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Sparrow's Journey
Series The Journey by Azaelia Silmarwen
Chapter 1
Chapter Chronology
Previous None
Next Sparrow's Journey: Chapter Two
None Chapter Chronology Sparrow's Journey: Chapter Two
WRITTEN: 2 May 2012

Chapter One: Childhood BeginningsEdit

Beauty, tranquillity and love; that was all Sparrow knew for the first few years of his life, but one day that was all going to change.

Sparrow was born and raised on a beautiful farm on the outskirts of Oakfield with his old sister, Rose. Together they would spend every sun filled day playing Heroes outside while their mother, Rosella, stayed inside cooking and reading, amongst other household activities. Sparrow's father, Matt, always told their mother that he would pay for them to have a maid, but she always declined saying that she enjoyed doing everything around the house.

It was on one such day that Matt returned home from one of his long business trips, and his ears were met with the sound of his children playing.

'Sparrow, be careful!' Rose said worriedly as Sparrow balanced carelessly across the yard fence. 'If you fall you will hurt yourself!'

‘You worry too much, Rose!’ Sparrow laughed, drawing his wooden sword. ‘I’m just like the Hero of Oakvale! Take that Jack of Blades!’ he yelled, slashing his sword at an imaginary enemy as he moved along the fence.

Rose watched on fearfully as her five year old brother jumped up and down on the fence as though dodging sword attacks, before he did a backflip off the fence and landed on his feet. He looked amazed with himself.

‘Did you see – Daddy? Daddy!’ Sparrow yelled, catching sight of Matt. ‘Did you see what I just did, Daddy?’

Sparrow ran towards Matt, who caught him in his arms. He then picked up his energetic son and placed him on his hip. He couldn’t believe that his son just did that.

‘I sure did,’ Matt replied, ‘but your sister is right; you could have fallen off and broken something.’

‘No I wouldn’t,’ Sparrow disagreed, shaking his head. ‘I fall out of trees all the time and never broken anything. And they’re a lot higher than the fence.’

Matt couldn’t help but stare at his young son. On the outside he looked calm, but deep down he was slightly worried about Sparrow’s reckless behaviour and thoughtfully about his unnatural abilities.

‘Hi, Rose. How are you, sweetie?’ Matt greeted Rose when she joined them.

‘I’m fine, Dad,’ she replied, hugging Matt tightly. ‘We’ve missed you so much!’

‘Yeah! You’ve been gone years!’ Sparrow added.

‘No I haven’t, Little Sparrow.’ Matt laughed lightly at his son’s exaggeration. ‘I’ve only been gone for two months.’

‘It felt like years, though.’

‘It felt like years to me too, son. Not a single day passed when I didn’t wish I was home with you.’

‘Then why didn’t you come home?’ Sparrow demanded as they entered the house.

‘My job wouldn’t allow it,’ Matt said simply.

‘What do you do again, Daddy?’ asked Sparrow.

‘Sparrow, you’ve asked Daddy that a thousand times!’ Rosella laughed, before greeting her husband.

‘That’s because I keep forgetting.’

‘He’s a travelling trader,’ Rose answered. ‘He travels around selling goods to people.’

‘And he got you all something,’ said Matt, sitting down on the couch between his two children and rummaging through his bag. ‘Here you go, Rose, a new diary to write all you thoughts, feelings and stories in. And for Sparrow; a paint gun… just don’t start shooting the chickens like you did with the toy bow and arrows.’

‘Can I shoot beetles?’ Sparrow asked eagerly, quickly getting over his disappointment with the chickens.

‘You can shoot them as long as they are the giant ones in the fields.’

‘Yippee!’

Matt smiled, before looking over at his beloved wife.

‘Close your eyes,’ he told her quietly. She did as she was told.

Matt stood up with something in his hand and walked behind Rosella, where he then put a beautiful gold necklace around her neck.

‘Oh, Matt, it’s beautiful!’ she exclaimed when she was allowed to open her eyes.

‘But not as beautiful as you,’ he told her lovingly. ‘Think of it as my way of making it up to you after my long absence.’

‘Will you stay with us longer this time?’ Sparrow asked hopefully.

‘I’ll try, my son,’ Matt said, not wanting to make a promise he might not be able to keep. It was a good thing to that he didn’t make one, for he was off again a week later.

‘I hate Dad’s job!’ Rose whined to her mother as they watched Matt try to dislodge Sparrow from his leg.

‘So do I, dear,’ Rosella said worriedly, ‘but your father has a responsibility to the people.’

‘A little help here, please, Rosella!’ Matt yelled out to his wife. He was still struggling with Sparrow, who was stubbornly clinging to his father’s leg.

‘But why can’t I go with you?’ Sparrow cried.

‘Because it’s too dangerous, Sparrow,’ Matt tried to explain, yet again.

‘You’re a trader! How is that dangerous?’

‘My job is more dangerous than you think. Besides, I need you here, to protect Mummy and Rose.’

‘But I want to go with you!’

‘I know, but sometimes we have to sacrifice what we want for the benefit of others,’ Matt said wisely.

‘Okay,’ Sparrow sobbed.

‘That’s my boy.’

That night, Sparrow cried himself to sleep. He wanted his father, but of course he could not have him. It was so unfair. He hated his father’s job. He wished his father was a normal father who he saw every day. However, little did Matt’s children know, their father’s job would have a greater impact on them than they originally thought.

Two nights later, bandits attacked taking Rosella, Rose and Sparrow captive. While Rose and Sparrow were held in a cage like animals, Rosella was taken to the bandit leader’s cabin. Every night, of the week they were held captive, Rosella’s screams and pleas echoed around the Rookridge bandit camp.

During that week, Sparrow remained close to Rose. He was scared. He didn’t know or understand what the bandit leader was doing to his mother, nor did he know what the bandits wanted with them. What he did know was all he wanted was to be home in his bed with his dad.

On the seventh and final night of their capture, Rose and Sparrow awoke with a fright as gun shots filled the dark night. As they looked wildly around, they saw that the bandits were fighting someone. Someone who looked suspiciously like…

‘Daddy!’ Sparrow exclaimed.

‘I’m coming, Sparrow… Rose. Everything will be okay,’ Matt said confidently as he sliced open a bandit’s chest.

‘Since when can Dad fight?’ Rose exclaimed, hardly daring to believe her eyes as Matt killed all the bandits.

With the bandits defeated, Matt ran over to the cage and yanked on the cage door. It was locked.

‘The bandit leader has the key and Mum,’ Rose said as she crawled over to the door.

‘I’ll get your mother in a minute; but first, I’m getting you two out of here.’ Matt placed the palm of his hand on the lock.

 ‘How are going to do that when you don’t have the key?’ asked Sparrow, joining Rose at the cage door.

‘Daddy doesn’t need a key, as people keep forgetting,’ replied Matt.

Rose and Sparrow exchanged a look, before looking back at their father and gasping. Matt’s skin had shinning blue lines on it and the lock was slowly beginning to melt under his glowing red hand.

‘Daddy, how -?’

‘I’ll explain later, Sparrow.’ Matt ripped open the cage door. ‘Okay, let’s get you out of here.’

Matt picked up Sparrow and took Rose’s hand. However, as he was about to lead them out of the camp, a cold voice floated over to them.

‘Stop right there, Hero.’

Matt sighed and turned around to see the bandit leader standing there triumphantly with his sword under Rosella’s chin.

‘Let her go, Slayer,’ Matt ordered, raising his sword threateningly. ‘All of your men are dead. You’ve lost.’

‘Actually, I’ve won,’ Slayer said gleefully. ‘I hold the last card. You do anything and I’ll slit your beautiful wife’s throat… and you don’t want that, which means you have no choice but to surrender to me. I can then seek my revenge by killing you and then doing anything I want with your wife and your gorgeous children.’

Sparrow’s arms tightened around his father’s neck. This man was scaring him. Meanwhile, Matt stood there knowing that Slayer was right. Either way something bad would happen. If he surrendered, his wife and children would suffer for the rest of their lives or be killed. If he fought back, Rosella would be killed. He was trapped.

‘Choose, Hero.’ Slayer grinned nastily.

‘He doesn’t have a choice,’ Rosella said firmly, ‘for I’ll make it for him.’

Rosella… don’t!’ Matt yelled, knowing what she was about to do.

‘I love you,’ she whispered before slitting her own throat on Slayer’s sword.

‘No!’ yelled Matt, while Rose began to cry and Sparrow stared at his mother’s body, not understanding what just happened.

Over filled with pain and anger, Matt let out a terrible cry and sent a blast of electricity at Slayer, before leading his children away in silence. Two hours later, he led them into a small cave he had used several times on his travels, when he saw how tired his children were.

‘We’ll rest here for the night,’ Matt said quietly, putting Sparrow down and starting a small fire.

‘Daddy, why did we leave Mummy?’ Sparrow asked innocently.

‘Mummy – Mummy was unable to come with us,’ Matt said trying to keep it together for the sake of his children.

‘Will she catch up with us?’

‘No, Sparrow. Mummy’s – Mummy’s gone to heaven.’

‘Can we go and visit her there?’

‘No, son; Mummy’s gone. You won’t be able to see her again.’ Matt turned to the crying Rose. ‘But remember, she’ll always be with you… as will I.’

‘What did the bandits want with us?’ Rose demanded suddenly. ‘And how long have you been able to fight like that and use magic?’

‘Since I was a teenager,’ Matt said sadly. ‘Rose… Sparrow… Have you ever heard of the Hero of Southcliff?’

‘Yes,’ replied Rose, while Sparrow said, ‘No.’

‘I thought as much.’ Matt turned to Sparrow. ‘The Hero of Southcliff lost both his parents when he was roughly Rose’s age. They – er – went to heaven, just like Mummy did, due to a white balverine. He thirst for revenge and during his journey to find the white balverine, he met a blind seer who helped guide him to the white balverine. Anyway, to cut a long story short, when he discovered that the Duke of Southcliff was the balverine he pursuing, he couldn’t carry out his revenge. Instead he spared the man and got him help. After doing so, the Hero was crowned King of Southcliff, but when he fell in love with a farmer’s daughter, he threw aside the royal life and continued to be a Hero, helping the people, and building a family with the farmer’s daughter.’

‘Why are you telling us this?’ asked Rose. She knew he wasn’t just telling them a bedtime story.

‘I am the Hero of Southcliff.’

Rose and Sparrow gasped.

‘And it is for that reason the bandits took you… to seek revenge on me.’

‘And that’s why you are always disappearing for long periods of time, isn’t it? To help people,’ Rose pressed.

‘Yes, but that is enough talk. You two need your sleep. We have a long journey ahead of us.’

‘Where are we going? Back home?’ Rose asked hopefully.

‘The house was destroyed,’ Matt said emotionlessly, ‘but I did manage to find four things that hadn’t been destroyed.’ He pulled four items out of his bag; Rose’s diary, Elizabeth’s golden necklace and Sparrow’s toy gun and sword.

‘Your mother would have wanted you to have this,’ Matt said, putting the necklace around Rose’s neck. Rose took one look at the necklace and started crying once more. Matt gathered his children up in his arms and held them close. He would not allow anything else to happen to them.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t for Matt to decide.

The family arrived in Bowerstone Old Town three days later and rented a house. After making sure the kids had enough food and money, he gathered his belongings once more.

‘You’re leaving us again!’ Rose yelled angrily as she got breakfast ready.

‘You and Sparrow will be safe here,’ Matt said patiently. ‘I need to see my old friend Giles, Rose. It can’t wait.’

‘But…’

‘Don’t worry, Rose. I will be back. I promise.’

Sadly, this was the first and last promise he ever broke. As the months rolled by, Rose believed that their father had abandoned them, but Sparrow never lost hope. He knew that Matt would be back for he had promised, and he had never broken a promise, but as years passed by, he too believed that their father had abandoned them.

The siblings eventually ended up living on the street, unable to afford to keep up the rent. Rose even reluctantly sold their mother’s necklace to get clothes and food for them. The only thing that kept them going was the knowledge that they had each other. However, Fate wasn’t finished breaking this family apart…

-----SPARROW’S JOURNEY-----

Winter had arrived once more and yet again Sparrow and Rose were left to freeze with no one being generous enough to take them in for the night. No one cared if they froze to death. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. One of the Bowerstone Old Town guards was kind enough to give them blankets and slip them food. Sadly, he couldn’t adopt them for it was against the stupid guard code, though he always told them he would if he could. Technically, he was coming very close to breaking the code, whatever it was, just by giving them food and clothes.

Last winter the siblings had been lucky. A family of travellers had been kind enough to take them in without expecting anything in return. They had not returned this year. Sparrow wished they had as he stood in front of a small fire trying to get warm. As he stared into the dying fire, he could practically see the travellers’ caravan and smell the wife’s delicious cooking –

Something hit him on the top of his head and he groaned. Some kids had been throwing snowballs at him since it first started snowing. He never got along with any of the kids in Bowerstone. They all found him weird. They found it more enjoyable to pick on him from a distance or when their parents where nearby. They all knew how skilled he was with his toy wooden sword and paint gun. In his hands, they were nearly as dangerous as the real deal.

Glancing behind him, Sparrow raised his hand to his head to wipe off the snow, only to discover that a small sparrow had poohed on him.

‘As if I wasn’t dirty enough,’ Sparrow grumbled as he tried to get it out of his hair.

Rose looked up from her diary.

‘What’s wrong?’

‘A sparrow pooped on me!’

‘Well, I hear that’s lucky,’ Rose said, motioning for Sparrow to sit in front of her so she could remove the bird poo.

‘Lucky? How can it be lucky?’ Sparrow demanded.

‘Don’t know, but it’s meant to be like finding a four-leaf clover, though I think I’d prefer the clover.’

‘I would too!’

The siblings fell silent as Rose gently fixed Sparrow’s brown hair. When she had finished, she turned to face Fairfax Castle, their dream home.

‘Oh look, Little Sparrow. Castle Fairfax looks so lovely in the snow,’ Rose said gazing longingly at the castle. ‘Imagine the grand dining hall. I bet Lord Lucien’s having roast duck this time of year, but he must be lonely since his wife and little girl died. In that big castle, all by himself… if only we could live there.’ She sighed, before looking down the street when the chattering of an excited crowd reached their ears.

‘Come with me, Little Sparrow,’ she said, before hurrying off to have a bit of a sticky beak.

Turned out that it was only a trader, but little did Sparrow know, this trader’s presence was one of the factors that would help change his life forever.

‘A-ladies and a-gentlemen,’ began the trader, Murgo. ‘I have travelled the land accumulating wondrous and mysterious objects which I now offer to you for the modest price of five gold. Consider this… this is truly a magical mirror, for as long as you look at it, it will make you beautiful.’

‘I’ll take it!’ a man from the crowd yelled out.

‘Very wise! Now just remember, the magic only works if you look at it in complete darkness. Now this is truly a marvel,’ Murgo continued, pointing to a small, silver, music box. ‘This small, unassuming box is actually a device created by the ancients as used by the Old Kingdom rulers themselves. Turn the handle three times and you will be granted a single wish.’

‘Wow! It’s just like one of those devices out of your stories, Rose!’ Sparrow said excitedly to his sister.

‘Yeah, my stories, Sparrow,’ Rose said, gently. ‘There’s no such thing as magic.’

‘But Dad…’

‘He wasn’t using magic… just trickery,’ Rose said coldly. She hated the mention of Matt.

The woman next to Sparrow turned and began to speak to the siblings. She wore a red and white dress with a matching hood, but what stood out the most were her eyes. They were white!

‘We live in grim times indeed if the young are too world-weary to believe in magic,’ she said. ‘Most children your age believe eagerly.’

‘Most children our age have families and aren’t like us,’ Sparrow grumbled, looking over at a group of children re-enacting Jack of Blades defeat. He wished he could join in.

‘Look, I can see that your eyes are bad, but I’m telling you, that music box is rubbish!’ Rose said as the crowd began to disappear.

‘That’s what the seller thinks. He has no idea what he has stumbled upon, but you have inkling, don’t you? Some part of you wants to believe that it’s magic,’ the strange lady said, before walking away.

‘Wh-what? Y-You really think it could be?’ Rose asked uncertainly, while Sparrow’s eyes widened with excitement.

The strange lady paused before saying over her shoulder, ‘For five gold coins you could have your answer.’

‘For five gold coins, we could eat for a week!’ Rose exclaimed, while Sparrow nodded.

‘Listen to me, Rose. At the end of that week you and your Little Sparrow would be no closer to your dream. No closer to the inside of that beautiful castle,’ the strange lady said as she walked away.

Sparrow watched her go suspiciously.

‘How did she know our names and what our dreams were?’ Sparrow whispered to Rose.

‘I don’t know, Little Sparrow,’ she said quietly. ‘But what if it is real? I bet we could get five gold pieces and maybe this could be a way out of here after all. What is there to lose?’

‘Nothing, I guess.’

How wrong Sparrow was.

'Come on, there must be someone around here to pay us gold to do something,' Rose said, looking around as if she was looking for a sign saying where they should start.

Sparrow and Rose stood there for a minute thinking, when they heard Derek the guard call out to them; he was the one who slipped them food and blankets.

'Oi, kids! C'ere a minute!'

They quickly ran over to him.

'Hello, Derek,' Rose greeted. 'Lose something?'

'My arrest warrant blew right out of my hands. They could be in all corners of Bowerstone by now, and I can't leave my post. Hey, why don't you find them for me? You could be like, ah, little constables! It sounds fun, right?'

He grinned down at Sparrow who grinned back. It did sound like fun.

'How much do little constables get paid?' Rose asked, getting down to business. Normally they would have done it for free since Derek had done a lot for they, but seeing as they needed the money…

'Paid? Listen, Rose, these are the five most wanted criminals in Bowerstone!' Derek exclaimed.

'Yeah? Well how badly do you want 'em?' Rose pushed.

'Fine, one gold for all five warrants,' Derek said in defeat, though he had a grin playing at his lips.

'Deal!' said Rose, smiling.

'The warrants blew off in that direction, through that alley, by that bloke with the picture box,' Derek added helpfully.

'So, we'll look out for those warrants, but for now let's find some more money,' said Rose, leading Sparrow towards the guy with the picture box, whatever that was.

'Hello, children,' said Barnum, when we stood in front of him.

'Hello,' said Rose. 'What's that?' she added, nodding towards the strange contraption he was standing next to, which turned out to be the picture box.

'This? Why it's only the most amazing device ever conceived. It grabs your very likeness and transfiddles it onto a magic piece of paper. It's gonna make me rich! If only I could find someone to modellify for it,' he added looking around.

'We'll do it!' Rose said quickly. Barnum looked at her happily, until she said, 'For a gold piece.'

'Hmm… I only have one gold piece left.' He stood there thinking before saying, 'But you're right! I should investalise in my new venture. Deal!'

 He told the siblings to then to go and stand in front of a screen that had one of Bowerstone's streets painted upon it.

'A gold piece just to stand there… sounds all right, doesn't it?' Rose whispered to her brother as they took their positions.

'Now all you have to do is strike a pose for my little device. You'd be positively betwazzled by the result!' Barnum told them enthusiastically.

'B-what?' Rose said, voicing Sparrow's thoughts. He had never heard of such a word, but that wasn't saying much.

'Ah yes. I've been improving my vocubularium with a wonderful book, bought from Mungo the Trader: a thesaurus!' Barnum said cheerfully as he was fiddling with his picture box.

Rose looked over at Sparrow.

'He's a bit silly,' she whispered, voicing Sparrow's thoughts again, 'but this could be fun!'

She then turned back to the picture box and posed. After a slight hesitation, due to deciding on how to pose, Sparrow followed her example and gave the picture box a heroic pose; the same pose the Heroes of old use to do.

'Wondrous! This thing’s going to be more popular than the pox!' Barnum said, handing Sparrow a gold piece. 'Now I just have to wait three months for the picture to develify and I can start showing it around! Oh, I can almost smell the gold!'

'Ha ha, three months he says!' Ross, one of the citizens of Old Town, laughed. He was standing nearby with a group of his friends. 'I told you it was a swindle!'

Barnum ignored them and started to do something to his picture box.

'It was easy money for us!' Rose said brightly, before lowering her voice so Barnum wouldn't hear. 'He's a bit scatty though. I hope he's alright.'

After saying a quick goodbye to Barnum, Rose and Sparrow headed towards an alley.

'This must be the alley the warrants blew down. We should take a look,' muttered Rose.

Together they headed down the alley in silence when they suddenly heard someone yell, 'Stupid dog!'

'That sounded like, Rex!' Sparrow said, looking up at Rose.

'You're right, it did sound -' She broke off when a new voice yelled, 'Rex caught a dog and his gonna kick the crap out of it!'

The moment Rose heard that, she ran out of the alley towards the commotion while yelling at Sparrow to stay where he was. He didn't listen. He quietly followed her.

'Aww, what's the matter poochie, does it hurt?' Rex said nastily.

Rex was one of the biggest bullies in Old Town. He thought that he was tough and he could do no wrong. He bashed children, animals and anything that stood still longer than a second. He was practically a younger version of Arfur, a creep who was forever bothering Rose.

'Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing?' yelled Rose, storming over to him.

'Having a bit of fun, what's it to you?' Rex said before he head butted Rose, knocking her to the ground.

'OI!' yelled Sparrow, walking forward angrily. 'Leave my sister alone!'

The street fell quiet as Sparrow withdrew his wooden sword. Rex stared at him before laughing.

'Do you honestly think I'm scared of you and your toy?'

Sparrow didn't answer. He just stood there glaring at the older boy.

'That's what I thought,' Rex said, misinterpreting Sparrow's silence for fear. 'All talk and no action. Kid, I think it's time someone taught you a lesson.'

Then, before Sparrow had time to react, Rex punched him so hard that he fell to the ground. After that, the children spectators all agreed that Sparrow was either very brave or very stupid. The Hero’s son jumped to his feet immediately.

'Obviously my lesson didn't get through to you. Let me re-instate it.'  Rex aimed another punch at Sparrow.

Sparrow, having expect it, dodged his attack before hitting him again and again with his wooden toy sword, until Rex ran away crying.

The moment Rex was out of sight, Sparrow hurried over to Rose.

'Ow, did you see that? That lunatic socked me right in the head! Thanks for your help. I could have taken him, though,' said Rose. She hated it when Sparrow protected her. In her eyes, she should always be the one protecting him. After all, she was the big sister.

'I thought I told you to stay in the alley?' she scolded.

'I wanted to see what was happening,' Sparrow said with a shrug.

Rose shook her head and turned her attention to the dog that Rex had been tormenting. She slowly walked over to him.

'Poor thing; you've had a horrible time. Don't be scared! I won't hurt you!' Rose added when the dog whimpered pathetically. 'What you need is someone nice to look after you.'

The dog gave a bark and whine as if to say, 'What about you?'

'Oh, we can't keep you. We don't have enough food for ourselves!' Rose informed him sadly.

He whined again.

'Well I'm sorry, but we can't,' Rose said firmly. 'Now you just rest. Come on, Little Sparrow, let's go.'

They left the dog and headed down the street, fully aware that he was watching them. As they headed down the street, they saw a piece of paper lying on the ground.

'Looks like a warrant, don't it?' Rose said excitedly, hurrying over to pick it up. It turned out that it was a warrant; a warrant for arson.

'Well, we have our first warrant,' Rose said happily, before she cried out, 'That's one there!'

Before Sparrow could say or do anything, she was already running over to a bunch of huge containers.

'Yes, another warrant!' Rose said when Sparrow arrived at the containers. She was busy reading what the warrant was for. 'Hmm, I don't think they'll miss this Leroy if they see him!'

Sparrow was about to ask her why when the voice of Balthazar, the owner of the big warehouse in Old Town, reached their ears.

'Disgusting beetles; I hate them!' he yelled.

Rose and Sparrow exchanged a look before they went over to see what was wrong.

'Need help with something?' asked Rose.

'Er… yes, sort of. You kids aren't afraid of… beetles, are you?' Balthazar questioned.

'No, that would be silly!' said Rose, looking at Balthazar in confusion. Sparrow mirrored her confusion. Why were beetles scary? They're not even that big.

'Yes, silly. Ha! No one’s afraid of bothersome, evil, conniving beetles,' he said. Sparrow was beginning to wonder if they were talking about the same type of bug. 'Well since you're not afraid, how would you like to ruthlessly exterminate a few that are in my warehouse?'

'We'll do it for a gold piece!' Rose said quickly.

'Done,' Balthazar said immediately. 'I hope you can make them suffer, if those hideous vermin can suffer. Shot the beetles, shot to kill and while you're breaking their hateful little heads open… try not to break any of my stuff.'

Sparrow was now really confused. Why would you shot beetles? You step on them to kill them because they're so small.

Maybe he was overreacting? Sparrow thought as he went inside.

After closing the door behind him, Sparrow looked around. He couldn't see any beetles, but it was a big warehouse and beetles were quite small. Just as he was beginning to look through the lower level of the warehouse, a voice called out.

'Hey, kid!'

Sparrow jumped and turned to face the window. The creep, Arthur, was standing there.

'Balthazar owes some protection money to Nicky the Nickname,' he continued, now that he had Sparrow's attention. 'So how about you leave the beetles and break all of his stock instead? I'll give you a gold on Mr the Nickname's behalf.'

Sparrow stared at him for a moment, before he went back to what he was doing, ignoring him completely. Rose taught him long ago that Arfur was trouble… plus he didn't feel like having the guards on him once Balthazar saw what he did to his stock.

Sparrow looked around the bottom level and couldn't see any beetles, so he went upstairs and he still couldn't see any.

Maybe they were scared away with Balthazar's yelling? Sparrow thought.

He was about to head back downstairs when he heard a buzzing noise above him. Sparrow slowly looked up and saw a giant beetle, thankfully not a red one, but a giant beetle all the same. He now understood Balthazar's ramblings. Sparrow quickly took out his toy gun and shot all of the beetles; he used to shot them in one of the fields of the family farm.

'Ah crap!' Arfur said furiously as Sparrow walked down the stairs. 'Do you know what I had to do to go through to get those beetles? I'll remember this, kid!'

Sparrow didn't like the sound of that threat, but he was determined not to let it bother him. So he went outside as though nothing had happened. Balthazar quickly had a look around his warehouse, while Sparrow told Rose that the beetles had been giant beetles.

'No mercy for the filthy buggers, that's what I like to see!’ Balthazar exclaimed as he came back outside. ‘And all my stock is still intact! Genius!' He handed Sparrow a gold piece, before his smile slowly slid from his face and was replaced with a thoughtful look. 'Now that I think about it, I wonder how those beetles got there.' He then shrugged and headed back inside, leave Rose and Sparrow to go on their way.

As the siblings headed back down the street they saw the dog again and he had something with him.

'Hey, he found one for us!' said Rose, walking over to the dog and picking up the warrant for burglary. 'Good boy! Oh, I know, you’re sweet, but I told you before that we can't keep you. Come on, Little Sparrow, I think I see another warrant over there,' she said sadly, walking away from the dog and picking up the fourth warrant.

'What do we do now?' Sparrow asked Rose, looking around for the final warrant or a job that they could do. He soon got his answer.

'I'm worthless!' a nearby tramp said to a lady.

'That's the bottle talking!' the lady said sternly.

'Well get it back so I can tell it to shut up!' replied the tramp.

Sparrow didn't know whether or not that he should laugh. The tramp's comment was classic, but Sparrow wasn't sure if the tramp was in his right mind. Rose, however, seemed to have gotten an idea from them, for she was walking over to them confidently. Sparrow quickly followed her.

'Hey, look at that, Betty… two sets of twins!' said the tramp, catching sight of Rose and Sparrow. 'Oh, you'll get my booze back, won't you?'

'You can barely stand as it is!' reprimanded the lady named Betty.

'But they can!' argued the tramp. 'I bet they can even walk straight! Get my booze back from that git Magpie and I'll give ya a gold piece for it. He’s not even a proper beggar,' he continued conversationally. 'He has piles of stuff and it's all stolen from bona fide tramps, like me.'

'Let it go, Pete,' Betty said desperately. 'Save your money for important things.'

'It is his money. Can't he decide how to spend it?' Rose questioned.

'She's making all kinds of sense,' said Pete.

Betty ignored him and spoke to Rose.

'Well let's talk about my money. You find that bottle and I'll pay you to keep it out of his hands!'

‘Sure, we’ll go and get it now,’ said Rose, leading her brother away while Pete continued to whine to Betty.

'What a drink!' he said, sounding like a toddler.

'I'll not discuss it!' Betty said firmly.

'But I need a drink!' Pete whined.

'No, you don't!' Betty argued.

'You're right, Betty… I need two drinks!'

That was the last thing the siblings heard Pete say, as they headed off to find Magpie. They didn't have to look long. They found him in a little alcove between Balthazar's warehouse and some houses.

'That must be Magpie,' Rose whispered, looking at the sleeping figure on the ground. 'There's the bottle,' she added, pointing to the bottle next to the sleeping figure. 'Get it, Little Sparrow, but don't wake him up!'

Sparrow did as she asked. He was better at sneaking around than her. He silently crept up to Magpie and just as he was about to grab the bottle, Magpie spoke, making him freeze with fear.

'Ah, stupid Pete; you snooze, I take the booze!' he snored.

Sparrow's heart started to slow down once more, when he realised Magpie was sleep talking. The moment Sparrow had the bottle in his hand, he hurried back to Rose.

'Good job,' she praised. 'Let's go and collect our gold form the lady and the tramp.'

They quickly hurried back over to the lady and the tramp. The first thing they noticed, as they arrived, was that Pete was still trying to persuade Betty.

'You should give a poor man his drink back, out of friendship,' Pete said, trying to guilt her into it, but it didn't work. Just as he was about to try another technique, he noticed that Rose and Sparrow were back.

'Hey, the quadruplets are back!' he said, before positively beaming when he saw that they had his booze. 'You've got booze – I can smell it!'

'Are you sure it's not breath?' Betty demanded.

'I'll give you a gold piece for it!' said Pete, not hearing Betty's comment.

'No. Don't fall off the wagon!' Betty said urgently.

'Wagon? Where? Kids, look out for the wagon!' he cried, looking around for a wagon. The sight was quite comical.

Betty just stared at him before turning to Rose and Sparrow.

'Does he sound like he needs that? Here, I'll give you a gold piece for it!'

Knowing that it would be for the best, Sparrow handed the bottle to Betty. He remembered that Rosella used to always warn Sparrow and Rose about alcohol and never allowed the liquidity substance in her house.

'Thanks, dear,' she said, handing him a gold piece.

Just as Rose and Sparrow were about to walk away, she stopped them.

'Hold it, there's some paper in the bottle. I think this is yours,' Betty said, handing Rose the paper, which turned out to be a warrant.

They thanked her and started to walk away again, with Betty and Pete's voices floating after them.

'I use to be an accountant. Don't drink, it will ruin your life,' said Pete.

'Hmm, you admit it,' Betty said smugly.

'Um, I guess I do. From this day forth, I shall stay sober and return to my career as a tax and pensions consultant!' Pete declared.

'Oh you poor man, are you sure you don't want the bottle?' Betty asked seriously.

Sparrow couldn't help it… he just started laughing and Rose soon joined in.

'Well done, you probably saved his life,' she laughed. 'And that's all the warrants! We should go back to Derek.'

To do this, Rose and Sparrow ended up going past Magpie, who had just woken up.

'Hey, where'd the bottle go? Oh, don't say I put it in the pile! Damn! I really should tidy up sometime!' Sparrow heard him say.

Yes Magpie, Sparrow thought. You snooze, I take the booze.

As they were walking back up the alley, they found their path blocked by Arfur.

'Stop right there, you little brats!' he said in a deadly voice.

Oh no. He was going to go through with his threat! Sparrow thought fearfully.

'Listen, creep, I told you no this morning!' Rose said coldly, referring to a sexual offer Arfur had made her.

'Shut it, girl! This isn't about that!' he said, eyes narrowing.

Here it comes. He’s going to kill us, or worse! Sparrow thought.

'Those warrants you're collecting – I want 'em!' Arfur said.

What? Sparrow's mind screamed. He thought that they were done for, for sure! However, he knew that they weren't out of trouble yet.

'So does our friend the guard,' Rose said calmly, but her voice was still cold as ice.

'Yeah, but you're going to give 'em to me, see! Otherwise, there'll be trouble!' Arfur said, taking a few steps closer to the siblings.

'There'll be trouble, all right. You take these and I'll tell our friend the guard what you really want!' Rose said dangerously.

'Alright, you little hard case, what's he paying ya… a gold piece? I'll give you a gold piece right here, save ya to walk back,' Arfur proposed.

‘We’ve got to walk there anyway,’ Sparrow informed him, before whipping out his toy gun and shooting Arfur in the face.

Rose and Sparrow quickly ran passed the paint covered Arfur and ran all the way back to Derek with Arfur yelling and cursing loudly behind them.

'H-here you – go – Der-ek!' Rose panted, handing him the warrants.

'Thanks. You're a lifesaver!' he said, smiling down at them, before frowning in concern. 'Why were you running? Is everything alright?'

'Just a little race to see - who could get to you - first,' Rose said, panting slightly. For reasons Sparrow could not understand, Rose refused to tell Derek about Arfur.

'Ah… the joys of being a child. Don't worry, Sparrow. I'm sure you'll beat her next time,' said Derek, buying Rose's lie. 'Now, normally justice is its own reward, but seeing as these aren't normal circumstances… here's a gold piece.' He handed Sparrow a gold piece.

'That should sort out this town,' said Rose, leading her brother away from Derek, who was practicing what to say to Lord Lucien.

They had only gone several paces when their attention was drawn to a nearby house's balcony where two women stood with the eldest yelling at the man below.

'You again!' yelled the oldest woman. 'I don't want you sniffing around my daughter! Now push off, before I call the guards, you animal! Get in the house, Belinda!' she added, turning to the other woman. 'And clean those floors. They're as filthy as that no good as that no good delinquent Monty!'

Rose and Sparrow watched the man called Monty walk away sadly, before he stopped a few meters away, gazing longingly at the balcony where Belinda had been standing.

The siblings went over to him.

'What's the matter with you?' Rose asked, coming to a halt.

'Oh, little ones, my situation is unbearable. Words can't even begin to describe it,' Monty said dramatically.

'Looks to me like you fancy the girl that lives there, but her mum thinks you're rubbish, so she's locked her away,' Rose said casually. Sparrow guessed there were words to describe it.

'Um… I suppose that's the gist of it. Why'd you ask then?'

'Maybe we could help you?' Rose suggested. Sparrow saw immediately what she was doing.

'Ah… yes!' Monty exclaimed. 'You could take my proposal to the fair maiden! Oh, there is hope! My heart soars in my chest like… like…'

'We'll do it for a gold piece,' Rose said, interrupting his theatrics.

'Ah – oh – I'm, er – a bit strapped at the moment – but Belinda's good for it. I'm sure she'll pay you when she receives my letter,' he said, handing Rose the letter. It wasn't even in an envelope. 'Get that letter straight to Belinda – don't let her mum get it!'

As Rose and Sparrow headed to Belinda's house, Sparrow heard Rose snigger.

'What's so funny?' he asked, falling into step beside her.

'This letter is awful. Listen to this; Darling, run away with me,' Rose began. She was having trouble reading it due to her uncontrollable laughter. 'Like two doves, we shall rise on love's gentle breeze to soar above the world in our bliss, forever embracing in the clouds.'

'Ew!' they both said in unison. Unfortunately, they said it a bit too loud and Monty heard them.

'What?'

'We said "aw",' Rose said quickly. 'It's a bit over the top, innit?' she added quietly to Sparrow.

'Definitely,' Sparrow agreed, trying not to be sick. 'I'm sure that when I'm older I will understand it all.'

'I'm sure you will,' Rose laughed.

Upon arriving at the house, Rose knocked on the front door, which was sadly answered by Belinda's mother.

'Want do you want?' she asked.

'Oh, um… we have a letter. We need one gold piece for the postage,' replied Rose.

'Oh, why didn't you say so? Come on in,' she said. Rose and Sparrow followed her into the middle of the room before she turned to them and said firmly, 'Wait there while I get the money, and don't you touch anything!'

The moment she turned her back on them and started rummaging the cupboard for money, Rose and Sparrow quietly snuck upstairs to find Belinda. They found her down on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor. Belinda looked up from her work when we they came up to her and a slight frown of curiosity crossed her features. Rose wordlessly handed her the letter, which she accepted and quickly read. As she read, her face light up with joy.

'This is wonderful!' she said, almost crying with joy. 'Here's a little something for your trouble,' she added, handing Sparrow a gold piece. 'Oh Monty… my little dove!'

Sparrow couldn't see how he was a "little dove".

'I guess some peoples wished do come true,' Rose muttered as they headed back downstairs. The mother was nowhere to be seen, which was very odd. 'Come on, let's go and buy that music box. I can't wait to see what it does!' Rose continued excitedly. She didn't seem to find it odd that the mother was now nowhere to be seen.

As they left the house, they saw that Monty was still standing in the same place just where we left him, but Belinda's mother was with him looking livid.

'Get in the house, Belinda!' they heard the mother yell.

'I'm leaving, Mother! And I'm going to marry the man I love!' Belinda yelled back from the balcony.

'WHAT?'

'Oh Monty… I love you!'

'No you don't! His poor!' yelled the mother as though it was the only reason you should marry someone is if they have money.

'Oh Mother, you're such a shrewd! That's why Father left you and you can't get another man!' Belinda said angrily.

Ouch! Those were fighting words. Sparrow thought as he and Rose were walking over to Murgo.

'Belinda, you shouldn't talk to your mum like that,' said Monty.

'Oh, now you're taking her side?' demanded Belinda.

'What, no!' Monty said quickly.

'Well maybe you should marry her instead!'

Rose and Sparrow had arrived at Murgo's and they could still hear them yelling at each other.

'Hello, children,' Murgo said, with a fake cheerful voice. He was constantly shooting dark glances over at Belinda and Monty.

Probably wishing for them to be quiet, Sparrow thought.

'Hello, we've come to buy the music box,' said Rose.

'Very wise, little ones,' Murgo said. He handed Rose the music box while Sparrow handed him the five gold pieces. 'Go ahead and turn the handle – but mind you go somewhere quiet like,' he added as he threw another annoyed glance at Belinda and Monty.

'Let's go make our wish, Little Sparrow!' Rose said, and together they ran off to make their wish.

They stopped running when they got to a quiet area, near their shelter, and Rose turned the handle three times. Sparrow was so excited. He couldn't wait to see what would happen. To go to a place that was warm and where they wouldn't starve…

'I wish… I wish…' said Rose, closing her eyes.

The box opened and submitted a bright yellow light whilst it slowly turned around playing a lovely tune, but that didn't last long. A few seconds later it started to spin faster and faster and the faster it got, the faster the music went. As Rose re-opened her eyes, the yellow light became blood red before it vanished in mists of yellow light.

What happened? Why weren't they somewhere warm? Was there a delay in reaction? And was the box meant to disappear? All these thoughts spun around in Sparrow's head. He wasn’t aware of Rose's angry remarks as she walked towards their shelter, nor was he aware of his feet following her.

'But… where did it go? Why are we still here?' Rose said furiously to on one in particular. 'Five gold pieces… let's just go to bed! I was so sure this was it! I had this feeling like… like we weren't going to be in Old Town anymore! Why didn't the box take us with it?' she said, stopping at the foot of their shelter and looking down at her little brother.

Sparrow shrugged. He knew as much about the music box and she did.

Just as Rose was about to say something else to him, they heard a bark and they both looked in at their shelter.

'What are you doing here? I'm sure I didn't wish for you!' Rose said to the dog they’d rescued from Rex, who was currently standing inside their shelter. 'Alright, fine. Welcome to our little paradise.' Rose sighed. 'Come on, Sparrow, go to bed.'

Sparrow patted the dog's head and followed her advice by going to bed. He fell asleep almost immediately - regardless of how cold it was - with the music from the music box filling his dreams.

What felt like seconds later, Sparrow awoke to the dog barking and growling. Groaning, he rolled over and tried to ignore him. Even when a new voice spoke he didn't bother getting up. All he wanted to do was sleep.

'Ooh, alright settle down. There's a nice stray, angry dog,' said the voice.

'Quiet boy!' said Rose. 'What do you want?'

'I work for Lord Lucien, Miss, and he would very much like to see you in his castle. I've been sent to collect you!' said the voice. Sparrow heard footsteps walking away.

Good. Now I might be able to get to sleep, Sparrow thought, but he wasn't that lucky.

'It did work! Our wish came true! Come on, Little Sparrow, wake up!' Rose said, shaking his shoulders gently. 'I guess that bird poo was lucky!'

'If you say so,' Sparrow groaned as he sat up and rubbed sleep out of his eyes, while Rose tried to calm the dog down. He would have to think of a name for it.

'It's alright, Doggy, we're going to Lord Lucien's castle! I'll come back for you, I promise!' Rose said, before she hurried off after whoever she had been talking to.

Still groaning, Sparrow slowly got to his feet and noticed that the dog was whining and gazing, almost sadly, after Rose as though he didn't think that it was a good idea for her to be going, before he started whining at him. Sparrow just stared at him and gave him a pat on the head, thinking that he was just imagining the sad note in the dog's voice and the sad gaze, after all his was brain was still asleep.

Sparrow gave the dog one last glance before he hurried after Rose, not realising that his life was about to change forever.

-----SPARROW'S JOURNEY-----

'Evening, Jeeves,' said the guard that had brought us to the castle. 'Here are the children Lord Lucien asked for.'

'Excellent!' said the butler named Jeeves. He was creepy. 'Hello, young lady, young master.'

'Hello, sir,' Rose said, while Sparrow gazing around the castle in awe.

'If you'd follow me, please.'

'We look up at this castle every day and think how nice it is, we both do. But inside, it's even more beautiful than I imagined!' Rose said conversationally, while Sparrow gazed around at all the different artefacts that lines the hall they were walking down.

'It is quite wonderful, isn't it? Ah, hello, Master Garth,' Jeeves added to a man about to walk past them.

He had dark skin and weird blue lines over every inch of his skin. The same blue lines Sparrow had once seen on Matt. Garth ignored Jeeves and Rose, but for some reason he paused and looked at Sparrow, before continuing on his merry way, only thing time he had a small, but thoughtful, frown on his face.

How strange, Sparrow thought, watching him leave.

'Huh, man of few words,' Jeeves mumbled, clearly he was not impressed about being ignored.

'Where is the grand dining hall?' Rose asked.

'Oh, it’s in the North Wing. Lord Lucien hasn't been in there since… since the tragic deaths of Lady Fairfax and little Amelia,' Jeeves answered.

'Oh, I heard. That was so awful,' Rose said quietly.

It was awful. Both of them had died to an unknown illness.

'Yes, he misses them terribly.'

'So, where does he eat?' asked Rose.

Sparrow would never understand Rose's fascination about where Lord Lucien eats.

'Actually, he takes most of his meals in his study. He's in there at all hours doing research…'

'What does he research?' Rose interrupted keenly.

Jeeves didn't seem bothered by the interruption, for when he answered there was no annoyance present in his voice. That or he was just a very good actor.

'History, mostly; Lord Lucien is quite keen on antiquities of all sorts, but he is chiefly interested in things related to the Old Kingdom.'

'There was a trader in Old Town who said his stuff was from the Old Kingdom,' said Rose.

'Yes… yes, I believe Lord Lucien… heard about that,' replied Jeeves. Sparrow couldn't place his tone, but he didn't like the way he answered Rose's question, but Rose didn't seem worried, so Sparrow dismissed it.

'We bought a piece of it and we made a wish and now we're here!' Rose told Jeeves happily.

'That's wonderful! Now, when you meet Lord Lucien, you must show respect at all times,' said Jeeves as they arrived at the end of the hall in front of a pair of huge doors. 'Address him as "my Lord"; speak only when spoken too…'

'Yes, sir,' Rose and Sparrow said in unison.

'And do not mention Lady Fairfax or Amelia,' he added sternly, before opening the door. 'Here we are. Lord Lucien, the children are here.'

Rose and Sparrow walked cautiously into the room. The walls were covered with hundreds of books and the desks were covered with lots of papers and other artefacts. Lord Lucien stood bent over one of the desks at the far end of the room. Once Jeeves had closed the door, he turned and addressed them.

'Children, it had come to my attention that you have some sort of magic box. May I see it?' he asked. He had the same tone of voice that their father had.

'It vanished, m'Lord. We were winding it up, and we made a wish, and it started to glow, and it disappeared,' replied Rose nervously. Sparrow had never seen his sister so nervous. Her nervousness frightened him a little. She was usually calm and confident.

'After you used it?' Lucien probed.

'Yes m’Lord. The man that sold it to us said it was magic.'

'The box is of no interest to me. What's remarkable is that you were able to use it. What was your wish?' Lucien added. His question caught them off guard. Why would a mayor want to know what a couple of poor kids wished for?

In answer to his question, Rose mumbled something incomprehensible.

'Speak up. What did you wish for?' he encouraged gently.

'To live in a castle, like this one,' Rose said quietly, turning red.

'Well, perhaps that can be arranged,' Lucien chuckled good-naturedly. 'I'm working to rebuild… well, I'm working on something wonderful, for which I need individuals with particular talents. Let us find out if you possess them. Would you kindly stand in the circle, please?'

'Erm…' Rose eyed the circle wearily, as did Sparrow.

'I promise, it won't hurt you,' Lucien said gently.

Rose slowly walked over and stood in the circle. Sparrow remained where he was. He did not know if Lucien wanted him to join her.

'Go on, stand in the circle,' Lucien repeated, smiling down at him in a very fatherly way.

When Sparrow hesitated Rose told him to join her.

'It's alright, Little Sparrow, don't be afraid. It doesn't hurt,' she encouraged.

Sparrow slowly went and stood in the circle. Something didn't feel right. The image of the dog's behaviour flashed into his mind, but it quickly disappeared as the circle lit up with blue light, making Sparrow move a little closer to Rose and Lucien's eyes to widen.

'It's true… your blood… you are Heroes!' Lucien whispered.

'Heroes? You mean, like in the old stories?' Rose asked excitedly.

Sparrow felt excited too. He had always dreamed of being a mighty Hero. Maybe that was why he was so talented with his toy weapons. He wondered if their father knew that they were Heroes like him. Maybe that's why his father always had a strange look on his face when Sparrow did something abnormal for a kid his age.

Lucien didn't answer, instead he went to put his hand through the barrier of blue light, but the moment he touched it, he quickly withdrew his hand in pain and the barrier turned red… blood red…

'What are you?' Lucien asked, looking Rose and Sparrow up and down, before hurrying over to one of his desks. 'Wait, there was something here…'

'My Lord, what happened? What's that light?' cried Rose, fear evident in her voice. Sparrow was beginning to wish that he had stayed in bed.

'Quiet!' snapped Lucien. Gone was the gentle, fatherly tone. 'You're Heroes but you're not any of the three. One of you is the forth,’ he muttered to himself before he picked up a pistol off his desk and pointed it at the children. 'This isn't what I wanted, but nothing must stand in my way!'

'No wait!' Rose cried, trying to shield Sparrow behind her. 'Don't! Noooooooooo!'

Rose was then silenced forever as the bullet left the pistol and hit her straight in the heart.

Sparrow stood there. It had felt as though time had stopped. His heart… it felt as though it was ripping in half. He felt as though part of him had been destroyed. He couldn't accept that Rose, his sister and friend, was gone… he couldn't. They were all each other had.

Never again would he hear her laugh, have her tell him stories or see her caring and loving smile. Never again would he have her comfort him and hold him. Everything he had and loved… was now gone, forever.

He couldn't stop the tears that started to pour down his face and he didn't make any effort to stop them. Never in his wildest and scariest of nightmares did he believe that he would see his beloved sister and friend murdered cold-heartedly in front of him.

Eventually, he slowly looked up at Lucien and saw that the pistol was aimed at him with a shaking hand. All fear had left Sparrow and was replaced with a feeling he had never felt before... hatred and uncontrollable anger. He wanted nothing more than to hurt the man standing in front of him. He wanted him to feel the same pain he was currently feeling.

'I can't allow you to live either… I'm sorry,' Lucien whispered, before he pulled the trigger.

Sparrow cried out in pain as the bullet hit him just below the heart and as he went through the tower’s window. He cried silently as he went falling to his death, screamed as he bounced off the roof tops, before he painfully hit the ground where he laid wishing for Death to come and take him, freeing him from his pain, both physically and emotionally… but Death never came. Sparrow laid there and watched as many citizens hurried passed him from the pub, not sparing him a glance. Those who did just continued on their way. It was then that the last childish fantasies Sparrow held were smashed and he saw the world for what it truly was… cold and heartless. The innocence that he had was shattered.

As he laid there cold, broken and alone, he began to feel his strength leave him and his vision began to fail. He decided that a bird poohing on him was definitely unlucky. However, before he lost his vision, he saw the stray dog come out of the shadows. It lay down next to him as a new shadow fell across him. It was the blind lady who convinced him and Rose to buy the music box.

‘Death is not your destiny today, Little Sparrow,’ she said quietly, before he lost consciousness.

-----SPARROW’S JOURNEY-----

When Sparrow awoke two days later, he saw that he was in an unfamiliar place with a familiar furry face watching over him. Smiling, Sparrow reached out for the comfort of the dog’s warm fur. He and the dog were all that each other had and as he looked into the dog’s brown eyes, a mutual vow was made between them; a vow that they would always look out for each other in this cold world. Sparrow knew that if he was to survive, he would have to bury his feelings deep down inside.

‘Ah good, you’re awake,’ said a calm voice, startling Sparrow. It was the blind lady for Bowerstone.

‘Who are you?’ Sparrow demanded.

‘I am Theresa.’

‘Why did you help me?’

‘I have my reasons, none of which you are ready to know, except this one; I will help you seek revenge for your sister’s death.’

‘Why? Because you feel guilty?’ Sparrow snapped as tears began to form in his eyes at the mention of his deceased sister. ‘If you hadn’t told us to buy that stupid music box –‘

‘You were meant to have that, Little Sparrow,’ Theresa interrupted calmly. ‘It belongs to you and only you… and one day, you may find it to be a great help in the future.’

‘I don’t see how,’ Sparrow sniffed. ‘Besides, I don’t have it anymore. It disappeared when we made out wish.’

‘It will return to you when you are ready,’ Theresa said mysteriously.  ‘Now, are you going to let me heal you?’

Sparrow gazed at Theresa before nodding his head. He would have to trust her if he was to get revenge for Rose’s untimely death.

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