I rolled my eyes, annoyed. “You already asked me that.”
“I know, but you never answered.”
“No, she won’t care.” Giselle’s shoulders relaxed a little. “As long as she doesn’t find out.” I added mischievously.
“Joan!” She cried, near-frantic.
“I’m joking! Although it is true,” I added under my breath so she wouldn’t hear. Digging through books littered on the floor, I pulled one titled, 3 Dragons: How to Train Your Children (So They Don’t End Up Monsters) and snorted contemptuously. People had no idea how to properly employ their time. Giselle was looking at one of the only interesting books in the whole library, embossed with leaves and flowers.
“Don’t you just love the smell of books?” she inhaled the musty aroma.
“Giselle, no one in their right mind likes the smell of old crumbling books.”
Her smile faded.
“Joan, do you like reading?”
“No; never have.”
“Well, even if you don’t, you’d like this. It’s not like normal school books; it’s a story. I’ve never read something like this before.”
This needed to happen. Now.
“Stop poring over the book. We have to leave. Do you want to get in trouble?”
At the mention of trouble, Giselle’s head snapped up. Her face paled. Good. I was counting on her fear.
“Let’s leave,” she whispered.
“We can’t leave. I left the key in the lock when we came in.” I lied. Darting a look at the closed door, her face grew a pasty grey. “We’ll have to go out the window and through the front door.”
“”But- but that’s not even safe!”
“Of course not. You go first.” Shoving her towards the window I entwined the rope into her hands.
“I don’t know how!” Seriously, where was her sense of adventure? Oh, yes, I had forgotten: she was born without one.
“You’ll be fine, just do it!” I spoke in her ear before pushing her out. If she had sense, she would cling to the rope until she reached the ground. Peering over the edge, I saw she was sliding down rapidly. She hit the snow with a slight thud, but I wasn’t worried. I untied the rope and let it fall to the ground right next to Giselle.
“I found the key in here after all!” I called down to her as she stood shivering in the cold. “I’ll go out this way, and you go ahead through the front door. I’ll meet you there.”
“All right,” her voice floated up, barely audible.
I smiled. Finally a way to rid myself of past regrets.
Giselle walked around the house, it’s profile darkened by the absence of the moon. Stepping up to the front door, she found it was bolted shut for the night. Tears began to slide down her cheeks; suddenly she heard a howl.
Wolves. Too close for comfort and coming closer. Shadows were snapping at her arms and dress and she couldn’t stop the onslaught. Suddenly something came crashing out of the bushes, a great beast not unlike a bear. It snatched her and disappeared into the night.
“Who are you?” she breathed, too dazed to fear.
Well. Giselle was gone. Perhaps forever. Yes, it was my fault.I felt a smile tug on the corners of my mouth. Finally that old debt was settled. No more worries in that matter. Untying the ribbons holding my hair back, I shook it out and felt the freedom that comes with turning to your self. The only person- or thing- you can trust.