Through the Woods (part 9)

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Jozsef was a loyal servant. The decision to follow Princess Jo and see what she was up to wasn’t an easy one. She was, after all, the daughter of his mistress. But Jozsef had pledged loyalty to the queen, not to her daughter.

Presently, he stood behind one of the pillars, quietly watching as the princess in the Thysia’s outfit carried a bundle of some clothes inside his room. Jozsef was a smart man. He knew she was going to help him escape. The real question was- should he tell Queen Auttaminen or catch both of them red-handed, present them to her and be a hero? The second option seemed to call out to him. And the smartest of men yield to temptation once in a while.

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Through the Woods (part 8)

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Jo started telling Ivaan the plan for escape. “There’s a secret passage in the castle that only I and mother know about. Getting out of it will be easy; it’s the getting to it that’s hard. But if you do as I tell you, it will go from the level of being impossible to being difficult.”

“I’m all ears,” he replied, shifting closer to the bed’s edge.

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Through the Woods (part 7)

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Ivaan sat up straight. This was new. The princess probably sensed his excitement, because she continued – “There is no goddess of bounty either. She sacrifices the Thysia to the Kakopnevma, the negative spirits which give her all her power.” 

There was that word again- Thysia. The princess had used it when first addressing him, and he’d also heard it while the soldiers had been talking with the lion – what was his name – A rose land? “What’s Thysia?” 

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Bungalow of Nightmares

Warning: Not for children under the age of 13.

April 27, 1990

“Don’t go anywhere, Ann. I’ll be right back,” the tall, tanned man with a mustache says to his chubby five-year-old daughter. The little girl nods obediently and sits on the park bench, her short legs dangling a foot off the ground. Her father, on his small girl’s request, goes to get an ice-cream for her from the ice-cream man.

“A double-strawberry cone, please,” he says to the pudgy vendor, remembering his daughter’s fondness for everything pink. Beaming, he returns to the bench where his daughter was sitting, the delicious-looking ice-cream with a cherry atop it held firmly in his rough hand.

The smile quickly turns upside-down. The ice-cream melts in the blazing sun, leaving a pink puddle near the man’s shoes.

The bench is empty. 

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