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Only a typical school morning, but today something seemed different.
As usual I got ready, threw on my clothes and some mascara as I run downstairs to eat some of my favorite cereal mini wheats.
My mother exclaimed, “Did you feed Humphrey? He will need some fresh water as well.”
I replied back with, “No, I will head outside now.” My mother smiled softly, watching as I went outside our pale blue door.
“There you are!” Willow said. Humphrey, her pet fox who was also her best friend, ran into her arms and licked her face as if they would never see each other again.
“Jeez calm down it's not the end of the world,” Willow giggled.
“I’m sorry,” Humphrey exclaimed looking at her with a curious smile.
“It’s ok I missed you as well. We will have to sneak you today into my backpack since mom will be gone at work.”
“Ok! Should we be nervous about the girls at school?” Humphrey smiled
“Well…uh, no I’m sure we will be fine,” She claimed nervously.
My mother packed my lunch and Humphrey and I headed out towards the bus. I walked onto the bus as I went all the way to the back where Charlie Griffin smiled at me as he motioned me to come over and sit by him. Charlie didn’t know about Humphrey her pet fox, it was quite hard keeping a secret from your best friend who you knew since first grade.
“Hi Willow, you won’t believe what happened to me this weekend,” Charlie pronounced.
Willow questioned, “Uh… what?”
“My sister fell from a tree and broke her foot,” Charlie responded.
Willow remarked, “Is she ok?”
“Yes, but she’s in a lot of pain,” He answered.
“Thank goodness, looks like we are almost at school, I have to get to class right away see you at the end of school ok.”
“Ok,” Charlie sighed.
I walked off the bus trying to avoid all contact with Hannah and Nancy, Hannah was the queen of the school all the boys fell head over heels for a girl like Hannah. She was pretty,perfect, and knew everything about everyone, but she wasn’t nice at all, probably the cruelest person ever. Oh and her sidekick Nancy who was just there, they aren’t true friends. I think they just hung out together because they have no one else. Suddenly, there she was the queen with her annoying sidekick. I tried to avoid all contact because I just knew they would say something to me, and I was right.
“Oh look there she is, the funny looking girl with ugly shoes,” Hannah laughed. I said nothing kept my head down and kept walking. “Hey! I was talking to you weirdo.”
I turned around and said, “What do you want?”
“Finally she speaks. I almost thought you were deaf,” Before Hannah could keep talking I ran to my locker hoping she wouldn’t follow. I thought to myself, why is she so mean? What did I ever do to her and why am I the one she picks on? As the day went on I kept thinking about why she is so cruel and what made her like this.
“There you are,” Charlie declared.
“Oh uh hi,” Willow whispered.
“What’s wrong? Oh wait was it… them?” Charlie announced.
“Yeah, I just don’t understand what I ever did to her to make her…,” Willow paused in silence, “.. never mind,” Willow responded.
Charlie glanced over at her and looked away.
“Listen I gotta go I’ll see you tomorrow I guess,” Willow shared.
Charlie responded hesitantly,“Oh ok.”
I walked behind the school as that was where my path home.
Humlphrey jumped out of my backpack.
“Hi there! I took the best nap,” Humphrey laughed.
“Hi…” Willow grounded.
“What’s the matter? Oh no was it Hannah?” Humphrey asked.
“Yeah, she’s just really getting to me and I know that I’m usually in a really good mood but sometimes it’s all just fake,” Willow admitted.
“Let's go home I’m sure your mom has started preparing dinner and I’m starving,” Humphrey interrupted, trying to change the subject.
We started home, as I looked up I saw the bright colors Then I noticed the gloomy clouds and started to think about the past years where I was happy without worrying about school and being scared to go. I couldn’t believe how much I changed I started to shed a tear. Humphrey noticed and started to nudge my side.
“Why the long face willow?” Humphrey acknowledged.
“Nothing, hey look there’s mom., Willow pointed out.
“Hi honey! dinner is waiting inside, I’ll be right in after I pick these carrots from the garden,” Exclaimed mother.
“Alright,” Willow reliped.
I started setting the table, and Humphrey helped.
“After dinner want to go to our treehouse Humphrey?” Willow asked.
“Yeah definitely,” Humphrey replied.
We finished setting the table and set the hot rolls, delightful smelling soup, and strawberries on there placemats.
“It looks wonderful sweethearts.” Mother remarked.
“Your welcome” we both said at the same time and laughed.
After dinner we started off to our tree house. We passed the glittering river, but to me I could see the fish saying hello to me, and from afar the deer running in fear but I am someone who would never hurt a fly. I lost track of time I couldn’t remember where I was going and why but the sounds of nature filled my ears. It’s like I was in a dream I could notice the calling “willow?” “Willow?” “WILLOW!”
“Huh, what? Sorry I…” Willow paused.
As I looked over a huge water falling, falling a hundred feet down. I could feel Humphrey biting on to my bag so that I wouldn’t fall over but instead I fell back and fainted.
“Willow get up! Get up!” Humphrey yelled in my ear.
“Huh? What happened?” Willow replied.
As I sat up and looked around I saw nothing familiar everything was different more colorful.
“Where are we it’s amazing!” Willow asked.
“I’m not quite sure, it all just happened.” Humphrey replied.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all the bright colors, and how many animals? I couldn’t count. I could see a tall woman standing on a hill.
“Look! There! Come one let’s go.” Willow shouted.
“What is she doing?” Humphrey questioned.
We ran over as fast as we could but she seemed to be disappearing into thin air.
“Where did she go!” Humphrey yelled.
“I’m not sure, but we should follow her.” Willow replied.
“Yeah, lets go, quick.” Humphrey followed.
As we walked through the exotic forest I saw many new types of animals, and they were not normal animals. They were different, each one a different shape some with wings, horns, big, small, tall, short, and so many more. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Why where they here? Are they hiding? What are they?
“Humphrey, let's go see if we can go talk to that squirrel maybe they know what is happening.” Willow suggested.
“Okay let’s go!” Humphrey said.
The squirrel stared directly into my eyes like they knew something I didn’t.
I walked over calmly and quietly.
“Hello there, I was wondering if you knew who the lady was who was very tall?” Willow asked.
“Oh uh yes… yes I do her name is Anastasia, she is a witch who has been trying to catch the mythical animals for years. Thank goodness these animals have found hidden places but… they won’t be able to hide for long.” Alfred replied.
“What do you mean? Why could she possibly want these animals? What use are they to her?” Willow retorted.
“Well, they give her the power she wants, see she has potions and spells but not powers like the mythical creatures do. She ties them up and uses a big machine to suck out their energy, it's so painful it almost kills them and some of them aren’t so lucky.” Alfred retaliated.
“How do you know all of this?” Willow questioned.
“Because I was one of them. Now I am just a normal squirrel there’s nothing special about me.” Alfred explained.
“Well aren’t we lucky we found you, can you help us find her?” Willow added.
“Yes of course it will be such a fun adventure.” Alfred prompted.
“Humphrey, how do you feel about that?” Willow implied.
“As long as I’m with you.” Humphrey smiled.
As we walked along the twisty, turney path we heard and saw many things one of which was a snake who talked her name was Hannah. For a moment I thought no it couldn’t be but then I realized it only made sense.
“Watch out! Snake!” Willow shrieked.
“Don’t scream it’s not like I could hurt you.” Hannah smirked.
“What do you mean?” Willow mummerd.
“My poison has been taken but I don’t know how.” Hannah replied.
“That’s horrible, we are looking for the witch Anastasia do you want to help us find her? She is trapping and using mythical animals for their powers.” Willow said.
“I guess so. She took my friend Nancy I haven’t seen her in forever.”
We kept going through the dark forest, it felt like everything was dying and it seemed to be getting darker by the minute as we walked. I still couldn’t truly figure out how we got into this mess, I couldn’t quite comprehend it. We walked for what seemed years. My feet where as heavy as breaks and my back felt like it was about to break. Finally we made it, Infront of us stood her tall, black, and cold castle.
“Quick hide behind that boulder!” Willow whispered.
“Ok.” Everyone replied back.
We all hid behind the boulder as we discussed our plan.
“Ok, Humphrey you stay here and keep watch I can’t have anything happening to you.” Willow prompted.
“Ugh fine.” Humphrey sighed.
“And you Alfred, you come with me since you have been in their before, you can help me find the way through.” Willow said.
“Ok sounds good.” Alfred replied.
“Hannah can you be a distraction? We will need to sneak through.”
“If I have to.” Hannah mummered.
“Hannah, you go in first and distract them with some type of distraction. Then me and Alfred will go in and be as quiet as we can and unlock the cages or whatever is holding the animals captive.” Willow declared.
“Ok, we got this!” Alfred commanded.
Hannah slithered off under the gates, as she opened the lock and the gates slowly opened. She had quite a hard time getting under the door but then she did, she motioned “I’ll be back to open the door.” Alfred and I looked at each other nervously as if we both thought “she better make it out.” With desperation in our eyes.
We couldn't quite hear or see anything but the patients who had to bare along with not knowing if she was going to come back out. Finally there she was she slithered under all the way back to us.
“You did it! Your here!” Willow blurted.
“Yes yes I know that was pretty remarkable wasn’t it. You only have so much time you must go fast!” Hannah said.
“Ok let’s go Alfred.” Willow rushed.
We ran as fast as we could inside the massive doors Inside stood cages more than 10 feet tall. Many helpless animals lay on the ground of there cage with no facial expression.
“We must be quiet!” Willow suggested, and Alfred nodded in agreement.
“Hey big guy, we’re going to get you out of here along with all your other friends.” she choked on her tears as stroked his big furry face.
“Look over there.” Humphrey said as he pointed to the keys on the wall.
“Perfect!” Willow responded.
I ran over and snatched the keys off the wall, I thought to myself that it can’t be this easy. From around the corner stood a tall lanky figure, hair that didn’t seem to have a shape. I squinted, trying to figure out what it was then it struck me it! It was Anastasia. Her eyes a bright green looked deep into my soul as if she was taking over me and I didn’t have any control. Suddenly she ran straight towards me, I threw the keys to Alfred he caught them thank goodness a slight burst of assurance wept over me, but it wasn’t over I had to think fast tactical I guess. I throw myself onto a pile of what seemed to dirt leading her to hit the wall since she was going so fast. But I guess I was wrong she stopped and barely touched the wall, I look around for something anything. There it was a big hammer sitting beside a tool box I thought to myself. I quickly grab it run and jump as I fly through the air hitting the back of her head. I looked at her on the floor in shock but I knew she would be ok we just needed more time.
“QUICK GET ALL THE ANIMALS OUT NOW!” Willow yelled.
Alfred moves faster than ever before he jumped from cage to cage I lead the animals back and told them “GO and never return she won’t hurt you anymore.” I was sad to see the, go because I never got to know them.
“Alfred you almost done, we only have so much more time left.” Willow blurted.
“Yes ma’am.” Alfred replied.
Finally we got them all out, I began to see Anastasia move and her eyes flutter.
“Alfred, we have to go now!” Willow shouted.
Alfred jumped into my arms as I ran as fast as I could out the gates locked them from the outside.
“We must go now everyone!” Willow declared.
We all ran not knowing where we were going but we knew we couldn’t stop.
Finally we made it to what looked to be a bridge, we had nowhere else to go so we walked through it. As we walked everything was changing and as soon as we where there it was normal we were home.
“Where back!” Willow shouted with happiness.
Tears filled Willows eyes with delight as she had not seen home in along time. Willow and Humphrey headed back inside to see mother.
“Mom! Mom!” Willow shrieked.
“Ah there you are, I was looking for you.” Willows mother laughed as if it had only been an hour.
“Weren’t we gone forever?” Willow questioned.
Willows mother laughed, “no dear only a few hours.”
“Oh.” Willow looked down at Humphrey and giggled.
“You must be getting to school now you don’t want to be late.” Mother insisted.
“School?” Willow asked.
“Yes, yes school.” Widows mother said as she shoved her out the door and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
As we walked to the bus there was Charlie sitting in the back with his gleaming smile. Willow lit up and couldn’t keep it in, quickly she fussed to the back and couldn’t stop herself from hugging Charlie. His face turned a bright red.
With nothing more for him to say but, “I missed you to.”