fyn gula the stork took three steps inside the writing cottage. it walked like a marionette held by someone sitting on the oak beams of the ceiling. when it turned to face helin, she noticed for the first time there were two living creatures snug in the saddle on the stork's back. in the first seat, sitting comfortable, leaning back with a porkpie hat, a merino scarf, and rayban wayfarer sunglasses was a very large spider, about twice the size of the largest crab you have ever seen. in the second seat, tilting its head sideways, trying to get a better look at helin was a giant praying mantis, only a bit smaller than the spider. it had rosary beads around its neck.

helin felt a warm spot in her heart. although she didn't know this ancillary trio personally, she was certain they were sent specifically to aid her cause.

"bonjour," the stork said, and if a upturned beak could be considered a smile his greeting was cordial.

"salut," helin responded. the stork knew her relaxed welcome was more from her weakness than pleasantry.

"nous avons voyage loin a l'innocence.
de trouvaille sommes nous reussis?"
(we have traveled far to find innocence.
are we successful?) the stork blinked his eyes slowly and resolutely. helin could detect a southern dialect for she lived in marseille when she was four and remained until seven. the spider removed his sunglasses.

"l'innocence de numero est detruite, mais vous avez decovert l'espoir."
(no. innocence is lost, but you have discovered hope.) helin said, and she offered them a blue bowl of star-shaped chocolates that were sitting on the table in front of her. they politely declined.

"je duis entrer," (i must enter.) the stork announced and he was not talking about coming into the writing cottage, he was referring to entering helin's world.

"je sais," (i know.) helin said. she did not avert her eyes from the stork's. they were liquid pools of liquid resurgence.
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