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Rolfin's Orb
Book 9 - Sapphire
Chapter 6

When they reached the top of the hill, Elspet said, “Do you think what she said is true? Was he real?”

“He was a character in a book, Elspet, but Dulcinea believes he was real. Someone in her ancestry told the story and it seems to have been passed down through the years. Who are we to decide if it's true or not?” Fiona pulled Callum and Elspet's hands. “Look at us. We fight ice fairies and pirate ghosts. Nobody believes in ghosts either. Who are we to say what is real. Come on. There are the windmills up ahead.”

Eleven whitewashed windmills stood like stone sentinels, guarding the nearby castle ruins and daring anyone to attack. “Wow! Those are cool.” Callum ran towards them, up the dirt path.

“Wait for us, Callum.  Remember there are three traps waiting for us,” Fiona shouted.

“Which windmill is it, Fiona?” Elspet's glance moved from one to the other.

“I'm not sure yet. They all look the same, don't they?” Fiona saw a cloud of dust coming towards them. “I’m not sure which one was which.”

“What is that?” Callum ran back to them and pointed at the brown cloud.

“It looks like cows,” Elspet said.

“Cows? Why would there be cows on this road? Oh no. This can't possibly be a trap, could it?” Fiona's face froze with fear.

“It's a stampede of bulls. They're going to crush us.” Callum turned and ran off into a field. “Come on, this way.”

Fiona and Elspet followed him.

“Where can we hide? There are no trees, or bushes, or anything but rocks,” Elspet said. “Their horns are huge. I don’t want to get gored.”

“Just run!” Fiona turned to see the road. “Oh no! They are coming after us. This is definitely a trap. They aren't ordinary bulls. I have a feeling that no matter which way we run, they'll follow us and there's no place to run to.”

The noise of the stampeding bulls nearly deafened them. “Talk to them!” Elspet shouted, but Fiona couldn't hear her. “Use your powers.”

Fiona saw Elspet's lips move, but could not understand or hear what she was saying. I'm going to have to use my powers.  She stopped and turned to face the oncoming animals. Bulls, I ask you to stop. Don't run us over. We mean you no harm.

The bulls stopped suddenly, reading Fiona's thoughts.

Elspet and Callum climbed on a pile of boulders.

“Fiona, are you crazy? What are you doing?” Callum jumped up and down to get her attention.

“She's talking to the bulls, Callum,” Elspet said.

Please don't harm us. We just came to get the sapphire. The man who commanded you long ago to chase us down is our friend. He set that trap in case someone bad came to get it. We're not bad. We're just children.

We are to guard the stone at all costs. Your words mean nothing to us.  The lead bull snorted. A golden ring dangled from his nose, going into one nostril and out the other.

“Fiona!” Elspet shouted. “Run away.”

The bull scraped the ground with his hoof. I would suggest you start running, as I plan to crush you under my hooves.

Fiona turned and ran. “Wait! I can grow big!” She stopped again and so did the bulls. In the blink of an eye she grew to a hundred feet tall. She leaned over and picked up one of the bulls. “Now do you think you're so tough?” She carried the bull over to a haystack and tossed it in.

The angry bulls attacked her, stabbing at her legs with their sharp pointed horns.

Fiona called down to Elspet.  “Now what should I do? I can brush them all off, or throw them into some rocks, but that would hurt them and be cruel.”

“We'd better go back into town. Come and get us, Fiona.” Callum waved.

Fiona bent over and picked her two friends up. Nudging the bulls out of the way she headed for Consuegra, down below.

The bulls followed; the dust could be seen for miles.

When they got near town, Fiona put her friends down and shrunk to normal size. “We need to hide. Now!” She led them into a shop and they stood gazing out the window.

Suddenly hundreds of people came running towards them, screaming. People with children clutched their brood; fear plastered on their faces.

 “Oh no! Someone's going to get hurt and the bulls will find us anyway.” Fiona wrung her hands together. “What should I do?”

“I saw a river; it's called the Amarguillo River. Lead the bulls down to it and when you get to the riverbank, you can control the water. Make a barrier, or trap them inside a wall of water. Do whatever you have to do before someone gets hurt.” Callum opened the door. “Go, Fiona. We'll meet you there.”

Fiona ran from the shop and when she turned down one of the side streets, the bulls waited for her. That's right, bulls. I'm right here. You don't need to hurt anyone when you have me. Come on. Chase me.  They ran toward her. Good bulls. Follow Fiona. Dust flew high in the air, forming a cloud. She ran, hidden in the black blizzard, leading the herd to the river. With no doubt that they'd follow her, Fiona had to think quick. Thoughts formed in her mind of a waterspout. The sound of rushing water and whirling wind nearly deafened her, but she didn't lose her concentration. As the dust settled, Fiona saw the cyclone of moisture. The bulls rushed after her and when they were near the riverbank, she commanded the tempest to encircle them. One by one they were sucked into the whirling squall. Take them far away and drop them, but don't hurt them.

Callum and Elspet rushed over to her. “You did it! Way to go, Fiona!” Elspet hugged her friend.

“That was so cool! I've never seen a tornado of water and bulls before. That'll show them to mess with us, won't it, Fiona!” Callum jumped up and down, watching the waterspout until it disappeared behind the hills.

“Now what? That took a lot of time. We need to get to the windmill and get the sapphire.” Fiona turned to run.

Callum grabbed her. “Fiona, do you realize we've been poisoned and nearly run over by a stampede of maniac bulls? I'm sort of scared. It seems Drayton is getting more powerful.”

“He is, Callum, but so am I.” Fiona looked from side to side. “This way. Come on.”

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