Zoya patted her bag in which she was carrying her magical instruments to help her. She looked across to the top of the mountain where she could see a pile of glimmering jewels. She had to get them before anyone else. It wouldn’t be easy. She would have to cross the enchanted hill, jump over the chasm of uncertainty, go through the jungle of squeaking stones and climb the slippery mountain;
And she had to do all this before the dragon at the foot of the mountain woke up. The dragon had been set to guard the jewels and the only chance she had at getting them was while the dragon was still asleep. She took a deep breath, hitched up her bag and began to wiggle forward on her stomach. No one could see her as she wiggled forward. Soon she had reached the enchanted hill. The shortest way was over the hill but that was how the others got caught. She could see the enchanted statues of those who had gone before her; Eric, Roe, Genevieve and her best friend Teddy.
Looking at them stuck as statues on the hill doubled her resolve. She had to get the jewels in her hand! It was the only way to break the enchantment.
She silently crawled around the hill and continued wiggling on her stomach until she reached the mountain that was like a massive wall. She slowly got to her feet. In front lay the chasm she would have to cross. The chasm was not too deep but crossing it was dangerous for this was where the silent sorceress sat.
Zoya made sure she was hidden by the mountain as she peeked towards the lair of the sorceress. Zoya could see her looking off into the distance. One never knew with the sorceress, sometimes she would help you cross all your obstacles with one spell and sometimes…Zoya shuddered; sometimes she could be worse than the sleeping dragon.
Today seemed to be her lucky day, the sorceress seemed to have no interest in what Zoya was doing. She took a deep breath and jumped across. For a second it seemed as if she would not make it but then she landed on the other side with a thud. The dragon stirred, Zoya remained crouched in her place.
In a few moments the dragon had sunk into a deep sleep once again. She began to tiptoe forward, but this was the path of squeaky pebbles. Zoya had to be very careful not to step on any pebble, if she did it would start squeaking and the dragon would wake up. Her little tongue was sticking out of her mouth as she concentrated on moving forward. Finally she was at the slippery slope.
Her throat felt parched as she looked up the slope, so near and yet so far. She opened her bag and took out the bottle of magical water; one swig and her courage was back. Next, she took out the magic chalk. If she rubbed it on the slippery slope it would make it easier for her to climb up. She had heard the helpful magician saying so. She began to rub the chalk all over the hill; in the process she managed to rub some onto herself as well.
She stepped back and surveyed her work; the whole slope was covered with magic chalk, now she could begin to climb. She took a deep breath and started to climb up the treacherous slope. When she was near the top she stretched her fingers forward towards the jewels.
"Zoya," her mother ran into the room and grabbed her just as she began to slip. Her pudgy little fingers brushed against the basket and it fell down.
"Uff ho!" the old maid got up with a shout as the bright plastic beads fell on her.
"Mummy, you broke the magic" wailed Zoya as her mother cradled her.
In a twinkling the magic was gone. The jewels had become beads, the dragon was her old maid who was always cautioning her, the enchanted statues were her dolls and the squeaky stones were just her squeaky bath toys.
"You broke the magic," said Zoya with a quivering lower lip. She had known that the silent sorceress was not to be trusted, she could ruin things any moment. Her mother cradled 4 year old Zoya in her arms with a smile. She had seen her daughter stalking through her room and knew that Zoya was off having magical adventures in her imaginary land but sometimes reality had to intrude. She shushed her daughter, after all tomorrow was another day and Zoya would be off on new magical adventures.