"Let go, Haku." She struggled to get free.

"Why? I have you in my arms now. If I let go you'll fall."

Chihiro felt the excruciating pain tear at her back without mercy. "Let go!"

"No! I won't let you fall to your death! I won't let you die, Chihiro!"

Her eyes pleaded with him. "If you really love me then let me go." Tears swam in her eyes from the pain.

He shut his eyes tight and held her close for a moment. His arms loosened then let her go. Instead of her tumbling he fell away from her at a great speed.

His eyes were open wide. I was too high. I can't fly that high. How did we get that high? "Chihiro!" He cried out her name in confusion and desperation.

"Haku!" She doubled over and her back bulged then wings burst from her back. They curled around her and a bright light shown within them.

Haku began to glow and was brought back up to the wings. The wings slowly parted until a being was visible. "Chihiro?" She wore a long silver dress with a slit on the side up to her thigh.

She took his hands. "This is the real me. I can fly! I do belong here."

His hand cupped her cheek. "I knew there was something special about you."

"I remember now. I was a spirit here. I was the one with all the power. No one fought against my word. In a sense I was queen."

"I wouldn't know because I wasn't here at the time. Come on." He motioned with his head. "Ubaba will have a right scare."

Chihiro grinned at him and concealed her wings. They were soon back on the ground.

Both woke in a corner of the boiler room before anyone was awake. Haku looked down at the beautiful creature in his arms. "Shall we make a grand entrance this night?"

"Of course."

He stood up with her in his arms cradled against his chest. He couldn't resist feathering his mouth across hers in a feather light kiss.

"Let's go."

Haku set out at preternatural speed and burst into the sky. They set down on the opposite side of the bridge and waited for Ubaba to come down.

The town started to regain life, or what resembled life. Lights flickered on and they heard the voices of the workers in the bathhouse.

The small frog hopped out by Haku. "Master Haku! What is she doing dressed like that?"

"Fetch Ubaba."

"But – "


He hopped away and returned behind Ubaba.

"What's the meaning of this? Why is a worker dressed like that? Answer me, Haku."

He was about to but Chihiro put her hand on his arm. "Let me." He nodded and she closed her eyes. Her form began to glow and she rose a few feet into the air. Chihiro spread her arms and her wings followed. She took Haku's hand and he glowed and floated up next to her. Instinctively he put his arm around her waist. "What do you have to say to this?"

Spirits all around her began to bow down. Ubaba's chin was on the ground. "But how? You were just a girl."

"I hadn't remembered until the full me emerged. Thanks to Mai's feather I was finally completed. Speaking of which."

Mai floated down next to her and gave a slight bow. Mai wore a dress similar to Chihiro's only bright red. "It's nice to have you back. I hope I can be reinstated."

"What's a ruler without her right-hand woman?" Mai's face lit up. "It's good to be back. As for you, Ubaba."

Ubaba's eyes grew wide and she bowed down. "Please have mercy. You've always been merciful."

Chihiro pointed at her and she changed form. Ubaba became that which she hated, a stink spirit.

"No! How will I run the bathhouse?"

"Easy, you won't." Mai set down and walked in.

"I've been put in charge." Haku reluctantly let go and dropped to the ground. Chihiro put her hands on his shoulders. "I think the perfect person to take charge while I'm gone is . . ." By now half the bathhouse crew was outside. "Lin."

"Me? How did I get chosen?"

"You and Kamagi will be in charge when we're gone. You two know how to run the bathhouse better than anyone else." Chihiro grabbed Haku's hand and they flew into the sky. "We'll be back in about a month!"

"Have fun, Kid!" She turned around. "You heard them. Get to work." Lin took one more glance skyward with Kamagi. "We've got our hands full with those two."

"I must agree."

A: That's it. It's done. Thanks for all of you who read this. You've helped me keep this story going instead of getting fed up and taking it off. Thanks again.