Chapter Twelve 's Ascending From Cinder Essay
Ascending From Cinder
Over breakfast, which consisted of loaves of wheat bread and different shades of blueberry jam, we discussed our plan for the day. It was to be a kind of search, for the captains’ ship and then the dragons. I wolfed down my food, anxious to get started and by 9:00 a.m. Sirethiel time, we’d thanked Raven for her hospitality and left the castle. We headed west for a set of golden ridges on the other side of the palm trees, but veered off toward what looked like a tiny piece of blue glittery thread that bordered a gray smudge.
“Is that a forest?” Emma asked.
“Uh . . .” Cotton adjusted his hat. “I think so, but it’s hard to tell from here.”
I shielded my eyes and squinted. “Yes, those are the woods we’re looking for, I can see where the tree line starts on the other side of the river.”
“Good. Well, then come on,” Emma said, “we’re nearly there.”
We picked our way across a dry field under an enormous, orange, sun. Then we linked hands waded through the river and crashed between the trees. We’d reached Sirethiel’s deep, thick rainforest.
I gazed around in wonder—not because it was a beautiful or magical place, but because it was awful. All the trunks were wrapped in vine like tentacles that seemed to be choking the life out of the trees. Thick cobwebs clung to their twisted branches. The few shrubs that still had leaves drooping from their limbs were brown and withered. The stream that had flowed unhindered was just a trickle, and the…