It hadn’t taken me long, once I was on the case, to figure out where they’d taken Jake. I’d been hearing rumors of fairy lights out this way for a few weeks now. Of course, most folks think they’re seeing fire flies. Their brains won’t let 'em think any other way, despite the multiple colors.
So I’d used Google to look at satellite images of the area until I found the tree. One tree in a sea of grass. Well, lets just say that fairies like trees. And one tree by itself like that in the middle of nowhere? For some reason they find that something next to sacred.
I’ve had one of the fairy folk try and explain it to me once. Didn’t make a lick of sense at the time, still doesn’t. Something about too many trees in one place making too much noise or something.
Anyway, I’d had a hunch, and for once it turned out to be right.
I holstered the pistols and pulled a bottle of water from one of the deep pockets of my coat. I popped the top and dumped half of it atop young Jake.
Jake Finn, eleven years old, from Grantville, Kansas, was awake in an instant. I stood so that he could see me, ready to assuage any fears that might bubble to the surface after waking to find himself tied to a tree in the dark.
He blinked as this eyes adjusted to the light before he turned them on me.
“Hey,” he said. Though his voice was still thick with sleep, his greeting felt a mite too casual, considering the situation.
“Jake,” I said. “You know where you are?”
“Tree,” he said. “Middle of a field. Yeah.”
“You know how you got here?”
“Uh, yeah,” he said with more than a little disdain as he rolled his eyes. “Fairies brought me out here.”
“And you’re okay with that?” I said.
But I didn’t get an answer. Instead Jake only smiled, his eyes going big like one of them creepy paintings from the 60’s, and in those eyes I could see the reflection of dancing lights.
I spun, a gun in each hand, the hammers thumbed back before I’d even cleared leather. But it was too late, the lights zipped all about us, hundreds of 'em in every color of the rainbow.
It was a bit like watching miniature comets, about three or so inches in diameter, streak here and there around the tree. One of the lights eventually broke off from the main group and made its way to me.
The light, orange, hovered there in front of my face for a moment or two, so bright that I couldn’t see into its center. But then the light dimmed, and as the ghostly image of orange faded from my eyes, I could see her.
She was about three inches tall with thin, gossamer wings that moved so fast they were only a blur. She wore jeans and a red t-shirt emblazoned with a yellow star. Her feet were bare and the orange hair that fell from her head reached just below her shoulder.
She flew in closer and I followed her with the barrel of one pistol. Her eyes took me in and quickly grew bored, if not disgusted.
“Ugh,” she said, rolling her eyes. “It’s Norman Oklahoma.”
To be continued ...