CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED-FIVE
Nelson felt his body spin around. He raised his index finger in recrimination. A string of unintelligible scolding Welsh came out of his mouth. The Brother looked terrified and disappeared again.
“What was that?” Nelson asked.
He scowled at Mari, but she wouldn’t catch his eye. He turned to look at the rest of their team. No one would catch his eye. Hedone cleared her throat and pointed behind Nelson.
“He’s returned,” Hedone said.
Nelson turned in place.
“It is here,” Brother Joseph said.
Brother Joseph held out a single sheet of rolled up papyrus. Nelson reached for the papyrus.
“No!” Bestat yelled.
As Nelson’s finger touched the parchment it began to disintegrate. Their little quest party gasped in horror as in a moment, the parchment was gone.
“It couldn’t cross time,” Mari said.
“Dried out with age,” Alex said, shrugging. “It happens all the time.”
For a moment, no one said anything. Brother Joseph looked confused at destroyed papyrus.
“Hold on,” Hecate said.
She held up her hand like it was holding a dial. She rotated her hand to the left and time moved backward.
“Stop,” Hedone said.
“It is here,” the Brother said, again holding out the parchment.
“Don’t touch it,” Hecate said.
“Can you hold it up so I can read it?” Nelson asked.
Brother Joseph gave him an angry look, but unrolled the parchment. He held it up.
“Fairy?” Bestat asked.
Mari clapped her hands and Nelson was holding a replicate of the original parchment.
“Is it accurate?” Bestat asked.
“Of course it is,” Mari said, looking a little offended.
Hecate put her arm over Mari’s shoulders. Hedone kissed the fairy’s cheek.
“I am grateful for all of you,” Nelson said.
He looked down at the parchment in his hand. He scowled.
“What is it?” Bestat asked.
“Gibberish,” Nelson said.
Alex pulled the page from Nelson’s hand.
“It’s code,” Alex said. “Can I…?”
“Of course,” Abi said.
She pointed to Aphrodite to help. The Goddess and Alex moved away from the quest party to work on the sheet. After a few minutes, they sat down among the ruins to rest and wait for the document to be decoded. A few minutes turned into hours. Nelson fell asleep in the sunshine. He was roused by a jab from the end of Artemis’s long bow.
“Ow!” Nelson said, getting to his feet.
“Toughen up, Knight.” Artemis raised an eyebrow at him and they both laughed.
Artemis nodded toward where Alex and Aphrodite had been working. He turned to see them walking back together.
“Okay, I think we’ve got it,” Alex said.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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