She didn't like her world. She often wished she could disappear into one of her books, and live there. Maybe be even able to disappear into another book when she got tired of the one she was in.
What if all the books were worlds, and when she opened one, she opened a door to that world that she could go through? Wouldn't that be awesome?
"Sarah Jane!" her aunt called. "Get in here! Your chores are waiting!"
She didn't believe that they really were her family. She didn't look like any of them, and they seemed most concerned with her doing chores around the place. They didn't let her go to school either, which she didn't understand.
"Sarah Jane! Where are you!?!" her mother called.
Ugh, she thought to herself. Time to take a powder and blow, sneak out the back and disappear for a while. They still hadn't found her hiding spot. Nobody went near the old rundown house that sat out on the outskirts of Warning Woods.
She still didn't get why everyone avoided the woods. The woods were rather nice; she liked them. But on the other hand, she was glad that everyone avoided the old house and the woods behind it. It gave her somewhere to escape to, when she wanted to get away from them all. And she wanted to get away now.
Any minute, there would be another call for her to come, or a knock on her door. It would be her mother or father, or aunt or uncle, insisting that she come and do something ... clear the table, or wash the dishes, or start something for the next meal, or sweep the floor, or mop it, or ... on and on.
That's all she ever did, chores. As long as she had lived here. But before she lived here ...that was hazy. She knew there had been a before living here, when she had lived somewhere else with her parents. They never wanted to talk about that time, not ever. In fact, they seemed to get mad at her when she brought it up.
So she never talked about it anymore.
But there had been a before, and she had gone to school then.
She stirred herself from her thoughts and put on her shoes and her jacket, and then she grabbed her backpack and slipped out the hidden door in her room. Either they didn't know it was there, or they didn't think it worked anymore. The small hallway built into the walls led to another hidden door that opened up behind the house. Once outside, it was easy for her to slip from building to building to tree and so on, till she was in the field, then across the field to the old house and the woods. They didn't keep the back yard or around the buildings cleaned up much at all, so there was plenty of cover for her to hide behind.
Whenever she got back, they would always ask where she had been; and she would tell them that she had been to the old house at the edge of the Warning Woods, and they wouldn't say anything else. They would just remind her of some chore she needed to do, or tell her there were some leftovers that she could have for her supper.
In no time at all, she was in the library of the old house. She loved this room, and all the books there. She browsed over the shelves. "Which one will I read today?" she wondered aloud to herself. Of course, there was no one to answer. That thought caused her a twinge of sadness, because, she was sure that once upon a time there had been people to answer, people who cared, that her life had been different.
A book with a royal blue cover caught her attention that was leather and trimmed with gold, with gold on the edges of the pages. The title was in bold gold print - The Way Home. She would read that one today. She would love to go somewhere that really felt like home, because this place never did.
She settled herself in her favorite reading spot, on the plush couch by the window that looked out on the woods. She opened the book, and then there was a flash of light. She closed her eyes, feeling suddenly dizzy.
When she opened her eyes ... she remembered everything! They had taken her away, and she still didn't know who 'they' were. But she now knew they hadn't been her family. "Mommy, Daddy! I'm home!" she called out. Then a man and a woman, her mom and dad, rushed into the room and wrapped their arms around her. "Oh Sarah, sweet Sarah," her dad murmured, and her mom said, "Our baby is home!"
She knew everything would be all right now, for she was home again.