Ricken’s face turned crimson when Nowi slid her hand into his. He reflexively turned his head away from Nowi, not considering the fact that she probably couldn’t see he was blushing. …Nowi’s hand is so warm… It’s nice. I don’t feel scared at all now… Ricken was thinking about what that might mean when he heard Nowi. She sounded pretty frustrated with this whole test of courage, like she was ready to stop then and there if she could. “I think we’re getting close” Ricken said in an attempt to pacify her.
Dim light began to slowly stream through the trees as they continued on, Ricken was happy to be getting his sight back. The two moved through the trees, a structure coming into view ahead of them. “Do you see that Nowi? It looks like we found the town.” Ricken was excited again, maybe they could find something cool to bring back. Finally passing through the trees the town came into full view. It was just as the woman said, in ruins. Seeing so many homes reduced to nothing sent a shiver down him. Though the scene should have been eerie something about it was serene. The forest had claimed the houses from itself, covering them in vine and moss. Seeing man made objects intertwined with nature was strangely breathtaking.
Ricken caught the glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye; he was sure it was other children running by. “Hey, Did you see that Nowi?”
As they drew nearer and nearer to the light, Nowi began to make out silhouettes in the backdrop. The looked like houses.
“Do you see that Nowi? It looks like we found the town.” she heard Ricken say from beside her. Nowi silently nodded her assent. As they drew closer, Ricken was proved to be correct. They were houses, or had been at least. Now the window panes were shattered and vines had covered nearly all the walls still standing. Tiny flecks of ash were blowing through the air. There must have been a fire…..a fire did all this….how sad….
Something about the scene made Nowi’s heart heavy. She imagined that families had lived in these houses once. They had had dinner together in front of their fire places and everyday the children had run through the streets laughing and cheering. To Nowi, this village or the shell which remained after some tragic event, was the saddest thing she had seen in a long time. A picture of true loneliness. She tightened her grip on Ricken’s hand. Ricken felt real and knowing that he was there made her feel that much braver. I have to try and stay brave for Ricken and because of that lady at the stall. There is noooo waaayyy that I am chickening out of a challenge from her! But I think…mainly because of Ricken….. Nowi was confused, because when they had first started on their challenge, she had wanted to prove the mean lady wrong, but now that they had reached where they were going, she just wanted to help Ricken succeed.
“Hey, Did you see that Nowi?” he suddenly said, pointing to the right. Nowi was a little perplexed. See what I wonder? I wasn’t looking in that direction, but I didn’t hear anything….well nothing but that singing. What a nice song it is….like a lullaby. Waiiiit a minute…is it coming from over there? Turning to look in the direction of the music, she thought she saw the hem of a dress disappearing behind one of the ruined houses.
"No, Ricken…I don’t think I saw anything…..what was it? Also, you didn’t happen to see a woman at all…in a green dress?" She said, unable to keep the confusion out of her voice. She was sure she had seen someone, but she hadn’t heard any steps…and her hearing was usually exceptional.