The Curse of the Orthana by Nick Tamboia

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Chapter 9: A boy who could fly, Escape to Narnia

Old Nann had heard the horses first and when they had peeked out of the windows of the cabin, the two had seen the puritan man, Kan, Jole and several other men getting off of their horses as they looked at the cabin. Old Nann then told Alia to go out of the backdoor and hide in the forest.

Reluctantly the girl did this, and ran deep into the forest behind the cabin, never having been seen by the Witch Hunters.

She never saw Old Nann again.

Because she had never explored the forest behind Old Nann’s cabin, well not in the detail as she had the forest around her parents’ farm, she became lost.

This didn’t scare the girl as she loved the forest, and felt at home in it, just as she did in her own bedroom.

Calmly, and in no rush to return to the cabin out of fear that the Witch Hunters might still be there, the girl explored her surroundings, looking for hiding places in the event that those hunting her might stumble into the area.

When dusk began to settle in the forest, the girl found a resting spot in the hollow of an old tree and using her magic at crafting, and controlling plants, caused the tree to close around her, hiding her from the world while she slept.

The following morning was gray and foggy, with a steady misting rain that fell, soaking the forest. While Alia was not at all afraid, she was hungry, cold and wet and wanted to go home, so she had spent the better part of the morning walking in the direction she thought Old Nann’s cabin was in.

Shortly before noon, she came to a lake, and realized she had been walking in the wrong direction, as there were no lakes around Nann’s cabin.

“Dang,” she sighed as she had sat down on a rock to rest. There she used her ability to make plants grow, to cause a berry bush to sprout fruit, which she ate by the handful. After that she used her ability to craft things, to make an umbrella out of some sticks and strips of tree bark.

That done the girl began walking back in the direction she had come from, hoping the cabin was that way.

By late noon she came to a wall of rocks and boulders that rose up out of the forest floor, and first had tried to follow this, walking along the base of it, but when she realized it arched around, and headed not in the direction she wanted to go, she decided to climb over it.

The huge boulders were slick with rain water, and just as she was at the top of them, her sandals slid on the wet stone and she slid down for a short distance and came to a jolting halt, her side bouncing off of the boulder she leaned against as her umbrella shot off and crashed to the ground below.

After she regained herself, she found that her left foot had become wedged in a crack between the boulders up to her ankle. She did her best to move it, to try and free it, but it was stuck. Realizing that, she next tried to use her magic to change the stones that held her by her left ankle in their grip, but nothing happened.

“Really?” She gasped in frustration. “My magic doesn’t work on stone?

She tried several more times to use her magic to free herself but nothing happened.

After a while she gave up and just did her best to rest and get comfortable, believing she was going to be stuck there for a while. “I have to think of a way out of this,” she muttered to herself.

An hour passed and she realized that she didn’t have any idea of how to free her ankle from the crack it was stuck in.

Just as she was about to give up, from the fog before her, she heard a voice singing. Frowning she looked in the direction she heard the voice coming from. It sounded like the voice of a boy singing, and as she listened to it, she saw a murky shadowed figure approaching her.

It looked like a child riding on the back of a weird looking horse with something on his back, and what looked like branches tied to the horse’s head.

As the figure approached her she was able to make out the words to the song more clearly.