Fable Page 19

A few intense seconds went by before the power in the building came back on, and with it the overhead lights. Her hand went to protect her eyes from the extreme change from darkness to light. The theater was still destroyed. Ever was hopping toward her with one boot missing. She knelt by Jared and helped him up. He had a huge bruise on his cheek but seemed to be fine otherwise. Mina went to help Ever, and they both half carried, half dragged Jared out to the emergency exit.

A loud slurping noise echoed from behind them, and Mina snapped her head around to look at the only other inhabitant of the destroyed theater. It was the very large bearded moviegoer, fully human again, happily slurping away at his drink.

“Best 3D movie ever,” he said.

Chapter 12

“What happened in there?” Nan cried out, and wrapped her arms around Mina. “It went dark. I heard a loud popping noise like gunfire. Are you okay? Is Jared okay?”

“Yeah, we’re okay, but we could use help with Jared.”

Brody jumped in and gripped his strong arms around Jared, and swiftly moved him away from the theater and farther into the parking lot. Groups of people stood in clusters, watching the building, pointing and snapping pictures on their phones. The fire department arrived, and more uniforms rushed into the building.

Mina collapsed on the ground next to Jared and ran her hands over his face in concern. The bruise on his cheek was getting larger, and his eyes started to flutter open.

“Hey, you,” she whispered when his eyes locked onto hers. And what beautiful eyes they were. They were filled with confusion and pain, and then when he looked at her, they crinkled up just ever so slightly in a smile. In the dark parking lot his gray eyes looked almost blue, and she felt herself catch her breath. A warm hand cupped her elbow as Jared gently rubbed it in return. “Glad you’re not dead.” She smiled warmly.

“Takes more than a backhanded punch from a—”

“—jealous boy,” Mina interrupted him, giving a quick glance at their captive audience.

His eyes widened in understanding, and he lowered his voice so she had to lean forward to hear the next words out of his mouth. “Did you get him?”

Mina looked at Ever and grinned. “Yeah, we got him.”

Brody was shuffling back and forth uncomfortably in the cold, watching them, when he noticed their numbers. “Hey, where did Reid go?”

Mina sat back on her heels and gave Brody a disgusted look. “He left.”

“What do you mean, he left?”

“Just what I said. When he didn’t get what he wanted, he up and disappeared.” She tried to say it with a straight face, but Ever snorted loudly from behind her.

Nan was shocked. “What a jerk! Mina, you must feel awful. He didn’t try to take advantage of you, did he? I’m so mad—I want to go searching for him and give him a piece of my mind, and a kick in the rear. And Brody, why did you bring such a loser for Mina to date?”

Brody stepped back in surprise and rubbed the back of his head. “I…uh…I don’t really remember why?” And it was a very good possibility that he didn’t even remember meeting up with Reid, or that the Fae used persuasion to get him to do what he wanted.

A uniformed police officer came forward and began to take the statements from the crowd. The air became thick again with power, and she looked around in alarm. Jared gripped her elbow and sat up, sensing the same thing she did. Magic, but whose? Mina eavesdropped on the conversation and was surprised how quickly the stories of what had happened changed and morphed as the people were telling them. The Story was at work, covering up the incident in the theater by blanketing all of the witnesses with different versions.

It was fascinating and scary how easily the Story could manipulate people. A man wearing a plaid shirt and blue knit hat told the police he saw a guy shoot bolts of lightning from his hands, but then his eyes got heavy and his voice started to slur under the powerful persuasion of the Story. The police officer asked him to repeat what he saw, and he changed his story.

“It was fireworks. Some dude sneaked fireworks into the theater.”

“No, it wasn’t!” a short red-haired woman interjected. “I saw it—he had those popping firework things.”

“Are you dumb? It was a government conspiracy. A soldier came in with experimental strobe lights, and he was trying to hypnotize us. He was going to make us his slaves,” a man in a white tank top and NASCAR hat said.

“It wasn’t a guy—it was a girl, and she was flying.” It was the large man from earlier, still slurping on his drink. “And I was turned to copper, but I’m all better now!”

“Are you on drugs? There was no girl, it was a group of boys, and they were lighting things on fire. I saw it and jumped up and pulled the fire alarm.”

“No, I saw someone in the projector room. They let off a smoke bomb,” an irritated teenager interrupted.

“I think it was a breaker. An employee messed with the circuit breakers,” someone else yelled out.

Slowly the truth was covered up by so many lies that no one could determine what had actually happened. Finally, the policeman shook his head and walked away, no closer to the truth.

Jared stood up and let out a deep breath. Relieved.

“I take it you’re used to this?” she asked.

“Yeah, but you never know whether or not it will clean up after itself.”

“You mean your brother,” she asked.

He nodded. “Can I see the Grimoire real quick?” She handed him the book, and he flipped to the end and took a look at the pencil sketch of the fight between Ever, Reid, and Mina, and whistled in surprise. “Looks like you two make quite the team.”

Ever raised her chin and stepped between them. “Only ’cause I had to. You were out of the picture, so someone had to help your charge. It’s not a job that I would cherish in the future. So don’t get used to it.”

Brody came up behind them, with an arm protectively wrapped around Nan. “Hey, the police are saying it was just some prank, and no harm, no foul, so we can all go home. The theater is giving us all free tickets to see another movie, once they open up again.”

Nan was blushing profusely at the attention from Brody, and Mina couldn’t help but feel sad and happy for her. The sudden onslaught of danger had thrown Brody into knight in shining armor mode again, and he instinctively reacted and protected his girl. Mina was delighted that he had protected Nan when she was unable to. How could she begrudge them happiness, if that was what they really wanted? Brody would always protect those closest to him—that was his nature. And if Nan was friends with a Grimm, than she would always need protecting, and she couldn’t think of anyone more suited than Brody. Now if only she could convince her heart of it.

The ride home was silent. The gravity of what had happened in the theater caused the air to be filled with nervousness. She didn’t even ask Nan and Brody what they remembered from tonight, preferring to not know how much of their minds had been tampered with by the Fae. She curled up on the back seat and held the Grimoire close to her chest, and stared out the window into the night.

Twice she caught Brody staring at her in the rearview mirror, but she quickly looked away and pretended not to notice. The small notebook grew warm in her hands, and she flipped it open to a blank page and stared in wonder as words began to fill up its pages.

Prev page Next page