The next morning, after the morning meal, Miles and Amanda went to visit Grinny. Pixelle and Wisdom were visiting their bear friend as well. Amanda still had some difficulty in accepting a friendly bear, a sweet little flying fairy and a worm with attitude.
"Hello Miles and Amanda!" greeted Pixelle. "We were just talking about you."
"Of course, we were," said Wisdom.
"Yes," said Grinny. "So much has happened since you came here with your Wandering Feet."
"Oh!" exclaimed Amanda. She looked at Miles. "Sarah said I should ask you about Wandering Feet."
Miles smiled. "She would. Well, it is a faeryfolke ailment that can recur to someone who has been unfortunate enough to contract it. The relapses though get further apart with time and often stop."
"What happens?" asked Amanda.
"It makes you walk and walk and walk," said Miles.
"You can't stop walking? For how long?" inquired Amanda.
"Usually a few days after which is a sleep that lasts a couple of days," answered Miles.
"And you have this? How often?"
"I had it in the summer. I just walked the time out in the Woods and ended at Grinny's here to sleep. Geoff came looking for me which lead to him finding out about the faeryfolke and in turn getting his parents re-united."
"How often?" repeated Amanda.
"It might never happen again but if it does, it would probably not be for a couple of years," answered Miles.
"Alright. Is there warning signs?" she asked.
"Yes but not very much in advance," he answered. "It's nothing to worry about though. I promise, Amanda. Shall we tell our friends here our big news?"
Amanda smiled at him. "It's fine with me," she replied.
"What is it?" asked Pixelle. "I love news."
"Of course," said Wisdom.
"Well?" added Grinny.
"My friends," said Miles, grinning, "we're going to have a baby!"
"Oh, that's so wonderful!" said Pixelle.
"Well, of course, you are," said Wisdom.
"Congratulations!" said Grinny.
"Now, Pixelle," started Miles, "don't go telling anyone. We'd like to tell them ourselves."
"Me? Tell anyone?" responded Pixelle.
"Of course, you!" Wisdom nodded.
"Who would I tell? I'm sure you've already told Sarah," said Pixelle.
"Sarah does know. I was thinking about the Duchess. If you tell her it's bound to spread through the Cabin," said Miles.
"If I get her to promise, " started Pixelle but she stopped at Miles exasperated look. "Alright. I won't but it's going to be hard. I'll be near to bursting with it. She'll be able to tell I've something exciting to say. How long?"
"Just a few days," Miles reassured her. "I plan to introduce Amanda to the people at the Cabin and to Jon and Cecilia at the Cottage over the next few days."
"Who are these people, Miles?" asked Amanda.
"They are some human friends that live on the very edge of the Woods," answered Miles.
"They know about faeryfolke and Pixelle and Wisdom and Grinny?" asked Amanda.
"Of course not," said Wisdom.
"A few in the Cabin know Pixelle and some certainly believe in things beyond the human world but they do not know the full story of the Whimsical Woods or of the faeryfolke settlement," answered Miles.
"You've not been to the cottage in quite a while, have you Miles?" giggled Pixelle.
"No. Why?" he asked.
"You'll see," Pixelle continued to giggle. "You'll see."
That evening, Miles and Amanda were visiting with Sarah and Kevin.
"We went to Grinny's today to let him in on our good news," started Miles, " and Wisdom and Pixelle were there."
"How are they all doing?" asked Sarah. "I really should go into the Woods to visit with Pixelle soon. She is such a little sweetheart."
"They were all fine. I think Pixelle would love to visit with you, Sarah," said Miles.
"Did you tell them about our baby, too?" asked Sarah.
"I don't think we did. We spent time discussing Wandering Feet," said Miles. "But if you see Pixelle, she'll know. Your news is becoming quite obvious."
Miles smiled at Sarah's expanding middle. Sarah rubbed her growing babe.
Looking up with a smile she agreed, "Yes, it is."
"Miles, I'm not sure I ever let you know how much that bout of Wandering Feet meant to me," said Kevin. "It seemed to be a catalyst for a lot of good things."
"Grinny was saying how much has happened since then," said Miles. "It shows that you never know what will spur the future."
"My life has certainly changed," said Amanda. "I'm not sure I really believe some of it still. You told me my clumsiness was due to something I couldn't see but it had left. What did you mean?"
"Yes. You had an imp who'd rush past you causing you to stumble," explained Miles.
"An imp?" aked Amanda.
Sarah laughed. "They are cute little fellows but always up to mischief. Now that you've developed your faery senses you'd be able to see them."
"You said he left me Miles. Why did he?" asked Amanda.
"Because your faery senses were already beginning to blossom soon after we met. There was a time he rushed past but you sensed him even though you probably didn't realize it and stopped in time. He looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, grinned and left. He knew his game was over with you and moved on."
"I see. Who are these other humans we're going to visit? Do you know the Cabin and Cottage Sarah? asked Amanda.
"Oh Miles do say hello for me too, " said Sarah. "I do not know them as well as Miles, but I do know them. Miles spent more time around the Woods than I did."
"Jon and Cecilia live in a cottage just inside the Woods near a stream and waterfall. Although they are human, the Woods did affect them and aided their relationship," explained Miles.
"They had shared dreams so that when they met they were already in love with each other.They tell the story to close friends expecting they won't be believed but I know these Woods so believe them," said Miles.
"They sometimes visited us in Woodtown," said Sarah. "I really should have sent them a note saying I'd moved."
"I'll take care of that when I see them," said Miles.
"And the Cabin?" asked Amanda.
"Many people come and go around the Cabin. Most are friendly good-hearted folks," said Sarah.
"And with your faery senses you will most likely see the gremlins that plague them as well as the Time Nabber," said Miles.
"Kevin, have you met these people?" asked Amanda.
"No," replied Kevin. "Until Sarah returned to me I didn't venture from the settlement, filling my time with assignments for the Council. I would like to meet them sometime."
"Why don't you two join us tomorrow?" asked Miles. "Being winter, I thought it best we go into Woodtown and take Amanda's car. It's a fair drive sticking to roads but to use the back way and come from the Woods would seem odd."
"Would you like to, Kevin?" asked Sarah. "Oh, maybe you wouldn't be able to get away from the Council now."
"I'd really like to and I'm only a junior member of the Council so should be able to leave for the afternoon as nothing pressing is happening right now," replied Kevin.
"Then we'll all four go," said Miles.
Miles, Amanda, Kevin and Sarah were driving to the Cottage of Jon and Cecilia, when Miles remembered what Pixelle had said.
"Yesterday when I told Pixelle we were going to visit Jon and Cecilia," started Miles,"she commented that it had been awhile since I'd been to see them."
"Oh?" asked Sarah.
"Yes. When I asked why, she just giggled and said 'You'll see'," replied Miles.
"Sounds like you are in for some type of surprise," said Kevin.
"Yes, it does," said Sarah. "But if Pixelle was giggling must be something good."
"True," said Amanda.
"We'll soon be there and know what it is," said Miles.
"Oh!" said Sarah. "That house up there is new since I was last down this road. Isn't that just about where we turn for the cottage?"
"Yes," said Miles. "How curious."
When they got in front of the house Miles slowed to look at the mailbox next to the road.
"That's them! They must have decided the Cottage was too small," he commented.
He turned down the lane that had led to the cottage and was now to one side of a rather newly-constructed brick bungalow. A shortways from the main road was a turn-off that was a driveway to the house. Miles turned into the driveway and parked next to the car sitting there already.
"That's Jon's car, so this must be their home," said Miles. "I'll go knock on the door first."
"Alright," said Sarah.
So Miles got out and walked to the front porch and up the steps to the door. The occupants of the car watched. The door was soon opened by a tall, handsome, blonde man. They could see Miles speak to him and then turn to walk back to the car.
"This is the place," said Miles. "Jon said they'd love to meet you all and now is a good time for them."
"Oh good!" said Sarah, getting out of the car. "I did feel a bit bad about not phoning first but didn't have a phone number for them."
When the four had reached the door, Jon opened the door for them to enter. He had been joined by a woman, a very pregnant brunette.
"Cecilia!" Miles exclaimed. "You've certainly changed since I last saw you."
"Hello Miles. You think so? Well, maybe a bit," Cecilia said, smiling. "Hello Sarah."
"Now that you're out of your coats, how about we go sit in the living room," suggested Jon.
Once they were seated, Miles started the conversation, "Jon and Cecilia, this beautiful woman with me is my wife, Amanda."
"Oh, how wonderful Miles!" said Cecilia. "It's nice to meet you Amanda."
"Hello Amanda," said Jon. "I hope you two are as happy as Cecilia and I."
"My turn," said Sarah. "This handsome man with me is my husband Kevin. We have been back together for several months now."
"Hello Kevin," said Cecilia. "I'm sure you are thrilled to have Sarah back. And Geoffie! How is Geoffie doing?"
"Glad to meet you Kevin," said Jon going over to shake Kevin's hand.
"Geoff, he no longer likes to be called Geoffie, is doing great," said Sarah.
"The house seemed to be empty every time we went past on a trip to Woodtown," said Jon.
"Yes. We were wondering what might have happened," added Cecilia.
"We're living in a tiny little community that you won't even find on any map now," said Miles.
"Yes," said Sarah. "But I'm keeping the house in Woodtown and will be staying there from time to time."
"I will be there at times," said Miles," when I've work to do in Woodtown."
"This house was a surprise," said Sarah. "I guess the Cottage would have been crowded with three."
"Even with just the two of us, one room could get awfully small at times," said Cecilia. "But we love this place and the Woods."
"So, we bought the land," said Jon, " and built the house. The Cottage will be my studio now."
"Studio?" asked Amanda.
"Jon is an artist," said Cecilia.
"When is the baby due?" asked Sarah.
"Anytime now," answered Jon.
"Yes. Anytime now," Cecilia added. "And you Sarah?"
"You noticed?" smiled Sarah. "Less than three months to go. There's a positive population explosion happening."
"Yep," said Miles smiling.
"You, too, Amanda?" asked Cecilia.
"Yes but I've still six months to go," answered Amanda.
Cecilia got up quickly saying, "I'll go make us all some tea."
Sarah gave Amanda a concerned look and said, "We'll help."
Sarah and Amanda followed Cecilia who had already left the room.
Sarah wasn't the only one who showed concern at Cecilia's abrupt departure. Jon stood there staring at the doorway they had gone through.
Miles looked at Jon, "Do you ge the feeling something might be wrong?"
"Very much so," answered Jon. "She's been doing this type of thing quite a bit today but always says everything is fine and seems fine a few minutes later."
"Interesting," commented Kevin.
Meantime Sarah and Amanda had entered the kitchen to find Cecelia leaning with her hands on the table.
"Are you alright?" asked Amanda.
"How often?" asked Sarah.
"A contraction?" asked Amanda.
Cecelia straightened up and smiled. "They're still fifteen minutes apart."
"And you've not told Jon yet?" asked Sarah.
"You are very intuitive, Sarah. I've not told him yet because he'd panic and rush me off to the hospital. I'm sure I've a long way to go still," explained Cecilia.
"How long have you been getting them?" asked Amanda.
"About three hours now," answered Cecilia.
"At what point do you plan to tell Jon?" asked Sarah. "You do have a bit of a drive into Woodtown."
"I know. When they get to ten miniutes I'll tell him and be willing to go," said Cecilia.
"From what I've been reading, and I've read every book I can get my hands on about pregnancy since I found out I was pregnant, that should be plenty of time with a first baby," said Amanda.
"Do you remember how it was with Geoff, Sarah?" asked Cecilia as she put on the kettle.
"Let's see. I remember it taking a long time," smiled Sarah.
"Did you tell Kevin right a way?" asked Cecilia.
"He knew," answered Sarah. "He also knew I was ok. He only hovered a bit. We were so much younger then. He's already hovering with this one."
Sarah laughed and the other two joined in.
"Men!" said Cecilia. "You gotta love them."
"Yes," answered Sarah, "We do and we are so very fortunate to have found some of the very best."
"So true," said Cecilia. "Jon is all my dreams come true."
"So we heard," said Amanda.
"Miles told you about our meeting in dreams? I suppose you think that very strange or even ridiculous," said Cecilia.
"Not at all," Amanda quickly replied. "Miles has taught me that there is much in this world that we do not see or hear or understand and to accept and believe."
"That is so very true," answered Sarah.
"Miles didn't say how far you lived now. Do you two live close to each other? And is it near here?" asked Cecilia. "Sorry about all the questions. It's just that I feel so comfortable with you both. I'd like to be friends."
"Not too far," answered Sarah. "We are friends and will visit often."
"Yes," said Amanda.
The three women embraced in a group hug.
"Ok, I'm going to get weepy now," said Sarah through a smile.
"Me too," said Cecilia. "Just blame hormones. I always do."
"I'll remember that," said Amanda.
The kettle whistled.
"I'll get that," said Sarah heading to the stove.
The teapot and teabags were already sitting on the counter where Cecilia had placed them earlier.
"Cups and saucers or mugs?" asked Cecilia.
"We're used to mugs," replied Sarah.
"Us too," said Amanda.
"Alright," said Cecilia as she reached up into the cupboard.
"OH NO!" she stopped mid-reach.
"What is it?" Amanda, who was standing next to Cecilia, asked her.
"It's ok," said Sarah from across the kitchen by the stove.
Amanda looked at Sarah, puzzled.From across the room, Sarah could see what Amanda up close could not.
"This is so embarrassing," said Cecilia.
"What?" asked Amanda.
"My water broke," said Cecilia.
"Why don't you get changed and then ask Jon to take you to the hospital?" suggested Sarah.
"That could speed things up, according to what I read," said Amanda.
"Alright," said Cecilia who leaned against the counter for support and started to breath rhythmically.
Sarah went over and gently rubbed Cecilia's back. "That was less than ten minutes from the last one."
"And much stronger," said Cecilia. "I'll get changed."
"Do you think you'll need any help?" asked Sarah.
"I'm not sure," answered Cecilia honestly.
"I'll go with you then," offered Amanda.
"I'll go talk to Jon," said Sarah.
"Alright," said Cecilia as she led Amanda down the bedroom hallway.
After watching them leave, Sarah went to the living room.
"I'm afraid the tea will have to wait for another time," said Sarah.
"Why?" asked Jon. "We're not out of teabags, are we?"
"No," said Sarah calmly. "But, after Cecilia gets changed, I think you will want to take her into Woodtown."
"Why?" asked Jon.
"Oh boy!" said Miles and Kevin smiled knowingly.
"Because," said Sarah, "that 'anytime' for the baby seems to be today."
Jon stared at her a moment. "The baby! Cecilia's in labor? That's why she's acted funny today? how long? how far apart are the contractions?"
"Which question would you like answered first?" asked Sarah, calmly smiling at Jon running his hands through his hair.
"Gosh, all of them," he replied.
"She is in labor. She said it started a few hours ago. When we went to the kitchen she was having a contraction and at that point they were still 15 minutes apart. But her water broke and they seem to be faster and stronger now," explained Sarah.
"Where is she now?" asked Jon.
"Changing her clothes. Amanda is with her," answered Sarah.
Amanda appeared in the doorway. "Sarah, could I see you a minute?"
"I'll be right back," Sarah told Jon.
"What is it?" Sarah asked Amanda as she joined her in the hallway.
"I know my knowledge about these things only comes from books, but I don't think Cecilia would make it all the way to the hospital before having the baby," said Amanda.
"Another contraction?" asked Sarah.
"Yes and very strong," answered Amanda.
They heard an "Oh no!" from the bedroom.
"Sounds like another one already," said Amanda. "I'm going back to her."
"Help her into bed," said Sarah.
"Okay," answered Amanda as she entered the bedroom.
Sarah returned to the living room and the stares of all three men.
"There seems to be a change of plan," said Sarah.
"What do you mean?" asked Jon.
"Well," said Sarah,"It seems that things have moved along rather quickly. Probably be best to phone for a paramedic."
"Why? What?" asked Jon.
"I'll call," said Miles. "Just tell me the official address to give."
"Everything is okay, Jon, but things seem to be progressing so quickly that the baby would have a good chance of being born before you reached the hospital," explained Sarah.
Amanda entered the room. "Cecilia would really like you to be with her, Jon," said Amanda.
"Just give Miles the information he needs and go to her, Jon," said Sarah.
"Of course. Tell her I'll be right there Amanda," said Jon as he walked over to where Miles waited, phone in hand.
"Sarah, how much do you remember from having Geoff?" asked Amanda.
"Why?" asked Sarah as the two walked toward the bedroom.
"I think she's in transition. She says she wants to push.But I have no way of knowing if she's fully dilated," explained Amanda.
"Oh gosh," said Sarah. "I guess we'll have to see how things go. That baby seems in a hurry to be born."
"Maybe now, but actually the baby is overdue," Amanda told Sarah.
They entered the room. "Any contractions while I was gone?" asked Amanda.
"No ... but one starting," gasped Cecilia.
"Breath with me Cecilia," said Sarah. "You are doing great."
Amanda was wiping Cecilia's brow with a cold cloth.
"Over," said Cecilia as Jon walked in the room.
He went to Cecilia's side, took her hand and asked, "How are you doing?"
"Okay I think," Cecilia answered."Here comes another one!"
"What should I do?" asked Jon.
"Here," said Amanda handing him the cool cloth. "Wipe her face; encourage her; whatever else you can think of."
"I have to push!" yelled Cecilia.
"Okay. Bear down and push then," said Sarah. "Jon, did you go to classes? Did you plan to assist the delivery?"
"We did and I thought I'd assist but I thought the doctor would be there too!" answered Jon.
"That one's over," said Cecilia.
"It'll be okay," said Sarah. "Kevin helped delivery Geoff."
"Maybe he should be in here," suggested Jon.
Kevin and Miles appeared at the door. "Paramedics are on their way," said Miles.
"Miles," said Amanda," Go up to the head of the bed. When the next contraction comes, help her sit up. Let her lean on you. Jon you best get to the other end ready to deliver the baby."
"Here we go again!" yelled Cecilia. Miles helped her to sit. Jon moved to the foot of the bed while Amanda raised the sheet from that end.
"Keep pushing Cecilia," said Sarah. "The baby is crowning."
"That one's over," said Cecilia.
"Miles help her lie down till the next one. It's almost over, Cecilia and Jon," said Sarah.
"Ready? Because it's time again!" yelled Cecilia.
Miles helped her sit.
"Push with all your might," said Sarah.
"I am!" yelled Cecilia.
"There! The baby's head out!" called Jon.
"Breath for a minute, Cecilia. Get ready Jon," said Sarah.
"Ready?" said Jon.
Kevin joined Jon. "We're ready."
"Got ... to ...push ...more!" grunted Cecilia.
"Go for it! Just the shoulders to go!" said Sarah.
Kevin had caught the baby but now carefully handed him to Jon, whispering instructions, to place on Cecilia's abdomen.Jon rubbed the baby till he let out a cry. "A perfect little boy, Cecilia."
Miles, who'd left the bed to let Cecilia lie back, said "I'll go wait at the door for the paramedics."
"I think I hear something. Could be them," said Kevin.
Jon climbed on the bed next to his wife and gathered her, and their new son into a hug.
"Here they are," said Miles directing the newly arrived help.
"We'll wait in the living room for now and let these good people finish things," suggested Sarah as Amanda, Kevin and herself left the room to join Miles.
Before long mother and baby were being wheeled down the hall on a stretcher with Jon following.
"I'm going to follow them to the hospital," said Jon. "I'm sorry we didn't get to visit much and thank you all so much for your help."
"From me too," called Cecilia.
"That's okay," said Miles. "Congratulations on your son and we'll return again soon."
[Whimsical Woods Index]