Chapter 4:

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Scarlet.

The journey from my house to the library in town is lengthy, but it's relaxing to walk in silence while a cool breeze flutters around me.

As I walk down the tree infested road, leading to the gate of our house, I can't help but smile at the memories that crawl into my head.

When Syd and I were little we used to climb over the wall beside the gate -it isn't very high; it has the gate where pedestrians can enter- and have races to the bottom of the road -the house is situated on top of a hill on the outskirts of town- where we'd escape to our reality of dragons and knights. 

At the bottom of the hill resides an old oak tree marking the first tree of five which leads to our "special area" in the forest.

Slowly fragments of the shriveled memory -of seven years ago- unfold as I lean against the sturdy Oak.

My arms groan as I boost Syd to help her jump over the wall; I follow shortly after he feet befriend the ground.

Hours pass as we race up and down the hill; the sky starts pulling on its afternoon gown. Syd and I finally grow bored of racing and our eyes land on the big oak tree supervising us as we play.

"Want to climb it?" The question it out of my mouth even before we get a chance to catch our breath from all the racing we've been doing.

Sydney's big eyes meet my questioning gaze, "Yes!" Excitement and wonder merging, blurring out the curiosity in her eyes; her voice coming out as an almost inaudible squeal.

After struggling for some time we eventually make it high enough to see deeper into the forest.

Mom is going to kill me, I'm supposed to be helping Syd with her homework and here I am climbing a tree with her instead.

"Rosie," my attention is shifted from the mystery of the forest to my little sister, "do you think mom and dad will ever stop being gone for so long?" An innocent question that heavies my heart.

"I don't know, Syd. I think when we're a little bit older they will start working less, you know? Like when I'm almost finished with school. So, when I'm sixteen they'll stay home more." I falsely coat my lie with some truth and lower myself until I'm sitting on the branch we climbed to.

Syd copies my actions, "Okay. Do you think mom is going to shout at me when they get home?"

"If anyone is going to get shouted at here, it's going to be me. And, I don't think she'll shout at you because we will be back to the house before they get home, leaving us enough time to get our homework done." Hope shimmers in her eyes as wind pulls at her untied hair.

The sun slowly changes colour as I carefully rise from my current seated position. As I steady my balance my eye catches sight of a shimmer a few trees into the forest, "Get, Syd, do you see that?"

"What," her childish voice questions.

Without much thought I climb down the Oak with excitement and curiosity driving me forward.

The surface beneath my feet is level; a loud thud draws my attention towards where Sydney descended from the tree, ready to follow my orders.

I gesture for her to follow me before walking deeper into the forest.

Just ahead of the fourth tree we've passed since setting foot back onto the stable ground, awaits an old looking tree house. It isn't high up in a tree, but it's a treehouse nonetheless.

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