Kit could feel the branches cutting through her dress’s sleeves, exposing her skin to the frigid air. She grasped either side of her cloak, and tugged the sides towards each other in an attempt to keep the icy chill out. The longer she treaded over the uneven ground, the worse her balance got, and having her arms pulled so tightly to her chest certainly did not help.
After what felt like hours, and countless stumbles and falls, she was finally closer to the source of all the odd smoke. She stopped to lean against a tree, and tripped over one of its roots. Kit crashed to the ground once agin, losing both her balance, and her temper.
"Argh! How many times must I fall in this awful wood! You'd think a simple stroll would be relaxing, or tedious at least!" She shoved herself onto her hands and knees, and slipped on a patch of wet moss, falling flat on her stomach.
"Uggggggghhhh! I. Hate. The. WOODS!!!" Kit punched the ground, shoving herself back onto curled fists. She jumped back onto her feet, and threw a rock at the tree. Ever since she'd had to take her mother's place in the household, she'd been repressing her anger in an attempt to be a good role model for Betsy. But now, out in these Kit-hating woods, with no clear way to get home, and no one around to see or help her, she just let go.
She screamed, cried, punched and threw things. She'd been going at it for a few minutes, when she kicked the tree that'd triggered this rage-fest. As her foot made contact, she heard a sickening crack, and she cried out in agony.
Kit fell backwards, crashing town a hill and into what felt like a warm garden. With what wit she had left, she came to the reasonable conclusion that she was dying. The warmth was the Lord himself taking her up to heaven, and she flipped onto her back so that she may be taken.
After her long walk in the woods, the light nearly blinded her, and she could barely make out what appeared to be a dilapidated hut, and she heard someone cry out, but couldn't quite hear what they'd said as she drifted into unconsciousness.
"Wakey wakey, Miss Jay-kee!"
Kits eyes fluttered open, but her eyelids felt heavy as they adjusted to the dimly lit room. She tried to sit up and see who'd spoken, but her arms gave out and she felt her head drop backwards onto an oddly shaped pillow. She groaned, and slipped back into her dreamless haze.
"Awww, a tad sleepy are we? This'll perk ya' right up, deary!" The voice giggled, and Kit felt a cool glass bottle pressed against her lips. She jolted awake when a chunky liquid that tasted the way a chamber pot smelled was poured into her mouth. She had unwillingly choked it down before she could spit it out, and when she was done hacking, she realized she could see everything much more clearly now.
She was lying in a cot-like bed with long vines wrapped around the frame and bedposts. Other plants of all sorts were strewn about the room, from lumpy brown roots hanging in baskets from the ceiling, to deep crimson daisies in a clay vase, to a bright, spiky looking... thing coiled around a post in a pot. There were candles both lit and otherwise everywhere, as were there rocking chairs, trinkets, paintings, books, and hammocks.
It was certainly overcrowded, but cozy nonetheless. And at the center of it all was the voice, who turned out to be a young woman with wild caramel brown hair haphazardly thrown into small plaits, each with its own colored ribbon woven into it. She was tall and skinny, but not gangly or awkward looking, almost like a dancer. And most striking were her bright green, lamp-like eyes, which were currently staring directly at Kit.
The woman smiled, flashing two dimples in her round pink cheeks.
“I knew you’d wake up soon enough, Jay!”
Kit gazed blankly at her face, trying to get her jostled brain to process what she’d said.
“I, er... Jay?”
“Well, that’s your name, in’it? Jay Willams, my little sister! Unless you’ve gone and changed it again?”
“Well, no, I mean, yes, but it was never my name because, I,”
Kit sighed and straightened herself. She didn’t know where she was, or who this woman and ‘Jay’ were, but she wasn’t going to allow herself to stutter or slouch.
“I’m afraid I’m not who you think I am, ma’am. My name is Katherine Johnson, and I got lost on the way here. Might I know your name?”
The odd woman’s smile fell, and she started to toy with one of her colorful plaits.
“Canary Williams. So I s’pose she’s still gone then.” Canary turned away and began fiddling with her plants, when her face lit up.
“Oh but you must see what she looks like, Kat! The resemblance is simply uncanny!" Barely a minute had passed and she'd already forgotten Kits name. Oh, well. Kit tried to step off the cot, but when she rested her left foot on the ground, pain shot up her leg.
"Agh!" Kit winced, and would've toppled over if it weren't for Canary catching her. She grabbed both of Kits arms and gingerly set her down onto the bed.
"I s'pose I'm goin' to have to fix up that leg for ya', aren't I?" Kit opened her mouth to answer, but Canary cut her off with a lighthearted giggle, and she began mumbling what sounded like utter gibberish to Kit, and began to wave her hands in odd circular motions. This went on for about thirty seconds, when Canary's movements seemed to get a bit more agitated. She stomped her foot, and turned back to face Kit.
"Terribly sorry, dearie, been a long while since I've done this. Could you stick out your wounded leg for me? It'd make the process a touch smoother."
In place of an answer, Canary turned back to her mumble-dancing, and stomped her foot. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, the whole room shuddered, and different bottles, plants and bandages came flying off the overly crowded shelves, launching themselves towards a screaming Kit.
Through all the chaos, Canary was swiping her hand this way and that, like a mad conductor, occasionally saying things like "No, that won't do." and "Goodness! What was I thinkin', pullin' you off the blasted shelf!"
Kit yelped when she felt her shoe and stocking ripped off of her leg, and replaced with some sort of cold, sticky substance held in place with a gauze. Finally, the mayhem subsided, and Kit felt her ripped stocking slip back onto her leg and mend itself, followed by her shoe. She sat with her mouth gaping open, staring at the room around her. Canary’s smile grew ever wider.
“Well? Are you gonna’ try out that leg? It’s not much use if you’re gonna’ be sittin’ on your backside all day!”
Kit blinked in shock, than slowly put her wounded foot onto the ground. Sure enough, it held her weight and hardly looked like anything had been wrong in the first place. Canary glided over to where Kit was standing.
“Now, I wan’ you t’keep that on for a few more hours, after that, you should be able to walk by yourself again.”
Kit kept her gaze to the floor, and her voice trembled as she asked
“Who are you?”