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Rolfin's Orb
Book 5 - Topaz
Chapter 12

Drayton didn’t dare make any moves from his hiding spot until dark. He sat in misery, smelling the frying fish and beans bubbling in the pot. His stomach rumbled with hunger. “I’ve got to get something to eat. Fools. I’d love to ruin their little camping trip.” His eyebrows arched. “I think I will.” He raised his arms above his head and commanded the bees to flee their hives and go to the camping area. “That will be a good start. This night might be rather enjoyable after all.”

                                    *  *  *

Four swarms of stinging hornets flew from their hives, making their way towards the glow of fire. Julian was sharing a story about his trip to Tasmania when the first bees arrived. At first none of them paid much attention to them, but soon became suspicious.

“What’s with the bees?” Fiona swatted one that hovered near her face.

“There does seem to be a lot of them,” Angus said.

“Ouch!” Jack jumped up, swatting bees in the air around him. “I just got stung.”

“Ouch!” Jimmy shouted. “One of them stung me.”

Soon all of them were running around, swatting bees and shouting in pain. “I think it’s Drayton’s doing.” Johnny’s hands flung all over the place.

“Fiona, you can talk to animals. Get rid of these bees.” Uncle Angus rubbed his sore jaw.

Another three swarms of bees flew into the camp. “Do something, Fiona, quickly, or we’re going to be very sore.”

Fiona, who was terribly afraid of bees in the first place, ran off to the side. She sent a message to the bees. Stop stinging my friends. My mum has bees at our house and she takes care of them and uses their honey. Why are you doing this?

Several bees flew over to Fiona. One buzzed in front of her. We were commanded by Drayton to attack you. When we are commanded, we must obey.

I command you to stop. Drayton is evil. He doesn’t care anything about your safety. Look how many of you lay dead on the ground now. Find Drayton and sting him. He is an evil man. Leave us alone.

As you command, Fiona. We always take commands from the good over from the evil. We will leave you now. I will personally take a few hornets and find Drayton. I’ll send the others back to their hives. The bee flew to the others and made singing noises. The bees stopped and gathered together in a swarm on a nearby tree. A loud buzzing song accompanied them as they flew away, leaving the campers to tend to their wounds.

“The bees are sorry, everyone. Drayton commanded them to attack us. I commanded a few of them to find him and sting him,” Fiona said.

“I must have a dozen stings on my arm alone,” Jimmy said.

“I’ve got at least twenty on my face.” Jeffrey sighed. “I think one of us should go to the stream and bring back a bucket of very cold water so we can nurse our wounds.”

Angus climbed into the SUV. Jesse handed him a bucket. “I’ll be back shortly.” He drove to the stream and filled it with icy water. Setting the bucket carefully on the floor next to him, he drove back to camp. The others waited anxiously with cloths to soak in the water. They put the dampened towel scraps to their stings.

“That feels much better.” Julian  rubbed the cold cloth on his arm.

“I’ve never been stung by a bee before,” Jack said. “Nasty creatures, they are.”

“Only when they were ordered to sting us. Most of the time they mind their own business. It’s Drayton who’s the nasty creature,” Mairi said.

“I’ve got a good idea. Let’s have some s’mores,” Fiona said.

“S’mores? What are those?” Jimmy asked, repeating the word over and over again.

“Oh, you’re gonna love them.” Fiona winked at him and went to her tent.

                                    *  *  *

Drayton wrapped his arms around him, shivering with the cold now that the sun had gone down. “I suppose I’ll sleep in the car tonight.” He headed for his car when the first bee stung him. “Ouch! What the…” Another bee stung him. “Stupid bees.  You were supposed to attack Fiona, not me.” The bees ignored him. He ran to his car, swatting them away, and grabbed a newspaper. He rolled it up and started hitting the bees when the came close. One by one they fell to the ground dead.

“So Fiona wants to play games, does she. Let’s see how she likes this one.” He closed his eyes and thought about rain, lightning, hail. Opening the door to his car, he felt the first drops of rain fall. Within a minute there was a downpour. “That’ll teach you.”

                        *  *  *

“Where did this rain come from? The sky was clear five minutes ago,” Mairi said. “Everyone, come into Fiona’s and my tent. It’s the biggest.” They all made a dash and squeezed inside just as the first lightning bolt flashed. “It will be crowded, but we can all fit in here for now. At least we can talk.”

The lightning came, growing in strength. Flashes boomed around them, frightening Fiona. Hail pounded the tents. They heard the icy balls pinging against the two cars. “Jock’s going to be angry about this. His car will be full of dents.” Angus shook his head.

“So will our car, Angus,” Mairi said.

Fiona sensed once again that Drayton was behind this. She peeked outside. The fire was doused and inside the stone ring was filled with water. Puddles covered the camp ground. “So much for a fun camp trip. Thanks, Drayton, you creep.”

“Drayton? Do you think this is his work?” Jeffrey knelt next to her looking outside.

“I’m sure of it.” Fiona closed her eyes. “I’ll fight fire with fire.” She called upon her strength to mingle with nature. She commanded the clouds to part, the lightning to calm and the air to warm.

“Why look there,” Jeffrey said. “It stopped raining. Did you do that, Fiona?”

She smiled and winked at him. A warm breeze flowed from the parting clouds, drying out the puddles. “Now, where were we?” Fiona climbed out of the tent. “Jeffrey, why don’t you get the fire going again and we’ll have those s’mores.”

They all came back outside. The air smelled sweet and fresh, like pine, with a musty fog hovering a few feet off the ground as the water evaporated.

Mairi brought out the bag of marshmallows, the digestive biscuits and bars of chocolate. “Everyone find a stick. Jack, will you break a few thin branches off that wee pine tree. Try to get ones that are brittle or dead.”

Jack did as asked and handed each of them one. “Here’s what we do. Each of you put a marshmallow on the end of the stick. The fire is nearly ready. Thanks, Jeffrey for starting it again. Take a digestive biscuit and put a few squares of chocolate on top. Put another biscuit off to the side somewhere. Now, stick your marshmallows in the fire. Not right in the fire, but above it. It’s better when there are coals instead of flames, but we can’t be picky tonight. When the marshmallow turns black, like Jesse’s is right now, scrape it off onto the bar of chocolate and then put the other digestive biscuit on top.” She laughed watching them all try to put their blackened marshmallows onto the chocolate.

“Now what?” Johnny smiled.

“Eat it.” Fiona took a bite. Stringy marshmallow dangled from her mouth to the biscuit. “It’s so good.” She couldn’t help but laugh again when Jack’s marshmallow fell on his shirt and Julian’s stuck to his face. Soon they were all laughing and had forgotten about their swollen bodies and the bee stings. “Are you ready to sing campfire songs, or would you rather tell scary stories?”

“I want another s’more,” Julian said.

“I want another one too,” Jeffrey said. The two of them huddled around the fire, gobbling their s’mores. When they ran out of chocolate and biscuits, they ate the marshmallows.

“Fiona, why don’t you tell Julian and Jeffrey some stories. I brought my telescope. Jack, Jesse, Jimmy and Johnny said they wanted to watch the stars. Of course, you can join us if you’d rather,” Angus said.

“We’ll stay with Fiona for a while. We’ll have a look later,” Jeffrey said. The others got up and went to the SUV. Fiona heard them talking about the dents from the hailstones.

“Tell us a scary story then, Fiona,” Julia urged, bringing her attention back to the fire.

“Let me think. Do you know what vampires are?”

“Vampires? Never heard of them. What are they?” Julian looked at Jeffrey. “You heard of them, Jeffrey?”

“No. Are they animals?”

“Silly. Vampires are men that can turn into bats. They fly around and suck your blood and the only way you can kill them is to stick a wooden stake in their heart or use a silver bullet,” Fiona said.

“Oh my! I can’t say I’ve heard of vampires. They sound dreadful to me,” Jeffrey said, making funny faces.

“Go ahead, Fiona. Tell us a story about a vampire then,” Julian said.

“A long time ago in Transylvania…”


Angus pulled the telescope out of the back of the SUV. “We’re up in the mountains so we’ll be able to see the stars much clearer. Let’s set it up over here,” he said. Mairi joined the men. “Have you heard of Alpha Centauri, the Milky Way Galaxy, or black holes?”

“I don’t think any of us have, Angus. Maybe Mairi has, but not us. What are they, stars?” Jesse shrugged his shoulders.

“The Milky Way Galaxy is where our solar system is located,” Angus said.

“I think you’re confusing them, Angus. Just let them see some stars,” Mairi said, chuckling.

For the next hour they gazed into the heavens, marveling at the wonders of the universe.

                                    *  *  *

“You outsmarted me again, didn’t you, Fiona. I’m not through with you all.” Drayton curled up on the back seat of his car and pulled his coat around him. “I’ll just take a nap and then the games will begin.”

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