DANGEROUS FOREST by Katherine Tucker
Whenever it grew dark in the Dangerous Forest, Mother used to say the trees themselves were frightened. I remember she used to say the birds grew quiet and still as if awaiting the light when they would fly away to safety. Mother ran away from the clutches of that forest just before the Great Darkness came. She was lucky. Many were not. The Great Darkness was terrible. King Grytu was terrible. His so called "Knights" were cruel, brutal warriors who would kill on sight.
I was born after she ran away, far away from King Grytu, the forest, and the knights, but I had heard plenty of stories. The Great Darkness was everywhere though. Queen Adria was kind, and she protected her people. She did not allow anyone to hurt her people. She ordered a law saying no one may go in or out of our borders. That was a problem for me. I wanted to explore. I wanted to free the world from darkness. I hated the dark. I will never know why my mother named me Sunshine Mist, but I have a pretty good idea. I have never seen sunshine. I wish I could. I wish -
"Sunny! Where are you?" My sister's voice cut into my reverie, and my pen writing in my diary made a strange mark on the page.
I sighed and yelled back at her, "Right here, Amaryllis."
"Right where?" Amaryllis’ voice was frustrated.
I dropped out of my perch up in the tree taking my glowworm lantern with me. "In the garden."
"Where in the garden?"
"Maze tree." I didn't have to say anymore. She came running toward me, her cloak trailing behind her.
"Madifree is looking for you, and Mother is chopping up a pumpkin with an ax, the house is in an uproar, and Lily told me to find you." She sighed, "There, now I told you."
I narrowed my eyes at her.
"Why is Mother chopping a pumpkin with an ax?"