Alba Chapter 6


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The Wizard in Warlock Woodlands

In a blur of leaves and twigs, Alba and Kai tumbled down a steep hill, thankful that Nonno had given them a thick travel cloak that protected them on this free fall journey into darkness. They rolled to a stop as countless red and brown leaves rained down on them. Meanwhile, Nonno slid down on a bed of thick leaves with his stick to guide him much more gracefully.

Alba shook her head, tossing out leaves and twigs caught in her long white hair. Kai helped her up as they took in their surrounding. Soaked in orange glow from the evening sunset, the forest shone a path towards a dark tower in the middle of the valley.

“Is that the wicked wizard tower?” Kai asked, his pale face growing even paler.

“Come now, Kai,” Nonno assured. “You were looking for an adventure. Let’s see if we can go inside the tower.”

“Nonno, you seem to know your way awfully well in this forest,” Kai speculated but still followed closely behind.

Nonno gave a twinkling smile and winked at Kai. As they descended the rest of the hill, it didn’t take long for Nonno to rummage through the thick bushes before a wooden door with a metal bear claw magically appeared. Nonno lifted the knocker and dropped it three times, the clangs echoed loud enough to wake sleeping bats. The door slowly creaked open. Beyond the threshold laid a thickly weeded pathway. As they edged further in, the tower cast its shadow over them, blocking the remnants of sunlight.

After some time and the sun’s last ray had disappeared to be replaced by the night’s coolness, they reached another door. This one had no knocker. Instead, there were two metal bars with a moon and a star on each end. They were positioned parallel to each other on either side of the door. Nonno tugged the bars, pulling them forcibly down, and interlocked them, revealing a keyhole. Nonno pulled a key from his cloak.

The key had a matching moon and star on one end. He inserted the key. The door creaked open. Darkness greeted them. Suddenly, light spilled and illuminated the abyss, revealing a large room.

Kai held Alba’s hand as they entered the room behind Nonno. Alba could see chandeliers swinging above them. In the center of the room, a grand staircase swooped up, splitting at a landing where it continued to spiral up towards the top of the tower.

Then a voice croaked and echoed in the chamber. “Father.”

“My son, Daryn,” Nonno exclaimed, moving swiftly towards the staircase where a figure came rushing down. Alba stood patiently watching her grandfather and uncle hug.

After all the traveling, over the sea and desert, through a prairie and a forest, Alba realized she was never going to be lonely again.


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