Hunched over on her knees, Jude comes face-to-face, or at least face-to-boots, with the very objects that had so recently invaded her domicile.
This time, however, there is someone standing in them.
A pair of unremarkably brown woolen trousers kneel down, and a hand appears to help Jude up. It's attached to a green-colored sleeve, which is attached to a green-colored shirt. And above the shirt, creased with concern, there is a face.
It belongs to a boy. Well, a young man, barely out of his teen years. His face is smooth, and aquiline, and framed by chestnut waves. Blue eyes peer down at Jude, pleased and happy to see her, yet strangely sad...
It was the first day of high school. Jude had been teased and bullied relentlessly by a group of older girls, for no real reason at all. They stole her backpack and threw it in the boys' bathroom; she'd needed to wait for the janitor to get it out. That night, Jude dreamt that she was being chased by a pack of red-eyed, ravenous wolves. Terrified beyond belief, she had run into an alley to escape them, but it was a dead end. Shrieking, she cowered on the ground as they approached, grinning just like the girls from high school....
He appeared out of nowhere. "Get away from her!" he yelled, sending the wolves scattering. He kicked one hard on the flank, eliciting a yelp of pain. They fought each other to get away, and after they did, he'd turned back to her, and asked her, "are you all right?"
"Are you all right?" he said, taking her hand in his own. She was no longer in her house. Instead of carpet, the floor was rough stone and wood planking. Instead of the familiar walls, there was thatch and reed. She appeared to be in a small cottage, barely big enough for a crude table, a couple of chairs, and a small hearth, over which some pleasant-smelling liquid boiled in a small cauldron.
"My name is Robin Goodfellow, Princess. I didn't think you'd come."