Site icon Qbit and the Keepers of the Blue Planet

Part 1- Qbit: Chapter 13

It Only Looks Fast Because You Move So Slow

{Chapter 2397 of the Book of Keepers}

Mrs. P and Qbit followed the concrete path as it wound its way past two tall oaks surrounded by large patches of pachysandra. They walked up a set of wooden stairs, their footsteps made a solid thump on each step. Qbit jumped ahead to open the screen door. It made a very satisfying squeal when it opened.

Stepping inside he noticed the small telephone table was still there. He loved the retro look of the heavy, green, plastic telephone with the rotary dial. It sat next to a lamp with a white, eight-sided shade decorated with clear hanging beads. Considering Mrs. P’s love of antiques along with her distrust, of electronics, the phone probably still worked, and the lamp had an incandescent bulb in it. Across from the table was a wooden stairway with a worn handrail that led to the upstairs. He caught a glance of the framed painting at the top of the stairs. It was of waves crashing onto a rock jetty painted by the original owner of the house, so the story goes.

Mrs. P led them down a small hallway where, on the right-hand side and at about waist height, several hooks held an unusually large number of coats considering there were only two people living in the house. Qbit had to be careful not to knock any of them off as he followed her into the kitchen.

Just inside the doorway was a large professional grade gas stove. It was the standard height for gas stoves however, Mrs. P, who, according to her was, ‘just the right size’ mounted a worn wooden step stool to bring her level with the ‘mis-manufactured’ stove.

She grabbed a box of matches, turned on the gas for one of the back burners, pulled a match out of the box, struck it then brought it close to the burner.  The gas lit with a small whoompf. She grabbed the kettle off the other burner and handed it to Qbit. “Be a dear and fill this, please.”

He took it from her and went to the sink to fill it then placed it on the lit burner. Mrs. P went to the pantry by the back door and pulled out a tin of cookies.

“There’s a yellow China serving platter in the upper cabinet to the right of the sink. Can you please bring it down?”

“Yes ma’am.” Qbit had to search a bit but was able to find it. He set it on a small oval table that barely fit between the stove and the refrigerator. He opened the tin and poured the cookies from the tin onto the plate.

Mrs. P looked at the pile of cookies then at him.

Qbit understood immediately. “Sorry.”  He rearranged the cookies into neat rows while she went back and forth collecting everything she needed to make sandwiches.

He pulled out a chair, sat down and grabbed a cookie. He knew when to stay out of her way. “Have you heard from Tau?”

She pulled slices of rye bread out of a bag and arranged them neatly in a bamboo basket. “Excuse me dear?”

“I was wondering if you heard from Tau. Is everything set?”

She placed the basket on the table then moved to the refrigerator and pulled out a fully cooked turkey. She set it on the counter then grabbed an electric knife from a drawer and started trimming off pieces.

“Oh, yes. He’s fine and everything is ready for Emily.” She expertly trimmed several more pieces and set them on another platter. She continued, “Mr. P took Cera down to get her situated. She wasn’t too keen on leaving Kaida here, but she’s been aching to do something ever since Kukulkan was taken.”

Qbit took another bite of his cookie then looked at it to see if he could tell what kind it was. “Do you think the two of them will connect?” He added, “Emily and Cera I mean.” Before she could answer, he pointed the cookie at her and asked, “Does this have cardamom in it?”

She looked at the cookie. “Of course it does dear…let’s hope they connect. Emily’s the youngest and most inexperienced of the Pure Keepers and needs the most training but I think Cera might take a liking to her for those very same reasons. We’ll have to wait and see.” She put away the turkey and pulled out a ham and repeated the slicing process. “And something else, I hope you realize you’re going to have to spend some time with Yuki and Skyler on the moon, plus you need to make sure she finds her mom, and Skyler needs to find Sucho. I hope you have some sort of plan in mind to make sure this all happens in a timely manner.”

Qbit grabbed another cookie and took a bite before saying, “Um…of course I do.”

She stopped carving and gave him a look.

“I do! Really!”

She shook her head and said, “If you say so.”

Slightly offended, Qbit said, “I say so.”

She pointed the carving knife at him and said, “Stop eating those cookies, you’ll have no room for lunch.” She picked up the ham. “Here, take this and put it back in the fridge and get me the eggs and milk please and thank you. Oh, and I need the flour from the pantry.”

He dropped the cookie back on the plate, took it from her and opened the fridge. It was so jam packed with food that he had to rearrange a few things just to make room. “My goodness Mrs. P. there’s enough food in here to feed an army!”

She plugged in the big tabletop mixer that sat on the counter by the sink. “What’s keeping you with my milk and eggs?”

“I can’t find…(he pushed aside a tin of Spam) oh, I see ‘em.” He grabbed them, got out the flour and put it all next to the mixer. “Here you go. Eyeing a bowl of black currants, he excitedly asked, “Are you making your special biscuits?”

“Yes, dear, of course.”

“Mm, mm.”

 As she poured the milk she asked, “Now, what about Maria?”

The kettle started to whistle so Qbit went to the stove, turned off the burner and picked it up. He looked around for the tea pot then saw it on the table next to the cookies. “I talked to her mother and father, and I think they have everything arranged. I told them to let me know when they thought she was ready.” He lifted the lid and peered in. “Where’s the tea bags?”

“Tea bags? What are you talking about tea bags! Use the tea leaves in the tea ball. It’s right there.” She pointed to the table.

Qbit saw it sitting next to the ham. He didn’t remember seeing her prepare that. He placed it in the pot and poured in the water then put the kettle back on the stove.

Mrs. P stopped what she was doing and asked him, “What are you going to do with Curly? I don’t want him getting in Maria’s way. It’s important she has time to concentrate.” She turned on the mixer.

He waited for it to stop before answering because he knew she would never hear him. “I’ve arranged for someone to be there to work with him. I think he’ll enjoy it.”

“And what about Lou?”

“I think he’ll be a huge benefit to us and the other Keepers.” He looked toward the stove as the buzzer went off indicating it was at the correct temperature.

“Open the door please so I can put these in.”

He turned to see that the biscuits were already made and on the baking sheets. “How did you do that so fast?”

“It only looks fast because you move so slow, dear. Now, out of the way please.”

He opened the door and stepped aside. He turned as he heard the back door open.

Mrs. P shut the oven door and said, “Perfect timing, come in you two and get washed up. I threw a little something together to snack on.”

The professor and Mr. P looked over at the table overflowing with food. The professor said, “A little something?”

She looked at Qbit. He shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t ask.”

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