Landon sat at the kitchen table staring at the back of the cereal box, shoveling the fruit-flavored rings absently into his mouth.
“There’s a man in the jar.”
Landon froze in mid-crunch. Slowly, he swallowed the bite in his mouth and pushed the box to the side to get a better look at his brother. For a moment, he thought it was a joke. He studied Broden’s face, looking for a smirk or other sign he was making it up. Broden’s eyes were wide, his face red, not a joke face at all. Landon’s spoon clattered into his bowl and he jumped from his seat. He followed Broden back into their room. Broden stopped in the middle of the floor and pointed at the closet floor. Landon hesitated for a moment. He stared at his brother, again making sure it wasn’t a joke. Tearing his gaze from Broden’s face, he looked at the closet. Tiki crouched on the floor, staring at something, her tail swishing back and forth. Landon stepped behind her and glanced down at the jar.
Just like Broden said, there was a little man.
Landon sucked in a surprised breath, which startled the little man. His back pressed against the jar, a look of horror on his face as he stared first wide-eyed at Landon, then at the cat. Tiki probably thought the guy looked like a nice play thing. If given the chance, she’d probably bat him around for a while. Landon assumed that wouldn’t feel very nice. The little guy was probably used to running away from cats when they got too close, but he was trapped in a jar and he couldn’t defend himself. If the cat stuck her paw in there, she might scratch the man. No doubt, that would hurt a lot. It might even kill him he was so tiny. Landon crouched down and moved Tiki out of the way. The man relaxed slightly. Landon picked up the jar and took it over to his desk. Broden was right behind him, staring over his shoulder.
Landon set the jar down and peered through the glass, wondering if he was still asleep. It seemed so unreal, so implausible. Could there really be a little man in a jar in front of him? He folded his arms on his desk and sat in his chair. What were they going to do with him?
The little man spoke. “You’re friendlies, right?”
Landon and Broden nodded furiously, holding up their hands.
The man straightened up tall, well, tall for him. “If it’s not too much of a bother, would you mind getting me out of here?” He puffed his little cheeks. “It’s hot.”
Landon turned to his brother, a surprised look on his face. Broden had the same look.
“Did you know he could talk?” Landon asked quietly.
Broden shook his head. “No. I ran downstairs to get you before examining him too closely.”
“Please,” the man pleaded. “There’s flour in my shoe.”
Landon turned back to the jar. “How do we know you’re not going to run away?”
“Or attack us?” Broden cut in.
Landon gave his younger brother a look. “Dude, he’s teeny. Come on.”
The little man crossed a hand over his chest. “I won’t do either. I promise. I’ve been meaning to talk to you anyway. I didn’t have the courage.” He lowered his eyes and gazed at his feet.
Landon turned back to Broden. “What do you think? Should we let him out?”
“Yeah. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in there. Let me get the cat out of here first.”