The Charmed Pen: Part 4

The Charmed Pen: Part 4

With a groan of dismay, Wren tossed aside the third leather journal she had skimmed with no success. She glanced across the table at Hawke. Considering his scowl, he had not found anything either.

“This is hopeless.” Wren restlessly flipped through another journal. “Kit’s grandmother wrote about using the pen, but she never wanted to undo any of her words.”

Hawke slammed his journal shut. “So it seems. I think we should visit the village witch to see if she can help us.”

“Good idea.” Wren pulled a sheet of paper from beneath the journals. “I shall write her a note requesting her advice.”

Hawke abruptly grasped her wrist just as she was about to start the note. “Wait, is that not the pen Kit gave you?”

Wren blinked at the charmed pen in astonishment. “Yes, it was in my pocket, although did not mean to use it.”

Hawke flashed a wry grin and released her wrist. “Perhaps we had better visit the village witch instead.”

Wren silently nodded, and they traipsed down to the village. As she knocked on the weathered door of the witch’s cottage, she glanced at Hawke. “I hope the witch is home and not out attempting to handle the troll.”

Hawke shrugged lightly. “If she is not in, we can try by the bridge.”
As he finished speaking, the witch’s door swung open, and a motherly woman beamed at them. “Come in, children.”

Following the witch inside, Wren withdrew the charmed pen from her pocket. “We’ve come about the troll. We think this pen caused him to appear.”

Accepting the pen, the witch squinted at it. “Is this the pen my mother charmed for young Kit’s grandmother?” When Wren and Hawke simply nodded, the witch sighed. “That certainly explains the troll. Which of you used it?”

Wren bit her lip and shifted uneasily. “I did, but just once. Kit gave it me the other day, and I did not realize what it would do.”

Hawke laid a comforting hand on Wren’s shoulder. “What we need to know is how to counteract the spell.”

Wren warily eyed the pen in the witch’s hand. “Should I use the pen to send him home?”

“Absolutely not.” Pulling a large volume from the shelf, the witch opened it to a page in the middle. She settled in a chair and waved for Wren and Hawke to do the same. “The pen makes your words the truth, but it twists them. My mother wrote here that Kit’s grandmother used it to win her husband, who was a nice young man until the pen turned him into a drunkard.”

“Which is no doubt why the troll appeared here rather than north of the Walle,” Wren muttered as she and Hawke sat on the bench across from the witch.

The witch continued soberly, “And using the pen is incredibly addictive to the writer. The more the writer uses it, the stronger its power over them becomes. Kit’s grandmother was so addicted to it that she had to write with it every day.”

Hawke clutched Wren’s hand. “Is Wren in any danger?”

The witch shook her head with a faint smile. “If she only used it once, probably not, although it might be best to destroy the pen to be certain.”

Wren shuddered and nodded firmly. “Do it.”

Still holding her hand, Hawke frowned. “But if we destroy the pen, how will we get rid of the troll?”

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