Now, in the spirit of Halloween (even though it’s a little late for that), I’d like to show you a story I made long ago–it’s my very first one and it’s not that good–about four girls alone on Halloween night. Before you start, I’d like you to know that Halloween was once called All Hallows Eve, and people would dress up in scary costumes to scare the evil spirits away. Nowadays you can dress up like anything, from princesses to poltergeists, just to go around and get free candy, but back then, it wasn’t so. This story brings out the true spirit of All Hallows Eve.

This required a bit of editing but I am short on time, so please forgive if there are things that might not make sense. Also know that this was in 4th grade and I wasn’t too very inventive, so that’s why almost all of the names begin with M.

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It was the week before that sacred day, the day when the spirits came to life. The wind howled, although the pouring rain had died down mere hours before. The trees bent low, the hard sheets of rain threatening to rip the tender leaves from their branches. Hallows Eve had come again, but each was more spooky than the last.

It was almost time. The spirits waited, restless, beneath the surface, ready to wreak havoc on the mortals above that had scared them away like cowards, year after year after year. But this time they would prevail.

Maybe it was because of the secret, hiding, unseen, but in plain sight. It was the horrible truth of the candy-gathering holiday. The whirlwind of sight came every year. It would engulf anything that was alone on Hallows Eve in its raging winds. No one had ever come back alive, and the spirits had welcomed them into their ranks eagerly.

The forces were building, growing larger and larger. Soon, the dead would outnumber the living, and they would rise up to destroy the foolish mortals that had driven them away for millennia.

The clock struck midnight, and all at once the portal opened, revealing the starry sky of the Upperworld. The spirits wailed with joy, soaring up to greet and scare the mortals waiting above. They’d be out, with their horrible, colorful costumes that looked nothing like the terrifying ghouls, the invisible ghosts, the horrible ogres, or even the bloodsucking vampires they were to be impersonating for the dreadful night. Yet somehow they’d always fooled the monsters.

All night the spirits raged, letting out all of their anger, but this year they finally realized what had pulled them back to slumber. The first rays of daylight burned their souls, shrank them to a wisp. They cried in fear and disappeared, and waited once again for next year.

It’s just a story, Mary Wistler thought as she strode into her room to try out her new costume. Still, she felt uneasy as she closed the door. She changed into the frightening witch dress, only to figure out that it was much too small. Picking up her normal blue plaid dress, she sat down at her computer to work on a story she was writing. “T’was the night of secrets and spirits that were hidden for so long, finally released,” she rapidly typed, continuing what she had written before. The clicking of the keys beneath her fingers echoed loudly and eerily in the spooky silence.

A loud sound roared throughout the room, and Mary looked up, alarmed. There was no way anything could make a sound that loud, unless there was a lion standing beneath her window and roaring into a super-huge megaphone (which she highly doubted).

Just to be sure, she got up and glanced out her window. she could never be sure if it wasn’t another prank. After all, it was the night of All Hallows Eve, or, as it was currently called, Halloween. Kids in their costumes would be running around, yelling and screaming.

Mary huffed in annoyance as she glanced outside. whoever it was must have hid somewhere. “That wasn’t funny!” she yelled at the offender, then slammed the window closed.

Suddenly, Mary felt a fierce wind blowing in her room, fiercer than a lioness defending its cub. She closed her eyes as she was trapped inside it. It seemed like she saw the darkness of her eyelids for eons as the swirling mass of wind whooshed and whizzed around her.

When she finally opened her eyes, she was in a dark, damp, dirty place. Charcoal rocks littered the dusty gray ground underfoot, and the air was filled with fog that sucked all of the air out of Mary’s lungs and constricted her throat with its thick ropes of smoke. The fog filled the air with the smell of rotting animal bodies.

Mary walked over to the muddy, garbage-tainted river cutting through the land like a knife. She picked up a stick and dipped it into the water. When she drew it back out, it was completely frozen, and she dropped the twig-turned-icicle back into the black waters.

She heard a faint clatter of stones in the distance and a voice of confusion. “WHERE IN THE WORLD AM I?! IT STINKS HERE! EVER THINK OF CLEANING UP, PEOPLE?!”

Mary jumped up. Looking around, she spotted a hazy figure in the distance. As she stood on a blackened tree stump and ran her eyes over the desolate wasteland, she recognized Maria, her best friend, standing up and staring around with disgust. Mary wasn’t surprised. Maria was always a neat freak.

As Mary stepped down to call to Maria, she was overtaken by two other figures, who Mary soon identified as her other two friends, Maria and Margaret. They were talking with Maria. Mary watched them for a few more minutes as they came within earshot.

“How am I supposed to know what happened?!” Margaret threw up her hands in frustration. “One minute I was getting the candy from the pantry, and the next thing I know I’m here! I’m lucky I didn’t fall into the river, but I turned away at the last moment.”

Marigold was trying to calm her down–she had to keep the peace no matter what. “None of us know where we are, how we got here, or even how to get out! Our main focus is that. We can figure out what happened later. Let’s just hope no one else–”

She broke off as she looked up and saw Mary standing on the tree stump. “Oh, no! Mary!”

The girls ran over and they exchanged stories. All of them were getting ready for Halloween, and they all seemed to be alone at the time.

“I’ve read a story about this somewhere,” Mary remembered. “Long ago, Halloween used to be called All Hallow’s Eve, and people would dress up in scary costumes to frighten away the evil spirits that came out at midnight, terrorizing the people. Over the years it changed, but there was still one story that was never told differently.

“There was once a fairy named Silvermist. She used to be a spirit, released from the Underworld one one day of the year only, but she befriended a living thing on her first run: a golden cat. This friendship led to a pact: the cat would shield Silvermist from the deathly sunlight, and in return, Silvermist wouldn’t hurt any of the living.

“They agreed to do so, and when the sun rose, Silvermist was spared. Now, there’s a rule to spirits in the Upperworld.” Here, Mary paused, hesitant. “The rule–the rule is that if a spirit stays out of the Underworld for more than a night, that spirit is granted life and immunity to sunlight. So, when Silvermist did not return to rejoin the ranks of the dead, she stayed in the Upperworld and became good.

“For centuries, she fought the spirits away from doing any serious damage, and year after year she succeeded…until one day, a race of goblin-like creatures called fentils survived a night and invaded the Upperworld.

“Silvermist had to defend the mortals, so she fought long and hard to eliminate the fentils. Finally, she opened a portal to another dimension and forced all of the fentils into the swirling vortex.” Mary’s voice became hushed. “They say that the last fentil to go in grabbed her foot and pulled her after him just before the portal closed, and now she is here, fighting off the fentils and forever trying to get back to the mortal world for two reasons: one, because she was the mortal guardian, and two, because she longed to see her beloved cat companion one more time before her immunity faded and she was recalled to the Underworld.”

“Why would her immunity fade?” Maria asked. “Doesn’t that last forever?”

“All living things have to die sometime,” Mary replied. “Staying so long in another dimension with no light at all caused her immunity to start to fade, and her life force to seep away slowly. She was granted life, but she wasn’t immortal.”

“Do you think that she’s still here?” Marigold asked. “Maybe she could help us.”

“She might be,” Mary answered. “But don’t count on it. Her plans might’ve changed, or she may not be here at all.”

“What’s that voice?” Margaret jumped in, frowning. “It’s whispering something, but I can’t make out what it’s saying.”

They all listened carefully. “Nope, nothing.” The other girls shook their heads.

“Wait! I can make out the words a little now.” Margaret paused. “Something about a light ball…?”

“A light ball…” The girls pondered the words for a while. Mary thought back to what she had read. She was a big fan of horror stories, and most of them had Halloween history in them.

“That’s it!” Mary cried out suddenly. “The ball of light!”

The other girls were confused, so Mary told them the story about the ball of light. “Legend has it that Silvermist had a mysterious ball, one that glowed like a mini sun. She kept all of her memories in it, that of the spirit world and her time in the Upperworld. She kept it by her side at all times, lest something happen to her and she needed to relive her memories. Maybe that’s the way we can get home!”

All of a sudden, they heard a scraping noise and looked down. “W-What’s h-h-happening?” Maria stammered.

Immediately, a low rumbling started under their feet, and they were suddenly whisked down into blackness. “It’s a trap!” Margaret shrieked, and that was the last thing Mary heard before the blackness of the land vanished and she plunged into a dark, freezing liquid.

She had had no time to breathe, and right then she couldn’t find which way was up. She now regretted quitting swimming lessons. She felt something bump into her and grasped it–a floating branch. She fought to get to the surface and finally got a breath of air. Marigold was bobbing next to her and she saw Maria fighting to get to the bank. Margaret was nowhere in sight.

“Margaret!” Marigold called out, but the only response she received was an echo.

Mary hauled herself up onto the bank to join Maria and pulled Marigold out of the water. “Thanks,” Marigold said, squeezing the water out of her long blond hair.

“Hey, guys, I’m over here!” The girls looked up to see Margaret on the opposite side, where she was waving frantically and pointing down the length of the tunnel. “There’s got to be an exit somewhere down the tunnel, I heard it while I was in the water. We’ll meet up there.”

Mary, Maria, and Marigold trekked through the slimy tunnel until they found Margaret at the fork in the underground tunnel the sewer water went through. They laughed about the surprise they just had when a loud shriek started echoing through the narrow, wet channel of the sewer.

“Wh-wh-what was THAT?!” Mary yelled, surprised and scared.

“It sounded like a girl’s scream,” Marigold answered.

“Where’s it coming from? I can’t tell, the echo is too loud,” Maria started to panic.

Marigold raised her head, listening for a moment, then pointed at the left fork. “This way.”

The girls followed Marigold through the twisting passageways. Mary hoped that Marigold knew where she was going, because there was no going back. They were hopelessly lost.

They heard the scream again, eerily bouncing around the tunnel, but they finally found the source. A girl was backed against the wall of a tunnel, holding a brightly lit torch in one hand and a knife in the other. A pink bag was slung over her shoulder, and her long black hair cascaded down her back and over her shoulders as she stared at her attacker with fierce blue eyes.

Her attacker was a silver-furred wolf.

It snarled and leaped at the girl. The girl screamed, the same scream they had heard twice before, and jabbed the torch at it. It retreated, growling angrily. Its eyes blazed and it started to circle the girl warily, while she lifted the knife, ready to throw.

“Stop!” Marigold cried, rushing forward before the others could stop her. The wolf turned, and, upon seeing more humans and that it was badly outnumbered, it fled into the shadows of the opposite tunnel.

“Thanks.” The girl sighed with relief. “That was close. I don’t think I would’ve survived yet another attack.”

“Who are you?” Margaret asked.

“My name is Silvermist,” she replied. “Yours?”

“Silvermist!” Mary exclaimed.

Silvermist nodded. “What are yours?”

While Maria quickly introduced them, Mary noticed Marigold creeping towards Silvermist’s bag, which she had set down on the stone floor. She was hesitant and looked a little unwilling to do what she was about to do, but she knelt down beside the bag anyway.

She was about to open it when it wriggled. Shrieking, Marigold jumped up and backed away from it. Whatever was inside emitted a muffled yowl.

Silvermist calmly walked over and opened the bag, pulling out a cat with amber eyes and ruffled golden fur. It looked annoyed, and the loud meow said it all.

“Is that…” Marigold came closer. “That’s Sun!”

Silvermist looked up. “She was your cat?”

Marigold nodded. “She disappeared last Halloween. I looked everywhere but I couldn’t find her!”

Silvermist bent her head. “That was the fault of the whirlwind of sight. It engulfs every living thing that’s alone on All Hallows Eve and brings them here, to Fentil’s Crossing. The Revenge of the Spirits, as it is better known in the Underworld.”

Mary gasped. “You mean the whirlwind of sight is real?”

“How else do you think that you got here? Here, to this vile, horrible place?”

Marigold looked at the cat. “Oh, Sun, I’m so sorry.”  

“Correction.” Silvermist looked at her sternly. “It’s Goldentail, not Sun. I should know. She’s my sis–.” Silvermist stopped herself, but the girls could identify what she was going to say: She is my sister.

“Hey, if that is your sister, then you must be…” Margaret looked at her suspiciously.

“Metal!” they cried in unison.

Goldentail nodded her tiny golden head to confirm it.

“Metal and Sun are the names we adopted to blend in,” Silvermist explained. “Around the time we became housecats, we had to hide from evil cats that were after us and our powers. We took the names that our bigpaws–or, as you call them, humans–gave us.”

“What powers are you talking about?” Maria asked. “Ooh, do you have fashion powers?”

Silvermist smiled. “No, no fashion powers. However, there is one rule to the whirlwind of sight: it can only bring those with magical powers. Both Goldentail and I have the power to shape-shift. Each of you have powers as well.”

“I have a question,” Mary began. “I know it’s a little off-topic, but do you still have the ball of light?”

“I sure do.” Silvermist reached down into the bag–all the way up to her shoulder, which should’ve been impossible given the size of the bag. “Bottomless bag,” she explained as she saw the weird looks.

Finally, she drew out a shining golden ball. Mary had been exaggerating when she described the ball of light earlier. It was indeed shining like a mini sun, but a golden glow surrounded it, hazy in the cold air. The core was golden, and the light shone through the glass-like surface, but just beneath the surface, you could see moving images of the memories Silvermist had stored in it.

Mary looked closer. There was her first All Hallows Eve, the night she met Goldentail and was shielded from the sun, the hour that she was granted life and sunlight immunity, several spirit encounters during All Hallows Eve, and finally: the day she faced the fentils and was pulled into the portal.

Mary shuddered. It gave her the creeps.

Maria reached out to touch it. “Oh!” She quickly drew her hand back. “It’s so cold.”

Mary slid her hand over the smooth surface. “What are you talking about? It’s as warm as a small fire.”

“You all have different perspectives,” Silvermist reminded them. “It also depends on your powers.”

Margaret came over. “Shouldn’t we get going?”

The five girls went on in the sewer, Silvermist leading the way. It was dark, but they made out faint silhouettes in the dim light.

“Why are you all soaking wet?” Silvermist asked, breaking the silence.

“Well,” Mary started, “up above on the surface, we kind of fell into a trap, with dropped us into the sewer water back there somewhere….” Mary trailed off, waving her hand behind her vaguely to indicate where they had fallen.

“Oh, that!” Silvermist began to laugh. “Do you like my new security system?”

“That was you?!” Margaret stopped. “You couldn’t have just dropped us onto the bank?!”

They all burst out laughing. After a minute, Margaret joined in.

When the finished, Silvermist became serious. “No, really. Fentils keep getting into my room, even though they can’t swim. That’s why I set it up.”

Suddenly, they heard mysterious grunts coming from ahead. They moved hurriedly through the maze of twisting tunnels. Rounding a bend, they saw green creatures bending over a shirt. They looked up, squealed, and ran away through another tunnel. Silvermist started to chase them but Mary and Maria grabbed her arms.

“Silvermist, stop!” Maria shouted over the noise that the fentils were making. “You could get seriously hurt. You don’t know what they’ll do!”

Silvermist struggled, trying to break free. Mary stepped forward to further secure her–and slipped.

She knew no more.

* * *

When Mary opened her eyes again, she tried to get up and realized that there was a bandage on her head and felt something soft under her, like mashed potatoes. She suddenly remembered her fall. “What happened?” she groaned, feeling the wound on her head.

Marigold was at the far corner, sitting on a stool fashioned from a tree stump. She appeared to be weaving something out of fabric, but where she got it, Mary didn’t know. When Mary sat up, Marigold looked over.

“Maria, Margaret, Silvermist! Mary’s awake!”

Marigold jumped up and ran over to the bed, pushing Mary back down. “You shouldn’t be sitting up, you’re badly wounded,” she scolded gently.

Maria, Margaret, and Silvermist joined Marigold at Mary’s bedside, along with Goldentail jumping up onto the soft mattress and curling up there. Mary stroked Goldentail’s back and heard a loud purr.

“Are you OK?” Margaret asked. “That was quite a fall you had.”

“Yeah, I’m alright,” Mary replied. “What happened?”

“You slipped on some slime that the fentils left behind,” Maria explained.

“You’re lucky that wasn’t serious.” Marigold said quietly.

“Yes, you could have died,” Margaret agreed. “We will have to postpone our journey until you are okay!”

No, Mary thought. We have to go on! I have to get home!

As if Silvermist could read her mind, she said, “No. You can’t stop now. At midnight tonight, the portal will close and you can never get out of here! You have to continue.”

Mary glanced at the moondial in the center of the room. The glow of the moon was resting on the number 10.

Mary got up from the bed, and this time no one tried to stop her. She cried out in pain as her ankle gave way, but Marigold supporter and helped her sit back down on the bed.

Maria turned around to ask Silvermist to grab a few bandages, but she had disappeared.

“Where’d Silvermist go? She was right here,” Maria asked, confused.

“She said something about getting some moss,” Margaret said absentmindedly, stroking Goldentail’s ginger fur.

“She shouldn’t have gone out by herself!” Marigold exclaimed. “Goldentail, do you know where she went?”

To everyone’s surprise, Goldentail lifted her head and meowed something to Marigold, who nodded her head in agreement. “She said that out in the tunnel, to the right, is an old door, which leads to a room full of doors. We have to choose the door to the immediate left of where we came in. There should only be the rock wall behind it, which is really a hollow opening,” Marigold translated.

Maria was off before she even finished, leaving the others to follow. “Super speed is her power, no doubt,” Mary muttered, balancing on her good leg and awkwardly half-hopping, half-stumbling after Marigold and Margaret.

On the way, they talked about their situation. “Silvermist said something about having magical powers,” Margaret recalled. “We know that Maria’s is probably super speed, but what about us?”

“I think mine is talking to animals,” Marigold said nervously. I could clearly understand Goldentail, and vice versa.”

“Margaret, yours might be finding what is hidden,” I said eagerly. “You were the only one who could hear the voice in the wind, and the water told you where the two banks joined.”

“Probably,” she agreed. “But what about yours?”

“I don’t know.” I bit my lip. “Say I don’t have any?”

“Of course you do, Mary,” Marigold reassured her. “It’ll come, no doubt.”

Their conversation ended abruptly as they came to an old wooden door set into the wet stone. Mary reached out hesitantly, and, treating the doorknob as if it would bite her hand off, slowly turned the handle and swung the door open with a soft click.

Maria was standing amid all of the doors, but whirled around as we entered. “Don’t close the door!” she cried out. “If you do, the room spins around and you can’t find the exit anymore!”

“I wasn’t going to,” Mary murmured, shoving her foot into the gap and wedging it open a little more to let in a sliver of dim torchlight. “It’s really dark in here.”

Mary turned to her left with a little difficulty, but leaned against the wall and felt along it until she found a door. She opened it, only to find the wall behind it. Maria rapped her knuckles on the wall.

“This must be it. The wall is hollow, just like Goldentail said!” She pressed her hand on the wall and it moved aside with a loud grating sound.

The four girls and Goldentail stepped into a huge room lined with several thousand fabulously multicolored stones set into the wall. Silvermist was standing in the center of the room, holding up an amulet that shined with all of the colors in existence, merging them all beautifully and glowing with life. Silvermist herself was chanting in a language that they couldn’t understand.

Suddenly, a beam of silver electricity burst from Silvermist’s outstretched hands and into the stones in the wall. They all watched with mixed awe and horror as the spark grew as it bounced back and forth throughout the entire cavern.

Finally, it rebounded and struck Silvermist in her chest, pushing her back and onto the floor. Unable to take it any longer, Goldentail trotted over to her and began to meow fiercely.

“What just happened?”

When Marigold spoke, Silvermist jumped up. “How did you get here?!”

“Goldentail told us,” Maria reminded her. “Marigold talked to her, and she knows what you’ve been doing.”

Silvermist glared at her cat-sister with an accusatory look, but Goldentail stared back calmly. “It was time they knew, Silvermist,” she said in a human voice (one which surprised everyone).

“It’ll never be time,” Silvermist said harshly, turning away. “This place is dangerous. Contacting the spirits of the Underworld is hard, and keeping them away from you is even harder.”

“The Underworld?!” Mary gasped. “I thought you hated that place!”

“I do,” she replied, throwing up her hands angrily. “I’m trying to keep them from coming after me for betraying them and befriending someone from the Upperworld.”

Silvermist ran over to the wall and leaped up to what would’ve been an impossible height, grabbing hold of the rock. She ripped out a gem savagely, one that was precariously hanging and was about to fall, then dropped back down to the ground. “Can’t have these falling and breaking,” she explained, having finally regained her composure. She tucked both the gleaming stone and the amulet into a small pouch hanging around her neck.

“Wait. Everyone be quiet,” Margaret ordered, standing unnaturally still. “Why does it sound like an angry mob is following our footprints? It’s faint, but I can hear it, somewhere in the tunnels. It echoes like crazy. Drives me mad sometimes.”

“An angry mob?” Silvermist frowned. “That could only be…”

Silvermist’s eyes widened in terror. “Goldentail,” she told the cat, “go gather all of our allies and get them ready to fight. Use the secret exit.”

As Goldentail scampered off, Silvermist turned to the other girls. “Get ready. The tunnel is about to overflow. Stay as far from the door as possible.”

“Where is the door, anyway?” Mary whirled around, but it was invisible against the rock wall. “There’s no time to try finding it again.”

Silvermist pointed to the far wall. “Stay over there. It’s about to get rough.”

The four girls hurried over to the rock. “Ow!” Mary yelled as she stumbled and her ankle gave way. “I can’t walk,” she gasped, clutching it in pain. “Go without me.”

“Nonsense. We leave no one behind,” Margaret said defiantly. She and Maria picked her up and gently supported her over to the wall, where they sat her down on the cold stone floor and began to wrap more bandages around the wound.

Silvermist faced the other side proudly, standing tall in the center of the dim stone room. She raised her hands, and more beams of electricity bounced back and forth throughout the room, illuminating the place a little more.

Mary’s jaw dropped as the entrance door suddenly burst open and a huge wave of fentils poured in through the gap.

No. The word huge was a severe understatement and wasn’t doing them justice. The crowd was gargantuan.

Within minutes they had overpowered us, despite our attempts to keep up at bay. Tied up and helpless, we were carried through long, winding tunnels until Margaret detected the sound of the roaring water from the sewer tunnel.

“They’re going to dump us in!” Maria screamed, panicking. “We can’t swim with binds on us, we’ll all drown!”

There was a sudden squeal and the fentils dropped the girls onto the floor. They landed hard, but managed to break free of their bonds. They stood up, forming a protective circle so as to cover all sides.

Just then, they saw a bigger flash of gray pelts heading right towards them. “Help!” Marigold screamed.

“There’s an abundance of wolves living down here for some reason,” Silvermist yowled over the din as she hacked and slashed with her knife. “I think they’re some kind of dog-mutants from one Hallows Eve.”

“One question,” Mary gasped as she threw a knife at an approaching wolf. “Why did the fentils just drop us like that?”

Silvermist gestured to the edges of the fight. Mary followed her gaze. Hundreds of thousands of cats were fighting at the edge of the fray, picking off as many fentils as they could. They swarmed through the group but couldn’t get very far, due to both size and number disadvantage.

In an instant, Silvermist was beside the girls, not as a human, but as a cat! A fentil took the chance and leapt at Silvermist, who reared up, screeching. She hissed, clawing the air to warn it away, but it grabbed her and tossed her into the crowd. That done, it turned back to the girls, and Mary knew that without Silvermist by their side, they were done for.

The battle had begun.

Fentils swarmed them, breaking the group apart and separating them to fend for themselves. Mary struggled out of the mass to see one wolf running away from Maria, while Marigold was digging through the wolf-and-fentil mass. Silvermist was busy wrestling with a wolf, aided by Goldentail, who darted in and gave sharp bites and nips at every possible opportunity.

“Silvermist!” Mary called out, hoping to get her attention.

Silvermist looked up for a moment, distracted. That was all the wolf needed. It sank its teeth into her hind paw and began to drag her away. Goldentail clawed the wolf’s eyes and it let go, howling with pain. While Goldentail kept it busy, Mary rushed over to Silvermist, who was lying, still as stone, on the ground.

She opened her eyes a fraction, squinting up at Mary. “You have to be the one–” she coughed, “–the one to bring us home. Use the ball of light, it’s in the corner there. You’re our only hope now.”

“What do I do?” Mary asked desperately. “I don’t know how to do magic!”

“It’s your power, Mary,” she explained, wheezing. “You have all magic power to ever exist. Like Goldentail and I. Just follow your heart.”

Mary picked up the glowing ball. She thought she knew what to do, but she still hesitated for a moment. Finally, she picked it up and held it high above her head.

Nothing happened.

“Where’s the on switch for this thing?” Mary muttered as she turned it over. There was a small circle set into the surface, so small that you could feel but not see it. Mary pressed her finger deep into it, feeling the power of the ball flow through her. She knew exactly what to do.

She held it above her head again. Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed Margaret using Silvermist’s bag to hit a fentil on the head. She smiled, knowing that if this didn’t work, they still wouldn’t go down without a fight.

She began to chant, the ancient words filling her with knowledge and power. Later, Mary didn’t know how she did it, seeing as she spoke in another language but everyone could understand what she said in the growing darkness.

“We started this journey alone and lost, so take us home without a cost!”

Mary squeezed her eyes shut as the whirlwind of sight enveloped her once again and everything disappeared in a flash of bright light.

When Mary decided it was time to open her eyes, the girls were at the edge of a forest. It was dark but green, the fruit and flower trees in full bloom. The grass stems were thick and juicy underfoot, while the tree trunks were bright and healthy.

“Goodbye, girls,” the two sisters (now cats) chorused.

“Where are you going? Aren’t you the mortal protector?” Maria asked, confused.

“I was,” Silvermist corrected. “Seeing you there, fighting, I realized that mortals don’t need me anymore. Besides, Goldentail and I belong in the forest with the other wild cats.”

“Hey, what about your bag?” Margaret asked.

“You can keep it, I won’t need it anymore,” she responded.

They exchanged tearful farewells before the two cats padded into the forest. “We’ll never forget,” Marigold murmured quietly.

“As will we,” Goldentail confirmed. “Our paths were intertwined from the moment we met.”

With those words, the cats departed, and the girls began to hike back to their nearby village, where no time at all had passed. Their wounds had magically healed, and everyone believed that they had just gone out for a short walk together before they went trick-or-treating. The girls could hardly believe it, but they knew exactly who was behind it all.

As the two cats settled down for the night at the base of the sky-scraping mountains, only Silvermist knew they would see each other again.

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