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together, since she

together, since she confessed her love to me, if we went alone. After snapping out of my hormoneinduced high, I captured my common sense and realized we could use all the help we could get. After all, I did promise to keep Alicia in the loop, and I really didn’t need to give her any more ammunition to hold over my head. I said, “Let’s wake her up, I guess she is part of this too. I’m not sure how she is going to feel about you freezing her though…” Kelly brushed her fingers across Alicia’s face and mumbled a strange incantation. Alicia woke, stood up and staggered forward a few steps before regaining her balance. “Why does my head hurt?” she asked. Kelly explained the entire story, every last boring detail. Alicia looked satisfied and didn’t seem mad at all. So I instructed the girls not to follow me, and I took off for the barn. I knew that the only one who could possibly help was Oogle Doogle. If anyone knew how to save grandpa, it was him. In the barn, I realized that I didn’t know how to get in touch with him (it’s not like he left his calling card). I was standing there trying to figure a way to reach him when Alicia and Kelly wandered into the barn. “What are you doing?” Alicia asked. Feeling really furious (probably from all the stress of the past few weeks all catching up with me at once and not to mention the poison inside me trying to kill me) I said, “One simple request and neither of you listen. Not that it is anyone’s business. But I honestly don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I’m in a barn calling for a damn creature, that probably can’t do squat for me anyhow.” Alicia did a double take. Her facial expression said enough, she was somewhere between being pissed and confused. “You’re welcome, Davis,” she muttered. Alicia paced for a few seconds and then she said, “If you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic. Like what in the heck is up with you anymore, you seriously need to take a chill pill, and I have to wonder, do you even know what being honest is anymore?” Her words cut me like tiny daggers, and I knew she was right. She had every right to be pissed at me, but I’d never admit that out loud. I’d been treating her with no respect. “Look Alicia, I’m sorry for snapping… I’ve just been under so much stress. You’re right, I’ve been keeping stuff from you. But it’s stuff about me… It’s just I don’t want you to think differently of me. There are some things I found out recently about myself that I even had trouble believing at first,” I said. Alicia said, “It’s okay, Davis, I do understand what you’re going through. I promise to be mindful. Whenever you feel comfortable enough to tell me, I’ll be here, Ok?” Hearing her say that made me feel better, but I had more important things to do than work out my love life. I was on a deadline to save Grandpa, and we had to find creatures that only existed in fairytales and myths as far as I knew and the poison was now taking its toll on me. So I said, “Ok girls, I need to get in touch with Oogle Doogle, I think he can help.” Kelly said, “I believe you have a telepathic link with him, Davis, so it should be relatively straightforward. Unlike us!” I looked at the girls forcing a smile, “After we help Grandpa the three of us need to talk. And as far as telepathic links go, I’m used to phones; so how do I make calls from inside my head? Seriously, what do I do?” I asked, looking at Kelly for answers. Kelly frowned, “I didn’t talk to him so I don’t know, but if I were you, I’d concentrate on him hard. That’s the only way I imagine you could reach him.” So we were all quiet while I put myself into a semi-trance by trying to focus all my energy and concentrate on the little elf’s name (go figure; I’m making a collect call from inside of my head to

God knows where in the universe, trying to contact someone not even human). After a half couple of minutes, I was starting to feel like this sending phone calls from my mind was pointless. The poison was really getting to me—it made my skin burn like a million fire ants were crawling all over me and, if that wasn’t already bad enough, my head was now pounding like a jackhammer chipping away at my skull. That’s when he popped up right in the middle of us. “Master called?” “You can’t just pop up on me like that, Oogle Doogle, you scared the crap out of me! “ Alicia looked around, trying to discern whom I was speaking to. She said, “Is Oogle here already? I can’t seem to see or hear him, Davis.” “Oh yeah, that’s right,” I said. Looking down at Oogle, I said, “Think you could remove the blinders, so I don’t look crazy?” Oogle gave me a crooked smile, “As you wish, Master, Oogle cure all who are deaf and dumb!” he continued, “Master place amulet on Alicia, then Kelly—Oogle must interface with their consciousness.” I walked over to Alicia and pulled the amulet off from around my neck. Then I draped it over her head, bring it to rest around her neck. “I want you to meet a friend of mine that’s not human,” I explained. “Don’t be afraid he is cute and harmless.” She looked at me wide-eyed like I was losing it. “Oogle almost done at eighty percent—upload was success,” he announced. “Oogle ready say hi.” Alicia spun around frantically, I took it as a sign that she could hear Oogle now. Her jaw went slack when she saw him. “Hi me Oogle, nice meet masters friend.” Alicia took a few steps back, I could tell her mind was having trouble wrapping around what this strange little creature was. “It calls you master Davis?” “Yeah, it can be a little annoying at times,” I admitted. “Hi Oogle,” Alicia kneeled down to meet him at eye level. “Are you digital or physical—like if I touched you would you feel solid?” Oogle’s eyes brightened, “Oogle very much real, you can feel Oogle if like.” Alicia inched toward Oogle and twirled one of his long floppy ears between her fingers. “You’re too darn cute,” she laughed. Alicia scooped up Oogle like a teddy bear hugging him if he were a teddy bear stuffing would have burst from his seams. Then she put the little creature back down. Kelly insisted that she have a chance to wear the amulet, she seemed curious about Oogle, I assumed she wanted to meet her attacker as I’m sure she had some words for him, after the barn incident. So, I lifted the amulet off of Alicia and placed it around Kelly’s neck. She spun around with fury in her eyes, waiting for him to appear. Once Kelly saw Oogle they stared one another down like they were having a showdown in the Old West. I blurted, “Oogle, Kelly, look we don’t have time for quarrels. We’re in trouble here. Grandpa could die. We have three days before the freezing spell fades!” Oogle Doogle said, “Oogle no like Master being friends with traitor girl, her family is Masters sworn enemy, we destroy her kind, not trust them for help, no Oogle no like…” Kelly broke her gaze with me and looked away. If I couldn’t get her or Oogle to help me, Grandpa was doomed. I crouched down on the floor; my head was spinning out of control. The nectar was no longer keeping the poison at bay, my body felt like it was about to combust. I looked up at Alicia her blue eyes were filled with fear. Kelly studied me carefully, “Are you Ok, Davis?” I couldn’t respond I was fighting to hold on. Each breath was harder than the last, my health was

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