The door opened onto a cobblestone road curving through a dark forest. A number of the trees beside the road had little doors built into them. Jason turned and saw that he'd just emerged from a tree himself. He looked up along the trunk and saw it branched out into little limbs overhead, like a normal tree. Impossible. How could it be connected to the tree in Mrs. Dullahan's yard?
It was nighttime, but the forest was illuminated by swarms of fireflies, which glowed in a bright spectrum of winking colors—shimmering gold, fire-red, sunset orange.
He stepped onto the road, and a wooden cart came clattering around the bend. It was drawn by a pair of shaggy blue goats, and driven by what looked like a small girl with long sapphire blue hair that streamed out behind her like a cape.
“Out of the way, road-troll!” she shouted, and Jason scrambled back off the road. As she rocketed past, he thought he saw a pair of waxy, gossamer wings protruding from her shoulder blades. Little glass bottles full of frothy blue milk gleamed in the cart behind her, packed into place with golden hay.
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