{Sorry I didn’t post last week. But it was Thanksgiving, Thol was coming home from school, and my novel was begging me to finish a battle sequence. So. I have good reasons. ;)  }

I didn’t say anything. They had tried to end it. Can only Central do it? Where is Central? And I had a rather more inane question, what is Central?

I heard Donny text Myra again.

“What did you say to her?” I asked.

“I asked her why,” she answered. Donny sat down beside me, slumping forward with her elbows on her knees.

“I guess they have to get the thumbs up from Central to do it,” I murmured. Then I looked at her. “You know what Central is?”

“Sure. It’s that big white building right outside the city. The big round one. I go in there all the time,” she answered.
The city’s quite a drive. And we can’t even get the car out of the driveway.

“We could probably walk there.” She suggested. She said it like Central was a few blocks down on and it was a sunny spring day.

I leaned back against the stair. That was an insane idea. But if I could just walk out why should I even bother going to Central?
Donny looked at her phone.

“She’s not answering,” she mused.

I looked back behind me up the stairwell. I could still hear crows cawing and throttling down the hallways. But it didn’t seem too loud right near the door.

“Well, I suppose…” I stopped. I glanced back when I saw a shadow creep over the basement. It was already dark enough, and it wasn’t a shadow coming from over the light in the cellar. The glass block windows had shed a pale, misty light in.

Until something came across them, and stayed.

The forest.

“Let’s go,” I said. The forest was right up against the house. It would be eating it soon, and I no desire to be trapped inside.

I started up the stairs and Donny looked up. I heard her suddenly jumped to her feet and run up beside me. She must have seen the darkness over the windows.

I didn’t pause to open the door. I ran right too it, flung it open, and ran out.

It looked like it was nighttime. Lights were on in the hallways, but there was none coming from the windows. I heard crows thud against the walls up ahead.

We ran down the hall, towards the front door. All the doors to all the other rooms were closed. Shut.  I wondered if anyone was inside them. Where everyone was in the first place.

A crow darted at us, claws spread.

Donny shrieked. I ducked her under my arm. We kept running ahead.

   But there’s definably fewer crows in the house, I thought, they must of flown back out.

When we came to the front hallway I ran forward towards the door. I had never felt such a rush to get out of a place. I could feel the tightness of the forest around us. I could imagine the roots creaking around the house and breaking it, just like they did to rocks in a hundred years.

“Wait!” Donny said, right as I put my hand on the doorknob.

She pulled a brown coat off a peg and put it on. She had only a light sweater on before.

I opened the door and stepped out, Donny behind me.

We could hear crows whirling overhead, but we couldn’t see them; for the trees were right at the foot of the porch, their branches reached up over to the roof of the house. The dark canopy blocked our view of the crows and kept us from them.

But the forest stood there, dark and wet, and looked no more welcoming.

“And you’re sure you know your way to Central?” I asked. I didn’t want to get lost in the forest. It seemed it would be impossible to ever get out of.

“Yeah. I got a compass on my phone,” she answered.

“And you know which direction Central is in?” I asked. I had to make sure.

“Yep,” she answered lightly. “East.”

   East. Almost straight ahead.

We walked down off the porch and into the woods. I was thankful we were at least away from the crows. But there was another problem, and would be an even bigger problem if we ever lost each other.

Our Doubles were out there and were very well doing the exact same thing we were.

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