“So what can we do?” Alastair wondered aloud.
Ginger didn’t know. She didn’t have time to take back her knives. Alastair couldn’t do his time magic. Tipper couldn’t overdo the fire or else he would burn out without Perceval. She literally had nothing except her legs, pack, and phone.
All Ginger wanted was to play her games. Games didn’t require actual interaction with other people. She could control what happened, and if she died on a level, she practiced until she mastered every little element one hundred percent. Cell phone, computer, and console games had been what she turned to whenever life decided to turn treacherous. She watched game videos. She read game handbooks. Ginger understood games and games alone. Earth was hard enough to sort out. Why did she have to be here in a place where everything was upside down and…a sharp slice of fear slapped the side of her face.
Something happened to Gabbie.
Gabbie was scared. Scared of herself. And, what else? She felt confused. Very, very confused but at the same time happy.
Ginger stuck her hand into her jacket pocket out of habit. She had refused to get rid of her Earth clothes like the other children. Ginger kept every single piece including her dead cell phone. The girl felt the familiar buttons and smooth surfaces of the phone’s anatomy against her fingers and tried to concentrate. If Alastair counted on his father’s watch and Lila utilized her great grand-dad’s shoes…
“No, I don’t think so!” Malefa spat. Instead of using her enormous front fists to deliver a blow, she used the momentum of her arms like a pole and swung her body out. The woman was still very tall despite the size of her fists. Her feet connected with Alastair’s back knocking the boy up into the air. Alastair yelped and curled into a ball to protect his head. His back collided with a low hanging tree branch and he screamed in agony as he fell to the forest floor. His leg crumpled beneath him with a sickening snap.
“Now you can’t run,” Malefa said smugly.
“Alastair!” Tipper ran over to the unconscious boy and checked the boy’s vitals. “Still alive.”
“I meant what I said,” Malefa giggled. “I want to kill you slowly! I want you to learn a lesson!”
“Can you just stop being unoriginal?” Ginger growled. She had taken out her phone and held the screen close to her chest. “You sound like a goading villain in a bad book. I can’t stand listening to you!”
“You rather I just kill you? What an odd little girl. Little human child.” Malefa turned toward Ginger. “You are so fiery, little girl. Mayhap it be a waste to snuff you out. You could be a pet. My pet! You can lure the prey, a pretty thing like you.”
“Yeah, no. I don’t think so.” And without really knowing what exactly would happen next, Ginger clicked the power button on her phone and pointed the camera at Malefa.
A large screen appeared before Malefa. It floated and appeared to be the size of a movie theater screen. Ginger blinked. There was a smaller screen on her phone that resembled the darkened one hovering next to Malefa. A gray play button marked the middle of both screen. Ginger didn’t hesitate. She clicked the play button.
“What sort of sorcery is…” Malefa said when she was cut off.
The screen was playing a movie. There was a little girl on a boat holding her hat down on her head with a small, delicate hand. She watched the expanse of the ocean before her from the safety of the boat’s railing. A woman and man held her shoulders from behind as if they thought she would tip over and plummet into the frothing sea water.
“Where are we going, Mama? Papa?” The girl in the screen asked. She had pale blonde curls and bright blue eyes. Something about her was oddly familiar and it tickled the back of Ginger mind.
“To Soielle. Your Father’s business ventures…this is the only way we can be free, my love.” The woman on the screen wiped some of the dirt and salt away from the girl’s cheek with a yellow handkerchief embroidered with green flowers.
“This is only temporary. Once everything blows over in London, we should be alright to carry on as we did before,” the man commented. “We’ll be near the next predicted Rift soon. Hold on.
Malefa stared at the screen with her single eye bulging from its socket. Her perfect mouth was wide open and she was having trouble holding herself up with her fists.
Ginger knew it. The man and woman on the screen were Malefa’s parents, and that must mean Malefa must be human, too! But how was that possible? Malefa looked nothing like she had what must have been hundreds of years ago. The father said something about London, and the family was dressed in Victorian clothing, nothing that people today or even fifty years ago would still wear. How was Malefa still living, then? Ginger noticed that a skip button appeared on her screen. Did the button appear because she was curious, or was it a part of the magic’s transition? Feeling as though she was beyond understanding, Ginger clicked the skip button.
The scene of the three family members changed. There was a steady house bade of wood and rocks. The mother cooked food over a fire and the father spent most of his time away from the little house. The little girl Malefa wandered around her new home. As time passed in a flurry of fights between the mother and father and another person Ginger couldn’t quite make out, Malefa grew into a beautiful young woman. Young Malefa could climb trees and rocks and mountains with no fear. She teased her friends—the Kitsunes and other creatures Ginger had no name for yet. Young Malefa was happy.
The screen stopped on one scene.