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…a scene straight out of her worst nightmares. An army of giant spiders were crawling through the trees, the hard tips of their legs clicking on the wood in a terrible rhythm. They were converging upon their ruined picnic spot.
Damn, she could really use one of those Cokes right now. Mixed with rum.
Prince grabbed her hand and pulled her into a full sprint. “The Order is approaching,” he panted. “Those killer bees have been conjured by the magic of their highest wizards to guide their soldiers to our location.”
“Killer bees! What killer bees?” Laura screeched as she narrowly avoided smacking into a low-hanging branch. Killer bees she could maybe handle. But the spiders… She shuddered at the thought.
“Or whatever you’re seeing!” Prince cried, throwing a frightened glance over his shoulder. “The magic manifests itself as your greatest fear.”
Quite literally, giant spiders were something from Laura’s childhood nightmares, the ones that she’d had ever since she was a small princess. Even to this day, those spiders were something that woke her with a scream in her throat, clutching at David’s arm for comfort in the middle of the night…
David. He must have told the Order about those nightmares. He truly was a traitor.
Prince pulled her deeper into the dark woods, the trees now so densely packed that the moonlight was no longer lighting their way. Laura tripped over the undergrowth, stumbled over rocks, and while she was grateful in one sense that Prince was so committed to protecting her, she was also tired of him yanking her from place to place like this.
“Hold up!” she said, pulling back on Prince. He came to a stop, his eyes scanning behind them. She couldn’t hear the skittering noises of the spiders anymore – she had at least a minute to catch her breath and talk.
“My grandmother is a powerful witch, right?”
“Yes, Princess,” he said, his eyes narrowed and still peering in the shadows behind them. “We’ve already established that.”
“Well, do I have any special powers to fight the Order?” Prince must have heard the buzzing of killer bees because he was already edging forward again, but she planted her feet firmly in the earth. “Because maybe I could…I don’t know, cast a spell or something to help us?”
His eyes shifted to her face, and he hesitated enough to know that she was onto something.
He looked conflicted. “Your grandmother wanted to be the one to tell you, but considering the circumstances -”
“Yes, between the spiders and shit-throwing flying monkeys, circumstances are pretty crappy,” she interrupted. “Now spill.”
He heaved a giant sigh, but his eyes lit up at the same time. “All right, Princess. You have the power to…
Helen Boswell is originally from upstate New York. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University at Buffalo and currently teaches biology at Southern Utah University. She enjoys playing with her two little boys, camping, gardening, eating large bowls of ice cream after the kids go to bed, and hanging out on the couch with her husband to watch Breaking Bad, Louis CK, and Wilfred — and of course, writing.