Jason turned the pages of the book. “I’ve got
it.” He stood up, holding the book and recited the words on the page. With
the half-filled orb in his hand, he called, “Carti fakr humidi bral.” At
first nothing happened, then a soft glow appeared in the corner of the room.
The pale yellow light grew until it shone brighter than the sun. Imploding
upon itself, Jason fell backwards into the chair. When he opened his eyes
and was finally able to focus them after the flash of light, there stood
Zerahemna. “It’s good to see you,” Jason said. He put the orb on the table.
“You found my book. I see my lessons did do some
good. You listened,” Zerahemna said. “Why did you call me from Xilia?”
Jason spent the next half an hour telling the
wizard about Phelan, Drayton, Castle Athdara, the orb, Fiona and Angus. “My
father’s orb. It is here?” The wizard sat down on the settee.
“Yes, it is here.” Jason nodded to the orb
sitting on the table next to him. “There is your father’s orb, or Rolfin’s
Zerahemna turned to see it. “It’s as beautiful
as I remember it. I see seven of the stones are back in place. Five are
left. This young girl, Fiona, has ventured well. She and her friends have
been brave and retrieved the stones. The others have faced grave danger.
Phelan is wanting the orb so he can live again in his old body, for eternity
and will stop at nothing to get it.”
“That’s one of the reason I called for you. Who
is the Chief Wizard?”
“His name is Nahimena. He leads in a pleasing
manner, all of us in Xilia.”
“It is no longer Samothi then? Can you take a
message to him. Tell him Phelan is here and still practicing dark wizardry.
I know you’ve tried to capture him. If Nahimena can send an army of
righteous wizards to capture him, this can end once and for all. Mairi,
Fiona’s mother, the child and her friends, and Angus are all willing to go
to Xilia and testify.”
“What you say is true. I shall take word back to
Xilia and talk to the Chief Wizard.”
“How is Cloudwaltzer and how is your son,
“Lephimah is well and the proud father of two
wizardresses and one wizard. All three are in school now and doing very well
with their wizard studies. Marissah just turned ten and received her dragon
egg. It’s purple. She’s quite excited, running abot showing it to everyone.
Marona is quite jealous, but she’s not far from turning ten. Abindah has a
few more years to wait, but he is patient. Cloudwaltzer is very old. She is
doing well though, as well as can be expected.”
“You sent her to help Fiona and the others in
Hydra, didn’t you?”
“I did. I am allowed to help when needed, under
special circumstances. The poor girl needs help now and then, but I’m very
proud of her. She’s doing extremely well. Nahimena was talking of bringing
the three of them here after the orb is complete to begin training as
wizardresses and the boy as a wizard. What do you think?”
“I’m not sure their mothers and fathers will
agree, but who am I to say.” Jason closed the book.
“It’s good to see you, Zerahemna. It’s been a
long time.” Jason took the wizard’s hand in his. “You’re doing well?”
“I’m doing well, my friend. And the others here?
Are they all well?”
“Yes. This century is very different from what
we are used to, but it has its perks, as Fiona says.” Jason laughed.
“I must go. I chose to leave earth and return to
Xilia. While I can leave for short periods of time, I cannot stay long. My
body has been transformed now and will age rapidly if I stay here. I must
go.” The wizard hugged Jason. “Until next time. Do not worry. I will discuss
this with the Chief Wizard.” He stopped and put his finger to his chin in
thought. “There is another way.”
“If you can somehow lure Phelan out of the
castle, away from the loch, it will make it much easier. When he leaves, the
Great Wizard will know and retrieve his soul. For now, if he stays within
Castle Athdara and the surrounding area, we cannot touch him. Keep that in
“I will. It’s been good to see you again,
In a flash of brightness, the wizard
disappeared. Fiona, Callum and Elspet burst through the door a moment
later. “We’re here, Jason. Where is everyone else?”
Jason smiled. “Angus and Jimmy are out back. The
others went to the castle. I expect them shortly. Why don’t you treat
yourselves to some of Nellie’s shortbread. She let us bring all of it home
and I think there might be a few pieces left. Go on. Help yourselves.” He
closed the book and put it and the orb back in the closet. Opening the door
he called to Angus and Jimmy. They came right in and headed for the sink to
wash the paint off their hands.
“What are you painting?” Fiona chewed on her
“Just making some repairs around the croft.
Nothing for you to concern yourself with, young lady.” Angus wiped his hands
on a towel.
Mairi, Jack, Jesse, Julian and Jeffrey walked in
the door. “Well, Fiona, you’re here, just as I expected,” Jesse said. She
rushed into his arms and wrapped hers around his neck. “I’m happy to see you
“Where’s Johnny and Jared? I’ve not even got to speak to him yet,” Fiona
said. “I was going to chew him out for all those horrible traps he set for
us in Mexico!”
“Johnny and Jared will be along shortly. You
three have a mission to complete,” Mairi said. She helped them fill the
backpack with shortbread, bottled water, a flashlight, and whatever else she
saw lying around. “There you go. You’re all set.”
“Where do you think we’ll go this time, Uncle
“You’ve got five more places, Argentina, Spain,
Mongolia, Malawi and Nepal. My guess is as good as yours. I’ve not a clue.
I’d take your jackets though, just in case it’s Mongolia or Nepal. Both of
those places are cold.” Angus winked at his niece.
“Are you all ready?” Mairi gave them each a hug.
“We’re ready. I wish Johnny and Jared were here
so we could say goodbye to all of you together,” Elspet said. “Oh, wait.
Mairi, will you open my school bag and get out my pictures. Jimmy, this is
what I’ve drawn so far about our trips. You can look at them while I’m gone.
Be careful with them though.”
“Thank you, Elspet. I’m sure they’re beautiful,”
Jimmy said. Mairi opened the bag and handed them the pictures. He blew
Elspet a kiss.
“I hope Johnny and Jared aren’t too late,” Fiona
“I’m sure by the time you return, they’ll be
here,” Mairi said.
Elspet, Callum and Fiona held hands. “Daleth
shapish yam.” The colored lights flashed around them and they disappeared.
“That’s the same lights we saw in the cave,”
“What’s going on now?” Angus nibbled on a slice
“Johnny and Jared went into one of the tunnels.
It led to a cave filled with light, just like we saw when Fiona left. They
weren’t there, but their torches lay on the floor outside the cave.” Jack
explained the situation.
“There’s no sense of any of us going anywhere.
We’d better wait here, together, until they show up,” Jesse said.
“Good idea. Now, where’s some food,” Julian
said. Jason kept his visit from Zerahemna to himself. Jimmy and Angus didn’t
tell the others about the dollhouse. They filled their plates with leftover
food and sat down to eat, each of their minds full of questions and secrets.