Tears came, warm tears, blinding him. He felt the woman’s touch, a soft caress. “Jason? Jason, love, what is it?” “I want my dad,” he sobbed.

Looking Jason’s way, the prince strode over. “Is not Rani the most delicious creature? Her face is as a million summer gardens, her skin is delicate as—” “Can Rani get us some curry, Firouz?”

Halfway along the horse’s polished neck, Jason found a small red button. He pressed it, and at once the horse began to buck and bounce like a dime store ride gone wild.

“Grippus, Grampus, hippo-campus! Who cares, let the ocean damp us!” Jason sang … and wished the night would last a long, long time….

“Let me get this: you sit out here for ten whole years. Then you build this thing and quit. Won’t the Trojans be suspicious?” Epeus stopped smiling. “If they are, we’re all dead men.”

“Ten years we’ve waited on Troy’s front doorstep. The city must be ours today==or never.” Captain Epeus

Soothsaying? Jason looked around the circle. What was that?… “Ask something,” Aesclepius murmured. “Quick.” “I—” Jason gazed around. Sons of kings and princes, destined to be heroes. He cleared his throat. “Will I be anything?”

… Achilles stayed fixed on Jason. “How dare you, mongrel, come up here without lineage?…” Mongrel? Jason got slowly to his feet. “I’m good as you any day.” The big boy laughed. “Prove it.”

Jason was just about to move on when, up on the rack behind the vendor’s head, he spotted a silver stallion rearing up against a deep blue sky.

Abigail paced to the window and back. “I only hope it’s not too late….” Emma sobered up at once, recalling her thought that the spell might not work now.

Maybe after a night’s sleep, Abigail won’t be so mad. Maybe in the morning she’ll remember the good times, and how nice I was, and she’ll change her mind. Maybe . . . Note: Emma’s text on the mirror is shown in the book. Her last appeal is a crude drawing of the heart halves unlinked.

Even if Abigail did cool off and wish her home, the spell wouldn’t work. And she was well and truly stuck: a ghost from the future doomed to haunt the Bentleys’ past!

“I honored Wabeno, gave the man his due….I’d have said he was a good man. But whatever his powers, if he’s harmed Abigail one whit, I’ll have his head.”

Emma listened, caught a creak of wood. “What’s that?” she whispered. Abigail looked fixedly at the open doorway. “Who is that, you mean. Emma, someone is on the stair.”

“I’m sorry you don’t like me,” Emma said. “Don’t like? What on earth are you saying? How can you even think of ‘like’ and ‘don’t like’ at a time like this?”

… That doll could vanish at any moment, Abigail with it. Unless …

… “What’s the story about, Emma?” “Oh … There’s this olden-day kid called Alice who steps through a mirror into…” Emma faltered. “Into a strange world where nothing goes the way … it … should.” “Oh, Emma.” Note: High fantasy is set in a mythical world; low fantasy is set in this one. Some books are a combination of both.

“Look: when you banged down the doll, the face appeared to warn you off. But that didn’t work. So when you tried to burn the doll, well, it jumped you to a time when there was no fire to harm it.”

“Good grief!” Emma exclaimed, recognizing who she was. The girl leapt back, the object falling from her hands. As it hit the tiles, the fire, the parlor vanished. But the girl remained, staring with horror into Emma’s face.

This is the final chapter of Child of the Air. On Thursday, the Pockets will discuss the next book, Friends in Time, of which the readings will begin next Monday, June 10. Happy listening!

Chapter 11 – Friends in Time
Bookreadings , Friends in Time , News / July 15, 2019

Maybe after a night’s sleep, Abigail won’t be so mad. Maybe in the morning she’ll remember the good times, and how nice I was, and she’ll change her mind. Maybe . . . Note: Emma’s text on the mirror is shown in the book. Her last appeal is a crude drawing of the heart halves unlinked.

Chapter 5 – Friends in Time
Bookreadings , Friends in Time , News / June 24, 2019

… “What’s the story about, Emma?” “Oh … There’s this olden-day kid called Alice who steps through a mirror into…” Emma faltered. “Into a strange world where nothing goes the way … it … should.” “Oh, Emma.” Note: High fantasy is set in a mythical world; low fantasy is set in this one. Some books are a combination of both.

Chapter 3 – Friends in Time
Bookreadings , Friends in Time / June 17, 2019

… “Abigail, what year is this?” “Year?” Abigail frowned. “Eighteen forty-six, everyone knows that.” Emma shook her head. “When the lightning flashed, our times criss-crossed and now you’re here—in nineteen ninety-five!”