Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock, XXXI

The conclusion of Tending the Stones for the Lock.  (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) (Part 28) (Part 29) (Part 30)

Emily took a deep breath immediately after she triggered the device.  The device was magical in nature and developed centuries ago, she did not know it how it worked she just knew it did.  The device made a cloud of darkness, not smoke, not fog or something to block the light out, the device created darkness.  Emily did not like to use it, she felt her life was about preserving the light, but in this instance she understood the need.  Emily then found the zipper on the bottom of the bag and pulled it and she felt the contents of the bag spill out onto the ground of the compound.  She knew the darkness would only last a few more seconds so she heaved the bag as far as she could towards the Opposition hoping someone would trip over it, then she tipped the walker over and slowly began to shuffle backwards towards where the High Pilgrim was supposed to be.  The wind from the helicopters down wash disappeared a few seconds later and she knew that Meredith and Brodie were safe.  Emily stopped shuffling backwards and grounded herself where she stood and smiled she felt the pure green energy flow up from the ground, then she felt around her into the masonry work of the courtyard feeling the energy of all the people who had built this marvelous place and all the joy and solace it had brought the visitors here for centuries.  This was a good place to make a her stand.

 

Brodie felt the strap digging into his armpit as though it was twisted or biting into his skin as his feet left the ground  Brodie looked down and immediate regretted it.  Sally had told him the flight would only last a few minutes but it was beginning to be a long few minutes.  He looked at Meredith who he could tell was shouting at him but due to the engine and wind noise of the helicopter.  She also looked very angry.  Meredith continued to yell only inches away from his face and he just motioned with his hands that he could not hear her.  The sound of the helicopter changed and the ground  was starting to get closer.  A few seconds later Brodie looked down and saw they were crossing over the fence and entering the parking lot where the plan called for them to be let off.  The drop to the pavement was gentle and slow and the two of them touched down as if they were stepping off a curb.

Unfortunately the curb was into traffic and a little old Korean lady in a red Kia was driving slowly in the empty parking lot.  She honked at the two of them standing together and just as she let off the horn the connecting cable was detached from the helicopter and the heavy hook landed on the ladies hood creating a very impressive dent.

With the tension of the cable gone the straps surrounding the two of them lessen and the straps fell off them.  The helicopter moved a little way always and a rope dropped down and sliding down the rope was Sally in a green army nomex flight suit. Then the helicopter engine changed again and disappeared out of the valley.

“What is going on, where is my mother?”  Meredith said while arranging her hairs which gotten only slightly mussed it being a short sporty style.

“Your mother is still back in they courtyard but we have to get to the airport.”  Brodie said taking a few steps back and looking for the van they came in.

“I am not going anywhere until someone explains to me what is going on.”   Meredith said putting her hands on her hips.

Crack.

Up the valley blue lightning flashed in the sky followed by a green strobing glow flared on the mountainsides.

“You mother is a little busy right now and she is the only one who will explain things to you.”  Sally said as she came up and kissed Brodie on the cheek.  “You did great with the lift.”  Then she turned towards Meredith.  “Mrs. Wallace we need to move now.”   Another flash of blue light illuminated the sky centering a short way up the valley.

 

Emily stood her ground and unleashed the Blue Lightning of Mountains of Peace.  The Opposition leader was barely standing after hitting the wall but Emily was never one for playing nice when having to deal with the Opposition.

The man was wearing something that protected him the full extent of the lightning and he rose to his feet untangling himself from Howard once the lightning stopped he retaliated with a green wave of energy that emanated from his little fingers.  Luckily for Emily the High Pilgrim was putting a protection spell over her.

Emily was very impressed the man might have a concussion or a possibly some broken ribs but he was still able to produce this much energy and with just his pinky fingers.   Of course he had probably stored a lot up in preparation for this fight.

“My name is Tenvena and I want that book.”  He said standing up straight and unleashing a blue beam of hate towards Emily.

Emily held up her hand and blocked the blast and it was deflected into both the ground and skywards. She countered with the strongest thing she knew hoping to end this battle soon and get Meredith back to the U.S.  Blue light emerged from her hands and engulfed the area.   She heard metallic weapons hit the ground first and then and soft thuds as bodies hit the ground.

“You did really good Emily.”  The High Pilgrim said as he caught her before she hit the ground.

 

Hans pushed the wheelchair as Dante walked ahead of him and ensured that there were no left over opposition members lurking about.  The High Pilgrim struggled to keep up as he had sprained both his ankle avoiding a thrown axe.  Luckily right afterwards Emily had unleashed the last incantation he had seen her fall and caught her in time, but then he also sprained his knee, but his friend was not harmed while passing out from exhaustion.  The made their way down the winding path and then heard yelling behind them.

“We need to move a little quicker.”  Dante said looking back at his struggling comrades.

“Can we move this blade from my leg to yours and then I could move a little quicker .”  Hans said limping along while pushing the wheelchair.

“Younger travelers our emotions are high due to the battle, but remember be kind to one another.”

The two younger men responded in unison. “Of course High Pilgrim.”

Yells and shouts were getting louder and more violent but luckily they turned the corner and found themselves face to face with Sally who was leaning out of the window of the van.  “What took you guys so long?”

“Mom what happened to you?”

“She is fine just a little exhausted.”  The High Pilgrim said as Meredith exited the vehicle and ran to her mother.  Brodie ran to Mrs. Emily as well and immediate felt for a pulse and was relieved to determine it was only about seventy beats per minute.

“We must be going people.”  The High Pilgrim said leaning against the van.

Meredith turned towards the older man. “I am not going anywhere except with my mother to the Camp Casey Medical Clinic.” She said this while getting within a few feet of the High Pilgrim.  The older man looked very tired and casually reached out and a small blue spark leaped towards Meredith and she slumped down into the van.

“Forgive me Mrs. Wallace but we don’t have time to argue.”

 

 

24 Hours later

 

“Landing in San Francisco in twenty minutes.”  Sally’s voice came over the intercom.

“I still don’t see why we did not land in Los Angles it would be so much easier.”  Brodie said as he sat on the floor of the small galley next to Sally and handed her a cold can of Coca Cola.

“Sally can’t land in LA because of a problem with the Sheriff, if he finds her in LA.”

“Which Sheriff?”

“Sheriff Lamposa I think.”

“Lamposa that was two sheriff’s ago.”  Brodie said.

Sally thought about it for a second.  “You mean a Sheriff is not appointed for life?”

“Ah no.”  Brodie said.

 

“So our trip to Alaska, where you wandered out into the bear area?”  Meredith asked.

“Yeah that was me arranging some stones.”

Meredith nodded.  “That makes a lot of sense now.”  Meredith smiled at her mother.  “So this the book they wanted?”  She flipped thru the book casually.

“Yes that is what they wanted, luckily I was able to have a duplicate bowling ball bag made and fill it with some tricks and that is how we got you away from the Opposition.”

Meredith shook her head.  “I am still having a hard time believing all this.”

“You should talk to Brodie, he was where you are now a few weeks ago.”  Emily said patting her daughters hand.

 

(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) (Part 28) (Part 29) (Part 30)

 

Hope you all enjoyed it.   I will probably rework this story someday into a full fledged book, add some details, revamp somethings and add some details.  I liked these characters and this world, it was fun writing this story and that is rewarding all by itself.  Now to kick into high gear and finish the fourth book in the Outfitters Universe Primary Collision.  

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock, XXX

30th 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) (Part 28) (Part 29) (Part 30)

“A beautiful morning.”

“The Land of the Morning Calm.”

The two of them stood for a few minutes waiting for the car to come around.  Meredith looked at Nutter he was dressed as always in a very expensive looking suit, today it was charcoal grey, with a very expensive looking white shirt and a black silk tie.  Meredith did not like this man,  and had found anything to like about him since she had met him in Russia.  She had to admit he was a sharp dresser.

“If all goes according to my plan you should be on a plane heading back to California tonight, maybe even late this afternoon.”

“Do your plans always go according to plan?”

“Usually.”  Nutter said.

“Are they usually in direct opposition to anyone else’s plans.”

Nutter turned towards her just as the limousine came into the courtyard. “Always.”  He smiled a reptilian smile when he said that word.  The car door was opened and he motioned for her to enter the car.

 

“Brodie will you carry my bag today?”

Brodie nodded and took the blue leather bowling ball bag.  He noted that the bag seemed to feel heavier than he remembered.  He was about to ask Mrs. Emily about it when the older lady started to walk briskly towards the elevator.  A few minutes later they were at the lobby and the large passenger van pulled up and they climbed aboard. The High Pilgrim smiled at his dear friend and then tapped on Han’s shoulder and the man began to drive.

Dante spoke. “Sally called she had to get a bigger craft then originally planned, if anything it works out better for us.”

This information was addressed towards everyone but Brodie knew he should ask some sort of question but he was not sure what so he did what everyone else did he simply nodded. The ride was uneventful but Brodie saw they were passing a US military base, and he realized that is why there were so many helicopter flying overhead.  Fifteen minutes later they turned off the main road towards the mountain park and the acid in his stomach made a noise.  Brodie looked back towards Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim who were sitting in the seat behind him.  The two of them had their foreheads touching and they were reciting some sort of prayer simultaneously;  or maybe it was a spell, incantation or maybe it was the lines from a Rocky movie.  Brodie smiled to himself, it was probably not a Rocky movie.  Not that Brodie had ever watched a Rocky movie of his own violation but Mrs. Emily was very fond of them and played them a lot a home.

“We are here.”   Hans announced pulling the vehicle into a handicapped parking spot.

Brodie exited the vehicle and again carried the bag for his boss.  Hans came around the vehicle and with a flourish opened a folding walker which Mrs. Emily position herself behind it.  Brodie checked to make sure that the device was locked into place properly and when he was satisfied he nodded up at her.  The High Pilgrim placed his hands into his robes and nodded towards Dante and Hans. The five of them made their way slowly into the park area.  The progress was slow with Mrs. Emily using the walker and Brodie had plenty of time to look out his surroundings, they were in a valley walking up hill into a steep mountain valley on paved paths, there were a few buildings along the walkway and occasionally out of the corner of his eye he would catch movement but it seemed more like shadows or tricks of the light.  Brodie had seen enough on this trip to be suspicious and the acid in his stomach rumbled and not just because of his lack of breakfast this morning.

The others might have seen the man before Brodie but he was the only one who reacted to his presence by motioning towards him with a head nod.

“Yes Brodie it is one of the Opposition.”  Mrs. Emily said pointedly ignoring the man who had come out from between two buildings and was now walking behind them.  Brodie tried to ignore the man but then another joined him from the opposite side of the sidewalk leading up the valley.  This one was dressed almost exactly like the first, military style shirt and pants all black with black leather lace up boots, they kept their distance just staying about ten meters behind the last person in the group.

Brodie caught a glint of metal and focused on the shadowy man who had just stepped from behind a building without thinking he blurted out.  “Why is that guy carrying an ax?”

Hans and Dante sighed at his statement but the group continued to walk with the two pulled from their robes a series of tube and started to screw them together as the group continued at the pace of Mrs. Emily with her walker.  While Brodie had been distracted by the two monks putting together their staffs two more darkly clothed men had added themselves to their tail.  Brodie was so distracted by everything going on around him he missed the fact that Mrs. Emily had stopped and Brodie took about ten steps when he relieved he was alone and halfway across a courtyard he looked back and the four in the group were staring across the space towards an arched doorway.  Two men dressed similarly to the others that had been following them took up positions flanking the doorway and then a tall man entered filling the doorway.  He was dressed in a perfectly tailored grey suit with black silk tie.

“Brodie could you come back here?”  Mrs. Emily said in a normal conversational tone.

Brodie felt his face turning red and backed slowly till he was between Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim.  Hans and Dante were on the flanks of the little group with their staffs fully assembled.

The tall man stepped away from the archway and nodded and thru the archway stepped Meredith, followed closely buy a hulking figure who was also dressed in a suit, and while his was black it was offset by a red shirt, a red tie and a red handkerchief in his pocket.

Mrs. Emily said very quietly.  “Told you he would bring Howard.”

“I thought he would leave Howard at home.”  The High Pilgrim replied.

“He thinks this is for the whole bag of marbles of course he brought Howard with him.”  Mrs. Emily countered.   “You owe me five dollars.”

“I will pay for your lunch.”  The High Pilgrim said.

“Oh no I want cold hard cash.”  Mrs. Emily stated.

“You know I can hear you.”  The Tall Man said across the courtyard.

Mrs. Emily turned toward the speaker.  “I am not cutting you in on my winning.”

“Hello Mother.”  Meredith’s voice sounded across the courtyard, the anger coming across as well.

“I am so sorry to drag you into all this my darling but you will be on your way home soon.”

“So you are going to give me the book.”

“Of course Mr.?”   Emily responded and inquired at the same time.

“I am surprised you do not know my name, I know all of yours, Mrs. Emily Bartloski, High Pilgrim Jon Orujov,  Hans Santiago, Dante Smith and last but defiantly not least Brodie Quint.  Brodie Quint a registered home health care worker, if I might make an observation Mr. Quint you are not anywhere near home.

When the tall man said the word ‘home’ Brodie felt a wave of emotion pass over him, the feeling was one of missing home, the kind of feeling you get when you are a long way from home and it is getting dark and cold and you don’t know how you are going to get home.  Brodie felt as though he was about to begin crying like a child when Mrs. Emily reached out and put her hand on Brodie and the feeling dissipated in the warm Korean sunshine.

Mrs. Emily shook her head towards the man.  “Yes very impressive you can research up and come up with our names but do you know why we don’t know your name?”

“I am curious about that, you people seem to care very little studying your enemies.”

Mrs. Emily waved her hand dismissively.  “That is because you are not our enemies you make yourselves enemies of the universe by promoting chaos, discord and hatred.  I was asking your name to be polite not to start a dossier on you.”

“I think you lie.”

Mrs. Emily chuckled. “Not at all.”

“Mother can you give this man whatever it is he wants I want to go home.”  Meredith said impatiently.

Mrs. Emily looked at her daughter. “Patience my dear, we will be on our way soon enough.”  She turned her attention back towards the tall man. “Now what is this nonsense about me lying.”

“The tall man chuckled.  “Your earlier conversation gave you away, you made a bet about weather or not my man Howard would be with me or at my home, and you Mrs. Emily deduced correctly that he would be here.”

Mrs. Emily and the High Pilgrim chuckled then looked at each other and then stifled their laughter a bit more.

“What is so funny, why are you two laughing?”

Mrs. Emily chuckled one last time.  “It is because we know Howard, we have run into him before, in fact we were there when he got his first dragon’s tooth.”  Mrs. Emily nodded towards the man.  “Howard how long did it take for the hearing to come back in your ear?”

The tall man turned towards the short man in black and red. “You know them?”  The short man nodded simply.  “We will have a long discussion when this is over.”

Mrs. Emily spoke up now getting the man’s attention again.  “Never mind we don’t really need to know you name.  Let us get this over with.  Myself and Brodie will meet you in the middle of the courtyard, you get to look into the bag and then you walk away with the bag and we walk away with Meredith.”

“Mother this man is crazy he thinks you can do magic.”  Meredith said.

“Meredith do you trust me.”  Mrs. Emily asked looking to make eye contact with her daughter.

Meredith looked back at her mother and their eyes met and at first she nodded then spoke.  “Yes Mom I trust you.”

“Well then trust me and know that I will explain everything in a little while.”

“Okay mom.”  Then she nodded back at her mother.

The tall man began walking towards the center of the courtyard and Meredith was motioned forward by the man she called Mrs. Red.  And she began to walk.  She noted that her mother was using a walker and her aid Brodie was shuffling along beside her with a blue leather bowling bag in his outside hand.  The three with Meredith reached the center of the courtyard first and they stood there waiting.

Mrs. Emily heard the helicopter but did not look up, this next part was all about surprise and she hoped Brodie remembered that as well.

A few steps more and the two met the three in the center of the courtyard.

The tall man spoke.  “How does it feel to be the last Chosen One?”

“Are you sure I am?”  Mrs. Emily said looking up at the tall man.

“Once I get that book the locks will be destroyed and my Master will be unleashed destroying all who opposed him.”

“Are you sure that is what will happen?”  Mrs. Emily asked.

“As it was prophesied so shall it be.”  The tall man said with surety.

Mrs. Emily motioned for Brodie to give her the bag and he brought it up and balanced it on the front bar of her walker.  She reached for the zipper but rested it Brodie’s hand which was steadying the bag.  Mrs. Emily looked past the tall man, and then past Meredith to Howard who was standing behind her daughter.  “Howard do you know that Brodie here talked to a dragon less than a fortnight ago?”

The shock on Howards face was so extreme it looked like it hurt then Meredith heard the first words out of his mouth.  “Oh No.”

Mrs. Emily smiled in response. “Oh Yes.”  When the words were out of her mouth she guided Brodie’s hand in a very specific pattern and then Howard suddenly levitated off the ground and covered the ground between him and the tall man, crashing into him, then they were both crashed into one of the interior walls of the courtyard.

As soon as Brodie felt Mrs. Emily let go of his hand he jumped to Meredith’s side.  “Sorry don’t mean to be so rude but hold on tight and with that he hugged the woman he barely tightly.  The courtyard was encased in darkness as soon as Mrs. Emily saw the two people embrace.  That  is when Brodie looked up and saw the helicopter overhead, he reached into the sleeve of his jacket and pulled the flare out and light it with one hand.  Three long seconds later something hit him in the head and then went around his body.  Now that the straps were around them he did not need to hold on so tight but adjusted the straps around both of them  Brodie then pulled twice on the straps signaling that there were in place and suddenly the two of them shot into the air.

(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) (Part 28) (Part 29) (Part 30)

 

For anyone that saw this post earlier in the day it was posted I apologize it was meant to be filled in with the story but I did not get it completed till 8 hours after posting.   It is a long post, but if you read this then you know there are still a few things to wrap up, so tune in next week for the exciting conclusion Tending the Stones for the Lock.  

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock, XXVII

27th 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) (Part 28)

The door slammed behind Austin and Holly suppressed a giggle until she was sure the young Doctor was far enough not to hear her.

“Well that went better than expected.”  Sally said as she started to make adjustments to the planes flight path.

“General Wu was fantastic, it could not have been better if you had scripted it.”  Holly said tapping out a happy rhythm on the control panel.

“Although I really hate it when he uses those cutesy little nicknames for me.”  Sally said with a slightly angry tone.

“Oh I don’t know my Raven Haired Song Bird, I think it was was put it over the top for the good doctor.”  Holly said laughingly.

“Well with this new course we can shave about three hours off our flight time.”  Sally added after looking at the new course and comparing it to the previously plotted course on the map.”

“Do you want to notify Mrs. Emily?”  Holly said beginning to unstrap from her seat.

“That would be good are you going back to talk to Brodie while you are back there?” Sally said to her friend.

Holly shrugged.  “I don’t know he is a nice guy and all, good looking but he is a bit of a.”  And she trailed off.

“A bit of a newbie to all this, a little naïve as to the ways of the world.”

“Well yeah, from what I gather this is his first real trip outside of the U.S. and he did not even know magic was real until just recently.”

Sally sighed.  “Not everyone was raised in it like you and me.  I mean my dad taught me about it and all when I was flying around with him doing things for the last High Pilgrim.”

“Yeah I know and I learned about it from you when was like five so sometimes I forget that not everyone is like us.”

There was silence in the cockpit for a few moments as they both thought about their own childhoods.  Holly remembered stealing from Sally’s bag and Sally catching her, then the fight between the two of them.  Sally had been on top of her and that is when her father had rescued her from a very solid punch.  The giant of man picked her up and asked her what she had stolen and when she showed him the orange he hugged her tight and then taken her in and raised her as his own daughter from then on.

“Brodie has nice brown eyes.”

Holly nodded.  “Yes and isn’t his hair just divine.”  She said laughing as she left the cockpit.

 

Meredith sat down on the private jet, she had not been handcuffed while they left the penthouse.  Thru the private elevator and down to the limousine she looked for a chance to escape but there was always one of the big men within arms reach of her she did not know where to run to if she could get away.  When they arrived at the airport the limousine had pulled directly into the private hangar and a few moments they were on the plane and moving onto the tarmac.  Nutter had not said a word to her the entire time and she was glad that he paid her so little attention as she could tell he was still in a bit of rage about her mother’s e-mail.  Meredith turned over the communications manner times in her head, how did her mother know she was in trouble, and why had she said to meet a Soyosan it made no sense.  Was her mother just as delusional as this man, believing magic and spells were real.  She had also heard the name of her mother’s health care assistant mentioned several times, she had not heard it all but something about Brodie meeting a dragon.

Meredith shook her head, the world was a crazy place but maybe when she saw her mother again soon it would begin make more sense.

 

Brodie leaned against the bulkhead and stared out the very small window.  Not that there was anything to see the black night outside the plane showed nothing except his own reflection on the glass.  He sighed but was a little happy, they were heading for Korea a place he had always wanted to see.  His father had served there for a short time before Brodie was born and he had spoken of the country and it’s people fondly.  He kicked himself inwardly, the Opposition had Meredith and this was more or less a rescue mission and not a sightseeing trip.  Meredith, Mrs. Emily’s youngest daughter and the one that Brodie had the most interaction with, she only lived a couple miles from the house and was over quiet frequently.  He liked her, she was kind and cheerful but she did talk down to Mrs. Emily a bit more than she needed to.  Brodie reminded himself that everyone was making up life as they went along so a lot should be forgiven.  Brodie slide down the wall of the cabin and opened his book, he had finished the Canterbury Tales and was beginning to re-read it.  Boy the late fees are really piling up on this one he thought.

“Whatca reading?”

The voice spooked him and he dropped the book losing his page.

“Sorry did not mean to startle you.”  Holly said as she came into the small galley area.

“Oh The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.”

“As opposed to the Canterbury Tales by Stephen King.”

“Stephen King wrote a book called the Canterbury Tales.”  Brodie said trying to find his page again.

“That was a joke Brodie, boy for a man who has talked to a dragon you don’t have much of a sense of humor.”

Brodie looked up at the blonde haired girl. “Is meeting a dragon supposed to give you a sense of humor.”  He asked with all earnestness.

Holly shook her head and slide down the wall so she was sitting as well but facing him. “They say that people that talk to dragons come out profoundly changed and I thought that since you did not have much of sense of humor before meeting the big green one then you might have one afterwards.”

“I have a sense of humor.”  Brodie said defensively.

Holly looked at him twisting her head as if to see him in a different way. “Maybe you do, maybe you do, I know I have not been very fair to you this is all pretty new to you, magic and all.”  She said motioning around the plane.

Brodie sighed.  “Yeah it is I feel I have been in shock for the last few days, every time I think I have a handle on things something new happens and I realize how much I do not know.”

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”  Holly quoted.

“Who said that?”  Brodie said surprised.

“Thomas Jefferson.”

“Oh I thought it might have been Buddha?”

Holly nodded.  “People often get the two confused.”

Brodie looked at her confused and Holly simply shook her head then began to speak. “Someone sent the Buddha a gift box tied with a ribbon. Buddha opened it to find it empty. “Aha!”, he said, “Just what I wanted. Nothing!”

Brodie stared at her.

“No sense of humor.”  Holly said shaking her head.  Then the plane shook and shuddered.  The pair looked around and then stood up.  Brodie happened to look out the window as he rose.  “Ah there is a plane out there with flashing lights.”  Holly pushed him aside and saw the plane that was close to the plane’s wing tip.

“It’s a Chinese Mig.”  Then she ran back to the cockpit.

 

(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)

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.  

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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?

 

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

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.

 

Meredith

            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)

 

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock XVIII

18th 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 collapsed onto her bed and closed her eyes, another day spent running around this stupid city looking for her stupid mother.  She heard a knock on her door and moaned.  If it was Basil Webb she was going to slam the door in his face.  He had taken her to the same ten hotels again, and talked to the same ten desk clerks again, and gotten the same ten “nyets” again.  The last clerk had looked like he was about to call the cops. Meredith moaned again as the knocking started again followed by a voice definitely not Basil Webb’s.

“Mrs. Wallace?”

Meredith huffed and got off the bed and walked to the door.

“Mrs. Wallace?”  A tall man dressed in a suit and tie was standing outside of her hotel room.

Meredith opened the door.  “Can I help you?”

“Well not exactly I am here to kidnap you and use that fact against your mother for our own ends.”

“Huh.”  Meredith took in everything at once, the man’s immaculately tailored suit, his crisp starched white shirt, the silk handkerchief  in his breast pocket and foot long knife with ornate etching held in his finely manicured hand.

 

Emily Bartloski sighed as she put took off her comfortable shoes and put them up in the reclining chair.  While the C.I.A. had it issues at least when they used private air planes they never skimped on the seating.  The plane had taken off without a hitch and now that they were cruising east towards Mongolia the sound of the jet engines was no worse then on a commercial passenger jet, much better then that rickety old Soviet era cargo plane they had been on before.  Emily closed her eyes and meditated for a few minutes she would have gone deeper but the sound of raised voices disturbed her.

“All I am asking for is a little help.”

“I am not a stewardess I am a mechanic so you can go pound sand.”

“Stewardess, how is helping me hand out food to everyone calling you a stewardess.”

“Its not something I do buddy, you want to pass out food, feel free, just don’t try and rope me into it.”

With that Holly stomped up the row between the chairs and up the ladder to the flight deck.

“All I asked was if she would help me pass out food to everyone.”  Brodie’s voice said from the galley area to the rear.

Emily sighed he wished these young people were not so high strung, the made a big deal out of the littlest things and forgot the importance of the really important things in life.  But she recalled that at one point she might have been the same way.  She tried to meditate again but was distracted by the noises coming from the galley and the person making them.  Brodie.  She had not had time to really discuss any of this since he had been forced onto the plane and not given a choice about continuing on with the journey when he had made it very clear all he wanted was to go home.  Slipping on her shoes and securing her cane she made her way back toward the galley.  She found Brodie going to town on a huge chunk of ice with a pick, she watched for a few minutes as he seemed to be venting his frustrations very well on the piece of frozen water.

“Trying to make sure that we all have cold drinks if we want one?”

“Huh?”  Brodie said looking up from the deep tray of ice that was in much smaller pieces now. “Yeah just trying to be helpful.”

“You always are Brodie and you have been a great deal of support on this trip.”  Emily saw him start to protest. “No I mean it, and I am sorry you got roped into this.”  She motioned around the airplane. “I know you wanted to go home and now you are stuck going further than I have any right to ask you to go.”  Brodie looked down at the tray of ice. “But let me tell you for someone that does not know what they were getting themselves into, you have handled yourself remarkably well.”

Brodie shrugged.  “Maybe it is good I could not leave you.”

“What do you mean dear?”

Brodie looked at the tray of ice and pushed around the small pieces of ice with the tip of the pick for a few seconds. “I do not know if you know this but I have always played it safe in my life.  I have always taken the sure route, I have never tried to make waves or stand out in any way and now.”

Emily listened knowing now was not the time to push him but to listen.

“Now I am in a semi stolen C.I.A. plane flying towards Mongolia of all places with three monks, my boss, a airplane mechanic who does not seem to like me very much and a cigar smoking woman pilot who has dubious connections with the Russian mob.”  Brodie looked up at Emily.  “This is far from safe or sure.”

Emily nodded.  “Yes I know all these things are technically true.  But about Holly, yes she has a temper, and she flies off the handle suddenly, but she has had a hard life but once you get to know her, and she becomes your friend there is no one better to have, she will always come thru for you and she will always be there to lift you up should you fall.”

“But she won’t serve drinks with me.”  Brodie said jokingly.

“But she will not serve drinks with you.” Emily said.  “You do not happen to have a  Coke anywhere?”  She said looking at the shelves in the galley.

“I will look but we need to sit down and do a blood pressure reading and make sure you are up to date on the medicine regime.”

“Brodie you are to committed to your job.”  Emily said smiling.

 

(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)

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.  

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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?

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock XIV

14th 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)

 

Webb and Bridger stood on the far side of the massive table looking across it and at the amazing vista out the window.  The snow covering the black rocks made the scene outside both harsh and intimidating.   Neither man appreciated the beauty of it but it did give them both dark thoughts of pain and intimidation.

Webb spoke first.  “You were a fool for going after the book.”

Bridger continued to stare straight ahead but spoke just loud for Webb to hear him. “Your vaulted Dragon magic was no match for the old lady.”  Then he gave a small chuckle.

“Well at least I am still a Dragon, you lost all your charms, have you found any pants that fit yet?”

With that Bridger lost his temper and pulled out the knife that all members carried and turned towards Webb who took two steps away from his colleague.

“Enough.” The booming voice came thru the double doors that had opened.  Webb could feel the magical energy proceeding the man that was coming into the room.

Webb and Bridger immediately returned to their previous positions in the room, Bridger placing the knife back into his sheath.  They immediately lowered their heads so they were staring at their shoes.

“You two have proven that you are utterly useless.”  The strong male voice stated as he entered the room.

Neither man spoke and both fought the urge to disagree as was their nature, a nature they had cultivated their entire lives.  They had both worked at being manipulative, controlling and to never back down when directly challenged at least not in things that mattered.  But here with him they forced down their desire to fight back and disagree, they had both heard stories about disagreements with him and the consequences.

“Webb.”

“My Master.”

“She is an old woman.” The voice stated.

“Yes she is Master.”

“Yes she is Master.”  The voice came back is a whiny teasing voice.  “And you, what are you about four inches taller than when you left?”

“Only three now Master.”

A fist pounded on the table.  “Only three inches taller than when you started the mission I gave you.  I other words you have lost all you charms, no magical ability that you have had for what is it five years.”

“Yes Master.”

Webb woke slowly as he looked up at the titles of the ceiling.  He looked towards his left and saw the burn spot on the wall three inches away, then Webb looked towards the table and saw Bridger’s boots that were still upright but now were empty except for a bit of blood that was running down the sides of them. It was then that the smell hit him, the very distinct odor of burnt human flesh.  Webb simply shook his head glad that it had not been him.  Webb looked up at the table and he saw it, a small statue.  Webb smiled, he was given a new assignment.

Meredith woke as the plane began its descent in St. Petersburg.  It had been three days since her mother had landed in St. Petersburg on the ferry and with any luck she would be able to find her in a hotel or sightseeing.  Meredith was a little bothered by the fact that her credit cards had not been used lately but her mother always carried a lot of cash on her so maybe she was using that to get around.

Meredith made her way down to retrieve her luggage and then stood in line to go thru customs.  She had been thru customs many times but this line was slower than any other she had been in before.  After fifteen minutes standing there after turning in her passport the customs official came back from what Meredith assumed was a coffee break as he was holding a steaming up and a pastry of some sort.  Meredith tried not to show her annoyance but she was unsure if she did a good job.  It did not matter if she showed her annoyance as the official seemed to not care one way or another.

Gathering up her passport and carry on bag she wheeled her luggage away from the customs desk and out towards the doors she saw her name on a large white board.  Meredith looked around unsure if the sign was for her.  Meredith approached the man holding the sign ‘Wallace’.   “Are you looking for me?”  She said to the man holding the sign.

“Meredith Wallace.”  The man said lowering his sign in his and reaching out his hand. “I was sent by the consulate to assist you.”

Meredith looked at him quizzically.  “But you are British?”

“Oh I am part of a task force that helps people in need, my American colleague is a little busy tonight and I am doing her a favor.”

“Oh I see.”

“Terribly sorry I forgot to introduce myself I am Basil Copley Webb.”

 

 

(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)

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.  

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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?