'I'm afraid I can't put it down there, Eleanor, there are too many lamp posts. It's just too dangerous.'
'Yes I see now, how about over there?' she pointed to a more open area.
Amber did as she suggested and they landed, all of them looking around for any sign of movement. After ten minutes of nothing, Eleanor was about to give up and move on to another location when she saw the blind in a shop window being open and closed.
She smiled, 'Over there, look! Someone's trying to get our attention. It might be Bryn.'
Eleanor undid her seatbelt and took a water bottle with a spray attachment from her bag. She sprayed herself before grabbing a large handful of dust.
'Hold your breath, girls,' she said as she sprinkled the dust over herself. I won't be long. Keep an eye out for any Skulls.'
Opening the door, she hopped out and ran towards the shop. The door opened and she went inside, only to find a group of students, alone.
'Miss Jones! Are we glad to see you,' said a teenage boy. 'We've been stuck in here for yonks. Bryn told us to stay put, but it's been ages.'
'Quinn, I've told you before, call me Eleanor. Miss Jones sounds so old. Now tell me, where did Bryn go?'
'He went to investigate what's going on,' said another student.
'Did he say where he was going?'
All the students shook their heads.
Eleanor tutted. 'Damn, I really need to speak to him,' she sighed.
'What's going on, Miss... I mean, Eleanor?'
'It's the pixie trolls. The Skulls have managed to awaken them and they're somehow using them against us. It's all very complicated but I really needed to speak to Bryn about the artefact they've got their hands on,' she said, more to herself than to the teenagers.
'What can we do?' Quinn asked.
'There's little you can do, I'm afraid. And we can't take you back because we don't have space in the helicopter. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to stay here and keep indoors until peace is restored.'
'But we're starving,' sighed a girl from the back of the room.
'Oh yes, I bet you are. Right, leave it with me for a moment. I'll go and find you some food and drink. You must stay here. It's not safe outdoors as we don't know where the trolls are. They have the power of invisibility, unfortunately, and if they so much as put a finger on you, you'll be frozen in time, just like the rest of the humans out there. There is only one thing that will help, albeit temporarily, and that's house dust. While I pop out and try and find you guys something to eat and drink, why don't you find a sweeping brush and gather together as much dust as you can?'
'We don't need a sweeping brush,' smiled one of the girls who carefully pushed her classmates out of the way as she gently blew towards the floor, causing a little dust to swirl in front of her.
Eleanor peered out the window before she took some of the dust she'd brought with her and shook it over herself after spraying herself with water. With a quick sneeze, she opened the door and ran two doors down where she spotted a little supermarket. Collecting a number of sandwiches, crisps, fruit and water, she left some money by the till and rushed back outdoors.
A sound behind her made her jump and she turned. Tucking her hand into her pocket, she grabbed a handful of dust and blew it. Immediately, a little troll appeared right in front of her. It sneezed and fell to the ground in a daze.
Eleanor turned back and dashed into the boutique where the teens were waiting with a dustpan containing just the tiniest amount of dust.
'She keeps this place spotless,' Quinn moaned as he pointed his head towards the pretty young woman who was in the middle of hanging a floral dress on the rack.
'Never mind, at least you've managed to get a bit, just in case. Here's something to keep you going for a while,' she said, handing them the paper bag full of food. 'Now I must go and try to find Bryn. Stay indoors out of harm's way. I know you've all got powers, but it's just too risky to use them at the moment. Don't worry, we'll get to the bottom of this. In the meantime, stay here,' she said with a smile as she scattered the last little bit of dust over herself and made a run for it back to the helicopter.
Driving particularly slowly up a street to avoid the scattering of pedestrians, Winchester Castle came slowly into view and Emma noticed a small group of people dressed in long, hooded, black cloaks gathered in front of it.
'Declan, who are they?' she whispered as he pulled over and they sat watching in silence.
'I'm not sure.'
'Can you hear their thoughts?' she asked.
'I'm trying to, but something's blocking them.'
As he concentrated hard, the others sat quietly waiting. Even the pixie troll didn't break the silence.
'Whoever they are, they're not good. I don't think they're Skulls, but I'm picking up a similar vibe. These guys are dangerous.'
'Shouldn't we just get out of here?' whispered Lana.
'Not if they're planning something against the Watchers, or against the humans. Maybe we should hang around and wait to see if....'
Suddenly, a gap in the cloaked figures opened up and revealed a number of frozen humans being carried in front of them.
'Uh oh,' Declan said. 'They're vamps, and they're taking full advantage of the humans not being able to escape. We've got to do something...'
'You mean vamps as in vampires?'
'Afraid so, Sammy.'
'But they... they... can kill,' she gulped.
Declan nodded, 'They're capable of some serious bodily harm. You know what you've read about them in books?'
'And seen in movies?'
She nodded again.
'Some of it is fiction, but a lot of it is true.'
Sammy's face paled in seconds.
'But don't worry, we can handle them.'
'We can?' she whispered.
'Just be careful, alright?'
Sammy nodded before Elliot spoke, 'Wait a minute, why aren't the trolls bothering them?' he asked.
'Maybe there aren't any here?' suggested Emma. 'Erm, can you tell us if any of your kind are here?' she turned to ask their captive.
He looked up from his squashed position in the cage.
'I can't... I can't see see...'
'Declan?' asked Emma.
'Yes, I think so too,' he replied.
'Huh? Oh come on you guys, not fair to communicate like that. Emma, what were you thinking just then?'
Emma raised her eyebrows and looked backwards.
'Oh no, you're not going to let him out? But he might freeze us all and then what?'
'It's a risk we've got to take if we're going to help stop those poor humans from becoming lunch,' Declan added.
'I know you're right, I really do, but...'
'Free me me? Free me me?' said the troll. 'You'll free me in order to help those people people?' he asked.
'We have to,' said Emma. 'Will you promise not to hurt us?'
The troll smiled widely.
'I never had any any intention to harm you you. I want want to help you you. I want to help you you. Really, I do. I do do,' he clapped.
Emma turned to Declan who nodded from the front seat of the car as he handed her a key from the glove box.
Taking a deep breath, Emma leant backwards just as Lana grabbed her. 'Be careful, Sis,' she whispered before releasing her.
Emma climbed onto her knees and leant over the back seat, fumbling with the key in the padlock until it clicked free. The door popped open and the troll gingerly unravelled himself from it. As he lifted himself into the small space next to the cage, he let out a giggle and leant forward towards Emma.
She gulped and tensed her body as he leant over to grab her.
'Oh no,' cried Lana with her eyes closed.
But when she opened them again, she was amazed to see her sister hugging the creature back, giggling with him.
'Oh,' Lana yelped. 'You didn't harm her. But you could have frozen us all, why didn't you?'
The troll released his grip on Emma and shrugged, 'Why would I I? Why would would I I?' he asked.
'But all the humans - and back in Bath, Liam and Nisha - oh, I'm so confused.'
'The trolls aren't all all bad bad,' he quipped. 'Some are under under the spell spell. A nasty spell spell. I managed to escape it it, but then you ran me over over and, and trapped me in that cage cage.'
'Why didn't you say something before?' she asked.
The troll shrugged his shoulders, 'Why? Why not? Who knows knows?'
'We can talk about this later,' Declan said, peering through the window and watching more and more humans being carried into the castle.
'Can you see any trolls in the vicinity?' he asked.
The pixie troll scoured the area and shook his head, 'No, no trolls here, no trolls here here.'
'How are we going to help, Declan?' asked Elliott.
'I have a plan,' he replied, looking through his mirror directly at the creature in the back. The troll gulped loudly.
'So we're safe to get out of the car?' Lana asked for the third time.
'Yes, yes, safe yes yes. I can keep you safe safe,' he answered.
'How can you keep us safe?' Elliott quipped as they very quietly climbed out of the Range Rover and hid behind it while they waited for Declan to explain his plan.
'I can tell you when when bad pixie trolls come near near and if they do do, I can try to stop them them. Don't worry, you'll be safe safe.'
'So, what's the plan?' Emma asked.
'Well, I figured our friend here, oh, what's your name by the way?' Declan asked as he looked towards the creature.
'My name name? You want to know know my name name?'
The group nodded as he grinned, blushing at the same time, 'My name name is is Jimble Jimble.'
'Nice to meet you, Jimble,' Declan whispered while the others smiled at him. 'Now, here's what I need you to do...'
The group watched as Jimble rushed to the other side of the road, hiding behind people stopped in the street. Occasionally, he would turn back and seek reassurance from Declan, who would nod and give his thumbs up.
As he finally approached the castle, the others silently followed.
If the plan worked, Jimble would touch each of the vampires and stop them in time. If it didn't work, then they'd have a fight on their hands and they had to be prepared.
Just before Jimble disappeared behind the door which had been left slightly ajar, he turned back one last time.
'Maybe we shouldn't have asked him to do this. Look at him, he looks terrified,' whispered Emma as they crept towards the door.
'I'm sure he'll be fine, Em. If he wasn't confident, he would've said so,' Lana replied.
'I hope you're right,' whispered Sammy, who was probably even more frightened than Jimble had appeared to be.
Suddenly there was a loud crash from behind the castle door. Jimble came running out, his arms and legs everywhere as he tried to bolt as fast as possible. His mouth fell open as he silently screamed.
'Jimble,' hissed Declan. 'Over here.'
Jimble stopped abruptly and turned to face them. Shaking his head, he cried out, 'I didn't get them all. There's still three left - run!'
'No, Jimble, come here. We can do this,' Emma cried, rushing out to try and catch him.
As she caught up with him, she went to grab hold of his arm. He spotted her just in time.
'No, Emma, no no! You must not touch me me unless I know you're going to to,' he scolded. 'You could have been been frozen. You could have been frozen frozen. If you touch me me, even accidentally, without me me seeing you, you will be like your friend friend,' he said pointing to Moira in the car.
'But couldn’t you un-freeze me?' she asked as she tried to make him turn back.