“The kid awake?”
“er.. Er I think so. Not sure”
“wake him. get him dressed. He’s wanted by the Master”
“The master? He’s here?!”
“of course he is! This isn’t just any old Angel. He’s already a chosen.”
“yes. Yes of course! I’ll see that he’s made ready”
“good.” The sound of fading footsteps told James that the second man was leaving. He’d been awake for hours. But hidden it from his captors. Lying with his eyes closed as he tried to fathom exactly what had happened, where he was, and why he’d been taken.
He was in a soft, Warm bed. With sunlight streaming in from huge window at one end of the room. He hadn’t looked around yet, but from the footsteps he’d guess a stone floor. With two doors-one on each end of the room. And there was a man.
A man who hadn’t left his room for at least an hour, he’d dealt with inquirers but this was new. What’s a “chosen?” or… who’re the “angels?” He had little time to ponder however as his sleeping act was about to be brought to an abrupt end.
“you! Boy! Up!” James rose, rubbing his eyes in an effort to appear sleepy. But gave up the pretence at the sight of his would-be detainer.
He was extraordinary.
The man was about five feet tall. Slightly built, with long, flowing blonde hair. But that was where normality ended.
He had; at first sight. A circlet, almost like a Halo. Perched on his head. Made of all manners of Flowers, with a great big Yellow sunflower perched upon his forehead. His Clothes were loose fitting and looked to be made of Silk, or some other such material, and were green and brown and natural. He carried no visible signs of belonging to the 20th or indeed the 18th century. And walked (barefooted) up to James carrying a wooden tray laden with wooden bowls full of all kinds of fruit and a clay pot of yoghurt and honey. He lay it upon the table “eat!” and disappeared through the doorway.
James looked around. It was, as he guessed A stone floor. It was a room, he surmised in an old house. On one side of it as both doors were on the same side. He looked up at the vast window at one end of the room. He was impressed by the grandeur of the place. His bed was a vast four-poster and was exceedingly comfortable. In short, he would have been perfectly happy here. If he’d not been taken by force.
So. Why? Why go to all the effort of taking him? Why do all of that only to treat him so decently? His head hurt with all the thinking. He looked down at the food. Reluctant to eat what these people wished. Hannah would be pleased though, she loved fruit and honey together.
James jumped up, smashing the tray to the floor, he was wearing Strange shorts and a t-shirt that felt smooth and soft but he didn’t stop to ponder, out of the door he pelted, down a set stairs into a long, wooden corridor with many doors on both sides. He slowed now, not knowing where to go. He picked a door at random and opened it.
A dozen little faces turned to look up at him. Looking almost as confused as he was. The children must have been aged around four or 5 and were all sat in a circle around a low wooden table.
No one moved.
“errrm. Is there anyone else here?” James ventured… wondering what exactly was going on. “Can I speak to somebody’s parents?”
“you can speak to Mr Pontefect.” a little girl chiped up. He’s in the next room “come on! I’ll show you”
Without a word. James found himself being led down the stairs into the room and across the sea of tiny faces. All watching him with consummate interest. Once he’d gone they erupted into a fierce, whispered debate. “ Im Molly!” The girl declared, leading him by the hand through another set of doors “Im the group spirit keeper. I keep the angels spirits ready for collection”
“riiight..” Replied James. Not having a clue what she was on about. “erm, listen.. Where exactly are we?”
“we’re in the west-wing. You just left the Nursery. We’re going along to Mr Pontefects office now. He’s the nursery leader.”
“ermm. Well yes but.. Where are we like… generally. In the country?”
“oh. They don’t tell us that” said Molly reaching up to knock on yet another big wooden door.
“but? What do you mean? surely you know what town we’re in?”
“no. But Mr Pontefract will explain everything. Go on in, “she urged as the door swung open.
“James ma boy! Come on in!” He did as he was told, ducking under the door-frame he stumbled into what can only be described as a small Library, with a desk in the middle. Behind the desk sat Mr Pontefract. James ( who half-expected to meet another crack-pot with flowers around his head) was pleasantly surprised to see that the man looked almost ordinary. He had the same, Flowing clothes as his first introduction. But his bespectacled face and mad, wavy grey hair reminded James instantly of his first, insane science teacher.
“sit down, sit down” He flapped at the chair opposite him, and turned to Molly “thank you my dear, will you kindly tell the class I’ll be along presently” the girl nodded and disappeared though the door with a smile and a wave at the now seated James. “now! James. I suspect you’ve got many, many questions. I am afraid I cannot answer them all in full. It is not my place. But I feel you have the right to be told as much as I know. So. Ask away dear boy.”
“Hannah?! Where is she? Is she safe?”
“ah. I presume you refer to your female companion whom was with you when you were taken? She’s safe. In fact she’s in this very house”
“can I see her?”
That is not for me to decide, But….
“No. It is not!” James looked up at the colossus of a man towering in the doorway. “You should know better than to be talking to him Everard! There’s too much at stake.”
“ I was merely explaining a few things to the boy” Pontefract protested. “He deserves to know why we took him”
“And He will. In time. He’s dangerous. For now he gets told only what he needs to know. And by the people with the answers he needs.”
“but surely, you can’t mean…. “ Everards face grew pale as he Whispered; “he’s here?”
“yes. He’s here. Now, run along to your teaching whilst I escort our guest to the Hall.” Pontefract nodded. And scurried away.
“Now. Mr Turner if you’d follow me” He turned and strode off down the corridor with James jogging in his wake.
“The kid awake?”