Tending the Stones for the Lock, XXVI

26th 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) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) (Part 27)

Holly walked through passenger area with the clipboard she had found in the cockpit.  She usually just eyeballed things and tried to remember what was necessary, maybe when they gave this plane back she would keep the clipboard.

“Holly where do you want these cokes, they don’t all fit in the fridge?”  Brodie asked from the small galley.

Holly waved absently.  “Wherever just make sure they don’t roll around.”

“Excuse me Holly.”  Austin trying to get around her in the corridor.

Holly put her hands on her hips blocking his way.  “No I won’t excuse you. I don’t want you on this plane, I don’t like you and I think you should stay here and wait for your mother.”  She said motioning towards the door of the plane.

Austin rolled his eyes and then looked at the short woman.  “Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim said I could come along so you don’t have anything to say about it.”

Holly gave him a look of disgust and then moved out of his way.  Austin brushed by her and then got into the galley with Brodie.  “Can I get one of those cokes.”

Brodie turned from loading the bottles into a shelving unit with a coke in his hand. “They are not cold yet.”

Austin shrugged.  “Don’t care.”

Holly walked away from the two men with a huff and entered the passenger area. “We will be leaving in about ten minutes folks.”  She announced to the monks, Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim.

“Thank you for moving so quickly dear.”  Mrs. Emily said placing a hand on Holly’s who was resting it on a seat back.

“No problem Mrs. E, sorry we could not get clearance to flyover China it will add a couple of hours to our trip, not to mention having to stop to refuel.”  Holly said apologetically.  “I am sorry about your daughter getting mixed up with all this, what a terrible thing to happen.”

Mrs. Emily replied.  “We shall see, we shall see.”

Holly looked around the area and then back at her clipboard. “Well I had better get back up front.”  Checking her clipboard one more time.  “Everybody take your seats for take off.”  She did not wait to see if everyone took a seat but went up to the cockpit and closed the door behind her.  Mary was going thru her own checklist as Holly took the copilots seat and strapped in.   Mary finished her checklist and then handed the course map to Holly.  Holly looked it over and saw that Mary had cut it very close to the border of the two nations.  “We are going to be very close to the border in a couple of places.”

“Yeah but with some luck we can cut off a couple of hours off the trip.”  Mary said absently.

Holly looked at the map.  “I bet you are going to make a call to General Wu once we are airborne and sweet talk him into letting you cut a path across this portion of the border.”

Mary smiled and took the map back.

“You shameless hussy.”  Holly said laughing.

“I am also thinking that you might need an aspirin from the doctor about the time I make that call so the doctor will have to come up to the cockpit.”

“And I am supposing about that time you will have the good General on the cockpit speakers at the time while you are turning on your feminine wiles to get what you want.”

“I might even agree to have dinner with the sweet general, you know he has been trying to get some alone time with him since we ran into him last year.”

“Well he is a good looking man, although a little old.”

Mary shrugged.  Thirty-eight is not that old.”

“Well he does sound dreamy over the radio and that is what will count tonight.”  Holly said laughing a bit.

“You betcha girlfriend, now lets get this bird in the air.”  Mary said getting back to the task at hand.


Meredith logged into the desktop computer.  Luckily no one was looking over her shoulder.  No but they watching her every move with a duplicate monitor and any attempts to access anything they did not want ended with her own screen going blank for several hours.  She clicked on the Mail icon and then logged into her account.  She and her watcher made a sharp intake of air at the time when they saw the unread message from her mother.

Meredith’s first instinct was to delete it without reading it but she knew this would get her computer privilege curtailed and it was the one thing she had going that allowed her to send messages to her children and husband so they were not worrying.

“Can I open it.”  She said before she moved the cursor over the unread message.  There was a few whisper back and forth between her watchers and then one of them spoke.  She was not sure which one as they out of site and they said so little she had not pinned down voices of the two of them yet. “Wait” was the command.

Meredith sighed and crossed her arms then leaned back in the chair after a few minutes she put her feet up on a nearby ottoman and closed her eyes.  A few minutes later the unmistakable sound of the elevator opening and the heavy footfalls of the man she had nicknamed Nutter. She had even used it on a few occasions and she saw the control he had to exercise restraint not to strike her. So now she used the title sparingly and usually when he was about to leave the room.

“Your mother had replied to your messages finally.”

Meredith sighed and nodded.  This was her typical ‘mom’ sigh when one of her kids said something terribly obvious.  A sarcastic reply was tamped down, no sense making this guy angrier than normal.  “Okay open it.”  The man said once he was behind the secondary monitor.

Meredith moved the mouse and clicked on the message and it filled the screen it was formatted carefully as if it was a real hardcopy letter.



            I am sorry for getting you into this mess.  I will be there soon and you will released and allowed to go home unharmed.  I will explain in person as soon as possible.  Just know that I love you and am very proud of you.

                                                            Love your mom.


            To the person holding my daughter,

            I will meet you at Soyosan, you are to have my daughter there with her passport and we will have a parley.   

                                                            Mrs. Emily Bartloski


There was a roar of rage and Meredith watched the table holding the secondary screen fly across the room and then the noise of two men being struck violently with a closed fist and then people falling down.  The well dressed man came around the corner, she noticed he had begun to perspire, probably from the exertion of tossing the table and striking his men but also likely from anger as he face was red.  “How did she know?”  The man spun her chair around and put his hands on her arm rests.  Meredith shrank back into the swivel chair and crossed her arms over the chest protectively but she looked up at him trying to be brave.

“I don’t know, the messages I sent you personally approved before I sent them.”

“You used a code word or something.  Something you used to show you were under duress.”  The man said his lips ending in a angry sneer. “She planned it before hand with you. Some sort of contingency plan.”

“I don’t know how she knows, she is my mother, she just always seemed to know when one of us kids and even her grandchildren were in trouble.”

The man squinted at her trying to figure out what she was saying.

“Why don’t you just release me now, because if I was my mother I would be calling the F.B.I. right now and seeing if they can trace this and find out who has kidnapped me.”

That somehow struck the man as funny as he backed away from Meredith and actually laughed.  “You really don’t know that much about your mother.”

Now Meredith looked confused.

“Your mother will never call any government agency to help her, she knows we control so much of what they perceive that it would do no good.”  The man said smiling that reptilian smile of his.  “Call the jet we are going to Korea earlier than expected.”


(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) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) (Part 27)


Categories: Tending the Stones for the Lock

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