The Lost Frost Girl by Amy Wilson

The Lost Frost Girl by Amy Wilson

Author:Amy Wilson
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2017-08-24T04:00:00+00:00

30

“Have you completely lost it?” Avery barks at us, shoving us into the shelter of an enormous ash tree. “Do you know what you’re doing, coming here?”

“I said I was coming!” I retort. “And I was hardly going to come alone.”

“Besides, surely anyone’s allowed into the woods. It’s public land, after all,” chimes in Mallory. Avery stares at her. She stares back.

“It’s not safe,” he says, his eyes roaming, searching the woodland around us. “This isn’t some cozy fairy land! Humans aren’t allowed at the Royal Court. You might get away with it,” he says looking at me. “But I’m not sure it’s even possible for Mallory to get there. And if you’re here for Jack it’s about the worst thing you could do, to bring her with you. . . .”

“Well, we’re here now,” I say, folding my arms. “And I’m guessing you’re not king of the wood, so you’ve no choice in it. You should go. We’ll make our own way. You didn’t want to be seen with me, remember?”

He draws me to one side. “Seriously, Owl, stop this. It’s not safe for either of you, especially not for Mallory.” He looks me up and down, his eyes softening. “Even you won’t be able to fight them all off, if they discover you.”

“Would they really attack us?”

“I don’t know,” he says, shifting his feet, his eyes constantly on the lookout. “I don’t know what will happen. I just know some of them won’t like it. And, as I say, she might not even get through.”

“Get through where?”

“There’s a barrier. A spell, I suppose. It stops humans from seeing what they’re not supposed to see.”

“So she’ll be there, but she won’t see anything?”

“I don’t know!” he hisses, his shoulders tense. “I don’t know what will happen. Are you really willing to risk it?”

The branches of the trees rustle around us and there’s a low scurrying noise, things stirring in the undergrowth. Avery looks back to the deep darkness of the wood.

“The trees are waking,” he whispers. “Go home, Owl. There’s nothing for you here.” His eyes blaze and the trees around us lower their branches with a shuffle and a cascade of leaves, snapping upright once more when he waves his hand at them with a frustrated huff. “Please,” he says. “This isn’t a place for humans—just go.” And with that he’s off, darting through the trees as if he’s been doing it all his life. He probably has, I think with a shudder as I turn back to Mallory.

“Wow. Was that, with the trees . . . Did he do that? Did they bow to him, Owl? Is this place really full of strange creatures?” she asks, her voice hushed.

“I did try to tell you,” I whisper, a knot forming in my stomach as I look around us.

The trees seem closer together now. They’re so tall they could be endless. The light is dim already and farther in, darkness clings to every limb.

We tread through thick undergrowth in the direction Avery went, trying to steer clear of the trees.



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