Day 11


“Stay close, children. This may be a prairie, but you never know what may be lurking around without our knowledge,” Perceval explained. The fox creature trotted alongside the children while Tipper was at the front. They walked for a good five minutes in companionable silence. Perceval was right. There was nothing but whatever this world believed to be a prairie. However, if Alastair squinted, he could just make out greenery. That could mean that they were closer to a forest than what he originally believed. If something went wrong, maybe Alastair could direct the others away and into the forest.

“So, what’s up with all the prophecy talk? I don’t think I understand.” Gabbie was talking to Tipper’s back, and Perceval ended up answering the girl’s question.

“Within our clan, each and every member is given a prophecy at birth. No matter what, they must fulfill their prophecy in order to be considered a fully realized member of the clan.”

“How can everyone have a prophecy? Aren’t those suppose to be one of a kind? They’re all like—only the boy who was born with a skull’s birthmark on the third of July and who happens to like chocolate a great deal can defeat the crazy Apple King of Seedy Doom in the winds of a chilly December.” Zane wiggled his fingers and warbled his voice to dictate his view on prophecies.

“There can be those types of prophecies, true. Although I think what you’re referring to is the Pear King,” Perceval answered.

Zane and Lila exchanged glances. Was that a guest or genuine truth?

“If you’re lucky, you get a life threatening prophecy in which you end up saving the entire world.” Tipper kicked at one of the purple vines criss crossing the ground. “And if you’re not, you end up destined to fill a teacup so that when your Aunt chokes on a scone, she’ll have enough tea to clear her throat.”

“That did save her,” Perceval urged.

“It was a teacup. And now, now the culmination of my achievements will always be herding some strange kids to the village.”

“We don’t want to be here either, you know,” Ginger barked. She folded her arms on her chest.

“Just so we’re clear, and since it does concern us, what exactly is your prophecy? What did it say?” Alastair heard himself ask.

“Go on, Tipper. The boy is right. They should know,” said Perceval. After about a minute of walking, Tipper relented.

“On his twenty seventh year, he shall embark out of his safe haven, taking with him his courage. A courage he shall need to meet with his fate, and to follow through to his very last breath.”

“That’s super vague,” Ginger said.

“And ominous,” added Lila.

“How do you know that today was the day of your prophecy?” Zane wondered.

“And who would give you such an unclear message?” Alastair asked.

“What a bunch of ruthless kids,” Tipper grumbled. He put his hands on his hips, shook his head, and turned to look at each and every one of them. “Look here, how do you not know any of this? Our customs should be know clear across the world and back. If you’re playing at being dumb, then you can only go so far.”

“But Mr. Tipper, we’re not from here!” Gabbie pointed out.

“These kids. Trying to pull my tail. There hasn’t been a Rift in years and years,” Tipper mumbled to no one in particular.

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