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The Enchanted Forest

Abdul sees a young girl sitting at the base of a sand dune. He can tell that she has been crying. He approaches slowly so as not to frighten her. She turns to Abdul and looks at him with her filmy green eyes. "Beware," she rasps, "Madcoil is near." Abdul reaches forward to comfort her, but the stranger faints.

Abdul nuzzles her up on his back and ambles into the oasis. Nikka wakes up screaming. "He is so close," she whispers, wrapping her arms around the camel. She stares blankly at the ground repeating a riddle:

Follow the grass till embers high
Find a chamber that sees no light
In the darkness the answer lies
Use this key to sets things right

That night, Nikka leans against Abdul and falls into a deep sleep. In her dream, she finds herself in a misty clearing blanketed by fog. A dark figure slithers through the tall grass. A pair of red eyes peers out at her from the brush. She can see glittering scales behind leaves. "Come to meeee. Come closer," hisses the voice beyond the trees. "Closer!" the voice demands.

Nikka wakes up in a sweat with her arms around Abdul’s neck. Abdul is eager to tell his friend his discovery. "I have the answer," he says. "What answer?" Nikka’s soft voice questions. "The answer to your riddle!" is all he will tell her. He helps her off the grass and they begin to walk, with Abdul leading the way.

Often Nikka wants to stop but Abdul does not let her. At nightfall, they reach a cave at the edge of the grassland. Fireflies, like sparks from a campfire, dance around the opening of the cave. "Where are you taking me?" asks Nikka. "To find the answer." Abdul answers with confidence. "But where is the answer? What is it?" "Shush!" Abdul whispers and gently leads her inside.

Using her hands to explore the dark cave, Nikka looks for clues in the riddle. "I found something!" yells Abdul. He kicks around a metallic object lying on the ground. Nikka hurries over to examine. When Nikka picks up the object, it begins to shine in her hand, and she can see that it is a star, a magic star. So, this is the key to find the answer, she thinks. But what will it tell her? What shall she do with it?

At that moment, a hiss comes from the back of the cave. The rustling sound of scales moving through gravel can be heard moving towards them. "Come closer," the mysterious voice demands. With the magic star in hand, Nikka and Abdul race out of the cave. At the entrance, they turn around to look at their pursuer but see nothing.

The End