CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FOURTEEN
“His tummy!” Katy said to the man at the door.
“Ah,” the man said in a big booming voice.
“Jacob!” Jill said. “Oh my God, Jacob!”
She looked up at the man. He was tall and big. He had sand colored hair to his shoulders. His eyes were dark and his skin brown. He wore a tunic, similar to what people wore in Olympia, and leather sandals. Seeing Jill, he dropped to a knee.
“Mistress,” the man said.
“Who are you?” Jill asked. Too panicked and exhausted, she started to sob. Her solid core evaporated and she said the only thing she could think of, “Dad! I need you!”
Perses arrived a moment later. Katy ran to say hello to her grandfather. Perses picked his granddaughter up in his arms.
“Lord Perses,” the stranger said, and bowed his head.
“What is it?” Perses touched Jill’s shoulder.
“I don’t know,” Jill said. “He was fine. I mean he just got back and … He just grabbed his stomach and I don’t know who this is and Katy, she …”
“By your leave,” the stranger said to Jill and Perses.
Nodding to the stranger, Perses lifted Jill up and helped her to the couch.
“We forgot to start his digestive system,” the stranger said. “Close your eyes.”
The man pointed at Katy and said, “No cheating. You’ll go blind.”
Jill covered her eyes with her hands. Katy shut her eyes tight. For good measure, Perses covered Katy’s eyes.
There was a sound that was not quite a sound. Jacob screamed out in desperate pain. Jill went to remove her hands, but found them magically stuck in place. She could not see what was happening.
Jacob panted with pain.
The stranger said something like, “There, there. You’re almost there.”
Jacob screamed again.
“Kidneys, too,” the stranger said.
Jill heard the faint sound again.
“Breathe, brave Jacob,” the stranger said.
Jacob huffed at the air. Jill opened her mouth to scream for them to stop. Before she could get the words out, the air changed. Her hand easily lifted from her eyes. Her voice came out in a scream!
Her scream caused the twins to scream in the bedroom.
When she opened her eyes, the stranger was holding her twins, one on each shoulder, and comforting them. She looked for Jacob.
Jacob was sitting up on the ground. He was drinking water from a glass.
Looking for her father, she saw Perses was sitting on the couch next to her.
“She is hot,” Perses said. “Paddie is as well.”
To her stunned face, Perses shook his head.
“I told him that it was too much travel in a night,” Perses said with a “tut, tut.”
Jill’s mouth dropped open. She looked at Jacob again. He was still drinking water. She looked at the stranger. He smiled at her.
“We’re pretending that little bit didn’t happen?” Jill asked.
The stranger laughed. He nodded to Perses.
“She’s your daughter,” the stranger said.
“Who are you?” Jill asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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