Entry Twenty

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When we finally reached the edge of the forest, close to my family home, Geroux pulled the horses to a stop. I had taken a small bag of clothes with me, including the ones I was wearing when Geroux initially kidnapped me. As he helped me down from the carriage, he withdrew the enchanted hand-mirror from his satchel.

"Here, take this. I have assigned the mirror a new task, so that when you look into the reflection and ask me to come for you - I will hear it," he said, placing the mirror in my hand. "Then I will return for you immediately."

I simply nodded. My bittersweet escape almost in the palm of my hand.

"Farewell, my dear Belle. I do hope things turn out well," said Geroux with a sincere reverence. "As do I," I replied and I meant it, in more ways than he knew. Geroux hopped back on the top of the carriage and rode off, disappearing quickly, into the forest.

The thrill of finally returning home, despite the fact that papa was so ill, pulled me out of the melancholic memories of mother that had temporarily entered my mind.

I took a few steps around the forest edge. A gentle breeze picked up, as though to welcome me home, bringing with it the reminiscent scents of the farm and the memories I had not cherished enough whilst living here.

I can honestly say I've never felt such a warm hug of sense-memory.

My beautiful, humble home was right there in all its countryside glory. Perched proudly as though no time had passed at all. I swelled with a burst of relief, before it dawned on me why I was actually here.

Tears welled in my eyes.

The grass had grown quite long. As I walked through it, the feel of the grass between my fingers was just heaven.

Over the far side of the house, a large downward slope falls to a rocky creek at the base. In the heat of the moment, I had fantasised about throwing the mirror down the slope, as far as I could, hoping it would smash onto the rocks.

But as I held the mirror in my hand, my arm raised aiming, I decided it may not be prudent to act so impulsively. So I tucked the mirror into my bag and headed bravely inside to whatever was awaiting.

I can safely say that now, looking back, keeping the mirror with me instead of breaking it was the most fortunate decision I could have made.

Had I known what was about to happen, I would have used the mirror to call Geroux back, right then and there.

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