Cold Winter Nights

They ran all the way to their club house when they heard the news that they only had one night to use the strange box. Rowan lagged behind lost in her own thoughts. Their was something about that box that didn't sit right with her and she couldn't understand what it was. And she knew that trying to convince them that the box was dangerous was completely of the question, espically X, who was in full thrown tyrant mode.

He kept the box to himself, and pushed aside anyone who tried to take it. They finally arrived back at the alley and one by one they climbed into the attic Rowan coming in last. When her feet touched down on the wood, everyone was all ready crowding around the box. She swallowed hard before dragging a small box close to the group and sitting on it, to get a better view of the box.

X guarded the thing with his life, but it was Lily who eventually snatched it away andpressed her hand on it's top. Irt wouldn't opena dns he immediately began to try something else, tapping every where on the box when there was a sudden click and the top popped open.

There was a loud whishing sound as a strong wind blew into the attic, which sent Rowan tumbling off the box. She hit the floor with a hard thud, and as she tried to get up, she was just knocked down once again. Sheilding her eyes from the mixture of wind and snow, she saw that Moran and Miranda had grabbed hold of a near by pole and hung on for dear life. X was on the floor, clinging to a loose floor board. Her sister was beginning lifted clear off the ground and instead of being oushed she was being pulled.

A shrill cry of laughter echoed through the air, making Rowan's heart skip a beat. She swallowed hard, before she managed to roll onto all fours and crawl her way towards her sister. The laughter just continued the closer she got to her sister, and finally when she could see her sisters face, she found that it was her sister that was doing the laughing.

A strange purple light surrounded her, and the wind looked like hands pulling her away. Her eyes were just a mass of white, and her smile, her smile was that of evil.

No,  it couldn't be. It just couldn't be...

"Lily! Drop the box!" Rowan hollered over the wind.

She can't hear you!  a voice hollered back to her.

"Lily! Drop it!"

Listen here you hard headed brat! She can't hear you. She's holding another conversation! Now just shut up or I'll be forced to do away with you!

The wind suddenly increased and it took all of Rowan's strength not to get blown back into the wall. She frowned and looked at her sister once again, who was getting farther and farther away.

They must be having a long conversation! Rowan thought to herself.

Suddenly a small box tumbled to the ground in front of her and the contents fell out across the floor. A small wooden sword laid in front of her. Instinctively she took hold of the sword, and used it to rise to her feet and keep herself from blowing backwards. Her mind was racing as she tried to think of something to stop her sister from being taken away, by...whatever this was!

She grasped the sword with all her might and prayed to the gods that she wouldn't be blown back. She raised her hands and then threw the sword at her sister. Their was a sharp thwack, as it hit her sister in the head and sent her tumbling to the ground. Their was another loud shriek, before the wind died down and they were all able to stand.

Rowan was the first on to her sister, who was out cold. She took hold of her hand and nearly dropped it and screamed out in pain. Her sisters hand was freezing cold. Cold enough to burn her skin. But she held on and looked at her sister, tears falling onto the ground.

"What the heck was that?" X asked, as he crawled his way over. Moran and Miranda still clung for the pole for support.

"I don't know...but whatever it was...it was trying to take Lily away! It was trying to..." she trailed off into sobs.

"Rowan...stop that!" X said, is voice cracking.

"I had to hit her with that sword. I hit her and...and now..."

"She'll be fine I assure you," X said laying a hand on her shoulder.

"No...no..." Rowan replied.

"X, we've got to get her home. We cam't keep her here," Moran said.

"Yeah X, we have to get her home!"

"No, please don't take us home!" Rowan screamed at the top of of her lungs.

"Why not?"

"Mother will punish us! I don't want to punished. She'll never let us see you again!"

"She will and if she won't you guys will just sneak out like before. Now help me get her down to the ground. We'll have to take you guys home," X said.

At that exact moment, Rowan was elated that X was the leader of their group. If any one else had been in charge then they would have been in total chaos. So with the help of Moran and Miranda, they managed to get Lily down to the ground and carried her to their house.

Since that wind that blew through the air in Lardon was colder than usual and Rowan found herself shivering as if it was in the middle of winter when it was the end of spring. Her fingers were going numb and to warm them the best she could she tucked them underneath her arms and thought of warm places. But that never worked. She was still cold and she was still worrried.

After criss-crossing through the back alley's of Lardon they arrived at Rowan and Lily's home and Rowan was forced to knock on the door. All most immediately the door was opened and they all stepped in. Rowan's mother let out a shriek as she saw Lily and asked what had happened. Rowan stood away from the crowd, and kept her eyes on her mother and father as they lifted Lily into their arms and raced upstairs.

For a moment X and the others just stood there in silence, before they made their way over to Rowan and tosseled her hair.

"Don't worry, all right? Worrying makes everything worse. We'll se each other again, but we've got to get going or your parents will have our heads," X said.

"But how do I explain this?" Rowan questioned.

"Just say she slipped and took a nasty fall. That will lessen your punishment...I hope,"

"We'll never see you guys again. My mom is going to kill us,"

"Rowan, you need to stop acting like an adult and act like a kid for once. Kids don't need to worry this much!"

"But I-"

"Have a backbone!" Moran hollered at her.

Rowan just frowned and pushed past them. She trudged her way up the stairs and slipped into her room, slamming the door behind her. She was so tired of people saying that. Saying that she needed to have a backbone. For all she could care, she had a backbone and that was the thing that allowed her walk and move. So why did she need a second one? This was why she had to worry, because she couldn't understand the world around her no matter how hard she tried.

A few minutes later her father walked into the room, his arms crossed across his chest.

"What happened Rowan?" her father asked.

"She slipped and had a nasty fall," Rowan said, keeping her eyes and face totally emotionless.

"And why did you sneak out?"

"We wanted to have some fun. We weren't going to get into trouble we were just going to go to the garden and stuff..."

"With X, Moran and Miranda? At night?"

"X said that their was a special flower that only bloomed during a full moon at midnight, so we wanted to see if. That was when  Lily took her nasty fall and we came back here as fast as we could,"

Her lying seemed to have worked, because her father never asked her to tell the true story. Instead he went on to say that doing something like this was dangerous and they could have easily all been killed or kidnapped. Lardon was no place for children their age, and that they should stay indoors at all times. He then went on to saying that they were grounded for the remainder of spring and it would be the beginning of summer, when they would be shipped off to live with thier aunt on the country side to learn some discipline.

She kept silent during his entire tirade and it wasn't until he left the room and slammed the door did a tear fall from her eye.

 

The End

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