The rough hand was actually of a woman. Her face was kind, but it was easy to tell that she’d been living here for a while. “Stay calm. I’ve been fighting ‘the children’ all my life. I can take them now.” The woman led her through the forest to a small hut. “I-is it true?” the young woman asked, her voice shaking some. “Will the forest really not let me out?” The older woman sighed. “Yes, I’m afraid it’s true. We’re trapped.” A snake slithered past. She jumped as the older woman chuckled. “That’s just Sean.” “Sean?” “My pet snake. I’m Delihla, by the way.” “Elizabeth.” Delihla stood up and walked outside. “The creature’s mostly talk nowadays. I never know if it’s telling the truth or not anymore.”

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