“Okay, now y'all behave.” The author glanced back at her characters, frown edging her lips. Last time she had agreed to this...
“We will!” Annebelle promised with a grin, brown waves bouncing on her shoulders.
Tiff crossed her heart. “We'll be angels!”
The author “hmph'ed” and pushed open the library doors. A whoosh of cool air barraged them as they strode in.
Tiff blinked pink streaked, blond hair from her eyes and looked around. She reached back a hand to straighten her wing feathers.
“Let's go to the kids' area first!” Annebelle said in a loud whisper, tugging on Tiff's elbow. Tiff chuckled and allowed herself to be led away by the excited sixteen-year-old. What did she see in books that was so wonderful?
As they walked into the children's section, Tiff kept close behind Annebelle as she wandered the aisles, eyes sparkling in adoration of the books.
Tiff smiled. The only reason she had come was because the library was air conditioned.
She snagged a book that looked mildly interesting and flicked it open as Annebelle turned to inspect the next row of books.
Four children stood on a hill, looking heroic.
She flipped the page, not even trying to read the unknown words. A lady stood wearing an icy crown and a white dress. Tiff frowned at her. She didn't look particularly nice.
A man on two legs? Tiff raised an eyebrow. And people thought faeries and dragons were strange.
“Excuse me, could you tell us where we are?”
Tiff started, fumbling and dropping the book as she whirled around. Four children, two girls and two boys, stood before her, dressed in strange clothes. One of the boys, the tallest, had taken a step forward. She guessed it was him that had spoken.
“Um... In a library.”
“A... Library?” He looked around.
Tiff nodded. “Don't you know what that is?”
“Of course! But... Not one like this.” He frowned.
Tiff studied them. “Who are you?”
“Peter, High King of Narnia. This is my brother, King Edmund the Just, and my sisters Queen Susan the Gentle, and Queen Lucy the Valiant.”
Tiff gawked. “Like the movie?”
“Nevermind.” Tiff glanced around. “Are you here with your author?”
“Our... Oh. Our author died ages ago.” Peter drummed his fingers on his sword.
“So what are we doing here?” Susan demanded, gaze darting around.
“I... I don't know!” Tiff bent and picked up the book she had dropped. “You just showed up now!”
Someone screamed. Tiff jumped and darted out of the aisle. The queen lady stood before a frozen, very realistic human statue. She gaped. “Oh.. Uh.. This isn't good!”
“Tiff!” Annebelle clambered into view. She pulled up short and stared. “What did you do?!”
“I'll face her.” Edmund strode forward, sword in hand.
“Wait!” Annebelle grabbed his arm. “I'll go get our author. We can't get blood everywhere.” She wrinkled her nose and darted away.
“Ah...” Tiff held onto the hilt of her katana, ready to spring into action if need be. Edmund stood still for the moment and Tiff swallowed as the Witch turned.
A clatter announced the arrival of their author. She stared. “Tiff!”
“I'm sorry! I don't know what happened!”
The author shook her head and pulled out her notebook. “Why don't I ever learn?” she muttered as she clicked out her pen and began writing.
The Witch started forward, wand in front of her as she marched towards Tiff. Tiff jerked her katana from its sheath. Edmund and Peter darted forward. Then they froze, swords raised, the Witch's wand outstretched. A wind blew through the library and they disappeared, dissolving like mist before the sun.
Tiff let out a sigh.
The author let out a sigh and put a hand to her forehead. “See if I let y'all come with me again.”
“I don't wanna come again.” Tiff crossed her arms and glared at the book.
“Aw... Yes you do!” Annebelle held a book up. “Look! This one doesn't have pictures.”
“Lotta good that does since I can't read.”
A wind flickered through the room.
“What ho, what's this?!”
Tiff didn't even turn around this time, only looked up and stared at her author.
She buried her face in her hands.
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