“What’s the meaning of this? I can’t have this kind of disorder going on.”
Chronos held onto his robe as Gaia’s temper threatened to whip it off his body. The gale-force winds strengthened as she awaited his answer.
“I’ve been gone for a week,” Chronos said, stumbling in an effort to stay upright. “What happened?”
“That volcano in Iceland – the one with the unpronounceable name – has opened a time vortex beneath it. My flora is mixing into unlikely combinations and the seeds are sprouting over Europe. If the sheep eat it…”
“I’ll get right on it.” Chronos backed away from her wrath and left in a hurry, stopping only long enough to collect Death on the way.
“I guess we left at a bad time?” Death peered down through the volcano, the spinning maelstrom far below mesmerizing him as it churned.
“Apparently.” Chronos dropped a grain of sand down the funnel and the vortex closed.
“That was easy. What was Gaia so mad about?”
“This was the simple part.” Chronos wiped the ash from his brow. “The real trouble is over in Ireland. The present-day flora mixed with some prehistoric flora.”
“Oh…you mean like the time—”
“I don’t even want to think about it.” Chronos felt a sudden chill, even standing in a base of lava.
“Cheer up, my friend.” Death dropped his jaw in a smile. “It can’t be that bad. We’ll just pop over and have a look around.”
The field in Galway looked peaceful, a gentle rain misting the unusual hybrid grass. Not a sheep in sight.
“I wonder where they all are?” Chronos scanned the horizon but didn’t see any animals at all. “We’ll have to walk over to the next valley. Maybe they didn’t eat this grass after all.”
Death turned toward the gentle slope and fell flat on his skull.
“I think I found your missing sheep,” he said, picking blades of grass out of his eye sockets.
Chronos patted the air with his hands and felt wads of cotton fluff.
“Oh no, they’re invisible. Gaia’s going to have my head.”
“Cheer up, my friend.” Death shuffled around the hidden obstacles to put his arm around his distraught sidekick. “It’s still better than the time you turned the goats into satyrs.”
“Not really.” Chronos gave a shrug, looking morosely at the empty field. “At least you could see them.”