Chapter Six

In which Emma is saved.

Finding Wonder

“And what are you doing in my forest, little one?” The teeth grinned.

Emma squeaked, crawling back on her hands and butt. What even was this place?

“This place-” the teeth grinned wider “-is where you’ll meet your end.”

The smile opened wide, revealing a large, saliva-filled mouth. It jumped at her.

She screamed, holding her arms in front of her face.

A ringing filled her ears.

She peaked.

The rabbit boy had a cane in his hand, the grin was knocked back, curled up at the edges.

“Ah. Cottontail. Didn’t know you were going to eat her.”

Eat?! What?!

“Leave her be. She’s scared, can’t you see?”

“Doesn’t matter. This little one came into my forest. And I want her as mine.”

“This isn’t your forest, not at all. So watch it. I’m in no mood for a brawl.”

“You and your silly rhymes. Are you ever going to break that curse?”

“Not before I put you in a hearse.”

“Whatever.” The teeth started to slowly disappear. “I’m bored of this. Have fun with your little mouse. Just don’t let her die like the last one.”

And with that, the teeth were gone. As if they never existed. Well, of course, they never existed! Emma was just having the weirdest dream of her life! Right! R-right. . . Right?

The rabbit boy turned around, his blood-red eyes big. “You’re covered in blood! Did that demon-”

“What is this place?!” Emma shot up. Pain pulsed through her hands and head.

“You’re not well. You should be in bed!”

He reached out to her. She stumbled back. “Don’t touch me!”

He stepped back. “I beg you, just hear my plea.”

“This isn’t real! None of this is real!” Her sight blurred, cool tears running down her face. “Just take me home! I want to go home!”

“It is real. All of it. And since your here now, you can’t quit.”

“What do you mean?!”

“Let’s go back to the canteen. He didn’t look away. “I’ll show you the way.”

“No! I-”

The forest around them shook, roars and snarls in the distance. Emma scrambled to stay up. The rabbit man got closer and held out his hand.

“No-”

The ground trembled, trees falling around them.

She bit her lip and grabbed his hand. He nodded and pulled her in close. The rabbit man picked her up, holding her close to himself and carried her back through the forest.

She closed her eyes tightly, praying she’d end up back home – to wake up back in her own bed. But a little part of her doubted it. She’d never had a dream or nightmare where she could feel pain.

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© E.N. Chaffin 2018. All rights reserved. Any reproduction without author permission is against the copyright laws of the United States of America.

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