Danny's Story

8. in which danny is driven away

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Jett’s car smelled of spice — clove, patchouli, musk. From the rearview mirror hung a pentacle and a muslin bag of wormwood for protection. Particles of sand and lint were crammed into the fabric of the seats. It was a well-loved car.

As they drove off, Danny sighed and rested her head back against the headrest, relishing a feeling she hadn’t experienced for a long time.

As if reading her mind, Jett asked, “How long?” He always asked when he saw her.

She thought for a moment, then mumbled, “Mm, a few months.”

There was a moment of silence as Jett nodded. He often teased her that his younger sister was now older than he was. And it was true. Although she was 19 in Earth chronology, Danny’s accumulated experience added up to about 24 years. She wondered if it bothered him — or, rather, how much it bothered him. Jett was rather sensitive, especially about Danny. He’d already admitted to missing her — even though he saw her practically every day in his timeline. “You feel distant,” he said once. “Every time I see you, it’s like we’re seeing each other for the first time in weeks or months.”

She had smiled wryly, because for her, that was precisely the case.

“How’s Drev’o?” asked Jett now.

“He’s good,” said Danny. “He finished his season project on gryphons. I left him sleeping in bed.” She smiled flatly.

From the corner of her vision, she could sense him glancing at her. “And how are you?” asked archly.

“Mmm…” she hedged, shrugging. Feelings of apprehension made her belly tense up.

“What’s up?” he pressed.

“Eh,” said Danny, not wanting to talk about it just yet.

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Christie “Iamba” Bailey

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