CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and NINE
“We are your kin,” Liban said. “I am Liban, the child of one of your sisters. This is Mari. She is the child of another one of your sisters.”
“You are a fairy queen,” Mari said. “Your sister queens await you above.”
The child pressed her face against the glass to see Liban and Mari.
“What is a fairy?” the child asked. “What is a queen?”
Liban launched into an explanation of the fairy world, the queendoms, their magical abilities, and where they were located. Mari added what she could.
Overwhelmed by the flood of words, the child looked at Jacob. He simply smiled. After a few minutes, she returned his smile. Jacob put his hand on Liban’s arm. She looked at him and stopped talking.
“What is it?” Liban asked.
“She may not be child, but she’s been alone for a long time,” Jacob said.
“Oh, yes,” Liban said. “Too much explanation. I get so excited that I … Sorry.”
Jacob grinned at Liban, and she nodded.
“How about this?” Jacob asked. “I’ll let you out of your pod. You can come with us to the surface to meet your sisters. If you wish to return to this pod, I give you my solemn word that I will return you. No questions asked.”
The child looked at Liban.
“I give you my pledge, as well,” Liban said.
“Of course,” Mari said, which made the child grin.
Jacob leaned back to look up. He mistakenly touched the wall of the vent with his head and yelped in pain. The vent filled with the smell of his burnt hair.
“Dad?” Jacob yelled.
“What do you need?” Sam yelled down to him.
“The circular saw with the glass blade,” Jacob yelled up. “Sling to carry the glass up.”
“Circular saw,” Sam repeated. “Sling.”
“Yes,” Jacob said as loudly as he could.
“Got it,” Sam said.
Jacob looked at Mari.
“Would you mind going up?” Jacob asked. “Dad’s going to need your help guiding it down to me. I’m going to send Liban to update the queens so that they don’t freak out when we get there.”
Mari nodded. She changed her shape to that of a small child and easily climbed back to her harness. Pointing to her harness, she moved up the rope as if she were on a pulley. There was a great deal of talking when she reached the top. Liban and Jacob looked up.
“That’s a good idea,” Liban said to Jacob.
“I need you to manage what I cannot,” Jacob said.
“When shall I go?” Liban asked.
“When Mari gets back with the tools,” Jacob said. “She can help me take the top off the pod and negotiate the child out without burning her.”
Jacob’s hand instinctively went to his singed head. She put her hand on his head and he instantly felt better.
“I will speak with the queens,” Liban said.
“How do you think they will handle it?” Jacob asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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