“We’ve passed this same rock seven times, maybe eight.” Winnie racked the action on her rifle, ejecting a brass that she nimbly caught and reinserted. “I can handle what I can shoot, but this place…”

“They said the woods were…tricksy, that they went back on their word,” said Caprice. “They needed to be sure whoever came here wasn’t just strong or lucky.”

Walking along another path, fifteen minutes more saw them deposited back at the clearing with the large carved boulder. Winnie took a shot at it in anger, chipping a few bits off. “How can woods have a word to give, anyway?” she cried. “They don’t have mouths!”

“That’s a good point,” Carpice said. A moment of contemplation followed. “What do you suppose will happen if, whenever we come to this rock, we go back the way we came?”

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