Professor Wilson sat on
the chair for several hours. Rufus appeared through the door and the
professor jumped. “Where are those boys?”
“How can they be gone? You were inside a broom
closet!” He glanced at his watch.
“I’m magic. I said a magic spell and poof, they
disappeared.” Rufus laughed and walked away.
Professor Wilson convinced himself he must have dozed
off. “I’ve had it. It’s time to take action.” He went back to his office
and made a phone call. “Mr. Wallace, this is Professor Wilson from
McDiarmad’s School for Boys. Could you please come down to the school
tonight? I’ve got something I need to discuss with you. Yes, I know I’m
not his teacher, but this is important. Good. I’ll see you in an hour.”
Mr. Wallace arrived and headed straight for Professor
Wilson’s room. “What is this all about Wilson? Where is my son?”
“That’s what I’d like to talk to you about. It seems
your son has convinced four other lads from this school to break the
rules. They’ve gone over to the cemetery, the forbidden part.”
“What? You must be mad. Leith would never blatantly
break the rules. I’m sure you’re mistaken.”
“I am not mistaken. You can search the school right
now if you’d like. Five boys are missing and your son is responsible.” The
Mr. Wallace stood and pounded his fists on the
professor’s desk. “I would like to search the school, as you suggested.
I’m sure I will find Leith. I am a powerful man, Professor. I assure you I
will get to the bottom of this. If I find out you are lying to me, or are
involved in this in some way, you will dearly pay for it. That is a
Professor Wilson adjusted his tie. “You are welcome to
look. In the meantime, I am going to begin a search of my own. Good day to
you, Mr. Wallace. Oh, before you threaten me any further, you owe me
thanks for not telling the Headmaster about this incident. I could have
your son and the others expelled immediately if I so choose to.”
Mr. Wallace bit his tongue. “I shall be forever
grateful to you, Professor Wilson.” He closed the door behind him,
slapping his bare hands with his leather gloves. Instead of looking for
Leith, Mr. Wallace walked down the hall and stood a dark recess, waiting
for the professor to leave. It was only a few minutes before he heard the
door being locked and saw the professor heading for the stairs. Mr.
Wallace kept his distance, but followed him out the kitchen door and onto
the school grounds. “What are you up to, my dear professor?” Leith’s
father crept from bush to bush and tree to tree. He watched as the
professor squeezed between two bent bars in the black iron fence and as he
searched around the bottom of every Pictish cross in the oldest part of
the cemetery. “What is it you are looking for?” When the professor tore up
pieces of sod and tossed them carelessly against another headstone, Mr.
Wallace moved closer. “A hole? He’s disappeared. I’ll give him a few
minutes.” He went through the bars, brushing the dirt off his suit and
then after ten minutes, slipped into the tunnel. “This is interesting; a
vast tunnel system. Funny that I never knew it was here when I attended
this school. Leith, you’re a brilliant lad; stupid for breaking rules, but
brilliant and brave.”
Professor Wilson saw the dim light of the time warp
and jumped through. Mr. Wallace went from tunnel to tunnel until he came
upon the same one. “What’s all this about? Where did you go, Professor?”
He saw dirt on his suit once again. “What does it matter?” He ripped off
the suit jacket and tossed it on the ground. After noticing all the
boy-sized footprints, he leaped through the warp.
* * *
“We’ve got everything we need now. So what should we
do? I don’t feel like going back to the school. I think we are supposed to
stay in the Azores and go to Atlantis from here.” Leith watched a seagull
circle above them.
“Do you think time will stand still in Scotland for
us, no matter how long we’re gone?” Duncan watched as a truck full of
artifacts drove away from the boat docks.
“I’m sure it will. Don’t worry about it,” Leith said.
“We need to find a place where we can have privacy and call Abaris. We’re
so close to Atlantis I can hardly stand it.”
They found a small seaside café and had a supper of
fresh seafood. When the sun set they headed towards the town, searching
for a place they could use. “What about that church over there?” Sandy
pointed to an old Byzantine building. “It’s old, isolated and it’s a
church. Churches are sacred.”
With no further discussion, they ran on. To their
luck, one of the doors opened. Candles flickered on the frescoed walls.
Golden statues stood on top of pillars. “Look at those pillars. They’ve
got the same markings and are made from that red and black flecked marble
as the ones that were on that boat. This is spooky,” Fraser said.
“You’re such a chicken, Fraser.” Murray walked around
clucking and flapping his arms.
“Stop it, Murray. We’re in a church.” Paisley grabbed
his arms. “You’re not helping things at all.”
* * *
After the lads went
inside, Professor Wilson moved closer to the door. He peeked through a
window and saw them standing at the front of the room. He crept inside and
hid in the shadows.
snickered. “You fool, Wilson. What have you gotten my boy into?” He opened
the door to the church and stepped inside. After letting his eyes adjust
to the darkness, he searched for the professor and spotted him in a
doorway. Mr. Wallace hid behind a statue; watched and waited.
* * *
The six of them searched
the room, looking at the religious icons and gold-leafed ceiling. The
ground beneath their feet began to shake. “Oh no. Not again. Now what?”
Duncan grabbed hold of a pillar.
A hole in the floor
appeared, stretching like a pulsating heart, as a dark, sulfuric-smelling
cloud seeped through the cracks into the room.
“I don’t like the
looks of this.” Murray ran to Leith and stood behind him.
The smoke took on the
form of a man. Taygetus, Lord of the Underworld appeared, his red eyes
glowing with heinous wrath and fury. Next to him stood another form. “Miss
Paisley Opis Greer. You escaped me once before. It won’t happen again. It
is time for you to call me forth so I may be reunited with my body. You
have the items. Begin.”
“First of all,
Taygetus, I don’t know what to do to bring you back and who is that other
person with you?” Paisley found herself being quite brave.
“I see you’ve not
learned your lesson of fear and respect for the power of the Underworld.”
Taygetus blew fire from his fingertips. The flames moved upward,
encircling him. “May I introduce Robert, illegitimate son of Macbeth; he’s
The cowardly shape
began to weep. “My child, please save me. Do as he asks. He keeps me with
him in the Underworld and I am subjected to torture and horrors you could
never imagine. You are my child; my blood flows through your veins. Save
“Don’t listen to him,
Paisley. It’s a trick. It’s not your ancestor, but a form that Taygetus
has made appear to fool you,” Leith said.
“How do you know?”
“I just do,” Leith
Mr. Wallace gasped in
horror. He was forced to restrain himself from rushing to rescue his son.
Instead, he stayed hidden, watching the events unfold.
You’ve got courage, lad.
The professor shook
with terror. He wouldn’t help even if he could. Cowardice held him back.
He crept over to the door and escaped the confines of the church, hiding
behind a tree.
“Help me, Paisley. If
I die, you will cease to exist,” Robert screamed in agony.
“No, Paisley. Don’t
go. It’s a trick. He’ll pull you down to the Underworld if you go near
him.” Leith held her arm so she couldn’t move.
Taygetus roared, his
repugnant voice filling the tiny church and nearly deafened them. A finger
of black smoke reached for Paisley. Leith let go of her and pulled out the
golden arrow. He held it high above his head and called on Apollo to help
him. Bolts of lightning shot out, exploding as electric charges. The boys
scattered and hid. Paisley fell to the floor to avoid being hit. The
lightning gathered into one bolt and struck Taygetus. Robert disappeared
and the Lord of the Underworld wailed. As he was pulled back into the
ground, he cursed Paisley and swore revenge on all of them.
Mr. Wallace watched
in shock as Taygetus disappeared. With relief he saw that everyone was
safe and slipped out to see what Professor Wilson was up to. The
professor, who had collapsed behind a tree, didn’t see the other man
The ground sealed up
to its former shape and moments later Abaris appeared. “You are here; all
six of Apollo’s Soldiers. Stand and face me.” They came out from their
hiding places and stood in a line in front of him. “I am prepared to give
you further instructions about your journey to Atlantis. As you have
learned, Taygetus is a powerful, evil man, who will stop at nothing to
achieve his goals. It is more important than ever to go to Atlantis and
stop Taygetus’s ancestor from leaving the island.”
“What do you want us
to do with these things,” Leith said, opening his backpack and dumping
them out onto the floor.
“There are ten
pillars in this church. Each belongs to Atlantis. They were excavated,
brought to the surface and used to build this Byzantine church. One of
these pillars is your portal. Leith, you have a piece of marble with
markings on it. One of these columns has identical markings. When you find
it, place all the items you brought with you around it in a circle. The
portal will open. Take the piece with you; when you wish to return to your
tunnels at school, you must place that piece in a column missing an
identical chunk. Once it is in place, the portal will open to take you
home. You must leave before sunrise of August 8th. The entire
island will be destroyed.”
“What do we do when
we arrive in Atlantis? How do we find this woman?” Paisley glanced at each
of the pillars.
“This you will have
to do on your own. You have the Golden Arrow of Apollo. Remember you must
carry it with you at all times if you want to understand the Atlantean
language and have them understand you.” Abaris faded into nothingness.
“Wait!” Leith still
had questions, but they were now on their own.
moved to the church and peeked in the window. He saw that all of them were
still alive and no ghosts or demons were around. He snuck back inside. Mr.
Wallace followed moments later, keeping himself hidden from all.
“We need to find the
right pillar.” Leith showed them the markings. “Look for one that has
Murray found it.
“We have to put all
the things around it.” Paisley handed Leith the scroll from Iona and he
placed it on the floor. He added the quartz and Roman coin from Fortingall,
the St. Cuthbert’s beads and piece of stone from Lindisfarne, the stained
glass and a chunk of chapel from St. Margaret’s Chapel and the jug of
blood and bits of amber and turquoise from the Mayan ruins. Paisley
gathered the rest of the objects and handed them to Leith. He lay down the
crystal piece with the diamond inside from Mt. Shasta, the thorn from
Glastonbury, the puffin feather and piece of pillar from Staffa and
Fingal’s Cave, and last, a gold coin from the Azores. The circle was
complete. Leith kept the piece of marble pillar and the goblet in his
A pale bluish-green
light appeared, swirling around the column. An arched doorway appeared in
the center. “This is it. When we step through that portal, we’ll be in
Atlantis a few days before it will be destroyed. Are you ready?” Leith
took a deep breath. “I’ll go first.” He stepped through. Paisley went
next, followed by Duncan, Murray, Fraser and Sandy.
seeing his chance, waited a few seconds and stepped through. Mr. Wallace
moved quickly, hoping to get through before the portal disappeared. No
sooner had he gone through than the door closed and the column stood
silent and solid.