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Mark and the Witch of the Deep Forest - Final Part by Shawn Arnham

Before he knew it, Mark was running toward the forest once again. He could hear the adults trying to stop him from the distance, but he kept going.

Alone in the forest, late at night. Mark knew that Ron must be disoriented like he had just been hours prior. He didn't know why Ron would have gone in, but he couldn't sit still and not look for him.

'Right, I should try going to see Anna!' Being a witch, she would surely be able to find Ron, he thought. He began to run along the path back toward Anna's hut. Suddenly, he heard a loud cry.

He headed toward the sound and found Ron and a big, wild monster.

'S-Stop! Don't come any closer!'

Ron was pale and waved the tree branch in his hand.

The monster, clearly unfazed by it, was slowly advancing upon him. It was closing in, and Ron would be a snack in no time. Suddenly, the monster sprang forth! Mark shouted Ron's name and jumped in the way to act as a shield. He saw the tusks coming at him swiftly, and closed his eyes.


After a sudden sound, the monster stopped moving. It became still for a moment, which seemed to stretch for an eternity.

Mark, timidly and reluctantly, opened his eyes to see...

...the monster standing still as a statue with its mouth stuck open, and its once-sharp tusks broken. The monster, not understanding what it ran into, fled at full speed. Though Mark was also dumbfounded, he noticed the shimmer of some type of transparent barrier that had protected them both from the monster's wrath.

'Geez, what a crazy thing for you to do...'

A hoarse voice came from behind, to which Ron could only manage a pathetic 'Eep!'

There stood an old woman wearing a familiar black robe.

'Th-The w-witch?!'

Ron was frozen in shock. Seeing the old woman wink at him, Mark realized her true nature.

The old woman was none other than Anna, who must have used magic to change her appearance. Anna had been heading toward the village with as witch-like of an appearance as she could, probably trying to grant Mark's wish. Though she said she didn't want to appear in public...Mark was happy to see Anna's kindness.

Seeing that Ron was still stiff as a statue, she knew her plan was successful. She grinned.

'Eeeeehehehe! From now on, be very careful in the forest!'

Anna left them with that eerie cackle, and headed deeper in, still disguised as an old woman. Mark was glad she appeared.

After a long silence, Mark asked a dazed Ron:

'Ron, why did you enter the forest?'

'I had heard you went in, and if something had happened to you because I doubted your witch story, I dunno if I'd be able to sleep again.'

Ron's abrupt answer masked his embarrassment.

'But there really was a witch! I'm sorry for doubting your story.'

Ron apologized. Mark wasn't angry anymore, and forgave him.

They put their arms around each others' shoulders and walked back to the village.

When they reached it, they both received an extra tough scolding. They got a thrashing that normally would make them cry, but they were laughing instead.

Several days later, the children gathered in the village square. Mark was once again telling a story of one of his father's adventures.

'Well, today, I'll tell you about the labyrinth to the east that my father found!'

Ron was present in the circle of children, listening excitedly to the story. While proud of his father, Mark was most grateful to Anna, the witch girl who helped him make a new friend.

He planned to visit her house that weekend, with the best of his father's stories as a gift.

'I hope she'll enjoy it,' Mark thought.





「や、やめろよっ! 寄るなって!」ロンは青い顔で手に持った木の棒を振り回しますが、魔獣は気にもせずに、ロンを食べてしまうためにじりじりと間合いを詰めていきます。そして、ついに魔獣がロンに飛び掛かったのです!マルクはロンの名前を叫ぶや否や飛び出し、盾となる形で立ち塞がります。向かってくる魔獣の牙を見て目をつぶりました。