As Amber held tightly onto Fleck, she kicked herself for allowing them to be captured. The shopkeeper and the large pixie who had captured them sniggered as they pulled Amber and her brother back into the bright, colourful shop and bound them in ropes. It was only now the Amber noticed the smell of mould and the damp patches creeping up the walls. “Here’s the deal, little birdies,” the pixie growled, as Fleck whined and reached for a bar of chocolate sitting on the shelf. “I’m going to bring you back to those racoons and you’re going to make us very, very-” He was cut off as the shelf suddenly fell out of it’s place, Shards of wood and metal crashed to the floor, and debris covered the shop. As the cloud of dust cleared, it revealed the two kidnappers lying under a large wooden shelf and wincing in pain, and Fleck, who held a bar of chocolate as he looked around with a bewildered expression. Amber quickly picked up a pocketknife lying at her feet and cut her and her brother out of their ropes, then fled the shop with fleck in tow.
When they were finally out of the underground village and in the fresh, green woods, Amber breathed a sigh of relief. Fleck, her little brother, the baby of the family, had saved their lives, and she was beginning to think of him as less of a responsibility and more of an aid to the journey. As they lay in the sun, giggling and murmuring to each other, Amber heard a faint squeal. When she saw it wasn’t Fleck, she warily stood up and walked over to the source of the noise – a baby racoon. Usually, if Amber saw a racoon, her first instinct would be to run in the opposite direction, but this one seemed so sweet, so innocent, and she couldn’t just leave it there… Before she could contemplate what she was doing, Amber bent over and picked up the small creature, cradling it gently in her wings. Suddenly, it grinned maliciously at her and before she could realise something was wrong, her vision went black.
Amber woke up with Fleck concealed in a cage beside her. She watched with terror as raccoons marched up and down in front of them, preparing weapons and talking to each other in low, growling voices. Horror clutching at her, Amber realised what she was about to watch – the destruction of Elderflower hill.