Save the Penguins! My Life in Antarctica

This is for Cool2twin's Quibblo tournament. The theme is life in Antarctica! Pretty cool. Here I go...

Chapter 1

Words of Whiteness

Some people say that the Eskimos have hundreds of words for white. You know what? To be honest, I couldn't even tell you if it were true or not, but I know this much: white is white, no matter how you slice it.

So as I describe my dramatic and revolutionary journey into Antarctica, you may be seeing that word a lot. But I'll try to mix it up a bit.

Would you believe me if I told you my life was changed because of penguins? Yes, no, maybe so? I'm getting some mixed emotions, but I'll explain anyway.

My mom is Dr. Dakota L. Barret. You may or may not have heard of her. I just want to make it clear right now that, I'm proud of what she does. She is a scientist/marine biologist/full-time single mom. (Well, mom of only me, but I can be quite a handful!)

I'm Albany Gwynn Barret, a girl of fourteen years of age, aspiring architect (or possibly graphic designer), part-time artist, full-time drama queen.

My mom is working for a private organization, which researches and protects endangered species. So, with my mom being a marine biologist and all, we could be in Australia, scuba diving for some tropical fish, or off the coast of Florida or something, investigating sea turtles. But no - I had to drop out of public school, leave all my friends and normal life behind, to go to Antarctica. To study penguins.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure penguins are birds. I didn't think they were considered marine animals.

Whatever their classification in the animal kingdom, I had to leave my best friends Nevada and Finn behind and get on the boat sailing to my destiny. And let's just say, apparently my stomach didn't agree with my ride. Why, oh why must it be me? What did I ever do?

But ever since my dad had passed away, my mom and I had become tight. She was so excited about this trip, I didn't know how I could possibly let her down.

I'll tell you this much: if I do become an architect, remind me not to invest in any projects in Antarctica.

Sitting in one of the three dull, gray buildings at the complex, I was dressed in thick sweatpants, my North Face, and half-a-dozen blankets. I sipped hot chocolate, and had pretty much given up on my painting at this point. My sketch pad lay open; I was planning on doing a watercolor landscape of the scenery, but, you know, it was pretty much monochromatic. This was one of three days a week where I was free from homeschooling sessions from my mom's coworker, Eira.

The wind outside howled against the building, and my skin prickled. There were three buildings at the complex: the inn (where I was now, and the place where we would sleep and eat); the lab (where all of the work would take place and observations would be recorded); and the control center (where all of the electric systems were. And the back-up systems. And the back-up, back-up systems).

Suddenly, a pang of sadness hit me. I didn't want to be here. I wanted to be with my friends. I missed Finn, and his constant jokes, and Nevada, who would have sleep-overs with me, while we danced to the radio until 3 a.m.

It was totally unfair of my mom to do this to me. No matter how selfish it was, I wanted to go home.

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