Tending the Stone for the Lock XIII

13th part of the new weekly story.  (1st 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. 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19)


Brodie stared at the two of them.  The High Pilgrim and Mrs. Emily were acting as though what had just happened to him was normal.  Brodie stood looking at the two of them and neither of them looked upset or for that matter even bothered that much.

“How do you like you pancakes, silver dollar or full sized?”  Mrs. Emily asked beginning to walk towards the RV.

Brodie stared at her back and then crumpled down to his knees on the old dirty concrete floor of the airplane hangar.  Brodie then began to cry.  The High Pilgrim heard him and turned back he was the first one to reach him but Mrs. Emily was the first to say something as soon as she close to him.  “We will make arrangements for you to go home.”

Brodie looked at her with tears streaming down his face.  “I can’t handle this,”  he said motioning to the strange environment. “people want to hurt me all for something I don’t understand.”   Brodie took a deep gasping breath and felt Mrs. Emily hand on his shoulder.

“That is okay Brodie, I guess it was unfair of me to drag you along without your consent.”  Mrs. Emily said apologetically.  “By this time tomorrow you will be on a plane for sunny California.”

“Really?”  Brodie said looking at her hopefully.

“Yes really.”  Mrs. Emily said smiling.  “Now get off the floor your pants are getting dirty and my pancakes are getting cold.”

Brodie helped Mrs. Emily up the stair and they sat and had breakfast while they were sitting down he heard the High Pilgrim on what he guessed was a satellite phone talking to someone in low tones.

Brodie had just finished a second stack of pancakes and he was trying to tell Dante with hand motions that he did not want anymore when the High Pilgrim interrupted and placed hand on Brodie’s shoulder.  “Mr. Quint  I have a monk coming to pick you up at one o’clock today, he will drive you to Moscow where he will put you on a plane.”

“Thank you.”  Brodie said looking up into the old man’s deep brown eyes.  “I am sorry I cannot help you any longer.”

The High Pilgrim smiled.  “We all do as much as we can with what we have, your path diverges from ours at this point, just continue to do good in the world.”

Brodie simply said. “Okay.”

The High Pilgrim turned to Mrs. Emily who was sipping a mug of tea.  “The plane is on time and will be here at noon.”

“You guys are flying.”

Mrs. Emily smiled mischievously. “Of course my silly boy we are at an airport.”

Brodie nodded. “Where are you going?”

The two older people looked at each other and they shook their heads, and Mrs. Emily spoke.  “While you will be safe after we leave it would still be safer if you did not know where we are going.”

Brodie nodded.  Dante started to clean up the plates and Brodie started to help him clean up the dishes then volunteered to wash the dishes.  A half an hour later Mrs. Emily called him outside.  Dante was sitting behind the wheel of an old Soviet era military vehicle and the High Pilgrim was already in the passenger seat.

“Could you help me get in the vehicle we have to take a little drive.”  Brodie helped her into the back seat of the open topped vehicle, he was about to come around to the other side and Mrs. Emily held up her hand.  “You do not need to go.”

Brodie looked around the big hangar.  “I do not want to be here alone.”

Mrs. Emily smiled.  “Fair enough.”

Dante drove them out of the hangar and down a side road away from the airfield.  They had driven for only a few minutes and they came upon Hans who was standing at the top of hill with a pair of binoculars.  He simply pointed down the road and climbed in the rear of the vehicle.

They drove down the hill and came to wide spot in the road where a black sedan was parked.  Hans jumped down promptly and approached the car slowly looking around cautiously when he got a good look inside the vehicle he nodded and motioned for the others to approach.  Hans  then walked around to the front of the car and shook his head while looking down at the ground.  Helping Mrs. Emily out of the vehicle he escorted her to the driver’s side of the vehicle.  Mrs. Emily opened the car door and reached in and retrieved her large wooden book.

“What is going on?”  Brodie said confused.

Emily motioned for Brodie to hold out his hands flat which he did, them Mrs. Emily laid the wooden book on his hands.  Mrs. Emily then moved some of the latches and slides on the book, Brodie watched carefully and could tell she was locking the book back up.  Once the book was closed tightly she took motioned for him to carry it.   “Follow me, I want you to see something.”

The old lady walked carefully to the front of the vehicle and Brodie saw what Hans was shaking his head at.  The man, Bridger was laying on the ground.  Brodie thought he was dead but then saw his chest move in a slow rhythmic breathing.  Brodie realized the man was different somehow.

“You see the book has certain protections on it.”  Mrs. Brodie said and motioned with her cane.  “When Mr. Bridger tried to open it without the proper consent of the High Pilgrim, something I have had for years, there was a backlash of energy, and Mr. Bridger’s charms, in his case the ability to use a set of astral hands backfired on him.”

“He said he gave up three inches so he could do that.”  Brodie said shocked. Looking down at Bridger the man looked at least a foot taller then when he had seen him.  The man’s pants no longer fit and his black t-shirt looked several sizes too small. “He has grown.”

“Yes for every year he gave up his true nature and used the dark energy to do things.”  Mrs. Emily said flatly.  “His true nature came back even stronger than ever.”

“Will he be alright?”  Brodie asked as he watched Hans and Dante pick up the prone figure and place him gently in the back seat of the sedan.

“Oh yes, he is sort of stunned right now, and in a year or two he will return to his original height before he started using the charm to give him the extra abilities.”  Mrs. Emily answered.

They walked back to their vehicle to the High Pilgrim who had not moved from his seat.

“You owe me a dollar.”  Mrs. Emily said holding out her hand.

“It was only a mile and four tenths.”  The High Pilgrim said.

“We always play by The Price is Right rules, the person who is closet without going over wins.”  Mrs. Emily said in a firm voice. “Are you going to pay up or what John.”

The High Pilgrim felt around in his robes.  “I must have left my wallet in my other robes.”

“You have a vow of parsimony John, you don’t have any other robes.”  Mrs. Emily said, then waved him off dismissively.  “Brodie would you help me get back into this silly vehicle.”

One the way back to the airplane hangar Brodie leaned over to her.  “How did you know Bridger would open the book?”

Mrs. Emily patted his hands motherly.  “Human nature is very curious, and to someone who works for the Opposition their base nature is what the obey the most, so his nature inclination was to look inside even though good sense would tell him it was protected.”

Brodie thought about it.  “So you were betting with the High Pilgrim how long before his human nature let him live with the book unopened.”

“Exactly.”  Mrs. Emily said.

They arrived back at the hangar and Mrs. Emily had Brodie help her pack and Brodie got out a piece of paper and wrote down her pill schedule and ensured that the High Pilgrim and Dante understood the importance of reminding her to take her pills.  This was harder with Dante as his English was limited to ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘okay’ with accompanying hand gestures for the last one.  Brodie was not happy about leaving but he thought if he did not leave now he was going to lose him mind and maybe even get hurt.  He still ached a little from where Bridger had punched him in the stomach with his ‘extra’ hand.

“Are you packed up?”  The High Pilgrim asked as he walked to where Brodie was standing next to the old military truck.  Brodie was about to answer when a droning interrupted them and off in the distance a large cargo plane had just landed on the runway.  “What time is it?”

Brodie looked at his watch. “It is noon.”

The top monk smiled.  “Finally she is on time for once.”

“She?”  Brodie said surprised.

The High Pilgrim nodded.  “Yes Ms. Mary Mulan she has a terrible problem with tardiness.”

“You have female monks in your order who are also pilots.”

The High Pilgrim chuckled. “Mary a monk, hardly but she is a friend of the order and reliable,”  the monk paused  “at least reliable to the day if not the hour.”

The large plane taxied towards them and Brodie could see it was a dual prop plane painted mostly white with one gray wing and the other black. Brodie immediate was glad he was not getting onto the irregular plane.

The plane pulled up to the hangar and did a neat little turn facing away from them its engines winding down before the propellers stopped turning the rear ramp was dropping and a figure was running towards them.

“We got company coming in people you need to get on the plane now.”

Brodie looked around shocked and the High Pilgrim shrugged.  Meanwhile the figure was still running towards them.  Brodie could see it was a short girl in a brown jumpsuit that might have been too big for her if she had not cut the pant legs off as it was the cuffs were very ragged.

“High Pilgrim there is a very nasty looking convoy coming down the road, they are loaded for bear and they will be here in about ten minutes.”

The High Pilgrim simply nodded.  “Are you still working as a crew chief for Ms. Mulan Holly?”

“Obviously sir.  Now then can you please get on the plane.”

By now Mrs. Emily had joined them. “How many vehicles?”

“Fifteen and they have crew mounted weapons on half the vehicles.”  Holly answered.

Mrs. Emily turned to Brodie.  “I do not think you will be able to leave us currently.”

Brodie looked around.  “Maybe I could hide until the monk comes to take me to Moscow.”

“Not advisable my son if they found you they would most likely take out their aggression on you.”  The High Pilgrim answered.

“You have got to come with us now for you own safety.”  Mrs. Emily stated firmly.

“But I thought you said if I continue with you the only way out is thru, where are you going next?”

Mrs. Emily was already walking steadily towards the plane and called back over her shoulder.  “Mongolia.”

Brodie stood there in silence.  When he looked up Holly the girl in the ragged brown jump suit was looking at him.  “Well string bean are you coming or not?”  She looked down at her watch.  “We got eight minutes to get up to speed and get off the ground before the men with machine guns show up.”

“Machine guns?”

“Yeah machine guns dum dum.  Vehicle mounted air cooled automatic weapons that shoot a lot of bullets in a short time.” She shook her head and then grabbed his suitcase out of the back of the truck and started running for the plane.

Brodie though about it for few seconds and then started running after her.  “Wait for me.”


(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19)

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.)

If you want to see one of  my complete books try Disconnect in the Outfitters Universe.  


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?

Categories: Tending the Stones for the Lock

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