CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTY-FOUR
Thursday early morning — 4:12 a.m.
Katy Roper Marlowe woke up in her own bed in the Castle. Sitting straight up, she looked around the room. There was a little boy’s tufted of white hair sticking out of his blankets in the bed next to hers.
“Paddie?” Katy asked.
Paddie’s head moved up and down causing the blankets to move.
“I’m ’fraid to get up,” Paddie said. “In case, we’re somewhere scary.”
“We’re not,” Katy said. “We’re in my room at home.”
“Are you little again?” Paddie asked.
“Yes,” Katy said. “You look like you are too.”
“Okay,” Paddie said.
“I’m going to see my Mommy,” Katy said.
“I’m going with you,” Paddie said.
Katy ran out of the bedroom with Paddie on her heels. They ran across the loft to Katy’s parents room.
“Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” Katy said.
Wide awake, Jill and Jacob sat straight up. Katy crawled across the bed toward her mother. Paddie stood on the side of the bed until Jacob grabbed him and pulled him onto the bed too. Jacob lay back down.
“What’s happened?” Jill asked.
“We grew up!” Katy said. “Me and Paddie were married and living in New York.”
“I was a doctor,” Paddie said.
“I was a museum curate,” Katy said. “But I don’t know what that is.”
“We were very happy,” Paddie said.
“Sounds like a beautiful dream,” Jill said with a yawn. “Shall we cuddle a bit before we have to get up?”
“It wasn’t a dream!” Katy said. “We were really there.”
Jill shook the sleep from her head.
“What?” Jill asked. She reached across and shook Jacob’s shoulder. “Jake?”
Jacob’s eyes popped open.
“What’s up?” Jacob asked.
Jill nodded to Katy.
“The kids were taken out of their beds and moved into the future,” Jill said. “What did you do?”
“We called Auntie Heather,” Katy said.
“But she didn’t come as Auntie Heather so we called Hedone and she. . .” Paddie said.
The Goddess of Love, Hedone, was standing at the foot of the bed. No matter what she actually looked like, Jill always saw her good friend Heather under the glow and the gold dress and perfect hair. Jill smiled at her friend. Of course, her friend would come to help Katy.
“Oh, good, you’re awake,” Hedone said.
“Is what they are saying true?” Jacob asked. “Not a dream.”
“No dream,” Hedone said. “In fact, if I had to wager a guess, Katy and Paddie had prepared for their younger selves to come visit them. They put a bunch of cheesy photographs of everyone on their walls so that when Katy and Paddie arrived they would see them.”
“We looked at those!” Katy said.
“Katy was very beautiful,” Paddie said, shyly.
“Paddie was huge,” Katy said.
“I was handsome,” Paddie said.
Jill shot Jacob a worried look.
“What do we need to do?” Jacob asked.
“The truth is that we cannot wait any longer to go find this stupid hoard,” Hedone said. “The longer we wait, the more risk for the children.”
“Who would have done such a thing?” Jill asked.
“I think the question is when did someone do this thing?” Hedone asked. “This hoard has been missing for a long time. The prophecy has been told a long time ago. Someone, anyone really, could have sent their child selves to their older selves anytime between when the prophecy was made and now.”
“Why would they do that?” Jacob asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...