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   Chapter 38 Keeper of the Crossroads

Keeper of the Crossroads By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 9055

Updated: 2018-03-13 11:09

Chapter 38

"How may I be of assistance, " Jamie asked the lead fairy, Denas. A breeze set the tree limbs waving and the three fluttering fairies seemed to have trouble staying balanced in one spot. "Perhaps we could go up to the house?" Jamie suggested remembering that fairies were sensitive about their size and standing in the world and demanded courtesy. "Perhaps with tea in the parlor?" Denas frowned at him as though she were not expecting that response. She shook off her frown and smiled coquettishly at him.

"That will not be necessary Keeper, " She said. "The assistance our chieftain requires is better seen before it is dealt with. If you would follow me, it won't take long." Without waiting for an answer she turned and fluttered off towards the woods. Jamie shrugged and followed the trio. He hoped it would not take long enough that Del would start to worry over his absence.

Thankfully they stuck to an established path rather than gliding between trees. Jamie was grateful for the consideration, but as the path was somewhat overgrown he still ended up with scratches on his arms as he tried to keep up.

Even though Denas and her friends could easily fit in the palm of his hand, they moved so fast it was like chasing a hummingbird. He was out of breath when they finally stopped in a small clearing. Several fallen logs were arranged around the clearing, roughly forming a circle. There was one smaller log placed in the center and on this log stood another fairy, a male this time. Denas fluttered up to him and took her seat to his right. To Jamie's eyes they shared a similarity that marked them as family.

"Greetings to the Chieftan of the Hestwalana line, " Jamie said, taking a guess. The man looked startled, his wings folding closed quickly making him look like a butterfly had perched on his back. He opened his wings again slowly. Jamie wondered if this was a nervous tic like biting fingernails or if it had some significance Albe's teachings had not yet revealed. Realizing he was towering over the fairies, Jamie took a seat, Indian style, on the ground.

"Greetings Keeper Fulton, " the chieftain said.

"I was told you needed my assistance?"

"Yes, " was the reply. "I'm afraid I do. It is rather unfortunate actually." The last sounded a bit rueful but before Jamie could comment, he felt a tickling on the back of his hand. Jamie looked down to see a string lying across the back of his hand. He noticed several more that appeared to have fallen around him. He had not felt them as they were as light as spider silk and had landed on his clothing instead of his bare skin.

"What..." He began but was cut off when all of the strings tightened

not go well."

"No it wouldn't go well at all, Janerous." Came a female voice from the side. The chieftain, Janerous, spun around at the sound of the voice. Jamie looked around and was in time to see all of the camouflaged fairies subdued by ones that appeared to be wearing some sort of military uniform.

A small contingency of the winged soldiers swarmed Janerous and Denas. Once they were subdued a female fairy with wings of silver and blue fluttered out from the tree cover. Her dress looked like liquid silver and moved almost like a living thing. Jamie recognized Queen Genivia from the images in the guidebook. He also knew he did not want it to look as though he had been rescued. Owing his life to her would not be a good thing.

"Queen Geniva, " Jamie began. She turned her attention to him, her face a mask of royal imperiousness. "As Keeper I do not get involved in internal disputes such as succession. I was asked here for assistance and as it is not my place, I feel I must leave."

"Of course, Keeper, " She said. "This is not your concern." Her tone was mocking and she looked as though she wanted to signal someone to cut him free.

"Then I bid you good day, " Jamie said. He stood and as he had suspected, with the straightening of his legs, the cords were loose enough to slide over his skin and fall to the ground. He twisted his arms and in a moment he was able to get free. The look of surprise was evident on all of the faces around him, regardless of what side they had taken. Jamie nodded once, stepped free from the cords and turned to walk back to the house.

"Luckily they aren't used to holding something of my size, " Jamie thought as he left the clearing and headed back to the house. "Good thing for me. I wonder what I should do about Michael?"

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