By Eve Tyger
Amira gasped. She stared at Kenna in amazement.
“You what?” asked Conrad in disbelief, “Um, you’re joking right?”
Granda shook his head sadly.
“It’s true. You’ve noticed that some things are not quite right. Strange things have been happening in Sprollick. I have some theories about what might have caused them, but I’m not going to tell you all that now. We have other things to attend to.”
“Do you mean your will, Granda?” Amira, asked, forestalling Conrad's next question.
“Yes, Amira, that is what I mean. Alyn, will you please go to my dresser. Tap the top right drawer three times and say “Apple Crumble”.”
Alyn looked at him, uncomprehending.
Granda smiled at her as if he had said nothing out of the ordinary. “It is my favourite dessert. But yes, I should probably have come up with a better spellword then that.”
Amira saw Alyn’s composure break, for the first time in her life. Alyn gave a little noise of confusion, her hand moving to her mouth.
She got up, hand still raised, and moved slowly to the dresser. She stood in front of the drawer nervously, then lowered her hand and tapped three times. Amira had to lean forward to hear Alyn’s tremulous whisper, “Apple Crumble”.
The drawer sprung open, and Alyn lept back with a squeak. Amira smiled slightly. Even the best servents could sometimes reveal their emotions.
“Ah, good. Could you please bring me the paper you see there?”
Alyn picked up the piece of paper in two fingers, as if it was burning hot, and hurried over to the bedside, handing it Granda.
Granda took it, then patted Alyn’s hand. “Well done child, thank you.”
He turned back to Conrad, Amira and Kenna.
“On this piece of paper, you will find the instructions on where to discover your inheritance. It will not be an easy task, I’m afraid, but this is the only way to make sure no one else finds it first.”
Conrad groaned, “Seriously, a treasure hunt? We’re not that young, Granda.”
Amira shushed him and Kenna glared.
“Didn’t you just hear him say he had to do it. Fine then, you go do something mature and we’ll go find our inheritance, but don’t be surprised when I take your share.”
Amira cut off of Conrad again, “Are you coming with us, Aunt Kenna?”
Kenna snorted. “Don’t call me aunt, I’m the same age as you. And yes, I’m included in this inheritance. I am his daughter after all.”
Granda raised his hand, shaking slightly with the effort. “Peace Kenna. Yes, you must carry her book, and you Alyn, must go as well. The princess of Dulzure must not be left out.”
This time Alyn swayed slightly, “P-princess?”
Conrad ran over to her and steadied her with his arm. “I always knew you were special. I mean, that is to say,” He said in response to Amira’s violent head shake, “You were always special, I guess. Being a princess doesn’t really change that, I mean…”
Alyn stared unseeingly at the ground, a combination of horror and wonder written on her pale face, “It changes everything.”
Conrad snapped his mouth closed, and remained silent.
Granda yawned weakly. “It is time for my nap now, children. Please know that I love you all, dearly.”
He looked at each of them in turn, letting his gaze linger on each youthful face. Amira felt a spike of dread enter her stomach.
“Granda, you are okay, aren’t you? You will be here when we get back."
Granda smiled at her sadly. “That, my love, is something I cannot promise. Go in peace.”
Amira followed the others as they stepped through the door, picking up Kenna’s book as she went. Her tearful gaze lingered on her Grandfather as Conrad slowly shut the door behind them.