As the Saturday flea market began to break up, I helped Gran turn her card table on its side to fold its legs up. I was boiling with questions.
I said, "You can't disappear *again* now, Gran, not until you teach me how to really use the silver glove. I don't know anything about what it can do — "
Gran pointed. "Look!"
There was evil Dr. Brightner at one of the gates in the fence, talking with a young policeman. Brightner must have waited outside my building and followed me, figuring that sooner or later I would lead him to my magic grandmother — and, like a jerk, I did.
We were trapped inside the fence around the flea market. Brightner had been a cop himself once. All he had to say was that Gran had run away from a nursing home, addled and paranoid, and that I was a "troubled teen".
Hands in the pockets of his beautiful cashmere coat, he ambled toward us down the aisle between the vendors' stalls. I could see his toothy, triumphant smile.
Granny Gran caught me by the hand and dragged me back to the big, corner carpet stall, where only the largest of the rugs still lay unrolled on the cement. Gran pulled me onto the middle of the carpet with her.
The carpet seller said, "Hey!"
Brightner burst into a run.
Gran pointed her finger at the center rosette design in the carpet and muttered something that sounded like "twelve-o'clock high!" The carpet gave a lurch, turned slightly, and shot straight up into the sky, with me and Gran aboard.
I shrieked a shriek they must have heard in New Jersey. It was a short shriek, because the carpet went up like an express elevator, the kind that leaves your breath behind with your stomach at ground level. Past the edge of the carpet, which I was clutching with both hands, I saw Dr. Brightner down below. He stood with his legs braced apart and his hands on his hips, just staring up after us, while everybody else down there, including the rug vendor, danced around screaming and pointing skyward.