Jill escorted Miko and Sandy home. It was getting late, so they didn’t want to risk anything else in the forest finding them. Sandy couldn’t help but see the mist differently now after what Jill had told her and tiptoed around the wisps that clung to the floor. Jill said she didn’t have to do that. But she couldn’t help it. It wasn’t like anything Sandy had ever heard of back home. Her mind raced with the nightmares of monsters forming from the aether and finding their way to Fable. But she was filled with the confidence that as long as Jill lived in the forest, they’d be okay. The woods were silent with Jill around, afraid to make the one wrong move that would draw her attention. Miko and Sandy didn’t talk much on the way back and instead watched off the path for anything moving all the way to the forest’s edge. When Jill said goodbye, Sandy felt a rush of relief as they put the woods behind them and walked back into the familiar.
Whew… Well, I’m still glad we did that.
Me too. Did you see how nervous Jill was?
… Kind of. Now that you mention it.
‘Nervous’ and ‘Jill’ aren’t two words I normally put in a sentence. Good job.
Hey. I didn’t do anything.
You did, though. I’m pretty sure I’d never had visited her if it weren’t for you.
In a small way, you changed her life.
I’m still shaking a bit from all that talk about how dangerous the forest is.
No joke. At least now you can get back to dishes and donuts.
Hey. What’s that big building?
City hall. It’s also the bank, since the town’s not that big.
Could we swing by? I want to say I’m sorry to the mayor for laughing at her today.
I doubt she’s there at this hour. But why not?
Miko and Sandy walked off the path to the Fable city hall. It was a whimsical building with curved door frames like giant mouse holes and great big colorful windows. The top of it was leaning inward toward the path, as if the building was slightly off-balance. Its roof was different from all the other homes too, looking like rolling hills instead of sharp angular points. Miko took a moment to point out how dark the windows were.
See? No one home. Once dinnertime comes around is when all the tellers and clerks leave. Sometimes Snow Puff is still around but…
Did you see something?
Both of them heard the sound of a window opening on the far side of the building shortly after Miko jumped. The two of them had to investigate and went around as quickly as they could. Before them was Snow Puff, climbing out of the window onto a pile of canvas sacks.
Miss Mayor! How lucky we caught you!
Lovely evening, c-citizens!
I just wanted to say I’m sorry for laughing earlier. It was very rude of me, especially on our first meeting.
Oh, no problem! No problem at all!
I’ve… already forgotten about the whole thing! Whatever it was…
It was about your name. I’ve just never met anyone with a name like Snow Puff before.
Sh’yeah… What a name, right?
Sounds like some kinda mascot.
We can talk about it tomorrow, if you like. But… it’s late! And I really shouldn’t be out in the cold.
Okay. Thanks for being so understanding.
You’re not gonna say anything about Snow Puff sneaking out a window at night with a bunch of money bags?
I didn’t notice.
Note to self. You’d make an awful police dog.
Me, on the other hand…
Dang. I was hoping both of you were airheads.
Snow Puff, no! You can’t do this!
What’s going on here?!
Oh no… That’s everything I have in there.
Now don’t be rash… Consider your situation.
You think you’re gonna stop me?! Puff around and find out!
And she looked like such a nice bunny, too…
Walk away from the money and come out with your hands up! You are surrounded!
C’mon and try it, mutt. I’ll take all of you on!
Stand back, everyone! That rabbit’s dynamite!
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