“If you will, I would like to be introduced to all of you,” the Elder asked.
The children took turns in introducing themselves. Gabbie made an elaborate speech, including showing off the little silver ring she won from a book contest that she always wore on her right pointer finger. Ginger only spoke of her name and would not say anything more. Zane showed off his sketchbook while Lila pointed to her favorite pair of shoes that her Great Grandpa gifted her before he passed away. Alastair clutched his silver watch that was still stuck at the time where the children became lost. He wearily held the item out, since this had turned into a game of show and tell.
“Very lovely, Alastair,” The Elder said. He nodded, taking in each and every child with the same type of intensity one would bestow an adult. Alastair thought of his own father who treated them the same way.
It was at that time that Kimber came into the room to deliver her haul of treats and drinks. On the trolley were multiple platters of sweet and sandwiches. Pots of what smelled like tea sat with cozies wrapped around the porcelain to keep the warm liquid hot. Kimber poured the company a cup of tea each into large saucers. She placed a pastry filled with fruit and a triangular cut sandwich in front of everyone except the Elder, who held out his hand.
“Just tea please, thank you dear.” He indicated that Kimber should leave. “I’ll let you know more details of this meeting once everything is sorted. Thank you for the refreshments.”
Kimber bowed, smiled at Zane, and left.
Alastair took a hesitant sip of tea when he saw Tipper down his in one gulp. The drinks weren’t poisoned at least. The tea warmed his stomach and teased his taste buds.
“This tastes like apples,” Lila pondered. “But, it’s not really apple. I can’t tell.” Lila wrinkled her nose and took another long gulp of the tea. She rolled the taste around her mouth but still couln’t give anyone an answer.
“Ah, apples,” the Elder mused in a knowing way. He smiled and his white eyes twinkled. “This tea has been boiled with dried ringa fruit. Very similar to your apples, but I’m afraid not quite the same.” He chuckled and sipped at his ringa tea and then placed the saucer onto his end table. “Thank you, young lady. I now have a better picture of where you lot may have come from.”
“They’re obviously half Lived Beings. What else can they be?” Tipper pointed out. He bit off the pastry’s crescent shape tip and swallowed. “Even though their ears are rounded, I can’t see a way around it.”
“Honestly,Tipper, I told you not to say that,” Perceval sighed. The fox creature lapped at his ringa tea.
“No, no. I can see why you may think this,” the Elder said. “Seeing as we have believed that there has been no Rift in at least fifty years.”