Fable Page 25

“It’s unbelievable what they are able to create when they have access to this world’s machines and tools. The Fae have been dying to come over here just to have access to the Internet.” Constance stopped in front of the workroom and let Mina watch a dwarf sit down before a computer and print out a schematic for a design that a faun was working on.

“It has elevated all of their own projects and inventions. Technology on the Fae plane doesn’t exist. It can’t exist. Only magic or charmed items. So our facility also is a home to inventors, machinists, and Fae scientists. Who knows what one of them will discover when they combine their magic with your technology? The possibilities are endless.”

Constance beckoned to Mina, and continued the tour down another hallway and pointed out a large indoor greenhouse. It was Mei who pointed excitedly and waved at a short man in the middle of a row of tomatoes. It was her husband, Ken Wong. He, too, looked different without the glamour. His skin was darker than Mei’s, and his eyes had a gold tint to them. He looked quite happy and at home working in the gardens.

Mina knew then she wouldn’t have to worry about her family friends. It was obvious they had people to help take care of them.

They passed through another set of double doors, and Mei pointed out the living quarters, the school, the watcher stations, the training stations, and finally the cafeteria.

“We are much more than just an organization. We help not only the Grimms but all of the Fae who have lost their way in this human world and can’t adjust. We teach them about this world, help them study it, and have them learn a trade so they can survive peacefully.”

Constance opened another door, and they entered a large gathering area filled with Fae of all sizes, colors, and shapes. They were eating at long tables filled with food that smelled heavenly. When they saw Mina, the bustling stopped, and every one of them stared. After a few seconds, a furry cat about knee-high came up and pressed against Mina’s leg, looking for affection.

Her hand immediately went to pull him off, but she changed her mind, and she decided to bend down and pet it instead. There was a large sigh, and the silence was broken as Fae after Fae began to clap and call her name. Mina’s hand couldn’t help but stroke the small furry head pressing into her knee. She looked down to see that it had disappeared, but her hand was still gripped in a headful of fur.


Hearing her confusion, the small cat reappeared briefly…only to change again into a dog, then a goat, and finally a squirrel that decided to run up her pant leg and settle on her shoulder.

“I see that you’ve made friends with our resident Baldander.”

“What’s a Baldander?” Mina asked, trying to hold still under the onslaught of the squirrel’s curious hands.

“I think it’s pretty obvious. That.” Mei chuckled.

Mina reached up to try to pull it off, but it disappeared again and moved to her other shoulder.

“They’re extremely rare. Give him a moment, and he’ll settle down and stop shifting and disappearing on you. He’s just excited to meet you and that you see him.”

“Can’t everyone see him?”

“No, not everyone,” Mei answered.

A small furry hand patted her cheek in affirmation, and she could feel him settle down on her shoulder. He started petting her head as if she was his pet.

Constance motioned for them to continue on through the kitchen, and as she passed through the Fae, she could feel a few of them gently touch her arm, wish her luck, pat her on the back, all while the Baldander rode her shoulder, chittering in excitement.

“I’m not a pony—rides aren’t free,” Mina whispered under her breath.

The Baldander shifted into a mini Pegasus and flew around her head instead, still never leaving her vicinity.

They’d gone through the door and down another long hallway when she felt something odd. A change in mood, a coldness in the air. It was subtle, and maybe it was her imagination, but she felt like she was being watched. There in the corner was a large giant statue of a troll that blended in with the gray stone of the wall. It wasn’t just blending with the color—it was actually half encased in the stone of the wall.

She paused and stared. It was so real-looking, very lifelike.

“Are you okay?” Mei asked.

“Yeah, I just—”

The troll opened its eyes focused on Mina. They were filled with such hate and anger that she began to tremble. Its gaze was powerful and intense, and she felt rooted to the spot, unable to move. The Baldander squeaked and disappeared off her shoulder to disappear who knows where.

Constance came between them, cutting off the troll’s gaze with her body.

“Mina, it’s okay. Don’t look in his eyes. He can’t hurt you unless you make eye contact. We’re so used to him that we no longer see him, which is why he is disappearing into the wall.”

Mina felt herself begin to regain control of her body and breathe easier. “What is he? Why is he there?”

Mei was the one who answered. “He was sent by the dark prince to destroy our headquarters over twenty years ago, and he’s been frozen there ever since. It happened on an October morning. All but three of the GM headquarters were destroyed. He’s been imprisoned since then.”

“That’s horrible.”

“Would you rather we kill him?” Constance asked. “He can’t do anyone harm there, and he’s alive, which is more than I can say for the hundreds of Fae he killed years ago. Right now, he’s frozen, and slowly he’ll turn to stone.”

“Are there more like him?”

Constance nodded. “The troll in Seattle is almost completely stone. He’s under the Fremont bridge. Just don’t look them in the eye, or you’ll crumble under their hate.”

Mina was able to pull her gaze away and follow the two Fae women back into a small office with round table. She sat in the closest chair and felt as if her feet were encased in stone. She looked around and saw that there was a giant map on the wall covered with glowing dots that she could only assume were Grimms, or persons of interest. Large pictures lined the wall, and she recognized them as her family tree. She saw her Uncle Jack, her father, and others—all strangers, but she could still see a familial resemblance.

Mei saw where Mina was staring and pointed out a blank spot proudly. “Your picture will eventually go here.”

“What is this place?”

“These pictures represent all of the Grimms who have been cursed. It represents our call to action. Our call to help.”

“Why are there so many?”

Mei look disturbed and refused to make eye contact with Mina.

Constance cleared her throat, and her hands fluttered nervously. “These portraits don’t represent the living, Mina. These portraits represent the Grimms who have passed because of the curse.”

“So you’re saying that spot…that blank spot…is for my portrait—when I DIE! You people are disturbing.” Mina shot up from the table and knocked over her chair, getting ready to make a beeline out of the door.

“Stop, Mina. You know more than anyone that you can’t run from your destiny. Yes, many Grimms have come and gone. Most of them didn’t make it past their first quest, mostly because they didn’t have what you had. They didn’t have the Grimoire. Have you not been studying the tales? Has Jared not been explaining things to you?” Constance asked.

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