Death’s Apprentice – Part 56

They’d been walking for hours before they even reached the edge of the Haunted Forest. I mean, thought Joe, how more cliché could you get than the Haunted Forest? He felt like he was in a bloody fairy tale.

Agnes had insisted on preparing him a little rucksack. She’d filled it with sandwiches full of green mushy stuff (Joe didn’t know what it was, nor was he going to ask as he thought that might get him into even more trouble than he already was in) and a flask of tea. Although, after having the last cup of tea with the Dead Man Walking, it had kind of turned him off but she was, at least, trying to be helpful. Joe had slipped the Book of the Dead into the rucksack even though it had proved pretty useless so far.

The bag itself was a little bit of a problem. It was pink with a picture of a My Little Pony on it. This raised several serious questions in Joe’s mind; why had Agnes got a pink My Little Pony Rucksack, and what did that say about her character? He buried these thoughts in the back of his head. He was far too much of a chicken to ask her.

It was pretty obvious, even to Joe, when they’d reached the edge of the Haunted Forest for a thick blanket of fog had started to envelop them in gloom.

‘So, before we go In,’ said Joe, trying to delay the inevitable moment of actually entering the forest, ‘what’s the deal with the Woodcutter?’

Agnes came to an abrupt halt. She spun around, her fists in tight little balls at her side. ‘What do you need to know other than he has my heart?’

‘Well, how did he get it? How did he steal it? It’s not really something that I thought would be easy to steal.’

‘Are you trying to say I was careless?’

‘Well, no…I…was just asking.’

Agnes’ shoulders dropped and she sighed loudly. ‘The truth is…I was careless. I loved him. And I gave my heart away -‘

‘But you said, he stole it.’

‘Joe,’ said Hel, ‘she means she gave it away metaphorically speaking.’

‘Yes. One night we…and then…when I woke up, he’d cut my heart out.’

‘But what did he want with your heart?’

‘I don’t know, do I?’ snapped Agnes.