The Way Through the Forest, Chapter Twenty-One

A Clearing inside of a mountain.

It was a sight to behold.

After a tunnel lit by glowing stones, the cavern opened up to the massive Clearing. The entire place was lit by enormous fires, and houses made of colorfully mismatched brick lined the streets. You could see people with heavy pickaxes marching into caverns tunneling deeper into the earth, others exiting and writing their names on a clipboard to signify how long they’d worked.

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The Way Through the Forest, Chapter Twenty

“There had to be at least a dozen sprites. Maybe two dozen! And they had surrounded my friend, keeping him captive.” Kenzie swung her fire iron over her shoulder. “I wasn’t afraid though. I was gonna save Eli, no matter what!”

Alvar was completely sucked into the story, his eyes wide as he leaned in close. “What happened next? Keep going!” He urged.

Kenzie puffed up her chest. “I marched into the meadow and challenged their leader! They all came at me at once, and I took my fire iron and I smacked them away, sending them flying across the meadow! Whooosh!” Kenzie made extra sure to make the ‘whoosh’ motion with her hand. “They almost hit the trees!” Okay, maybe she was exaggerating at this point. But Alvar ate it all up.

“Is this when you saw the Pied Man?” He asked, skipping about as they walked.

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The Way Through the Forest, Chapter Nineteen

Aha, everyone was distracted. Freedom at last! Now she just had to find Cormac and tell him that schooling was over for the day…

“Busted, lil Red.”

Kenzie squealed and spun around, nearly bumping right into Miss Charlotte. The mayor was hardly amused, her hands on her hips as she stared down at her truant. “Lunch is over, it’s reading time. You know the schedule by now,” She scolded.

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The Way Through the Forest, Chapter Eighteen

Eli? Eli, where are you!?”

Kenzie’s dreams were brought to an abrupt end by someone shaking her awake. Kenzie yawned and sat up to look at the woman who had awoken her. She had platinum hair tied back in a handkerchief, a few locks slipping free. “Oh, sorry, I thought you were- nevermind.” The woman looked around the children’s tent. “Did Eli sleep with you and the others last night?”

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The Way Through the Forest, Chapter Seventeen

“The Garnet Clearing?”

Cormac read off the name on the sign. Kenzie couldn’t help but feel somewhat of a relief that this sign wasn’t in shambles.

Rayna pulled her cloak from the bag, flipping the hood over her head. “Well, might as well stop by there. We’re going to need some more supplies that can’t be supplied by the Forest.”

Cormac groaned before he nodded. “Let’s hope we can trade for something. Don’t have much, cept maybe some shed feathers,” He grumbled.

However, when they reached the town, there was no one to be found.

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