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I’d offer hugs but on this occasion I don’t think it would help.
As the hand receded, the Genie was no longer immobilized ..... he slowly sat on the steps of Atlantis holding his bowed head in his hands. While he knew in his mind that there was nothing he could do, he felt deep sorrow in his heart for not doing anything.
Meanwhile, a large black bird had been circling the War Elephant watching ...... Adrian did not see it fly through the portal shortly after the woman had been hurled in that direction. It landed in the burning tree just behind Hansel and watched over the form laying on the ground. It watched as the dragon came forth from Rapunzel's Tower and flew over to investigate. It watched as the fairy dust and sparkles flew into the air. It then took wing and departed.
Shortly afterwards the large black bird found Playingthegame pacing, trying to come up with a "cunning plan." ...... It spoke gently to the man: Please be seated as I have news to tell you.
Playingthegame heard the words and saw the source ..... at first he objected saying he was deep in thought with trying to work things out and he only had 2 days remaining.
Again, the bird gently said: Please be seated. ........ Please.
Sensing something was greatly troubling the bird, the very same one who had come to him in the hospital wing, ....... Playingthegame sat and waited.
The bird then mentally relayed all he had seen.
As my Crow telepathically "speaks" to me, a sense of shock and numbness courses through my bones.
Profound sorrow hits me like a punch to the solar plexus but I must think!
I must act!
I am the temporary leader of our little band and responsible for its wellbeing and safety.
But the sense of sorrow and even guilt hits me once more.
My beautiful Fairy Godmother was only trying to help us in our quest. She was doing only good for the Realm.
I cannot think here where we are located at the moment, I must go to the only other haven I know.
I quickly call over Roo and tell her I will be gone for a short while.
She looks at me with a very quizzical expression. This quickly turns to sympathy when she sees my ashen features.
I tell my broom to transport me to Jenny Wren's memorial among all the roses of the Faery Forest and once more touch the cool stone.
All I can do now is to wait for my brain to calm down and plan. If there are any friendly ghosts around perhaps they will guide me in this our direst hour of need.
As Playingthegame sits on his broom bench next to Jenny Wren’s memorial, his revere is interrupted by a familiar “Ahem, ahem.” He turns to see Seeker coming from the opening into the Museum of Tales. He is his larger Gnome size of 4 ft 8 inches tall and is carrying the Fairy Tale Book. When he sees the puzzled look on PTG’s face, he merely shrugs and says, “Our leader sent me back for the book of tales. …. But, what are YOU doing here?”
PTG starts to explain what his Crow told him when he is interrupted…….. “Well, yes …. Nasty business, that. Impossible to foresee. Impossible to prevent. (We have been watching from our new land, so we are aware of all that is happening here.)”
“Seems to me you have 2 choices ….. You can either drown in sorrow or buck up and take advantage of all she did while she was here:
1. She provided an additional vessel for your escape…. A fine Flying Boat with an Undetectable Extension Charm so all will fit inside and quite comfortably, I might add. (Oh, and unknown to you, but that Flying Boat also is “self repairing” ….. so it cannot be destroyed like Skull Pete’s boat.)
2. She has distracted Adrian with her departure …. He thinks he has won, so he will probably not do much today. HOWEVER, he will soon realize that she did NOT answer his question, nor give him any hint as to where she stashed the boat. I reckon it will take him until tomorrow to figure that out, being the bright boy he is and all. And when he does, the “search” will NOT be pretty!
So, IF I WERE YOU, I would get my people, supplies, and animals on the Flying Boat …… then I would send out the EMPTY blimp as a decoy to distract Adrian (for he will surely see it and destroy it). Then as soon as the decoy is sent, I would use that there ring of yourn to make the Flying Boat invisible (You DO remember how to do that, don’t you?) and “get the h*** out of Dodge.” And get out TOMORROW!
But ……. That’s just what I would do….. YOU gotta make up your own mind."
With that, Seeker switched the book to his other arm and calmly strolled off between the White and Red Rose Bushes and the Seven Dwarves into the background forest.
The next time my eyes open, I find myself on a tropical beach. The sun is bright and the air, water and sand are warm. I decide to swim and go to take my cloths off only to discover that they are already gone. Shrugging my shoulders, I head into the clear blue waters for a swim.
As I get out of the water, I suddenly am wearing clothing again and they are soaking wet. Sighing, I walk onto the beach and head for a hammock that vanishes before me. So much for drying off that way.
I decide to take a walk up the beach. Suddenly, I hear sounds and head in the direction they appear to be coming from. In a clearing, I come across a village inhabited by ferrets and not just any ferrets. These ferrets were wearing tutu’s and dancing around a fire as well as doing other things. Suddenly I had to do a double take, Cash and Wickerbat were there leading the dancing wearing fruit hats and tutu’s. As I watch, Buddy comes out of a hut also in a tutu and he frolics with the ferrets.
I just stand there watching as I can’t believe what I am seeing. When I look down, My clothes go from sensible to tropical. I am wearing coconuts and a grass skirt. Then, the dream ends.
Hearing heavy sobbing behind him, Seeker stops, turns around, and walks back to PTG. He sets the book down on the ground and sits next to PTG on the broom bench. Placing his arm around the grieving man’s shoulder, he speaks (with a considerable more gentleness):
“There is a time for life and a time for death. When someone departs, those who are left behind should not grieve their passing, but celebrate their life and all they did. It was your Godmother’s choice; her last act of love for you and your friends.” Waiting for a reply, and getting none ……. Seeker continues…
“Look, I don’t HAVE to get this book back today…… I can go back with you to help with the evacuation …. Well, that is, if you want me to.”
SEEKER AND PTG COME INTO THE TEA ROOM. PTG SITS DOWN HEAD IN HIS HANDS. SEEKER LOOKS AROUND. THERE IS NOT MUCH LEFT TO MOVE. KATT SITS A CUP OF STRONG TEA IN FRONT OF PTG. SEEKER ASKS HER IF HE COULD GET SOMETHING TO EAT. KATT GOES INTO THE KITCHEN. I CROSS TO THE TABLE. YOUR NAME IS SEEKER I ASK THE GNOME. YES, HE REPLIES. YOU TOLD PTG TO SEND OUT AN EMPTY BLIMP TO DRAW ANY FIRE AS WE USE THE FLYING BOAT TO LEAVE. HE LOOKED SURPRISED. PTG'S AMULET WAS OPEN SO I HEARD THE CONVERSATION. SORRY, I WAS WORRIED WHEN HE LEFT. POE MY RAVEN HEARD HIS CROW TELL HIM OF HIS GODMOTHER'S DEATH.
YOU SAID YOU WOULD HELP US GET LOADED, YES HE SAID. WE HAVE A PROBLEM. BEFORE THE FLYING BOAT WAS SENT HERE AND HIDDEN MOST OF THE PEOPLE GOING WITH US AND OUR PETS AND MOST OF OUR SUPPLIES WERE PUT ON THE AIRSHIP. WE NOW NEED TO UNLOAD IT AND PUT EVERYTHING SUPPLIES, ANIMALS AND PEOPLE ON THE FLYING BOAT. I WILL SEND NIX MY FIRE ROOSTER THE ELVES KNOW HIM AND POE, MY RAVEN,WITH A NOTE TO THE PERSON WHO OFFERED US THE AIRSHIP TO LET THEM KNOW WE HAVE TO MOVE EVERY LAST THING ON THE AIRSHIP TO THE FLYING BOAT. MY FRIENDS SOME ELVES ARE ALSO ON THE AIRSHIP. THEIR HOMES AND TOWN WAS DESTROYED THEY ARE COMING WITH US, TO START OVER. WILL YOU GO WITH POE, AND NIX AND SEE TO THE SHIFTING OF GOODS, PETS, AND PEOPLE. NOTHING CAN BE LEFT ON THE AIRSHIP.
THEN I REACHED INTO MY POCKET AND TOOK OUT SEVERAL BOTTLES OF FOG POWDER. THIS MIGHT COME IN HANDY.
SEEKER TOOK THE BOTTLES. THEN HE LOOKED AT ME. YES, LADY I WILL DO THIS, KATT CAME FROM THE KITCHEN WITH A HUGE SANDWICH SOME COOKIES, AND A MUG OF TEA. SAT THEM IN FRONT OF SEEKER.
I TURNED TO LEAVE, THEN ASKED DO YOU THINK ANY OF THE GNOME BUILDERS WILL COME WITH US OR WILL THEY BE WHERE WE ARE GOING? HE DID NOT ANSWER HE WAS EATING AND THAT WAS WHERE IS CONCENTRATION WAS. I WENT BACK TO MY CHAIR. CHECKED MY CARPET BAG TO MAKE SURE PRECIOUS AND SAM WERE OK. I SAT.
KATT HAD SET A NEW CUP OF COFFEE ON THE TABLE WITH SOME SHORTBREAD COOKIES.
I SAT AND SIPPED THE COFFEE AND MUNCHED A COOKIE. THEN CALLED POE AND NIX TO THE TEA ROOM. NIX, WOULD NOT GO WITH THE REST OF THE PETS WHEN THEY WERE LOADED. AND POE WAS ON THE ROOF KEEPING AN EYE ON THE SURROUNDING.
I ASKED ANGEL FOR A SMALL PIECE OF PAPER AND A PENCIL. WROTE THE NOTE TO THE PERSON ON THE AIRSHIP. TIED IT TO POE'S LEG. THEN OPENED THE AMULET TO HIM AND NIX TOLD THEM WHAT TO DO. THEN WE SAT AND WAITED FOR SEEKER TO FINISH HIS MEAL.
I am awoken by a gentle nudge to my knee by my beautiful unicorn. Yes, she is mine now as she hasn't left my side since I arrived here. I still have no recollection of who I am, how I got here or where I am. All I know is I have a huge goose egg on my head!
I shake my head and see a glorious midnight blue raven perched on my unicorn's back! She is friendly and gives me a note with her beak. To the owner of the blimp: "URGENT - CHANGE OF PLAN" I quickly read the rest of the note - it is signed CHARLIE.
I believe I understand the new plan, and it is a cunning one! Let's see, transfer, pets, elves and supplies from the blimp to the flying boat (check), disperse fog powder (check), untie blimp (check), take off in the flying boat (check, check and check)!
When next my eyes open, I find myself in a Forrest with Grim standing over me. She appears to be speaking but for some reason I can hear no words. She steps back as I get up. Once I am standing she turns and starts walking so I follow. I have to be quick to keep up with her.
Suddenly she disappears down a hole. Knowing it is probably a mistake, I follow her in anyway. We traverse a long tunnel and suddenly she vanishes and I find myself blocked. For me, the tunnel ends with no where to go, not even up or down. Thinking that I missed something, I turn around and find that blocked as well. “Great, what do I do now?” I ask myself. “Only 1 thing to do” I conclude and call up my trusted Crowbar.
Only instead of it being the 3 foot long thing it should be, it is now 6 inches long. I try to use it but it is useless, it would take me years to get out so I sit down in defeat.
Just after I close my eyes to think I find myself transported elsewhere, or so it seems. It looks like I am on another tropical island but I can still feel the dirt floor and wall. Looking around I notice something that doesn’t look right, a rock on a box. I approach it and swear that I can hear a call for help. I lift the rock then the box and a faerie appears.
The vision and the dream both end and I wake. I am slouched in my chair and my book is on the floor. The animals stop their play and look at me expectantly. That is when I realize that my adventure has all been a series of dreams within dreams.
I look over at Grim and she is still sleeping so,I get up and go over to her. “Grim, we really need you to up.” I say speaking quietly to her. “We are leaving here soon and it would be easier if you were awake.” There is a groan and she turns over but doesn’t wake. I get the feeling that she is near waking but that I should leave her alone.
Knowing that we need to get out and get some air, I collect Cash, Wickerbat and Buddy. As we head for the door, Doc Poppet comes in. I tell him about Grim’s reaction. He is happy to hear it but it doesn’t mean much unless she fully wakes. I leave him to do what he needs to and take the animals outside. They run to the pet enclosure and head first to do their business and then to get water and food. I leave them to play while I take a walk around the outside of it for the exercise.
When they are ready, we head back into the tea room where I get a snack and some water. When we head to Grim’s room to check on her, the doc is gone and a Grim is still sleeping. However, something feels different, as though the atmosphere in the room has changed. Then it hits me, it seems peaceful and Grim seems to be sleeping more peacefully. There is hope yet that she will soon wake.
I put my book away just as PTG comes in check on Grim. “How is she doing.” He asks.
”Still sleeping but more peacefully,” I answer. “Is it time to go yet.”
”Amost.” He sits on the vacated chair and says no more. I take the animals into the tea room to wait with the others.