“Hello, Baynard. What is our current situation?”

Baynard rubbed his small paws over his eyes and adjusted his glasses. “It’s not good, not looking very good at all. They’re disappearing at random.” He ran across the frame and crawled up a wire to the frame around another mirror. “Our sources say that this one is next.” It happened to be the same mirror that Nan had been looking into earlier. Baynard hopped onto the same ledge as the little brown mouse, who moved over so he could sit by her.

“What’s going on?” Concern gripped Mina. Were the Grimms disappearing?

Constance rubbed her hands together and then pressed them to her lips. “We’re not sure, but once we heard Mina’s concern about her brother, the Guild has been monitoring the other Grimms more closely. We’ve noticed that they are fading.”

Mina’s heart beat a little faster at that word. Fading?

“The watchers seem to have discovered a pattern.”

“What kind of pattern?” Nix asked, moving to get a better view of the mirror everyone was now crowding around.

Baynard nodded his head and looked at a small pad of paper that the brown mouse held up for him to see. “We don’t know for sure that it’s a pattern, but all of our research points to Leonard Grimm as the next one.”

“Next one to do what?” Mina asked, feeling extremely anxious. She wondered what in the world Constance meant by “fading,” but now wasn’t the time to ask. Everyone was busy watching Leonard.

Mina wanted answers, and grew more frustrated by the second. She was bored with watching this distant relative eat his dinner. He had polished off his sausage and was now working on the sauerkraut. He burped, wiped his mouth with a napkin, and then speared another sausage for his plate. He began cutting the sausage and stabbed a piece on his fork.

Mina’s stomach was queasy just watching him eat, and she wanted to turn away, to look anywhere else. But everyone seemed to be waiting for something. So she watched the silver tined meat-bearing instrument head to his mouth and those fat greasy lips.


The fork never reached Leonard’s mouth.

It dropped suddenly to clatter on the blue plate.

The reason it never reached its destination?

The Grimm in question ceased to exist.

Chapter 14

“He’s gone!” Nix exclaimed. “Where’d he go?”

Mina couldn’t believe what she’d just seen. One minute he was there—eating—and the next…he was gone. He’d just blinked and faded out.

“Did a Reaper get him?” Mina asked, scared of the reply. She knew personally how dangerous it was when a hunter from the Fae plane had a Grimm in their sights.

“Negative.” Baynard turned to the other mouse by the mirror. “Rewind it, please, Thistle.” The little brown mouse reached up and ran her hands across the glass. The Grimm was once again back in the frame. Thistle paused the glass by placing both paws over the mirror. They were able to get a closer look at Leonard, and in his paused state they could actually see him starting to appear translucent—thinner? Thistle lifted one paw, and we watched the horrendous scene all over in slow motion. He raised the fork to his mouth, and this time Mina watched Leonard’s face. He didn’t look scared; in fact, he didn’t even seem to notice what was happening to him. He was so focused on the food in front of him, he never saw his own doom.

“What does this mean?” Mina asked. Her voice sounded anxious even to herself. “This has happened before? How often?”

“Constance, do you mind?” Baynard asked. Mrs. Colbert held out her arm, and he scampered down onto her hand toward Mina. “Mina, I know you don’t know me. I’m one of the Guild, and we take our job very seriously. We are the ones who assign the Godmothers to their Grimms. And lately, like you just witnessed, they are disappearing.”

“How can you let this happen?” Mina accused Constance.

“We didn’t know what was happening at first. Our Godmothers were simply reporting that they couldn’t find their charges. But when you informed me about seeing Charlie flicker out, I knew it had to be more. We checked the looking glasses, but they can only hold a few minutes’ worth of history. All we saw were empty mirrors, frozen in time in the last place the Grimm was.”

“Do they reappear somewhere else?” Nix asked.

The mouse shook his head sadly. “All of our research shows that they’ve just ceased.”

“What do you mean ‘they’ve just ceased’?” Mina cried out, fearing she already knew the answer.

“They no longer exist. It’s like they are being erased from time. All we know for sure is that something seems to be following the Grimms’ line and wiping each of them out,” Thistle explained softly.

“So you’re saying that because Mina is a Grimm, her branch of the family could be next? That Charlie, her mom, and she could be in danger of disappearing like that?” Nan pointed to the empty mirror.

“Unfortunately, yes.” Thistle hung her head.

“But you’re not certain it will target her family? It’s just a hunch? It could skip over her family entirely?” Nan’s voice rose in pitch with each question.

“It won’t,” Mina spoke up.

Ever turned to Mina. “It could be a fluke. Maybe it will stop. There’s no guarantee that the rats are right.”

“They’re not rats. Baynard is part of the trusted Guild of Fae Godmothers, like me,” Constance spoke up sternly. “We are doing the best that we can.”

“Well, maybe your best isn’t good enough. Maybe she needs a new Godmother,” Ever hissed.

“Ever!” Mina warned.

“No, she’s right,” Mei agreed solemnly. “I don’t know if I’m capable of protecting her. That’s why I pushed for allowing her friends to be a part of this. She needs help.”

“It’s too late. I’m already starting to fade. It’s happened to my brother and now me. Tell me you know what’s causing this!” Mina spun toward Constance and Baynard.

Constance sighed and looked to Mei. “I was afraid of that. Something has altered the course of the tale.”

“Which tale? This doesn’t sound like any I know of,” Mina said.

“Your whole life is one long tale, starting back to the very beginning with the Grimm Brothers. That is the beginning of your tale; you are in the middle of writing it.”

It wasn’t the news she wanted to hear. “And you’re saying that someone has altered my tale? How can that be?”

Baynard spoke up. “From what we’ve gathered, something big happened and altered the course of the Story. It may have to do with your ancestors. Do you see those mirrors that are yellowing and are covered with dust?”

“Yes, what about them?”

“They were not like that a week ago.

“What?” Nix, Nan, and Mina said at once.

“Something or someone has altered your history. It’s only a matter of time before this occurrence catches up to our current timeline.

“How do I stop it?” Mina asked. “How do I stop something that I can’t see?”

It was little Thistle that spoke up. She scurried down the wall and ran up Nix’s arm. “You can’t. Not at this time.”

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