What have I done? I asked myself. And the question sparked excitement. And the question sparked fear.
“Wait until you are within the borders of the forest before you open the box, else you have failed before you have begun.”
With those words, the schoolmaster turned away and left Naji alone before the borders of the forest.
Naji entered the forest with no other possessions but that box, as the test required. He carried no water, no food, no clothing but what he already wore, no bedroll, nothing to trade or barter with.
But that is what he had chosen. A box.
Do you see him? Right there, between Mig and John? As if he’s part of the crew?
Nico drove up to the mouth of the cave. He got out of the truck and walked around to the other side. Normally, the young retriever would have hopped out of the open door in a rush. But Ruby lay there, still sleeping.
“This is what it looks like,” Sig said, handing over the page where he had drawn a picture of the flower he wanted the scouting party—the children—to find. He wanted to go himself, to search for the flower, to seek help in a nearby town, but he had to stay where he was needed. “There may not be many,” he warned, “this close to winter.”
Lucy anxiously watched Lady Umbersmith set down her cup of tea and scan her guests, the three detectives and then finally Lucy herself. The elderly matron began to speak, her gaze resting on Lucy.
“When a person dies and her soul leaves her body right away, the body remains, just a husk. But while the person lives, the body and soul are linked, entwined, and inseparable. What happens to one happens to the other. If the soul is attacked, the body too feels the effect. It becomes incorporeal, intangible, insensible, silent, invisible.