When the family woke up this time, they were in the middle of a giant field of violets. The father bent down, pulled a violet from the ground, and gave it to the mother. They were her favorite flowers. The mother took the violet, but she didn’t smile. She wasn’t angry like before—she was sad that Lilly was gone. And that the father was leaving. And so was the rest of the family.
“What happened to Lilly?” Serena asked.
“I don’t know,” said the father. “But we’ll figure it out.”
“I can’t believe you’re leaving us,” said Jay.
The father sighed and bent down. “Let’s not worry about that right now. Right now, we need to stick together to finish this journey and find Lilly.”
The family said nothing for a short while. Then they all nodded.
The father led them through the field of violets until they made it to a large, beautiful house. They walked inside and found a woman sitting in the living room.
“Auntie Laura?” said Serena. “What are you doing here?”
It was the mother’s sister.
Auntie Laura stood up and looked at the mother then over the rest of the children. She seemed a little embarrassed, but then cleared her throat. “I’ve been waiting for your father.”
The family looked at the father and he looked at the floor.
There was a short silence as no one said a word.
Then suddenly, there was a bang as the back door of the house swung open. The family looked and saw the shadowy figure standing with Lilly in his arms. He stood there for a second then turned and flew away and the family rushed after him.
But the father stayed behind with Auntie Laura, hesitating between her and the rest of the family. The mother stopped in the doorway and looked back at him standing there.
“Are you coming?” she asked him.
The father looked at Auntie Laura, then at the mother. Then he took a deep breath and ran out the door with the mother to rescue Lilly.
The family found the shadowy figure out in the field of violets, holding Lilly at his side. They used their weapons and worked together to fight him, with the twins tossing ninja stars, Serena shooting arrows, Jay smashing his hammer, and the father slashing his sword. And since the mother didn’t have her whip anymore, she waited for an opportunity while the shadowy figure was distracted then snatched Lilly away from him. Then, with Lilly safe in the mother’s arms, the family finished the shadowy figure off with their weapons and he dropped to the field on his back.
The father ran to the mother and held Lilly in his arms.
“It’s okay,” he told her. “You’re safe now.”
“Wow,” said Jay. “We really worked together on that one.”
“Yeah!” said Mike. “You guys were awesome! Jay used his hammer like Thor! And Serena was shooting like Hawkeye. And Dad, you were like King Arthur with your sword!”
But then, just when they thought everything was over, the sky turned gray and the wind started to howl. When they looked to where the shadowy figure had been lying down, he was standing and his body was swirling with dark clouds.
“What’s happening?” asked Lilly, holding onto her father.
The family watched in confusion as the shadowy figure suddenly grew taller and taller, wider and wider, until he went from being a man to a roaring, black tornado.
“Run!” the father screamed. He led them all back to the house and locked the door behind them.
“Isn’t there a storm cellar here?” Serena asked. “This isn’t gonna stop the tornado!”
“There’s no storm cellar,” the father explained.
“We’re gonna die!” the twins shouted. They family watched out the window as the tornado came towards them. But when they looked out the windows on the other side of the house, they saw something that gave them hope: the portal.
“Look!” Jay shouted, pointing out the window.
But the winds were roaring, the house was shaking, and they could see the violets being ripped out of the ground outside. And suddenly the family was scared frozen.
“We can’t go out there,” Serena said.
“We have to!” the father shouted.
“I’m scared!” said Lilly.
The father looked out at the portal then back at the family. “Listen to me. I know this is scary. But what’s our motto? No matter how bad it is…”
The family looked back at him, frowning.
“We can do this!” the father tried again. “Now matter how bad it is…”
Then they slowly replied, “No matter how bad it gets…”
The father nodded. “We’re gonna make it.” Then he turned to Serena and put his hand on her shoulder. “You lead the way. I’ll be right behind you.”
Serena nodded and the father held the doorknob on the front door.
“Ready,” the father said. “Set. Go!”
He opened the door, the winds rushed in, and Serena sprinted out with the twins and Jay following close behind. Lilly was next, followed by the mother and the father. The family rushed away from the house and just as they did, the tornado ripped through it and sent pieces of wood and furniture flying through the air. Serena led them towards the portal and made it through first. Then the twins, then Jay and then Lilly slipped in. But as the mother was approaching the portal, she suddenly tripped and fell. The moment she hit the ground, the wind scooped her up and she went flying backwards through the air and was swallowed by the tornado.
“No!” the father screamed. He immediately ran back and dove straight into the tornado after her. The winds swallowed him as well in the black clouds, but he held his sword out as he flew. And when he was sucked into the heart of the tornado, the shadowy figure was waiting there, holding the mother. The father screamed and stabbed his sword into the figure and instantly, the tornado vanished.
And with the tornado gone, the father lifted the mother into his arms and carried her into the portal.