Souls by Isabella Toovey
I stumble around mindlessly. These Afeard Wilds are driving me crazy. I bump into something. I frown. I look up and I see a mouth. A mouth lined with fangs. “Ahh!” I scream and stumble back. A stooped hooded figure stands before me. “A story,” she says in a raspy voice. “Is an interesting thing. It can mean anything you want it to be. But a soul. It’s wonderfully straightforward, and I love the secrets hidden within them.”
I am scared and confused. But my feet are glued to the ground, so I keep listening. “I collect the souls of other brainless wanderers,” she says, and shows me many glass jars with a throbbing white liquid inside. I stare at them horrified. “Aleyc nabuoa, give your sekrets, balukip juinef, give me your soul.” And then the most uncomfortable feeling seeps into my body. I can’t feel my fingers. I try to look at them but I can’t move. I feel my feet lifting up off the ground. The figure lifts back her hood to reveal a slimy skeleton. I try to scream but I can’t breathe. Then everything goes black.