(This excerpt from “The Cookie” is the intellectual property of Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc) – continued from A Further Word About Chapter Three.
“We’re going to let him show us the water,” Sly insisted quietly.
There was something odd about the way Sly spoke, which made Dab nervous. He decided that these cookies were probably not working for the witch after all, but he still wasn’t sure he could trust them. If they were as afraid of water as they seemed to be, why would they ask to be taken to any; and what could these cookies possibly want with water?
When he spoke, he tried to keep his voice calm. “Quick, I’m not your enemy; and I’m not helping the witch.”
He said nothing more, but stepped around Quick, and continued on his way along the wall. The others moved in place close behind him, and he heard them whispering together. After a short while Dab could see that the floor was moist ahead; and realized the pool of water was near. He stopped and turned to face the others.
“I don’t understand why you wanted to come here, but the water is just ahead.” Dab told them. “Take care if you go any closer; the floor is wet there, and slippery.”
But none of the other gingerbread men seemed willing to draw any closer. They stood apart from Dab, whispering among themselves, too quietly for him to hear. He began to believe they really didn’t want any water after all. Perhaps it was just a test to see if he was telling the truth. Finally they turned their focus toward him.
“We’re ready for you to take us to the water now,” Sly said.
He stared at Sly in disbelief. Then he pointed toward the water and said, “It’s right there, in front of me!”
“You first,” Sly said.
Dab hesitated for a moment, then turned and began slowly edging his way toward the pool of water’s edge. He was careful to only step where he was sure the floor was dry. Soon the yellow light from the gemstone in his chest shone across the pool’s surface.
Low gasps of surprise came from the gingerbread men behind him, when they saw there really was water on the floor after all. Dab turned to look at Sly and his crew, and noticed they stood around him in a semi-circle; which blocked any path for him to move away from the water’s edge.
The pale yellow light from his chest revealed each of them clearly, and he noticed they were quite a bit dirtier than he was. The five cookies stared at him silently; and that filled Dab with dread.
“We need to leave here,” he said nervously.
“We will.” Sly said quietly. “We just need to take care of one small matter first.”
“What… what small matter is that?” Dab asked, as he searched for a way to escape.
“Give us that magic rock,” Quick said.
“I told you, I can’t remove it.” Dab said. “I’ve already tried and nothing has worked.”
“Step into the water,” Sly said. “Maybe that will loosen it.”
“I was lucky enough to escape the water once,” Dab said. “I don’t want to risk that again!”
“You said that the water couldn’t hurt you, remember?” Quick said.
“I said the water ‘didn’t’ hurt me.” Dab replied. “I can’t say why, but I’m not going to chance it a second time! Maybe I’d better just go my own way.”
“Off to tell the witch where we are? We can’t let you do that!” Quick yelled this suddenly; and lunged forward in an attempt to push Dab into the water.
Dab resisted this unexpected shove, and found himself grappling with Quick once more. The collision made them lose their balance; and they both tumbled into the water, with a loud splash!
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J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc