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    Chapter 2:


    The pair gathered all the supplies they would need
    throughout the day. Taking apples, bread, and cheese when Mamma wasn’t looking; they got the clothes and other necessities stowed away in they’re packs. The weapons were the hardest things to find.

    Ember had her own bow and a quiver of arrows; she also had a dagger that her father had given her a few years back. Kendra only had a bow and quiver.

    “Are you sure this is enough weapons?” Kendra asked staring at her bow.

    “Of course, besides we’ll have our walking sticks and you can use that as weapon too.” Ember smiled back.

    Kendra nodded, “So, did you get the water?”

    “Yes,” Ember nodded.

    “Good.”

    “So we’re all set now?”

    “Should be,” Ember sighed.

    “So when do we leave?”

    “Tonight after Pa comes back in from his post. It’ll give us a good five minutes before one of the other farmers goes out.” Ember said drawing a map out from her pants pocket. “This is a map of the land; mostly our land. This is the spot were we have to enter the woods. McDonnell can’t see this area from his farm until he walks down. And he’s a slow walker.”

    “How do you know all of these things?” Kendra asked smiling devilishly at her cousin.

    “I don’t sleep a lot any more. And usually Pa will let me patrol the woods with him.”

    “I never thought he would let you near the woods.” Kendra joked. “He’s never really liked us going out there has he?”

    “For good reasons I suppose.” Ember answered.

    Kendra shrugged, “I suppose he has good reasons; but still I don’t get why they have to patrol the woods. It’s not like there’s something in there or anything.”

    “Shh…” Ember whispered, putting her finger to her lips. “Mamma’s coming.”

    A few seconds later Amber burst through the door. “Ember what are you doing?”

    Ember froze, her mother was upset, but at what she did not know. “Talking with Kendra about the farm,” She lied quickly.

    “Oh, well in that case…” her mother began.

    “It’s alright Mamma, what do you need?” Ember asked.

    “I was wondering…I wanted to know…”

    “Yes, Mamma…”

    “Ember if you’re going to go into the woods at least take this.” Her mother blurted out.

    Ember’s face, if it could, went five shades paler. “Ma-mama…We-we…”

    “It’s all right dear, I was you’re age when I went into the woods, with your father. It’s perfectly normal to want to go. It’s just very dangerous and I know that your Pa won’t want you going in…but I think the both of you are old enough. Take this…” She said handing a medallion over to Ember and then another over to Kendra. “That should help you. I’ve been saving them for some years now. When you discover your abilities…well they’ll change to suit you better. You best be off now, Pa just went to the market and he won’t be back for a few hours. You’re going to need to go before he gets back. Have you gotten everything you’ll need?”

    Ember stared at her mother in disbelief. Here was the woman who had foiled her plans of entering the woods so many times that Ember couldn’t count them all, even if she had a hundred fingers. “Mamma, are you telling me that you’re going to let us go into the woods…”

    “Well of course dear. Your Pa will be fine with it once I tell him…he might panic at first and then try and find you. But his time in the woods is over, the magic doesn’t call to him,” she paused sighing, “Or me anymore. It’s time for a new generation, time for you to help the balance of good and evil.”

    “Good…evil? Mother what are you talking about?”

    “We’re going on a quest aren’t we? Just like in the old stories that grandma and grandpa told us!” Kendra squealed.

    “Yes, and no,” Amber whispered. “You’re going to have to do this alone, unless one of the faery people chooses to help you. In that case you might find some aid. You must rely on you’re inner voice to help you with this. Follow your heart and soul and never, never take the medallion.”

    “Mamma…” Ember began.

    “Shh…my child, this has to happen. There must be a few other children that have been taken too.”

    “Taken?”

    “Yes, taken; it’s when the magic calls to you;
    which it must have if you two are all ready to go like you are.”

    “So do we just get up and leave?” Ember huffed.

    “Well of course not dear. You need to have the proper equipment.” With that her mother moved aside to revile
    a box behind her. “I’ve been saving these too.”

    She pulled out two cloaks, one deep blue the
    other deep red. They were made out of a soft material, not quite velvet, not quite silk. They were soft and durable. Warm and cool at the same time.

    “Dibs on the blue one,” Kendra said snatching it out of Amber’s hand.

    “Fine by me, I wanted the red one anyways.” Ember said laughing.

    Next Amber pulled out two pairs of boots, long with laces all the way up. One was black with silver etchings and symbols the other dark brown with gold etchings and symbols.

    Kendra grabbed the black pair while Ember grabbed the brown.

    Amber than pulled out a long dress made of the fines fabric possible. Kendra and Ember both “Ohh”ed and “Ahh”ed as they stared at it. It was a deep blue, with different shades of blue all through out it so that it actually looked like water rippling through Amber’s extended hands.

    Kendra glanced at Ember.

    “Go ahead and have it; besides it matches everything else you have.”

    Amber smiled as Kendra took it and began shifting it through her hands.

    She next pulled out a slightly shorter dress made of the same fabric as the blue one, save this was made with reds, oranges, and yellows. It looked like fire had engulfed the dress and danced along the edges.

    Ember stared at it in disbelief; it was the most beautiful dress she had ever seen.

    Amber nodded and gave the dress over to her daughter. Along with some leggings of blue and red; the blue for Kendra, the red for Ember.

    “This way they know that you are apart of the Elementi; put them on quickly.” She said sitting up and brushing her dress down. “Oh, I almost forgot,” She said pulling out two corsets one silver, one gold, “You’ll need these too, put them over your dresses, if you will.”

    About fifteen minutes later Ember and Kendra were dress and waiting by the door.

    “Please be careful; follow the river stream until you reach the place where it stops. There you will find two trees, one made of the purest silver and one made of the purest gold. Each will bear fruit; each one of you must take one of these fruits and put them in your sack. After that you must wait for the other Elementi to come. Hurry, your Pa will be home soon.” She shoved them out onto the porch and shut the door behind her.

    Amber leaned against the door frame, she had finally let her daughter go to the one place she never wanted her too. It had to be done though. The world was in perile. The girl was already seeing things. And she knew that in her heart of hearts Ember was being drawn to the woods. She didn’t know how Tristan would take the news. They had sworn that they would never let Ember inside those hallow woods. And here she was letting her leave, pushing her out the door.

    Not only was she endangering her own daughter’s life, but also that of her own niece. Never-the-less, it had to be done. She couldn’t go back on it now. She slowly looked out the window of the house at the two silhouettes that were disappearing over the hilltops.

    “Be safe my dears…” She whispered; a silent prayer running through her mind.

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