“Not in West Sparrow anymore? What?” Ruby ran her hands through her blond tresses. Her heart pounded rapidly against her rib cage as if it were trying to evade her body. She glanced around again at the renewed forest, any sign of their tree fort's existence was washed away completely.
“Cole? What has happened?” Her voice was a wavering whimper brought on by her confusion. Ruby was not one to embrace change or things that dare question logic. If someone didn’t start providing her with answers she was sure to have a panic attack and unfortunately for Ruby the only other person around was Cole, who appeared just as baffled in his mesmerized state of awe.
Ruby’s words were just a distant whisper as Cole took a moment to survey his surroundings. The mossy forest floor had never seemed so alive in all of its earthy green glory, and the trees were much more plentiful and ripe. An apple tree within reach extended a limb towards Cole as if it were offering a taste of its sweet harvest. He chuckled nervously as he rested against the tree for fear of losing his balance. He plucked a fat succulent apple and raised it to his mouth to take a bite. Before he could sink his teeth into the fruit it was savagely knocked out of his hand. Cole glanced up at Ruby. Her eyes narrowed accusingly at him. “What the hell did you do that for?”
“You seem to have forgotten your wits, completely this time. Wherever we are, its not where we are supposed to be. Somehow, something happened, I don’t know. Maybe we inhaled toxic fumes or... something, and we wandered from the fort. Either way we need to get our bearings together and head home. Got it?”
Cole roared out in laughter. “Toxic fumes. Toxic fumes!” He knelt down to retrieve the apple, to Ruby’s horror he took a large bite out of the fruit from the strange land. With a mouthful of apple he expressed his own theory. “This doesn’t taste the least bit toxic. If you ask me it’s the best apple I’ve ever had! In fact I think we more than stumbled out of the tree fort. I think we stumbled out of our own century. Here, try a bite,” He extended the apple towards Ruby, who knocked it out of his hands once more.
“You think we time traveled?” She asked, annoyed with his cavalier attitude.
Cole shrugged. “Well its possible. I mean you did read that spell…”
It was Ruby’s turn to laugh. “Yeah, I read a spell out a fictional book that you gave me!” She knelt down to retrieve the book and frantically began to flip through the pages. “Fine, if you think this is all linked to a spell I read then all we should have to do is read it one more time and we’ll be sent home.”
Cole scratched his head. “How do you know that’s how it works?”
Ruby rolled her eyes. “Just because I don’t believe in fairy tales doesn’t mean I haven’t seen enough to know how these things work.”
-“Well then, bippity boppity boo I’ll leave it to you.”
Ruby began to recite the words she had read earlier, but before she could finish the incantation a piercing scream echoed through the forest. In an instant Cole grabbed Ruby’s arm, and they dashed behind a thick shrub formed wall.