Hello? This is Clary Fairchild.Clary? It’s me, Emma.Oh, Emma, hi! I haven’t heard from you in ages. My mom says thanks for the wedding flowers, by the way. She wanted to send a note but Luke whisked her away on a honeymoon to Tahiti.Tahiti sounds nice.It probably is — Jace, what are you doing with that thing? There is no way it’ll fit.Is this a bad time?What? No! Jace is trying to drag a trebuchet into the training room. Alec, stop helping him.What’s a trebuchet?It’s a huge catapult.What are they going to use it for?I have no idea. Alec, you’re enabling! You’re an enabler!Maybe it is a bad time.I doubt there’ll be a better one. Is something wrong? Is there anything I can do?I think we have your cat.What?Your cat. Big fuzzy Blue Persian? Always looks angry? Julian says it’s your cat. He says he saw it at the New York Institute. Well, saw him. It’s a boy cat.Church? You have Church? But I thought — well, we knew he was gone. We thought Brother Zachariah took him. Isabelle was annoyed, but they seemed to know each other. I’ve never seen Church actually likeanyone like that.I don’t know if he likes anyone here. He bit Julian twice. Oh, wait. Julian says he likes Ty. He’s asleep on Ty’s bed.How did you wind up with him?Someone rang our front doorbell. Diana, she’s our tutor, went down to see what it was. Church was in a cage on the front step with a note tied to it. It said For Emma. This is Church, a longtime friend of the Carstairs. Take care of this cat and he will take care of you. —J.Brother Zachariah left you a cat.But I don’t even really know him. And he’s not a Silent Brother any more.You may not know him, but he clearly knows you.What do you think the J stands for?His real name. Look, Emma, if he wants you to have Church and you want Church, you should keep him.Are you sure? The Lightwoods —‘They’re both standing here nodding. Well, Alec is partially trapped under a trebuchet, but he seems to be nodding.Jules says we’d like to keep him. We used to have a cat named Oscar, but he died and, well, Church seems to be good for Ty’s nightmares.Oh, honey. I think, really, he’s Brother Zachariah’s cat. And if he wants you to have him, then you should.Why does Brother Zachariah want to protect me? It’s like he knows me, but I don’t know why he knows me.I don’t exactly know … But I know Tessa. She’s his — well, girlfriend seems not the right word for it. They’ve known each other a long, long time. I have a feeling they’re both watching over you.That’s good. I have a feeling we’re going to need it.Emma — oh my God. The trebuchet just crashed through the floor. I have to go. Call me later.But we can keep the cat?You can keep the cat.
Cassandra Clare
I said, I want to wear something funny and cool. Marjorie, could I wear your sparkly baseball hat?The three of us looked at Marjorie.Now I remember thinking that her answer could change everything back to the way it was; Dad could find a job and stop praying all the time and Mom could be happy and call Marjorie shellfish again and show us funny videos she found on YouTube and we all could eat more than just spaghetti at dinner and, most important, Marjorie could be normal again. Everything would be okay if Marjorie would only say yes to me wearing the sparkly sequined baseball hat, the one she'd made in art class a few years ago.The longer we watched Marjorie and waited for her response, the more the temperature in the room dropped and I knew that nothing would ever be the same again.She stopped twisting her spaghetti around her fingers. She opened her mouth and vomit slowly oozed out onto her spaghetti plate.Dad: Jesus!Mom: Honey, are you okay? She jumped out of her seat and went over to Marjorie, stood behind her and held her hair up.Marjorie didn't react to either parent and she didn't make any sounds. She wasn't retching or convulsing involuntarily like one normally does when throwing up. It just poured out of her as though her mouth was an opened faucet. The vomit was as green as spring grass and the masticated pasta looked weirdly dry, with a consistency of mashed-up dog food.She watched Dad the whole time as the vomit filled her plate, some of it slopping over the edges and onto the table. When she finished she wiped her mouth on her sleeve. No, Merry. You can't wear my hat. She didn't sound like herself. Her voice was lower, adult and growly. You might get something on it. I don't want you to mess it up. She laughed.Dad: Marjorie...Marjorie coughed and vomited more onto her too-full plate. You can't wear the hat because you're going to die someday. She found a new voice, this one treacly baby-talk. I don't want dead things wearing my very special hat.
Paul Tremblay