Jefferson Middle School newsletter
Dr. Blossoms was supposed to be the best doctor (or healer, as they called it here) in the area, but Jack wasn’t sure why. So far she hadn’t done any real healing, just kept on taking notes and inspecting Snow and Flint, as well as asking Jack irrelevant questions. The questions were actually the only reason why he was allowed in the room. Everyone else was outside, pacing around the hallways of the Grand House where the Council of the Tree have offices and meeting rooms.
“So you said that the other girl had a headache and went unconscious?” she said, writing down things on her notepad. “Do you know anything natural that might have triggered it?”
Jack shook his head. “No… not that I knew of…”
“Did these two act odd before your father took them? Like, anything that seemed a bit off, like their appearance, or maybe their personality…”
Jack shook his head again. “They seemed perfectly fine.”
Dr. Blossoms nodded and wrote some more on her notepad. “And… you said you found a book? With… recipes, if my sources are correct?”
“Um, yeah.” Jack brought out the book that he’d been holding in his hands.
She took the book and skimmed over its pages, eyes widening in shock at different intervals. “Hmm… I see… quite dangerous…” she mumbled, scanning over the recipes. Finally, she put the book down. “Would you mind if I keep this? It seems to reveal a lot about what may have happened…”
Jack nodded. “Yeah, okay.”
“You may leave now.”
“Yep. I’ll go. Right now.” He hurried out of the room only to knock into Flake. “Oh, sorry!”
“I wasn’t eavesdropping!” Flake said hurriedly.
“I didn’t say you were.”
“It’s just that… um, I just happened to hear you talking about the headaches, and… I think it might interest you to know that I’ve had a headache once or twice, and fell unconscious both times,” he said. “I don’t know whether that’s important, but-”
“Are you kidding? That’s really important!” Jack exclaimed. “After all, you were supposed to get kidnapped but you didn’t, and yet you have the same headache Windy had! When did you have it?”
“Once when I was entering the forest, then afterwards I ended up at the village. The other time I was in the Coral Kingdom, in a basement. When I woke up, I was in a hospital, which I think was all a dream, but I didn’t know then. They didn’t feel the same, though. The first was just pain, the second was like an overload of painful noises.”
Jack frowned, thinking. “That’s strange.”
After a few moments, the door opened a bit, and Dr. Blossoms peeked out. “Here’s the book,” she said, holding out a textbook that wasn’t the book Jack gave her. But before he could say anything, she shut the door.
“What book is it?” Flake asked.
Jack looked at the cover. “The Use of the Unseen in Dark Potions: Advanced,” he said. “Sounds… creepy.”
“Can I take a look?” Flake said. Jack handed it over to him and he looked at the table of contents.
“She highlighted some of the chapters in the table of contents,” he said. “Like ‘The Rules of the Unseen (Potions),’ and ‘Potions for Dimension Portals’ and ‘Uses of One’s Voice’ and ‘Uses of One’s Memories.”
“So… she thinking the recipes are for potions?”
“Apparently.” Flake flipped through the book, stopping at a particular page.
“What is it?” Jack asked, leaning over to get a glimpse of the page. “Taking one’s voice is one of the easiest of the unseen to do,” he read aloud. “Unlike others, it is irreversible. If you wish to simply prevent one from speaking, there are much more simpler ways to do so, such as cutting out one’s tongue, but if you wish to use the voice for Unseen Potion purposes, you must use this method of cleaning out sound from the throat. Like most others, it won’t work for someone over a certain age (this will vary depending on what potion you wish to create). However, the older that person is, the more powerful the substance.” He frowned. “That sounds… weird. Why is it important?”
“Because Rose,” Flake said. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with her physically, anything that really renders her unable of speaking, and I don’t think it’s a physiological problem, so… maybe it’s this? Dr. Blossoms did highlight it.”
“Dr. Blossoms has never met Rose. I never even mentioned her.”
“Well…” Flake looked at the book. “She gave you this for a reason. Maybe you should show it to the chiefs.”
“No,” Jack said bluntly. “Chances are they’ll just bicker about it without actually doing anything. And they don’t listen to me at all!”
“Then can I borrow it? The book? I want to see whether there is anything of interest- like anything related to headaches,” Flake said.
“Yeah, sure. You can keep it, if you want, at least until Dr. Blossoms wants it back,” he mumbled. Flake nodded and headed down the hall. And Jack wondered about what exactly he was going to do. After all, he definitely couldn’t head home now.
Chapter Fifty-Six: In Which A Question Is Not Answered
“Who am I? That’s quite a hard question, isn’t it, Rose?” the man said. (Rose didn’t feel like calling him anything other than ‘the man’, after all, she didn’t know his name.)
“Do you want me to simply tell you my name, my birthday, my favorite color, and how much pets I have? Do you want me to tell you what profession I have, or to describe all my physical features? Do you want me to tell you who others think I am or who I think I am, or what you think I am?” The man had his amused face on again. “That question is hard to answer unless you specify what you want to hear.”
I want to hear the truth, she wrote. Tell me everything about who you are. Who you really are. A name would be helpful too.
“A name?” He drummed his fingers on the table. “So you want something to call me? You can call me John, if you wish.”
John. Rose had never heard the name before, but it sounded so average. So much unlike the man in front of him.
“As for your other requests, I am not quite prepared to tell you absolutely everything just yet,” the man (John?) said. “But if you wish to stay and wait until I’m prepared, you can.”
Stay and wait? Here? With the possibility of information? Not to mention she could also act as a spy. It sounded pretty good to Rose, except for the fact she’d be stuck in this man’s territory. Anything could happen to her, and no one would know.
I’ll stay, she wrote on the notepad.
John led her to the room that used to be Flint’s. It looked nice, she supposed, with the striking crystals hanging down from the ceiling like a chandelier, along with the large canopy bed. But at the same time, it felt a little weird, though Rose wasn’t sure why.
John left her in the room, and locked the door behind him. Of course. Free rein in the hallways was too much to hope for. Rose sat on the bed and discovered something hard in the sheets. She lifted the blankets up and discovered some sort of silver, flat device. Was this Flint’s? What did it do?
Oh well. It probably didn’t matter, anyway. It was time to start planning how to get Windy and Chief Alya out of here.
Rose didn’t have many ideas on how. The bedroom door was locked, and by now John had most likely brought Chief Alya and Windy to a different room. She decided, that if she ever got out of the room, the first thing she would do was check the lab. She knew the password, after all, and it was a good place to start. If they weren’t in there, well, she wasn’t sure. She definitely couldn’t check every door here, and besides, she didn’t have a key for many of them. Maybe she could try to steal the keys?
At loss for ideas and rather bored, she scanned the bookshelves for something to read. But soon her eyelids started drooping, and Rose just started feeling tired, and more tired until she finally slumped over and fell asleep.