As the two returned from the field, Wylder asked, “Nala, how do we get back into St. David’s?”
“We just do,” replied Nala. “I shoulda told you about The Silence,” began Nala. “When we go through, we will be in the quiet place. You won’t hear me, and I won’t hear you. You’ll have to walk hard.”
“Walk hard?” asked Wylder. “What does that mean?”
When Wylder had first followed Nala from the stone benches and they had gotten closer to the blue fireflies, it had been deathly quiet. It had seemed to pull them to the blue light like a magnet.
Nala tried to explain, “It’s like walking through water. It gets easier as you get farther away. That’s why my mama doesn’t like it here. She says it pulls you in.”
“Have you ever gotten stuck in the silent part?” asked Wylder.
“No. It don’t scare me,” said Nala, trying to sound confident. “Just keep walking and you’ll be out in a few seconds. It’s only on the inside of St. David’s.”
“OK,” replied Wylder, “I’m ready.”
Nala took her hand and led her through the portal. On the other side, in The Silence, Wylder felt what Nala had described. Her arms and legs moved more slowly but she could move forward with some effort. When she stood still, she felt a slight pull toward the portal, like walking upstream when she was fishing with her dad. As promised, each step got easier.
Like when I walk out of the river, thought Wylder.
In just a few minutes, they were back in the moonlight. “When will I see you again?” asked Wylder.
Exasperated, Nala looked at Wylder cross-eyed and said, “When I can sneak out again, silly!”
Nala giggled. As she slipped away, she said over her shoulder, “It’s best you don’t come for me. I’ll find you at the stone benches when the moon is full.” With that, Nala skipped back to the Dark Side, leaving Wylder in the light of the moon.
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