Chapter 21

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Gracie stared up at Mary Margaret in shock. Not only was she escaping her jail cell, she was kidnapping Gracie.

"No, no," Gracie muttered, "No! You can't go! What are you thinking? How did you even get out?"

"Shh, Gracie please," Mary Margaret bent down to Gracie's level and handed her the sweater, "we have to leave now. Please Gracie this is my only way out of this whole mess! We have to leave. Now put on your sweater and follow me."

Gracie refused to move. Her features were dark and Mary Margaret knew Gracie wouldn't be convinced. She picked the little girl up, not a hard task since Gracie was small, and rushed out of the sheriffs office. Gracie's blue jacket was left behind.

Mary Margaret hid in the shadows where she wouldn't be seen by anyone, just in case someone was taking a late night walk. She tugged Gracie behind her, the child reluctantly following. Gracie wasn't making anything easier on Mary Margaret, but she was not going to leave the child behind. Gracie was the one thing Mary Margaret wasn't losing.

They reached the forest in a small amount of time. The moonlight was blocked by the leaves making it even darker as they ventured into the woods.

"Let me go," Gracie demanded, "I won't run. I'll stay with you. Just let go of me."

Mary Margaret thought it over for a second. She slowly released her grasp on Gracie and waited for her to turn and run. But, the little girl stayed right by her side. Mary Margaret smiled down at her. They continued to walk on, further and further away from town.

"Why are you running away? Emma was going to get you out of this," Gracie asked.

"There's no hope Gracie. All the evidence points to me," Mary Margaret looked down at Gracie with a defeated look, "You don't think it was me, do you?"

"Of course not! I know you would never do something like this. You're being set up."

Mary Margaret gave a smile in return. Gracie reached for her teachers hand, and the two walked on side by side.

The forest grew more eerie with every step the duo took. Gracie swore she heard sticks breaking behind them, but thought it was just paranoia. There was barely enough light to navigate through the woods. Gracie knew they haven't gone too far, she could easily track her way back if needed. She focused ahead of her, making sure not to run into any trees. The two were quiet, neither talking anymore. Both had a million thoughts running through their head.

And as both were off in their own worlds, they nearly didn't hear the loud snap of a branch behind them. But, the snap brought them back into reality. They spun around quickly, but not quick enough. An unrecognizable man jumped out at them, grabbing Mary Margaret and missing Gracie.

"Run Gracie, run!" Mary Margaret yelled, and Gracie didn't move.

She was in shock from what happened. Just as reality started sinking in, the mystery man lowered down to Gracie and blew into Gracie's face. Whatever the man had been holding made Gracie feel dizzy, and within a second she collapsed to the ground.


Emma approached Henry where he sat on a bench, the story book open on his lap. He smiled up at his Mother and closed the book.

"I'm here to congratulate you," Henry said.

"For what?" Emma asked, clearly confused.

"Your genius plan!" Henry exclaimed.

"And what plans that, Henry?"

Emma turned around to be greeted by Mr. Gold. He wasn't behind her just a moment ago. Henry refused to answer in front of Gold.

"Mr. Gold, what are you doing here?" Emma asked.

"Well as you know, I'm supposed to be watching little Ms. Gracie. Well last time I saw her she claimed to have run here to get her jacket, and hasn't returned," Mr. Gold explained.

"That's strange, she told me she was coming here too," Emma said, walking to the doors of her office.

The three of them filed into the building. Mr. Gold walked passed Emma and Henry into the cell area. However, he missed an important detail that Henry and Emma quickly noticed.

"That's Gracie's jacket," Henry said while picking it up, "I thought she was coming to get it?"

Emma inspected the jacket, confused herself.

"Sheriff, could you join me, please," Mr. Gold called out.

Emma did as asked and when she saw what Mr. Gold called her about, her mouth nearly dropped open.

"They're gone."


Short chapter, but I promise I'll have a new chapter up tomorrow!

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