2nd part of the new weekly story. (First Part) The inspiration for this came from an off hand comment I made on Facebook, and since people seemed interested I decided to follow through. Happy Reading.
Brodie adjusted his seat belt for the third time making sure it was buckled. He had never flown before and he was nervous, he was even more nervous though because of Mrs. Emily had been acting strange. No that was not the right term, strange was what he Aunt Veronica did when she washed her cats with a hair dryer and no water. No Mrs. Bartloski was acting bizarre.
“Brodie can you help me downstairs?”
Before he had a chance to answer his employer was on her feet approaching the door to the basement and before he could stop her she was moving down the stairs slowly one at a time using both her cane and the railing.
“Be a dear and go to the garage and get the four way tire iron from the trunk of the car.”
Brodie looked at her dumbly as she continued to move slowly down the stairs.
Mrs. Emily descended two more stairs and “Just do it dear, I will be fine.”
Brodie nodded when he saw she was only two steps away from the bottom. He went into the garage and found the four way tire iron. Or as his uncle use to call it a lug wrench. Carrying the black metal tool back into the house he wondered why she wanted this tool in the basement. As he reached the bottom stairs he did not see Mrs. Emily anywhere. “Ma’am where are you?”
“Back by the furnace, did you find the four way?”
“Yes.” Brodie said coming into the area by the furnace and water heater. Mrs. Brodie was standing beside the metal devices pointing towards a plate mounted into the wall with two lug nuts on two bolts.
“If you could loosen those two lug nuts, hopefully they turn easily the last time I had them off I oiled them with WD-40.” The old woman said smiling. “But then I had my grandson Tyler tighten them, he was fifteen at the time, but he played football so he war awful strong.”
Brodie had met Tyler, saying he was strong was an understatement, the young man was now playing linebacker for a large university and was occasionally on television.
“Tyler tightened them, when he was fifteen? So you have not taken these nuts off in six years?” Brodie said placing the lug wrench up at the nuts and then rotated the tool to the right size.
“Well he might have been sixteen.” Mrs. Emily stated smiling.
Brodie placed the wrench in position and gave an experimental turn lightly at first then with more strength he pulled on the tool and the bolt turned slowly, with a few more turns it spun freely and he spun the nut off the bolt.
“Now the other one please.”
Brodie handed her the loosened lug nut which she placed on top of the water heater. Brodie loosened the other nut with the same amount of effort. Then he slowly took the metal plate off the wall, it was heavier then it looked and he placed it gingerly on the floor. When he stood back up Mrs. Emily had closed the distance to the wall and was nodding as if seeing an old friend. “Could you hand me the bag please.”
“Bag?” Brodie looked into the hole and saw a blue leather vintage bowling ball bag sitting upright in the wall. Things had happened so fast this morning he had not even had time to guess what they were doing but he had not expected to find a bowling ball behind a hidden shelf in the basement at work today. But seeing as how he didn’t have a reason not to he grabbed the bag by the handles and gingerly lifted it out of its recessed position where according to Mrs. Emily it had sat for close to seven years. The bag was heavy but no heavier then he expected it to be. “Are we going bowling Mrs. Emily?”
Taking the bag from him Mrs. Emily hefted it as if weighing it. “Don’t be silly my dear Mr. Brodie, I can’t bowl with these new hips. ” She placed the bag down on the floor. “If you would place the metal plate back on the wall and then bring the bag upstairs when you are done I have to make some phone calls.”
Brodie simply nodded and placed everything back the way he found it then carried the blue leather bag upstairs to Mrs. Emily who was in her small office off the kitchen. He placed it at her feet and she simply nodded as she talked on the phone.
“No I am sorry I can’t make Jessica’s birthday, my friend Helen called this morning and I have to go help her out, she hurt her back and I said I would come out to Eureka and help her out for a few days.”
Brodie just stood there and listened he did not know what else to do, but this is the first time he had heard about a trip to Eureka. They had gone there last year for a few days, it was a big house on the beach and he had to do very little except sit and read while Mrs. Emily talked to her friend.
“Now Meredith you know when you are hurting you want a friendly face around, remember when you broke you leg in college you were very happy when I came and stayed with you for a few days.” There was a pause. “That is what mother’s are for.” Another pause as he guessed Meredith was talking. “And I am happy to go help Helen but I am sad I will miss the party.”
Brodie was about to leave when Mrs. Emily started writing something on a pad and motioned for him to read it. ‘Can you get someone to watch your cat?’ He nodded yes. Then Mrs. Emily motioned for him to go and make the call.
Fifteen minutes later he returned to the small office, his sister had agreed to get his cat and take it to her house and he had asked her to return a stack of library books he had beside the front door as well. He had one library book with him, The Canterbury Tales, but figured if they were only going up to Eureka he would be able to finish it, and one book overdue would not be much money. Mrs. Emily turned to face him after she finished typing something on her computer and smiled.
“Brodie can you be back from picking up some clothes from your house in about a half an hour, we need to be on the road in about an hour?”
He nodded thoughtfully. “Sure I just did laundry the other day.”
“Good, do not forget your passport.” Then went back to whatever she was doing on her computer.
Brodie looked at her quizzically but just chalked it up to an idiosyncrasies of the lady as he always carried his driver’s license which had always been good enough before when he needed ID. Brodie then excused himself and got into his pride and joy a used metallic green hybrid and quickly got home packed a quick bag, fed his cat, Toby, ignored the cat meowing as he got his passport from the desk drawer and made it back to his employer’s house in thirty-five minutes. In the time he had been gone the older lady had made it upstairs and was placing things neatly into a suitcase.
“Would you close it up and carry it downstairs our car should be here shortly.”
Brodie did as he was asked then was there to ensure that his charge navigated the stairs properly using both her cane and the railing. Brodie admired the lady, with two hip replacements she got around very well. It was only a few minutes later that a car horn beeped and Brodie loaded the suitcases into the hired town car with the help of the driver. When Mrs. Emily was settled she made him return to her office and get the blue bowling ball bag and then she insisted he put it between them on the back seat .
The ride was uneventful until they made a turn away from the northern route he assumed they would take , but Brodie said nothing wondering what route they would be taking. It was not until they turned of the interstate towards the airport that he turned towards Mrs. Emily. She smiled at his shocked expression and spoke before he could voice a question.
“We are flying.”
Mrs. Emily took his hand in her hand and placed it very motherly on top of the bowling ball bag then she held his hand with both of hers. “Well not exactly my dear boy, I told a little fib to my daughter, I have some business to attend in Finland, I hope you don’t mind coming along.”
“Finland?” Brodie said shocked.
“I hope you are up for it, it is a beautiful country and I have already booked us two first class tickets.” She said patting his hands.
“Finland isn’t it cold there?” Brodie said the first thing that came to his mind, thinking of his few meager clothes in his suit case.
“Oh no dear it is summer there, just like here, granted it is a little chiller, but if you need some warmer clothes I will buy them. In fact this entire trip is my treat so don’t worry about that.” She said it warmly but turned her head away at the last part.
“So your friend Helen?” He let the question trail off.
“Oh Helen’s back is just fine, in fact she is on a second honeymoon with her third husband.” Mrs. Emily put her finger to her chin. “Or maybe it is a second honeymoon with her third husband.”
Two and half hours later Brodie was sitting in a First Class seat waiting for the plain to take off, his eyes fell onto the blue bowling ball bag that Mrs. Emily had insisted be stored where she could see it. She had been adamant that the bag not be checked.
Emily woke slowly and easily, she had always been able to rest comfortably no matter the circumstances, and these first class seats were very comfortable. She reached out to grab her cane and superstitiously tapped the vintage bag secured at her feet. No one had disturbed it while she was sleeping which meant that they had gotten this far without someone being able to get on the plane with them. She had been a little concerned about the change in planes at JFK but apparently either they were lucky or the enemy was not on their toes.
She steepled her hands and mediated for a few moments trying to avoid the questions. How long before they would have to deal with the opposition, surely they knew she was back in play and moving. The visit from the High Pilgrim could not have gone unnoticed. She stared out the window for a few minutes then looked at her seatmate, when would she have to explain what was going on to Brodie. Looking at him objectively she noted he was a nice looking young man, dark hair, strong chin and wonderful brown eyes. He was a little above average in height, she guessed about about six foot tall, lean and muscular but more of a runner than a lifter. He husband, Clark had been a runner when he was young, but later in life he began lifting weights and got very strong.
She sighed thinking of Clark, he was a dear sweet man and she missed him terribly sometimes, but she had faith that when her job was done here she would see him again on the far side of the grave. She pushed those thoughts out of her head and turned her attention back to Brodie. The poor boy had never traveled much and this trip was going to be a big adjustment for him, not to mention the purpose of the trip. Emily sighed and decided to take care of a few issues before he woke up. Pulling out her tablet she connected to the Wi-Fi on the plane and made reservations at a hotel in Helsinki. Emily checked her e-mail, then drafted a letter to High Pilgrim Orujov telling him that his assistance was needed. All she needed to do was to tell him where to meet them and his people would be there, she carefully place the draft into the old code and then she did some shopping for Jessica’s birthday present. She felt bad not being there for the girl’s twelfth birthday but duty called.
Not crazy about the title, any suggestions will be duly considered.
The problem I have discovered with this type of writing is if I commit to something in the story there is no taking it back I just have to go with is and write my way out of it.
If you would like to read my last weekly story, A Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art her it is. (Written in 2013, the same year my wife left me, so I was a different person back then, and I hope I have learned a lot about writing since then.)
My Response: The prophecy stated that in 60 years if the Stones were not properly aligned then the world would fall under the sway of the demon king for 1000 years. 1956 21 year old Emily the chosen one starts the quest. She arranges half the Stones around the planet, but then falls in love and life happens. Now it is 59 years later, Emily’s husband of 58 years passed away and one of the monks has found Emily and reminds her that she is the chosen one and needs to complete her task. Anyone interested?