My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter 12

Ryder insisted, on the way out of the cave, to know the spell Angel had cast.
“Ha!” he said. “That’s a fancy way of calling your pet. All I have to do to call mine is this!” He whistled, and a black dog came running from the stable.
“I spell’d it so that she’d hear it wherever I was. I leave the stable sometimes on a horse and ride across the forest, then I whistle for her. That’s how Moxie gets her exercise, isn’t it, girl?”
Moxie barked.
“Well, as far as I know, there aren’t any more books in this area, except for one,” Tress said. “We’re pretty much done here.”
“Where’s that one last book?” Angel asked.
Tress said, “Up.”
Daniel and Sophie blinked at each other.
“There’s a cloud right there, a little ahead of us, that doesn’t move. There’s a book there.”
“How are we going to get there?” Hannah asked.
Everyone looked at Angel, then at Daniel. Everyone had heard the story of their entire trip.
“Oh, all right!” Daniel said, then cast the spell to make everyone light so that Angel could carry them easily.
Angel flew to the cloud. Daniel cast the spell that would make it so that they could stand on the cloud, versus fall through it. The group realized, during that time, that walking on a cloud was not all it was cracked up to be. For one thing, the cloud was wet. And cold. And sort of icy.
Daniel knew it was a cirrus cloud. Winter was coming in the Mirrorworld. Cirrus was the wispy kind of cloud in wintertime that rarely moved, and once, Daniel had seen one moving fast. His mom had wondered why he’d started going into the basement to find his coat. A snowstorm hit within the next week.
You see, cirrus clouds are high up in the atmosphere, and when you see one moving rapidly – or at all – you know there’s a snowstorm coming. It’s like when you see a person running from 100 feet away, and he’s moving fast, but if you were closer, it would look like he’s moving faster. It’s the same with clouds; if you can see a cirrus moving from far away – very, very, far away – then how fast do you think it’s actually moving? Pretty fast.
And ice is less dense than water, so a cloud with ice crystals in it would go faster than one with water droplets. And if the water froze in the cloud, that’s how you get snow.
Daniel sighed and chided himself again. Those encyclopedias of weird facts always got his thinking sidetracked, and when you got Daniel thinking, there wasn’t any stopping it.
He didn’t even notice when Sophie called his name.
“DANIEL!”
Daniel blinked.
“What do you make of this?” Sophie pointed to a wall of ice five feet thick, the book suspended in the middle.
“Um, melt it?”
Sophie stared. “Have you been paying attention at all?”
“Um, no,” Daniel said sheepishly.
“I can’t reality-change it otherwise. Maybe you can do something?’
Daniel brushed a little strand of hair, which the barber had failed to cut, out of his face.  “Yes, I think I can. You can go down to the hotel. I’ll think about this for a while.” He turned back to the ice.
“Aht-HEM! I don’t know the weight spell!” Sophie said rather loudly.
“Yeah, yeah. I got a better idea.” Daniel pulled out a small silver whistle. He blew it, and the wind seemed to pick up, fast. It wasn’t the wind – a gryphon had flown over, a large one, possibly the length of a school bus. It nodded at Daniel, then turned to Sophie.
“THIS is your PET?” Hannah said, amazed.
“Actually, it’s Sophie’s. I found him in the forest. He was looking for you. This, everybody, is Gavin the gryphon. You can ride him. He can take up to seven people at once.”
“I’ll spare him the load,” Angel said. “Dive-bombing is fun.” She fluttered her wings for emphasis.
Daniel handed Sophie the whistle.
“There are two whistles in my hand,” Sophie said. And now there were. She handed the other one to Daniel. “I’m not going to leave you here without an escape,” she said. “It’s no use getting the book if it’ll never see the light of day on the surface.”
“I hadn’t thought of that,” Daniel said. He was blinking in the sort of way when he’s had his nose in a book for the past three hours and you’ve called his name fifteen times to get him to answer a question, and he’s just now realizing that there’s life outside his Book-Land fantasy. All of Daniel’s teachers knew that look. They’d come to dread it.
Sophie left Daniel staring at the wall of ice. Really, now, she thought. The craziness with the Gateguards was bad enough. We don’t need this now.
But come to think of it, knowing something like what a Gateguard was would definitely come in handy. Odd. And if it ends up in his getting the book out of the ice, well… Sophie could leave him alone if it meant that the journey would be faster and without so many weird puzzles.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 at 8:30 pm and is filed under Mirrorworld. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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