Jefferson Middle School newsletter
Chapter Sixty: In Which Another Plan Is Hatched And Something Alarming Happens
When Snow regaled Flake with stories from when she was in the caves, she made it sound like she had a fantastic time there, talking animatedly about the things she saw and the games she played and how interesting everything looked. And while Flake loved to hear that she seemed perfectly fine, he was also worried that there might’ve been something wrong that he didn’t know about. What she was secretly poisoned or something? Or maybe she got some sort of curse? He wasn’t sure.
Dr. Blossoms kept on staring at him strangely, which did nothing to ease his worries. Finally, he asked what was wrong.
“You’re talking to her,” the doctor said, as if it was some strange phenomenon. “I’ve studied her before you came and… well, her voice is gone and yet it it as if you can still hear her. Which is impossible.” She leaned against the wall.
Flake stared at Dr. Blossoms, then at Snow, then back again. “Wait, what?”
“Wait, so Flake can hear me, but you can’t? And I thought I got my voice back again!” Snow said (or maybe she didn’t, Flake wasn’t sure and was getting quite confused).
“So… it’s like the Rose thing all over again?” Flake asked, mostly to himself.
“What?” Dr. Blossoms asked.
“No, it’s just… well, never mind,” Flake said. “But do you know how come she can’t talk?”
“Well, I did run a few tests, but her voice got removed. This involves a very precise and dangerous magic and it is especially difficult to remove one’s voice and preserve it so it is still intact and useful. There might be some side effects, but I haven’t noticed any yet, so there probably isn’t anything to worry about.”
Yeah, I feel fine, Snow said. Do you think the same thing happened to Flint and Windy? And is Flint going to wake up anytime soon?
Flake looked over to the sleeping figure in the cot next to Snow’s. “Probably. After all, it hasn’t been that long since you’ve woken up, he’ll probably wake tomorrow or something.”
“Okay, visiting time is over, please leave the room. It’s probably your bedtime right now, and besides, I must do more research,” Dr. Blossoms said, moving Flake out of the room. She shut the door behind him forcefully.
“Hey, Flake! I got an idea!” someone called from down the hall. It was Jack and he was looking really excited.
“What is it?” he asked.
“I was just thinking, we aren’t going to make any progress here, so why don’t we go back down in the caves again and gather more information?” Jack exclaimed.
Flake pursed his lips. “You know, I don’t think that’s a good idea…”
“No, it’s a great idea! I’m sure that Dad probably has many journals in the lab that might tell us exactly what he is doing! And we can rescue Snow, Windy, and Chief Alya, get some journals, then figure out what is going on!” Jack said. “I don’t know about you, but I’m sort of bored just being cooped up in here doing nothing. However, we need to escape by tomorrow, because tomorrow is when everybody is moving back to their separate kingdoms.”
“I don’t want to stay here doing nothing either, but I don’t think what you are suggesting will work. We might just end up making things worse, and then what?” Flake argued. “We should wait until Flint wakes up, then we’ll have more information. It shouldn’t be long until that happens.”
“But we don’t have any time! It’s night already, perfect time to sneak out. If we wait any longer then it’ll be too late!”
“Too late for me,” Flake said, “not for you. I mean, I don’t think you’ll be going to any other kingdom or anything. You’ll probably just stay here, giving you much more opportunities to leave.”
“So… you’re saying that I should go without you? Alone? That’ll be a suicide mission!” he exclaimed.
“I didn’t say that. Besides, it’ll probably be a suicide mission even if I join you. I’m not exactly a formidable partner.”
“Then I guess I’ll just go alone!” Jack stomped off. Flake looked at him leave. He wasn’t actually going to do it… right?
Jack wasn’t exactly being serious about doing alone, he just said that thinking that maybe he could guilt Flake into joining him or that he’d eventually see sense and decide to go. But after three hours of waiting in bed, he decided that it couldn’t wait. Maybe he could go to Flake’s room and ask him one more time whether he wanted to go? But he didn’t know where Flake’s room even was in this big house, and he didn’t feel like asking.
He would have to do this alone.
However, there were still many kinks in his plan he was still figuring out. One problem was making sure that his dad would never cross paths with him while he was sneaking around the caves. Jack could find no way to guarantee that he wouldn’t bump into him, and his best solution was to simply sneak past him with the invisibility cloak. But that wouldn’t work if Rose, Windy, and Chief Alya were with him, and they couldn’t possibly all go under the cloak.
And that was one of the simplest problems. There were also a million of other predicaments he could find himself in, and many other horrible things that could happen, but Jack preferred not to think about those.
Was this a bad idea? He refused to believe that either. It’s a better option than doing nothing, he told himself.
And then, forcing himself to relax, Jack went off into the night, with only a ring of keys and an invisibility cloak.
If Jack had known where Flake’s room was, a large number of things could have been avoided. But he didn’t, and he could have never had known at that moment, when he sneaked out of the window on the first floor, Flake was getting kidnapped.