Fiona threw the door open. “Uncle Angus! Mum! Drayton's kidnapped Callum!”
She gasped for a breath.
Malcolm pushed the others out of the way. “What do you mean? Where's Callum?”
Mairi took Fiona's hand. “Why don't you and Elspet have a seat and tell us
The girls sat on the couch. Fiona spoke first. “We went to Spain this time,
to Consuegra. That's where Don Quixote lived.”
“Who?” Johnny looked perplexed.
“It's a famous story,” Mairi said.
“It's not story. It is true. Don Quixote really lived.” Fiona looked at
Elspet for confirmation. “At least that's what Dulcinea told us.”
“Fiona, what about Callum?” Malcolm stood in front of her.
“We went to the windmills to find the sapphire and we split up. When Callum
went into one of them, he never came out. I knew Drayton was there. He did a
lot of things to give himself away. We were poisoned and nearly trampled by
“Good heavens, Mairi. You allow your daughter to be involved in such
danger?” Malcolm scoffed and folded his arms across his chest.
“Mr. McAllister, please don't say things like that. We are all right. When
we came back here Drayton stopped us by the door. He told me to tell you all
that he has Callum at the castle and that Phelan, the wizard, will kill him
if we don't take the three books to him.”
“Never! We will never hand those books to that maniac!” Angus's face turned
red with anger.
“I agree with Angus,” Jimmy said.
“Drayton told us that Phelan was hurting Callum. We have to go and rescue
him right now. We need a plan.” Elspet clasped her hands together.
“The first thing we need to do is get the jewel from Fiona. Fiona?” Angus
reached his hand out.
Fiona took the sapphire out of her pocket. “Here it is, Uncle Angus.”
He placed it in the orb, which sat on the table near where he stood. Dragons
appeared on the wall. After the display of lights, which they were all
getting used to, they sat down to figure out a plan.
* * *
The time portal spit Collos onto the floor. He stood, balancing himself on
the cold stone. Without hesitation he dashed up the stairs, searching for
the exit. The sound of a boy's cries stopped him, forcing him to hide behind
a pillar. His neck stretched out for a peek. The bats covered the boy, who'd
obviously passed out several times from shock.
Collos turned and went back toward the room. He saw the stairs leading down
and followed them into the cavern. Choosing the stream-filled tunnel, he
splashed through the water, dropped into the icy coolness and swam with the
flow until he came into the loch. Thankful that he could swim well, he made
it to the shore, climbed out and ran the rest of the way to Angus's cottage.
He stood dripping wet and pounded on the front door.
Johnny opened it. “Collos! You're all wet!” The two men embraced and Collos
stepped inside to find the room full of people.
“I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it’s good to see you all. Back at
the castle I saw a young boy being tormented by a ghost of some sort. He
didn’t look to happy and by the sounds of his screams…” Collos stood in
front of the peat fire, rubbing his hands together to get warm.
Johnny stood next to him. “Collos, you’re in the 21st century in
northern Scotland. The others,” he waved his arm around the room, “came
earlier. That ghost is Phelan, a wizard, and that boy is Callum.
“He’s our friend,” Elspet said.
“And who are you?” Collos smiled at her.
“I’m Elspet and this is Fiona. That’s her mother, Mairi and her Uncle Angus
and Callum’s father, Malcolm. This is Angus’s croft. Fiona, Callum and I
have been traveling around the world gathering the stones. We just returned
from La Mancha. You have pretty blue eyes.”
Collos blushed. “I see.”
Johnny began, “We’ve got the orb and we’re gathering the jewels. We’ve got
nine of them so far, but Phelan and his cohort, Drayton, are making things
difficult. Drayton kidnapped Callum in Spain. By the way, you’re Jasper now.
I’m Johnny.” He went around the room. “Jimmy, Jesse, Julian, Jeffrey, Jack,
Jared, Jason, Jacob.” Each man nodded when hearing his name.
“You do have nice
blue eyes,” Fiona said.
“My mother is
Germanic and my father was a Frank. How old am I here?” Jasper looked at
Jimmy. “I need some dry clothes.”
“You’re thirty. Go
into the room and pick something out of the pile of clothes. Now, it’s time
for us to get Callum away from that Phelan fool wizard. Jasper, you stay
here with Angus and…”
“Oh no you don’t,”
Mairi interrupted. “I’m coming and so are Fiona, Elspet and Malcolm. Don’t
say another word. There is no discussion.”
“All right. We’re
all going. Angus, you don’t mind staying with Jasper, do you?” Jimmy turned
to look behind. “You could show Jasper the books and catch him up on all the
special surprises we’ve had.”
“Aye, I’ll stay.
Jasper, I’ll feed you some good old Highland cooking and we’ll get better
Johnny nodded at
him. Jasper glanced at the others. “It looks like I’m your guest for a
while. I’d love to know what is going on here.”
“When we get back,
Jasper, we can talk about the traps you set up. Lame, Jasper, lame.” Fiona
grabbed her pack. “Let’s go get Callum.”
Jasper went to
* * *
“What’s the plan? We can’t just waltz into Castle Athdara and demand Phelan
give Callum back.” Jimmy squatted behind the trees, peering through the
branches. The others were nearby.
“That’s a dreadful looking place, so evil. It’s a shame. At one time it was
a castle of love and family. Look what that wizard has done to it.” Johnny
shook his head back and forth.
“The first problem is how we get across to the island. We don’t have any
boats and who knows what sort of creatures he’s got in there guarding the
place.” Jack turned and looked behind him. “We could float over on some of
these fallen trees. I imagine four or five of us could straddle one. We’d
only need two or three logs. Do you think they’d hold our weight?”
Malcolm wandered over to the trees, lifting an end. “It can be done. Once we
get to the island, then what? I want no harm coming to my lad.”
“We’ll decide that when we get there. Come on men. Let’s move these into the
water.” Johnny went to help Malcolm.
“I have powers, Johnny. We don’t have to do it that way,” Fiona reminded
him. “I can part the water.”
“That’s true, but let’s avoid using those powers unless we have to. We don’t
want to weaken your strength.” Johnny winked at the girl.
“Whatever you think,” Fiona said, shrugging.
After they’d placed three tree trunks in the loch, they divided into groups.
“I’ll take Mairi, Malcolm, Elspet and Fiona with me,” Johnny said.
“Jimmy, you, Jesse, Julian and Jason go on one and Jacob, Jeffrey, Jack and
Jared take the third. Paddle with your hands and do it as quietly as
possible. Keep your eyes open and if you have any trouble, get back to the
shore as fast as you can.” Johnny lifted Fiona and Elspet onto the log.
Mairi straddled her legs over. Malcolm and Johnny climbed on next. “This is
the biggest log. Hold onto some of the bark. Wrap your legs around it and
hold on. Logs roll. Try to keep your balance.” Jesse and Jack pushed the
first log off. It floated across the loch. “Fiona, Elspet, try to keep your
feet on top of the log, if you can. Mairi, sorry my dear.”
The second group climbed on and pushed themselves off, following Johnny. The
third group was forced to walk into the loch and then climb on. This caused
difficulties and the log rolled constantly, spilling the men into the water.
They went back to the shore and tried it again, but once more kept falling.
“There must be an imbalance. Some of the trunk is hollow and other parts are
solid. We’re going to have to wait here.” Jeffrey sighed. Jacob, Jack and
Jared sat next to him on the pebbly shore.
“They’re having trouble. We’ll have to do it with just us and the others
following,” Johnny said.
“Do we have a plan?” Mairi’s legs were chilled from the icy water.
“Jasper told us where Phelan was keeping Callum. Fiona, what power do you
have now?” Johnny jumped off the trunk when they neared the island and
pushed it forward. Once he touched bottom, the others slipped off and swam
to the shore.
“I can do a lot of things, Johnny. The power I have no is to be invisible.
That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?”
“Yes. You might need to use that power, along with the other ones, to help
rescue Callum.” Johnny helped each of them off the log. “Elspet, Malcolm,
Mairi, you three go around back. Elspet, you know your way around this
castle better than the others. Can you handle it?”
Elspet grinned. “Yes, of course. Come on, Mr. McAllister, Mrs. McAllister.”
She looked at the two of them. “That sounds funny calling you both that.
There are way too many McAllisters around here. Come with me.”
Johnny watched as the three ran behind the castle. “It’s up to you and me
now, Fiona. I sent them that way to get them out of danger. You and I will
have to handle this one on our own, at least until the others come to help.”
He turned to see how far the second log had made it across the loch. “Jimmy,
Jesse, Julian and Jason will be here any minute. I suppose we should take
them with us.” They waited for the others. “What happened to Jack’s group?”
“There log is not working. They’re going to stay there in case someone tries
to escape.” Jack jumped off the log, followed by the others. “Where’s
Callum’s father, Elspet and Mairi?”
“I sent them around back. I want them out of harm’s way.” Johnny turned to
Fiona. “That sounded very 21st century, didn’t it?”
“It’s no time for joking, Johnny. Poor Callum is being tortured by that
creep. Let’s go.” Fiona scolded him and ran toward the castle. They stopped
by the door. “Since I can make myself invisible, I’ll go in and see what is
going on. Stay here until I get back.”
“How do you make yourself invisible, Fiona? Have you thought of that yet?”
“I guess I just think about it. Let’s give it a try.” Fiona closed her eyes
and envisioned herself turning invisible. It started with her feet and then
moved up her legs.
“She’s doing it. She’s turning invisible. I can’t see your legs, Fiona,”
“Johnny, give me credit. I’ve been all over the world battling monsters. I
think I know how to figure this out by now.” Fiona scoffed and disappeared
into the castle.
“She certainly put me in my place, didn’t she?” Johnny chuckled, amazed by