Chapter 21: What Next?
Written by Whitney Emeigh
“I’m hungry.” A nose pressed itself into the space between Adette’s face and the pillow.
“Blech! Karl! Get off of the bed.” Adette tossed her pillow at the retreating furry body but missed. Since she was now missing her pillow, she had no choice but to get out of bed. Reluctantly, she swung her feet over the side of her bed and took in her first glimpse of what looked like a rather dreary day.
In the kitchen, Karl was waiting impatiently beside his empty bowl. Adette looked at his cute, expectant face, and her stomach froze. In all of the craziness of the day before, she’d never once thought about getting him his dog food.
“Well, I guess today is your lucky day. I forgot to buy dog food, so I guess you’re going to get some bacon after all.”
The moment she said bacon, Karl’s tiny stumpy tail began ticking back and forth. “Are you going to make it through the cooking process?”
Adette chuckled. Karl did his best to give her a dour look, but his small tail continued to give him away. She shook her head and went about making breakfast for the two of them.
The two sat quietly devouring their breakfasts. Karl’s was gone almost as soon as it touched his bowl, but afterward he spent some time grooming every last hint of bacon from himself. Adette laughed over the last of her breakfast and looked once again at the tiny bottle sitting alone on her counter.
“Karl, what should I do about that…thing I found?”
Karl continued grooming himself for a few moments more before bothering to respond.“You should ask it questions.”
“What kind of questions?” Adette scraped her plate clean and ran water over the surface.
“Well, it is your job to get rid of whoever is doing this, right? Clearly that thing came from whoever is causing all of this. It’s got to have something imprinted on it.”
“I’ve officially been outsmarted by a dog. This is not a good morning for me.”
Karl chuckled but said nothing else. For a few moments, Adette stared through her kitchen window into the water dripping from the eaves. Karl might have been a dog, but he was right. She needed to know about this person who kept sending strange creatures to threaten the village.
The bottle taunted her from the end of the counter. It was full of some strange dark substance. Occasionally a pair of bright yellow eyes would surface and look about the room. Then they would disappear back into the depths of the bottle.
“What am I suppose to ask it? It’s not likely to want to tell me anything.” Adette took a step closer to the bottle. As if sensing her presence, the eyes flickered back into being.
“You don’t have to give it a choice, Adette.”
Adette, keeping her eyes on the bottle as best she could, made her way toward a small decorative cupboard on the other side of the kitchen. From somewhere inside the cupboard, she drew out a large crystalline bowl. Still eyeing the bottle, which was now eyeing her back, she filled it with water and set it on the small kitchen table.
Three times she caressed the surface of the water with her fingers in a circular motion. Her lips moved silently through the simple words that would purify the water in the bowl. When she finished, sparkling clear water looked back at her from the bottom of the bowl.
The eyes had sunk into the depths of the bottle as if trying to hide. Adette snatched the bottle off of the table, and before she had time to rethink, she dumped the contents into the bowl. A reluctant, hissing curl dropped into the water tail first. The moment the tail touched the water it stuck and drew the rest of the slender body in. Floating eyes glared up at Adette malevolently.
“What do you want to know, witch?” it hissed.