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I looked out across the moor.
There wasn’t much to see. Yellowish, springy grass. Clumps of heather and gorse. Small pools stained brown by peat.
This was my first time up here alone. Dad didn’t like me coming up here at all, even if he was with me.
But Dad had been called back to London – something urgent at work, he said – and then Mum had got sick. The doctor said it was a virus, which is what doctors always say when they don’t know what’s wrong. “It’s not serious,” he said, “just get plenty of rest.”
So when he’d gone, I put my trainers on, and a waterproof jacket, and told Mum I was going for a walk.
She was half asleep. She gave me a tired smile and said, “All right, but be careful, won’t you?”
I nodded, and left before she remembered that Dad would never let me go up onto the moor on my own; ever since his brother did that and never came home.
I grabbed my backpack and set off out of the village and up the twisting dirt track that led to the moor.
So now here I was. The Valley must be around here somewhere, just like it was when I first stumbled across it all those years ago. That time, I was scared. I turned back.
This time, I wouldn’t.
I still couldn’t see the Valley.
That’s how I knew it was there.
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