Chapter 11 – Esmeralda’s Shack
As the four of them got deeper into the woods they arrived at a small circular area where all the trees were cut down. Just to the side stood a wooden building with three windows, a door, a chimney with smoke coming out of it and a roof which was slightly curved.
“Welcome to Esmeralda’s shack!” Red Tail whispered as they got closer.
“Yay! We’re here!” Lilly screamed in excitement as she jumped a little.
“SHHH!!! Do you want her to hear us?!” Red Tail whispered angrily at her.
“I thought you said she was deaf?” Lilly replied.
“Yes, she is… but not THAT deaf!” Red Tail replied, rather annoyed.
Suddenly the door of the shack opened, and the four of them quickly ran into the trees and hid.
“Who is it? Who’s out there? I can’t see you! Stop playing tricks on me! If that’s you pesky Gargeller’s again I’m going to turn you all into snails!” an old woman shouted, then the door slammed shut.
“See! I knew she would hear you, loud mouth!” Red Tail whispered, again annoyed.
“Well I’m sorry your great aunt is miserable and aggressive! Oh, you two have so much in common.” Lilly whispered, also annoyed.
“How dare you! She’s nothing like me! She hasn’t got any spots on her tail, they’re on her arms! And she hasn’t got a moustache…” Red Tail whispered, now seeming a bit upset.
“Stop it you two! We need to get this potion without causing any trouble, and you two arguing isn’t helping.” Moggins whispered to them both. Henry, who was still on Lilly’s shoulder, nodded his head at Moggins in approval.
“Sorry Red Tail,” Lilly said.
“That’s alright.” He replied.
“So, what is it we’re actually looking for?” Moggins asked.
“We’re looking for a small yellow flower with five petals and a golden centre, but it could be absolutely anywhere. However I recommend going into her spare bedroom, it’s where she keeps everything she thinks is precious.” Red Tail whispered.
“It’s a pretty small shack, surely we don’t all need to go in there and search for it?” Moggins pointed out.
“Which is exactly why I’m going to go alone,” Red Tail replied all smug.
“No. If anyone is to go in there it should be me, I’m small and I’ll be able to run in and out and jump about and find it quicker than any of you. I hunt for food for a living, remember.” Henry said as he stood up ready to go.
“Yes, and as I’m his friend I’ll go with him.” Lilly replied, as they both set off walking towards the shack.
“No. What a stupid idea…” Red Tail started to say when Moggins interrupted.
“No Red Tail, it’s a great idea. Leave them to it.” He said.
As Lilly and Henry approached the door Moggins and Red Tail stood back from a distance and watched them. They slowly opened the door, walked in and then closed the door behind them.
“This can only end badly.” Red Tail whispered, worried.
Inside the shack Esmeralda was asleep on her rocking chair and Henry and Lilly finally got to see what she looked like. She was green, had long grey hair, bushy eyebrows, and wore a dark blue dress.
“What an odd looking lizard she is,” Henry whispered.
“Yep, definitely related to Red Tail,” Lilly whispered. They both giggled quietly and then Esmeralda let out a loud snore which made them jump. They quickly found the spare bedroom door, ran in and closed it quietly behind them. The room had no light and they couldn’t see a thing.
“I saw a candle in the other room, I’ll go get it,” Lilly whispered and then she tip-toed back through, got the candle off the small table next to Esmeralda and took it back into the spare bedroom with her.
“Excellent.” Henry whispered.
“Wow. Look at all this junk!” Lilly whispered as they stared at what looked like a room full of old rubbish.
“This might take a while.” Henry whispered, and then he started dashing around the room in search for the yellow flower. First he looked on the shelves that were on the wall and then he ran across the room searching through cupboards and drawers. Then he ran up and down a big pile of stuff searching through every corner until eventually he found a black purse and opened it.
“GOT IT!” Henry shouted in excitement. Then he immediately realised that Esmeralda, even though she was as deaf as a Lorgun, probably heard him.
“Run!” Lilly shouted as she dropped the candle on the floor, opened the bedroom door and then ran towards the front door to get out.
“WHO’S THERE?” Esmeralda shouted as she suddenly woke up, got out of her rocking chair and ran after them.
“RED TAIL! RED TAIL, DO SOMETHING!” Lilly shouted as herself and Henry ran out of the front door.
Red Tail and Moggins panicked. Red Tail stood there for a moment and wondered what on earth he could possibly do to help.
As Lilly and Henry got nearer to them, and Esmeralda was just about to run through the door and probably cast a spell on them all, Red Tail put his hands in front of him and cast a spell. The door of the shack slammed shut and locked.
“There we are, safe and sound.” Red Tail said as he smiled with his usual smug face.
“Thank you.” Lilly and Henry said at the same time, both out of breath.
“Did you get the flower?” Moggins asked.
“Yes, it’s in this purse.” Henry said as he gave the purse to Moggins. Moggins opened the purse and pulled out the yellow flower.
“Is that supposed to be happening?” Lilly asked as she pointed at Esmeralda’s shack.
As everyone looked up, all they could see was the roof of the shack on fire.
“Oops, that might have been the candle.” Henry said.
“What do we do?” Moggins asked, worried.
“It’s fine, she has magic. She can put the fire out with a spell.” Red Tail said, and before he had even finished the sentence the fire magically vanished. “See. Now go on, eat the flower.” He continued.
“EAT it!? Are you being serious?” Moggins said in disgust.
“Yes I am, Moggins. If you want to get rid of that necklace you have to eat the ingredients of the potion.” Red Tail replied.
“Great. Well, here goes.” Moggins replied as he closed his eyes, preparing for a horrible taste in his mouth, and then ate the flower.
His necklace glowed yellow for a second and then returned back to normal. However, the letter Y was missing and the necklace now read ‘P.O.R.G’.
“That didn’t taste too bad actually.” Moggins said as he licked his lips. Then his body slowly changed to a yellow colour.
“Wow.” Lilly and Henry said at the same time.
“You’re the same colour as me!” Lilly said as she stood next to him to compare the colour of her fur with his.
“It’s going to be a little difficult to tell you two apart now.” Red Tail laughed.
“I have a tail, he doesn’t.” Lilly said, smiling.
“Well, this is awkward.” Moggins said, and everyone laughed.
“Right, off to the next location.” Red Tail said, as he continued walking along the path of the woods.
“Where’s that then?” Moggins asked him.
“Ah, as soon as we get out of these woods you’ll see it.” Red Tail replied.
Determined to find Lumpy and the next potion Moggins looked puzzled, but carried on walking with everyone else, especially now that he was the same colour as Lilly.