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2.32 Escape is Never Easy

September 17, 2011

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“Seriously,” said Maria, turning back once more, “we have to go now.”

Allie looked at Maria, and saw the green haze emanating from her cousin. It was Bella’s evil, Allie knew only too well, starting to work its way through the protective spells she and Maria had put in place. It was time to go. Allie unlocked the door to the first cell, grabbed the old man’s hand and pulled him out. When she looked back for Maria, her cousin was gone.

“Mira?” the old man asked, his voice raspy and weak. “Mira, is that you?”

“Sure, sure it is,” Allie replied. “Just follow me, okay? Try to keep up.” With that, she and Lazlo started back down the circular staircase, with the night falling fast outside. The castle’s walls were dark and damp, and the two were suddenly very aware of the presence of evil all around.

“Where is Maria?” Lazlo asked, not seeing her ahead.

“I don’t know,” said Allie. “She vanished on me.”

Lazlo went ahead through the castle’s massive front door, and stopped short. “Um, Allie?”

“Yes,” she answered, still distractedly looking around for Maria.

“We have a big problem.”

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When Allie looked over Lazlo’s shoulder and saw what that problem was, she knew big didn’t even begin to describe it. There was Bella Goth, in the flesh, kneeling and whispering to a humongous black dog. The dog’s eyes glowed, and he panted, eagerly awaiting the witch’s instructions. This is not good at all, she thought, but Maria had disappeared and the old man was behind her. She was going to get out of here alive, damn it, and save Lazlo and the old man, too. Allie whispered a protective chant to keep the three hidden from sight, and they stepped boldly onto the castle’s front porch.

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It was there, that Maria found the two arguing about the best course of action when she emerged from the castle.

“Where were you?” Allie demanded, but she noticed the green haze that had surrounded Maria was gone.

“There was something I had to do,” Maria replied.

“Well, nice of you to join us.”

“Hey!” Lazlo’s yell cut through the night. Even the old man, seemingly oblivious to everything around him, looked up for a moment. “Didn’t you say we didn’t have long with this hiding spell? Why don’t you two save the family argument for later.”

The women looked at Lazlo with ice in their eyes, but both knew he was right.

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“Look,” said Maria. “I’ve done this before. There is only one thing to do.” Allie and Lazlo looked at her expectantly, and Maria drew in a deep breath. “We run,” she continued. “Run like you’ve never run before.”

The three, in a sudden moment of synchronicity, looked to the old man. “You girls go first,” said Lazlo. “I’ll bring him along. She wants you more than she wants us.”

They stood, for one moment more, gathering all the strength and courage they could muster. Then one by one, they ran into the dark night, past a waiting Bella.

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They ran like the wind through that crisp Strangetown night. Allie and Maria ran first, as instructed. They could feel Bella’s gaze on their backs as soon as they broke free of the castle’s lot. Their protective spells were gone, both women knew. Now all they had to rely on was the strength of their legs. In her heart, though, Maria felt Red’s energy, and she knew he was with them in spirit, guiding them home. She remembered, then, she was not just running for herself anymore, and willed her legs to go faster.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sizza permalink
    September 25, 2011 4:27 pm

    I just caught up on the story and oh my, I’m so excited. Will they get away? What was Maria doing? What about Maria’s dad?

  2. pieridae permalink*
    September 26, 2011 12:52 am

    🙂 Thanks. I’m such a slow-poke at this legacy. I’ll probably be done in twenty years or so. Glad you’re still reading and enjoying!

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