Jared's Quest, p.4Chanda Hahn
“Flip her off. Twist your body!”
Mina gripped the spear and used her body weight to twist and knock Kathleen off. They both rolled, and Mina did what she could to direct their momentum so they rolled down toward the water.
With a splash, they both landed in the creek. Kathleen crawled away into the water, trying to lie down and soak up as much of the water as she could. But it also put her within reach of all the vengeful boys. They grabbed her and lifted her up out of the water. She couldn’t fight them all at once.
She tried to touch one, and Jared could see one of the boy’s eyes go heavy-lidded. For a moment, he thought for sure Kathleen would win.
Then another boy knocked her hand down to protect his friend. She wiggled away from them but found herself surrounded by a circle of her old beaus. Furious beaus.
“Please…please help me,” Kathleen croaked out to Mina.
Mina stood up and grabbed the gold spear. She whispered a word, and it changed forms. It shrunk until it was the size of a small golden orb.
Jared smiled wryly when he realized what Mina was doing.
“Here catch this,” she called, tossing the golden ball Kathleen’s way.
Kathleen caught the ball with one hand, mid air. The orb enveloped her hand and then her arm. It slowly grew in circumference as it began to swallow her whole.
“No, no, no!” she cried out, as the ball-shaped Grimoire pulled her further and further in. The boys ran down the creek bed, away from the strange glistening object. The wind picked up, and a blinding bright light emanated from the ball. It opened up like a vortex, and in an instant, the Croanoak was gone.
Jared stood there, supremely proud of Mina. She’d done it and hadn’t flinched in the face of danger. She turned to him with a huge grin on her face, and he ached to return it. But he couldn’t.
She’d been sloppy, and sloppy gets you killed. Jared didn’t want Mina dead. Just the thought of what could have happened made him bark at her angrily. “You almost blew it!” He stormed to the edge of the creek bed and was happy to see that he could leave it without any repercussions. His arm had turned back to normal.
Mina’s smile slid from her face. “Yeah, well I wasn’t the one kissing frogs.”
“That wasn’t a frog; that was a Croanoak,” he grumbled.
“Okay fine, but I wasn’t the one making out with it.” She splashed into the middle of the creek and picked up the golden ball. It slowly transformed from a ball into the regular notebook-shaped Grimoire Mina preferred.
“I wasn’t making out with it. I was trying to save the boys. If you’d come storming in here the other day and caught her, they would still be frogs under her spell.” He pointed toward the place where the boys had run down the creek. They were playing in the water, kicking and splashing each other happily. Oblivious to what had happened to them.
Jared knew that their minds would come up with some reasonable explanation for why they’d been missing for so long. The Fates would make sure it was all cleaned up. They didn’t like the Story to leave any loose ends.
“How do you know that they wouldn’t have turned back to normal? The Story has always reset things before. Like it did with Claire and Nan and…Brody.” Mina spoke her old boyfriend’s name softly, but not soft enough.
Jared heard the longing in her voice, and he scowled. He just could not make himself like the human boy. Brody wasn’t good enough for his Grimm.
Listen to me. I’m laying claim to Mina in my own mind.
“I just know!” he accidentally shouted at her. He hadn’t meant to say it like that.
Mina blinked, taken aback. “Well, you seem to know everything then! Maybe you could have helped me, told me what you knew about this quest instead of disappearing for days, slacking off. After all, I have quests to finish in order to break the curse on my family. You, on the other hand, seem not to care about the quests or me! You’re a selfish jerk.” She spun and started walking down the driveway.
He smiled a little when she turned to the left and started heading in the wrong direction. Her home was the other way. He sighed. He would have to go and pick her up and take her home, but not until he was sure everything was cleaned up here.
He only had to wait for a minute, before Ever showed up out of the darkness. She was back to wearing her Goth-punk look, and Jared admitted to himself that he liked that better on her.
“I see that you had no problem getting Mina back here tonight.” He turned and started walking along the creek bed listening carefully.
“Yeah, it was easy to sneak into her apartment and set all the timers to go off at eight o’clock,” Ever said as she flew next to him, her feet never touching the ground. “I mean, we are talking microwave, alarm clocks, wristwatch, the works. I also hid all of her pajamas and normal clothes in the attic so all she was left with were the black clothes you described to me that she wore the other night. She was all ready to come barreling over here, so it didn’t take much prodding.”
“And she didn’t see you?”
Ever scoffed and rolled her shoulders. “Duh, I told you. The gimp didn’t see me.”
Jared heard the sound he was searching for. It was ten yards down the creek and away from Kathleen’s house. He slowed his step and leaned down carefully. There in the weeds, he heard it again. A pitiful and lonely croaking. All the other bullfrogs were gone, and his call was the only one left in the night.
Quickly, he snatched the bullfrog up out of the reeds and held him in his cupped hands. Ever flew over to look at the frog and her face scrunched up. “What do you have?”
“Uh, I think your new roommate,” Jared chuckled sadly.
“Nope, not gonna happen. I don’t keep pets.” Ever backed away and crossed her arms over her chest, raising her chin in defiance.
“Ev—er!” Jared pleaded.
The pixie threw her hands up in the air. “Fine. Give him to me.” She pulled the frog out of Jared’s hands and spoke to him directly. “I hope you like Cheetos and hotdogs, because I’m not about to start catching flies and digging up earthworms.”
The bullfrog just croaked happily at Ever. It seemed to perk up in her pretty little hands.
“And another thing: you are sleeping on the couch. Got that? Not my bed, not my drawers, not the couch.” She started to stroke the frog on the top of its head, and the frog closed its eyes happily. It didn’t take long for her to change her mind about the bullfrog.
Jared grabbed Ever’s arm as she was about to leave. “One last thing.”
She turned and tapped her foot impatiently. “What? I need to get Froggy here home. I can already feel him drying out.”
He felt a small smile creep up at her intense need to protect the frog. “Uh, Ever, his name is Tom…and thank you.”
“Don’t mention it, Jared, and I mean it. Don’t mention it…to anyone ever.”
He observed Ever as she tucked Tom safely into her crossover bag, the whole while giving him the lowdown on her magical motel room. How it was way bigger on the inside, and no one could find it if they hadn’t been shown the place by her. How she always had the Cartoon Network on and would agree to let him watch the sports channels if he watched The Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy with her. The bullfrog wiggled happily in her pack, his head peeking out of the zipper. Ever shrugged her shoulders and her wings began to flap. Off they went into the night.
Jared watched them fly away for a few moments and then walked down the driveway and stopped. He didn’t have long to wait before Mina came storming back down the sidewalk toward him.
“Not one word out of you, mister!” she hissed angrily. It was pretty apparent that Mina was flustered from traveling ten minutes in the wrong direction. “You are in trouble.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Jared chuckled and turned to walk with Mina. “You know it would be faster if you let me drive you home.”
Mina stopped and turned. “Well if that’s your way of saying you’re sorry for slacking off and dating the
Jared laughed and walked over to his car. He opened the passenger door, “Grimms first.”
Continue the story in Fairest
About the Author
Chanda Hahn is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of Reign, An Unfortunate Fairy Tale. She takes her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian, and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for young teens. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and their twins, Aiden and Ashley.
Visit Chanda Hahn’s website to learn more about her other forthcoming books.
Other Books by Chanda Hahn
UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 1)
Fairest (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 2)
Fable (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 3)
Reign (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 4)
The Iron Butterfly
The Steele Wolf
The Silver Siren
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Chanda Hahn, Jared's Quest
Jared's Quest by Chanda Hahn / Fantasy / Young Adult have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes