7th 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 looked to where Mrs. Emily was pointing and waving. Three men, at least he was pretty sure they were men were standing. All three were in robes of deep almost maroon red and dark green. The only one that moved was the tallest one in the middle, and he simply nodded back at his boss.
“You have friends waiting how delightful.” Mr. Webb stated.
“Friends of Mrs. Emily I have never met them.” Brodie said. After Mrs. Emily discussion about ‘the opposition’ and how Mr. Webb might be one of them Brodie had been cautious around him. Although they had not seen him till they were leaving the ferry he had ended up in the same line at customs with him. Although Brodie noted there were only two lines for non-Russians so he had a fifty/fifty chance of being in their line anyways. “Are you cold?” Brodie asked motioning towards the mans gloves and tweed coat.
“The unfortunate side effect of life time of travel.” Mr. Webb said stoically. “Foreign service career officer.” He added when Brodie raised an eyebrow. “Nothing like you think, I was in charge of processing visa’s and such, truly dull and dreary paperwork but it allowed me to see the world. But as I was saying, years living in places like Saudi Arabia then moving to Iceland or other Scandinavian countries threw my bodies ability to feel comfortable in even the slightest chill out of order.” Mr. Webb said holding out his gloves as evidence.
“Well that is something I am sure they did not cover in your training.” Brodie observed.
“Quite.” Webb said. “But now I have great pension and can travel as I want, not as the job dictates.”
They were interrupted when they approached their turn to be interviewed by the Customs official. Brodie passed thru nervously and joined Mrs. Emily who had already been processed. She had joined the three men in robes and she quickly introduced the head of the order the very tall man, High Pilgrim Orujov. The other two she introduced as Hans and Dante. Hans had the look of a sunburnt Eastern European and Dante was a very pale middle aged man who looked like he spent a lot of time indoors. Both man quickly relieved Brodie and Mrs. Emily of their luggage and the High Pilgrim carried Mrs. Emily’s blue bowling ball bag himself. After this was done Brodie noticed that Mr. Webb was standing a little bit apart from their group and Emily motioned him over quickly.
“Well this is where we part company I guess, have a nice time in Russia.” Mr. Webb said with a smile.
Mrs. Emily smiled back. “And you also, thank you so much for your company Mr. Webb, may the road rise up to meet you.”
“And my the wind always be at your back Mrs. Emily.” Webb turned to look at Brodie after shaking Mrs. Emily hand. “Brodie my boy no more fainting, don’t skip to many meals.”
“I won’t.” Brodie said shaking the man’s hands and feeling the leather gloves he was wearing and tried not to think of the possibility that this man was a member of the opposition as Mrs. Emily suspected.
“May the sun always shine upon your face.” And with those words the stocky British man turned and walked away towing his luggage behind him.
He turned back to Mrs. Emily and the three men and heard her say something in a low tone. “Is he?”
Then the High Pilgrim said in the same low conspiratorial tone. “Oh yes, one of their best.”
Brodie’s alarm on his phone went off and he reached into his bag. “Mrs. Emily time for your noon medicine.”
Mrs. Emily looked at him. “What would I do without you Brodie?”
The recreational vehicle lurched slightly and Brodie took exceptional care handing the pills to his employer and then he unscrewed the water bottle and held it until she had the pills safely in her mouth then she followed with the water bottle. Once that was done Brodie looked out the window at the passing countryside. It was very green, much more so than the outskirts of LA but the topography was similar to Finland where they had just come from. The few towns they passed on the road were a bit more drab then Finland though. They had been on the road for two days now and they were heading in roughly southwest direction, he knew this from the sun as he had not been given an opportunity to look at a map as the monks did not seem to have one. He had learned that Dante was Russian when he spoke to people at gas stations and the hotel where they stayed last night.
They had left the sea port in a small blue Volkswagen minivan and driven around the city in what he thought was a random manner. Mrs. Emily informed him they were trying to lose a tail and after a hour of some strange maneuvers including stopping for ten minutes in traffic and letting cars go around them followed by an abrupt U-turn from a center lane and a crazy ride down a one way street at very slow speed Dante had said something to Hans and they ended up in a warehouse and industrial area of the city that looked very disreputable. They had pulled into a parking lot and a man in grey workman’s clothes opened a garage door and they entered without slowing.
It was inside the darkened warehouse they had transferred all their belongings and themselves into the large metallic green RV they were now traveling across Russia in. Well they had transferred his and Mrs. Emily luggage, either the monks had loaded their luggage beforehand or they had none. Once they were settled in the RV he had to continually monitor Mrs. Emily when she got up to walk around as the suspension was poor and he cane only added to her stability to a limited extent. Luckily she was very happy sitting across a folding table from the High Pilgrim playing backgammon and they tried to teach mahjong to Brodie when Hans was not driving. Unfortunately Brodie had trouble concentrating on the game because when he looked at it too long he got car sick so the two of them played more backgammon then anything else.
It was an hour after he had given Mrs. Emily her noon dosage of medicine that the large RV pulled off the main road and onto a side road. “Almost there.” The accented voice of Dante came back thru the cabin.
“Show time.” Mrs. Emily said smiling.
“Indeed, it has been a long time since I have been this close to an alignment.” High Pilgrim Orujov stated.
“Portugal if I recall.” Mrs. Emily said as she closed the backgammon board carefully so as to not disturb the magnetic pieces in their places.
“No I think it was France.” The man said correcting her.
“No France was where you were being chased by the oppositions attack dogs thru the cemetery.” Mrs. Emily said.
“Oh yes, you would think I would remember that, I could not sit for a week.”
Brodie heard this. “The opposition,” He gulped. “Uses attack dogs?”
The two looked at him as if he had said something mildly amusing. “Oh no dear that was a one time event, there was a dog training center next to the cemetery we were close to and the opposition took control of them John here volunteered to draw them off with a sack of meat from a butcher shop.”
“Oh that makes me feel much better.” Brodie stated.
“Tsk tsk.” Mrs. Emily looking like the grandmother she was. “Sarcasm does not become you Brodie, we try and say exactly how we are feeling, not try and hide behind a macho façade.”
Brodie was duly chastised. “Yes Mrs. Emily.”
The large vehicle slowed as it pulled off to the side of the road. “Madam is this the place?”
Emily rose slowly and looked out the window for a long time at an apparent empty field. Inside the RV no one moved or said a word. Brodie was trying to sit still when he felt an urge to scratch is leg but was told that when Mrs. Emily was viewing a site it would be better if he stayed still and not disturb her. It was a few more minutes and Brodie was about to slowly reach down and give his thigh a slow scratch when she turned and faced everyone inside the vehicle. “This is the right place, but this is a big job, Brodie you are going to have to help me with this.”
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?