Again, a disclaimer. This is a first draft so it may change before publication or may be omitted entirely. Nothing is certain with first drafts.
Garrett may have sounded a bit apprehensive when he hollered down to ask what he should do, but now Leyton looked up into the tree and saw he was sitting on a branch swinging his legs.
“Garrett, what are you doing?” Leyton called, worried that his cousin wasn’t being careful.
Garrett grinned as he looked down. “Just waiting for you guys to decide how I should get down.”
Grant looked up. “Garrett! Are you secured to the tree? It’s dangerous up there.”
“Nope. Just sitting here. How dangerous could that be? Don’t need to be tied to the tree.”
Grayson sighed. “Garrett!” he called. “You secure yourself right now. Don’t be so cocky. You never know when you may slip.”
“Not me. I’m a good tree climber.”
Suddenly a raucous “Screee!” sounded loud and close. Garrett startled and slipped, “Whoops!”
Everyone on the ground caught their breaths and peered upwards.
“You okay?” Leyton called in a shaky voice.
“Yeah.” Garrett still sounded confident, although his confidence had slipped a bit. “Oh, oh. That feathered giant doesn’t seem happy with me.” With shooing motions, he yelled, “Get away. Go on.”
But the bird continued to fly directly at Garrett, actually flying against him, knocking him off his seat.
“Oh, oh,” said Leyton. “He slipped. He’s falling! Mady, do some magic!”
Thumbs playing nervously in her loose fists, she replied, “Leyton, I don’t know how to do magic.”
“Well, you did some last night. You have to save Garrett. He’ll break his neck!”
“Garrett! Don’t fall!” screamed Mady. “Hang on. Don’t fall.”
But it was too late. Garrett was already plunging through the air.
Suddenly Mady’s ring flared a bright blue, burning a path upward toward Garrett. Then her eyes flared a matching bright blue streaking toward the falling kid. Garrett’s downward progression slammed to a stop; he hung in midair with no discernible means of support!
He grinned down at Mady. “Hey, Mady, let me down easy, will ya?”
Still not quite believing she was making magic happen, Mady looked astounded. Shrugging, she held out her hands, palms up, making motions as though she would catch him in her cupped hands. “Come down, Garrett. Come down slowly and land gently.”
Now bathed in a gentle blue light that emanated from her eyes, Garrett descended slowly and lit as gracefully as a bird, still grinning. “Knew you’d do it, Mady.”
Leyton threw his arms around his sister and said, “Mady, that was great! You’re the boss! You can make magic happen!”
“Yes,” said Mady. “It appears I can, at that. But how?”
“Dunno. But you had scary blue streaks coming from your eyes.” Remembering that, Leyton dropped the hug and stared at her as if she were some sort of ghoul. The others were looking at her with some evidence of trepidation, as well.
Mady didn’t notice. She was moving her hands and appeared to be whispering to herself.