When they get home for dinner, Brian and Jordan make sure to sprinkle the blessed salt in the food. They also touch their parents and Mr. Deidrich with it on their hands. They notice a distinct difference with Heath. He finally snaps out of his daze.
“You know, Deidrich,” Heath said pleasantly. “We really don’t have the room for you to stay here, old man. Why don’t you head over to the Super 8 for the night?”
“I’m going to stay with Maribelle and Brian at their house.”
Heath rose from the table, tossing his napkin down. “Well, no, you’re not. I let myself believe that was for the best, but I’ve had a change of heart. You’ve been here long enough. It’s time to go.”
“Honey, there’s no need to be rude,” Jackie said, blinking slowly.
“Oh, but there is, dear. You see, he’s worn out his welcome. I don’t want you here anymore, Gavin Deidrich.”
Mr. Deidrich flinched. He dried his hands on a paper towel before turning from the sink. “I believe you’ll find that I haven’t.” His dark eyes glowed.
“You heard him,” Jordan said bravely. “The head of the house, told you to leave.”
Shaking violently, Mr. Deidrich walked to the back door as if he were being pushed. He tried to fight it, doing his best to convince Heath to let him stay, but the energy of their combined wills was too strong for him.
“And don’t come back,” Heath commanded. “I don’t want you even setting foot on my property.”
“You aren’t welcome at my house,” Brian said boldly. “While my father is gone, I’m the man of the house. Don’t come around there.”
“You can’t stay in here forever,” Deidrich said. “You have to come out sometime.”
“You can’t stick around forever either,” Brian said. “You’ll have to go back where you came from sometime. Save us all the bother, do it now. Leave!” He pointed away from the house. “Leave now.” He took him a moment to realize he’d spoken words of power, not English.
Deidrich looked like a deflated balloon. He turned sharply, walking jerkily as if he fought every step. Muttering and cursing, he crossed the street and headed toward the woods.
“What did you say to him?” Jordan whispered.
“I have no idea. It’s like with the whirlwind. I heard these words in my head, so I said them.”
“It worked, whatever it was.”
As he prepared for bed, Brian thought about all the things he’d learned that day. He was still very puzzled by it all. He also wondered who Mr. Deidrich was and how he had influenced the adults in the house. Why hadn’t his compulsion affected Brian and Jordan?
The door to the den opened and Jordan walked in. “I visited our parents and left the charms with them. I told Dad what it was and he promised to talk to Mom. I put the one for your mom in the pocket of her sweater. She hangs it on the bedpost.”
“Good idea. Thanks.”
Jordan flopped on the side of his bed. Brian moved to the other side, far away from her. She didn’t fail to notice.
“I don’t have the plague or anything, Brian.”
“I know—it’s just….”
“What? You think I’m gonna bite you? Jump your bones? What?”
“I’m not worried about you. I don’t want your dad to worry about you.”
Jordan laughed at Brian’s flustered expression. “Oh, dream on, homeboy! Never gonna happen.”
“I didn’t say it would,” Brian’s tone was wounded. “I said, I don’t want your dad mad at me. You’re my friend, Jordan. The best friend I’ve ever had. I don’t want to screw that up.”
“Dad likes you. It’d be okay.” She lay down, her feet toward the pillows.
“No, it wouldn’t be okay if he thought— Dammit, Jordan! Are you really that dense?”
She sat up, glaring at him. “Dense? Am I dense?”
“Kids younger than us are already having sex. It’s not inconceivable.”
“It is for you! You must have a high opinion of yourself if you think I’d ever!” She snorted in disgust.
“You have the listening skills of a turnip. I’m not saying that’s what I want. I’m saying your dad might think that if you stayed in here tonight!”
“How do you know? You’re not my dad.”
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
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