Karim scrambled onto Lion’s back, sinking into the dip between Lion’s shoulder blades and neck. He gripped clumps of the fur in Lion’s mane and held himself in place.“Yoouuuu want…” Karim said into Lion’s ear.Lion stiffened, going catatonic.“You want bath?”Lion didn’t move or make a sound.“You want to go night-night?”Lion whimpered. Karim knew that Lion hated going night-night.“You want treat?”Lion squeaked out a half-bark, half-roar that shook the ground.“You want treat?” Karim asked again. He pointed past the inner wall of the castle toward the village. Peaking over the ramparts were the tips of gingerbread houses. “Go get it. Go get the cookie!”“Do something, now!” Madam Loope yelled.The soldiers threw a barrage of spinning nets, but Lion sprung forward, bursting through them. Lion had seen cookies, and nothing was going to stop him. In four leaps, Lion reached the perimeter of the inner wall.As they grew closer, Karim scrunched deeper into Lion’s mane. He expected Lion to climb the twenty-foot wall. He didn’t want to fall off when that happened. Except, it didn’t happen. Instead of making use of his graceful, snow-lion body, Lion crashed into the wall.A thunderclap ripped through the air as Lion slammed into the wall. The wall fractured and exploded. Chunks of hardened icing mushroomed into the sky, raining down on the pursuing soldiers. Lion and Karim erupted from the other side. In their wake, the ramparts quivered and collapsed, making it impossible for the soldiers to follow.Even free of the soldiers, Lion didn’t stop running. At full speed, he charged the nearest gingerbread house. It was gothic with a Victorian wrap-around porch of salted-caramel pretzels. Lion ripped a section of the railing off the porch and held it in his mouth.“Good boy.” Karim patted Lion’s head and nudged him forward. “Now we gotta go.”The two made their way down the village street. Most adults screamed when they saw them, while most of the children laughed.Near the town square, they passed a herd of animal cracker elephants. Having already finished his pretzel stick, Lion eyed them. Karim knew that dog-Lion would have wanted to play with the elephants. Lion always loved making new friends. However, he was concerned that snow lion–Lion might want to eat the creatures. In a stern voice, he ordered Lion to keep moving.No one impeded their hike through the candypunk town. Within minutes they passed through the city gates and entered the candy forest.
$25 Amazon gift card (INT)
Ends December 16th
Prizing is provided by the author, must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 17. Void where prohibited by law.