“We’re back!” Fiona slipped the backpack off and
dropped it on the floor.
“Why do you three look so gloomy? Aren’t you
glad to be back home?” Jack picked up the pack and put it over on Angus’s
“Yes, we’re glad, but we made a new friend in
Mexico and we all will miss him,.” Fiona said.
“I couldn’t understand one word he said and I’ll
miss him a lot.” Elspet wiped a tear from the corner of her eye.
“Maybe you can go back and visit him again some
day. For now, we’re all glad you’re back. Did you get the amber?” Angus
walked over to his neice.
“Yes. Here it is,” Fiona said, taking it out of
her pocket. “Wait until I talk to the next man who comes. He made a lot of
horrible traps for us. Who is it that’s coming?”
“That would be Chessa. You can call him Jared.
If he doesn’t show up in a few minutes, we’ll go back to the castle. I’m
just hoping all the banshees are gone and Drayton’s found a rock to crawl
under,” Jack said.
“Jared. I think I can remember that.” Fiona
yawned. “Where are the others?”
“They’re at your house. I was just about to take
Angus over there to have a look at that broken chair,” Jeffrey said, winking
“Oh yes,” she played along, “the broken chair.”
Fiona winked back.
“Before we go anywhere we need to put the amber
stone in the orb.” Angus went to the closet and brought it back to the
table. “This will be our seventh stone. They’re all getting brighter and I
felt some sort of current, like electricity when I put the last one in. Are
you ready?” He slipped the stone into the proper hole.
All seven jewels lit up, sending their colored rays around the room. The
dragons inside gave them their glow and the golden orb seemed to shine more
than usual. “Magnificent,” Jason said.
“It only lasts for about half an hour and then the glow disappears until we
put the next stone in. It produces some sort of energy field around it. Can
you feel it?” Angus put his hands a few inches away. “It’s pulsating.”
The others gathered around and felt the throbs of energy. “We’ve only got
five more stones to go. Can you imagine what this will be like then?”
“I can’t. What magic can I do now, Uncle Angus?” Fiona read his mind.
“Wow! I can read your mind. That’s my new power? Cool.”
“It’s one of those sort of powers that you must not abuse or take lightly,
Fiona. Don’t try to play mind games with your friends and family. Use this
power as it should be, with care. You may end up finding out something you
wished you didn’t know,” Jason warned.
“I’ll be careful.” Fiona squeezed his hand. “Can we walk Callum and
Elspet home now?”
“We can right after you tell us about Mexico. What was it like? What were
the traps?” Jeffrey seemed anxious to hear all about it.
Callum spoke up, “Elspet nearly had her heart cut out. Fiona challenged an
evil god of the underworld to a contest, we were chased by jaguars and
played with monkeys.”
“We met a boy named Tlaloc and he only spoke Maya and Fiona was the only
person who could talk to him because she can speak different languages. He
took us to his hacienda for supper. I don’t think it was a hacienda. It was
more like an adobe shack, but everyone in the village was nice. We played
with his little sister, Itzel and met his mom, Rosita and his father, Pedro.
They were nice.” Elspet rambled on so quickly that the men started to laugh.
“It wasn’t funny,” she said.
“We know. It’s just that you talked too fast. Why don’t we wait until later
and you can tell us more, if there’s anything left to tell,” Jack said.
“One of us needs to stay here, guard the orb and books and wait for Jared. I
volunteer to wait for him. I know the way to Mairi’s. Why don’t you three
run along, take the children home and have a great time.” Jack picked up the
orb and put it in the closet.
“I don’t imagine we’ll have that good of a time fixing a broken chair, and
why do I need Jason and Jeffrey to escort me? I’m perfectly capable of
finding my way to Mairi’s house.” Angus slipped his coat on.
“Remember, Uncle Angus, Drayton’s out there still and I’d feel better if all
three of you took Elspet and Callum home. Wait, I almost forgot, their mum’s
said to just take them to our house. They’ll come by and pick them up,”
Fiona said, remembering the plan for the party.
“Right. I forgot. Mum said to go to Fiona’s when we were done helping
Angus,” Callum said.
“My mum said that too.” Elspet smiled.
“Well then, we shall all go to Mairi’s together, to fix her broken chair.”
Angus shook his head back and forth. “A lot of nonsense this is.”
“Uncle Angus. Remember Drayton.” Fiona took his hand. When they opened the
door to leave, there stood a man with black hair and eyes, that slanted
downward. “You must be Chessa.”
“I am. And who are you?”
“I’m Fiona and this is Uncle Angus. You should
come with us. Oh, by the way, your name’s not Chessa any more. It’s Jared.
Jared, you’re the seventh man to come through the time portal.”
“Not really, Fiona. He’s the eighth. Remember,
Johnny.” Angus grinned.
“I’m a bit confused, if you don’t mind.”
Chessa’s face pinched up in concern.
“Why don’t you go inside and talk to Jack. He’ll
explain it all to you.” Fiona closed the door behind Jared and left for
* * *
Drayton woke up in a darkened room. He rolled over and looked at the clock.
“Six o’clock at night? That’s good enough for me.” He put on his shoes and
grabbed his coat. “I’m out of this cursed place. Inveralba!” Not wanting the
hotel clerk to know he wasn’t coming back, he carried on some small talk,
asking him where he recommended as a good place to eat. After walking out
the front door, he rubbed his hands together. “Now, what car will get me
home to Truro the quickest.” He walked up and down the street, checking for
unlocked cars. “Bingo. I found one.” Slipping into the driver’s seat, he was
even more delighted to find the owner had foolishly left the keys in the
Cindy McKay ran into Crowther’s Fish and Chip Shop to grab supper for her
husband and herself. When she came out, she couldn’t see her car. “What in
the world?” It was at that moment, holding a bag of steaming hot fish and
chips, that she realized she’d left the keys in the car. “Andy’s going to
shoot me for this.” Defeated and glum, she went back inside to call her
“Stupid broad.” Drayton had pulled the car around the corner and watched to
see who came out to claim the missing car. “It figures. Lucky for me she
didn’t have enough brains to take her keys with her. They’re far too
trusting in this village, much to my advantage. Oh great! An added bonus!
The tank’s full of petrol.”
He drove down the back roads and pulled over
when he was well out of town. A small café sat at the side of the road.
Drayton pulled a knife out of his pocket and unscrewed one of the parked
car’s license plates. He switched it with the stole one and drove south
toward the Scottish lowlands. “If I never come to this country again it will
be too soon for me. I should have enough gas to get me to the motorway. I’ll
fill up at the border. “Goodbye Phelan, Castle Athdara, Fiona and banshees.
Truro, here I come!”