“Stop crying,” I say shortly, and grab Ettie’s hand. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?” she sniffles.
I smile. A smile that she should never trust.
“Somewhere he will not be able to find you,” I say, which is only partly a lie.
We rush down a tangle of back streets, keeping to the shadows.
She’s breathless and struggling along behind me, but at least she’s stopped crying.
She thinks I’m going to save her. When I’m sending her to a fate worse than the seven hells.
But sometimes we must pay a terrible price to protect the things we love.
The song from the woods first called to me on a bright June morning while I sat on the back porch swing rereading my favorite cookbook. I could only hear a few notes, a small taste of half-remembered melody that meandered through the air, but I was instantly hungry to hear the whole thing and discover where it came from. I crossed the yard and stopped at the edge of the woods. As the music drifted toward me like an irresistible aroma. I held my breath and stepped into the trees.
Good morning all!