Sally tried to see where Zach had gone, but the trees were really thick here and the light did not penetrate the gloom. Now, her curiosity took hold, and she was determined to find out what Zach was doing. Just when she thought she had lost him for sure, she came around a tree and saw him drag a strange looking shirt over his head.
That was Zach wasn’t it? Yes, she knew the back of his head for sure. She’d looked around it often enough in class the past six years! He stood very still now as if he was waiting for something. She walked up to him and touched his shoulder. “Hi, Zach, what are you doing here in those crazy clothes?”
Zach whirled around and saw her standing beside him. “What are you doing here, Sally! Go home!” He started to push her away, but at that exact moment the woods disappeared and they were both standing in a sun-drenched meadow where two men looked at them with astonishment.
Sally screamed in a really great impression of every heroine in a horror movie and Zach looked at her with complete disgust. “Now look what you’ve done! You’ve probably ruined everything! I’m sorry, Angari. I didn’t know she was there until it was too late.”
Sally grabbed Zach’s arm. “Where is this place? What have you done to me? I want to go home!”
The tall man with wings bowed to her. “Welcome to Windfallow, fair lady. We’re sorry you came uninvited but we offer you our hospitality nonetheless. Zach, would you introduce us?”
“I suppose so,” Zach mumbled “Angari, this is Sally Tate. She’s one of my friends from earth and she really didn’t mean to spy. She was just looking for me.” He turned to the second man. “Sparrow? Is that you?”
The second man, not quite as tall as the first, bowed to Sally and Zach. “It is, indeed. I know Angari here doesn’t age, but I’ve got a few gray hairs since we last met. Welcome to Windfallow, Sally. My name is Sparrow, and I fear we may be observed if we stay here in the open. Let’s head for theWatchTower.”
“I’ll go on ahead and find some suitable clothing for the girl, Sparrow. See you later.” With that Angari winked out.
Sally turned to Zach. “Zach Thomas, you tell me what’s going on right now!”
“Can we talk as we go, Sally? Sparrow’s right. We aren’t safe here in the open. Come on.” He started off behind Sparrow and Sally had no option but to follow them. He explained to her where they were and why he had returned. “I can’t believe you’re really here with me, and I’m sure they won’t let you go back until I do. But you have nothing to fear from them, Sally. They are the kindest people I’ve ever met and you won’t believe what this place is like.”
Sally stopped him in his tracks. “You mean I can’t go home until they say I can go home? And what’s with the guy with wings? What is he, anyway?”
Excerpt from The Chronicles of Windfallow; Donna Swanson c.2011