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Rolfin's Orb
Book 11 - Diamond – Malawi
Chapter 1

The sun inched its way up from the horizon. Mango, apricot and lemon rays cupped the quartz arrows of light that shot from the watermelon red sun. A parted curtain allowed the morning’s colors into Mairi’s room. She rolled onto her side and saw her daughter lying next to her, still asleep.

Fiona sensed her mother’s gaze and opened her eyes. “Mum, how long have you been lying there staring at me?”

“Only a minute. Today is going to be a big day for you, again. It seems like every day is a day full of adventure for us. Do you like your life being that way?” Mairi reached over and tickled Fiona’s wrist.

Fiona pulled her arm away. “Mum, stop tickling me. Our lives have changed, haven’t they? It wasn’t that long ago that I said how boring it was living here and now look what has happened. I don’t remember the meaning of the word any more.”

“You’ve grown up a lot, Fiona. You might only be eleven years old, but your mind, spirit, and heart are much older.”

“Thanks, Mum. I guess we’d better get up. Jimmy, Jeffrey, Johnny and Jasper will be getting hungry. It’s so confusing sometimes with all these J names. When I have children I am not naming them all starting with the same letter.” Fiona chuckled and threw the covers back. “That’s if I ever have children.” She stood and put on her towel-textured robe, tying it with the belt. “Let’s have bacon and eggs for breakfast. I’m sure Elspet, Callum and I will be going off to Malawi or Mongolia. We’ll need a good meal. I doubt if either of those places will have a McDonalds.”

As expected, they found the men sitting around the kitchen table sipping tea that Johnny had made for them. A cup for Fiona and one for Mairi sat on the counter. “I knew you’d be down soon, so I poured you a cuppa.” Johnny stirred sugar into his.

“Cuppa? Really, Johnny. You’re getting far to civilized.” Mairi leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Thanks for the tea. I just realized I’ve ignored my beautiful garden, my beehives and everything else lately.” She stared out the window.

“It will all be over with in the next day or two, I imagine,” Jimmy said. “Why does that thought make me feel sad?”

“I know what you mean.” Jeffrey dropped a teaspoonful of sugar into his English tea.

“I’m making bacon and eggs. Let’s eat a hearty breakfast and then go over to Angus’s. I’ll run by the bakery and pick up some fresh buns. Mac is being so patient, bless his heart.” Mairi started rummaging through the cupboards for her frying pan. “Fiona, after breakfast, you’ll need to go and get Elspet and Callum and bring them with you to your uncle’s croft. Time is running short.”

“I will, Mum. Feed me please.” She sat at the table and hit the ends of her fork and knife on the wooden surface. “Feed me. Feed me. Feed me.”

Jasper, Jimmy, Jeffrey and Johnny joined in.

“All right. Stop making all that noise!” Mairi grinned at them. “Instead of complaining, you can all help me. Johnny, why don’t you make toast. Jimmy, you get a couple of tomatoes out of the refrigerator and cut them into fourths. Jasper, you fill the tumblers with orange juice and Jeffrey, you sit there and look adorable.” She patted Fiona’s bottom. “Go and get dressed.”

With a laugh they all chipped in and fixed the meal. After they had gone through an entire loaf of bread, a pound of bacon and two dozen eggs, Fiona ran upstairs to dress. She stood at the door, waved goodbye and headed for Callum’s house.

Mairi and Johnny drove over to the bakery. They went inside, grabbed a few things, left the money on the counter and went home, not even saying a word to Mac.

Jimmy, Jeffrey and Jasper walked to Angus’s.

An hour later they were all together in the small croft. Angus welcomed them inside. “You just missed Nellie and Penelope. They decided they didn’t want to stay here for the rest of the firework that will be going on over the next few days. They’re heading for Truro, Cornwall. They’re staying there until it’s safe to come back. I put them on the train early this morning.”

“That’s probably for the best,” Mairi said. “You can only imagine what Penelope is going through seeing her only child act like an evil demon.”

“Not to change the subject, Mum, but I think Elspet, Callum and I should be on our way. I know we’re going to either Malawi, which is in southeastern Africa or to Mongolia in Asia. I’ve got my pack. We’ve got film. Oh, here are the films we’ve taken so far. Will you hand them in to be developed?” Fiona handed them to her mum. She rummaged through her pack. “Uncle Angus, I’ll need some more money.”

“No problem,” he said. He went to a drawer and came back with a wad of bills. “Here you go. Spend it wisely. I wonder if I can deduct all this from my taxes. Ah well.”

“I’ve got water, food, torches and a few odds and ends. We’re set. Callum, Elspet, are you ready?” Fiona called them over with her hands. “Cheerio, Mum, and everyone. We won’t be long. Daleth shapish yam.”

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