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Rolfin's Orb
Book 4 - Emerald
Chapter 7

            Drayton found a restaurant, ate supper and went back to his hotel room. He wanted to make sure he was there before Fiona, Callum and Elspet arrived. He sat on the floor with his back against the door, listening for their return. His eyes closed and he dozed off. Noise outside woke him up. He stood up and stretched. “What’s taking those brats so long?” He looked out the window. A group of people stood in front of the hotel laughing with each other. He shouted down to them. “Take your noise somewhere else. Get lost.” The group looked up at him and ignored his shouts. “So, you don’t want to listen. I’ll fix that.”

            The ice bucket on the counter made a perfect container. He poured in his shampoo, the bottle of wine he’d bought for himself and then went out to get ice. In a small cup he melted three bars of soap under hot water and added them to the shampoo soup. He went to the window and poured the contents onto the people below. When the red wine splattered all over their head and soap bubbles floated up towards him, he roared with laughter. “That’ll teach you to make noise near my room.” He shut the window, knowing he’d succeeded.

            Noise from the room next to his alerted him that Fiona and her friends had returned. He sat next to the door and leaned his ear against it. Every gasp of horror, every cringe and tear brought pleasure to him. When the manager of the hotel appeared and Drayton heard him demand they pay for the mess, he rolled on the floor, holding his belly with laughter.

            He followed them from a distance to find out which room they were transferred to. Making note, he went up to the roof to watch the display of heavenly lights.

                                    *  *  *

            “Ruth was right. This is much prettier than we can see. Look at the colors! They’re so…” Fiona couldn’t think of the word.

            “Vivid?” Elspet said. “The aquas and greens all mingle together are gorgeous. I think they…”

            “Let me finish that sentence for you, miss artiste. You were going to say they were colorful and reminded you of a Caribbean sea, right?” Callum chuckled.

            “No, Mr. Smarty Pants. I was going to say they reminded me of a rainbow that appears while it’s still raining.” Elspet snarled. 

The prismic colors waved back and forth, dancing across the midnight sky. Twinkling stars in the background flickered and sparkled.

 “It looks like a painting in the sky, doesn’t it,” Fiona said. “All that magnetic stuff makes the sky look like it’s on fire with green and blue flames.”

            “Sometimes they are red and purple,” Callum said. “Seeing these reminds me of a song my grandmother used to sing. “The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen. I remember sitting outside one night watching the northern lights with her and she started singing. Whenever I see them, I always think of her. I miss her.”

            “We all have things that make us think of other people,” Fiona said.

            “I think it looks like a curtain of light being blown by a gentle breeze,” Elspet said. “I remember sitting with my grandfather in Orkney. One night the lights were brilliant. He said he’d never seen them so bright. They were orange and yellow and lime green. These are pretty too though.”

                                                *  * *

            And I think I’m going to be sick listening to all these trips down memory lane. Drayton sat a few rows behind them. It’s just light, that’s all. It’s not magic, or is it? I’ll have to ask Phelan about it. Fed up with the whole thing he went inside and headed for the hotel bar.

 *  *  *

An hour later, Fiona yawned. “Let’s get to bed. We’ve got a busy day tomorrow. Who knows what we’ll have to deal with. Let’s hope Drayton stays out of our way now that he’s had his jollies by trashing our room.”

After showering, they climbed into bed and soon dozed off. Callum woke up. “Fiona, Elspet, wake up. There’s a weird noise in here.”

They yawned and sat up in bed. “What is it, Callum? Why did you wake us up?”

            Fiona leaned back against the pillow.

“I heard a noise. It sounded like someone scratching on the window,” Callum said.

Elspet got out of bed and went to the window. She opened it and looked down. “There’s nothing here. It must have been the wind. Go back to sleep.” She climbed back into her bed and lay down. “Go to sleep!”

A few minutes later the scratching sounds on the window woke Callum up again. “Fiona! I hear noises. I’m not dreaming. There’s something outside the window.”

“Callum, I’m too tired for this.” Fiona listened and heard nothing.

“Just lie awake for a few minutes and you’ll hear it. I promise.”

Fiona laid her head on the pillow, envious of Elspet, who was still asleep. She heard the noises.

“Did you hear that, Fiona? It happened again,” Callum said.

“Yes, I heard it.” She crept out of bed and went to the window. “Come over here. Stand next to the window and when it happens again we’ll look.”

Callum climbed out of bed and stood where Fiona had instructed. They waited.

                                    *  *  *

 Drayton, after drinking two bottles of wine in the bar, didn’t feel much like going back to his room. “I know what I’ll do.” He went outside and into the back alley. Looking up he counted windows to figure out which one was Fiona’s. “I’ll give them a fright like they’ve never had before.” He grew to 100 feet in height. Peering in the window he saw them lying in their beds. “Ah. Right room.” Scratching the glass with his fingernails, he took great delight in seeing Callum sit up in bed. He shrunk back down and hid behind the wall. A few minutes later he did the same.

                                    * * *

            “Fiona, Callum, what are you doing?” Elspet sat up in bed, seeing her friends standing next to the window.

“I heard the noise. Something’s out there. We’re waiting for it to happen again and then we’re going to look,” Fiona said.

“What do you think it is? Do you think it’s a ghost?” Elspet climbed out of bed and stood next to Fiona.

“Don’t be silly. Why would there be a ghost here?” Fiona grabbed Elspet by the shoulder. “It isn’t a ghost. I think it’s Drayton.”

“Drayton? He’s outside our window?” Callum peeked from behind the curtains.

“I think he’s grown tall and is playing a joke on us. Sneak into the bathroom and get the bucket of icy water I left there. When he comes again we’ll throw it on him. That’ll teach him to pester us,” Fiona said.

Elspet came back carrying the bucket. “Here it is.”

“Hold it. Any minute now he’ll be here,” Fiona said.

Drayton scratched the window. “It’s him. Callum, open the window as fast as you can. Elspet, throw the water.” Fiona stood back.

Callum pulled the window up and before Drayton could respond, a bucket of ice cold water flew into his face. He screamed and shrunk down to normal size.  “We got him!”

Fiona danced around the room holding Elspet’s hands.

Callum pulled the window shut and locked it tight, pulling the drapes. “I don’t think he’ll bother us again, do you?” He joined the girls in the dance.

            It was three a.m. before they got back to sleep.

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