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Rolfin's Orb
Book 3 - Pearl
Chapter 11

Drayton heard the echoing voices behind him. “Great. They’re following me. Where does this tunnel lead?” He ran faster through the dark, winding tunnel, barely able to see with the dying flames of the torch. An opening appeared and he ran into the freedom of the night, finding himself in a cluster of birch trees. He tossed the torch into the loch and looked around. He heard it sizzle and turned in time to see it sink to the bottom of the loch.

 The exit from the cave was embedded in a tree-covered mound. “It looks like one of those stupid hobbit houses.” Drayton  remembered a movie he’d recently seen. He saw a path leading up to the top of it. Without another thought, he climbed, grabbing onto dead roots of trees and rocks, pulling himself and slipping backwards every other step. Pieces of rock and dirt clods rolled down to the ground. Standing on a wide root right above the entrance, he picked up several large rocks. “These will do just fine. I’ll wait until they come out and see if I can smash a few of them on the head.”

“There’s the opening, Mum. I can see trees.” Fiona ran out through it. Drayton dropped the rock. It landed inches away from her foot.

            “Watch out, Fiona. Get back in here.” Jack  grabbed her by the arm and pulling her in.

            “What was that?” Mairi couldn’t see in the darkness of the night.

            Jack moved to the edge of the cave and looked out. A rock whizzed past his head, missing him by a hair’s width. “Someone’s up there and he doesn’t want us to come out of the cave.”

            “Drayton!” Angus looked up, as if he could see right through the stone ceiling. “He’s the one who was in the cave. It must be him. This is just his style. He’s too much of a coward to face us.”

            Each time one of them tried to take a step out, he dropped a rock.

            Johnny said, “We’ll never get out this way. I’ve got an idea.  You all stay here. Now and then one of you run out and then run back in. It’s obvious the man’s got no sense of aim. Jimmy and I will go back to the castle and head around the back way. We’ll get behind Drayton and catch him unsuspected.” Johnny tapped Jimmy on the shoulder. “Come with me, Jimmy. The rest of you be careful.” He winked at Mairi.

            Fiona moved to the cave’s entrance. “I’m not afraid of him. I’ll run out. I’m small and make a harder target.”

            “I don’t think so, young lady. I’ll not have your head bashed open,” her mum said.

            “But Mum, it’s all right. I’m fast. He couldn’t hit me if he wanted to.” Fiona sighed. Without waiting for her mum’s reply, she ran out of the cave. Drayton dropped a rock and as expected, missed her. She took a few steps and looked on top of the cave. She saw a man’s form. “Is that you, stupid Drayton. That’s your name isn’t it? Drayton, Drayton, why are you waitin’, throw your rock, I’m being patient.” Fiona sang in a teasing voice.

            Unable to control his immature anger, Drayton called down, “Why you little brat, I’ll pulverize you.” Several rocks came toward her. She easily dodged them all.

            “Your voice sounds familiar. Do I know you? Why don’t you quit hiding like a baby and show yourself.” Fiona taunted. Three more rocks flew through the air. She jumped to the side as they zoomed past. “Missed me, missed me. Now you gotta kiss me.”

            Drayton slid down the side of the hill and ran towards Fiona. “You brat. I’ll make mincemeat out of your face. I’ll kiss you all right, with my fist.”

            Fiona stood still, watching as he slipped in the dirt. When he got close enough, she recognized him and gasped. “It’s you! You’re the man from the Seychelles who bullied Callum. How did you get there? You’re sunburned. Ha, ha, ha. I hope it hurts you.”

            He stood in front of her. “You’re right, little Fiona. Yes, I know all about you. I know your name. I know about the stones and the orb. I’m letting you find them all and then I’m going to take it from you, after I kill you and your mother.”

            Finding bravery in her heart she put her arms on her hips. “Is that so? You’ll not be taking it from me, Drayton. You’re evil and everyone knows good always wins over evil.”

            “It didn’t help King Kegan, did it? I wish I could have been there to watch him have his head whacked off,” Drayton snarled.

            Fiona gasped, hearing his cruel words.

            Drayton didn’t hear the men coming behind him.

            Fiona saw Jesse and Jack approaching. Seeing them made her feel courageous. “You’re a coward, Drayton, just like King Dugan. I’ll get all those jewels and you’ll not ever get them. I’ll put a spell on you and turn you into a midge and then I’ll swat you flat.”

          Jesse ran up behind Drayton and threw his arms around his chest, holding him in a bear squeeze.

            Jack grabbed Fiona and pulled her back to the cave.

            Mairi took her from Jack and then he went out to help Jesse. Before he could get near him, a wall of flame shot into the air, erupting from the ground like a volcano and blocking the wrestling men.                                                                               

            “Where did the fire come from?” Angus felt the flames kissing his cheeks and backed further into the cave. J

            Jack soon ran back to join them.

            “It’s Drayton. He’s making the fire. He must have the same powers as me. I can make fire too,” Fiona said. “Jesse had better be careful. Drayton can make himself big. Should I make myself big and step on Drayton?”

“No, Fiona. It’s far too dangerous for you. Stay here. We’ll wait for Johnny and Jimmy,” her mum said.

“It’s not too dangerous. I can grow big and get him. Please let me go.” Fiona cried, trying to wiggle free from her mum’s grip.

By the time the flames died down, Jimmy and Johnny had joined them in the cave. “Sorry it took so long. We saw the fire. Where did it come from? Was it you, Fiona? Where’s Jesse?”

“He grabbed Drayton and then the fire started. I don’t know if he’s all right or not,” Jack said. They ran through the dying embers, searching for Jesse. Jack found him lying at the edge of the loch. His clothes were torn and his face was bloody. “Jesse?”

            Drayton was nowhere to be seen.

            Jesse didn’t move. The others ran to him. “Is he dead?” Fiona buried her face in Uncle Angus’s coat. “You should have let me squish him.”

            Johnny bent down and felt for a pulse. “He’s not dead, but he’s hurt. I don’t think anything’s broken, but we’d better get him to your house, Angus, and give him medical aid.”

            Jack, the biggest of the four men, picked Jesse up and carried him over his shoulder. “I’ll take Mairi and Fiona home and stay with them. You stay at Angus’s house and we’ll come over in the morning.”

            “I think Drayton has all the same powers as me, Johnny. He was in the Seychelles. I saw him there, so did Callum and Elspet. He tried to beat up Callum. I hope Jesse will be all right.” Fiona took Johnny’s hand.

            “I don’t know how he’s done it, but somehow he’s able to travel to the same places Fiona goes and he’s got the same powers. It must be linked to Phelan. The only good thing is he can’t get the stones. Only Fiona and her friends can. As for Jesse, don’t worry; he’ll be fine. We need to get the stones as quickly as we can though. It’s getting too dangerous. It’s obvious that Phelan’s teaching Drayton, preparing him for his re-birth,” Johnny warned. He, Mairi and Fiona left the others, each heading for the safety of their homes.

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