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Rolfin's Orb
Book 8 - Opal
Chapter 7

Fiona woke to the smell of sizzling bacon. She sat up and saw her mum standing over Angus's fire. “Mum, how can you cook bacon? Angus doesn't have a stove.” She climbed out of bed and meandered through the cots and sleeping men.

“I'm creative. I simply put the pan on the rocks and it's working fine. I've got some sausages, beans, crumpets, raisin scones and eggs. I think you're going to have a fun day today. Angus and Johnny were talking of taking you somewhere special.”

“Where, Mum? I could use a day of fun.”

“Why don't you wake them all up and I'll finish fixing this food. One would think I was feeding an army. Nine men, ten including Angus, means a lot of work. They're worth it though.” Mairi stirred the scrambling eggs and turned the browning sausages over.

Fiona climbed onto Angus's fireplace and brought her hands to her mouth, cupping them around it. “Wake up! It's time to get up! Mum's fixed breakfast and then we're going to do something fun!”

“Fiona! I didn't mean for you to shout!” Mairi hid her smile.

Grumbles came from the floor and bags spread around the croft. Each man got up, put his blanket away and sat on the settee, or wherever there was a place to sit. With sleepy eyes hanging on each of their faces, Mairi carried around plates, forks and paper napkins for them all. Once they'd been fed, they were all a bit more sociable.

“For goodness sakes. One would think things were a little too cushy for you in Burill. You can't even wake up in the morning! Tsk, tsk, tsk.”

Before Mairi could say another word, Johnny ran up and wrapped his arms around her waist, nibbling on her neck.

Jacob nudged Jesse with his elbow. “What's this?”

“They're an item, as Fiona would say.” Jesse winked.

Jacob nodded and smiled, happy for his friend.

Johnny picked Fiona up and swung her around. “I've got a grand surprise for you today, wee Fiona. We're going to the Haggis Haunt Water Park. Does that sound fun?”

“Haggis Haunt? I've heard of it. It's brand new. Sounds wonderfully fun, Johnny. Is everyone going?” Fiona ran and climbed on Jimmy's lap.

“I think I need to stay here. Jared and I are still a bit weak from our ordeal in Nepal.”

“I'm staying home too, to take care of you. I've got to run into work for an hour or two though. I'll pick something up to fix supper tonight. Fiona, go and have fun,” her mother said.

“But what about swim trunks for the guys? What about me?”

“They can rent swim trunks there and so can you. You can even rent towels,” Mairi said.

Angus reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. “Say, Fiona, do you have any money leftover form all these journeys? I've got more if you need it.”

“There's some in my pack, Uncle Angus. Do you want me to get it? We can use it to pay the way into the water park,” Fiona said.

“Och no, lass. I've got enough for us all. That means yourself, moi, Jesse, Jimmy, Julian, Jack, Jacob, Jeffrey, and Jason will be going. That's fine. I think we can all fit in the car. Fiona, you and one of the others will have to sit in the very back, where I usually keep my tools and things. Do you mind?”

“I don't mind. Jimmy, will you sit back there with me?” She ran to him and squeezed his leg.

He pried her off, noticing the other men's silent jeers. “Certainly, Fiona. I'd be honoroed.”

“What about Callum and Elspet? They'd want to go?” Fiona thought of her friends.

“When we took them home last night,” Julian said, “both of their mum's and dad's let us know that they had work to do around the house today.”

“Oh. Well, we will have fun anyway.” Fiona danced around the room with excitement.

#  #  #

Penelope drove the car up the drive and parked it in front of her sister, Nellie's house. Exhaustion set in and she leaned over the wheel. The Saturday morning sun was well over the horizon.

Nellie opened the front door and as soon as she saw her sister, she opened the car door and helped her out, relieved to see she was all right. “Penelope, did you drive straight through from Cornwall? Come in. Come in.”

“But, Drayton. I have to help him,” Penelope pulled herself from Nellie's grasp.

“Drayton? Well, wake him up. Both of you need something to eat and then you need to rest.” Nellie sent her sister into the house and she walked around and opened the passenger door. “Drayton, wake up.” She shook him.

He sat up and looked around. “Who are you? Where's my mum? Where am I?”

“I'm your Auntie Nellie.  Your mum is inside and I, my dear Drayton, am  your aunt. Come inside and freshen up. I'll fix you some breakfast.”

Drayton clambored out of the car and staggered into the house.

Nellie shook her head with disgust and made sure the car was locked up. She saw her sister and nephew sitting at the kitchen table. “Well, now that you're here, what can I fix you for breakfast?” No reply. “I'll tell you what. Go upstairs and freshen up, shower, or do whatever you need to do and I'll get something ready for you in a wee bit. Go on then.” She shooed them off and opened the refrigerator, in search of something for a meal.


After breakfast, they squeezed into Mairi's car. Jimmy and Fiona had to sit in the very back. “It's a good thing Mum has a station wagon, isn't it?” Fiona giggled at Jimmy's bent legs. “She needs a big car because she delivers her honey about town, and her jam too.”

Angus drove off, leaving Mairi and the other two behind. “We're off then.”

“I don't mean to sound stupid, but what is a haggis?” Jacob turned around to ask Fiona.

“I couldn't begin to describe it to you, Jacob. You'll just have to wait and see,” she said.  “Say, do you all know how to speak Phoenician and Arabic?”

“We can all speak Arabic, Fiona, but it's Jason who's the linguist. He's probably the only one of us that can speak that,” Julian said.

For the rest of the drive, Fiona, who could speak any language, joked with the men.

Jason taught them a few words of Xilian, so that if the need ever arose, at least they could ask where to tie the dragon up to.

Angus, who didn't understand a word, shook his head and paid attention to his driving.

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