” Atlas’ dad said. “Can I have your paw print on this box?” Atlas asked. 

“Atlas you know I can’t do that without permission from Beatrix” Atlas’ dad said. “So ask her please, father I’m begging you!” Atlas said. 

“Ok I’ll ask but don’t get excited she might say no” Atlas’ dad said. They all watched Atlas’ dad walk through a door and started whispering. Atlas went to the kids and said “I don’t know what I’m going to do she will probably see right through us.” As Atlas’ dad and Beatrix came out all the kids’ mouths dropped. They had never seen her before. 

 “Why Atlas, why would you ask now when these kids are here we’ve been asking for years for you to come to us.” 

“I would just like these kids’ to get back home a-and I will join you,” Atlas said, bowing down to Beatrix

“Go outside I will discuss this with my other lions” Beatrix said. The kids and Atlas walked outside. 

“Atlas what are you going to do if we get out are you just…gonna join her?” Sophie asked. 

“I’ll… I’m not sure…Wait! I got it there is only one place in the whole of Zutak that nobody from the witch’s side know’s. It’s perfect there, It’s where I live so…I’ll be fine there. It’s ok I’ll get the perfect moment and run there.” Atlas said. 

“Are you sure Atlas is that ok?” Mia asked “I live there anyway so it’ll be ok” Atlas said right as the witch came out with all of her lion’s 

“I have made my decision, Atlas welcome to our team!” Beatrix said to Atlas. Atlas’ dad placed his paw on the box. 

“I’ll be right back Beatrix, I’ll take the children to the stairs then I’ll come right back.” Atlas said. 

The kids and Atlas started walking through the forest and once they got to the stairs Atlas said “Well I guess It’s time to say goodbye, this would be my time to leave.” The kids hugged Atlas and started walking up the stairs. Once they were completely up they looked back as Atlas ran back into the forest. Beatrix never saw Atlas again. As for the kids they crawled out from the cabinet and heard their mom running around the house yelling for them. The kids ran out of the bathroom and Julian said “Mom It’s ok we’re here!” 

“Kids where have you been!?” Their mom asked. 

“You wouldn’t believe us if we told you.” Sophie said

A Couple Days Later…

The kids finally agreed on a name for their dog, Atlas.