“Rebecca.” I called out. A muffled reply came from behind the bookcases. “We need your plan now. Grace.” Grace looked at me, her eyes brimmed with tears. “Look after the children. Christina.” I looked at Christina. Her eyes were expressionless. She was, from the prophecy, the one who was ‘Blindly lost in the darkness; the one with no soul.’ “Christina, keep an eye on Charlie.”
‘Brightening the way with the answer; the heart’s desire.’
I turned and faced Jake, ‘The fighter pursues, never giving up; protecting all.’
“Thank you.” But that just left Tom and ‘Following silently behind; the listener in the betrayer.’
“I’m sorry Megan. Inside I was screaming at myself to stop. I had no control over what I did.” I thought it over. He was the listener in the betrayer. But that meant that he wasn’t the betrayer. He was just following orders. I felt a great relief come over me. I hugged him.
“It wasn’t your fault.”
“Megan.” Rebecca had appeared from behind the bookcases. “Have you ever read Dracula?” I nodded. I had done it for my English Creative Writing coursework that year. “You know when they killed the vampires they had to leave the stake in the body otherwise the vampires would have come alive again?” Again I nodded, but I didn’t see where she was going with it. “We have to trap the woman with the rowan tree. We can then kill her, but we have to leave whatever we kill her within her and then bury her in a rowan coffin. This will mean that she will never manage to escape and she will rot away.”
“Great.” I said sarcastically. “And how are we supposed to surround her with rowan trees without her killing us?”
“There is a back exit to the library. If you take some of these rowan twigs with you and place them around her she will not be able to cross them. We can then finish her. To do this we will have to create a distraction.”
At this Jake piped up. “I will distract her. For Marks’ sake.”
Rebecca looked at us, questioningly.
“Mark’s dead.” I answered.
Rebecca bowed her head. “Then he was the ‘sacrifice; graciously replacing those in need.’”
I heard Charlie groan and rushed over to him. “Charlie?” I whispered. He looked at me.
“Are you ok?”
“Yeah. My head hurts though.”
“I never took it back.” I looked at him in shock.
“Then how come she has become so powerful?” I heard Rebecca giggle behind me. “What?”
“It’s like a placebo. She thinks she has got the heart but instead she is using up all her power to make herself stronger. Very soon she will be too weak to fight back. We should set ourselves up, ready for her.”
We were all in position. I was to the right of the woman, Charlie was behind her. Jake was waiting at the door and Rebecca was on the left. The woman was on her knees, struggling to control the power she had unleashed. We made our move. Jake flung open the door and ran down the steps. The woman looked up at him and we began to circle her, laying down the rowan twigs as we went.
Once we had completely circled her we went to the steps where Jake was waiting, a rowan stake in his hand. She screamed out at us.
“What have you done?” I nodded at Jake and he walked forwards until he had made it to the edge of the circle. The woman approached him on the other side. She was back to her normal height and so she and Jake could look at each other, eye to eye. All of a sudden Jake lunged. The stake went through the woman’s heart, if she even had one. The scream was colder than ever and I clutched my hands over my ears. Jake backed off as the woman writhed on the floor. Her movements became smaller and smaller until she grew completely still.
I sighed. Rebecca took charge.
“Get her into the box. Quickly.” The librarian brought a tall rectangular box out from round the back of the library where it was being stored. I didn’t watch them put the body into it. I was feeling sick enough as it was.
I walked over to where Marks body had been dumped. I gagged as I saw the blood stained grass. But I had to see. I crouched down beside his broken body and turned him over. His eyes were still open. I saw no hint of fear in them; just peace. I leant forward and hesitantly closed his cold eyelids. I found two one pennies in my pocket and placed them over his eyelids. When Rebecca came over and enquired as to why I replied,
“Well, you never know. The ferryman may exist. Who knows what’s out there now.”
Rebecca looked up and sighed. “It’s been a long week. I think it’s time to go home.”
I brushed the tears from my eyes and stood up. The others had gathered around me. Looking back I can see their faces, how much closer that week had brought us together. I don’t think I ever found out so much about Rebecca as I did that day. In her I found someone who I could depend on until this day. I found that the most loyal and trustworthy friend possible had always been there in Grace. In Charlie, I found a love that would never break. Christina, there was life creeping back into her cold face and in time she would be almost whole. Jake has always been a strong and protective companion who would always be there for me. I never thought I would miss someone I barely knew but I always think of Mark and his sacrifice to save Charlie. But Tom; never again would I doubt someone so close to my heart.
Now I look back and see how strong we were. We were brought together that week; united against one enemy with one prophecy binding us together. From that day on we stayed close and true friends. A memorial was put up at school for the loss of Mark, although I think only we knew what had truly happened to him. The children were returned to their families or put into homes and we returned home.