opened her eyes once Leah was asleep. The truth was, she hadn't wanted to talk
about the issue with Jareth because her twin was beginning to remind her of her
stepmother, who would always ask her to work out her feelings with her when she
was troubled. She had always despised her stepmother doing that, because, most
of the time, all she had felt for her stepmother was a seething dislike; a
dislike she did not want to talk about with the subject of her resentment. She
had just wanted her to go away and bring her real mother back.
were different now between she and her stepmother, but she didn't want to be
reminded of past conversations by her cohort.
stood up and brushed herself off, feeling restless with all of the day's new
questions. She wandered off somewhat into the forest, nearly expecting to trip
over Sage the way she had the last time she had left the campsite.
Suddenly, she stopped in her tracks and cocked her head to the side, as
if listening for something. The
sound of chirping grew steadily as she stood there. Once the sound was close
enough to hear, she detected one voice, high and squeaky above the rest,
proclaiming with excitement, "There she is!"
looked up as the vibrant Magicmockers landed in the clearing around her. The
red-breasted Rattlebeak perched himself atop her shoulder while the others
surrounded the friends. "Rattlebeak!" Sarah exclaimed happily. "Why
are you here?"
bring some very important news from Sage!" he rasped, his little chest
heaving with the struggle to catch his breath.
emerged from the forest. "What's all the commotion about?" she called
from her far-off position.
didn't get to tell her about Sage's message. Sarah looked up from the red bird
to find the other Magicmockers gone, and walls flanking her on all sides. Leah
was closed out to the world beyond.
my, God! Rattlebeak! Look!"
walls made a closed-in chamber about the size of a palace room, its walls
covered with a geometrical, repeating pattern of birds. Each bird was
differently colored and represented an individual block of stone, but with each
passing second the birds' colors were fading to different shades of grey.
It was just like Escher’s repeating bird design.
friends, Rattlebeak! They've turned into a wall!"
flew into the wall and beat madly against it, as if trying to shatter it. "Peaseblossom!"
he cried desperately. "Oh, Peaseblossom! I shouldn't have let her come! She
was the only girl in the group!"
approached a wall quickly and did her best to knock it down. It was useless.
must be a way to break the spell," she mumbled, biting her lip. She stood
back and gazed at the wall. One blue, sapphire stone was much more conspicuous
than the rest. "Aha!" She rushed to the stone and pressed down on it
with all of her strength and the wall collapsed into its individual stones, the
birds returning to their normal forms. She sighed and wiped the sweat from her
she called. She looked around. "Leah?" Her twin was nowhere to be
scudded impatiently across the ground. "Peaseblossom?" he called
fearfully. "Has anyone seen Peaseblossom?"
He stopped over a motionless orange figure.
came to observe. "Is she all right?" she asked.
still stone," Rattlebeak replied with consternation, his eyes widening with
fear. He finally lost all control and fell over the paling figure. "Oh,
Peaseblossom! Why didn't you change back?"
closed her eyes and concentrated. "Jareth wants something more out of me,"
she muttered reflectively. "He doesn't want me to know what you came here
to tell me!" she concluded with a shout. "Promise me you won't tell me
what Sage's message was, Rattlebeak."
Rattlebeak declared tearfully with muddled confusion.
tell me what Sage said."
I promise!" he replied in a squeaky chirp.
a burst of magic, Peaseblossom was no longer made of stone, but was instead
flesh and bone. Being deprived of oxygen for so long had obviously not been good
for her, because she was no longer breathing.
She's dead!" Rattlebeak yelled as he spread his wings mournfully across her
chewed at her lip. "Not yet. Let's try CPR on her."
what?" Rattlebeak asked, sniffling.
rolled her eyes upward. "I can't believe I'm about to do CPR on a bird."
She bent over and pressed lightly against the little bird's chest a couple of
what?" Rattlebeak asked again, hysterically.
now Rattlebeak, you have to breathe into her mouth a couple of times,"
nodded his head and complied.
pressed against Peaseblosom's chest again, and again Rattlebeak breathed into
her mouth. After doing this a couple more times, Peaseblossom's chest heaved
suddenly upward and she opened her eyes.
Rattlebeak said happily. "You're alright!" He wrapped his wings around
her and gave her a tight squeeze.
so hard," she rasped.
now the other birds had begun to surround them, looking on as the two lovebirds
carefully stepped over the band of birds and went back to the campsite.
Rattlebeak looked up from the business at hand, said a few words to Peaseblossom
who duly nodded her head, and flew over to Sarah's side.
you doin' right now?" he asked.
I'm going to check and see if a friend of mine is back at the campsite. Then, if
she's not, I'm going to finish my quest."
You mean, right now?" Rattlebeak queried with wonder.
stepped onto the campsite and, upon finding that Leah was missing, she promptly
dumped out the contents of each knapsack and put only the most necessary of her
supplies into one of the bags. Rattlebeak perched himself atop a branch and
watched her actions in silence.
expression was stern and purposeful as she reached for a canteen of water and
dumped it onto the campfire. The wood sizzled and shot out a few last dying
embers before becoming completely hushed.
does this friend of yours look like?" Rattlebeak asked.
Sarah replied curtly as she walked out of the clearing.
mean, you you? You're not saying that your friend is you, but that–"
looks just like me," Sarah cut him off.
you want me to come with you?" Rattlebeak asked her timidly.
she said, not even glancing in his direction to answer. She just continued to
walk, past the huddled group of birds and into the forest. "Peaseblossom
I do... anything for you? You saved my girlfriend's life."
you, Rattlebeak, but, no, I'll be fine. Please don't come with me."