A woman came through and sat across from Fiona. “King Kegan has asked me to
escort you around the palace and show you whatever you want to look at.
Follow me please.”
“Who are you? I mean, what
is your name?” Fiona took the woman’s hand. “You’re nice.”
“Thank you, Fiona. My name
is Anisa. I help King Kegan out; keep track of his appointments and things
“Oh, you’re his secretary. I
get it.” Fiona grinned.
“Yes. What would you like to
see? The palace is very large,” Anisa said.
“I’d like to see the twelve
towers, at least some of them, especially the library. Is it true that each
of King Rolfin’s wives decorated their own tower and some look pretty wild?”
“I’m not sure what you mean
by wild, but yes, they did decorate them. Some are rather gaudy, if you ask
me, while others are pretty. Things were different back in the days of
Rolfin. Their tastes in architecture are different than they are today. The
queen is using the towers in a more sensible manner. I am relieved King
Kegan only had one wife.” Anisa led Fiona to the tower that now housed the
library. She opened the door and they both stepped inside.
“Whoa! No wonder Johnny
loved it so much here. Look at the books.” Shelves lined the circular walls
all the height of the tower. “Johnny, I mean Alroy, told me there were books
from the days of Charlemagne all the way back to some ancient Greek and
“Why yes, you’re right. I
didn’t know you’d spoken with Alroy. He’s around here somewhere.” Anisa
said, glancing around the room.
“Can I go and walk around by
myself? I promise not to touch anything.” Fiona pleaded with puppy dog eyes.
“Certainly. I’ll have a seat
and wait for you,” Anisa said.
Fiona examined the books at
her eye level and then moved down a hallway into a smaller room. Through a
window she looked down at the city. “Wow! This is cool. I can see everything
from here. I love it. Fountains! Pools! Bushes! Flowers!” She glanced at the
walls. “I’m not fond of the carvings though. They are ugly.” The entire wall
of the room was decorated with carved wildebeest. “Why would a woman
decorate her room with those ugly animals? They look like yaks. Why not an
elephant or a gazelle? Weird.”
She took another small
hallway and came into another room, even tinier than the other. A man sat
with his back to her. He was writing. “Johnny,” she whispered.
The man, sensing someone
behind him, turned. He smiled at Fiona. “Hello. Who might you be?”
“I’m Fiona McAllister.
“I’m glad to meet you. My
name is Alroy Cathmore.”
“You look younger,” Fiona
said, catching the man by surprise. “What are you writing?” She moved
“I am King Kegan’s scribe. I
am keeping a history of our times.”
“That’s good. I hope you do
a good job. You never know who might read it in the future,” Fiona said.
“That’s very true. I do the
best I can.”
Fiona stared into Johnny’s
eyes. I don’t think I’ll tell him that one day he’ll marry my mother and be
Anisa came into the room.
“Fiona, you mustn’t bother Alroy. He’s got a busy job. Come. Let’s visit
another tower.” Anisa pulled Fiona by the hand.
“Cheerio, Alroy,” Fiona
He waved back and watched
until he could no longer see her.
Anisa led her from tower to
tower. She saw where the king kept his gold and jewels, the playroom for
Isabella and Anna, which was full of toys, and different storage areas.
“Have you seen enough, Fiona? King Kegan asked me to take you out into the
courtyard when you were finished.”
“He did? All right. Does he
want to show me his horses?”
“I’ve no idea.”
“By the way, you’re very
pretty. I like your hair. It’s so dark and shiny. How old are you anyway?”
Fiona dared to ask.
“Just between you and me,
“Sixteen? Is that all?”
“Most girls are married by
then. My father instructed me not to have children, so he sent me here to
work for the king. I do enjoy it here though and can’t complain,” Anisa
They went into the courtyard
and Fiona gasped. King Kegan stood there waiting for her and behind him was
his army. Anisa let go of Fiona’s hand and moved back.
“Fiona, I believe you. My
own wizard, Zerahemna, urged me to go with you. He said you were telling the
truth. As difficult as it is for me to believe, he assured me that I should
listen to all you have to say.” King Kegan bowed to her. “I shall let you
lead me into the future.”
“Cool. Anisa, they will be
back. Don’t worry. Follow me.” Fiona and the king, followed by an army of
several hundred thousand soldiers, marched through the gates of the city
into the sand. Fiona took a deep breath. “Follow me.” She stepped through
the time portal into Angus’s croft. “Watch out everyone. We’re about to have
company.” Fiona jumped off the golden staircase and landed near her mother.
“Hello, Mum. Wait until you see this.”
King Kegan went first. When
he appeared at the croft, everyone gasped. Zerahemna saw him and rushed to
him, giving him a hug.
“It’s true,” the king said.
As Fiona had told them,
hundreds of thousands of soldiers came through the portal into the croft.
There was room for them all. King Kegan saw Alroy and his other loyal men.
They spoke and explained it all to him. The soldiers were divided up into
twelve groups, each led by one of Kegan’s twelve men. Johnny stayed near his
king, with Mairi in hand. Once the last soldier was through, Angus took
Fiona aside. “Good job, Fiona. Now, go back further in time and get Rolfin
and his army. You didn’t have any problems, did you?”
“No. Would you give this bag
to my mum? Tell her the stones inside are moonstones. There’s one for her,
Callum, Elspet and me. The green one is mine. She’s busy so I’ll just go.”
She kissed her uncle on the cheek and ran through the portal again.