Chapter 5

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April 21, 6:00 pm

Nali went to bring Mira her dinner, but found her gone. He did not tell but he worried the master would soon find out. Nali sat and waited in Mira’s room, working on a spell to bring her back. The door opened, and a cloaked figure stood there. “You let her escape!” the voice hissed.

Nali has mysteriously gone missing from the castle, and no one has heard from him since.

Finally passing castle boundaries, Mira found that this place was much different than where the castle was. The area was wooded with oak, and fairly warm. Mira took off her cloak, and sat down in the sunshine. She had been up all night, and began to doze. She was awakened by a loud noise, right above her head. Mira’s eyes shot open, but she saw nothing. Slowly looking up she saw an apple that had been pinned to the tree with what appeared to be a handcrafted arrow. Mira jumped back in alarm, afraid of more arrows.

Just as she did this, a girl jumped out of a branch in a nearby tree. She looked about sixteen years old. The girl was dressed all in green, and had a hat with a feather sticking out on the top of her head. On her belt were several bags of money, and there was a quiver full of arrows, on her back. Turning around the girl spotted Mira, “Oh! you’re still alive?”

“Um..I think so...” Mira stuttered, not sure what to think, “were you trying to kill me?”

“Na, your head just made a good target stand, and I figured if you were dead you wouldn’t mind.”

“Oh...” Mira replied, slightly relieved. Suddenly the girl began to laugh. “What?” Mira asked in confusion.

“It’s just, you’re so timid! What the heck are you doing out here?” The girl looked at Mira slouching on the ground.

“Well I...”

“You’re never gonna survive out here. That is, you’re never going to survive out here without me!  I’m Robin, who are you?” The girl said, grabbing Mira by the hand and helping her up.

“Wait a minute, Robin, as in Robin Hood? Isn’t Robin Hood a guy?”

“ Yeah he’s my uncle, I’m named after him.” Robin replied, “but I got archery skills that are just as good. He taught me himself. I’m the only one with the guts and the guns for it.  Yup! Lived in these woods since I was born, and I know them pretty well, along with all the creatures in it.” Robin was pretty sure of herself, which would be very helpful to Mira.

“You mean like bunnies and stuff?” Mira was still recalling the disney version of Snow White.

“Ha! If only! The only ‘bunnies’ you’ll find here are ten foot dragons!”

“Dragons. Yea right there is no way you’re serious.” Mira wasn’t about to believe something as stupid as dragons being real.

“Sure am serious! Why do you think I carry my bow everywhere?”

“You carry it everywhere?”

“Yes!” This set Mira at a little bit of unease, so she stopped arguing.

“Whatever. Can you help me get home?”

“Home? Don’t you want to explore a little bit before you leave?” Mira was eager to get home, but when she began to think about it, what did her home have to offer her? Maybe she would meet some people who actually would care about here. Robin was right. She was here anyway, so may as well take advantage of it.

“Fine.” Mira replied.
“Awesome! No one has ever agreed to explore with me before! This is going to be great!” So the two set off into the forest while Robin babbled about how many ogres she had killed, and how she had once saved a guy from a dragon. This girl was definitely not a damsel.
“So you know what you’re getting into, right?” Robin said out of the blue.
“You know, exploring the forest with me. Do you know what you’re getting into?”
“Exploring I guess?” Mira was confused and alarmed at the comment.
“So you don’t know what you’re getting into.”
“You told me we were going to explore, that’s all I know.”
“Then obviously you need some explanation.” Robin replied as her brow began to furrow. “You are coming with me on a really dangerous quest.”
“Seriously Robin you sound like you are reading a movie script.” Mira said, laughing to hide her fear.
“ I’m not kidding! This place is no walk in the park!”
“So we’re on a quest then?”
“Well, I guess it’s not a quest, just try to stay alive.”
“Excuse me?!” At this point, Mira was so scared that she would have done anything to be back home, in her bed, no matter how scary the storm, writing, or whispers. She wasn’t going to show that though. It would be fun right? Thrilling? “You know you could have told me that before you got me into this.”
“Well sorry.” Robin said in a tone that showed no sympathy.
“No biggie,” Mira said with a forced smile, “it’ll be fun.” Suddenly the ground began to shake. Treetops swayed back and forth so hard Mira was sure they would snap. “What’s happening?!” Mira shouted over the dinn.
“Just an earthquake. We get one every few days.” Robin shouted back cooly. “Come on.” She grabbed Mira’s arm and pulled her down into hole that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere.

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