The rest days of the week hastened away - one after the other, like an avalanche of snow and ice, and in no time, it was Saturday; the day Gerey and Cwena had planned to examine the odd, frayed book Oswic had given them.

Gerey woke up around at exactly 9:53 a.m. just as he'd set his alarm to do every Saturday which (when compared to the norm), was later than usual - and odd, too. He spent about an hour cleaning his teeth, washing his body, polishing his hair and putting on a shiny black raglan sleeve.

As he stepped out of his room, the delicious scent of Aunt Brione's Bacon and Eggs blew his way, and like a cowboy's lasso, it culled Gerey to the kitchen.

The dining room held a pretty large, polished, Chestnut coloured dining table where Gerey sat, impulsively pattering his thumb and two other fingers on the table whilst whistling a familiar tune he'd know all his life. Behind him, next to a window that allowed the sun's ray in, on a fragile stool was uncle Eallric, reading the papers, with a small mug of coffee in his hands.

"Up for a game of Chess?" Uncle Eallric boomed, not looking up from the broad newspaper that spread on his laps, gripped firmly by a hand (the other was slowly circling round the black mug). He really was enjoying the half day the Police Department, Ingfalls, granted to them during weekends.

"Nah, I have to get to Cwena's place for - something - important."

"Something important you say? Hmmm?" Uncle Eallric lowered the newspaper - "Daily Gazette," looked up with a mischievous smirk and circled eyes imprinted on his fat face.

“N - no, it isn't what -”

Aunt Brione's short, fat legs strutted in - exposed a little by her loose apron, with a tray in her hands. In it was a cup of brown tea and a plate of Bacon and nearly charred fried egg.

"Isn't she the one that won the Bookaneer Worm two years ago? I heard she attends your school."

Gerey sighed, of course! They knew Cwena, everyone did. Aunt Brione dropped Gerey's meal on the table, "yeah, she's the one, and you guys shouldn't pretend like you don't know her just to talk of her accomplishments. She's been my only - sorry - best friend since Kindergarten."

"If I were you I'd go over to her place with my geometry books," she said sarcastically then turned to Eallric, "and oh, I have a good mind of inviting her over someday for a game of Chess with you. You need some whooping." She chuckled as she made her way back to the kitchen, her loose apron flying after her.


Gerey's bicycle lay in uncle Eallric's garage that had little pentagonal (and a few squarish) apertures drilled into the wall - to allow sunshine and fresh air in. Next to his Peugeot 404 that relaxed in the very middle of the fairly dim carport was a rusty, and quite old bicycle - Gerey's. Uncle Eallric's late brother - Ales, who'd died in a car accident about a year and a half ago had gotten it for him a few years back and although it was two sizes too small for him now, it was fair enough to take him over to Carnoustie Crescent.

Gerey cautiously led his bicycle out of the garage, dusted it with an old, red piece of clothing he'd found lying around and set for Cwena's place; a ten minutes ride from No. 3, Atholl Esplanade.


From the outside the house looked old, but wonderful. It had been built with bricks covered in render and had poplar wooden decorations. Large, triangular windows added to the overall look of the house and had been added to the house in a fairly symmetrical pattern.

Gerey knocked on the faded, black gates that had a low fence attached to both sides.

“'M coming!” Cwena called from inside in a singsong voice.

Not longer than a minute after, Cwena skipped to the gate, beaming, radiant and full of life. “Gerey?” she called out as she opened the gate wide.

“Yeah, Gerey in da building!” Gerey joked, taking the pose of a DJ, one hand serving as a mic, the other leading his bicycle.

He walked into the compound of the high, v-shaped roof, covered with slate shingles. Two large chimneys sat on each side of the house. Large, skylight windows let in plenty of light to the rooms below the roof.

“Been a while you were here,”

Cwena said as she shut the whining gate.

“Yeah, yeah. Last winter I guess. Your basement was freezing cold and I remember that you hid there for - two hours?” Gerey chuckled.

“It was waay longer that two hours. From my calculations -”

“Good old Cwena,” Gerey ruffled her long, golden hair whose beauty was heightened with the bright, golden sun, “my lil genius!” Cwena blushed bright red, “Home alone?”

“Nah, my mum's around and so is the cleaner that assists my mum.”

“I'mma drop by to say hi on my way out. What of the book the new history teacher gave us?”

“Oh! That. It's well tucked in my room. I'll get it, wait in the yard. Today's sunny,” she squinted at the flawlessly blue sky, “And it's best we take advantage of it.”

With that she walked into her home where sounds of cluttering plates emerged from not long afterwards.

Gerey knew around the house just as much he knew his, too - the yard was on the other side of the comely, composed, picture perfect garden which possessed chocolaty soil, fresh flowers of diverse textures and colours, tiny, rare insects and a warm, mild breeze.

If there was anything that was on the other end of the Gerey's hatred spectrum, it was his love for nature and that was why he couldn't resist paying attention to the flowers that brushed his hands and knees on his way to the yard.

He stopped by the tarmac that neatly split the garden into smaller parts and went on his knees to sniff an hibiscus.

He spent a little while just interacting with the flowers with baby talks and peeking at the petals that extended out from different angles that needed some neck tilting.

He raised up a finger to touch one of the four, yellow petals of a bright sunflower when something very unusual, nothing he'd ever experienced happened to him.

In a few seconds, the subtle warm feeling of the sun caressing his hair intensified greatly, as though his hair was ablaze!

Then an ear-splitting, highpitched screech like a piece of glass running along a metal surface went off! It grew louder, and LOUDER and Gerey thought he was going to die then after a while, he felt a snug but intriguing seismic wave burst open from him like he was being releaved of burden he never knew was there and everything went numb.

He opened his eyes and everything he could see (which was nothing for a while) was colourless. There was no sun, or cool breeze, or insects that usually filled the garden, or flowers, or even a garden at all!

When he looked down at his feet, he didn't see two legs and ten toes, no, he saw hazy gas.

After a short while standing in the middle of nowhere, he began to see something. Something weird, something he'd never seen all his life and he could bet no one in all of Ingfalls or Wabrook had ever seen in their lives, too.

He saw a not-more-than three and a half feet tall creature; weird, with dessicated, thick skin, and it was moving on two really large feet with three toes (that looked like thumbs) on each. A building materialized in front of Gerey at that moment, like it had been there all along - dissolved but had its visibility turned on by someone or something. Gerey recognized the building, it was Cwena's!

“Hello!!?” Gerey screamed but his voice sounded distant and only echoed back to his ears with a mild slap. The creature, whatever it was struggled but did climb up a window, the one to Cwena's room.

A cold feeling of fear filled Gerey up to his brim, he tried running to stop whatever it was but he wasn't running, he was floating - he had no feet! He was moving on gas.

Then all of a sudden, Cwena's face appeared at the window, looking around and apparently scared or at least, bothered about something.

The creature managed to crouch beneath her window with wide eyes and laborious pants. Then it looked in Gerey's direction where he was still in a white, gaseous state before dashing away on its tiny, ugly legs.

“What're you up to, mate?” Gerey heard Cwena's voice.

Instantly, every sensations and feelings reversed - from his gaseous state of matter, to the screeching sound and even to the burning feeling of his hair that dwindled and diminished before coming to an end, jolting Gerey back to reality.

“It was nothing - nothing, really” Gerey replied, trying not to look up at Cwena who was staring down on his still crouched frame.

“But, the flowers...”

The sunflower Gerey was holding, and feeling and running his hands on to feel its texture a few minutes ago was charred.


To an edge of the yard littered with dry, brown leaves was a wooden cabin that was surrounded by trees Cwena's mum - Mrs. Engow, had planted just for the purpose of cooling the insides that had a natural, sunlit, golden orange filter.

The cottage was a little over six feet tall, and quite old, too. The woods used in its construction were of different species and that was why it was a mixture of red wood, and black, pale ash, and bright yellow. And also, there were a few holes here and there, in addition to a few decomposed parts of the cottage.

Gerey was the one who forced the rigid plank which served as a door open after a lot of stress and they both went in. There was dried hay to a little section of the already small, modest cabin. The rest of the ground was warm, and hard, and had been cemented ages ago.

“We'll have to share that spot,” Gerry pointed, “It's the cosiest in here and there's a window just above it.”

After roughly two minutes, they were lying tummy down on the rough hay that itched their skin, staring at the tattered book.

“Have you opened it yet?”

“Nah, not at all. I've been very curious and once tried taking a sneak peek but its best if we check it together.”

Cwena gently placed her hand on the book. Low key, she wished the book will open and start spilling out spells she could use - spells for understanding all Chess styles of playing  like the French and maybe, one formula that answered all math equations in the world!

Gerey on the other hand expected the pages of the book to shine bright gold - almost blinding so that he could tear off a few pages for sale, but none of their wishes was answered as the book failed to flip open and reveal what was in it.

“What's this all about!?” Cwena asked frustratedly, turning the book over and over again, trying to find how it was to be opened, “Are we to say Open Sesame!!?”

“Let me try,” Gerey said and snatched the book out of Cwena's hands before she slammed it or threw it out the window above them in exasperation.

As Gerry held the book, a thick, suffocating chunk of smoke began to escape from its edges. Gerry dropped it down in shock and stared at his hands.

“Isn't that the same thing that happened to the flower?” Cwena asked, wide eyed and staring at Gerey's hands, too.

“Y - Yeah, I better not touch anything else. That old man has a lot of talking to do,” Gerey was bewildered and had converted it to anger. From Gerey's point of view, life was going normally till a few days before he showed up but deep down, he knew that was a fat lie. He'd never been normal - never ever, his hair colour and oddly long limbs were enough proof.

Cwena who seemed to have lost a little of her frustration picked up the book. She rubbed its cover gently, expecting to see maybe a button that'll open the numb book when suddenly, the book slipped off her grasp and opened up, wide.

But - it was - empty.

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