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   Chapter 21 Keeper of the Crossroads

Keeper of the Crossroads By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 8703

Updated: 2018-03-13 11:00

Chapter 21

Jamie blinked sleep out of his eyes and tried to focus. Even without the extra hidden floor showing, his room was far enough off the ground that it would be hard to reach. For a moment the mental math of figuring out how far above the ground he actually was made his head swim. He shook the numbers away.

"Unless you were a giant you couldn't reach, " Jamie said thinking of his dream. He swung his legs over the side of the bed. The tapping continued. "Maybe it is a tree, " he muttered rubbing his face as he walked toward the window. Outside he could hear the sounds of the wind picking up. It made a rushing sound as it blew through the forest. Jamie had always liked that sound. It made him feel as though he were in the middle of an enchanted forest from a fairy tale. Tonight it made him feel isolated.

"And of course it is an enchanted forest, more or less." He peered out of the window as a small rock hit the glass. "Not a tree then." His eyes focused beyond the glass and there fluttering in the wind was a fairy. Jamie blinked and stared. She didn't change. The night made her seem to be made up of subtle shades of gray rather than the many colors in the book Albe had left him. She carried a small sack that appeared to be full of pebbles. She looked at Jamie and spoke but he couldn't hear through the glass. She seemed to be having a hard time keeping steady in the wind. Jamie opened the window.

"Good evening Keeper, " The voice was light and airy and nearly lost in the wind.

"Good evening, May I help you?" He asked feeling slightly ridiculous as he was fairly certain she had not stopped by to ask directions or to use the telephone.

"I am Longrin of the Fedalas line and I have been sent with a message from Queen Genivia for you Keeper."

"Really, " Jamie said. The small fairy was panting with the effort of holding herself and her bag of rocks steady in the wind and looked nothing like a royal messenger. "Won't you come in?" He wondered if he was in any danger from the small fairy, but decided to risk it. Her wings were straining against the wind and she was starting to dip lower. She was nearly even with the windowsill. He noticed she curled up her feet in order to avoid contact with the house until he offered an invitation.

"After all, " he thought as she landed on the window sill. "Any longer in the wind and she is likely to collapse from exhaustion." The small fairy walked in the window and seemed relieved to set her bag down. A gust blew in through the open window and threatened to tumble her to the floor. He wondered i

of the safety of the house or it could be a problem the fairies usually expected the Keeper to deal with. Jamie was still hazy about what his new job as Keeper entailed.

"I don't even know how trustworthy fairies are, " he said. "I suppose I could talk to Del about it in the morning." Jamie wondered if the brownie would insist on coming with him. He didn't think he could resist going. "If I go thinking it might be a trap I'll be on guard." He reassured himself as he lay back down. He tried shutting his eyes. The crackle of the fire was soothing and the wind seemed less lonely but sleep would not come. Jamie sat back up. He crossed the room and pulled the fire grate away from the front of the fire.

Using the pokers and extra wood he punched up the fire until it was again blazing. Jamie slid one of his sketchpads out of his bag and picked up a pencil. Sitting cross legged on the floor in front of the fire he began to draw. The first sets of drawings were of Longrin. He especially liked her exasperated looks as she blew her hair from her face. It made her seem more real and less tinkerbell like. After a while his dream began to intrude and Jamie found himself sketching the face of the man with the odd semi-circular scar. Rain began to patter against the glass as the wind blew a storm in.

Jamie wondered if the rain would erase what the queen wanted him to see. Jamie made notes next to the scarred man about the hooded cloaks and their movements through the woods. Eventually his eyes began to droop. With a sigh, he put his notepad down, replaced the fire grate in front of the blaze so that a flying ember would not set the house ablaze, and crawled into bed. His sleep was mercifully dreamless.

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