The last room on the third floor

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The last room on the third floor came to haunt Ferry. He dreamed about it every night. In his dreams, he was walking a long corridor at the end of which there was a door. Spears of light were coming from behind it. But the door was moving further and further away before he could reach it. And no matter how hard Ferry tried to come closer, the room was moving even further, ever smaller...

Each time, Ferry would wake up, his heart drumming in his ears and his forehead full of sweat. In Lavender's cottage, Ferry slept on the terrace on the last floor. An unusual choice for a youngster. But Ferry loved to fall asleep under the endless sky, even when the stars were covered by clouds. He loved to feel the wind blowing around. But most of all, he loved to feel the touch of the moonlight on his face, like a second mother watching over his sleep. Yet the nights were getting chillier, and the moon was turning into a stranger. So Parsley had used his magical powers and made a dome of mist above the terrace, through which Ferry could still feel he could reach the sky with his hand if he wanted.

The last room on the third floor began to chase away the beautiful dreams from beneath the fragile dome. Under his pillow, Ferry kept the drawing of the maze's map. He had memorised it, just as Ol' Joseph had asked. Then, he drew it on a piece of paper that he would always keep on him. From time to time, he would take it out and study it as if behind the broken lines, long-forgotten memories were waiting to be discovered; memories that should have remained just that. Forgotten.

Yet Ferry could not forget. His curiosity was unusual, even for a fairy. Now that the secret of the room was taking him over, the other things around seemed somehow less important, or at least, affecting him less. Concerned in solving the mystery, Ferry didn't mind that Matilda has moved from their desk saying she couldn't see well at the table. He didn't notice that Andrew, who eventually came back to school, had befriended Billy and his group. He didn't listen to the gossip in town that Peter Donovan was spending increasingly long times at the tavern, even taking Mrs. Jones, the waitress, to her home at the end of her working hours. Or that his mother's pillow was always wet before she fell asleep, although she looked cheery an hour before.

Instead, Ferry was happy that the secret of the room kept his worries away. Andrew, Peter, Thyme, Akna, May, Matilda... The worries seemed all to fade compared to the calling of the Pride Mansion's mystery. A calling that was becoming ever-alluring.

That day, after school ended, Ferry hurried, like usual, to get to the Pride Mansion. Ol' Joseph would scold him if he was late even for a few seconds; any second of coming late was a reason for babbling and extra chores in the garden. He wanted to talk to his friends about the maze and the room. But Ben was completely taken hold of Steph who invited him to tea that afternoon, an invitation which didn't seem to please Ben; but he eventually obeyed to the request of his determined girlfriend. And Matilda left before he could even talk to her. They hadn't been talking for two weeks and Ferry missed that. He missed his cascading laughter, her half-gaze when there was something she didn't like, and even the bluster tone in her voice whenever they were arguing about something.

Now, Ferry chased those thoughts away as he was gathering, as usual, the leaves that had fallen on the lawn the night before. His eyes were glued to the mystery room on the third floor. On the terrasse of the house, he saw someone waving at him. It was a girl. Ferry put down the rake after he made sure Ol' Joseph wasn't around. He headed towards the terrasse where he met Bella, Ben's sister.

She smiled at him and offered him a glass of lemonade. It was a hot day for October and Ferry drank the lemonade in a sip.

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