Old Mabel took a break from studying about The Beetles upstairs at The Table to hang with Jiff again. “Did you know John Lemon hated the sound of his own voice and asked his producer to smother it with ketchup?” she asked at one point.
“No I didn’t know that,” Jiff replied in his high pitched, wavering voice from the vase he put in place yesterday. “My turn in the chair again.”
“Why don’t we just sit together.” She was feeling more comfortable around him all the time. Peculiar: she doesn’t usually take to people like this. But there was something familiar about Jiff the Minoan, who could be both man or woman by the way, depending on the week.
“Alright,” he agreed, and joined Old Mabel in the blue retro seat. “Ahh,” he exclaimed as his little body sank back into the upholstery.
“There. That’s better,” said Old Mabel. “Best we both sit in this comfy chair, eh?” The proximity seemed familiar again — what was it about Jiff? Certainly not a physical attraction.
Seeming to pick up on Old Mabel’s thinking, Jiff said in a playful manner: “You couldn’t possibly fall for another refuge half your size?” His eyes gained a devious twinkle.
“No. I’m already taken, if not exactly in the present. Baker Bloch is my friend in the here and now but soon to be more, I feel. We will eventually become man and wife. I sense this. I *see* this.”
“Oh,” Jiff simply said back, expression changed.
“Here, let me brush your hair again,” Old Mabel then spoke, trying to smooth over the awkward moment. “Such beautiful hair. You say this is a traditional Minoan style? Tell me about your people again — if it’s not too painful.”
“It’s like I said before,” he started, quickly getting over the disappointment and remembering who he *really* was. Deep inside. “The portal opened up and we came through. Demos, I mean, *demons* were already there. Holiday demons mainly. Satan Santa and Snowmanster. Cookie the Crumbler. Mean dudes. But we outnumbered them, by a great margin. More and more of us poured through. Eventually a truce was made — Unch the Walky Tree wrote up the contract. The line between Rubi and Minoa was drawn.”
“What happened to the Rubi demons?” Old Mabel then asked. But Jiff was looking at the Blue Feather’s front door, mouth agape.
“What’s wrong?” She stared with Jiff toward the door.
“Nothing. Just thought I saw something pass by. Couldn’t be, though.”
“Who or what do you think it was?”
“Hold on,” he said and walked to the door, then peered down Old Cannon Road toward the woods. Just as he suspected.
He crossed the line again.