All of a sudden from somewhere to my right I heard a whistling.
I wasn't the only one to hear an approaching stranger both Purlean and the witch looked up from what they were doing and turned t face the direction the high pitch, slightly out of tune, song was coming from.
I scanned the area but couldn't see anyone, the The Fly turned me to me and whispered;
There on the far side of the clearing I spotted a few branches begin to move slightly, as if a breeze was deciding whether to blow or not and then all of a sudden out into the clearing stepped Bob, Greego's Pixie friend.
Looking directly at Purlean and the witch he smiled;
"Good morning to yee." Taking off his hat he bowed to the floor.
If I'd been looking in a mirror I'm sure my face would have been a picture, I turned to The Fly;
"What's he doing here?!" I mouthed.
The Fly smiled "Watch."
I turned back to see the witch stand, straightening up her skirt. "Good morning to yee, pesky Pixie." Her face screwed into a hideous snarl, Bob didn't notice.
"And what do we have here then?"
Purlene jumped up onto a small rock, her heckles up, looking furiously between the witch and Bob.
"I" Bob bowed once more "Am Bob, I wonder if I dare to ask if you know the way to Lands Meadow, I'm afraid to say I've lost my way?"
A smile spread across the witches face, suddenly softening.
"Indeed I do oh little Pixie, but may I ask why are you heading there this fine day?"
Bob sat crossed legged and pulled a little bubble full of water from his backpack. Putting his lips to the edge he slurped, the whole bubble disappearing inside his smiling mouth.
"I'm going to meet with some friends, the Summer fair is on it's way and a party is to follow." His face not showing the slightest sign of fear.
The witch moved a step closer, her teeth now showing, rotted and cracked.
"A Summer fair eh. That sounds like great fun. Eh Purlean?"
The witch turned and smiled menacingly at Purlean who was still silent on her rock, no indication of agreement displayed.
"And tell me BOB. This Summer fair at Lands Meadow. Who exactly will be attending?"
Bob had now removed a juicy blackberry from his back pack and picking off a globe of juice, first offering it to the witch he shook her head at the invitation to eat, offered it to Purlean, still standing rigid, no indication of emotion or intention given away.
"Oh the usual crowd, us Pixie's of course, a few of the Hob Goblins from the Parsnip Valley and I've even heard Fairyville may attend."
The witches eyes flashed red, a wicked grin spreading from left to right across her cheeks.
"Pixie's, Hob Goblins and Fairyville?" Sounds like a right ball, would you mind a couple of hapless travellers tagging along? It's been ages since I would have been in such illustrious company?" She hadn't taken her eyes off Bob who was now tying up a show lace a piece of grass half sticking out of his mouth, chewing to clean his teeth.
"No not at all, if you know the way that is, I'm a little lost you see and a little late."
"Then let us waste no more time." The witch bent and gave Bob a little stroke on his head. He smiled and looked down, clearly enjoying the movement on his body, the human contact. If only he had looked up he would have seen the witch open her mouth, a tongue poking out , deliciously moistening her lips, a plotting grimace spreading.
I turned to face The Fly, "I think he's in danger, it doesn't feel right."
The Fly blinked again, "Get ready we're about to be on the move again, keep up with me but stay back slightly, we don't want to be detected, that happened once and there were such terrible consequences., but you'll see that soon enough"
A shudder fought it's way down his back and moved up mine. This was beginning to feel more serious that I first thought it would.