This is another one of my original short stories. In fact, it’s part of a book I’m working on.
The Council Meeting
By Phoebe Eckstein
Olivia and Sophie watched secretly from behind the banister at the top of the stairs. Down below, members of the council of Eres had just assembled in Sophie’s living room, actually her parents’, for an urgently called meeting.
“Yesterday, after the… incident I started gathering all of the information I could about the base,” said Kaivan, the oldest member of the council. “And knowing Xcalabi, I’m quite positive that he enchanted it so no one can enter uninvited.”
“So, you’re saying, no one can go into Xcalabi’s base undetected? We can’t send anyone in to learn what he’s doing?” Ms. Loretta asked exasperatedly.
“Well, I‘ve sent magical scouts to the base, and it turns out that his spell does not prevent everyone from going into the base.” Kaivan said, emphasizing the word everyone. “You see, I believe it only prevents adults, at least, adults from Kaliyah.” Then, as an afterthought, he added, “Though, I’m still not sure about adults from Earth,” as he slowly rubbed his right earlobe and looked off into space.
“Where is the base, anyways?” Ms. Loretta asked with a bit of apprehensive curiosity.
“Well, I’ve located it in Antarctica, near the south end of the Shackleton Range.” Kaivan answered absentmindedly, still rubbing his ear and thinking about sending adults from Earth. “This time of year it should be around 35 degrees below zero. Really quite cold! And snowy, I think. Or is it hail? You know, it might be a mix of both. I wonder how Xcalabi heats up his base. Magic or geothermal? I’m guessing—”
“Uh, excuse me Kaivan. You mean to say that we could send a child into the base?” Mr. Paxon interrupted curiously.
“Nej. Untinkable! Sendeeng a child on such a dangorous meeshon.” Absolute not!” Mrs. Kato scolded with her thick, authoritative accent.
“I was just kidding.” Mr. Paxon responded softly, although no one seemed to hear him.
“Actually, Paxon has the right idea. Sending a child might be the only way.” Kaivan said thoughtfully.
“Und you too? Vee are NOT sendeeng a child on this meeshon!” Mrs. Kato scolded, outraged and gripping the armrests of her chair as if trying to squeeze the last drop of water from a rock.
“We were only considering the idea, Madam Kato.” Kaivan said calmly.
“And you vill do no more zen conseeder it. I vill not allow it to happen!” Mrs. Kato exclaimed, her eyes nearly bulging from their sockets.
“And so it won’t.” Mr. Paxon muttered. “Meeting concluded.” He announced abruptly.
“Vat? You colled a meeting yust to deescuss sendeeng a child to Xcalabi’s base?” Mrs. Kato asked, outraged.
“Madam Kato, please.” Kaivan said calmly.
Mrs. Kato pursed her lips, but didn’t say anything.
As the council members slow rose and left Sophie’s house, Olivia and Sophie watched nervously from above. Everyone seemed tense, even scared.
Kaivan opened the door, then turned to thank Sophie’s parents. As he turned back toward the door, he quickly glanced in Sophie and Olivia’s direction and winked before slipping away.
Olivia looked at Sophie. Did Kaivan know they had spied on the council? Did he really just wink at them?
As they quietly snuck back to Sophie’s room, Sophie said eagerly, “That was a short meeting. But anyways, do want to go?”
“Go? Where?” Olivia asked.
“The circus!” Sophie said sarcastically. “No, Antarctica. You heard what Kaivan said. Only a kid could do it.”
“You’re not seriously considering this, right?” Olivia asked slowly.
“Yes, I am!” Sophie said stubbornly, slightly raising her voice.
“First of all, it’s dangerous,” Olivia said. “second, we could get in to big trouble, third, we could get hurt, fourth, Antarctica is a long way away, fifth, Kaivan said you could freeze to death, sixth—.”
“—In other words, it’ll be risky. But, you know that old saying, ‘What’s life without risk’?” Sophie asked.
“Yes, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean confronting the most dangerous magician in history.” Olivia countered.
“Well, you don’t have to go.” Sophie said tauntingly. “And, ask anyone I know. I am very stubborn.”
Olivia stared at her. She had no doubt that Sophie was stubborn. But, it couldn’t really happen. Right? Her parents would never in a million years agree to such an adventure. Then again, it could be an incredible quest.
“Well, if you’re going alone, then I guess I have to go with you.” Olivia said slowly.
“Oh, goody!” Sophie exclaimed and hugged her friend, lifting her off the floor.
At that second, the door opened. Ezra, Sophie’s younger brother, walked into the room.
“I want to go with you.” He said with a bit of a whine.
“What? We’re not going anywhere.” Sophie said sounding annoyed.
“Yes you are! You were just talking about it. I heard you,” Ezra said accusingly.
“Oh, Ezra, just leave us alone!” Sophie exclaimed.
“But I wanna go with you!” He insisted.
“No means no!” Sophie said.
“Well, I’ll tell dad, I’ll tell mama” He sang, looking quite smug.
“Well, maybe we should let him,” Olivia whispered into Sophie’s ear. “If he tells on us, well, then… I mean, If we go, that is.” Olivia continued whispering.
“Oh, we’re going.” Sophie grinned.
“Okay, fine, Ezra, you can come.” Sophie announced with a sigh.
“Awesome!” Ezra exclaimed. “We’re going to Antarctica! We’re going to Antarctica!” He sang as he jumped around the room.
“Ezra! Shush!” Sophie demanded. “Mom and dad will hear you.”
“When do we leave?” he asked, quiet once more.
“First thing tomorrow morning.” Sophie announced.
Olivia shook her head, and wondered what had she gotten herself into.