Shadow's birthday brings a whole shelf full of books, all for himself. What could be more awesome than that?
"In 'The Warlock of Palladia', the witches have green skin and ride brooms to their secret meetings. But they use their magic to look normal to regular humans. Does mom secretly have green skin?"
"No," Farrell answers with a laugh.
"But, how do you know? She could have put a spell on you so you couldn't see what she really looks like," Shadow says.
Farrell laughs, "'The Warlock of Palladia' is fiction. You'll have to ask your mother about what real witches can do."
Aurora has inherited her father's genius, and prefers historical books over the fictional tales her brother favors.
Aouregan tries to teach her daughter some of the basics of alchemy, but Aurora's attention is on her father's workbench.
"Go ahead," Aouregan says with a smile, "See what you can make with your father's scrap."
Aurora doesn't need to be told twice.
While Aouregan mixes her potions, Farrell has been busy with his, still trying to come up with a formula to neutralize the effect of the radioactive alloy MorcuCorp created to keep their fae prisoners from escaping or using their magic against their captors.
Cassidy drifted off while reading in bed, and sleeps with her book tucked under her arm, and dreams of the characters in herstory.
It's Saturrday! No school, all play for the kids in the Brannon household.
Aurora challenges Delaney to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Delaney does not handle defeat well.
But the cousins quickly hug and make up.
In the afternoon, the whole family heads out to Le Cirque Park, where a neighborhood party is starting.
Shadow seeks out his new school friend, Iola Hawksquill right away.
Iola is terrified that the circus themed park might attract clowns. Clowns!
Elliot busts out his costume and make up, and performs some of his mime and juggling routines that don't put too much stress on hi back.
"Someone putafreezespell on him!" Moth gasps as he encounter's Elliot's Human Statue act.
Tansy brushes some dirt off her pants, hiding her amusement from her gullible mate, "It's not a spell," she explains, "He's performing."
"I've been looking forward to meeting you," Tansy greets Aouregan, "Moth has been worried about you for as long as I've known him. My father and my sister have been concerned as well, though they were always confident you'd be rescued eventually."
"Your father and sister?" Aouregan asks, not sure who she means.
"Auberon and Evenfall. My sister says you knew her in your own time, and you've met my father in the dream realm. Thy send you their regards, but they don't like to appear around so many mortals, not even here, where the people are more accepting."
"This is the only place I've been since awaking in this time," Aouregan says, "What is it like elsewhere?"
"It's not much different, really," Tansy says, "But because this town has been touched so deeply by magic, the people who live here are more ready to accept it's reality than they are in most other places."
Cassidy rules at skeeball. Delaney is disappointed to score lower than her bookish twin. Games are her domain, she should naturally be better at them.
The grown ups are all secretly playing 'Guess who Scarlet Prynne's new babydaddy is'. Single mother Scarlet is pregnant again and has been keeping s silent about this one's father as she did about her first. But while everyone in town knew about Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'secret' affair with the young schoolteacher, no one has yet sussed out who her latest flame might be.
It's like these games have all conspired against Delaney, she just can't get a high score on anything!
Cassidy tries her hand at the claw machine.
The claw picks up a robot toy and dangles it in front of her. Will it drop?
Yes! Victory! The prize is Cassidy's.
"Here, I won this for you," Cassidy says, handing the toy robot to her sister, hoping to cheer her up.
Shadow is not as successful in his attempt to win a prize for Iola.
But Iola doesn't care, she's just happy to have a friend who'll be there to protect her if the clowns ever show up.
Aurora is far too serious to enjoy the frivolities of arcade games, a trait she shares with the town doctor, Ariel Hawksquill. They sit together for a game of chess, while he recommends some good, serious works of non-fiction for her to read.
Kyle has spent his afternoon schmoozing with the other children, including Amanda Rivers, a girl in his class.
While he's chatting with neighbor Stacey Meadows, whose son Philip is the same age as his twins, Farrell notices a newcomer to the neighborhood gathering, someone he never expected to see again.
"Suchandra," Farrell says as the gandharva approaches him, "What brings you to Drake's Hollow?" he asks, though he suspects he already knows the answer to his own question.
"I was looking for you," Suchandra answers, confirming Farrell's suspicion, "You rescued us from the white prison. They still have Misrakesi, and I cannot rescue her alone."
"So you need my help," Farrell sighs.
"I would grant you any boon in my power, if you could bring her back to me," Suchandra promises.
"I'll do what I can" Farrell promises, "There's no need to pay me. Stopping MorcuCorp's plans is reward enough. Do you know where they have her?"
Suchandra nods, and says he take Farrell there.
Another rescue from MorcuCorp's labs will require careful planning, so Farrell enlists his mother's aid.
"When we went after Aouregan, it was a trap," Pearl warns her son, "Can you be sure this Suchandra isn't an agent of MorcuCorp?"
"Nothing is ever certain," Farrell answers, "But it seems unlikely."
Pearl frown, but nods, "We'll need a different plan this time,MorcuCorp won't fall for the same tricks twice. Let's meet tomorrow night to work out what we need to do."
Claire shows up to the gathering later in the afternoon. "I wasn't sure I should come," she admits, blushing as Elliot takes her hands in greeting.
"Why not? It's a neighborhood party."
"I thought you might not want to see me in front of your kids..."
"Well, it's not like we're gong to be making out in front of them," Elliot says, "It's okay for them to see me talking to you."
The sky grows dark, and after their picnic dinner is done, it's time for the family to go home.
Cassidy and Delaney brought home a souvenir from their day at the park, and hang it on their bedroom wall.
It's past bedtime, but the girls are too wound p to go to sleep right away.
"You better check under your bed for monsters," Cassidy suggests as she prepares to climb into her own bed.
As if Delaney would ever be scared of monsters.
Still it can't hurt to look, right?
"I was just kidding, silly," Cassidy says as her twin runs screaming from the room, "There's no such thing as bed monsters."
"What are you doing still up?" Elliot asks, coming upstairs to go to bed himself, nd finding Delaney playing on her rocking horse, "It's way past your bed time."
"There was a monster under my bed," Delaney explains, "It's not safe to sleep in there."
"You know I'm stronger than any monster, right?" Elliot says, "They wouldn't dare try to hurt you while I'm around."
Her dad is pretty strong, Delaney agrees, and no monster would be any match for him. With a hug goodnight, she scampers back to her room for the night.