Ch 20. 7 — Only a few minutes later, a large man crept up the path, with an enormous axe in his hands. His clothes were worn, his hair and beard long and tangled, and his eyes were wild.
Paul! Janine gasped. Her heart began to pound. Bee put her arm around her.
Freddie growled. Then he looked up at Janine. “Sorry,” he whispered. “I couldn’t help myself.”
Paul froze in the path. He stood up straight, listening. When he spoke, his voice was gentle and kind. “I know you’re near, Janine. Why do you continue to run from me? I just want to rescue you from this terrible forest and take you home. Your mother and father miss you so much. You’ve got a new little niece, did you know? Don’t you want to hold her?”
“Oh,” Janine gasped. Tears filled her eyes as a longing for home hit her. She would have stepped out from their hiding place if Bee hadn’t held her back.
“Let’s go home, Janine. The dogs miss you. Everyone misses you. I’m so tired.” Paul sobbed. “Come on, take my hand. Let’s go home.”
Bee gestured, and the cloud of sparkly dust became a girl who looked just like Janine — with the warts. The fake Janine walked forward holding out her hand.
Paul’s face changed. Gone was the gentle friend. He snarled, raised the axe, and brought it down on the fake Janine. The image faded. The sparkly dust swirled around him. Paul began to scream and rub his eyes.
“What have you done to me? I can’t see. I can’t see!”
Janine nodded to the birds, who flew to a tree across the clearing.
One of the Jubjub sisters imitated Janine’s voice. “Paul, come this way. I’m right over here.”
Paul started towards the voice. “Where are you, Janine? I can’t see you.”
“Right over here. Just a little farther.”
The rest of the Jubjub birds chuckled and flew off to continue this new game.
Janine expected Bee to ask why Jubjub birds knew her or how she could communicate with them, but she didn’t.
“Come on,” said Bee. “We’ve got to warn Granny.” They hurried down the path towards Connie’s gingerbread house, and Freddie raced ahead of them.
Janine began to cry. She missed her home so much.
Bee put her arm around Janine. “Don’t worry, dear. I’ll have Col put some barrier spells around our cottage and land. Paul won’t be able to get in. I won’t let him hurt you, I promise.”