“Who are you?” I look closer. “Wait a minute… you’re—you’re the—”
He puts a finger to his lips, gesturing me to be silent.
The loud sounds of crows caw outside. We wait together in silence until the calls dissipate.
He speaks first, saying, “My name is Arik.”
“Yes, I know who you are.” I bow.
“Not necessary.” He waves his arms for me to stop. “I overheard you and Martha talking right before Sonjah appeared. I didn’t stick around to find out what happened next, so I bolted, keeping in mind the shed you mentioned. So here I am. He turns looking at Geneviève. “Although I don’t know how she can sleep with all the racket.”
She stirs. Geneviève opens her eyes and is startled, pulling the ragged cloak tighter about her neck.
She glances at me. “Who is this?”
I smile, realizing she doesn’t know.
He answers. “Arik.” He nods. “And you are?”
She doesn’t answer. “It’s okay, Gen, he’s—” I look at him, not realizing what I should say.
“A friend,” he says.
“Right,” I mutter under my breath. I smirk. “Well…friend, if you don’t mind turning around, Geneviève needs to get dressed.”
I think I take the young prince by surprise because he nearly chokes. “Oh!” he stares over at Geneviève. “You mean she’s—”
I tilt my head. “As if you didn’t know that, Mr. innocent, who knows what she is.”
“Right, I mean…I didn’t connect—”
“You’re digging a deeper hole, just turn around, will you?”
Slipping off the second layer of clothes I give them to Gen.
“So, how do we get out of here without your mother knowing?” she asks.
I raise up the small bottle of elixir. It’s half full. “We each take a sip of this, disappear, and run like we have never ran before.”
Gen takes a closer look at the container. “Wait a minute, is that what I think it is?”
I smile. “An invisibility potion. My nanny Martha, made it for me.”
Both Arik and Gen give me strange looks. “You still have a nanny?” Arik asks.
“No, of course not. She’s stayed, to look out for me.” I roll my eyes. “Whatever. Anyway, it’s worth a shot to escape from here, right?”
“Okay, let’s do this,” Arik says, “I’m in.”
“Me too,” Gen agrees, as she puts on the ratty old cloak.
“Wait, you’re keeping that?” I ask.
“Why not? It’s still cold in the evenings.”
I shrug it off. “There is something else you should know; you must be holding on to all items before drinking or it will not take hold with the spell.”
They both nod. Picking up my backpack, I swing it behind me. “Are we ready?” They nod, we each take a swig at the bottle, and open the front door.
The atmosphere is quiet. Not even birds sing among the treetops as we step out of the shack.
“I don’t like that it is so still,” Geneviève says.
“Neither do I.” We head to the river as fast as we can.
I feel the cool breeze rush through my hair as we run for our lives through the thick woods, reaching the shoreline in record time. The river rushes and I can tell we’re near a waterfall.
I look up in the trees, “See any crows?”
“Not yet,” Arik says, “we should keep moving.”
“How will we know if the invisibility has dropped?” Gen asks.
“We don’t,” I answer.
As if on cue, a swirling wind kicks up and my mother appears.
We have no more invisibility liquid left.
“Who do we have here?” she tilts her neck in surprise seeing my companions. “Well done, my child. I would say this repays the debt of being a rotten child earlier.”
Geneviève steps in front. “Why don’t you just leave us alone.”
Her bravery is commendable, but my mother can strike her down with one flick of her wrist.
“Oh, but I can’t do that. You see I have plans for you, my dear. When I discovered one pup survived, other than the alpha it brought such excitement that I had to seek you out. My dear, you’re marked. You can’t escape me.”
Gen glances at me from the corner of her eye.
“I see my daughter warned you. No matter. What’s done is done. There’s no escape for you.” She turns her attention on Arik. “And you.” A venom tone passes over her lips. “You will not slip through my fingers again. I’ll see to that.”
“You won’t hurt him,” I cry.
My mother glares. “Watch me.” She flicks flames toward all of us intending to reach Arik, but she misses.
Gen’s quick reflexes, pull Arik and I behind her and she whips the cloak she’s wearing around us all.
The flames miss us entirely.
Stunned my mother says, “Impossible.” She adds more power, but the cloak hold steadfast to her magic.
We hear my mother scream in rage, and in one split second, her voice cuts off, and her shrieks stop.
We all look out from behind the protective cloak and observe that we’re not even in the same place.
“Hang on a second, how is this possible?” I ask. I look over at Geneviève. “You’re cloak. It’s made of magic.”
She smiles. “I guess it is.”
“My mother once told me a legend of a cloak that could pass through time. It’s only a story.” Arik takes a closer look at the long red cape. “It can’t be true, can it?”
I gape at Arik’s confession, but Geneviève answers, “From the first time I put this cloak on, I knew it was special, but I didn’t know until now, what it was.” She smiles. “We got away from your mother.”
“Indeed, we did, but, my new friend, you’re still marked, and we need to find a way to remedy that.”
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