The previous part

With A hug, Pickanickl left the Glenfeather’s home knowing she’d made two friends at least. She ran her fingers through her shorn hair and ran back to the toll bridge. She needed to cross Darklands to get to Sound Village, but was confident in her new look she wouldn’t be recognised.

Reaching the bridge, she was surprised to see Betro already there.

“Betro? How? I’ve just left you at the house.”

“All is not as it seems,” Betro said, with his smirk. “I’m Petro, Betro’s twin brother. We work the toll bridge in turns.”

Pickanickl gradually noticed the differences in looks between the two men, although very slight. She was about to comment on their similarities when she noticed Petro had stopped moving – he was completely frozen in place where he stood, staring at her. “Petro… are you alright?” She gently shook his arm, but he didn’t respond.

A shadow descended, covering the bridge, the river, the whole area.

Pickanickl looked around her, but couldn’t see anything that would cast such a large shadow. Nothing was moving… the trees and flowers stood perfectly still… the clouds above were motionless… there wasn’t even a breeze. She looked back at Petro, who suddenly turned his head to face her.

“Do not forget your quest, Pickanickl.” Petro said, staring straight through her, but with a totally different voice. “This darkness is nothing compared to that what may come, should you fail.”

Pickanickl recognised the darkness first, and then she remembered the voice: Caldane.

More soon…

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