The World Beyond the Stairs: The Northern Lands

Mary’s search to find a way back to her world continues…

The following is an excerpt from The World Beyond the Stairs: The Northern Lands

Even though the six children had already walked countless kilometers since sunrise, the small matter of their fatigue and sore feet was instantly forgotten. For, in place of their ailments, they were filled with a renewed sense of wonder and excitement. But, despite their enthusiasm for the spectacle, there was one individual in their group who was extremely bothered by it. For, ever since Rilee, the hawk, had been close enough to see and smell the circus, the crimson bird had become overcome with fear and anxiety. So much so, that the creature began circling the children’s heads in distress.

“Come down here, you silly bird!” Robbee instructed mentally. “I can barely hear myself think! Honestly, there is no need to make such a fuss, old friend. After all, it is only a bloody circus. It is quite harmless, I assure you.”

Heeding Robbee’s words, the frightened bird landed on the lad’s shoulder. Still, in spite of this action, the wingèd creature could not prevent itself from ruffling its feathers in a perturbed manner.

“I know exactly what the place is!” Rilee argued telepathically. “There is nothing harmless about it! For, I fear, there are a great many terrible things which happen there!”

“What sort of terrible things?” Angelaa asked curiously with her mind.

“Why, child, they are so hideous and deplorable, that I dare not speak of them now!” the hawk responded through its thoughts.

With that, Rilee’s body seemed to shutter for a moment.

“Oh, no…!” Robbee replied callously through his thoughts. “Please, tell us what ‘terrible things’ we should fear! Perhaps, we should all be wary of clowns running about? Or, maybe we should steer clear of tumblers being tossed about in the air? Honestly, old friend! Is it not enough that we have had to deal with forks in the road and land bridges? Do I really need to contend with your foolishness, too? I mean, as far as I can tell, we are still lost. Have you given any thought as to who we may find over there? Why, there might be someone who can tell us how to get to the town of Utculi from here.”

“Yes,” the wise bird responded with its mind. “I know it sounds foolish, but I am quite certain no good will come from that wretched place. However, far be it for me to stand in anyone’s way who wishes to go. But, I warn you, if you venture there, I will be unable to follow.”

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If you enjoyed that, be sure to pick up a copy of The Northern Lands this Fall 2020!

Copyright © 2020 J.T. Grainger. All rights reserved.