“I hate to say this,” Josephina said on the fifth day. “But I think we need new stuff.”
“We can’t go out, though, right?” Benny said.
“You don’t have to, kiddo,” Raven said. “I can go out with Bonnie or Jo, and you can stay here safe. But we can’t live like this anymore. We need more to work with to expand outside the house.”
“I think we all need to stick together,” Bonnie said. “That’s what that creepy lady said in my first house. Our chances are best together. Don’t worry, though, Ben. We’ll keep you safe.”
Josephina took the sheets from their beds and transformed them into large, sturdy bags. She handed one to each of the group, then opened her book and ripped out a blank page. “What are we picking up? I’d say we need some actual food, even if it’s just a loaf of bread. I’ll bet I could work wonders with that.”
“Maybe we should plant our own garden!” Bonnie suggested. “If we could get seeds, or, I don’t know, a plant that’s already growing, we could turn it into whatever we want.”
“We need books,” Raven said.
“Yeah, and I’m bored,” Benny said. “I’d like something fun to do. I don’t know if they have any toys, or games or anything in shadow world, but it’d be cool if we found something to make into any of those things.”
“Maybe a real communication device for the outside world?” Bonnie said. “I know we all had temporary cell phones pop up in our pockets, and I don’t know if anything else would even work. But if we got some electronics, we could at least try.”
“Yeah,” Benny said. “I miss my mom.”
“I know, honey,” Josephina said, giving him a quick squeeze.
“It’s funny your writing a shopping list for shadow world,” Benny said. “My mom would do the same thing.”
“Sometimes habits are all we have. Anything else? I know it’s a bit silly, but I’m tried of magicing up my own cleaning supplies. If we had some real ones, maybe we could make the rest of this neighborhood a bit nicer too. With magic, of course,” she added, noticing Raven’s eye roll. “I think Bonnie’s seeds should help us with that too.”
“I need new clothes, too,” Bonnie said.
“Guys, isn’t this getting to be a lot?” Raven asked.
“We only need a little of each thing to stretch a long way, and if things go south, we can run, and try again another day.”
“Where’d you get a boat?” Benny asked.
“Bonnie magiced one up for us out of a log,” Raven said.
“Hey, if we can do stuff like that, can’t we just make ourselves invisible?” Benny asked.
“It’s certainly worth trying,” Raven said. Though she wasn’t sure if their “magic” was strong enough to hide them from the piercing gaze of the shadow’s glowing eyes.
“All aboard!” Bonnie said, “We’ll get invisible on the water!”
The four of them boarded the boat, which expanded to accommodate the extra people. Once on the water, the boat moved as though it knew the way. Josephina set about to putting spells on each of them, leaving herself for last. “We need to stay visible to each other, but not to shadows, so we won’t know if it worked until we’re in town. It’s best we try to blend in, and take every possible precaution against those things.”
“Stay quiet, emotionless, and move in rhythm with them,” Raven said.
“Do you think we should stay together, the four of us, or go in pairs?” Bonnie asked.
“We’ll stay together as much as we can. Only break into pairs if we need to, and never for long. Agreed?”
“Agreed,” the other three whispered. The town was coming into view out of the fog.
The boat moved to the shore, and waited for the passengers to depart. After all four were on land, it sank into the water and disappeared. Must be too conspicuous, Raven thought. But as long as they stayed together, Bonnie could magic up another boat to get home…
For now, they couldn't think about how to get back. All they could do was face what was ahead of them: a town full of shadowy beings who wanted to steal their light. Their souls depended on how well they could blend in, and how quickly they could return to safety.