32 - Where Guiders are Run Into and Sought After

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(**A/N: If you read Chapter 31 before August 24th, go back to it and scroll down to the bottom. I've added a couple paragraphs that I thought would fit better in that chapter than this one. Thanks, and sorry for the hassle!)


         We both stewed in silence, the thought roasting on a spit in front of us.

         Jacoby sat bolt upright suddenly and grabbed my wrist.

         “What? What is it?” I said in alarm.

         “He added something else,” he blurted. He turned to me, eyes wide. “Did I seriously forget to tell you?”

         “Well, what is it?” I asked impatiently.

         “He gave me a name.” My face must have looked blank, for he added agitatedly, “You know! Guiders? We were looking for a Guider?”

         “Right, right!” I said, nodding vigorously.

         “Sandra Oakensfield. She’s a legend in the Other society. She’s famous for getting Others safely to the hideout, and she’s probably the most skilled Guider out there. We need to find her.”

         I nodded slowly. “Did he tell you where? Where she is? Is she in the middle of a…a mission or something?”

         Jacoby shrugged his shoulders. “He didn’t know. She’s always travelling around. I only know her name and that she’s the best chance we’ve got.”

         “We can look her up in the phonebook,” I suggested. “There was a stack of them back at the hotel.” Excitement was mounting in my chest. I wanted to get going, to start looking, investigating.

         “Well, what are we waiting for?” Jacoby grinned for a second, and dandelions overtook all the other flowers, their afro heads bouncing as they hopped around us. He stuck his hand out to pull me up, and as he did, the smile slipped off his face and dandelions shrunk into non-existence.

         I almost tumbled onto my bum. “What?”

         “Okay,” he whispered. “Act casual. I might be wrong, but there are two people at the edge of the park. They won’t stop staring at us.”

         My heart sped, and I made to turn my head.

         “No.” Jacoby smiled forcedly at me, his facial muscles jumping with the effort. “Don’t look. Just come with me.” He pulled me to my feet, keeping my hand in his as we ambled back towards the hotel.

         I chanced a look at his feet. Judging from the white flowers, the ones I’d seen on a couple occasions with petals as thin as moth wings, he was scared.

         “Say something,” he whispered. “Make my flowers go away.” He sounded like a child, a scared child unsure of what to do and how to act.

         “Um…” I struggled to find something that could counter the white flowers. “I liked your hair better when it was auburn.”

         “Keep talking.” His brow was furrowed. He concentrated hard on my words as we neared the edge of the park. Up until now, having flowers around him was acceptable. We were still standing on grass. But once his feet touched asphalt, the bad guys would be on us in seconds.

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