Ch 36 - From the Ash

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"Believe all you want, but there is still a curse. You can't cross into Fairy without Rhianna, remember." Nyssa spread the tea towel out to dry on the counter with a heavy sigh.

Some of the hero deflated from Gretch's stance. "Oh, right. What about you, can you take me across?"

"I can barely get myself across with a power boost," she said, fiddling with the horse pendant hanging around her neck. "Rhianna is the only one able to cross easily and bring passangers."

"Why is that? How does she do it? She can't be the only one."

Nyssa folded her arms and tapped her chin with her index finger. "You know, it happened when her mother was carrying her off--they could have been in between both world at the moment of the curse. Katrin could probably also bring you across."

"Well, that doesn't do me any good. Her mom is long gone. I don't even think she has called once. But Rhianna still keeps that stupid pre-paid phone fully charged and full of minutes." Gretch ground her teeth at the thought of having to rely on that woman in a crisis. "Is there nobody else?"

"Kasubia?"

"The horse?"

"Yes, she has Fae blood. Katrin was riding her as she fled."

"But that horse flies into kill mode everytime the wind blows in a different direction." Katrin might actually be more reliable.

"There are no other options, unless you are the bearer of the Mask of Grimina." Nyssa chuckled weakly. "But I wouldn't wish that on you, even to save my grandneice."

Gretch's eyes popped open and she quickly averted her gaze. The Mask of Grimina wasn't going to help her get into Fairy, because it was already on the other side. She was going to have a long chat with Teasel and Rhianna about getting rid of that mask when this was all over.

"Kasubia is our only choice then," Gretch mumbled, hoping Nyssa had seen her reaction to the mention of the mask. "How do you make friends with a killer horse?"

"Have you tried talking to her?" Nyssa was tugging at her horse pendant again.

"What?" Gretch arched her brow. "She's a rabid horse. She kicks first and asks questions later."

"She wasn't always a horse. That is just her punishment. She loves Rhianna more than you could imagine." Nyssa wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. "She will be a true ally."

Gretch swallowed. "I've never--I mean.... I am not really a horse person like Jenny." A twinge of guilt stabbed her heart. She had been so worried about Rhianna, she'd forgotten about Jenny. "Oh! The book."

Gretch turned and ran up the stairns two at a time. She burst into the bedroom, looking for where she'd put it.

Raisen bolted up as Gretch slammed the door open. Her matted hair fromed puffy, red-rimmed eyes.

"I'm going to get them. Don't worry," Gretch said as she rummaged in her bag and then shoved an arm way under the bed. Her groping hand brushed the leather spine. She'd found it.

"I don't want to lose you too." Raisen's lower lip trembled.

Gretch stopped by the door with the book hugged tight. "You won't. I promise." She couldn't do it. She couldn't leave things the way they were. She ran to the bed, dropped the book and gave Raisen a long tight hug. "Stay safe. Get some sleep. We'll be back by dawn."

"You don't know that. Time is effed up in Fairy. You could be gone for years!"

"I will make Time my bitch if she screws me over," Gretch said into her hair.

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