“Morning, Troy!” Grandpa George placed a plate of scrambled eggs and toast on the glass kitchen table as Troy made his way down the stairs.
“Aw, thanks Grandpa G. You didn’t have to go and make me breakfast.”
His grandpa smiled. “Glad to have you around, Troy,” He handed him a full glass of orange juice. “You don’t drink coffee by chance do you?” his grandpa asked gesturing towards the unplugged coffee maker on the counter.
“Nope, my mom wouldn’t let me have it; thought I’d get addicted to it,” Troy laughed.
“Oh, just wondering.” His grandpa seemed sad. “It’s just that I’ll sometimes make myself a cup.” He sighed. “I don’t drink the stuff, but I like to hold the mug in my hands because Molly used to always make coffee in the morning. The smell of it reminds me of when she was in this house.”
Troy felt a sudden sadness bubble up inside his heart. It made him sad to see his grandfather look so downtrodden.
“Anyway, you’d better get yourself off to school, boy. Big first day,” his grandpa said taking the empty glass to the sink.
Troy suddenly realized he didn’t have transportation.
“Um, Grandpa G, would you mind giving me a lift to school? I’ll look into getting a bike later this week, if I can.”
His grandpa stood thinking and then clicked his fingers.
“I almost forgot! I’ve got one out back by the shed. One of the neighbors dropped it off a few weeks ago when they moved out of town. Not sure if there’s air in the tires, but I got an extra pump if you need one.”
Troy pulled on his shoes.
“Great, that works, Grandpa G.”
Troy scarfed down his hot breakfast and then headed out the front screen door.
Behind the house, he found the bike in the shed against the wall with the farm equipment.
After finding the tires still full of air, he wheeled the bike out of the shed.
Troy noticed his shoelace was untied. As he bent to re-tie it, he felt a rush of air above his head. He looked up and glimpsed an enormous black crow. It cawed loudly, and then flapping its wings, dove right at his face.
“Get away!” Troy yelled. He threw his arms up and knocked the bird sideways. Then he grabbed his bike and sped off as fast as he could.
The crow circled and landed atop a nearby branch.
“You can run, boy. But your time is nearly up,” Helgrith growled. With an angry cry, Helgrith flew off, clenching the white crystal tightly in his sharp claws.