I had one or two people wondering when the next would come. Well, the wait is over. Here it is!
Jacob definitely understood why the sprite didn’t like being grabbed. He had no control at all right now. He wasn’t used to it. Dangling high above the ground, it was all he could do to focus on the billboard-sized face before him instead.
“Jacob … why are you sma–sprite-sized?” Bowman asked.
Jacob raised his eyebrows. Bowman’s voice was louder than he had ever heard it. “Dude, how am I supposed to know? You’re the one who knows magic stuff.”
Bowman scoffed, and even that simple motion made Jacob sway in his pinch grip. “There’s no magic that I know of that would do this,” Bowman protested.
Jacob was hardly listening. Dangling in Bowman’s grip, he was reminded with each sway just how small sprites were compared to humans. How small he was now, compared to Bowman. The view beneath him grew hazy for a dizzying second, and he wasn’t even at Bowman’s full height.
The hand behind him was big enough to wrap around his entire body and hold it secure. If Bowman wanted, he could completely immobilize Jacob without any effort at all. That lack of control unnerved him more than he ever would have realized.
“Uh, y’know, we can probably figure it out, then,” he stammered. Bowman listened with an intent stare. Jacob had never realized just how potently the little (not so little) guy could glare at things. Just a trace of it was in the set of those green brows, and Jacob had a healthy respect for the expression.
Holy shit. How does anyone get used to this.
“Maybe we stumbled on something while walking around?” Jacob suggested, his voice thready and not as strong as he might have liked.
If Bowman noticed, he didn’t say anything. Instead, he twisted around where he crouched to look around, and his hand swayed with him. Jacob swung back and forth by nothing more than his jacket and and two fingers more powerful than he.
A strangled cry made it out of him and he kicked his legs and flailed his arms. “Wait a second, Bowman,” he blurted. “Wouldja let me down?”
Bowman turned back and blinked at Jacob as if seeing him for the first time. His gaze flickered to the ground below, and it clicked. “Oh. Uh. Right. I’m not used to being the blasted giant here,” he mumbled. His hand lowered back towards the ground, faster than Jacob would have liked but they could work that out as they went.
His boots were nearly back on the forest floor when he shot back up into the air. He yelped in dazed alarm, and then flinched when Bowman’s other hand appeared from the side. The fingers wrapped all the way around him, coiling closer and closer until Bowman had Jacob in a fist from the waist down. He made sure Jacob wouldn’t fall before releasing the pinch grip at the back of his hoodie.
Jacob braced his hands against Bowman’s fingers and stared incredulously at the fist curled around him. “This isn’t putting me down, dude. Just so you know.”
Bowman rolled his eyes. “I know that,” he groused. “But you can’t fly, Jacob. It’s not exactly safe to be wandering around on the ground at sprite size. I should know.”
Jacob threw him a flat look. “Okay. Fine. Do you see anything that might have caused it?”
He really should have seen it coming, but he didn’t. Jacob choked on yet another noise of alarm as Bowman moved with him in tow. Gravity pushed down on Jacob’s shoulders as Bowman rose to his feet and turned in place.
The ground was even farther below this time. Suddenly Jacob didn’t mind soaring up in Bowman’s hand. Better than stuck on the ground at his feet. That had nearly gotten him squashed flat underneath one of Bowman’s shaky steps.
“I don’t know what could have done this,” Bowman pointed out as he shuffled back to where he’d been standing moments before. Jacob, rather than watch the ground and make himself dizzy, looked up. A low hanging branch nearly brushed at Bowman’s wild green hair. The leaves were huge, easily big enough to hide behind. A caterpillar as long as Jacob’s leg inched along the branch as it swayed.