As The Fetcher approached the little girl, she snapped up to attention and held her hands in front of her, nervously. He patted her on the back and suddenly grabbed her hair with no warning, shortly before doing the same with the boy.
"Ow!" She yelped subconsciously.
The Fetcher growled. "Shut up."
He pulled them violently away from the stream and began to walk further into the trees. After a minute, he stopped at a hedge.
It was, without a doubt, the thickest tangle of plants the boy had ever seen. Briars packed with thorns sat clumped together, with no end in sight. It looked as if it was inviting them in.
"Small tip, brats. I've done this a few times, and the easiest way through this is, well..." The Fetcher chuckled. "To let go."
What does that mean? The boy thought, as he was dragged into the thorns.
The boy found out very quickly.
As soon as he was pulled into the thicket, he felt immense pain. He struggled, feeling each individual thorn snagging his skin and pulling him back. Hours seemed to pass, with no relief, until he decided that none of the pain was worth it. He decided that he would give anything to make it stop...
...And then it stopped hurting.
A look down his body revealed that the thorns were not catching on him anymore, and that he wasn't even bleeding. But something was missing from him, he just couldn't tell what.
It was at that moment he found himself being thrown out of the thicket and onto the soft ground.