CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and ONE
“And the creature?” Gilfand asked.
“Uriel said that Abi would recognize the creature in the Fire of Hell,” Jacob said. “He specifically said that she would know what to do.”
“Abi?” Gilfand asked.
“No idea,” Abi said.
“I need to rest,” Gilfand said.
“All of that court living has made you soft, old man,” Abi said.
Gilfand gave her an irritated look which made her laugh. He shook his head for a moment before laughing.
“It really has,” Gilfand said. He looked at Yvonne. “I need to rest for a while. Then I shall take you.”
“Fine with me,” Yvonne said.
“We’ll rest then,” Gilfand said.
Jacob had been holding himself together to help Yvonne. With Gilfand’s words, Jacob fell back on this his rear. He leaned against the cool walls of the tunnel. He fell into a light dreamless sleep. An hour or more later, Abi nudged his knees. He opened his eyes to see that she’d cleaned up and rested.
“They have gone,” Abi said. “It’s just you and me.”
Jacob nodded and scrambled to standing.
“You okay with this?” Abi asked.
“I’m glad that Yvonne is getting the care she needs,” Jacob said. “And … well … I hope we can rescue whatever has been stuck here.”
Abi nodded. She turned to look in the direction of the Fire of Hell.
“Uriel said that you would know what it was,” Jacob said.
Abi looked at him and nodded.
“He also said that eating souls had distorted this creature,” Jacob said. “It has made it …”
“Grotesque,” Abi whispered. She nodded. “I will need you before we sort this out.”
“How can I possibly help you?” Jacob asked with a snort. He pointed himself. “Human, remember.”
Abi grinned so wide that he chuckled.
“Ready?” Abi asked.
“As you wish,” Jacob said.
Abi started walking down the tunnel toward the Fire of Hell.
“You know,” Abi said. “I’d wish to have one of those blue diamonds. Maybe a necklace? I bet Yvonne would like one, too.”
“I’ll be sure to make some before we leave,” Jacob said.
“How did you know?” Abi asked.
“I just …” Jacob said. He glanced at her before looking in front of him. “I guess I’ve always known. There’s something magical about the stones and unnatural.”
“They are very beautiful,” Abi said. “We can give them to Fin. He will never forgive me for telling you but he makes beautiful jewelry. It’s something he does with his hands, not magic.”
Jacob smiled and nodded. They reached the junction of tunnels. Abi holstered her sword and slipped the shield onto a carrier on her back. She took out something that looked like a sling shot and held it in her hand. Jacob picked up his backpack from where he’d dropped it. He checked the compartment and took out a bottle of clean water. For a moment, they stood at the junction of tunnels and took long drinks of water.
“We have a long walk,” Abi said. “Are you up for it?”
Jacob tucked what was left of the water into his pack.
“I am,” Jacob said.
Abi nodded. They started down the tunnel toward the Fire of Hell.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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