back. That was fast,” Angus said. He looked at the clock on the wall.
“Where is everyone? It’s just
you, Jason and Johnny. We weren’t gone that long.” Fiona hugged her uncle.
“That’s correct. You’ve been
gone five minutes our time, but there was a lot that needed to be done, so
everyone hurried off. Hello Elspet, Callum, Jimmy. Glad to see you all safe.
Don’t worry about the others. They’ll all be back shortly. Now, do you have
the stone?” Angus put his hand out.
Jason and Johnny put their
books down and stood around the orb. “That’s a fine looking stone,” Johnny
“It’s tanzanite and we had to
go to the end of the world to get it,” Callum said, chuckling.
“Are you ready?” They nodded.
Angus slipped the stone into place. “That’s the tenth one. See how bright
the jewels are now. Amazing.” Whirling colors shot around the room and the
dragon appeared on the wall. “It’s almost complete. Only two more to go. Can
you feel the energy? It’s almost blinding now. Amazing; simply amazing. I’ll
never get used to this display.” They watched the glowing orb in silence
until Angus spoke. “I suppose our next guest will be showing up shortly. Who
is it this time?”
“Serbel. We’ll call him
Jeremy. The other day when we were at the shops with Mairi, I saw all these
key chains. I wrote down all the ‘J’ names. We’ve covered most of them.”
Johnny scratched his chin. “Why don’t you all have a seat on the settee and
tell us about your trip. By the time you’re finished all the others should
* * *
Drayton’s necklace lit up. He
counted the colored stones. “Ten of them. If I can just survive this until
the 12th one is in, I’ll take that orb and disappear. Once I have
the power to go back in time, Phelan will never be able to find me. I might
just go back before he was around and kill him when he first appears.” He
slouched against the wall. “I want to get out of this place.”
Drayton didn’t notice the man
running down the hall and disappearing out of the door. Serbel ran as though
he was an eagle flying, silently and fast. Drayton fell asleep out of
Sometime during the early
afternoon Drayton woke up. A shadow blocked the sun, sending shivers through
his body. He opened his eyes. “Phelan. How long have you been there?”
“Long enough to see you
wasting your life away. I’ve had enough of you and your slothfulness. I’ve
come up with a plan.” Without another word the wizard flew at Drayton and
entered his body. Drayton screamed in anger and pain.
“Your body is mine now.”
Phelan’s wicked laugh filled the empty castle with an evil chill.
Drayton heard Phelan speak.
“You’ve taken possession of my body? Why is it that I can hear you? Who is
in control, you or me?”
“I am in complete control.
Though we can hear each other and speak to each other, I decide what your
body does. You have wasted too much time. The tenth stone is in the orb now.
That leaves only two more. With your body I can leave this castle and do the
things that need to be done without having to depend on you. I wish I’d
thought of it days ago.” Phelan walked over to the castle door. “It feels
nice to have a human body once again.”
Drayton panicked. “Get out.
It’s my body, not yours.”
“I’m sorry to say this, boy,
but from now on you don’t exist, except in your mind. I would suggest you
accept it and be quiet. Keep this in mind, boy. Though I am in control, you
will feel hunger and pleasure and pain. Since I am not in my own body yet,
simply controlling yours, it won’t change much. If you don’t cooperate, I
will make sure you feel a lot of pain and little pleasure.” Phelan roared
and ran off into the woods.
* * *
Serbel knocked at
Angus’s door. Jason opened it. “Welcome, Serbel. Come in. Come in.”
Serbel looked at
the others in the croft. “Hello.” He nodded and smiled.
“Without asking a
lot of questions, your name from this moment on is Jeremy. It’s good to see
you. It’s been a long time.” Johnny hugged his old friend.
“Yes, Jeremy, it is
grand seeing you again. You can call me Jason and this is Johnny. You
recognize Jimmy, of course. The children are Fiona, Elspet and Callum.
Others will arrive soon. You’ll be overwhelmed.”
“I already am,”
Fiona walked over
to Jeremy. “I have to tell you that your traps were lame. I mean, come on,
Jeremy. Those prisoner ghosts had about as much intelligence as my big toe.”
“Oh really. I
thought I’d done a good job with my selections. I thank you for sharing your
opinion,” Jeremy said.
“She’s right. Those traps were so easy. Thanks for doing that. It was nice
not to have to do some of those other things that we had to do in Iceland
and Spain. How did you like Tierra del Fuego when you were there?”
“It was a dismal
place,” Jeremy said. “I had a miserable time getting there and I couldn’t
wait to leave. There was only some Indian tribe there at the time. They
welcomed me and I appreciated that, but it was so isolated and lonely and
cold. Remember, I was born and raised in the desert.”
“It still is a
miserable place; colder than a witch’s tooth,” Jimmy added.
“A witch’s tooth?
I’ve not heard that saying before,” Serbel said.
“You’ll be learning
a lot of new words here,” Callum added.
The door opened.
Mairi and Jeffrey came in carrying bags of food. “Serbel! It’s good to see
you.” Jeffrey shook his friend’s hand.
“His name is Jeremy
now,” Elspet said.
“I’m so glad you
made it home in one piece, all of you. So, how was it?” Mairi unloaded the
groceries from the bags.
What did you bring to eat?” Fiona looked in the bags. “Brilliant! Chocolate
biscuits and tell us about your journey? Did you find yourself in a lot of
danger?” Mairi’s eyes lit up with curiosity.
Fiona looked over
at Jeremy and giggled. “I’ll tell you later, Mum.”
“Jeremy, sit over
here with me,” Angus said. “The lot of them will be walking through that
door any minute and there won’t be room to breathe. I’ll fill you in on