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Chapter Twenty Five: Thorn

They finally reached a small cottage a ways from the river. Smoke wafted from the chimney and Ted bounced forward to lead them there. They approached the door and Ted hopped up and rebounded off the wood, ‘knocking’ successfully.

The door opened to reveal a startlingly beautiful girl, who looked a bit younger than Sora. She had long, gold hair that reached past her shoulders, and had blue eyes that seemed to shine kindness. She wore a brown cloak and she met the group with a smile.

“Oh my! Hello there, my name’s Thorn. Are you new around here?” Ted bounced up onto her finger.

“Hiya Thorny! These here fellers jes’ dropped in, an’ I figured I should take ‘em ta you first!” Thorn smiled again.

“I see. So, where are you all from?”

Sora’s hand went behind his head. “Um, we’re from... uh...”

Donald came to the rescue. “We’re from a town way, way far away from here! Yep, no where even close!”

“What town?”

Donald’s seemingly foolproof plan ‘A’ had just gone kaput. Now it was his turn to stutter. “Um, uh, well...”

Goofy caught the ball and tried a shot. “We’re from Jamaicasaladtop!” Donald and Sora watched him in stunned silence.

Apparently Thorn bought it. “Oh, I’ve never heard of that before. Anyways, come on in.” She opened the door and led them inside. Fone Bone didn’t follow; He was glued to the spot and staring at Thorn with that ‘crush’ twinkle in his eye. Sora managed to wrench him away and lead him in.

“You’ve come at a good time. I was about to head down to the Barrelhaven to meet up with Grandma and Lucius Down. He owns the bar, so perhaps he can help you four learn more about being here. Oh goodness, I haven’t even asked you for your names yet. Pardon.”

“I’m Sora, and this is Goofy and Donald. That over there is Fone Bone.” Fone Bone nervously waved at Thorn.

Thorn walked outside and led two cows over tied to a cart. “I hope you didn’t want to get too comfortable, it’s just we should get to Barrelhaven before sundown.”

Goofy climbed into the cart. “Why? What’s so bad about nighty-night time?”

Thorn’s eyes flashed fear, she took a deep breath before answering. “Monsters. There’ve been numerous sightings and encounters of strange, savage beasts roaming the woods at night. We’ve already had a few townsfolk get injured from skirmishes.”

Fone Bone turned to whisper in Sora’s ear. “Ya think the monsters she’s talking about are th’ same as th’ ones we saw at th’ mountain pass?”

Sora swung one leg over the cow saddle and climbed up. “There’s a good chance of that Fone Bone. We’ll have to wait and see.” Fone Bone hopped into the cart with Goofy, Donald and Ted, and the group set off towards Barrelhaven.

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The cows moved slowly across the paths as they traveled through the dense woods. Goofy and Donald were asleep in the cart, while Fone Bone sat upright talking to Sora, while Thorn rode her cow ahead to scout the trail.

“I can’t believe you have a crush on Thorn.”

“I do not! I’m just glad that she’s helpin’ us get to th’ Barrelhaven.”

“Yeah, okay. Then explain how you were humming about Thorn with that wistful look in your eye?”

“That doesn’t mean anything! It’s not like you have authority on liking a girl or something!”

“Actually,” Sora turned around and sat backwards in the saddle, stretching backwards with his hands behind his head, “I do.”

“You?! You have a girlfriend?”

“That’s not what I was answering. Yes, I do LIKE a girl, but it’s nothing serious.”

“What’s she like?”

Sora eagerly thought about Kairi. “Well, let’s see. She’s really beautiful, to start. Second, she’s got long, shiny brown hair that doesn’t go past her shoulders.”

“Uh-huh. What else?”

“She has the prettiest, brightest pair of blue eyes you can ever find. I mean, I get lost just looking at them.”

“Not to be rude, but that doesn’t sound like something out-of-the-ordinary you do.”

“Says the midget who froze in his crush’s doorway.”

“Touché.”

“She usually wears a pink mini-skirted dress and walks on the beach a lot.” He shifted. “The weirdest part is I’m not sure that she likes me back. I mean, I know she cares for me as a friend, a really good friend, but neither of us has made an attempt to go further than that.”

“Maybe she’d feel uncomfortable in public with you like that.”

“That’s big talk coming from someone with a nose that size.”

“Ouch. Ease up on those comebacks.”

“Then don’t lob me such easy opportunities.”

“Anyways, I think you just need to buck up and try asking her. What’s the worst she can say, no?”

“I can’t believe you’re really even trying that reasoning.”

“Sorry.”

“You’re probably right, though. Eventually one of us will have to try something. And as for your little thing over Thorn,” He gestured behind himself at Thorn, who was completely focused on the path ahead, “I suggest you give it a while. Who knows, maybe she’ll turn out to like you.”

Fone Bone looked at Thorn. She tossed her hair back and he could feel his heart race. He fell off the cart with a thud, and Sora didn’t even lift a finger to help the smitten Fone Bone until he stopped laughing.

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