The couple had thirteen children by the time they were finished siring. One by one, as each child came of age, they were sent out into the world to seek their fortunes and their purposes for themselves. To each child their parents gave one gift to help them on their way. And upon receiving their gifts, each child proclaimed their grand aims.
“Where did you go?” the giant asked, smiling as she peered down at the ogre and the elf.
“Madhaluna,” the ogre said, “but so many couples go there for their honeymoon that people just call it…” She glanced at the elf.
The elf smiled. “…Honeymoon City.”
“Tell me I’m sane,” I said.
There was a pause on the other end. And then he finally spoke.
I sighed. “Freddy, come on.”
“Give me some context, then.”
“How long has it been?”
“We just passed nineteen hours.”
I took a deep breath and exhaled. “And the longest he’s been under until now?”
The technician gulped, and I knew that whatever the number was, it was a far cry from nineteen.
I was nervous. Okay…yes, obviously. Obviously I was nervous. This one, I really, really wanted. Based on the description. Field investigation and research. Constant travel, mostly domestic, but some international travel might be required. Opportunities to advance, to earn further education, to earn money. But best of all, I would not be able to talk about the details of my work—with rare exception—with anyone outside of the organization. No details meant no criticism from my…beloved family. But you can’t always be sure from just a description. I tried not to get too excited.
I didn’t feel scared, really. I should have. I thought about calling out to my parents. But I decided not to. That would scare them. I didn’t want to scare them for nothing. Especially since I wasn’t scared. I should have been. Maybe it’s because I thought I was dreaming. A really vivid dream.
I noticed him seeming to notice me, and I found that so unlikely that I almost frowned. I was extremely skilled at remaining unnoticed. The Queen of the Hollow Yellow Moon had once proclaimed that I had the power to turn invisible. Of course, there’s no such thing. At least, I haven’t come across any such thing in my work so far.
When first the moths alighted in the world below, the land of earth, they did so out of curiosity. And they did so because they were sent forth from their home by their creator. Their home and their creator were one and same, and she bore the name Moon.
And she was the moon.
“Yes, I can answer that,” Kaira said.
She felt a thin layer of sweat forming along her temples. She took a breath and forced herself to pause long enough to send a mental command through the processing patch just below her throat. The four investors sitting before her probably thought she was composing her thoughts. But she was actually commanding the nanoparticles on her face to shimmer and give her that classic “dewy glow” while other particles swept any excess sweat back through her hairline.
Or so she hoped. She was still in the process of calibrating and training the mental commands program.
Naomi clicked on her recorder, took a deep breath, and asked her grand-aunty Z about the one thing that her mother and grandmother told her to never, ever, never, never, ever ask her about.
“Aunty, what did you see when you went into Mausefalle Manor? And how is it that you got out when so many other people never did?”