Author's Note: So so so so sorry for the delay between updates!! So I won't delay anymore by blabbering on in author's notes, but THANKS for all the reivews! ...and I don't own Spiderwick...
Title: THE NEXT STEP
CH. 21: Simon's Disapproval
While White Bite had, in his many years of observing Red Cap's failures, become convinced that he would not make the same mistakes as his predecessor. Red Cap was a poor leader, and led his troop of goblins into disaster and tomato-ridden death. White Bite, however, had a plan. He had the girl, the tall human who knew how to use swords, and through her, he could get at the Boy-Who-Read-the-Book, and through him, the goblins could take out the foreigner.
But his plan didn't stop there. Red Cap had the right idea in capturing the human boy, but Red Cap didn't think things through. He didn't have White Bites's intelligence. White Bite knew better than to leave his camp out in the open for anyone to see. After all, their enemies weren't just blind ignorant humans; they had the Sight.
Those of the Fantastical Realm could no longer rely on their invisibility to hide. No. White Bite knew better. His camp was in a gully, partially dug out by his own goblin troops, and covered by a netting camouflaged in leaves and earth. Even if a human managed to find his camp, his posted scouts would give warning long before anyone could sneak up on them.
White Bite felt a warm glow of pride as his scouts show him at a distance and opened the hidden door to their secret camp. His goblins carrying the unconscious girl were allowed to pass first. Though a few months ago when the camp was first built, White Bite didn't know which human he would manage to catch first, he had ordered the construction of a human-sized cage nonetheless; just to prepare for future possibilities.
He felt his grain stretch over his stolen teeth as he watched his goblins maneuver the bound and unconscious human into her new prison.
"We done good boss?" One of his goblins ran up to him and asked.
"Yesss," White Bite hissed. "We all done good this time."
"So, what we do now, boss?" the underling continued.
White Bite, grin still displaying his mismatched incisors, turned slowly to face the human's cage.
"Now we wait. We wait, and take down the Jared and the foreigner! We destroy them like they destroyed so many of our brothers!"
As the goblin leader laughed to himself over his thoughts of revenge, a chorus of raucous cackling rose up as his surrounding goblin troops joined in, creating a raking sound of garish goblin mirth.
The sun was setting before Jared finally lowered his sword in admitted defeat. His sparring companion grinned, revealing her elongated canines.
"Finished?" She asked, collecting the weapons strewn about the field.
"Hn." Jared grunted back, wiping the sweat-soaked bangs out of his eyes.
"Think you can make it back to the house?" the faerie asked, grinning.
"Ah' be fine—" he muttered, before sagging against the nearest tree.
"Right then," the girl declared, strapping their gear on her back. "Let's get you back home."
The tall faerie looped one arm around her pupil's shoulders, supporting him as they made their way through the forest to the Spiderwick mansion.
Simon sighed in both annoyance and disappointment as he climbed the stairs to the room he shared with his brother.
Not only had neither of his siblings shown up in time to accompany himself and their mother on the ice cream trip (meaning he had to deal with a very depressed Helen Grace all by himself the whole time) but their absence continued all through the rather extravagant dinner his mother had planned for them all to share together.
Simon appreciated what his mother was trying to do, but they weren't kids anymore! The family get-togethers had stopped being a part of their lives long before their parents decided to divorce.
And then there was Jared and Mallory! Jared was just a mess these days, so his delinquent absence was understandable, if not condonable, but Mallory? Sure, she was often busy with the "popular" crowd at school, but it wasn't like her to not even call!
Simon stomped into his room, his internal tirade interrupted only by the grunt of disapproval and the movement of blankets on his brother's bed when he flipped on the light switch to their shared room.
"Wha?" was the muffled reply.
"What are you doing?"
"'M tryin' to sleep," the older brother said, pulled the comforter further over his face, to block out the light.
"You get back in time to sleep, but not in time to eat Mom's dinner?!" Simon asked incredulously.
But his question went unanswered, as the exhausted Jared fell back asleep. Brana had, courtesy of her faerie-gifted physical prowess, brought Jared into the house via the attic window, and then left it up to the human to get himself down to his own bed. By the time Jared had walked down the stairs, undressed, and found his bed, he was zombie-like in his sleep-directed movements.
Simon's abrupt entrance into his room was not enough to keep him in a conscious state, and Jared quickly and easily fell back into unconsciousness.
"Jared?" Simon asked, poking the lump that was his brother. "Ja—red…" Simon pulled back. "Unbelievable," he said to himself, as he went through his own motions of preparing for bed. "I'll just have to have a long talk with him and Mallory tomorrow…"
Mallory, thanks to the goblin-concocted version of chloroform that had been shoved in her face, wasn't aware of her own surroundings, and thus had little to do with the family gathering fiasco with which her youngest brother was so concerned, but would be facing a crisis all her own in the coming hours, as she realized what had happened, and just how far Jared was getting into the intrigues of the Fantastical Realm...
Author's Note: Pelori here...thanks for all the lovely reviews of last chapter; I know I've done all you wonderful readers a disservice by putting the update off this long, but maybe you'll review anyway? Critiques welcome!