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Rolfin's Orb
Book 9 - Sapphire
Chapter 9

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 what happened.”

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 bulls.”

“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 acquainted, Aye?”

          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 change.

                                      *  *  *

“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?” Johnny smirked.

“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 whispered.

“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 Fiona’s confidence.

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