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Artist (Profile pic by me)
Writer (obviously)
Siberian Husky Owner (Sky)
Parakeet Owner (Haven)
Aspiring Author
Horseback Rider
Daughter of Athena
Joined 11/2020

Message to Readers

If you have read this before, I just wanted to mention that I tweaked a couple names, so I wanted to make sure you aren't confused. The character previously known as Gale now goes by Galen. And I have just realized that Liam is one of the most popular boy's names right now, and I wanted him to have a less common name, so I changed it to Aaron. Let me know if you think that was a bad move XD

Riddle of the Woods Chapter Four (LOOKING FOR PEER REVIEWS)

January 11, 2021


For those of you who have read this before, look at the sidebar first.

Colette freezes. Galen stares. Neither moves for a minute.
            The silence is finally broken by “I’m sorry.” Colette jumps up and runs to the door. Galen stops her by closing it before she can get out.
            “Did you read it?”
            Colette wants to lie, but the truth potion is still in effect. “Yes.”
            “Why would you do that?” Galen looks angry. Colette takes a couple steps backward.
            “You were acting weird. I thought you might be hiding something. I saw you kneeling by the dresser last night.”
            “Who are you, Sherlock Holmes?” Galen takes a deep breath. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude.”
            “You’re really talented. Did you write that poem?”
            “Yeah.” Galen seemed suddenly shy. “Did you really like it?”
            “Yeah, I did! You should be a poet.”
            “I want to be a poet. But Aaron would probably think it’s stupid.”
            “How does Aaron not know about this? You are twins!”
            “We have separate rooms at home. And Aaron isn’t exactly…”
            “Exactly. Will you keep my secret?”
            “Are you sure?” Colette asks.
            “Yes.” Galen replies.
            “Well, all right.”
            Galen’s shoulders sag in relief. “Thanks.” Then he straightens. “You better leave. Aaron will wonder what you are doing in here.”
            “Of course.” Colette smiles at Galen and crosses the hall to her room.
            “Hi.” Wendy is sitting on her bed, combing through her tangled hair with her fingers. “Do you think Ebony would lend me a hairbrush?”
            “Probably.” Colette sits on the floor. “And maybe even a change of clothes.”
            Wendy looks down at her wrinkled skirt and shirt. “Right. Where were you, anyway?”
            “Oh. Just… using the bathroom.”
            Wendy nods and gives up on getting the snarls out of her hair. “I’m going to go ask Ebony about some new clothes and a brush.”
            “Okay.” Colette looks around the room more carefully. Her eyes land on the dresser. “Or maybe…” She gets up and opens the middle drawer. “Wendy?”
            Wendy pokes her head back in. “Yeah?”
            “Ebony already thought of personal hygiene.”
            “What do you mean?” Wendy comes to stand next to Colette.
The drawer contains about 2 dozen t-shirts. Colette closes it and opens the drawer above. Hairbrushes and other assorted hair products. The last two drawers at the bottom hold pajamas, blue jeans and leggings. There are even a couple skirts.
Wendy chooses a shirt and pair of leggings and heads to the bathroom to change. Colette picks out a blue t-shirt and a pair of jeggings. Then she crosses the hall.
“Hey, Aaron and Galen?”
Aaron opens the door. “What?”
“You should check your dresser.”
Galen’s expression turns terrified. Aaron crosses the room and opens a drawer. “Oh, cool!” He holds up a shirt. Galen relaxes.
Colette walks back to the kitchen. “Hi, Ebony. Or should I call you Aunt Ebony?”
“Just Ebony is fine.” She replies.
“All right. So, Just Ebony, what are we doing today?” Colette jokes.
She grins. “Very funny. We have two options. I will explain them both when the other kids get here.”
“I’m not a kid!” Colette protests.
“You’re a kid to me.” Ebony says. “When you’re as old as I am, anyone under 20 is a kid.”
Wendy joins them in the kitchen. “What are Aaron and Galen doing?”
“I think they’re getting dressed.”
“Oh, you guys found the clothes I left for you!” Ebony notices for the first time. “How do they fit?”
“They’re great.” Wendy gushes.
Aaron and Galen walk in then.
“How about we all go to the living room and I’ll explain our plans for the day?” Ebony suggests.
When we are all seated back on the familiar couch and chair from the day before, Ebony starts.
“So, we have two options. Option number one is that we visit your parents and set them straight so they don’t worry about you guys. The second option is I take you on a tour around town and you can meet some of the locals. We’ll get to both either way.”
“Tour!” Aaron exclaims.
“I think we should visit our parents first.” Wendy says.
“Yeah, my aunt and uncle will be worried.” Colette agrees.
Galen nods.
“You’re outvoted.” Ebony tells Aaron.
He sighs. “Fine. But we have to go on that tour later.”
Their first stop Wendy’s house. It is on the small side. The front is painted a pale yellow color. Colette can see where it peels in places, but it looks homey. “Remember, I made sure Wendy’s parents did not miss her last night. We just have to make it permanent. That way, we can visit the various Stonekeepers and then come back to lift the spell.” Ebony reminds them.
“Yeah.” Wendy’s eyes look watery.
“What’s wrong?” Colette asks her.
“It’s just sad to think about me being gone and my parents and little brother not missing me.”
“It’s only temporary.” Ebony assures her.
“Right.” Wendy wipes her eyes. “Okay. I’m ready.”
She rings the doorbell. A woman in her mid-thirties answers. She has long dark hair like Wendy’s, and is tall and thin.
“Hi, Wendy. Are these your friends?” She smiles.
“Yep! This is Aaron, Galen and Colette.” She gestures to us. “And this is Ebony. Can we come in?”
“Of course!” She opens the door wider.
We walk into a small but cozy entryway. Off to one side is a pretty living room decorated in bright yellows and navy blue. Colette’s trained artistic eye can tell the pillows are handmade with care. 
Wendy stands in front of her mom. Ebony had previously explained how we were to go about it. Wendy takes her stone out of her pocket.
“Hey mom, I’m going on a trip with my friends. Is that okay?”
“Um… I’ll have to think about it…”
Wendy leans forward and gives her mom a hug. Since she is holding the stone, she passes right through her. Wendy’s mom’s eyes go blank and she stares at a point above Ebony’s shoulder. All five of them rush out of the house and shut the door. They watch through the window as Mrs. Evans blinks a couple times, looks around confusedly and walks out of view.
“Your mom will go around telling people about your trip for a day or so, and then everyone who she’s told will completely forget about you. She will act as if you had permission and she is excited for you.” Ebony explains.
They repeat the procedure at the other houses, before returning to Ebony’s house.
“Now for the tour?” Aaron asks hopefully.
Ebony laughs. “Now for the tour.”
They started off their tour at the center. The town square was pretty normal, considering it was a magic town. Just a big empty grassy space bordered by roads and more gingerbread houses.
“There isn’t a ton to see in this village.” Ebony confesses. “The most interesting places are probably the houses of the Expert Stonekeepers. We are lucky to have two right here. There are seven total. One of you may even find your specialty.”
“Yes!” Aaron punches a fist into the air. “What do they do?”
“One of them is called a Teleporter. Can anyone guess what he does?”
“Um, teleports?” Galen said.
“Correct!” Ebony said. “And the second one is called a Memory Stoner. She can make people forget things.”
“Cool.” Aaron nods slowly.
“So, which shall we visit first?” Ebony asks.
“The memory one.” Wendy said. Colette nodded.
“Sure.” Aaron agreed. “It would be so cool. You could walk into a bank and rob the whole place and then make everyone forget you were there.”
Ebony looked at him sternly. “The Stonekeepers do not misuse their powers. If and when you discover what you are good at, you take an oath to use your stone wisely.”
“I was kidding!” Aaron protests. “Let’s go visit that memory taker person.”
The Memory Stoner lived in a house at the end of the row, identical to all the others. Ebony rang the doorbell.
A feeble voice called, “Come in!”
The first thing Colette noticed upon entering was that this house was not like Ebony’s. The inside matched the outside perfectly. The furniture was old fashioned and worn. A grandfather clock stood against one wall. The old lady blended in so well to the chair she was sitting on, that Colette didn’t notice her at first. White hair swirled around her face like frosting, and her bright blue eyes stood out on her papery skin.
“Yes?” The lady inquired sweetly.
“These children are new to the Stonekeepers.” Ebony explained. “They have not discovered their abilities yet. We were hoping for a demonstration? Maybe a small lesson?”
“Why, of course!” the Memory Stoner said. “You, the young girl with the red hair? Would you mind passing me my stone? It is on the shelf over there.” She pointed in the direction she meant.
Colette retrieved an entirely white stone and handed it back to the grandmotherly lady.
“Thank you.” The Memory Stoner said. “Now. I am thinking of the number six. Can you all remember that? Replay it in your mind.”
“Hey.” Wendy said, squinting at the lady. “I know you. You were in my vision! Of the past!”
“That I was.”
“Why were you there?”
“Who do you think put the spell on that clearing to make you forget what you were doing when you got near the edge?”
“Why, of course! One of my best ideas, if I do say so myself. Now, back to the demonstration. Are you all thinking of the number six?” They all nodded. She held out her stone in front of her and waved it in front of us while repeating “Six, six, six,” under her breath. “Now, what number comes after five and before seven?”
Colette, Ebony, Wendy, Aaron and Galen all wrinkled their brows.
“I have no idea. “Wendy said. “One, two, three, four, five… um… before seven… I don’t remember!”
The Memory Stoner waved the stone again and Colette smacked her head with her hand. “How did we forget the number six?”
The old lady smiled. “I’ve still got it. Now, who would like to try?”
All four kids raised their hands. The Memory Stoner had them stand in a row and hold their stones in their hands. Taking turns, they each tried to get Ebony to forget their names. They were completely unsuccessful. 
    “Apparently,” Ebony said, “Memory Stoning is not any of your specialties.” She turned to the older lady, whose name we have learned is Heidi. “Thank you anyway.”
    “Of course! Please, drop by anytime.” Heidi told us with a smile. 
    The Teleporter lives just across the street, in yet another identical old fashioned house. Ebony rings a doorbell, and I am surprised to see it is a Smartbell like some of my neighbors have. All the other houses I have seen so far have had regular doorbells. 
    The door seems to swing open all on its own, and I find the most surprising interior of all. A small white room awaits us.  
    With no doors.
    There aren’t even any decorations. Not a single photo adorns the wall. All Colette could see is white. 
    Ebony does not seem surprised. She ushers them all in and shut the door. On the wall behind the door is a small black box with a button and speaker. Ebony holds down the button.
    “Hello? Anyone home?” She puts her mouth close to the speaker as she talks.
    “Who is it?” A voice sounds from the box. 
    “It is Ebony. I’m here with four young Stonekeepers? They are new and are hoping to learn about teleportation from the best.” Ebony winks at Colette and mouths, “A little flattery never hurt him.” 
    “Just a moment, please.” The voice issued from the box again and a beep follows it. Ebony smiles and motions for everyone to stand back against the wall. 
    Colette gasps in surprise as an oval shape appears to hover in the center of the room. It slowly expands until it is about six feet tall and three feet wide. Ebony takes the lead and confidently steps through the oval. Aaron, Galen, Wendy and Colette look at each other before following her.
       They step out of the oval in a different room entirely. This one is much larger than the first. It is similar in that it has no doors. The large space is mostly filled with workstations, computers, laptops and televisions. Unfamiliar gadgets rest on every available surface.
Sitting at a workstation was a young man in his late teens or early twenties. He was facing the group, watching them enter through the portal.
“Hello, Xander.” Ebony says calmly. “These children are looking for their abilities. We wanted to see if any of them are Teleporters.”
“Sure.” Xander said. “It can take awhile to master, just so you know. I wouldn’t want you to get frustrated.” He grins.
Colette, Wendy, Aaron and Porter take turns. Wendy goes first.
Xander has her hold her stone out in front of herself, arm outstretched. She then states clearly, “Ebony’s house,” and lets her arm fall. The stone drops to the floor.
Aaron goes next. His stone falls too.
Porter tries. He holds out his stone, states the name of his destination, and lets his arm fall. His stone stays in the air, hovering and expanding. 
This is the fourth chapter of a book I'm writing. The first three chapters have all been published previously, and are all available to read. This chapter might make more sense if you read them first. I would love some feedback! And yes, I know about all the grammar mistakes. I'm working on it. XD


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  • January 11, 2021 - 4:36pm (Now Viewing)

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