Chapter Twenty-Six, Part Three: Apple GrassMature

There is someone in the room with the open window. 

He draws several heavy breaths, then strides over to the window and its high sill, grasping the edge for a better vantage. 

Behind him, more apples plummet from the loud and cloudless sky and plop to the ground. 

Soon, the gnome is up to his knee pants in the red and green fruit. 

Jack peers into the room. 

There is a man inside the well-shaded room; he is standing there, wrapped in a sheet. The sheet is draped like a toga around him, held by one hand clamped hard to the hip. 

The face is hidden by a cascade of odd shadow from a part of the room Jack can’t see- probably a vase of something. 

More apples fall outside; Jack can hear them tumbling down, hitting others already below; in fact his feet are balled on a pile of them, reaching tippy toe. 

Jack blinks. 

The man in the room has changed position; now all ten of those lovely square strong fingers are wrapped around an apple, part silver part gold. 

Jack blinks again, feeling his fingers tilt in on the cold metal of the sill. His hands hurt, but… that man… 

This time, the apple is closer to the man’s face. The light it emits will illumine his features, and then Jack can… 

The man raises those fingers, giving up the apple in offering to his face. 

“Just a little more,” Jack whispers, but then…

The End

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