“What does he want to do with them?” Sareanne wailed.
“I don’t know,” I reply frustrated.
I pull her along down the stairs and toward the entrance to the castle. We entered the silent throne room and I stopped. Once again Sareanne crashed into me.
“What is it?” she asked a little irritably.
“Can you do the spell of protection around the thrones? Just the thrones, keep it small.”
She nodded and concentrated. The words came tumbling out like a whole different language. I watched the small circle of stones appear one by one around the two thrones. As the circle completed the air shimmered slightly and then an aging gentleman appeared on the throne. He slowly opened his eyes and yawned.
Sareanne looked up at the noise and a wordless gasp left her lips. “Papa?” she cried.
She then threw herself across the barrier and into his arms. The man barely had enough time to open them before she was embracing him.
“Sareanne,” he said simply.
I could feel the moisture on my cheeks before I realized I was crying. I shook myself out of the beautiful reverie and approached the throne.
“Sareanne he must sprinkle some of this all over,” I instructed.
“Who is this?” Rutheus asked suspiciously.
“We don’t have much time, Sareanne I need you.” I poured a small amount into Rutheus hand and we made our way outside.
I looked up at the grapes hanging from the lattice work in the courtyard. I reached up to try and pluck one. If the grape seed powder worked so well then a grape would be even better. Just as I was about to pop the grape into my mouth Sareanne swatted my hand and the grape fell to the ground. She immediately stomped on it.
“What are you doing?” I ask surprised.
“Look at the roots of the vines,” she said pointing to the walls.
The vines were growing out of the castle walls. At first I didn’t understand and then it dawned on me.
“These vines are cursed. They are attached to the castle,” I say nodding my head.
“If any of us eats them we will be cursed again,” Sareanne replies.
We hurry past the treacherous vines and I now understood why I had felt uneasy and tempted by the grapes. When we reached the empty courtyard in front of the castle I heard Rutheus gasp behind us.
“Where is the village?” he exclaimed angrily.
“It’s still here, you just can’t see it because it has been enchanted or cursed,” I say carefully. “Sareanne, where did we see the most people from the room above?”
She pointed to an area off to the right. I started toward the area and then stopped.
“Is there a well around here?”
“Yes, it’s supposed to be over there.” She pointed to another corner of the courtyard.
“Make the circle around the well,” I instruct.
She concentrates and speaks and a few minutes later the well appears. I run over to the well and draw up a large bucket of water. I take the bottle of powder and dump a generous handful inside. It sizzles and bubbles for a moment and I reach into stir it. When it looks mixed enough I take the bucket toward the first area Sareanne had pointed out and I start scooping it out and splashing it all over.
Rutheus and Sareanne make strangled noises behind me, but I continue my work until the bucket is almost empty. Then I take it and toss it toward the middle.
“Hey,” an angry voice calls. “Why’d you do that?”
I look at the speaker and see a small pocket of the village appearing under the protection of the grape seed powder water. Just having the water sprinkled on an object appears to lift the curse completely. I run back to Sareanne.
“It will take a long time to uncurse the whole village and I don’t think there is enough of the powder, but it’s a start,” I say excitedly.