Hello, everyone! I have returned, with more of The Escape! Want a refresher? Here’s part seven. And now, part eight!
Three days later . . .
Erica, Alanna, and the recently freed slave stood at the edge of a harbor. Behind them, the Dragonstorm sailed away. Erica turned to the former slave. “You’re free to go where you wish. Do you have family somewhere?”
The boy nodded. “Aye. I’ll find them. No need to worry, and thank you.”
Erica nodded. “Good. Do you want any help finding your family?”
The boy shook his head. “Nay. I can find my own way home. Thank you both, and farewell.” He set off away from the two, waving. They waved back, watching him go.
After the boy was out of sight, Erica turned to Alanna. “Now what?”
Alanna was looking around at the rolling, green hills, a huge smile on her face. “This is the area my family lives in. It looks like Olav finding out your secret was actually a good thing; we were put off in just the right place!”
Erica shook her head, amazed. “Amazing.”
Alanna nodded. “Come on, I know the way back to my home from here! They’ll welcome both of us; I’m sure.”
Erica bit her lip. “You, maybe. I’m not so sure about me.”
Alanna shook her head. “Both of us. You’re my friend, after all. How could they not welcome you?”
Erica smiled. “I hope you’re right. Well, let’s go.” The two began walking quickly up into the hills, laughing and talking. They were almost home.
The short journey to the small cottage where Alanna’s family lived was filled with rolling hills covered in springy heather. Erica soon discovered that it made for very pleasant walking except for one thing . . . she was lost. She glanced at Alanna. “You do know where we are, right?”
Alanna laughed. “Don’t worry; I know these hills like the back of my hand. We won’t get lost.”
Erica nodded in relief, though she could hardly believe that anyone could navigate the landscape of one hill after another with such ease and confidence. “Good. So, how much farther is it?”
Alanna pointed ahead of them. “It’s right there!”
Erica followed the line of Alanna’s finger. “I don’t see . . . wait! I do see it!” Partially hidden in a grove of beech trees was a pretty little cottage.
Alanna grinned. “Come on!” The two ran towards the cottage, Alanna eager to be home, and Erica eager to see her friend home at last.
What will Alanna find when she gets home? And will Erica be as welcome as Alanna said? And am I ever going to post the end of this story? You’ll find out all the answers next time, when I post the conclusion of The Escape! In the meantime, please comment! I’d love to hear what you think!