Breakfast is fun with lots of teasing and bantering. Heath says something so like what Brian’s father would say, it makes him think of his dad. Suddenly missing him, Brian is afraid he’s going to cry.
“Excuse me,” he said, dropping his napkin. His meal was only half eaten, but his appetite was gone.
Jordan started to go after him, but her father stopped her.
“I got this, baby girl. Got a feeling it’s a guy thing.” He got up and followed Brian.
Heath found the boy on the front porch, barefoot and coatless, shivering in his shirt sleeves. He dropped a pair of battered slippers on the porch and handed him an afghan from the couch. Brian bundled up and Heath led him to the porch swing. They sat, swinging for a minute before Heath spoke.
“Want to talk about it?”
Brian shrugged, shaking his head.
“Meaning you do, but I’m not your dad.”
“Where did he go, Heath? Why has he been gone so long? Doesn’t he know we need him? We’re worried about him?”
“Of course, he does. He’s probably worried sick about you both all the time.”
“Then where is he and why isn’t here? Where we need him!”
Heath shook his head. “I don’t know. But my guess is that whatever it is he’s doing, it’s important. Maybe the most important thing he’s ever done. Jackie told me about your vision. He’s fighting Deidrich. That seems pretty significant.”
“Yeah.” Brian paused, holding in a sob. “I don’t understand any of this. How is a bunch of stuff about rocks supposed to help me fight when I don’t know who I’m fighting or how to do it?”
“Suppose we finish our breakfast and get those papers out. We can spread them out in the dining room and all of us take a look.”
“We can take turns reading it aloud. Sometimes that helps understanding anyway.”
“I guess you’re right.”
Heath chuckled. “I don’t know if I am or not, kid. I’m just freezing my ass off out here.”
They went back in the house. Jackie poured fresh coffee for them both and Jordan put their scones in the microwave to reheat them. After they cleaned up and loaded the dishwasher, Brian got the case of papers.
Jordan led them into the dining room and helped Maribelle get acclimated to the new room. Brian, Heath and Jackie laid out the papers in separate stacks. They’d gotten out of order when Brian dropped them, but luckily, they were numbered. Jordan joined them when she’d gotten Maribelle settled. It took very little time to get the stacks sorted and in order.
Brian inhaled deeply, putting his hand on the top page. Words came into his mind, like those he’d said to the whirlwind and spoken to Mr. Deidrich. He didn’t understand them, but spoke them anyway. He sensed it was some sort of prayer or blessing. Something on the table rattled and Brian saw that Jackie had brought in Lester. He picked up the purple stone skull, holding it in both hands as he spoke the words again. It warmed in his hands and light glowed briefly in the empty sockets.
Brian set the skull in the middle of the table and they gathered around, each picking up a stack. They took turns reading about the magical properties of stones, wood and metals. Brian learned more about the stones on his necklace and how to make a small charm with different combinations of each. He learned that Oak, Ash and Thorn were considered the sacred trinity of trees in the Celtic zodiac. Similar to the Greek Zodiac, each 26 days the symbolic tree changed.
It was interesting to note that Brian, Chase and Jordan were born on the fifteenth of three different months. Chase was the eldest, his birthday March fifteenth. Brian was next, his birthday falling on May fifteenth. Jordan’s was last, on June fifteenth. The most amazing thing about it was that their birth signs were Ash, Hawthorne and Oak, respectively.
Around noon, the women went to fix lunch leaving Heath with the teenagers. They went through new stacks, highlighting passages to share with the others.
“We need to contact Chase and his father,” Brian said.
“His dad said he had his own stuff to learn,” Jordan reminded him.
“Yeah, but if we’re all in this together, shouldn’t we find out what they know and tell them what we know?”
“What about Marissa?” Jordan asked.
“We don’t even know if they’re still dating,” Brian reminded her. “And I’m not sure I feel comfortable asking Chase. If they aren’t together and it was a really bad breakup….”
© 2016 Dellani Oakes