“The witch made me think that she was sitting next to me talking to me and I was frozen but really if you looked in the reflection of the mirror that was to my right side you would see a different story.” said Grace.
“She was messing with me and making me think that she was being kind and nice but she really had me tied to a post and I don’t know were Will was, she told me I failed even though I had no idea what I had failed at. She came up to me and whispered in my ear you are going to die, but over time so you can feel it. Then she jabbed me in the stomach with I know not what but It was painful. Over the day we had walked it bothered me but I tried to pay no attention to it but one night I had gone away to be alone and I took off my coat because it was really hot then I saw that my shirt was bloody. I looked to see where the blood came from and found a gash my pinky finger long. When I came back you hadn’t even noticed that I had been gone so I didn’t tell you.” said Grace.
“Next time you need to tell us when something like this has happened. I could have saved you a lot of pain.” said Estelí.
“But, back to the story.”
“I walked for as long as I could, but that didn’t last long before I couldn’t take it any more, so I gave in and fell. That is all I remember.” said Grace feeling the pain again.
“Your going to have to rest for awhile.” said Will in a concerned voice. “But…” she said.
“There will be no buts you will rest even if you don’t want to rest.” said Estelí.
“If you strain yourself too much you will not ever get back to your original state.” said Estelí with a concerned tone.
“I don’t care as long as other people are safe from her.” said Grace.
“A brave thing to say but that’s not going to help you in two years.” said Estelí.
“You may not care but I do.” said Will.
Grace finally accepted this and then went to sleep. They stayed in that house for a week before thinking about leaving. Grace was a little bit better and almost ready to do a little traveling. “I think we can travel now, but not as much as we did before.” said Estelí. As Will helped Grace out of bed because she was still not strong enough to hold up her own weight. Estelí opened the door to pitch blackness and walked out the door thinking it was safe. Then Will went through the door with Grace and they fell a long way down. During the fall Grace heard people’s voices they were saying things that Grace had heard from her mother and other people when she was in deep trouble. Then the witch’s voice came out of the gloom and said the most terrifying thing that Grace went weak and then out of sheer terror collapsed.
When Grace finally woke up it was like it had just been a dream. Then she realized that it wasn’t and now she was in much trouble. Grace sat up and took a look at her surroundings before she realized that Will and Estelí weren’t there she panicked and stumbled to her feet and then fell over again when pain hit her like somebody had punched her in the stomach. So she relied on the near by trees to support her weight. Grace had no idea of where she was going because she was crying so hard that everything was just a blurred mass of green and brown. After a while she saw that it was getting dark so she found a small cave big enough for her to hide in and there she fell asleep.
That night Grace had troubling dreams and she woke up with a start when a branch cracked.
“Who’s there?” Grace said in a scarred voice.
“Show yourself or I will find you.” Grace said as she drew her sword which she always had with her.
“You can try.” said a laughing voice. “But you won’t find me unless I want to be found. And what are you doing in this forest alone and at mid day?” said a girl as she walked into the light. Grace didn’t know what to say because the girl was so beautiful there wasn’t anything to be said.
“My name is Marie and I live in these woods. And I suppose you are Grace, am I right?” she said. At this point Grace was scarred. The girl knew her name.
“How?” said Grace.
“I was sent by friends of yours, they say good luck.” said Marie.
Marie and Grace found a place to sleep for the night. The next morning Grace and Marie set out.
“Where are we going?” said Grace.
“We are going to Estelí’s house.” said Marie.
“And how do you plan on getting there?” said Grace a little agitated. “Riddles, Tricks, and walking.” said Marie. They went on in silence for the rest of the day.
“We should find shelter for the night.” said Marie. “Think on this tonight it’s a riddle Estelí told me to tell you.”
A place in a wood that doesn’t go
You can see it but it’s invisible
There’s a riddle over its door
If you get it right you go through
If it’s wrong you will disappear
“You have all night to think on it if you get it come tell me.” said Marie. “Ok, have a good night sleep.” said Grace.
The next morning when Grace got up Marie had been up for a couple hours.
“Do you have it?” said Marie.
“No, but I’m working on it.” said Grace. Then they were on their way. They walked for a week and passed many remarkable sites that Grace thought were beyond words for her.
“Were do you come from anyway?” said Grace.
“I came from your world a long time ago.” said Marie.
“Will you tell me?” said Grace.
“Fine, but this only stays between us OK?” said Marie.
“Ok.” said Grace.
“When I was born my parents didn’t want me so they gave me to an orphanage and I was raised there for over 10 years of my life then one day I was adopted into a nice family that had a little boy, that’s what I thought for awhile then they started forgetting me at parties and other places, then they just left me one night. The next morning I went to look for them but they weren’t anywhere. I ran and cried when a lady found me and took me in. She was weird though because every other night she would go up this winding stair case and then was gone for a couple days. After awhile she would only go once in a very long while, then she just stopped. But on her last trip she brought back the family that I had been staying with before but these people had two little girls with them. One day I walked into the living room and found them as ice. I didn’t ask any questions but I figured out that she was a witch. That night I went up those stairs and found myself here. That’s my whole story.” said Marie.
“Did you have a brother?” said Grace.
“Yes…” said Marie, “Why are you asking?”
“Was his name William?” said Grace.
“Yes… how did you know that?” said Marie.
“I… know your brother I met him in the witch’s world.” said Grace.
“To tell you now I like him… a lot.” said Grace with a smile.
“Do you think we could be friends?” said Grace.
“Yes…that sound s like a good idea.” said Marie. And she put out her hand to shake Grace’s hand.
“Friends, forever.” said Grace.
That night they found a good place to sleep and they both slept really well. In the morning they kept going and then Grace spotted it.
“I found it!” said Grace with excitement. And there was a piece of wood with words on it in mid air.
“I guess that if you say the words on the piece wood and answer right you can go through.” said Marie. Then Grace looked at the piece of wood and it said,
What thing can’t you see but it’s there
It keeps you safe in your darkest hour
It’s a person and he loves you dearly
As Grace said this the wood glowed and then it was ticking and time was running out. Grace started picking her brain knowing the answer was there it was just hiding.
“Ohhh, Is it Estelí?” said Grace. Then ground started shaking and there was Estelí and Will. Grace was so happy that she ran into Will arms and hugged him.
“I missed you too.” he said laughing.
“Ok, enough we need to get down to business.” said Estelí.
“You need to train long and hard if you are going to kill the witch, so on Monday I expect you down in the front lawn and ready by nine a.m.” he said. “Will, please escort Grace to her room and let her change than go ahead and show her around.”