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Jayben Treat



 “Listen now,” she said, “your mum says that you need a quick bit of breky before you leave for school.”

“I’m really not hungry.”

“Ya need something in your stomach to face your first day of school Jayben.”

“But I’m too excited to get back and see my friends!”

“In a hurry are ya?” she said as her eyes arched in surprise. “Ya know Jayben, there’s not a tree higher in heaven … than the Tree of Patience!” she paused smartly as she looked over the rim of her glasses. She remained silent as though letting the immense weight of her fine Irish proverb sink into his mind. “You’d be well served to remember that bit of wisdom!” she winked. “Now … pancakes and fruit are ready in the kitchen.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Jayben sighed in resignation.

“That’s a good boy,” she smiled as she patted his head and turned about.  “Now, quick’s the word … Smart’s the action.”

The maid waddled out of the room and exited into the long hall. Jayben listened as the wooden floor beneath the cream colored carpet creaked all the way to the staff elevator.

 With the upstairs quiet once again, Jayben returned his gaze to the top shelf of his wardrobe. With a leap he took hold of the brim of a tall pointed black hat, which he placed gently upon his head. Like the ill-fitting cape, the hat was too small. And like the cape it came to life and spun in place like a top, whirling about his head until it came to a stop.

Jayben said nothing as he looked at his reflection in the mirror once again. From all appearances he was ready to head back to school to see friends. The cape and hat were crisp and clean; his bags were packed; and his pet dragon Slayer was soundly asleep in a cage on the bed. Yet, even as happy as this scene looked it belied a dark truth. There was hesitation in Jayben’s heart. He secretly worried that his desperate desire to find out all he could about his natural parents would reveal a horrible truth as to why he had been given away. Perhaps they were dead, killed by some war. Perhaps, the truth was less dramatic. Perhaps the reason he was adopted was because they simply never wanted him at all.

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2007, 2008, 2009, 2010,  by R.L. Mesler
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