Take a peek between the cotton-ball clouds, and you’ll find nicchi on Eager Island. Yes, that’s the island shaped like a puzzle piece. nicchi is asleep at the south end, on Clammy Beach. The sound of pink noise washes over him.
The crash of a big wave. nicchi rubs his eyes, still dreaming of blue hot dogs with yellow and purple sauce. He licks his lips. nicchi is hungry. Maybe he can find food on the beach?
There! Is that a banana? No, it’s a yellow plastic horseshoe. nicchi picks it up and deciphers the letters stamped onto it: K–I–N–K–Y. Not exactly edible, but he stuffs it in his pocket anyway.
Under a divi-divi tree there is a tall heap of oyster shells. They have all been cracked open and emptied. No oysters or pearls left. Strange. nicchi has never seen scratch marks on shells before. Peeking out of the pile of oysters is a piece of rope. It’s thick and so beautiful. It has all the colors of the rainbow and then some. nicchi gives it a good pull. <memphisa>B<memphisa><memphisb>Z<memphisb><memphisc>Z<memphisc><memphisd>T<memphisd><memphise>!<memphise>
It’s as if a switch has been flipped. As if nicchi has flipped sides – he’s a mirror image of himself. He pulls the rope again – <memphise>B<memphise><memphisd>Z<memphisd><memphisc>Z<memphisc><memphisb>T<memphisb><memphisa>!<memphisa> – and now the colors are reversed. It’s like nighttime but bright. Red but green. nicchi pulls the rope again: <memphisd>B<memphisd><memphisa>Z<memphisa><memphise>Z<memphise><memphisc>T<memphisc><memphisb>!<memphisb> This time things seeeeem to go back to normal. Gasping for air, he puts the rope down.
nicchi follows the coast as it curves around. The sun hits a bright and shiny thing. He picks it up: a CD-R. “Coming For You” is scratched into the rainbow plastic. Can’t eat a CD, and nicchi doesn’t know how to play it either, but decides to take it with him anyway.
The next thing nicchi sees is a series of footprints. Or are they... paw prints? Bear paw prints! nicchi has never seen a bear. They’re scary and mean, aren’t they? Or maybe soft and sweet? Only one way to find out. The prints take him away from the beach, and into the dewy woods.
Following the paw prints through the pine trees and daffodils, nicchi reaches a clearing. A fizzling, sizzling rocket towers over him, its nose stuck in the ground. The fins point in four directions, with a different name spray-painted on each of them. nicchi looks where the paw prints are headed: Slumber Valley. That sounds cosy! nicchi starts walking, wondering what miracles lie ahead.