He awoke on a barren landscape, cold and charred, where the wind howled like ghosts in the night. Johnny gazed at the twilit sky and chills ran up his spine as the icy wind licked his arms. He reached for The Book, the blank book that showed him things, but his fingers found nothing.
Johnny sat up with a start. He glanced around, but The Book was gone. The pouch of magic stones—Runes—was empty, the tiny stones scattered around him. He snatched them up and counted them as he put them back in the pouch. Johnny scowled, took the stones out again and repeated the procedure. One was missing.
Which one? He spread them out one by one on the barren dirt. Johnny sighed. It was the one that resembled the letter R. Alondra said it meant Journey; the first time he’d touched it his bedroom had disappeared in a flash of light.
“Alondra!” He yelled, but only the wind echoed his cry. For the first time, Johnny felt lonely. He was cold too, and glanced around for his jacket, but it was also missing.
Alondra had been teaching him the power of The Runes when lightning struck. He’d held Journey in one hand, The Book in the other and had dropped both when the strike startled him.
Where was he? And Alondra? Was she all right? He recalled how she’d first appeared in the pages of The Book as an illustration. But then the picture had moved and Johnny had watched her dragged to the stake. The Rune of Journey had jumped out of the pouch and whisked him into the chanting crowd as the executioners lit the pyre. She’d come with him, and, in her strange English, explained about The Runes and the magic her mother had taught her.
Johnny put the remaining Runes back in the pouch, cupped it in both hands, and asked them to guide him. He glanced up at the sky and his face fell. Two bright moons lit up the night.