Jefferson Middle School newsletter
Chapter Sixty Nine: In Which Rose Remembers
Snow was getting a little dizzy by the time she had gotten to the portal room. With all the excitement and danger that had been going on, and also considering the fact she hadn’t slept at all that night, she was just about ready to pass out. But of course, her brain didn’t let her, insisting that she would not be a burden to everybody else and that she needed to be there to help rescue Flake.
Somehow Jack seemed completely alive and animated, though she was pretty sure he hadn’t slept at all either. Flint was, of course, up and running, which was normal considering he had a very long sleep before, and Rose- well, Snow could never tell what that girl was thinking. Maybe because she couldn’t talk? But her expression seemed to be the same every time Snow looked- like she was constantly thinking about a very serious matter. Which maybe she was. Since the things that had been happening did seem very serious. But was she ever surprised? Scared? Nervous?
Snow felt a little like all three as she stood next to the door in the portal room. She had a lot to worry about, and it didn’t seem like she could do anything to prevent them. Like she was useless. But then again, she was too scared she’d mess up to actually try to be useful. So instead of being more productive, she was stuck with making sure Flint didn’t run into the portal (which was harder than it sounded).
“Jack? Did you find the key to the door yet?” Snow asked. Jack was sifting through his ring of keys, trying to find the right one to unlock the door.
“Um… yes! This is the one…” He unlocked the door with a click. “Remember the plan? I’m go in with the invisibility cloak…”
She nodded. “Yes, I know. But what do we do with Flint? Leave him here?”
Jack thought about it for a moment. “...yeah, leaving him here is fine.”
“But he’ll run into the portal or something!”
“I’m sorry, but if you have any other ideas, you can put the into action as long as it doesn’t interfere with the plan.” Jack put on the cloak and vanished. The door opened, and a brief second later, it closed.
“He’s gone,” Flint said matter of factly.
“Rose, do you hear anything interesting?” Snow said. Rose was leaning against the door, in hope that she might hear anything important. She nodded.
Snow sat on the ground and tapped her fingers on the floor in nervousness. “Is it bad news? Did Jack already get caught? Do we have to go in?” Rose thought for a moment, then shook her head.
Snow yawned and leaned her head against the wall. Stay awake, Snow, she thought. Get it together. Keep your emotions in check. Everything will be okay in a few minutes.
Jack crouched down in a corner of the room, hugging the cloak to his chest and holding his breath. He could see the scene clearly: his dad, with a surgeon’s mask on, feeding some powder something into Windy, who was unconscious on a bed that looked like the kind of bed you’d see at the doctor’s. In fact, the whole room looked like a room in a hospital, with the hospital beds and the cabinets that were full of medicines and the doctor’s swivel chair and a pen and the folder under the pen that held the patient records and the big comfy seat that looked like it belonged at the dentist’s place. Flake was sitting on that seat, which was faced away from Jack so he couldn’t tell whether he was awake or not.
His attention was more focused on Chief Alya, who was sitting on a nice sitting chair to the side. Sticking with the doctor analogy, Jack would say she looked like one of those mothers bringing their kids to a checkup and sat around in the sitting room being bored, thinking about all the things they could be doing other than this. By this point, Jack knew she was in some way in league with his dad, though he wasn’t sure how, exactly. What was in it for her? As far as he knew about the chief, (which wasn’t very much), Chief Alya doesn’t make alliances with just anyone, and she rarely gets pleased by things. Maybe it’s something about the portal? She was unusually eager to praise it before.
After speculating about Chief Alya, his attention turned to his dad. What was going in that head of his? Before all this, Jack thought he knew all lot about him, but apparently that wasn’t the case at all. Who was he? A sorcerer in disguse? Working to create some portal, but for what? To go where?
“There. She should be fine.” Jack’s dad stepped away from Windy and put down the bag of powder that he was feeding her on the countertop. “She should wake up in a few hours.”
“A few hours.” Chief Alya looked bored. “You will finish everything by that time, correct?”
He went over to where Flake was. “Yes, but this boy seems to be not cooperating well, so it might delay-”
“Not cooperating? Tell me, how can you cooperate or not cooperate when you are unconscious? Stop making excuses.” Chief Alya folded her arms.
He pursed his lips and and got a pill from the cabinet. “Be patient.”
Is he going to feed that pill to Flake? What if the pill is poisonous? Jack thought nervously. Should I stop him? No. Stick to the plan and follow the codes. He softly knocked on the door once. Oh, I hope Rose is listening.
Rose did happen to be listening, very intently. Much like Snow, she wanted to be useful, and she decided the best way to do that is to eavesdrop on the conversation and try to pick up things that Jack wouldn’t notice. And when she heard the soft tap on the door, remembering the plan, she was fast to tap back.
On the other side of the door, Jack held his breath. This was the riskiest part of the plan, the part where you had to react in the moment. He stabilized himself, getting ready to do anything.
The door swung open. His dad and Chief Alya both turned to look. That was when, very dramatically, Rose stepped in.
“WHAT?!” Chief Alya shrieked. (Rose, hearing her in the conversation, wasn’t all that surprised she was here.) “It’s that- that bothersome child I was talking to you about!”
“You mean Rose?” John looked amused.
Rose looked around for a writing utensil. She grabbed a pen which was on the table and ripped out a piece of paper from a folder on the table. What did you do to Windy and what are you going to do to Flake? she wrote. It seemed like the most straightforward question she could think of.
“A number of things, actually.” He still had that amused look on his face. Rose didn’t remember saying anything amusing in the least. “You can sit down and watch, if you wish.”
What’s that pill? she asked, pointing to the little black pill he was holding.
“Oh, this? I would explain it to you, but you wouldn’t understand.”
Jack crouched down. What was Rose doing? Stalling? For what? Maybe she was expecting him to do something? Like take the pill? How could he?
Can I see it? Rose wrote.
He laughed. “You wish. Do you really think-” Right at that moment, Rose made a swinging grab at the pill, but missed.
“Oh no, you didn’t.” John put his hand in the air, holding up the pill where Rose couldn’t reach.
“Kids these days. Always getting into trouble and meddling with serious affairs,” Chief Alya sniffed.
Jack decide to jump in at that moment. He threw off his invisibility cloak, jumped, and tried to grab the pill. He did, but he knocked violently into Rose, whose head hit the counter painfully, causing the powder on the counter to spill on her head. All the while, Chief Alya was screaming due to seeing another bothersome child (especially one who appeared out of thin air), and John was looking surprised and annoyed, amused expression gone.
Rose was coughing out powder. What is this- Then she started getting dizzy. What is this powder? What happened? Why do I always get into bad situations…
John’s eyes widened. “No. Oh no, this is not good, GET THAT POWDER OFF RIGHT-”
Rose blanked out.
Jack panicked. Out of all the situations he’d imagined, Rose knocking her head on the counter, inhaling powder and falling unconscious was not one of them. “What happened? Why is she like that?” he asked frantically.
John was too busy mumbling to himself to answer any questions. “This is bad… maybe she’ll wake up in an hour and then it’ll be fine… no, she inhaled a lot… probably going to wake in a minute…”
“She’ll wake up in a minute?” Jack asked hopefully.
Being to distracted by Rose’s current state, he didn’t notice Chief Alya grabbing the pill in his hand until it was too late.
“Here.” She forced John to hold the pill. “Hurry up. The obnoxious girl is gone, you should just continue whatever you’ve been doing, why are you just standing there and mumbling?”
He glared at the chief. “It isn’t that simple. You see, that powder can-”
“I don’t want to listen to your stupid blathering and just GET ON WITH IT!” Chief Alya yelled.
Right at that moment, Rose opened her eyes.
“Rose!” Jack exclaimed stepping to her. “Are you okay-”
“I remember,” she said breathlessly.
Jack stopped in surprise. “When could you talk?”
Ignoring Jack, she stared at John. “I remember everything.”
“Rose? Are you okay?” Jack asked, quite confused. “What happened?”
She looked at him. “I have something to tell you. In fact, a lot of things.”
“Right now?” he asked.
She nodded. “But first open the door and let Snow and Flint in. We have to end this now.”