Denise returned from a trip to the garage where she had a second refrigerator keeping several trays of cookie dough setting up and waiting to go into the oven. “Coffee,” she said to herself softly with a sigh as she took a small rag from her pocket and wiped her brow, “I simply need either a nap or a good stout cup of coffee.”
“Then you shall have one, a cup that is, but I need to take the boy with me.” It was a young girl’s voice that seemed to come from within every object in the kitchen including her own self.
She stopped still. Her hand went to her throat. Trembling she said, “Wha wha what? Is someone there?”
“Come now Denise, did you forget me? Has it been so long? Don’t you remember playing in the orchard by the glen near the river that crossed through and came to a small lake that was a brilliant blue and clear as the air?”
Denise stepped back, her hand tightening on her throat. “No. Stay away. You can’t have him.”
“But a deal is a deal.”
Denise felt a gust of wind and heard the sound of a hundred tiny bells ringing. Then came the touch of a small girl’s hand on her arm. Without looking, Denise asked, her voice quivering, “Runa?”
“If you recall that name. Yes. But I have many names given me over the centuries, but Runa is fine. It means secret, whisper.”
“You can’t have him.” Denise turned and stared down at the gypsy child next to her. She was fully clothed in a historical gypsy dress, the same as when Denise had last seen her. She looked as if age 12 but was far greater in age than that.
“Oh but I can and I will.” The girl smiled up and nodded. “I already have.” She pointed to where the boy had been hiding and then to the plate of cookies. Both were gone.
“NO!” Denise grabbed for the girl but she was gone. She then turned back to where Chase had been sitting. “Chase,” she shouted reaching under the table, hoping to grab onto the boy. “Chase!”
But he was gone.