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This chapter is short not because I was late or had no ideas… It just seemed like a good place to build tension. XD

Chapter 5

“Come to think of it, you do look familiar.” Marsalla says to me, turning a cup of tea in her hands. I dunno why but I expect more after I finish telling her my story. She scratched her nose, picked at her sweater, tucked a fussy curl behind her ear but that’s it. I expected something… Witchier.

Rabbit, after she stopped shacking, looks up from the warm nest she’s made for herself in Marsalla’s lap. “Looks just like the guy, right? And she can hear us.”

“And your Mother could talk to animals?” Marsalla scratches between Rabbit’s ears.

“That’s what Auntie told me.”

Marsalla stops scritching Rabbit’s ears and picks her up so she can stand. “C’mere, kid. I want you to look at something.”

I bring my cup with me and Frog balances on my shoulder as I follower her out of the cluttered living room into an equally cluttered library. It’s like a book store exploded in here with only one clear area left untouched; a wood stand with a glass case on top.

“Take a look, Boot.” Marsalla points her chin at the case and I step towards it. Inside are a bunch of scattered sticks.

I watch them like she said. I take in the ceramic plate, the clean glass, the knots on every twig but nothing happens. “Am I supposed to see something?”

“Not unless you’re a witch with training in divination.” Marsalla smiles. “My mother cast those sticks. It’s the last reading she did before she died. She knew the winter would come and it’s because that guy is stuck in the lake.” Marsalla looks sadly down at the case, her eyes watering. “She tried to stop it but the Cold One was too powerful. It killed her.”

“I’m sorry.” I whisper, missing my mother, too.

Marsalla shrugs, blinking more than normal. “Thanks but that’s not important.” Her hand goes back to Rabbit, who flattens her ears in happiness. “My mother told me the reason for the endless winter is the Cold One put that man in the lake. To free him and end the winter, the Cold One has to be defeated.” She looks down at me. “And it has something to do with you.”

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