Party Crashers… continued.

Picking up right were we left off…

**

They both got their plates and went back for some of Aunt Sophie’s salad, as they’d promised they would.  Then, they settled down on the platform leading to the slide to eat and talk with Liesel.

“Did you get a bad vibe off anyone?” Meredith asked, keeping her voice soft.

Frieda shook her head and then glanced over at Mr. Thurman.  “So far, he’s the only one that’s making me at all uneasy,” she said.  She looked over at Liesel.  “Did he do anything while we were gone?”

“Other than sending creepy looks Hansel’s way, no,” Liesel said.  Then, she looked at Frieda and Meredith.  “Here’s a question, though: where is Mrs. Thurman?  Have you seen her since they arrived?”

Frowning, Meredith shook her head.  “I saw her when they got here, so I know he didn’t come by himself,” she said.

“Let’s find her,” Liesel said, nodding.  She went down the slide and waited while Meredith and Frieda cleared their plates.  Then, they headed off into the greenery.

As the sounds of the party faded to the background, Frieda began to feel on edge.  If something happened, there wouldn’t be a way to call for help.  No one would hear them.  On top of that, they had Meredith with them.  While it was clear that their cousin wasn’t normal, she wasn’t a Defender either.

Frieda was about to say something about it to her sister when Liesel waved at them to stop.  Then, she crouched behind a bunch of tall grasses that were near their Opa’s garden pool.  “Look,” she whispered, pointing out beyond the pool.

Mrs. Thurman was standing near the place where they’d found the portal.  She was pacing back and forth with her hands on her hips.  It was obvious that she had realized that the portal was only as big as a dime now.  It was also obvious that she wasn’t pleased with the situation.

Finally, she whirled around started back towards the party.  Unfortunately, her path would lead her directly past the three girls.  She was moving briskly, far more quickly than one would expect of an elderly woman.  There was a chance that she wouldn’t notice them, in her haste.  However, it was just as likely that she would notice them.

Frieda looked over at her sister and realized that Liesel’s eyes were closed.  With her head tilted to one side, it was obvious that she was listening to the wind.  Frieda could guess what Liesel was asking: Would Mrs. Thurman find them or not?

Liesel’s eyes flew opened when Mrs. Thurman was just a few feet away from them.  Nodding at Frieda, she summoned her hammer.  As Mrs. Thurman’s gaze locked on the tall grasses, Frieda summoned her pike and moved to her feet.  She placed herself between Mrs. Thurman and their cousin.

Mrs. Thurman gave them a very unfriendly smile.  “You girls wandered away from the festivities,” she said.  “I wonder why…”

“We were looking for you, Mrs. Thurman,” Liesel said, shrugging.  “I wonder why you wandered away from the party.  Were you looking for the portal?”

Hissing, Mrs. Thurman launched herself at them.

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