Back to Work

Brandon and Jaina sat in silence in the living room, as Brandon looked longingly at the blank television screen before him. Just a few minutes before, he had sat back on the couch, one arm behind his head and flicked on the TV, knowing he had a full day and a half to relax in his own house. Unfortunately, he hadn't anticipated the shouts of confusion and surprise from Jaina. Even after she had quieted down, the constant circling she was doing around the TV was, to be honest, a bit distracting, so he turned it off.

"So, you really think we'll arrive in Igladia in the past?" Jaina had been uneasy about the whole idea from the moment Brandon had suggested it.

"Yep, except it won't be the past there. It will be the present." He was confident this time.

Jaina sighed, "I hope it works. Everyone must be so frantic there. Or..." She paused in thought, "have we even disappeared yet?"

Brandon thought about it too. "Well, you see, the moment that Senny caught me on fire..." He stopped mid sentence, a funny look coming over his face. "Hey!" He exclaimed, causing Jaina to jump in surprise. "Senny caught me on fire! What the hell was that about?"

Jaina looked thoughtful. "Hrmm, I hadn't thought of that in all the confusion. Quite unusual."

"Unusual?" Brandon exploded. "The commander of the king's army caught me, the king, on fire, and you think it's unusual?"

Jaina shrugged in response. "You can't trust the quiet ones."

Brandon got up from the couch and began pacing the floor. "What can this mean?" He scratched his head and continued talking to himself, "Why would Senny attack us?" He made his way into the kitchen and hopped up onto the countertop, where he did his best thinking.

Suddenly, there was a squeal from Jaina in the living room, followed by an "Arrrghhh!" from Brandon in the Kitchen, finished with a loud fwump!

The air was thick with dust. Brandon was on the floor, wincing from the pain in his backside. He began coughing and spluttering, and tried to see through the clouded air. "Jaina?" He coughed out.

"Brandon?" She called back through the dust. Brandon couldn't help but feel a little warm from hearing Jaina call him Brandon, rather than Tassian or Your Highness.

"My King?" Came a third and startled voice. All three fell silent.

Then, said meekly from the floor, "Yes?"

"Good gracious! Your Royal Highness!" Through the choked air came the image of Alistair; his hand plunged down and grabbed ahold of Brandon, pulling him upwards.

"Alistair! What are you doing here?" Brandon exclaimed, as he tried dusting himself off.

"I beg your pardon, Sire? The better question is, what in the name of dragon's eyes has happened?"

Finally, Alistair pulled him from the dust cloud and into the clear air in the hall. He looked around; he was back in the castle.

"We're back! Jaina, we're back!" He called back into the room that, previously, contained his four-poster bed. Jaina emerged, ash-covered and gray. "But we came back early! No, wait, we came back late!"

Alistair gave them both a bewildered expression.

Brandon tried to explain. "We're early on earth, but here, we're late. We should be two days in the past." He glanced at his watch to confirm his story but the face was smashed, the hands no longer moving. "...Unless? Unless it wasn't the Wednesday before the Thursday that I left. It must have been..." Brandon squinted his eyes in frantic thought. "It must have been the Wednesday before the Wednesday before the Thursday that I left! Maybe...? Anyway, we're back! And Senny caught me on fire!"

Alistair was at a loss for words. He couldn't decipher the nonsense spewing from his King's mouth in the least. He hurriedly lead them both to the small conference room, where Roary was waiting.

"Sit, sit." Alistair poured them both a goblet of wine and began his recount of the story. "I was on my way to your room, to catch up with Jaina, after she had left with Senny. I thought we could talk through our next moves, when I heard quite a commotion from down the hall. There was a great roar of flames, a shriek and then, nothing. By the time I reached the room, there was nothing but a great heap of ashes in the centre of it. Next thing I know, the ash is all stirred up, I can't see a thing and, well, here you are!"

Brandon stared in confusion. Well, now his time theory made no sense at all. According to Alistair, they were gone only a moment in Igladia but hours on Earth. Perhaps it was a magical property of Igladia that just couldn't be reasoned or explained in words, Brandon thought to himself.

"You say Senny did this to you?" Alistair continued, eyes wide. "Are you absolutely sure?"

Finally, Jaina spoke up, "Yes, it was Senny. But he was acting strangely."

"Well, I should say he was!" Alistair added.

Now that the excitement had settled a little, Brandon went back to the matter at hand. "Well then, we'll need to find Senny, of course; find out what's going on, but, in the meantime, what kind of progress has Tiffy and the Mightford's made on the potion?"

The End

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