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Rolfin's Orb
Book 10 - Argentina – Tanzanite
Chapter 12

“What’s that noise?” Jason stood and went to the window. “Will you look at this! There must be a hundred sheep outside. They’re all around your croft, Angus.”

“Sheep?” Angus went to the window. “You’re right. I see the branch. They are Peter McKenzie’s sheep. What are they doing here, roaming around Inveralba? I’d better run to his croft and make sure he’s all right. Jacob, if you’re not too tired from golfing, would you come with me, please?”

“Of course, Angus.” Jacob followed Angus out of the house. They squeezed through the sheep and then ran to the neighbor’s croft.

Jimmy and Jason went outside. “What do we do with them? How do we keep them together?” Jason touched one of the sheep. It filled the air with baas and pushed itself through the mass of wooly creatures.

Several of Angus’s cats came walking around from behind the croft and saw the sheep. They stopped to look, curious at the sheep’s noise.

            “Stay there, cats, if you know what’s good for you. I suppose we stand here and if they run off, chase them,” Jimmy said. “I’ve been around goats before, but not sheep.”

                                      *  *  *

          Phelan hid behind the tree. “What are they doing with all those sheep?”

          “I have no idea. I hate sheep. Filthy creatures,” Drayton said.

          “We need to see what’s in that croft. I’m going back and then around to the other side. I want to have a look in the window,” Phelan said. He ducked behind several tree trunks and seeing nobody at the side of the house, he made his way to the window. “There’s the orb and the three books. There’s my book! I want it. Enough of this. I need you to use your power and start a fire. Don’t burn the croft down.”

          Drayton obeyed and started small fires all around the croft.

                                      *  *  *

Angus and Jacob returned with Peter McKenzie and his sheep dogs. They saw the fires. “My sheep,” Peter said. He whistled and his dogs rounded up the sheep. “We’re off.” Peter ran after the dogs, keeping the flock together.

                             *  *  *

          Jeffrey came running into Mairi’s house. “There’s a fire. I think it’s at Angus’s croft.”

“Put everything on the kitchen floor,” Mairi said to the men. “We’ll get to it later.”

Jeffrey, Jack, Johnny, Jesse, Jasper, Julian, Jared and Mairi ran to Angus’s, only to find a huge flock of sheep running around, confused and frightened. Scattered about the croft, fires burned.

                                      *  *  *

The flames moved closer to the croft; sparks jumped onto the pile of peat, starting it on fire. “You fool,” Phelan said. “Trust you to mess it up.”

“I’ve had enough of you controlling my body. Get out now.” Drayton used all his strength to drive his thoughts to removing Phelan. The wizard had to fight. “If I have to, I’ll kill myself to get rid of you. Don’t think I won’t. I’d rather die than have you inside my body. Get out now.”

The wizard roared. “Go back to the castle. I can’t leave your body unless I am closer to the castle.”

“I will, but first.” Drayton made it rain and the flames were put out. “You may not care about the orb any longer, but I do.”

When they neared the castle, Phelan left Drayton’s body. Drayton felt relief, as though some horrid evil had been exorcised. “Stay out.”

“I’ll get even with you for this, boy. You will curse the day you did this to me.” The wizard vaporized and disappeared into the loch.

Drayton, exhausted and hungry, ran until he came upon a patch of soft, green grass. He lay down and fell asleep, not realizing how he’d ran in circles and was close to Loch Doon.

Phelan stayed near Drayton. He saw him fall asleep. “He thinks he’s so smart. He thinks he can get the best of me, a wizard of Xilian? I will show him who has the power.”  Phelan leapt into Drayton’s body once again. “He’s asleep. He won’t know what’s going on until it’s too late.” Phelan walked into town and searched through some of the windows, looking for an empty house. He found one quickly.  After breaking the back door in and not worrying about being quiet, Phelan steps inside.

When Phelan laughed, Drayton woke up. “Well, well, well. I’m back and it’s punishment time. You’ve been asleep. Your wits aren’t about you yet. By the time you are alert, I will have destroyed you.”

“Get out of my body, wizard.”

“I will in due time.” Phelan walked over to the radiator and put his hands down on them.

Drayton screamed. “I feel the pain.”

“I told you that you would. We’ve just begun,” Phelan sneered.

Drayton screamed in agony, the flesh of his hands smoking and turning black. Phelan removes them. They are covered with massive blisters and quickly swell up twice the normal size. Drayton still screamed.

“I don’t feel the pain. Only you can. Feels great, doesn’t it.” Phelan laughed and hit the hands together. “Clap, clap, clap.”

Drayton fell to the ground, passing out from the pain.

“While he’s out, I think we’ll go and visit his mother and auntie.”

Jared and Jeffrey had taken Nellie and Penelope home earlier in the day. Phelan looked in the window and saw them both sitting in the kitchen, sipping hot tea.

“Ah, they’re alone. Drayton? Oh Drayton. Wake up.”

Drayton came back into consciousness. Instantly he felt the agony of his burned hands. “I need to go to a doctor. My hands have third degree burns. I need medical help. Please, Phelan. Let me go.”

“Not yet,” the wizard said. He opened a window and climbed into Nellie’s bedroom, being careful not to make any noise. Nellie and Penelope had moved into the living room to watch telly. Phelan opened the kitchen drawer and took out a butcher knife. “Time to kill your mummy and auntie.”

Phelan moved into the living room. Penelope was alone. “Where’s the other one?” The wizard blocked the doorway.

“Drayton? What are you doing? Put that knife away. What happened to your hands?”

Drayton was in total pain and misery. Just holding the knife caused him extreme agony. Speaking for him, Phelan said, “I’ve come to kill you. You’re a worthless hag.” He went on to tell Penelope how much he hated her.

Nellie, who had gone to the loo, heard Drayton’s voice. She peeked and saw him standing with a butcher knife in his hands. Opening her closet, she pulled out a baseball bat. She tiptoed up behind Drayton and smashed him on the head, knocking him to the ground.

Penelope jumped up and took the knife from his hands. “Look at this! His hands are burned to the bone. He was going to kill me, Nellie. There was something very strange about him. His eyes looked evil.”

“Tie him up. There’s knitting wool. Use the entire skein and tie his wrists together. Be careful of the burned parts. I’ll run to Angus’s and get help. Will you be all right?”

“Go. Hurry back.” Penelope tired up Drayton’s hands.

Phelan was still in the body. Out of curiosity he stayed, unaware of the upcoming danger to himself.

Nellie pounded on Angus’s door. “Hurry. You’ve got to come with me,” she said to the men. “It’s Drayton. He tried to kill his mother. He’s tied up and unconscious, for now. Please hurry. If he wakes up and finds Pen there alone, he’ll kill her.”

Jimmy, Johnny and Jared followed her to her house. Jason grabbed the book. “I’ve got to bring the wizards here. They can get Drayton.” Jason read the spell. The wizards appeared and immediately followed Jason to Nellie’s house.

When the wizards burst through the door, they saw Drayton lying on the floor, bound with colored wool.

Phelan, realizing his mistake, quickly jumped from Drayton’s body and entered the body of Nellie’s cat, Pumpkin. He darted from the room, jumped through a window and ran off before the wizards realized what had happened.

“We have the boy at last,” Nahimena said.

“What are you going to do with him?” Penelope stood over her son. Nellie came to the house and put her arm around her sister.

Nahimena spoke. “We will take him to Xilia. We will tend to his injuries and keep him safe from Phelan. You are unaware, but Phelan has been inside your son’s body, controlling it and harming him. His wounded hands; it shows me he will not be safe here. He must come with us. Phelan cannot hurt him there.”

Penelope nodded. “If you think it’s safer. Take him, please. Heal those burns and see if you can get him to see how wrong he’s been.” She wept.

“We will do our best.” Nahimena picked Drayton up in his arms and the wizards disappeared with him.

Nellie, Penelope, Jimmy, Johnny, Jared and Jason sat on Nellie’s settee. “At least the boy is safe,” Nellie said.

                                    *  *  *

A cat ran through the woods. Phelan jumped out the body as he neared Castle Athdara. He roared in anger. “Drayton is gone. I have to have someone to help me get those books. I can’t do it alone.” A thought entered his mind. He flew through the air and soared around the loch. A man sat on a log, leaning his back against a tree. His line was in the water. “There is my victim, a fisherman. He’s probably a stranger to these parts. Nobody will know him. I must have those books and that orb. I’ll do anything to get them.”

The lone fisherman was unaware anything had happened until he heard the evil laugh inside his head.

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