CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTY-FIVE
“Oh that’s much better, thank you Marigold,” Callisto said.
“You have a tiny butt, Jill,” Mari said. “She just needed a little more room.”
Callisto laughed. Mari grinned.
“Now, Mari,” Callisto said. “Do you still have that gem that falls off the Princess Blade?”
“It still falls off,” Mari said. “The Templar weapons master . . . Have you met him?”
Callisto shook her head.
“He tried to fix it, but it still won’t stay on,” Mari said.
“May I have it?” Callisto asked.
“Sure,” Mari said.
She took out the Princess Blade. As she did, a large blue stone fell off.
“I don’t remember it being this color,” Callisto said.
“It changes color,” Mari said. “I don’t know why.”
“Where are the children?” Callisto asked.
“They are in their room,” Jill said. “They were terrified last night. They didn’t get much sleep. They’re sleeping in. Should I wake them?”
“I would appreciate it if you did,” Callisto said.
Callisto and Mari began to chat in a language that Jill didn’t know. She went across the loft to wake Paddie and Katy. It took a few minutes, but she returned with the children.
“I am Callisto,” she said to Paddie and Katy. “I am here to protect you through the coming adventure.”
“Are those real snakes?” Paddie asked. He looked at Mari and asked, “Can I have snake hair?”
“This is the owner of the Sword of Truth?” Callisto asked with a grin.
“I don’t own her,” Paddie said. “I take care of her.”
“You are so right, little man,” Callisto said. “May I see the Vanquisher, young lady?”
“I’m Katy,” the little girl said. “Why do you want my sword?”
“I have something that belongs on it,” Callisto said.
“You’re kidding, right?” Mari asked.
Callisto shook her head. Katy opened her hand and the sword appeared.
“This stone belongs . . .” Callisto held out the stone. It floated across the room and latched onto a space on the Vanquisher. “There. How does it feel?”
“Heavier,” Katy said. “More powerful.”
“It is more powerful,” Callisto said with a smile. “The stone was taken from the sword to put on Princess Marigold’s sword. I’m sure the Vanquisher is delighted to have her back.”
“Why was it taken?” Paddie asked.
“They thought it would transfer the power of the Vanquisher to the Princess Blade,” Callisto said. “It didn’t. You can’t mix and match powerful objects. But we’ll see that soon.”
“Do you have to leave right away?” Jill asked.
Callisto shook her head.
“Let’s have some lunch,” Jill said. “We’ll all feel better when we eat.”
“Sounds good to me,” Callisto said. “It will give me some time to get to know the children. We will have to rely on each other during our journey.”
“I always rely on Paddie,” Katy said.
“I rely on Katy,” Paddie said.
“Good,” Callisto said. “You can both rely on me. I will not ever let you down.”
Katy looked deeply into Callisto’s eyes before nodding.
Jill walked over to the small kitchen. Mari, Callisto, Katy, and Paddie took stools at the counter. Jill made simple sandwiches which they ate with chips and fruit. By the end of the meal, Jill felt as if she was fast friends with Callisto. She knew that Paddie and Katy felt like they were as well.
For the first time in all of the months that Jill knew this stupid quest was coming, Jill finally felt like everything, including her precious daughter, was going to be all right.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday...