Author Topic: Desdemona (Part 2)  (Read 209 times)

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Offline noquiexis

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Desdemona (Part 2)
« on: January 30, 2017, 05:34:42 PM »
Desdemona
Part 2
By Edmund Sonador

continued from Part 1

All graphics are from
~Magickal Graphics~
except as noted.





VI

      On the way back, the men sounded out different theories as to what the future may hold. Kenneth was surprisingly calm, as though he did not expect anything to happen.
     “Besides Desdemona, does anyone else in your family profess any … abilities?”
     “Connie always seemed to know things that she should not. Her husband, Lyle, claims that she kept him from some bad investments. Other than that, some of us had instances of déjà vu, but no more than anyone else.”
     “Maybe something will turn up back at the house,” Mark suggested.

     Mnemosyne was still reading her magazine, but the cat had moved to a sunny window. A ‘fall out’ card had slipped out from between the pages, and Mark picked it up to have a look. The advertisement was for a business in Brooklyn.
     “Brooklyn,” Mark said aloud.  Kenneth looked at the card in his hand. “Brooklyn,” Mark repeated. “Brook-lyn. Brook Line!” Mark turned to Kenneth. “We passed a place called Brook Line on the way to the book store. Do you know it?”
     “Yes. It is a sporting goods shop. My father and I go there to get fishing tackle and other things for my boat. We are going there when father returns from his business trip. Do you think it may be significant?”
     “I don’t know. It may be nothing, but … Its just odd that I should remember seeing it on the way to Rachael’s, and again on the way back.” He thought for a moment. Then nodding toward the doll, he said, “Mnemosyne is associated with memory. I may be looking too hard for an answer.” Mark gingerly placed the card between the pages of the magazine. As he tapped the card down, another one fell out. This one was a business card for the Cambridge Insurance Company. He placed that card on the end table next to Mnemosyne’s chair.
     Kenneth saw the card and picked it up. Mark saw the wheels turning in his head.
     “What is it?”
     “Lyle Moody is an agent at the Cambridge Insurance Company. That is how he met Connie. These home decorating magazines are hers.”
     “So when will your father return from his trip?”
     “He is flying in tonight. Mother is going to pick him up as soon as she closes up for the day.”
     “I should go with you and your father to the Brook Line. It may be important.”
     “Right now we should go get some lunch! I’m starving!”


VII

     Gertrude had lunch on the kitchen table, and was already planning supper. Daniel waited for Mark and Kenneth to arrive, then took a chair opposite Gertrude after she and the others were seated.
     “We tend to be very informal,” Kenneth stated, “unless one of father’s business partners are here. I hope you don’t mind!”
     “Why should I mind?” Mark asked. “Besides, this is more comfortable than the dining room. We can talk without shouting over that big table!”
     Gertrude grinned widely. “I come from a big family, and we always had to shout just to be heard!”
     “I only have one brother,” Daniel added. “Dinner at my parent’s house was always quite intimate. My brother has his grandchildren over a lot, and his table is quite noisy!” His smile indicated that he enjoyed dinners there. “So, did you see any red flags while you were out?”
     “Rachael didn’t know much more than she already told you,” Kenneth said. “We haven’t make much progress since we left this morning.”
     “Mnemosyne may have given us a clue,” Mark said between bites. “It may have something to do with the Brook Line sporting goods store. We are going to look into it after Mr. Avery gets back.”
     “Kenneth’s doll told you?” Gertrude asked. “What did Rachael do to you two?”
     “It’s a long story,” Kenneth said. “Let’s just hope it has a happy ending!”
     After lunch, the two younger men went back to the guest house to wait for Mr. Avery’s return. Mark took the opportunity to walk around the property and take in the scenery. Kenneth found Mark down by the lake shooting landscapes. They looked over Kenneth’s sailboat, but did not take her out. Later they went back and browsed through Kenneth’s photo albums. They exchanged tips and techniques, and Mark took a few shots of the girls.



VIII

     Kenneth saw Constance and Lyle drive by on the way to the garage. They had come out to see her parents. He and Mark walked the short distance to the manor to greet them. By the time they reached the manor, Constance and Lyle were already enjoying Gertrude’s coffee in the living room. Hugs and handshakes were freely given, and Mark was introduced as a photographer on assignment for Mr. Avery.
     During their conversation, Lyle mentioned safety and security several times. It was then that Mark realized that Constance was becoming uncomfortable. Constance thought Mark was eyeing her, and decided to call him out about it.
     “Do you see something you like, Mr. Hampton?”
     “I just noticed that you and Anastasia have the same kind of earrings. Were they a gift?” Mark thought that Kenneth had purchased them.
     “Yes, they were!” she replied, relieved. “I liked them so much that I bought two sets, and gave her one!”
     “I still can’t believe you did that!” Lyle laughed. “I thought you girls were jealous if someone else had the same clothes or jewelry!”
     “Well, they have been lucky for both of us!” Constance quipped. “I sold a painting of Anastasia wearing these earrings! I was even wearing mine when the lady bought it!”
     “They do go well with your eyes,” Mark commented. “The emerald jewels have just the right sparkle.” Lyle was the one who surprised him next.
     “Do you want to take a picture?” Mark was unsure of his intent. “If you do, I would like a copy. You shoot digital – yes, no?” That helped clarify things. Mark was relieved.
     “I shoot film in the studio, but not on location, unless the client specifically asks for film. I only brought the digital set on this trip. That and a couple changes of clothes.”


IX

     The grandfather clock chimed, and everyone hoped that Mr. And Mrs. Avery would arrive soon. Another car came down the driveway, but not Mrs. Avery’s. Not long after that, Daniel brought Rachael to the living room. More hugs and handshakes later, the conversation returned to art and books.
     Daniel informed Gertrude that there would be another for supper, and proceeded to set the dining room table. Both Mark and Lyle commented that seven was a lucky number. Not long after that, Mrs. Avery’s auto was seen approaching the manor. After another round of hugs and handshakes, Mr. Avery warmly greeted Mark.
     “I am so glad you could come on such short notice!” he told Mark. “I see you’ve met our spiritual advisor!” Rachael and Constance both chuckled about that. Lyle just rolled his eyes. Daniel tried to stoically announce dinner, but a wide grin took all the stuffiness out of his announcement. He did not escape before Rachael gave him a hug, either.
     When everyone was seated, the conversation drifted in and out of business and family affairs. Mark and Kenneth swapped stories about adventuresome photo shoots.
     “I assume that everyone knows why I’ve asked Mr. Hampton here.” Mr. Avery sat back in his chair. Daniel had cleared the dishes, and was serving desert. “Daniel, please ask Gertrude to join us.” They had eaten in the kitchen, and Gertrude brought in fresh coffee for everyone.

     Mr. Avery and Gertrude recounted the story for Constance and Lyle. Mark still had the handbill in his pocket, and showed it to Constance. She confirmed that the handbill was recent, and that the handwriting was Desdemona’s.
     “The problem at hand is that we do not know where this threat will manifest. If anyone has any thoughts at all, please bring them to the table.” Mr. Avery did not appear the least concerned about this, and handled the discussion as though it were a regular business meeting.
     “Mark,” Rachael began, “do you have any insight?”
     “Mnemosyne gave me an idea, and I think we should investigate further.”
     “Kenneth’s doll?” Lyle asked. “You’re joking, yes?”
     “No joke.” Mark stated flatly. “If you can buy Desdemona contacting Mr. Avery and Rachael, why is it so hard to grasp this?” He paused for a sip of coffee. “Mnemosyne is associated with memory. An ad fell out of her magazine while we were at Rachael’s. The ad was for a place in Brooklyn. I remembered seeing the Brook Line on the way to the book store, and on the way back. When I put the ad back in her magazine, your business card fell out.”
     “My goodness!” Mrs. Avery exclaimed. “Lyle is at Cambridge Insurance!” She put her hand on her chest. “Bill Cambridge owns the Brook Line!”
     “Oh - My – God!” Kenneth stammered. He put both hands on the sides of his face. “Why didn’t I see that before? Now that’s just too weird!”
     “Daniel, would you please ring up Bill for me?” Mr. Avery asked. Daniel retrieved the cordless phone form the kitchen, dialed the number, and presented the phone to his employer. Mr. Avery chatted briefly with the store owner, then asked Daniel to replace the phone.
     “Bill says that it’s just another day at the store. Times are tight and things are slow, but he is confident that an improvement is on the horizon.” He gestured for Daniel to sit at the table with them. “If the store is involved in all of this, we shall have to go there.”
     “Dad, like you need an excuse to go shopping!” Constance quipped. “You never pass that place without stopping in, even if it is just to say ‘hello’. Most of the time, Bill is glad to get you out and on your way!”
     “Oh, come on!” Mr. Avery laughed. “I can’t be that bad, can I?”
     “I’m afraid you are, dear,” his wife chided. “You’re worse than me when you go shopping! And you always want to haggle over the price of anything you buy!”
     “I’m just a good businessman,” he claimed in his own defense. “Kenneth! Help me out here!”
     Kenneth held up his hands in defense. He had a wide smile on his face. “Hey! Don’t look at me! You know how you are!” Chuckles ran around the whole table. Gertrude had to wipe tears of laughter out of her eyes.
     Mr. Avery turned to look at Mark. “Exactly at what point did I lose control of this conversation?” Mark just smiled and shook his head. He could not keep from laughing. Soon this infectious behavior had them all in stitches.
     “Well now that everyone has had a good laugh at my expense,” he said, wiping his own eyes with a napkin, “does anyone else have anything to add?”
     “Two things come to mind,” Mark mused. “Mr. Wemberly mentioned red flags. That stuck in my mind. Constance is wearing emerald earrings. For some reason, that seems important.”
     “Bill said that there is some utility work going on near the store. They had a young lady with a red flag directing traffic, but they are done for the day.”
     “We should go over there now,” Mark suggested. “If the red flags have been put away, then this might be the safest time to be there.”
     “I shall accompany you,” Daniel said firmly. Mr. Avery knew better than to argue the point. As the five men prepared to leave, Rachael asked Kenneth if he still had his protection stone. Mark felt for the stone in his own pocket.


X

     Daniel took the driver’s seat of Mr. Avery’s car. Mr. Avery took the front passenger seat. Lyle, Mark, and Kenneth piled in the back and they were on their way. The early evening sunset did not bother Daniel, and he raised the visor on his side.
     On the short drive to the sporting good store, Mr. Avery noted that the “Utility Work Ahead” signs were parked safely off the road, and turned so as not to face traffic. Mark saw them, too, and the red flags mounted on top of them.
     With the other men in suits and ties, Mark was the only one in the sporting goods store who did not look out of place. He stayed near Kenneth in the store, and Daniel was constantly at Mr. Avery’s elbow. Mark pretended to be shopping, but kept a wary eye out for any sign of trouble.
     Mark and Kenneth had been wandering through the aisles. A flash of green on the counter near the cash register caught Mark’s eye. He picked up the open magazine and studied the picture. It was an advertisement for a golf course. The Robert Trent Jones ad read, “It’s just a stone’s throw from where you are!” There was a church pictured on the opposite page. A flag on the church bore a triquetra. Mark remembered the triquetra on the handbill from the Charms N Spells, pulled it out and read it again. It said, “Drop, what you are doing and follow your instincts.” The book The Circle is Cast struck a nerve. Looking at the magazine again he saw a red stop sign in an ad near the corner of the page.
     “Stop here,” he told Kenneth. He pointed to the add and said aloud, “It’s just a stone’s throw from where you are!” Kenneth instinctively retrieved the garnet from his pocket. Mark saw the stone and took the amethyst out of his pocket.

     Daniel and Mr. Avery joined them at the counter. Bill Cambridge was stocking a shelf on the back wall and turned to talk to them. Just as his watch beeped the hour, the front door opened and two masked gunmen entered. They saw the men in suits, stopped about eight feet away,  and took aim.
     “Open the register NOW!” one yelled. He was so nervous that the weapon was shaking in his hand. “You! Wallets on the counter!” To Bill he yelled, “Stuff everything in a bag, NOW!”
     Mark dropped the magazine and threw the amethyst at one of the gunmen, hitting him hard in the side of the head. The other gunman turned to see if his partner was injured. When he turned back, Kenneth threw the garnet and caught him squarely in the eye.
     Daniel lunged at the first gunman, easily tackling him, and knocking the weapon out of his hand. Mark and Kenneth jumped the second gunman while he was still bent over rubbing his eye. They disarmed him and threw him to the floor. Bill Cambridge came around the counter with a shotgun and aimed it at the two men.
     Mr. Avery found a length of rope behind the counter and was tying the hands of the gunmen when the police came running in. Bill looked at his watch. It was only three minutes after the hour.
     The police cuffed the two gunmen and placed them in their car, then took statements from everyone at the store. When Bill told them that the robbers were there on the hour, they were stymied. They said that Mrs. Avery called the station to report a robbery at the store. They were called to the scene at three minutes before the hour.


XI

     When the men returned home, there was a police car parked near the manor. They entered the living room and met a very confused police sergeant who was trying to make sense of the story.
     “Just exactly how did you know there was a robbery happening before it happened? The phone call from Mrs. Avery was logged in at four minutes before the hour.”
     “Officer,” Mr. Avery said, “we just came from the Brook Line. Is there anything we can do to help you?”
     “Yeah,” the sergeant said. “What are you people? Psychic?”
     “Actually, yes!” Rachael replied, smiling. “But I am not the one who told Mrs. Avery about the robbery!” She was way too pleased with herself. “Her daughter, Desdemona, gave us the message.” Mark moved closer to Rachael. He was really beginning to like her.
     “And just exactly where is your daughter?” the sergeant asked Mrs. Avery.
     “She is near Buíque, Pernambuco, in Brazil, on an archeological dig in the Vale do Catimbau National Park.”
     “Ya know,” the confused sergeant admitted, “the more I talk to you people, the less I know!”
     “Don’t try to figure it out,” Daniel offered. “It will only give you a headache!”


     A shimmering glow appeared near Mr. Avery. Desdemona greeted her father warmly.
     “Hello father! I’m glad you are safe!” Then to Kenneth, she said, “Hello little brother!” She turned toward Mark. “Thank you for helping my father and brother!” She noticed how close he stood next to Rachael. She raised her eyebrows, smiled, pointed at them with her index fingers, and moved them side by side.
     The stunned police sergeant stood with his mouth agape. Constance pushed it closed for him. Lyle stood with his arms crossed, just looking at her sideways.
     “You didn’t mention all of this before we got married,” he joked.
     “Yeah, I know,” she replied. “It wouldn’t look good to give your insurance agent a heart attack!”
     Desdemona faded back to her dig site. Mr. Avery and company eventually convinced the sergeant, and sent him on his way. Mark and Rachael spent a lot of time together for the remainder of the weekend. They would have another adventure together, but that is a different story.


All images are from
~Magickal Graphics~
except as noted

 
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« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 05:41:53 PM by noquiexis »
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