You are fading away. But you feel a soft flutter of feathers on your hands. Francis! What had that gypsy girl said? Francis would help when it was time to face the witch…
“Get up! Get up!” Francis squawks impatiently.
You want to tell Francis to be quiet and help you instead of yell at you.
“Get up!” Francis squawks again. “Francis has brought help! Get up! Get up!”
Your fingers close around a cold, metallic object.
“Francis has brought you a pair of scissors! Now get up! Get up!”
A pair of scissors! Your fingers tighten around them and you push yourself up to your feet. Your vision is blurrier, but you can tell where the witch is. You limp towards her.
“I suggest you give up,” sneers the witch. “Your time is up.”
“No,” you croak and you reach out for the doll. With all your remaining strength you slip the blade of the scissors under the ribbon and *SNIP* cut the silky smooth fabric around the doll’s neck.
“No! NOOOOOOO!” the witch howls.
Instantly, you feel the grip lift from your neck. Air rushes inside your throat and you cough before taking a deep satisfying breath.
“NOOOO! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” screams the witch as she sinks to the ground and grabs the sliced piece of ribbon. It has turned black, and at the touch of the witch’s fingers, it disintegrates into dust and vanishes in the air.
“You will—” begins the witch, but what you will do you will never know, as just then the four friends you made on the course of your quest—the Scarecrow, Strong Kauli, the gypsy girl, and the illusionist with his assistant Suzy Spring—appear out of nowhere and pounce on the witch. “You’ve lost your power, you hag!” screams Strong Kauli and gives her a well aimed punch under her chin. “You horrendous toerag!” cries the Scarecrow and butts her in the stomach. The witch squeals in pain. “Take that! And that!” squeaks the gypsy girl as trips the witch.
Soon, the old witch is covered by arms and legs that are intent on punch, slapping, pinching, and kicking her. “Ooh! Aah! Ouch!” she yells.
When your friends decide that she’s been beaten up enough, they take a step back. The witch too then turns black and disintegrates into the air. Poof! Just like that, she’s gone!
Now there are just you and your friends standing in the middle of the carnival. They crowd around you and then lift you in the air.
“You saved us! You saved us!” they cry. “The witch is gone! Now we won’t be bullied by her anymore!”
As they carry you aloft, you look up into the sky, feeling like a right hero. The stars twinkle back at you as if to say, “Yes. Yes, you’re a hero.”