by Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik
Later in the day, we decided to stop by a stream as Gillidore wanted a drink and I obliged at the chance to sit down and rest my legs and wash my face which, looking in the reflection in the water, was covered in black berry juice. It was at this point that I noticed I was sitting a great patch of shade, but it was not cast by a tree. The shadow was far to blob shaped to be a tree. Standing up abruptly as if I had seen something unpleasant, I called Gillidore’s name into the air to get his attention. “What do you suppose is casting that shadow?” I asked nervously as he looked at me with big brown eyes he performed what looked like a shrug and went back to his stream. Taking my things from the shadow, I walked as far away from it as I could but turned around to see that I was in another shadow. I opened the book to find the contents even more deranged than when I had between my journey and realized that the shadows must have caused the pages for damage somehow. I stepped away from this new shadow but found myself once more in shade. Then the noise in my mind was back. It was deafening and I could not escape it. Gillidoreturned to see me with my hands over my ears and he cantered towards me.
“We have to get out of here…” I whispered, afraid the shadows would hear.
“And where would thee go?” he questioned “Thee cannot escape the shadows.” He was right. We couldn’t escape the shadows. We were doomed. It took me a moment to realize that daylight was slipping away. I did not even know what to write in the book to escape it.
In desperation, I opened the book with shaky pale hands to the page I was on and wrote five simple words: They found a safe place. I prayed it’d become true. How do you hide from shadows? Suddenly, the pathway we were on came to a dead end. The muddy tracks untouched by footprints ran out. We were trapped. Then the soft light of the twilight moon shone down and a honied scent of lavender, cherry blossom and thick spring dew wafted out over the meadows as dusk drew in further. The subtle rustling in the lush green leaves on the trees bathed in the gentle white moonlight seemed to cease as the bright stars emerged from behind the veil of the pearly clouds and shone clearly; casting great luminescence upon the scene beneath.
There was a heavy wooden door embellished with cast iron fixings and a stiff, rusted griffin head knocker ahead of us and which was imperiously embedded in the thick rough grey stone wall, overgrown with healthy green ivy, which defended whatever lay beyond. Its hinges unoiled, it creaked open with a push as the moonlight beamed down upon the delicate golden keyhole.