The weather outside was dark and stormy; she could hear the distant rumble of thunder approaching. Suddenly she jumped out of her seat with a scream as a bolt of lightning hit right outside her room. It sounded like a bomb going off. The lights went out and all went dark. Then suddenly the light of a fire kindled before her very eyes.
Hannah blinked a few times and looked up to see a young woman staring right back at her with the same look of shock and surprise as she.
“Who are you?!” demanded the girl, raising her hands in a threatening way. In her upraised open palms were twin balls of fire that rotated in a menacing way. Instantly Hannah realized where she was.
“Enna!” she shrieked; launching herself forward to embrace her with wild abandon. The young woman was so startled that the fire in her hands was immediately extinguished. Instead she found herself standing awkwardly as Hannah continued hugging. After a moment Hannah stepped back, feeling a bit sheepish.
“Who are you?” demanded Enna, straightening her forest gown. Hannah stifled a giggle. She found it rather amusing that a fictional character was demanding an explanation from her; a real person!
“My name is Hannah Nicole,” she replied.
“How do you know my name?” Enna continued, her brow furrowed together in suspicion. “Did Finn send you?”
“Nooooooo,” replied Hannah looking about to indicate her bedroom, computer, bed, printer, etc., only to freeze when she realized she was no longer in her room but in a forest. No wonder she was freezing!
Enna looked her up and down and the suspicious look was replaced with a look of compassion as Hannah wrapped her arms about herself, teeth starting to chatter. She removed her heavy cloak and wrapped it about Hannah and took her by the arm.
“Come with me,” she ordered. Hannah nodded obediently; she was in Bayern; and though she was familiar with the realm because of reading the books; being transported into the mythical forest in the dead of night was rather unnerving; no matter how much she had always wanted to be there.
They reached the cottage a short time later and Enna pushed her inside. It was pitch black inside but in a moment Enna had a bright fire crackling in the hearth using her powers. Hannah looked about her in barely contained glee. She was inside one of her favorite stories with one of her favorite characters! She looked up and found Enna glaring at her in a suspicious way which took her aback. She didn’t expect her favorite heroine to be so hostile.
“Are you a People, Animal or Nature Speaker?” Enna demanded. Hannah was at a loss. She looked around the rather shabby cottage and noticed some things.
“I’m a beauty-maker!” she said with a big grin. Before Enna could protest, Hannah began gathering up things she found around the cottage and to arrange them in a pleasing way. Enna watched in suspicious yet fascinated silence as Hannah busied herself transforming her hovel into something very homey and lovely.
Tears filled Enna’s eyes. This girl was a total stranger to whom she had been particularly unkind and here she had done this selfless act of beautifying her homely cottage with just what she found. She covered her face with her hands to hide the tears that began to slide down her cheeks. Her shoulders began to heave. No one had been this nice to her in a very long time.
Compassion filled Hannah’s heart and she went forward and embraced Enna to comfort her. “I’m sorry about what happened to Sileph,” she said. That opened the floodgates. Enna wept terrible deep heaving sobs and all Hannah could do was to pat her back and making soothing sounds. After ten minutes of heavy-duty sobbing Enna looked around, wiping her nose with the back of her sleeve.
“Thank you!” she said, meaning every word. She looked at Hannah’s strange clothes (she was wearing blue jeans and a cute purple paisley smock top) with great curiosity. “These are strange garments,” she observed, rubbing the rayon/cotton blend in her hands. “But these!” she said indicating the blue jeans. “Most unladylike!”
Hannah looked down at her jeans with the carefully created bare patches in the knees. It would do no good to explain and Senna wouldn’t understand anyway.
“Ummmmm sorry.” She said. An awkward silence ensued then a sudden thought froze Hannah’s heart. She was inside her favorite book but how was she going to get back home? The thought of living in Bayern had always appealed to her but now that she was really here she felt totally out of place. Then another feeling made her begin to panic. “I need to use the ladies room.” She said to Senna; hoping she would take the hint and direct her to the nearest bathroom. Senna stared at her for a moment with a perplexed look on her face.
She threw out her arms to indicate the small hovel around them. “This is a lady’s room.” She explained slowly as if Hannah were mentally retarded. Hannah shook her head.
“No, you don’t understand…uhh, I need to uh…well you know…relieve myself?”.
Enlightenment came over Senna’s face and she nodded. She turned about, bent over and picked up what looked to be a pail. She held it out to Hannah with a grim smile. “You’ll need to do this behind the cottage,” she instructed.
Hannah was aghast. She had to do it in a pail? In a dark and freezing cold forest?! What was she supposed to do with it afterwards?
Senna picked up a slender twig and spoke a word over it so it would glow. “You may use this to light your way,” she said, handing it to Hannah, then gently pushed her towards the door. The cottage door opened as if by magic all by itself and the next thing Hannah knew, she was standing in her own bathroom holding a bucket and a twig that still glowed. She dropped both with a shriek which brought her mother running up the stairs.
“Are you okay?” her mom asked, not even noticing the foreign pail or the now smoldering twig. Hannah looked up and nodded, relieved to be back in her own world where there was real bathrooms with indoor plumbing.
“I saw a spider.” She fibbed. Her mom nodded, picked up the pail as if it had belonged in the family for years and without a second glance and went back to her chores.
Hannah slowly turned about her room to reassure herself that she was once again in the “real” world but for a split second, she thought she caught of glimpse of Senna’s wistful and lonely face staring back at her in her bedroom mirror…