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They had been walking for some time before they saw the first one. It was nestled in a piece of paper that sparkled like snow, and dusted with icing sugar.

He stopped and pointed. “What is it?”

She ran over and crouched beside it, her red hair hanging over her face as she examined it.

“It’s Turkish Delight,” she exclaimed, picking it up and popping it straight in her mouth.

He frowned. He had read an awful lot of books for his age, and something from one of them niggled at the back of his mind.

“Look,” she cried, running across the grass, “Here’s another bit!”

She ate it before he could say a thing. He couldn’t remember why exactly, but he was convinced that only bad things could come from Turkish Delight, especially when they lay nestled on snow-white paper.

She ran ahead, squealing as she found more and more, a trail of candy in delicate papers. He trailed after her reluctantly. As he came around a large bush, he heard a louder squeal, and he hurried around the corner to see her running up a path towards a cottage made entirely out of gingerbread. He didn’t need to think hard about his stories to know that this had to be bad news.

“Stop,” he called, as she ran up to the cottage. “Wait!”

Two figures in black appeared as if from nowhere, grabbing her before she could even squeal, and disappeared with her into the cottage.

“Hey,” he shouted, running up and beating on the door with both fists. “Hey, give me my sister back!”

A voice came from inside the cottage, a voice that creaked with malice and age. “Turn around, little boy. Look behind you.”

Slowly, he turned. A great stag emerged from the woodland behind him. It lowered its head and seemed to be glaring at him from beneath viciously sharp antlers.

“That stag has been plaguing my door for days. Get rid of it and you may have your sister back,” the voice said.

He took a deep breath and walked towards the stag.

“I’m not your enemy,” he said quietly. “I just want my little sister back. Would you mind leaving? Pretty please?”

Β© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: Yup, leaving you with a cliffhanger πŸ˜› )

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