Chapter Forty: In Which A Plan Fails Rather Miserably
Jack knew something was going to go wrong when he saw the knives. They were sitting on the table near the door, just waiting to cut flesh along with other odd looking utensils on the same table. There were needles and cylindrical contraptions and glinting pieces of metal twisted odd ways. Each had a pointy end on one side. If inanimate objects could look menacing, these certainly did.
“Yes!” someone exclaimed. Was that Dad? Yep. There he was, back bent, eyeing someone else, a body sitting on a chair. The moaning definitely was coming from that figure. He gulped. He would have never thought of his dad as evil, but at that moment, he certainly did look that way, with a maniacal grin on his face.
Windy started shuffling to the left quietly, and Jack followed her, trying his best not to bump into the table with the menacing contraptions. They crouched near the bookshelves, behind a plush reading chair. Jack peered over at the other side of the room.
The lab was pretty much the same as Jack last saw it when he was a little kid (his dad brought him once), except for the three big chairs that were positioned in the center of the room. On the side there were tables, with vials of odd colored concoctions and more sharp contraptions on it. Dad was standing over one of the chairs, the one where the moaning was definitely coming from. Jack couldn’t see who was sitting in the chair from his angle, but to go closer would be too risky, especially with all the things on the table.
Windy nudged him and motioned forward. Jack shook his head. Windy frowned and scooted right a little so she could peek out from the other side of the table.
“Windy, no-” Jack hissed quietly, but Windy already accidentally bumped into a stack of books on the ground. The first one toppled over and landed on the ground with a low thump.
Jack and Windy froze in place. Luckily the moaning covered up the sound. Hopefully he didn’t notice.
Jack really wasn’t up to taking risks at this point. All he wanted to do was get out of the room, but then wouldn’t everything be for nothing?
Windy nudged him again. He looked at her. She was holding an old leather bound book, the one that fell to the ground.
“Windy, put it back,” he whispered, but she shook her head and flipped it out to a random page.
One teaspoon of salt
A cup of honey water
A pinch of fenn extract
(?) of saliva
(?) of grounded souroot
Tongue of a songbird?
Something to make it come out in a screaming form
Jack stared at the recipe, wide-eyed. What was it a recipe for, though? Maybe one of the concoctions sitting on the table? Maybe it was what made Snow scream?
“Fine, let’s take it, but we need to get out.” Jack shuffled to the left. Windy followed him. The moaning then abruptly stopped, and so did they. His dad was holding up something that looked like a silver hat on Flint’s head. Assuming it was Flint who was moaning. He then pressed a button on the hat, and it started vibrating. Unfortunately, the vibrations weren’t making a lot of noise, not nearly enough to cover up the shuffling noises they were making when they moved, much less covering up the beep that the red button emitted.
What do we do? Jack mouthed to Windy, but she wasn’t looking at him. She was looking at the book she recovered, her eyes wide.
What is it? He was about to look at the book when Windy let out a loud shriek and fell to the ground, clutching her forehead. She looked in pain. But that wasn’t the only thing to worry about. Dad noticed. Who wouldn’t?
Oh no. He’s coming over here. This is not good. He crouched on the ground. Maybe he would not realize there was an invisibility cloak. Maybe he’ll just pass us by. However, with Windy whimpering like a little puppy, that probably wasn’t going to happen.
It didn’t happen. He picked up the cloak and threw it up, revealing them. Jack scrambled back. He braced himself for the impact.
It never came.
It was impossible. Jack was right there, just a few feet away from him and right behind Windy, who was now completely unconscious. Yet his dad completely passed over him and grabbed Windy’s hand. “Now, Windy, there you are. Spying on me, aren’t you? Now it’s your turn,” he said, as if it was her turn to present her science project and not do some dangerous screaming/moaning thing. He dragged her to the other side of the room and got her on one of the
three chairs and strapped her in.
Jack’s first instinct was to throw the cloak (which was on the ground) on him and run out of the room. Maybe his dad ignored him for a reason. There was no possible way he could have not had seen him. So the best thing to do was go out of there as soon as possible.
However, the rational part of him told him to wait till Windy started making loud noises, then escape. Another part of him told him that he should somehow try and save her and the others.
He followed his first instinct and ran. He didn’t look back. Because what happened to Windy reminded him too much of an incident that happened very long before…
Chapter Forty-One: In Which Someone Breaks Out Of A Hospital
I can get you out, but we need a screwdriver, bubble pearl, and an invisibility cloak, Rose said. Know where to get those?
“Invisibility cloaks? Those are illegal!” Flake exclaimed.
Rose frowned. Are they? Oh. I guess we shouldn’t get on the wrong side of the law then. How about… She thought for a moment. What would provide a good distraction, you think? Fireworks? But that doesn’t work underwater, does it…
“Um, yeah, fireworks don’t work.”
How about a large smoke bomb? Rose asked excitedly. It doesn’t hurt anyone, but it unleashes a lot of gas-
“No,” Flake said. “That might cause water pollution, and besides, I don’t know where you can find one.”
Rose got out of her chair. Wait here, and I’ll do some shopping. I’ll probably be able to find something in the mall. And just like that, she went out of the room.
Flake didn’t really believe in Rose’s ability to shop for things, considering the fact she had lived her whole life in the forest, but after only half an hour, she came back, with a surgical face mask, a surgical cap, a bubble pearl, and a first aid kit. She shoved it all into Flake’s hands.
Wear it. It’s your ticket out of here, Rose said. If anyone asks, you’re taking it to little Brook at the first floor, Room 8.
A nice seven year old girl who has a broken leg. Say that you need to reapply her cast if anyone asks. Then you just detour to her room and then go straight, and turn left. Then go straight until you reach the waiting desk.
“Oh.” Flake put the mask and cap on. “Are you sure no one will recognize us?” he whispered. “What if they know my voice? And how can I just walk out of this room?”
You just do. No one will notice. Rose grinned. I have distractions set. When people start shouting, that’s your cue. Bye.
“Rose, this is a hospital! Don’t do anything potentially dangerous-” Flake called, but she already left the room. He looked at the first aid kit. I suppose there’s nothing to do but give it a try, he sighed.
A few minutes later, Flake could hear some commotion outside. “Who did this?” “Is this some sort of thing for the kids?” “Where did the bubbles come from?”
That’s probably my cue. Flake opened the door and stepped outside. He went face first into a clump of bubbles. Wait, what? The whole hallway was filled with bubbles in the air. People were quite distracted by it, and Flake went past them without much trouble.
Unfortunately, the lower levels didn’t have any bubbles, and Flake tried his best not to catch anyone’s attention. He swiftly avoided people and, following Rose’s directions, got outside without much trouble.
The Coral Palace was easy to spot, being really colorful and towering over all the other buildings. Flake hoped Chief Ripple would be there, and listen to him. After all, he had a hunch this was the answer...