CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX
“So why now?” Yvonne asked. “I wondered that when we talked about going up here. Why would we go to this mine now when we’ve never been before?”
“Delphie told me to go,” Jacob said. “And to bring you. Abi is just tagging along.”
“Delphie came to you in a dream?” Yvonne asked.
Jacob nodded. He looked off at the meager trees that clung to the sheer rock, and then looked back at Abi.
“Why are you here?” Jacob asked.
“Do you mean on this planet or on this adventure?” Abi asked.
Jacob laughed at her words. His laugh caused Yvonne to laugh. Abi grinned at them.
“Tell me,” Abi said. “Why do you laugh?”
“Because asking you why you are on this planet is like asking why do I exist,” Jacob said. “At this moment, in this place, I wasn’t quite prepared for an existential conversation about the reason and meaning of human existence.”
“If not now, then when?” Abi asked.
Yvonne and Jacob laughed again.
“Okay, okay,” Abi said with a grin. “I came along because I wondered at the connection of this ‘Fire of Hell’ and this mine.”
Her words caught Jacob and Yvonne’s full attention. Jacob’s mouth opened to form a question. He shook his head instead.
“You wish to ask me why we didn’t bring the others,” Abi said.
“Among other things,” Jacob said.
“That is because you and I need to face this thing,” Abi said.
“And me?” Yvonne asked, her voice catching on the words.
“We need you to shine the light,” Abi said.
“I don’t want to do this without Blane,” Jacob said. “He saved me in the Sea of Amber. We are two sides of one coin. He … “
“You are not two sides of the same coin,” Abi said. “You are each other’s guardian. If he is here, he may be injured or consumed. Who will save you then?”
“I would keep him from that,” Jacob said.
“How will you fight this thing and save your Blane at the same time?” Abi asked.
Angry and feeling manipulated, Jacob looked down at the rock face they were standing on.
“Yes, Jacob Marlowe, we fairies always manipulate situations to our advantage,” Abi said.
He raised his right hand and pointed at her.
“You are not a fairy,” Jacob said.
“I am not,” Abi said. “Nor are there any fairies here.”
“And?” Jacob was too irritated with her to hide it.
“You are not being manipulated,” Abi said.
“Then what?” Jacob asked. He put his hand on his chest. “I am a married man. I have three children to care for, not to mention a house that’s always on the brink of falling down. My sister is ill. Her children, her husband, our large and ever growing friend-family, Blane, your partner and children. I am the head of that crazy household. I cannot just go off doing … whatever!”
“You feel badly about being gone when you were in the Sea of Amber,” Abi said.
“I feel awful,” Jacob said. “Jill struggled — with our children, with herself. It was unfair of me to wander so far. And I barely made it out!”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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