Just on sunset, they finally reached the edge of the Enchanted Forest.

 

They both paused, and nervously looked into the dark, dead, gloom of the forest that lay in front of them.

 

Zac had not exaggerated, with his creepy description of the forest.

 

Every dead, dark silhouette of a tree, seemed to have a pair of shadowy eyes, peering out from behind it.

 

"We just have to go on", explained Bellasini, nervously.

 

Zac, hovering timidly behind Bellasini, gulped. "If only we had someone big to protect us."

 

"That gives me an idea Zac. Don’t go away. I will be back in a flash,” she replied, clashing the two bracelets together. "Reality!"

 

Bellasini soon found herself back in Gran’s living room, where the old clock on the mantelpiece, still showed four o’clock. I must have been in Virtasia, for at least four or five hours, yet not a single second has passed by in Reality, she thought to herself. Gran was right; time really did, go much slower in Reality.

 

Bellasini quietly locked Gran’s door, and tiptoed home past her mother, who was still busily cleaning the kitchen.

 

After quietly climbing stairs to her bedroom, she started frantically searching her shelves.

 

“I know it is around here somewhere," mumbled Bellasini quietly.

 

She was looking for a rather ferocious transforming tiger, David had given to her, on her ninth birthday.

 

At that age, he did not realize she was not into those kinds of boys’ toys. However, she could not bring herself to give it away. She knew it was not the tiger's fault, that he had been made in such a fashion. Besides, right now she needed exactly such a toy, to protect her and Zac, on their journey.

 

She was hoping Book was right. He said if she took inanimate toys from Reality to Virtasia, they would come to life.

 

"Book! where are you?" quietly called Bellasini, searching high and low for the tiger.

 

Book still eager to please, arrived quickly in a puff of smoke.

 

"Book, if I take my transforming tiger back to Virtasia with me, will he become a real tiger?”

 

Book’s pages flicked open to reveal a single word. 'Yes'

 

"Great! Now where is it?"

 

"What are you looking for," inquired a small voice from behind.

 

Bellasini was searching so hard, she forgot there was not supposed to be anyone else, in the room.

 

"I am looking for that transforming tiger David gave me as a present when I was nine," replied Bellasini. Unaware of whom she was talking to.

 

"Look behind the books on the top shelf, above your desk,” replied the voice.

 

With that, Bellasini spun around to find Bluebird, comfortably perched on Book.

 

"Did you just speak to me?" asked a very surprised Bellasini. “Can you suddenly talk?”

 

"I have always been able to talk," replied Bluebird. "You mean you haven't been able to understand me, all these years."

 

"Well yes," stammered, Bellasini. "In my own way, I guess… But never like this."

 

“Well that explains a few things,” sighed Bluebird. "Hmm! Well you'll find the tiger up there behind those books," she continued, pointing with her wing towards the shelf.

 

"Thank you," replied Bellasini. "But I wouldn't sit on Book if I was you. He doesn't seem to like birds.”

 

"Doesn't he just,” loudly replied Bluebird, spreading her wings. “Maybe in future he’ll think twice before he upsets another bird,” she laughed, flying off toward her favorite tree in the garden.

 

“Oh no”! shrieked Bellasini, looking down at Book. “Bluebird has messed on you”.

 

Book's bobble leapt up, and stared in disbelief at the mess on his pages.

 

"Book, I am sure it was an accident."

 

Using one of the corners of his pages, he tried frantically to sweep the mess away.

 

Bellasini grabbed a tissue from her dresser, and gently wiped it off.

 

“There you go Book. See it wasn’t that bad. Nobody would even know it had been there."

 

Picking up her roller blades, and transforming tiger, Bellasini turned to Book. “We better hurry back to Virtasia, before Zac gets himself into some type of new mischief.”

 

“Virtasia!"

Page 28