World Without Color, part 3

Dear Readers,

As promised, “World Without Color” part 3 is here at last.

I will have a guest blog spot at Coffee Time Romance this month. When I know the exact address, date, and time I will let you know. For now: enjoy!

By the way, thank you for all the rest and joy you give to my soul. Without readers a writer is only quacking into the void.

Peace!

–Emily

World Without Color, Part 3

Tabitha’s mom had taken her purse before giving her the basket of white flowers. Mostly white. Some were red or yellow or blue, but for every flower that held its color Tabitha saw at least three that had lost. Maybe more. And her mom, under the bad genie’s spell, took her purse and kept it all the way through the ceremony and during the beginning of the reception. Tabitha only reclaimed it after the dancing had started.

After the first slow dance was over, Tabitha grabbed Davy and pulled him behind the cabin in the middle of the boat. She shook him by the shoulders. “Davy! Do you remember what we’re supposed to be doing?”

“Saving Unca Mark and Unca Luke from the bad genie.”

Thank you, Yaweh. Then, remembering how the god of her people had rescued thousands from slavery, she added, Please give us some help. “Okay,” she said to Davy. “Good. Where are your paints?”

He pulled up one leg of his baggy dress pants and showed her the narrow rectangle of colors stuffed halfway into his sock.

She clapped her hands. “That’s perfect. Now we need water. We’ll get the paints wet and you can start painting Uncle Mark.” No. That’s not fair. Uncle Mark’s completely under the genie’s control and Davy’s only four. Tabitha swallowed. She could still see her dragon uncle’s eyes. If Uncle Mark was the bad genie’s prisoner he might do anything to her. “Never mind. I’ll use the wine and juice on Uncle Mark. You concentrate on Uncle Luke. Now we have to figure out how to separate them.”

“What are you two doing back here?”

Tabitha stepped in front of her little brother, praying Davy would take the opportunity to pull his pant leg down. She didn’t know the giant standing in front of her. But at least he’s still wearing color. “Playing.”

“If Mark knew you weren’t with your parents he’d be worried sick.” The man leaned a tall white stick against the side of the cabin. He crouched before her, his large amber eyes mesmerizing her. “Who are your parents, young one?”

She tried to look away from him and couldn’t. Color or no color, this might be the bad genie. “I’m…I’m…”

“We’re late,” Davy said. He grabbed Tabitha’s hand and yanked her backward. “We forgot to ask Mommy if maybe excused.”

If we may be excused, Tabitha thought but she didn’t correct her brother. Grateful he’d rescued her, all she could do was follow him around the side of the cabin and into the crowd.

“Who was that?” Davy whispered.

“I’m not sure.” Tabitha kept a tight hold on her brother’s hand. “Look.” She watched her uncles spinning around a tall cake. It’s got cartoon-ocean blue frosting. Tabitha spotted two large pitchers of red juice on a nearby table. Maybe it’s wine. Whatever the drink was, she could use it.

“Cake!” Davy said.

Tabitha tugged him close. “We’re here to save them, remember?”

Davy frowned. “They’re having fun. Maybe they’re okay.”

“Fine.” She flounced away. “Suit yourself.” But after she walked three steps she glanced over her shoulder to see if her brother had followed. Davy had rejoined their mother.

I’m on my own.

A rhythmic tapping drew her attention. The tall man with the amber eyes and the long cane bore down on her from the cabin. Tabitha raced for the juice.

She laid hands on the closer pitcher. It was too heavy to lift.

The man with the cane—maybe it was a magic wand in disguise—was closer. And was Uncle Mark looking her way again?

What would a SearchLight agent do if she was pinned down without hope of backup? Tabitha bit her lip again, leaving off it when she realized Uncle Luke might be watching her. If I appear innocent he’ll ignore me. She dropped her hands to her sides and smiled broadly, willing him to see nothing but sunshine, spice, and everything nice in her expression.

Uncle Luke tipped her a wink and spun Uncle Mark away into another dance.

Does he understand what I have to do? Is he giving me permission? She looked for the bad genie with the cane-maybe-wand and didn’t see him.

Her uncles danced toward her, Uncle Mark closer and faced the other way. He wouldn’t see an attack coming.

Tabitha laid hands on the pitcher. As soon as her uncles stepped into range…

She shoved hard and the pitcher flew off the table. Not waiting to see if it hit, she did the same to the other pitcher. This time she spared a moment to watch.

It was beautiful. The sparkling red drops glowed in the air as if each bore a tiny flame. As each struck Uncle Mark’s back (his pants were already soaked by the contents of the first pitcher) it bloomed, a healing rose determined to make the world beautiful again. Even Uncle Luke got sprayed a little. Tabitha prayed she’d done enough.

Now the bad genie would know she was on to him.

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