The trees have to be tied down by sunset. When the Woodsmen come, they always try to run.
The girls who are skilled forgers fashion little iron stakes to drive through the roots of the trees and into the earth, anchoring them in place. With no gifts for forging between the two of us, Boróka and I haul great length of rope, snaring any trees we pass in clumsy loops and awkward knots. When we finish, it looks the spider web of some giant creature, something the woods might cough up. The thought doesn’t even make me shiver. Nothing that might break through the tree line could be worse than the Woodsmen.
I had random.org select a page for me and it went with page 9.
Maybe if I had known, I might have stayed inside with Mum and her new aromatherapy diffuser and her veggie toots and her comforting kind of weirdness.
But if I had, the world would have ended.
I’ll leave it to you to decide whether I made the right decision.
“I’ll see you later, Mum,” I said. And then I went out and saved the world.