Estella Mcfadyen, Grade 10, Home Schooled - NSW -
Willow was back in the garden again.
The red roses and white lilies were arranged exactly as she remembered them. And in the centre of the garden was the huge oak, its leaves always red.
Under the oak Alicia sat beside her on the bench.
"Willow," Alicia said to the young girl, "Do you think you can keep a secret?"
Willow shifted on the bench and looked up at her, "Sure."
Alicia drew a necklace from her pack. She held it up for Willow to see.
A simple round Obsidian stone hung from the silver chain.
"This is a very special stone." Alicia explained as the stone twirled around though the air. "And I want you to look after it. But you must never show it to your Aunt or let her take it."
Alicia dropped it into Willow's hand. "I won't." Willow replied staring at the stone.
"Alicia!" Ashera's voice echo through the garden.
Willow quickly closed her hand over the necklace as Alicia rose from the bench.
Ashera walked over to them, her long black hair brushing the ground. She glanced at Willow before returning her attention to Alicia.
"The girl is perfectly capable of occupying herself. I need you to be assisting me not wasting your time here." With that she turned and walked away.
With a quick glance back Alicia followed.
A year later Willow was weaving through the hallways of her Aunt's castle.
How her Aunt found out about the necklace, she couldn't remember.
"Willow!" Her Aunt's voice rang through the castle.
Willow ducked into a room and closed the door behind her.
"Willow." She called again; this time closer. "Child, all I need is the necklace."
Fear was creeping into Willow. "Alicia said I was never to give it to you."
The castle shook with magic at Ashera's anger. "Alicia!" Her Aunt hissed "Of course that traitor was involved."
Wrapping her fingers around the Obsidian, Willow knew she couldn't stay here any longer. She whispered, "Take me to Alicia."
The wall began to shimmer. Willow quickly walked through the magical doorway as Ashera burst into the room.
Suddenly Willow awoke. She sat upright breathing heavily.
Eclipse looked over from where she stood. The black unicorn said quietly, "It was just a dream, Willow."
"But it wasn't." Willow whispered, "Because it really did happen."