by Abby Gayle
When Hannah and her mom go driving . . .
"Thanks to her sense of direction again?" her dad chuckled.
"Well, is there a landmark?" he asked.
"No. Well, except for the tree."
"Well, we're kind of surrounded by trees," Hannah explained, looking all around through the car windows, "Ooh! I see a star!"
"What was that?" Hannah's father asked, "I couldn't hear that last . . ."
"The stars are coming out. They're pretty, aren't they, Daddy?"
This time, all that came out of the phone was static.
"Mama, the phone stopped working," Hannah announced.
"Well, then, set it down and I'll just go where I think home is, okay?"
Hannah closed her eyes and hoped her mother's directional instincts had miraculously improved.
As Hannah's mother drove on through the thick forest on the gravel road, they noticed they were suddenly driving over snow, although none was falling. The evergreen trees outside were covered with snow and the sky was dark.
The forest slowly thinned out into a small abandonned town.
Nowtsemaj ot Emoclew, a sign read.
Continuing through the town, Hannah noticed the town was almost identical to the town she lived in, except everything was backwards. Instead of brown, the wooden houses were a light gray color, and the red house Hannah was so familiar with was green in this town. It wasn't even just the colors. Many of the signs had backwards words on them.
It didn't take long before the car ran out of gasoline, leaving them stranded in the town square. As soon as the car stopped, several people with pale skin walked out of some of the houses.
"You are now in Nowtsemaj," one person said in a monotone voice, "There is no way to escape."