Grace, seeing that my was spirit low, smiled at me.
“I’ve found something for you.” She handed me a thin paperback book. I smiled to.
“How did you get it?”
“I took some papers into her room. A younger boy was supposed to be taking them but I told him that I was supposed to get them. She wasn’t in her room so I had a quick look. It was on her dressing table.”
“Right. Have a look for the third book. She said it was behind a door. Look everywhere, but don’t give yourself away.” Grace left.
The second book was a pocket book on trees. This puzzled me. Why would the woman have a guide book on trees? I thought back to the previous story. The woman had been trapped in her house by trees. I had imagined that this meant that they were planted so close together that she couldn’t get through them but perhaps it meant something else.
I opened the pocket book up and skimmed through the first few trees. I couldn’t see how this would be any help to me at all. It was just describing the trees so that anyone could recognise them. I look at a few trees that I didn’t know so well including Rowan. I only scanned over this tree but I immediately re-read it when I saw the word magic. It said that Rowan trees where traditionally thought to have properties which could guard you from magic.
So the trees the librarian and his group planted were Rowan trees. Well, that may have been helpful for the group in 1959 but I couldn’t just stroll out of the house, buy some Rowan trees and plant them. Maybe the third book might help. I just hoped that Grace could find it quickly.
It was getting late so I settled down to sleep. In the morning my breakfast came, served by Limpy. I went for a walk around the house, keeping a look out for any books behind doors. I sat down in the front room. I couldn’t believe that seven days ago, a whole week, Mark, Charlie, Jake and Christina had been mucking around in this same room. Why had they been so stupid to come in here? I looked around the room. The front door seemed so close and yet so distant. I sighed and looked longingly at it. I looked in the corner, behind the door and saw a red square. I gasped. It couldn’t be? It was! The last book. I looked around. No-one was there. I quickly grabbed it and made my way back to my room.
It was a notebook. That confused me. I opened it up. There were sketches over the first few pages. Sketches of a woman. The woman. It must have been the librarian’s notebook. I turned past all the drawings and came to a blank page. That’s strange, I thought, nothing else? I flicked over the next few pages, but there was nothing there. I was about to put it down when a scream made me drop it. I jumped up. The woman must have found another child. I looked at the notebook. It had fallen with its back cover open. On the last page was some writing. I picked it up and read;
In the darkness a light comes; the leader, guiding the way.
Right behind is the ancient one; clearing the path for all.
From the darkness then enters the friend; the victorious one.
Brightening the way with the answer; the heart’s desire.
The fighter pursues, never giving up; protecting all.
Behind, the sacrifice walks on; graciously replacing all in need.
Blindly lost in the darkness; the one with no soul.
Following silently behind; the listener in the betrayer.
Before I had time to figure it out my door crashed open. Grace was thrown to the floor at my feet. The woman was stood in the door, Tom at her side. Her eyes seemed to blaze with anger. But this time I did not cower from her. I knew who she was and for some reason she could not harm me.
Grace looked up at me. I crouched down and took her hand. I pulled her up and she stood beside me.
“You will explain to me how this child comes to be wandering freely from my control.” The woman screamed out at me.
“I do not know.” I replied. “But I know who you are and what you are doing here.” This seemed to make her eyes blaze even more fiercely.
“Take her.” She ordered. A boy from behind the woman stepped forward and seized Grace. Tom grabbed me. I screamed at him to stop, but he was lost to me.
We were dragged into the front room.
“You will pay for disobeying me.” I smirked.
“The only order you gave me was to not leave the house. I have never disobeyed you.”
“Silence.” She hit me across my face with so much force that I fell to the ground. But I felt no pain and she left no mark. “You will pay for this.” She walked from the room. I took Grace’s hand and whispered in her ear.
“When I say, we run.” I turned to face Tom.
“I’m sorry” I said to him before punching him in the stomach. “Run.” I yelled. We ran. The door gave way easily and we made it out onto the street.
“Where now?” Grace asked. I could hear a voice yelling my name. I looked at the library.