SEVEN

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Wirt's Point Of View:

"Wirt."

The Beast approached me as I looked curiously at the lantern I was holding.

"I have a question," I said.

The Beast looked taken aback, but he nodded.

"What is it?"

"The Woodsman's daughter's soul was in the lantern before Greg's, right?" I asked, glaring at him. "Where did her soul go?"

The Beast didn't answer, but instead placed a hand on my shoulder.

"Follow me, Wirt."

I obeyed and he led me to a cabin that was covered with snow. A light was visible through the window, so I could tell that someone was living there.

"She is still sick, but she lives in that cabin with her father," The Beast said. "Gregory was worse than she was. She will heal, but as long as Gregory's soul is in the lantern, he will be safe, and not die."

A shadow appeared in the window, and The Beast hastily turned me around. I was confused at his quickness, but I escaped his grip and ran to the window.

"Wirt! Don't!" The Beast yelled at me.

How come he doesn't want me to see who was in the window? Well, now I know. When I peered into the window, I was staring, face to face, with Greg. I cried out in surprise and fell backwards.

"Wirt! You have antlers!" Greg's muffled voice came from inside.

I stood up again, and stared at my brother. Beatrice and another girl whom I didn't know appeared by his side. Greg took off his tea kettle and hit it against the window. I took cover as it shattered. Greg, Beatrice, and the girl came out of the cabin, and I ran to them.

"Greg! Beatrice!" I cried out happily and hugged them.

"Wirt!" they cried back, hugging me.

I felt tears threatening to fall, and I let them. We let go of each other, and Beatrice brought the girl over.

"Wirt, this is my sister, Sarah," Beatrice introduced.

"Hello, Sarah," I said, shaking her hand.

"Hello Wirt," Sarah replied. "Listen, we need to tell you something about the lantern."

My face turned angry, and I turned to The Beast. He was standing there, not saying anything.

"You lied to me!" I yelled, angry tears falling. "My brother's soul was never in the lantern! I should just douse the flame right now!"

"NO!" The Beast, Beatrice, Greg, and Sarah cried out at the same time.

"Wirt, The Beast's soul is in the lantern," Beatrice said.

"But so is yours," Greg said, grabbing my arm.

"They are right, Wirt," The Beast said. "If you get rid of the light, you kill me and send Gregory back home, but you also kill yourself."

"If I don't, then we will both live," I murmured, thinking.

I finally made a decision, and turned to Greg. Out of my pocket, I took out a cassette that I made for the girl back home whom I have a crush on: Sara Inkman. I looked at it, sighed, and gave it to Greg.

"Greg, once you get back home, take Beatrice and Sarah with you, and give this to Sara Inkman," I told him.

"But you will be with me, right Wirt?" Greg asked, tears forming in his eyes.

I shook my head, and wiped his tears. "Greg, I need you to survive. This whole mess has been my fault, and I need to fix it."

"You just can't leave Greg!" Beatrice protested, crying.

"I'm sorry, Beatrice," I said, my voice wavering. "Greg, will you do what I told you to?"

Greg nodded, and placed the cassette in his pocket.

"Tell my mom and your dad that I love them," I said, placing my hands on Greg's shoulders. "Can you do that for me?"

"Y-Yes Wirt," Greg replied, tears staining his face.

I gave him a hug, then stood back up.

"Go deep into the woods," I told them. "It will be easier for you guys to go home that way."

They all nodded, and ran off into the woods. I turned back to The Beast, glaring.

"Wirt, you don't have to do this," The Beast said, in a pleading voice.

I opened the lantern, and looked at the flame, tears forming in my eyes.

"Wirt! Don't!"

I took a deep breath, and blew.

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