Novelist and more.
Robert, Sam, and Raquel have stopped at a motel for the night, after agreeing on where they stand with each other and how Raquel’s supernatural powers work, they begin to settle down for the evening.
But Robert has some more baby steps instructions for them…
Once in the motel room, Robert informed Sam about the conversation between Raquel and himself. He explained how her power functioned unconsciously, working whether she wanted it to or not. The two of them described to Raquel what existed beyond the veil of normal human experience. Sam related his experiences at the school. Raquel told them, when she went to school and in orphanages, she sensed certain things with the adults and children in her proximity. Robert explained it was her guardian beehive protecting her. Sam described meeting Robert and their escape from the asylum. Finally, they came clean and told her why they needed to find this evil killer and stop it.
The men let her take her shower first so they watched the news. Robert became agitated after a few moments and asked her if she could place her pack in front of the television before her bath so he wouldn’t have to see the screen but Sam could listen. Robert could see beyond the veil even through the television screen.
She returned from the bathroom dressed in shorts and an over sized t-shirt with a picture of a Samurai from an old woodcut painting. Her hair dripped as she rubbed her hair dry with a towel. They agreed she looked better without the gothic things but to each their own; her style is her style.
As Sam went next, Raquel told them how good she felt after a hot shower for the first time in days and she was starving.
Sam emerged wearing his shirt half-buttoned displaying his paunch. They ganged up on him making rubber tire jokes.
When it became Robert’s turn, he suggested they both sit down for another lesson.
He sighed, “Okay, folks, this is another baby step. You’re about to see what my family has carried for three generations. I’m the third to carry it. It’s going to be a little weird to show you, so be prepared. Sam? You saw its glow when you saw past the veil so now you get to see it in the physical world.”
He unbuttoned his shirt.
Raquel whistled, “Yeah, free striptease!”
He removed his shirt and they gasped.
An inch wide scar ran from his sternum to his waist and a shocking raised brand, to the left of his heart, in the shape of a palm sized Ankh, beneath his clavicle made both of them squirm.
“What happened to you?” Sam asked.
He rubbed the raised flesh down his belly, “The scar is…from a long time ago, a childhood accident. This is the important thing though.” he placed his right hand over the Ankh brand.
Grimacing in pain, a sucking sound began, becoming a sickening, ripping noise beneath his hand.
Raquel yelled, “Stop it! What are you doing! You’re hurting yourself!”
“It’s the only way, and believe me it’s a lot easier than it was.” With a final sucking pop, he lowered his hand.
The brand scar now appeared like faded sunburn; he turned his hand around and held up an Ankh.
“Friends, this is the Key Signorum or ‘the key of miracles’. I call it the Key for short. At least that’s what it says on the thing.”
The Ankh measured six inches long and four inches wide. With an oval ring at the top, its base was wide being wider on the left and right side beneath the crossbeam. Robert gave the Key to Sam.
Raquel moved closer to examine it with him.
“It’s made out of amber. I see bits of Lapis in it. There’s bugs in it. What is it?” he gave it to her.
Robert rubbed his chest, “Ah, big baby steps now. The history of the Key by Robert Oliver Wilcox…part one,” he cleared his throat, “My grandfather found the Key during an excavation in Rome. It was imbedded in a piece of sedimentary rock he was examining. It isn’t naturally made, but according to my grandfather and father with extended examinations by myself; there appears to be no carving marks or striations to prove it was carved out in any way. I don’t know if you know how long it takes amber to form but it takes a very, very, very, long time. It also has an inordinate amount of insect life stuck within the amber as if a hive of insects dive-bombed right in the sap, which became the amber over time. The Lapis is not found in the area where my grandfather discovered it either.”
“How did it come out of your chest?” Raquel asked, “Or better yet, how did it get in there?”
He shrugged, “Well, I put it there.”
They made faces, “Why?”
“Well, it’s easy to carry, you would have to carve it out of my body to get it, and the closer it is to me the more of its power I can tap into.”
Sam frowned, “Power?”
“Well when you had the sight you saw how bright it was, because you’re, how to say this, you’re one of the good guys. The bad guys beyond the veil can’t see the light, don’t know why, don’t care why, but they do see my aura and they know I have power. But unless the Key is outside of my body, only creatures in this plane of existence can see it. That is if they had a rider the horse would convey the vision to the rider. Otherwise, to the dark side, the Key is invisible on our plane of existance.”
“What does it do?” Raquel asked.
He paced back and forth, “I haven’t found the limits yet. I believe it is where my unconscious suggestions for what I should do come from. From the creator. I do know its main purpose is as a key to open and close portals to other planes and function like a backup generator.”
“Portals to where?” Raquel asked, squinting into the depths of the Key.
“Well, let me rephrase. It’s a key to doorways that become either entrances or exits for creatures from negative planes into our world in physical form. The beings from positive planes come and go as they please here, because the Great Spirit allows it.”
Raquel gave it back to Sam, “Huh? I don’t get it. What’s the Great Spirit?”
Robert grinned, “I like the belief system the Native Americans had, so I say Great Spirit instead of God. Too many people use the word God too often when they speak, like cursing or exclaiming…” he shrugged, “…or sex. Anyway, further history of the Key by Robert Oliver Wilcox, part two. If you look closely at the insects in the amber, you’ll see they’re contorted and twisted in unusual positions. Believe it or not, they’re twisted into letters of Aramaic and Latin; or as close to the language of Christ and the Holy Roman Empire as you can get.”
They studied the insects but it just looked like dead bugs.
“I can see by your faces you can’t make heads or carapaces out of them.” He grinned again, “Trust me, they do form letters. The only place the insects form only Aramaic is around the loop of the Key. It says one thing on one side then the other side says something else, you can’t see one side from the other because of the cloudiness in the key itself. “
“What does it say?” Sam handed it back.
He indicated the insects, e “One side has the words to open a portal. The other side has the words to close the portal, which I guess is a really good thing. Who ever created it had their reasons for doing it. Still its best left in the hands of the Champions than in the Offenders.”
Raquel leaned back onto the bed, “Because the bad guys would just use it to let all the evil guys free?”
He winked at her, “You’ve got it. Now I have to put it back and take my shower. Oh, and about the pain? When I first learned how to do it, it was an accident. I was just trying to hide it, and yes, it hurt badly. Now it feels more like…popping your arm out of its socket.”
“What about your internal organs.” Sam asked.
“Doesn’t seem to touch, move or do anything to them, it just seems to go in and come out when I want it to. Hurts, but doesn’t seem to do anything internally. I don’t even feel it’s there at all. Here goes.” He placed the Key back on the sunburned area.
Robert grimaced, this time it sounded like a boot trying to suck itself out of deep thick mud, then it was over.
Raquel asked after a moment, “Does it still hurt?”
He caressed the raised impression, “Nope, just getting it in and out is the only part that hurts. Now if you don’t mind, I’ll go and bathe my putrid body of grime and decadence.” He adopted an English accent, “Pray good friends I shall return a better man, alas and see thee soon.” he laughed theatrically.
She nudged Sam, “You did say a mental hospital right?”
“Oh, a very mental, mental hospital.” He said loud enough for Robert to hear.
“Heathens! Heathens all!” He yelled from behind the bathroom door.
Later the three friends, as they were quickly becoming, first went to a mall, used Robert’s powers to access money from an ATM, which he seemed to know an account and code for, and bought Sam more casual clothes, slacks and a few dress shirts. Robert bought a few pairs of jeans and some hiking boots with a few plain blank fashionable t-shirts all in either black or white. Raquel bought mostly tight camouflage pants, tight workout leggings, shorts, a few baseball caps, oversized stylish shirts, some sports bras and undergarments. She also bought herself a pair of hiking boots and some good running shoes. They all bought one set of dress clothing, she bought a dress and some strapped high heels just in case they had to go somewhere nice. They made their way to a restaurant and at dinner. Eventually at ten o’clock, they made their way back to the motel. Raquel took the bed closest to the window by the front door; Sam took the other because Robert told them he was used to sleeping on the floor anyway after years in the facility.
Sleep came quickly.
To be continued…