Day 9


“I know this is where the signal ends,” the man said, man for what the children settled on calling him. The man glared at the network of purple fuzzed vines. A creature the size of a house cat curled around the man’s legs and opened it mouth.

“I think we found the source of your prophecy, Tipper,” the creature exclaimed plain as day.

The man’s head shot up, and his eyes fell directly upon the five children. The man’s eyes were golden. Not just the type of word used to over beautify brown eyes, no. His were the molten gold of Egyptian tombs funneled down into perfect orbs. These eyes were slit like a lion’s and flecked with shadows.

“Children? My prophecy was all about children?” The man groaned. He put his hands on his hips and rolled his shoulders. A tawny tail swished from side to side from his backside, and with the children looking at this tail, they also saw that the man’s feet weren’t a human’s feet. They were the feet of an overgrown fox, paw pads, claws, and everything else included. It was at that moment that the children figured out what the smaller creature resembled—a fox. That is, if a fox had four eyes.

“Oh, come on now. They’re cute,” the fox creature cooed. Alastair felt odd to be called cute be an animal he would have usually called the same. The fox creature trotted closer to the children and, what was it doing? It might have been smiling, but its two rows of needle teeth in both its upper and lower jaws was more unnerving than friendly. “It sure is lovely to see you.”

“Milandra’s prophecy was to save the three ring mountain range from from a Talicore. Haseem’s prophecy made him go clear across the Fog Desert and defeat the Batal terrorizing the budding colony. But me? Me? Looks like I have to babysit some kids.” The man closed his eyes as if in immense pain. He then followed the fox creature, getting closer and closer.

“Hush you. You remember that Noddy’s prophecy was to fill a teacup, yes? At least yours isn’t that mundane like half of the others.”

“Hmphf.”

“Now, to the matter at hand.” The fox creature gave the kids a once over. They hadn’t moved an inch and weren’t going to start now. “My name is Perceval. Like it or not, I am this bafoon’s familiar.” The fox creature named Perceval flicked its fluffy brown tail over to the still disgruntled man.

“Name’s Tipper,” the man sighed.

“We followed the Network Vines to your location. Is there anything we can help you with?” Perceval asked. The children did not say a single word. Alastair still had his arms spread wide to keep the other kids from being hurt. His heart still thumped a while beat. At the moment, there was nothing to say. What did one say to a fox creature claiming to be a man’s familiar in a perfectly well dictated matter?

“Umm,” croaked Zane from behind the group. He cleared his throat and poked his head around Alastair’s shoulder. “Excuse me, there is something you can help us with.” The boy walked over to be side to side with Alastair. Ginger hissed for her brother to come back, but he completely ignored her. “How in the world are we speaking the same language?”

“I dunno. Are we not supposed to be speaking the same language?” Tipper asked.

“What do you mean you don’t know? You’re the adult,” Lila quipped. Tipper observed Lila, and she immediately hid behind Gabbie.

“Sure, I’m an adult, but adults don’t know everything y’know.”

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