Great stories about good people caught in difficult situations.


Chapter Two Hundred and Sixty-Six: Hand drawn

Chapter Two Hundred and Sixty-six

Hand drawn

“We’ve found four sites — well three, because I’m sitting in one and can’t find it.”

“Which one?” Seth asked.

“West coast,” Jacob said.

“So you found the one on the end?” Seth asked. “Looks to be near a Celtic fort and maybe an old burial ground.”

“We found her inside a Viking ship.”

“Huh,” Seth said.

“Huh what?” Jacob asked.

“I guess these drawings predate the Vikings,” Seth said. There was a shuffling in the background. “I’d guess they copied them over and over again. I wonder how old the book is.”

“Seth,” Jacob said. “I’m sitting in a stone box looking for bones so that I can rescue my wife and sons.”

“Right, right,” Seth said. “Sorry.”

“You were telling me where the bones were placed,” Jacob said.

“Yes,” Seth said. “There’s a set under something in a city on the east coast under something that looks like a white rock obelisk or quite possibly a giant white penis and testicles.”

“The White Lady,” Jacob said. “Yes, we found them and a set of ribs at the fort in the north, Cronk Surmark.”

“You’re on the west coast?” Seth asked. “Devil’s Elbow.”

“Devil’s Elbow?”

“That’s what it’s says here,” Seth said. “Did you find the white stone room?”

“White quartz, and it’s a box,” Jacob said. “I barely fit in it.”

“It’s a drawing, I can’t really tell,” Seth said. “The bones are just under the floor.”

“Good to know,” Jacob said. “Where’s the last one? We haven’t been able to find it.”

“If you connect the location of each of the bones, they form . . .,” Seth said.

“Celtic cross,” Jacob said.

“Right,” Seth said. “The last set is in the direct center of the cross.”

“Dad said Manannán is walking in a circle around the island,” Jacob said.

“That’s good, because the author and artists of this book didn’t know his location,” Seth said. “But it does say you have to ‘raise Manannán’s army’ for him to return.”

“Any idea what that means?” Jacob asked.

“There’s a drawing of what looks like ghost cavalry near the tip of the island,” Seth said. “Just west of the Viking ship.”

“I’ll ask Jimmy,” Jacob asked. “These bones in the center of the cross—any idea where they are?”

“It says ‘King’s Forest.’”

“Of course it does,” Jacob said. “Anything else?”

“I think you have to look for some white quartz,” Seth said. “Says here they thought they could hold the queen in place with white quartz.”

“Got it,” Jacob said. “Do you have any idea how Jill is doing? We have a sense that things aren’t going well for her.”

“Bumpy, Dionne, and the midwife . . .”

“Camille?” Jacob asked.

“I guess so,” Seth said. “They’re on their way to the Castle. They picked up some cleaning uniforms. They’re going to pretend to be the cleaning crew.”

“Will that work?”

“Maybe,” Seth said. “It’s the best we could come up with.”

“And Jill?”

“As far as we know, she’s all right, but I’ll let you know when I know anything.”

“Can you do me one more favor?” Jacob asked.

“Sure,” Seth said.

“Can you mentally send Delphie the images from the book?” Jacob asked.

“How would I do that?” Seth asked.

“Think ‘Send to Delphie’ and look at the paintings,” Jacob said.

“And we think that will work?”

“Delphie says that you and she are . . .”

“Siblings in many past lives,” Seth and Jacob said in unison.

“I guess you’ve heard that before,” Jacob said.

“Once or twice,” Seth said.

“Think ‘Send to Delphie’ and stare at the pictures,” Jacob said. “She should get it.”

“It’s worth a try,” Seth said. “Good luck.”

“Thanks, I’ll need it,” Jacob said, and hung up the phone.

Reaching behind him, he used his psychic skills to call to the bones. They resonated back to him. He crawled out of the small compartment. Turning around, he wrenched the white quartz stone at the bottom of the box and retrieved the queen’s feet.

“Got them!” Jacob said.

“I just had the weirdest thing happen,” Delphie said.

“Seth sent you some images?” Jacob asked.

“That’s exactly right,” Delphie said. “They’re of our quest.”

“He found an original copy of the kingdom of Marle book,” Jacob said.

“Did they have the last set of bones?” Sam asked.

“Yes, they are in the center of the cross,” Jacob said. “In something called the King’s Forest.”

“That’s right by the Highlander,” James said.

Everyone turned to look at him.

“There can be only one!” Valerie said. Gilfand laughed.

“Pub,” James said. “Great food, beer. I doubt they’re open.”

“Gilfand?” Delphie had just said his name when they were suddenly standing outside the Highlander restaurant in the center of the Isle of Man. It was closed. Gilfand smirked at Delphie, and she said, “Thanks.”

“Where to?” Jacob asked Delphie.

“This way.” Delphie pointed across the street. They waited for a car to pass and crossed the street. They walked a short distant down the empty road before turning into the forest.

~~~~~~~~

Friday night — 10:45 p.m. MST

Denver, Colorado

BAM!

“Did you hear that?” Katy whispered to the tiny, baby-blue fairy sitting on her knee.

“Shh!” The baby-blue fairy put her finger up to her lips. She flew up to stand on Katy’s left ear.

“That was a gunshot!” Katy whispered. “I know because I went to the firing range. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it one bit. Scares me.”

Katy shivered with fear. The air crackled with static electricity.

“Did you do that?” the baby-blue fairy asked.

Katy nodded. Her eyes were huge, dark, and round.

There was a pop! The room outside the compartment went dark. A man started yelling and Katy shivered.

“What would make you feel less afraid?” the baby-blue fairy asked.

“I don’t know you.” Katy shook her head so violently that the fairy flew off her ear and hit the wall.

The tiny fairy was dazed for a moment. Her blue taffeta skirt was askew, her wings looked bent, and her long hair was mussed. She gave Katy a hard look.

“Sorry,” Katy whispered.

“That’s okay,” the baby-blue fairy said. “I’m Edie. I’m responsible for keeping you safe.”

“I’m Katy,” she whispered. “I’m s’posed to stay safe.”

Like she knew she should, Katy held out her hand to the fairy. Edie shook her little finger.

“Nice to meet you,” the baby-blue fairy said. “If I fly up to your ear, will you do that again?”

“I’ll try not to,” Katy whispered. “I’m really, really, really scared.”

“What would make it better?” the baby-blue fairy asked.

“I wish Paddie was here,” Katy said.

“What’s a Paddie?”

Katy covered her mouth to keep from giggling. The tiny fairy gave her a scolding look, which made Katy giggle more.

“Did you hear something?” one of the men said outside the compartment.

Katy swallowed her giggle. Edie flew to the entrance of the compartment to be ready in case they found the door. Katy sat like a statue for what felt like forever. Finally, they heard the men move away. Edie flew back up to her perch on Katy’s ear.

“Paddie is my best friend.” Katy nodded.

“Is he big?” Edie asked.

Katy shook her head.

“Why don’t you just bring him here?” Edie asked.

“How?” Katy asked.

“You can move things, right?” Edie asked.

Katy nodded.

“You move him cell by cell,” Edie said. “It’s beginning fairy. Didn’t you take beginning fairy?”

“I’m not a fairy,” Katy said. “I’m a girl.”

“But not a normal girl, right?”

“Mommy loves me very much.” Katy nodded.

“Yes, I’m sure that’s true.” Edie gave a rueful shake of her head. “I can’t believe no one taught you the basics.”

“Basics?” Katy asked.

“Fairy basics,” Edie said.

“But I’m not a fairy,” Katy said.

“You’re a fairy and a human.” Edie shook her head. “It’s irresponsible.”

“What is?”

“Not to teach you how to use your abilities.” Edie nodded.

Katy shrugged and went back to being scared.

“We can fix this,” Edie said.

“What?”

“I’ve taught beginning fairy for a long, long time,” Edie said. “I can teach you how to do all kinds of things.”

Katy scowled at her. Edie gave her a bright smile.

“I wish my mommy was okay,” Katy said. “That’s all I wish for. My mommy and me, we’ve been through a lot together. and she needs my help, not because she can’t do everything, but because . . .”

Katy’s eyes welled with tears. She nodded.

“Your mommy is pretty great,” Edie said.

“My daddy too,” Katy said. “But Mommy is . . . Mommy.”

“Your mommy would want you to be less frightened,” Edie said.

Katy nodded.

“Then I’ll teach you how to bring this Paddie here,” Edie said. “How ’bout that?”

“Okay,” Katy said. “Will it hurt Paddie?”

“Not in the slightest.” Edie smiled. “Your daddy, auntie, grandfather, and Delphie are moving around my homeland this way.”

“Can Daddy do this?” Katy asked.

“He can,” Edie said. “He just doesn’t know he can.”

“Oh.”

They heard Jill moan.

“Mommy!” Katy said a little too loudly.

Edie waved her wand and the sound disappeared. Katy shivered with fear, and the air popped with electricity.

“Let’s focus on bringing this Paddie here.” Edie smiled.

Katy nodded.

“All you have to do is focus on having him next to you,” Edie said.

“I don’t have a wand,” Katy said.

“You don’t need one,” Edie said. “Just focus like your life depended on Paddie being right here next to you.”

Katy nodded.

“Close your eyes,” Edie said. “It helps.”

Katy closed her eyes. She put her right hand out in a cupping motion, and a chocolate chip brownie appeared. Katy gave a quiet cheer.

“Hey,” Edie said. “That’s cheating.”

“I need brownie power.” Katy smiled.

The tiny fairy laughed. Katy took a bite and offered it to Edie. The fairy took a bite, and half the brownie was gone. Katy looked offended.

“I’m tiny, but I eat a lot,” Edie laughed. “Takes a lot of energy to be this small.”

Katy smiled at her and ate the rest of her brownie.

“Now, focus,” Edie said. “We want this Paddie here, right here, in the cupboard.”

Katy closed her eyes. When she opened them, Paddie sitting across from her, sound asleep. He wore his fuzzy, blue pirate-pajamas with feet. She felt better just looking at him.

“Did you do that?” Katy asked.

“You did,” Edie said.

“Should we wake him?” Katy asked.

“I think we should let him sleep,” Edie said. “You should sleep too.”

“I thought you were going to teach me things,” Katy said.

“You’ve just moved two things,” Edie said. “That’s enough to do for a while. When you get older, more used to doing it, you can do more. But right now, you should rest.”

“I don’t know how I’m going to . . .” Katy started.

Edie waved her wand, and Katy fell asleep.

“Hey, what are you doing?” An angry man’s accented voice came from the room outside.

There were sounds of scuffling.

“Get off me!” the man with the accent yelled.

“Fuck you,” a menacing voice said.

The tiny fairy returned to her place by the door. She was not going to let anything happen to Katy—not on her watch—and from now on, her little student was on her watch. Edie nodded.

She was ready to protect Katy and her Paddie.

The other man grunted with his effort. One man fought for breath. There was a shuffle, followed by silence and death.

Edie swallowed hard and raised her wand to the ready.

Nothing happened. The man was too caught up in his own drama to think of Katy.

~~~~~~~~

Friday night — 11:00 p.m. MST

Denver, Colorado

“What’s going on?” a young man asked when he came into the lobby. The man in the wool slacks was crouching in front of Yvonne. He stood up the moment the young man spoke. “Where’s Rubén?”

“I was going to ask you the same thing,” the man in the wool slacks said. “Did you see him leave?”

“No,” the young man said.

“Weren’t you paying attention?” the man in the wool slacks asked. “Shit, you’re supposed to be watching. Are you and Sebastian watching the house or getting high?”

“No, we’re watching.” The young man and Sebastian had been smoking bad seed—marijuana, heroin, and peyote. The young man didn’t respond. “No one came even close to this house.”

He gestured out the door.

“You’d better be right.” The man in the wool slacks didn’t disguise the threat in his voice.

The young man pointed to the blood smear on the ground. “What happened here?”

“No idea.” The man in the wool slacks shrugged.

The young man squinted with disbelief.

“You think I had something to do with it?” the man in the wool slacks asked. “I’ve been working to keep these folks asleep. When I looked up, Rubén was just gone.”

“And this?” The young man pointed to the blood on the floor.

“No idea,” the man in the wool slacks said. “It was here when we got here.”

The young man raised an eyebrow but didn’t say anything. His eyes fell on Yvonne. Like the other men, lust rushed through him. He glanced at the man in the wool slacks. The man in wool slacks hadn’t missed his interest in Yvonne.

“Why are you here?” the man in wool slacks asked.

“I wanted to let you know the cleaning crew is here,” the young man said. “They had the code to the electric fence and keys to the house. They say they come every night at this time to clean up the main areas of the house.”

“And you let them in?” the man in wool slacks asked.

“This place is a wreck. The assault team made a mess,” the young man said. “I figured the cleaning crew could clean up, so we’ll have an easy getaway. Clean house, and they’ll never think we stole those boys. I brought them up, in case you wanted to see them.”

“Where are they?” the man in the wool slacks asked.

“In the hall,” the young man said.

When the man in the wool slacks turned to leave, the young man took a step toward Yvonne. The man in the wool slacks pushed the young man out of the room. Once in the hallway, he took a look at the cleaning crew. There was a tall black man. He was powerfully built, but he looked like moron. He wore thick glasses and he reeked of stale beer and cigarettes. The man was vaguely moving an enormous string mop along the floor. A small Mexican woman was dusting with a rag, while a stooped, older black woman carried what looked like a heavy upright vacuum cleaner.

“What’s your name?” the man in the wool slacks asked.

“No sé,” the Mexican woman said. She gave him a dull look. “No habla.”

“She don’ speak English,” the older black woman said in a heavy urban accent. “We don’ want no trouble. But if we don’ clean, we don’ get paid.”

“We gots to get paid,” the tall black man said in a deep southern accent.

“What’s your name, boy?” the man in wool slacks asked.

“Lee-roy, sur,” the tall black man said.

“Well, Leroy, there’s been some trouble here tonight,” the man in wool slacks said.

“Yes, sur.” The tall black man’s voice had a dull, unintelligent tone that fed the man in wool slack’s sense of superiority. “We don’ want no trouble, no sur.”

“There’s a mess right here,” the man in wool slack said.

The tall black man moved into the waiting room with his mop.

“Say . . .” the man in wool slacks said. “You. Mexican lady.”

The woman looked up at him.

“You have kids? Bambinos?” the man in wool slacks asked.

“She gots fourteen kids,” the older black woman said. “I gots eight. You want some loving? Me and her, we can have some fun for not too much money.”

The man was intoxicated by the beautiful Yvonne. This woman disgusted him. He sneered.

“You like kids instead?” the older black woman asked.

“There’s a pregnant woman in labor in here.” The man in wool slacks raised his voice as if he was talking to someone stupid. “You.”

He pointed to the Mexican woman.

“Qué?” The woman moved closer to him. Her eyes were blazing red and she reeked of marijuana. The man in wool slacks waved his hand in front of his face.

“You deliver baby?” the man in wool slacks asked.

“No sé.” The woman shrugged.

“She don’ know what you talking about,” the older black woman said. “But I’sa birthed my little sister’s kids.”

“You did?”

“Sure,” the older black woman said. “We don’ have money for no doctor.”

“Can you deliver twins?” the young man from outside asked.

“I don’ see why not,” the older black woman said. “You care if the mother lives?”

“Not particularly,” the man in wool slacks said.

The older black woman nodded.

“I don’ know, Jobolea,” Leroy said. “We gots to clean. Da boss’s gonna be mad if we don’.”

“What you goin’ to give us?” the older black woman asked. “We taking a big risk.”

“What do you want?” the man in wool slacks asked.

The man in wool slacks whipped out his handgun. He took a step toward the tall black man.

Bumpy threw a quick, hard punch into the man’s face. The man in wool slacks dropped to the ground. Bumpy took rope from his pocket and made quick work tying the man up.

“Whaaaaa?” the young man started.

Dionne bashed him over the head with the upright vacuum she was carrying. He crumpled. Camille stuffed her dust rag in his mouth. Bumpy threw Camille some rope, and she quickly tied up the young man.

Bumpy ran into the waiting room, and began checking on people. Camille ran through the waiting room to where Jill was in labor.

“She’s been given Pitocin,” Camille yelled.

“I’ve got this,” Dionne said. “You help Jill.”

Bumpy nodded and jogged into the room. Dionne noticed that Yvonne’s top was unbuttoned. She buttoned her best friend’s blouse and woke her son.

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