Tending the Stones for the Lock XVII

17th 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)


Meredith looked around at the hotel lobby and was pretty sure they had been here before.  Mr. Webb was talking in an animated manner to the clerk behind the desk and she could see he was getting agitated then he turned and came back to her.

“That man was no help and he states we were here before.”  Webb stated.  “I swear I should file a complaint to the manager that his desk clerk is drunk on duty.”  Webb said leading them out to their waiting car.  Webb and Meredith got in the back seat and Webb gave the address of the next hotel on their list of places to search for her mother.  So far there had been no sign of her mother or Brodie it was if they never even checked into a hotel in this town.  Meredith was beginning to tire of the search and Mr. Webb while helpful with the search was a mercurial guide of the city.  When they rode in the car he had arranged all he did was sit an stare straight ahead, no small talk or even an attempt to give a guide of the city which he initially claimed to live in.  Meredith sighed and checked he phone, her husband kept her updated on her mother’s checking and credit cards but so far there was no change since purchasing the tickets to St. Petersburg.  The fifteen minute car drive passed quietly and when they pulled into the parking lot of the next hotel Meredith was shocked, they had visited this hotel before, in fact this had been the first one they had been to two days ago.  She distinctly remembered the fountain out front and the broken stone hoof on the horse closest to the door. Meredith shook off the thought, maybe Webb was being through and had decided to talk to someone else or to see if their initial inquires had reminded anyone of anything.


Mrs. Emily looked blankly at the CIA Man.  Brodie looked back and forth between Mrs. Emily and Mr. Verne.  Mr. Verne had a shocked look on his face.  Brodie was pretty sure that he might have the same look on his face.  Brodie knew the Basil Webb was a member of the opposition, heck he had seen some sort of magical battle between Webb and Mrs. Emily just a few days ago and now Webb had Meredith in St. Petersburg.

“Aren’t you concerned about your daughter’s safety?”

Brodie looked back at his boss who answered swiftly.  “Do you think I would walk away from my family and not leave them protected?”

“Well I am not sure?”  Mr. Verne of the CIA said.

Mrs. Emily turned towards the High Pilgrim.  “I surely hope the CIA has not been bothering you too much over the years, my countrymen can be so,”  she searched for a word. “bothersome some times.”

The High Pilgrim nodded.  “No more than MI6.  The KGB was the most vexing with that Rasputin’s followers but they often got sucked into the Oppositions ranks very easily, one year they would come visit us as representatives of the KGB the next year their names would be popping up as foot soldiers for the Opposition.”  The High Pilgrim shrugged.

“Mrs. Bartloski I am sorry if the CIA is bothersome, but we are doing our best to keep American’s safe and right now I consider you daughter to be in grave danger as she is in the company of a known hostile.”

Mrs. Emily looked at the man with very angry eyes. “I have been casting enchantments over my family since the day they were born, the High Pilgrim has set up safeguards over them monthly and has protections for them that you would not even begin to understand or even begin to imagine.”  Mrs. Emily seemed to grow in size and the CIA man seemed to shrink in his seat.  “Now then since you want to seem to help us so much I would like you to do us a favor and maybe when I return to the states I will allow someone who has an inkling of understanding in their brain to come and what is the term you folks use.”

Brodie who loved cross word puzzles offered a word. “Debrief.”

“Thank you Brodie.”  Mrs. Emily turned and smiled.

“I will allow one of your fellow agents to debrief me in my own home at the time and date of my choosing.”

“What is the favor you want from the company?”  Mr. Verne said.

“Brodie can you get Ms. Mulan or Holly in here?”

“Sure.”  Brodie said leaving the room and finding Holly in the large waiting area, she followed him back to the room.

“Something I can do for you Mrs. Emily?”

Mrs. Emily motioned for the blonde girl to come closer and whispered in her ear, Holly simply nodded in answer to whatever had been said to her then Holly got a nod from the older woman and left the room.  Then Mrs. Emily turned back towards Mr. Verne.   “I have been informed that our pilot Ms. Mulan is rated to fly your plane.”

Mr. Verne looked at her suspiciously.  “Okay.”

“Well you see our plane is old and slow and yours is better than ours so we would like it.”

“You mean you would like us to fly you somewhere?”  Mr. Verne smiled broadly. “I am sure that can be arranged, my superiors would love to be brought up to speed on your current mission.”

“No you misunderstood Mr. Verne, we are going to take the plane, and you can take ours when you arrange to fuel it up.”

“That is highly unusual Mrs. Bartloski, that is U.S. Government property I just can’t let a unknown civilian fly off with it.”

Mrs. Bartloski was unzipping her bowling bag and a pulled out a small green marble from somewhere inside of it.  The High Pilgrim was beginning to stand up and Brodie watched Mrs. Emily held the marble up in the air and dropped it, but instead of it falling to the floor it floated there.  Mr. Verne was fascinated by it and he along with Brodie watched it intently, it was not until the High Pilgrim stood in front blocking the view of the floating marble that he realized that Mrs. Emily was walking towards the door.

“Time to go Brodie.”

Brodie shook his head and followed the two older people out of the room and down the hallway they were almost to the door when he thought to ask a question.  “Since I could not leave before could I perhaps get a ride with the CIA back to the US?

Mrs. Emily nodded.  “You could Brodie, but it would no be direct, I think you would be detained for a least a month in some safe house somewhere while they ask you all sorts of questions.”

“Well.” Brodie said not liking the sound of that.

“More like two months of questioning.”  The High Pilgrim chimed in. “Since this newest director they have gotten a lot more aggressive.”

“Two months not being able to call anyone or no one knowing where you are, I think you would enjoy going with us a lot more.”

Brodie thought about it a few minutes.  “Okay, but are you just going to take the CIA’s plane?”

“No, when Mr. Verne wake up, he will believe that he authorized us to take it, his superiors will write it off as dealing with magic.”  She paused when she saw Brodie’s confused expression. “Don’t worry they will get it back.”

“What about your daughter, what about Meredith?”  Brodie asked as they approached the cargo ramp of the much bigger, much nicer plane then the one they had flown in on.

“Oh Meredith will be fine, any of the Opposition that comes up to her and lies will automatically try and do exactly whatever it is they tell her they are there for.”

Brodie looked confused.  “If a member of the Opposition came up to one of my grandchildren and said he wanted help to find his lost puppy that is all they would be able to do, look for puppies even going so far as going to go to every animal shelter in a three state region until they found the exact dog they described to my grandchild.”

“That sounds a little too specific.”  Brodie said.

“It might have happened. Once.”  Mrs. Emily said. “For some reason the enchantment makes them forget their original goal.”  She smiled happily and made her way up the ramp with her can and Bro die’s help.




(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)

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 here 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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