61 - Where Girl Takes Hers

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61

      “Jasslyn?” Dandy said on the fifth day. She’d received her dose of Demophide the day before with the rest of the Crawlers, and I rarely saw her with her butterflies anymore.

      “What?” I jolted from my half-conscious doze and rubbed my eyes. “Yeah?”

      “Jacoby requested that you take the Demophide now, with the Livings.”

      “What?” I said again.

      “He wants you to take the Demophide now with the Living group instead of waiting until the other Probes and Hiders go. Meaning, you get to take it before Squid or Sock.”

      I looked at her, confused.

      “Just go and find Mrs. Campbell. She’ll fill you in.”

      “What about Beatrice?” I managed to get out. She’d been gone since, well, sometime before I’d woken. Lying in bed practically all day had caused me to lose track of time.

      Dandy sighed. “Didn’t she take it already?”

      “Oh, right.” I gave my head a smack and smiled tiredly. “Thanks, Dandy. I’ve been really out of it. What time is it?”

      She smiled back and checked her watch. “It’s five.”

      I dragged myself out of bed and forced my leaden feet to walk already. Several blinks were required to successfully adjust to the light outside.

      There was a massive line-up of about two hundred people extending along the trail leading towards the Campbells’ house. I joined the end of the line, getting a healthy whiff of the musky animal smells surrounding me. I felt alienated and singled out. A couple people even approached me and said Probes and Hiders went on the last day.

      When I got to the front of the line, there were two full cups left. I grasped one, the thought of never seeing Jacoby’s flowers again at the forefront of my mind. I began to panic.

      “Drink it, Jasslyn,” said Mrs. Campbell. She had tired eyes and was clearly not going to deal with any melodrama. “Jacoby specifically asked that you take it before all the other O+ blood types.”

      I stared down at the contents of the cup, swirled it around a couple times, watched the sunlight catch the shimmers.

      “How’s Jacoby doing?” I asked anyway. I stepped aside to let the person behind me grab their cup. The girl downed it and was gone within ten seconds.

      “He’s fine.”

      “Everyone knows what ‘fine’ means.”

      “He’s healthy.”

      “You’re lying.”

      Mrs. Campbell sighed. “He’s tired, but wants to keep going,” she amended.

      “Is any of this Tweed’s?” I asked, pointing at the empty cups. “Or is Jacoby doing all the work?”

      “His flowers are recuperating, and so is he. His body is able to create more.” She leaned forward. “As infants, all of us were injected with no more than fifteen millimetres of Reduine. The body takes those fifteen millimetres and can duplicate it enough times to last us a lifetime. Jacoby will survive this.”

     But his body wasn't expecting to be pumping out litres of this stuff, I thought. Squeezing my eyes shut, I knocked back the Demophide before I could say anything.

      “Thanks,” I said through my teeth.

      I walked away blinking back tears.

      The first thing I forced myself to do was look for the flower globe Jacoby had given me. With one eye on the time and the other on the lily, I waited until an hour and a half had passed. Then two, past dinner. Then two and a half.

      The lily hadn’t faded.

      I turned onto my stomach and cradled the globe closer. If it had worked at Holiday Inn, it would work now.

      “Hey,” I murmured.

      The lily’s petals wiggled one after the other.

      “I hope you’re doing okay.”

      A puff of pollen.

      “Well…I don’t know if this is like a walkie-talkie and you can answer, but um, give me a squeak if you can hear me?” I looked at the lily expectantly, warmed it with my hands.

      It only turned up towards my face.

      I sighed.

      “Roger,” the lily squeaked.

      “What?” I pressed my ear to the glass.

      “Roger that,” it repeated.

      “Oh my gosh. Jacoby? Have you eaten today? Are you feeling okay? Is Tweed treating you like a cow? Is he even contributing any of his flowers’ Demophide?”

      The lily was silent for a long time. I sat up, legs crossed, waiting for it to talk again.

      When it did, I groaned, half exasperated, half relieved, because it was typical Jacoby:

      “Go to sleep.”

(**A/N: Aaand that's the end of Chapter 19. Wow you can really tell when I'm rushing. Chapters get shorter and shorter. But maybe it works with the pacing? It's starting to pick up.

Really short update, sorry about that! Twelve pages left of my manuscript!

No QotC this time :P

I won't answer your guys' questions about what's going to happen next (don't think you guys would want me to, anyhow heh heh) but I will say there is no sequel to Imaginer. It's a one-take deal. I know the pain of watching a story end, and I'm so thankful to everyone who's followed this story up to this point. A reader suggested writing a prequel about the Campbell brothers and how Tweed came to meet his wife. I may or may not go through with it, but gah, I love Jacoby and Jasslyn too much as protagonists to switch to another pair in the same world.

Omfg I voted for this, too? .______. I don't know what's going on. I've been testing out the Wattpad App and I'm still not used to my phone D; Voted by accident.)

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