Into the Forest and Down the Tower by Ann T Bugg - Read Online
Into the Forest and Down the Tower
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It’s time for Samantha’s summer visit again. Both she and Val are anxious to see if they will take another magical journey through the mirror. After learning of a problem with one of the horses, Odette makes her appearance and tells the girls it’s up to them to help him.

What Charlie needs is something that can only be found in their magical land. It can’t be given to them; they have to solves riddles and discover the answers themselves. A family of elves guides them, but even elf powers are limited when it comes to what stands between the girls and what they seek.

Trolls and unicorns were everything they imagined and more, but rescuing Rapunzel from her tower was an added bonus they never saw coming.

Published: June Kramin on
ISBN: 9781301912902
List price: $0.99
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Into the Forest and Down the Tower - Ann T Bugg

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Chapter 1

"No, she doesn’t."

Samantha, she does.

I’ve never heard it before.

Mom! Valerie shouted down the stairs. Mom! Come here for a second.

Valerie’s Mom came running up. What is it? Did someone get hurt?

No. What’s Barbie’s full name?

Valerie Danielle! You made me run upstairs for that? You come get me next time!

Sorry. But what is it?

Barbara Millicent Roberts. Now don’t do that to me again. You almost gave me a heart attack.

Okay. Sorry. She turned to Sam after her mother went back down. I told you Barbie had a full name.

How does your mom know all this weird stuff?

I don’t know, Val said with a shrug. She just does.

Valerie and Samantha continued to play upstairs. It was hot out and as good a day as any to destroy her room. That’s not how they saw it, of course. They were planning to go back and finish all the games they’d started, and of course play with every Polly Pocket house and person, and each one of the Littlest Pets that was out…really, they were.

Valerie’s room at her farmhouse in Southern Minnesota was actually the entire third floor. Her play area consisted of two bedrooms that were connected by a bathroom, and a long hallway running the length of the level. The hallway was completely lined with plastic containers and shelving units holding books, craft items of different sorts, and toys. More often than not, Valerie would reach for a book instead of a toy when she was up there by herself. There was a lot of alone time for her since they lived so far out in the country. The closest neighbors were still far away and none of the older farmers had children her age. That meant no friends to walk over to play like her friends in town could. Play dates were usually planned for weekends and included sleepovers. She wasn’t an only child, but her brother was thirteen years older and lived a couple hours away.

One thing Val and her mom shared was the love of fairy tales. Many of the shelves were lined with fantasy books of princes and princesses, dragons and griffins, goblins, fairies and everything else magical. When she was younger, Valerie and her mother spent almost every night reading books and getting lost in the fantasy worlds they created. Now Valerie zipped through them alone. She simply filled her mom in on the wondrous tales when she was finished.

As of last year though, the books didn’t bring her quite the excitement that they used to. She no longer had to rely solely on her imagination. She and her best friend, Samantha, had gone on a real fairy tale adventure and everything else took second place now.

When Samantha’s brother had a magazine fundraiser at school, Valerie picked a children’s travel club magazine. After being with Samantha in another realm, she couldn’t get enough of countries with old castles. Samantha chose Teen Beat, no surprise there.

Valerie wasn’t thinking books this week, though. This was the week she looked forward to all year long; the week Samantha came to stay with her. They remained best friends even after Sam moved over four hours away. She spent a week at Valerie’s every summer. There were not two more mischievous girls on the planet. Valerie was eleven and Samantha was ten. The girls were into the first day of Samantha’s weeklong stay and everything was going great.

We can try looking for the kittens out in the barn later, Sam.

I thought your mom got the cats fixed.

She took them all in except for one female that she couldn’t catch. The one she calls Fraidy.

Fraidy cat. That’s funny.

Maybe if we can find the babies and start handling them, we can make them tame.

Sound like a plan. What do we do for now?

Let’s play with Snow!

Val ran downstairs, over to a shelving unit, and reached into an antique tea cup for the key to the curio cabinet that held her mom’s prized possessions; her Disney Polly Pocket sets. She didn’t mind them being played with as long as the pieces were kept together and the sets were put back right away when the girls were done playing with them.

You bring them down right away when you’re done, stated her mother.

I know, I know…I won’t leave them out. Valerie said, rolling her eyes. I’ve done this a dozen times, Mom.

You don’t need to get fresh, just be careful with them.

Sorry. Okay, I will.

Valerie chose three sets: the Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty castles along with the Snow White and Seven Dwarves cottage. The girls played and reminisced on their adventure when they went through the magic mirror during Samantha’s visit last year and personally met them all. Of course, Sleeping Beauty was just a baby at the time, but she still counted as a princess.

Val, you promise you haven’t seen anything in the mirror at all?

Samantha, I would have told you if I did. I wouldn’t have gone back without you.

But what if Snow said she really, really needed you?

Well, I don’t know. I guess if she needed me I’d have no choice, but I didn’t, Samantha. We know everything comes out fine.

I know, but let’s keep checking, okay?

Of course we will. Maybe it’s something we can only do together.

That’s true. That’s probably it. We’ll check again tonight after your parents go to bed.

Last year, the girls snuck out of the house to find a possum that had scared Val’s mom. They discovered a magic mirror in the barn and it took them on an incredible journey. The mirror has been hanging in the house since then, but had never shown any signs of opening up to their magical land again.

After an hour of playing, they were distracted from the Polly sets and played the board game they’d invented. It involved chess and checker pieces as well as play money. The girls had made revisions throughout the years that involved day of the week rules and hats. It was impossible for an adult to follow, but they had a blast.

Val and Sam had been friends since they were barely walking. They’d certainly had their share of disagreements over the years, but the quarrels never lasted long. Each of them were too competitive for their own good. It always amazed their parents that things like a bowling score didn’t matter, but it was of the utmost importance which one of them reached the elevator first and got to push the button. Oddly enough, this special card game was never a source of arguments, even with its goofy rules.

Hey! Val’s mom called upstairs. You guys playing Chesseckerhatplayoney?

They both laughed. That’s what she had named their game. She ran it all together; chess-checkers-hat-play-money. This was not unusual for her. She was often picked on because of the strange names she came up with for things, especially her pets and vehicles.

Yeah, we are, Valerie, hollered back down.

I don’t see my Pollys back in their case.

But we’re not done.

You are if you’re playing something else. You know you’ll forget and George will run off with the pieces. George was one of the house cats. Even though she was ten, she still acted like a kitten.

She’s outside.


Okay. We’ll bring them down.

Thank you.

Boy, she still really watches them doesn’t she, Val?

Yup. You’d think they were plated in gold.

Does George really run away with the pieces?

"She runs away with anything, the