Tending the Stones for the Lock, XXIX

29th 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)


Meredith put her feet up on the ottoman and looked around the lavish home.  She saw that the owner was rich and glancing out the window she saw Soysan from a different angle then she was used to so that placed her somewhere north and east of Camp Casey. Like most larger Korean homes this place was more like a walled compound, but unlike most this one had the added feature of men and women guards armed with automatic weapons.  She had counted at least five different guards in addition to the seven that had been on the plane from Japan.  For the thousandth time she wondered what her mother had gotten involved in.

No time for a pity party Meredith told herself.  Work the problem, she was in Korea under armed guards by people that may be crazy believing in magic but they were not stupid and they were well funded.  She decided to label her assets.  One, she was in a country she knew, as opposed to Japan where she did not even know what part of the country she was in.  Two, her mother knew she was in trouble, so some sort of help was coming.  Three, she was healthy and could run if she had to.  She did not delude herself that she could overpower any of these guards, even the women who all looked to be in great shape and were armed.  Meredith looked around the room again, Mr. Red was sitting in the room with her, she did not know his real name but he always seemed to have something red on his person;  a red tie, a red handkerchief, a red shirt. He was also the most serious of the guards, where the others would play cards or at least nod hello Mr. Red said nothing and while he we did not look at her in a menacing way, he did not look at her at all, he just continually scanned the room, left to right, wall to wall, up to down, floor to ceiling always scanning.  Meredith had been very bored one time and watched him, for the first half hour he scanned with only his eyes, then the second half of the hour he scanned by turning his head.  The man was more machine like than human, she wondered what had made the way turn out this way.


“They are here.”

Mrs. Emily nodded.

“They are at a private residence about a ten minute car ride away from the temple.”

Mrs. Emily nodded again.

“Your daughter was seen safe and well as of last night, one of our people saw her sitting down reading a book.”

Mrs. Emily perked up at this.  “How?”

Hans smiled.  “A child’s toy, a drone with a camera. Unlikely that we will be able to use that method again as they knocked if from the sky with a spell.”

“In broad daylight.”  Mrs. Emily said a bit startled.

“Actually it was twilight and they camouflaged it with some fireworks.”  Hans replied.

“They are evil but they are not stupid.”  The High Pilgrim said refreshing his tea

Mrs. Emily nodded and looked around the room. She smiled at Hans at he took his place at the table.  The group was sitting around a large round table in a friendly restaurant they had set up shop in.  They were only a few miles from Soyosan and word had been sent that they would meet at the holy site tomorrow.  “Is everyone sure of the plan now that we know that Meredith is safe?”

There were enthusiastic nods and affirmative answers around the table.  All positives responses except for Brodie who did not nod very enthusiastically but as if to go along with the crowd.  Mrs. Emily noted that and had already planned on talking to him alone.

The High Pilgrim spoke.   “Very good, very good.”  He smiled.  “I will be meditating most of the night if anyone would like a blessing in the morning I will be in small park across the street before we leave.”   There were a few nods around the table as the older man rose and then his two monks followed him out the door.

The group began to rise as well and Brodie came over to Mrs. Emily side.  “I would like to get you back to the room and take our readings for the day.”  Mrs. Emily smiled and was escorted out of the restaurant and next door to the hotel they were staying in.

The two of them walked to thru the lobby and to the elevator.  Mrs. Emily spoke once the doors were closed.  “Nervous about tomorrow?”

Brodie simply nodded his head.

“Well you being the only one Meredith knows on the peninsula I thought you were the most logical choice to do it.”

Brodie nodded again. “I understand the logic but I am still nervous.”

The doors opened and they exited towards their rooms.  “That is very understandable but once we get Meredith back we are going to fly back to California.”

They reached Mrs. Emily’s room and Brodie opened the door.  “But we have, I mean you have more work to do, more sites to visit.”

Mrs. Emily sat down at at the desk chair. “Oh I will get back to them eventually but I have to take care of my daughter and you to.”  She said and patted the man’s hand.  Brodie continued with his checks of her health and shook his head.  “Something wrong?”

Brodie shook his head again.  “No your are as healthy as the day I met you, pulse, blood pressure even your temperature is normal, that is not right.”

“Oh Brodie dear Brodie I have been living with this stress for so long it has become my normal.”

Brodie sat down on the bed and put away his instruments, Mrs. Emily watched him.  “Something else is bothering, not just what is going to happen tomorrow, not my health, something else.”

Brodie nodded.

“What is it Brodie?”

“When we started to travel around.”  He trailed off.

“Yes Finland, then the Ferry when you started to understand what was going on around you with magic being real.”

Brodie paused and Mrs. Emily let the silence stand.  The silence lasted a little while and Brodie spoke up.  “I started to keep my own stats, Blood pressure and all that.”

“A smart thing to do.”  Mrs. Emily stated.

“Well my pressure was always high, but then a funny thing started to happen.”

Mrs. Emily nodded.

“It started to come down in Mongolia.”

Mrs. Emily nodded.

“And since we landed here in Korea my pressure has been almost normal.”

The words lingered there for a few minutes and then Mrs. Emily spoke. “And this bothers you?”



“Because I am getting use to all this.”  Brodie said motioning around the room but Mrs. Emily knew he meant the travel, the stolen CIA plane, meeting a dragon and learning that magic was real.

Mrs. Emily smiled tenderly and walked over to the bed and sat down next to him and put an arm around him in a motherly way.  “It is going to be all right my boy.  It is going to be alright.”

Brodie sighed and leaned on the older woman who seemed so strong.  A couple of weeks ago he might have cried, but her words comforted him.  Brodie sighed again.

Mrs. Emily stood up.  “Holly, Austin and Sally are waiting for you downstairs, they want to explore Tongducheon maybe do some shopping, to see what there is to see.”

“I was just going to go to my room and turn in early.”  Brodie said standing knowing he was being dismissed for the night.

Mrs. Emily lead him to the door. “You were going to your room and read Chaucer, and not sleep.  Go out get some air and keep those three out of trouble, and tell Sally she is not to have any rice wine, remind her she has to fly in the morning.”

And with that Brodie found himself in the hallway and he heard the dead bolt get thrown on the door.

Brodie shook his head in his normal disbelief in Korea the night before this show down with the Opposition, well when in Tongucheon when the going gets tough the tough go shopping.

Tune in next week for THE SHOWDOWN.

Coming up on the end folks, hope you liked this, someday I may turn it into a complete book, a few things I will changes, but a nice little story that I have enjoyed writing.

Categories: Tending the Stones for the Lock

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