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Teodor found Steopa working in one of the old loading docks.
“We saw that thing,” he said.
Steopa threwt down the section of conveyor belt. “Where?”
“Not far from here.”
Steopa started to walk toward the door. Teodor stopped him. “I think it was Baba Yaga.”
“It was an old woman, she skinned the boy alive.”
Amanda joined them. She nodded.
“You saw it, too?” Steopa asked.
Amanda nodded, again.
“That noise. At the work farm had to have been her fingers,” Teodor said.
“It cannot be Baba Yaga.” Steopa said.
“Then who was she?” Teodor asked.
“Not Baba Yaga.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because she is a myth.”
“So are vampires,” Teodor said.
Steopa stared at Teodor.
Teodor sighed. “Fine, it was Muma Padurii, her name is not important.”
“But it was a woman?” Steopa asked.
Amanda nodded. “An old woman, she walked by us before we ran into Jazz.”
“Then she changed,” Teodor said. “Her eyes were white. Her teeth were black.”
Steopa looked off into the distance for a moment, then shook his head. “Where did she go?”
“She just disappeared, there was no smell. I couldn't even follow Jazz's blood.”
Steopa raised an eyebrow. “That is interesting.”
“Oh, this is enough.” Amanda said. “I have to see if the rest of those children.”
“I have to see if they are alright.
“I want to know what that woman is."
“It's obvious you guys don't know, I'm going to the work farm.”
She spun on her heels and walked away.
Teodor turned to stop her, then turned back to Steopa. “I...,” he said.
“Go,” Steopa said. “She is being foolish.”
“She's not foolish.”
“If you find that chicken leg cabin, you tell me.”
Teodor ignored Steopa. He caught up with Amanda. Her face was red, her lips were pressed together and now were white. She growled.
“Amanda,” He said as he came closer.
“You decided to come.”
“He thought we were being stupid.”
“No,” Teodor said, taking her arm. “Because I jumped to conclusions and said it was Baba Yaga.”
“Who is that?” Amanda asked.
“She is a witch. She travels through the countryside, looking for children to eat.”
“Like a bogyman?” Amanda asked.
“She was more powerful. She could fly through the air, using her mortar and pestle. And her house moved too, it was on chicken legs.”
Amanda giggled. “That sounds silly.”
Teodor shook his head. “When she did find a place that her house would stay. The path to it was lined with the spines and the skulls of people she had killed. There were a few that approached her and got help. But more than likely she would kill you.”
“Could she be real?"
“I hope not.”
Amanda stopped walking after a few moments. “When I was younger, my family moved to Texas. One of my friends was this Hispanic girl. She told me about this woman that would drowned children. You could see her walking along the roads, looking for children. I think she was called La Llorona.”
“Did she eat them?”
“We are not sure she ate Jazz,” she said. “That woman would drown the children, because she thought they could stay with her. She lived in water.” She waved her hands in the air. “All we saw, was her taking Jazz's skin. What if she is killing the kids for their skins?”
“That is still horrible."
“I know, but maybe there is another mythical woman that collected skins.” Her shoulders sank. “Like it's going to help.”
Teodor pulled her close. “It might. The people that were able to walk away from Baba Yaga had to be prepared.”
Amanda nodded. “Let's see how the kids are doing.”
Teodor agreed. They left the old base and hurried to the old work farm.