They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. A huge cavalcade of soldiers on white horses rode past them. Their armor was clean and shiny. They carried green-nd-ilver shields with large red apples painted on them and waved flags with the same design.
“Alex, did we go back in time?” Conner anxiously asked his sister. “That looks like something straight out of medieval times!”
The pencils were all obliterated under the horses’ hooves. The soldiers were moving at such a fast and forceful pace that none of them noticed the awestruck twins peeking out from behind the tree.
Alex was fixated on their shields. A red apple was such an odd thing to be displayed on a shield, but there was something so familiar about it. She couldn’t put her finger on it.
The rumbling slowly faded away as the soldiers disappeared down the dirt path. The twins both stayed behind the tree for a few moments, making sure the coast was clear. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve had about as much excitement as I can handle for one day,” Conner told Alex.
A poster pinned to a nearby tree caught Alex’s eye. She walked over to it and pulled it off the tree for further inspection. It was old, with faded writing, and a picture of a disgruntled-ooking little girl with curly blonde hair was centered on it. The poster read:
WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
FOR BURGLARY, THIEVERY, AND RUNNING FROM THE LAW
Alex’s face went white, and she stopped breathing for a moment; she had realized where they were. No wonder the trees had been so recognizable. She had seen pictures of them so many times growing up. The book had taken them to the exact place she had hoped.
“Is it possible?” she asked herself. The wheels in her head had never spun as fast as they were now.
“Is what possible?” Conner asked. “Do you know where we are?”
“I think so,” Alex told him.
“Where?” Conner asked, fearing the answer.
“Conner, we went into the book,” she explained, but he wasn’t following her. “I think we’re actually in the Land of Stories.”
She handed him the Wanted poster, and he read it. His eyes grew as wide as a lemur’s.
“No no no! This cannot be happening! This is crazy!” he said, shaking his head. He handed the poster back to his sister as if it were infected with rabies. He couldn’t believe what she was saying; he didn’t want to believe what she was saying. “Are you telling me we’re in the fairy-ale world?”
“I’d recognize this forest anywhere! It’s straight out of Grandma’s book,” Alex said with an unplanned smile.
“But it makes perfect sense! Where else would it have taken us?”
“We just fell through a book! Nothing makes sense!”
Conner said. “So, are we stuck here or what? How do we get home?”
“I don’t have all of your answers, Conner,” Alex said.
“Don’t forget, all of this just happened to me, too!”