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Once Upon A Time: Chapter Five

"STOP!" the tenor voice of the fox boomed through the night. His paws were on the mouse, which was now on the ground.

Cicero pumped his wings in vain, but was drawn towards the earth at the same time as James and Sweetie involuntarily took a step towards the fox.

"I am the wizard of the forest," he proclaimed. As he spoke, his eyes glowed more fiercely and turned green, then blue, than purple, then red, than back to the original yellow.

Cicero swivelled his head around. "Who... are... you?" he asked slowly.

"THUNDER!" barked the fox. "Did I not just tell you?" he asked, calming down a bit.

The three travellers were silent.

"You will dine with ME tonight." the fox drawled.

So saying, he turned around and trotted quickly into the trees. The three heroes found themselves dragged along.

"Where are we going?" Sweetie asked. "I hope it's not a scary place... I hate scary places."

James shrugged as he was dragged into a tree. The fox turned around, smirked, and kept going, so quickly that James did not have time to pick himself up but was dragged around the forest on his stomach.

Finally they reached a cave. The fox, having arrived there a second before them, smirked at them again. "You are my guests. Be not afraid," he counselled.

"What if we're dinner?" Sweetie whispered. "I hope we're not... I hate being dinner."

From the outside, the cave looked tiny, barely large enough to hold the fox and his dinner companions. But from the inside, it was ginormous. And luxurious, James noted dryly. A large chandelier of glass hung from the ceiling. A table of polished oak sat in the middle of the room. Candle light flickered against the reddish walls, giving it a warm, homey feeling.

A few plump chicken and a dozen skinned mice sat on fancy platters on the oak table. "Welcome to dinner." the fox said grandly.

"You're not going to eat us?" Sweetie squeaked.

"Oh, not yet." the fox replied, his golden eyes glowing in the candle light.

To be continued...


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