At the hospital, Jamie and Colleen were in the waiting room with other people. The news of the Professor spread like wildfire in college. Several anxious students and colleges of the professor immediately came to the hospital. Despite the background elevator music, the silence was very heavy.
Finally the doctor came in. Everyone gathered around him, eagerly wanting to know the Professor's condition. The doctor motioned with his hand for silence. "She is fine, but we would like to keep her here a little longer in order to observe her."
Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief and began to talk among themselves. In the mist of the commotion, a nurse quietly approached Jamie. She tapped his shoulder. "Are you Jamie Bennett?"
"Please follow me. Mrs. Vangoose is asking for you."
Jamie glanced back at the others. They were still talking. He followed her down the hall to the room where the hospital was keeping the Professor. She was lying on the bed, her face was pale but she smiled warmly at them. "Hello Jamie."
She gazed at the nurse behind him. "Could you please bring my friend a drink?"
"Sure." The nurse left them alone. There was a moment of silence. Then the Professor spoke up. "Young Jamie, have you ever heard of the Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and the Easter Bunny?"
"Yeah," Jamie grinned at her, "and believe it or not. I am one of their biggest believers. Especially Jack Frost."
"What if I told you that I do too?"
"Then you and I are friends for life."
She smiled at him. "A good answer young Jamie Bennett." Then her face turned serious, "But did you know that once children grows up they have lost their ability to see?" He shook his head.
The Professor continued to talk as if she was in her classroom lecturing her students. "Children have their own lives to live after they become adults. They become independent from the Guardians of Childhood. Like a phoenix, children are reborn as adults. They have new dreams to pursue, create new memories and explore the wonders of the world on their own feet. They work with their own hands with the burning passion of hope to create a new future for the next generations to come. Yet they have children of their own continuing the cycle of life."
"But," she added. "Do you know there are very few people possessed the ability to see things differently and ah a little more."
Jamie raised an eyebrow. "A little more?"
"Spirits, fairies and monsters," she waved her hand. "Adults who could see them possessed the gift or the ability is called various different names around the world. For example, one of the names we used is wizards. People who possessed the gift would choose to hunt them or fight against them."
Jamie was reminded of Akira's ability and his obsession for hunting Jack in order to become stronger. He fitted the last part of the Professor's explanation. He nodded sagely. That made sense.
"But what if I told you there is a way that you could see them that does not require the ability?"
He felt his interest perked up. "How?"
The Professor hesitated, she touched her neck. She pulled out a small thin gold necklace under her shirt. Attached to it was a black crystal orb in a golden frame. She carefully unclasped the chain and cradled the orb in her hands as she gave it to him.
Jamie examined it. The crystal orb was smooth and cool to touch. In the smoky black color he could see there were traces of blue, green and yellow swirls that reflected under the light. There were no scratches or smudge on the surface. The gold frame was elaborated into two birds that he never seen before. They have long necks and feathers like a crane, but their feet are short. Their bodies seemed to embrace the orb. He looked up at her. "What is it?"
"My most prized possession," the Professor replied fondly. She stroked the orb with her forefinger. "And I wanted you to have it."
"It is very pretty." He said politely as he handed it back to her.
She shook her head and tightened his gripped around it. "Keep it, as a thank you present."
He was about to protest. But there was look in her eyes that kept him silent. He slowly nodded his head. Jamie put the necklace in his pocket.
She looked relieved as she smiled at him in gratitude.
Then the nurse came back with a can of soda. The Professor quickly changed the topic. "Jamie, I'm afraid I can't say any more than that. I'm afraid I won't know when I will leave the hospital, but could you do me a favor please?"
Akira and Jack arrived at the hospital. Jamie was outside of the hospital entrance. He was deep in thought he did not noticed Jack putting Akira next to him.
"Jamie? What are you doing out here?" Akira asked.
Jamie looked at him with a serious look in his eyes, "Akira is Jack here?"
He was confused by his friend's question. "Yeah he is here."
Later, Jack flew to Santoff Clausten as fast as he could. Once he was arrived, he was surprised to see the other Guardians were with North. "Good timing guys, there is something that I need to tell you."
"And we have something to tell you." Tooth told him.
"Before we get down to business. Tell us how is Jamie?" North asked Jack.
"He can't see me," Jack said. Everyone was sympathetic. Even Bunny. Sandy patted Jack's hand.
"Oh Jack," Tooth said, "I'm so sorry."
Jack managed a small grin. "It's OK, he still believes in me. Jamie is in college now and he likes it. There are interesting people such as his teacher named Professor Vangoose."
Bunny grabbed Jack's shoulders, forcing him to look at his face. "Did ya say Vangoose?"
He frowned in confusion. Wondering why everyone was over reacting. "Yeah, she teaches creative writing in one of Jamie's classes. Three men tried to kidnap her, but I stopped them. Why?"
Sandy hopped up and down as he waved his hands in the air. Swirls of sand shot out from his hair creating images of a goose, a book, and a pen.
Jack gave him a blank stare. "Huh?"
Sandy paused and scrunched his face in deep concentration. The sand came out from his hair and a small image of the Professor's face appeared. Jack's face lit up in recognition, "That's her. That's the person." He examined her picture carefully. "But how did you know her?"
North spoke, "She was a guardian like us back in the Dark Ages. Her name is Vangoose, but she was also known as Mother Goose, the Guardian of Imagination and Inspiration. She was a great help to us. Her specialty was telling stories to inspire children to use their imaginations to believe in us. But she doesn't need belief for herself in order to be seen."
"After the Dark Ages, she disappeared," Tooth added, "We don't know what happened to her or what she is doing. She rarely meets us face to face. Every decade she would introduce us to her apprentice."
"I remembered when I was in London. Goose was tutoring Charles Dickens." North's eyes grew teary. He sniffed, "Such a nice child, he would never ask anything for himself, he always thinks of others. After he grew up and have children of his own I made sure they have lots of toys."
Bunny groaned, "Crickey mate, you are lucky. I remembered in 1862 she sent a guy named Charles to the Warren to sober him up after he was drunk from a poker game. He created a huge mess; I had trouble keeping him away from my eggs and my golems away from him. He was sobbing and moaning over his goddaughter Alice."
Sandy created an image of a girl arm in arm with a scarecrow, tin man, and a lion, and a dog walking on a yellow road heading towards a city.
"I remember when Goose invited me for tea to meet Shakespeare. He was very pleasant and he asked me many questions about me and my fairies." Tooth added, "But I couldn't enjoy the conversation or the tea because he had wooden teeth." She shuddered in disgust.
"If she was so great in the Dark Ages. How come she didn't help us in our battle against Pitch?" Jack asked. "Where was she when we needed her the most?"
Everyone was quiet. North shrugged and simply said, "She is so mysterious, we don't know what she was doing except the Man in the Moon. But if she was in trouble, then that is why we are gathered here."