Fable Page 27


Chapter 16

“No, no way. Do you see what he did to me!” She pointed to her golden stripe of hair. “And this was when I was sleeping. Uh-uh. Not happening.”

“That is exactly why you have to kill him. You are the only one who can. You’ve already started connecting to the Fae plane,” Constance said.

“I have?”

“You did, in your sleep. The Fae plane is somewhere between the physical plane and the spiritual one. Jacob and Wilhelm were the only Grimms to successfully go there of their own free will. No other human has done it since. But you can. Temple didn’t come to you in your sleep. You went to him, or at least connected with him in a dream, and the power that continues to grow around you helped make it real.”

“So how do I do it again?”

Both of the women looked at each other and shrugged. “We don’t know.”

“Jared brought me here promising that you would help me,” she cried out.

“We want to help you, but this is a gift we know very little about,” Mei said.

“But if you can get there once, you can get there again. You may have to wait until you solve more quests. It’s not just the Story who is growing stronger and more powerful the more quests you complete. You are as well. So maybe in time you will have more control over this ability. But at the moment we don’t know what else to do.”

“Is there no other option? That can’t be the only way for a human to cross over. What about all of those tales about the Fae stealing children?”

“Children are smaller and take less energy, but it takes a very strong and powerful Fae to cross over with an adult human. Most are barely strong enough to come by themselves. I assume you asked Jared.” Constance looked at Mina carefully, already knowing the answer.

“Of course, he won’t go to the Fae plane. I don’t understand why.”

“It’s because it is more dangerous for him to cross over than it would be for you. Jared’s been banished, and if he goes back, he risks losing his life.”

“I wish he would tell me these things,” Mina fumed.

Mei kept chewing her lip in thought. “Maybe if you had a seam ripper?”

“Is that a small silver tube thing?” Mina asked, feeling her heart race with excitement.

“Why, yes, a wizard gave one to each of the Fates. Do you think you know where one is?” Constance asked.

“I think I know someone who has one.”

When Mei took Mina back to the library again, Mina was completely discouraged. She had more questions than answers. The Godmothers said they would try their European contacts and find out what they could about jumping. That’s what they were calling it. Jared was sleeping in the armchair by the fireplace and didn’t stir at the sound of their entrance.

Mei held Mina’s hand and whispered encouragement to her.

“Mina, I truly believe you will be the one to break the curse. You have something that none of the other Grimms had.” She looked toward the sleeping Jared.

“Jared?”

“Never before has the Grimoire shown its human side. There’s something special about you, Mina. Something that I saw years ago, something that our young prince saw. Trust in that.”

Mina turned to stare at the sleeping Jared and felt consumed with conflicting emotions and questions. The first day she found the Grimoire and was attacked by Grey Tail, Jared could have just stayed within the book, but he interfered. He showed his true self to her, and on numerous times before. Yes, he wasn’t always truthful, but he was protecting himself and his family. Wouldn’t she do the same if she was in his shoes?

A soft click of the door told her that Mei had left the library, but it was followed by the soft clicking noise of nails on the floor. Mina grinned, knowing what was running toward her. But the Baldander didn’t jump onto her; instead, the invisible fur ball jumped onto a sleeping Jared, who jumped up and hollered in alarm.

“Holy mother of fate, what is that!” He flung his arms wide, and a knife instantly appeared in his hands, ready to attack.

The Baldander chirped loudly and became visible in its squirrel form. It jumped in front of Mina protectively and shifted into a large cat.

Mina laughed at the two squaring off against each other.

Jared tried to shoo the cat, but it didn’t budge. In challenge, Jared, who because he had royal blood could shift at will, did just that. He shifted into a large dog and growled at the cat.

The cat morphed into a snarling wolf. Jared morphed into an even bigger wolf. The Baldander shifted into a tiger. Jared shifted into a lion. Back and forth they went, challenging each other, until the library was filled with a giant dragon and large troll.

“Enough! Down, boys, you’re both very powerful. I get it.”

Jared was the first to morph back into his human form, and he seemed slightly embarrassed to have let the small Fae get the better of him.

“Sorry, but what is that?” He pointed in disgust at the dragon, which had morphed down to be pocket-sized and was flapping its wings as if it had won the rumble.

“It’s a Baldander.”

“No way! I thought they were extinct.”

The little dragon turned and blew what looked like a fiery raspberry at the Fae prince.

“I guess they’re not, and I don’t think it cares one lick that you’re a prince.” She giggled. The dragon flew up and settled in the crook of Mina’s hood, and quickly became invisible again.

“I don’t trust that thing,” Jared shot back.

“Relax, I find him quite cute. Isn’t that right, Ander?” She held up a finger and felt the invisible dragon rub its face against her.

“Great, you’ve named it, now you’re gonna want to keep it. But I’m telling you that thing better be house-trained.” He turned to the bookshelf and began to pull open the book to open the hidden exit door.

Mina felt Ander leave her shoulder but didn’t let Jared know he was missing. She saw Constance’s teacup float mysteriously above Jared’s head. She clapped her hand over her mouth to contain the laughter. A second later the cup turned over, spilling lukewarm tea on Jared’s unsuspecting head.

“Oh, it better not have just peed on me!” he screamed.

The teacup clattered to the ground as Ander released it. Jared saw the cup and glared at the dragon. An instant later he turned and jumped into the air. Morphing into a hawk, he took off chasing the miniature dragon around the room.

Mina pushed the door open and headed out the cellar doors, knowing that Ander would be just fine against a quick-tempered Jared. She hoped that Jared would come out with his ego still intact.

It had grown dark since they entered the recycling plant, and the night air was chilly on her bare arms. She walked over to Jared’s bike, sat on the seat, and surveyed the surroundings. The river lined the east side of the building, and the road and the parking lot were overrun with weeds and old containers. On the west side was the edge of a forest, the evergreens that lined the edge of the forest looking like sentinels guarding the Fae Godmothers. So much had happened in such a short time, and she was just as confused as ever.

An intense prickling feeling ran up her back and tickled her fingers, followed by a familiar sound that pierced the night. Mina jumped off the bike, wary and alert. She scanned the dark forest, knowing that was where the sound came from—a very unique sound that she knew belonged to Stiltskin’s bird. She watched the forest and at first saw nothing, but then a glow emanated from the darkness and grew brighter and brighter.

Prev page Next page