Friday, April 25, 2014

Dublin Daes/Purple Roses Chapter Two


Kallista woke up to a dark room. The last thing she remembered was falling unconscious to the floor in Em’s hotel room. Now she looked around and found herself alone.  For a moment she sat with her heart thumping wondering if everyone had left her and headed home. It would not be the first time.  There was that incident at the LAX airport last month with the baggage claim roller coaster ride.
Wincing, she pressed her fingers to her neck feeling the open wounds.  It was all still blurry about how she came to get the sounds. All she could remember was a dream where she was alone in a park at night. The rest of it was faded from memory.
Weakly she got up and moved like an old woman towards the door. She had just about reached it when someone stormed through, thrusting the door open sharply. The door caught her in the face sending her wheeling backwards till she fell on the bed again.
“Huh, door must need fixing,” Daniel said as he came in with the others following close behind.
“Looks like Kal is still sleeping,” Noam commented, disappointed.  “I was hoping she would be awake by now so we could find out what happened. “
“Chances are one of my enemies chose Pendragon, knowing she is the weakest leak to give us a warning. We have gotten too close for their comfort.” Drew answered.
“To close to what? Are you going to tell us now?”  Adra asked then turned to Kal who was just opening her eyes again. “By the way, thanks for taking one for the team, Kal.”
Looking somewhat confused, Kal just nodded and smiled.
“Might as well tell them,” Em spoke to Drew grimly. “They’re already involved now.”
Sighing, Drew ran a hand over his thick hair and nodded his consent. “Fine, if you trust them then so will I.”
Emerald took a deep breath and paced the floor while the others settled in and waited.
“To put it simply, when I returned to Ireland this last time, I encountered…..something unusual. It was night and I was by myself, just walking the streets alone and thinking about…..things.” Em paused and turned away to try and compose herself.
No one said anything knowing she was remembering Chase. Taking a deep breath she turned back towards them.
“I was attacked that night, or at least I thought I was.” Em continued, “I had stumbled into a fight between two werewolves.”
Shock filled the room but Em pressed on, lost in the story of that fateful night.
“It was a fight between brothers, but at that moment I didn’t know. All I knew was that what I thought was a huge dog was attacking me. I was suddenly used as a human shield against Drew’s attacks. To my surprise he did not attack when the other werewolf grabbed me.  That’s when I took matters into my own hands. I’m a Purple Rose after all!”
"So what you are saying is that Drew and that other brother are….werewolves?” Robin asked incredulous.
Instead of answering Drew stepped back a little from them and morphed into a silvery werewolf. Gasps of shock and awe filled the room.
“DOGGIE!” Kallista clapped her hands delighted then rushed over to cuddle him. ”So cute!”
Drew quickly morphed back to his human self while Octaboona and Daniel tried to restrain Kallista. All of them had seen many things in their short life but nothing like this.
“Impossible!” Flame stuttered, wide eyed.
“Apparently not,” Gep managed to speak as he swallowed hard.
If it weren’t for the fact that Emerald vouched for Drew, all guns would have been drawn on him at that moment.
“Emerald was amazing!” Drew claimed with admiration, as he continued. “She whirled on my brother and punched him in the nose. He never suspected that a human girl could hold her own against the likes of him!”
“After that, Drew’s brother retreated. He uttered some kind of warning and took off. “ Em added.
"For a normal human Emerald is sure filled with fire.” Drew admitted with a smile. “She demanded to know what the hell was going on. I told her the same thing I’m going to tell you. There is magic in the world, particularly in Ireland. Right now there is growing dissention between magical races and war will be on us if we cannot stop it. I believe my brother is a major factor in this but I needed proof.”
“I stayed here longer to give him help with my expertise.” Emerald shared. “But I kept it to myself because I did not want you all to worry and to become involved.”

“But now your friend,” Drew gestured towards Kallista who was busy thinking up names for her “new pet” she was oblivious to anything else, “was bitten by a werewolf.”
That got Kallista’s attention fast enough.
“I’m gonna be a doggie too?”
Drew facepalmed.
"Do we get to put her down?” Flame asked hopefully. “She might have rabies.”
“No, unfortunately that won’t be necessary,” Drew answered, refusing to look at the girl who was practicing her barking.
"OK, what did I just say?” She asked Drew excitedly after a particularly loud yip.
"On second thought…” Drew muttered as the others tried to quiet Kal again.
“Because of your interference,” Em glared at Kallista, “We are behind now. Today I was going to go undercover in the business district.”
“There is a corporation there we believe is just a front for Deacon and his cronies.” Drew told them. “There is something going down there today. It may not be too late. I wanted to just take Emerald with me, but I will need to take Pendragon too, so that I can council her about what to expect when bitten by a werewolf.”
“Do they have books on that? Maybe; What To Expect When Bitten By Werewolves for Dummies?” Robin asked.
“No, but they should,” Drew muttered, and then spoke up. “For the rest of you, if you could keep an ear out, maybe at some of the pubs you visit. Just keep a low profile. Of course I know you already know that. However it feels better just saying it.”
“We’ve got this,” NJ assured him. “This is unusual sure, but we are trained to handle anything.”
As they went their separate ways, Kallista noticed it was dark out. She had slept the whole day.
“When will I change?” She asked once they got into Drew’s truck.
“Tonight,” Drew said keeping his eyes on traffic. “Your attackers really knew what they were doing.”
“I wish I knew what I was doing,” Kallista muttered while holding onto her neck.
“Just so you know, I am parking here, a block away from the building.” He said as he pulled into a parking space.  “Don’t leave my side Pendragon. The change will happen soon. Because of this we can only observe but not interfere if at all possible.”
“We’ve got a shadow at three o’clock.” Em said tersely.
Kallista looked at her watch. It was only nine pm.
“Great, what do we do until then?” She asked crossly.
Eyes rolled but before anyone could biff her, the daft girl bent over with a groan.
“It’s happening already,” Drew informed Emerald as he grabbed Kallista and darted into an alleyway.
“I’ll lose the shadow.” She spoke simply then strolled swiftly away.
Beside him Kallista bent and screamed between clenched teeth.
“As soon as the light of the moon touched you, you began to turn.” He informed her while keeping a watch out. “Just let it come. Don’t fight it.”
“I’m not gonna want to eat doggy biscuits or chase cars am I?” She spoke harshly between the pain.
“Chasing cars is fun!”
“What?”
“Just kidding. Now shut up and finish changing.”
“What about you?”

“I can change at will at anytime. I don’t need a full moon. I’m a pure breed. You are a mutt.”
“Well, that’s ruff!” She wheezed, managing to laugh in between gasps of pain.
When the change was done, Kallista resembled a golden Pomeranian puppy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dublin Daes/Purple Roses Adventure Part one


A somber mood settled onto the group of weary teenagers as they trudged silently through the streets of Dublin. Above, the afternoon sun was hidden behind gray clouds doing nothing to chase away the fog below or the worry of the small group.

Clutching her coat tighter, Kallista glanced shiftily about, taking in the vast array of pedestrians hurrying to and fro from the various shops. Feeling unsettled she tried to keep in between Adra and NJ, unable to shake the feeling of being watched. Yet when she looked around, there was no one in particular who caught her attention.

“Do you think Em is in Dublin?” She murmured in a low voice to Adra.

“Not according to our sources,” Adra patiently responded, not taking her eyes off their destination. “However, we are about to find out just where Emerald might be.”

Without missing a beat, Adra led everyone through the heavy carved wooden doors into the cozy yet elegant book store.

The proprietor, Gepard Valk stepped forward, a pleasant smile on his face that slipped a little when he saw Kallista.

With a sigh he motioned them all to the private back room, meeting the apologetic eyes of Adra.

“I’m sorry Sam,” She murmured, calling him by his nickname as she went by, “Kallista insisted on coming.”

“No worries,” He sighed. “I know how it goes when dealing with her.”

As he closed the double doors, leaving his trusted assistant in charge, his gaze went around the room at the select operatives who had come for the mission.

Of course Noam and Daniel were there together, Octaboona standing beside them.  Adra and NJ were trying to keep Kallista from upsetting the drink cart as she spun in the lush leather wheeled chair next to it. Purposely ignoring the happy squeals, Robin, Flame, and Reginald looked the other way.

They were a small group out of the entirety of the Purple Roses. There were many who Sam counted as friends who could not be there.  But he knew that help was finally there to seek a lost friend and fellow Purple Rose.

“In addition to Emerald missing, there have been some strange activities occurring during the nights here in Dublin.” Gep pressed on as he gestured for the tired and weary group to help themselves to the refreshments.

Listening, they settled in and took for themselves whatever Kallista had left behind.

“What kind of strange activity are we looking at?” Robin asked, her keen eyes focused on her friend Gep.

As the others looked towards him expectantly, Gep hesitated.

“It’s hard to explain…” He began slowly, “It’s something we have never encountered before in our previous cases….”

“Just spit it out Gep, quit stalling.” Flame snapped, impatient.

The two glared at each other long and hard even as Gep tried to come up with the best way to put it.

“Magic,” He finally spoke, so softly that everyone has to lean forward.

After a moment Kallista spoke, breaking the silence.

“You mean like LEPRECHAUNS?” she breathed out in wonder, “I should have brought my trusty cereal, Lucky Charms. They’re magically delicious!”

Once again everyone found themselves trying to ignore her as she attempted, over and over, to kick her heels together without much success.  Despite the loud thuds that occurred each time Kallista fell on her face, they managed to carry on.

“There are some things that can never be fully explained.” Gep said. “What happens here at night in this city is unexplainable. What I have seen is amazing. People have disappeared in front of me without a trace. I’ve been stalked by something that I barely got a glimpse of and it was not human.”

Noam felt the hairs on the back of her arms raise. She had known Gep a long time and he was never one to joke during serious situations such as the missing Em.

“People have been reported missing. So be careful when you are out there.”

A scream cut through the eerie silence like a knife. It was Kal and this time there was a look of fear on her face that replaced the usual stupid looking one.

“There was a face in the window, a huge hairy doggy type of face!” She burst out at their questioning looks.

“Impossible,” Adra said as she went to look out the back window Kallista was pointing crazily at. “We are at second story position here in the back with the alleyway behind this building. Look, see how the alley slopes downwards from a hill? It’s impossible for even six foot tall person to look in, much less a dog.”

“Even if they had a ladder, we would have seen the person by now.” Daniel spoke as he looked out the window next to Adra. “I don’t see anyone in either direction, Kal. You must be overtired from the flight over.”

“Sorry, I forgot that it had not been that long ago since you all landed in Ireland. “ Gep sighed wearily. “It’s best you head to your hotels and get settled in. I will be over later this evening and will tell you more. I have a lead on where Em is.”

“Tell us now, Gep. We won’t be able to get any rest till we know she is ok.” Octaboona spoke vehemently.

The rest of the group, minus Kal who was spinning in a chair, gathered around him and looked at Gep for long awaited answers.

“Fine then,” He brushed a hand over his head, as if to let out the stress that had been building for a long time.  “I’ve spotted her in the region of Killiney. There is a castle there, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel. Though it’s a fine hotel, there are not many people who visit there. It’s in the outskirts of the town, real desolate.”
“Not a good place for Em at such a time as this.” NJ frowned.  “But if she is safe then I will feel better.”

“Let’s just hope we can all convince her to come back,” Flame said. “As to what all this magic is, let’s just hope that it doesn’t get in our way.”

That night Kallista stood alone in her room, the only light came from the city lights outside. Shadows played along the wall, the only other thing moving besides her in the room. Yet she could not shake the feeling of being hunted. Even being on the fourth floor of the solid brick building did not give her a sense of safety. The usual muffled noise of evening traffic did not ease the growing fear. But even as it grew, she pushed it back and numbed it, willing it to be distant from her. That is what she always did when fear threatened her.  This time she was truly alone. There was no one who was with her who could help her.  Feeling detached she slumped against the side of the huge window and sank down to her knees.  Outside the wind was picking up speed, as if to warn against another rainstorm.  There were few people now outside braving the tempestuous night. Slowly her eyes drifted to the park across the way then darted back to the Green. A gasp escaped her as a huge dark shape seemed to have come out of nowhere, disappearing again into the small forest of the park.

“What the heck…” She sat up straighter, fear breaking through the false illusion of safety.

It was that same hairy dog thing she’d seen earlier.  By now she wanted to flee to the next room where Noam was and tell her, but she knew no one would believe her.

A sudden movement in the corner of her eye caught her attention. Standing just below her window, looking up at her was a tall man. She could not see all of his face, just his eyes. But they were mesmerizing.  Giddiness filled her and she rose then moved to the door to seek him out. It was her mission; she could feel it in her heart.  A few minutes later she was walking through the hotel foyer and stepped outside.

The next morning a quiet group met over breakfast in the hotel dining room. As coffee was poured and orders were taken, they noticed Kallista was not there.

“Where is that girl?” NJ wondered out loud, “We are supposed to head out soon.”

“I’ll go get her,” Noam volunteered.

“She probably got wasted on candy again.” Gep shrugged as Noam got up.

Just then, the ditzy girl they were all talking about rushed into the room. For a change she was dressed rather nicely with a pretty scarf tied around her neck.

“Sorry I‘m late!” she gushed as she sat down next to Daniel, pulling a startled Noam back in the seat with them. “I had the weirdest dream last night-“
“You can tell us on the way to see Em,” Gep interrupted her.  “We need to get going. I don’t like the thought of Em being on her own with all the disappearances I have been hearing about.”

Distracted by a plate full of French toast and syrup, Kal forgot about her dream.  Soon everyone climbed into the van and headed to Killiney.  

Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel was breathtakingly beautiful. Kallista could see why Em wanted to be there.  It was Octaboona who hacked into the Hotel security and found what room Em was in.

“Room 306, let’s go!” Gep spoke as he read over Octa’s shoulder.

As rehearsed, the Purple Roses meandered in as pairs or single, as if they were all separate from one another.  Then they met at Em’s room where Flame picked the lock.

NJ was the first to go in, signaling to the others to follow her when she saw Em was in her bed.

Stunned, they stopped at their first glance of Emerald. Not realizing anyone had come in, the girl sat alone at a table staring down into nothingness.

“My gosh!” NJ exclaimed, “Em looks as white as a ghost!”

Kallista came straggling in then only to hear the last part of NJ’s sentence.

Shock and dismay covered her face as she gasped. “Em’s a GHOST?”

Gulping nervously Kal hurried over to Em before anyone could stop her.

“Em,” She spoke kindly and gently, trying to keep her teats at bay ”You need to go into the light. Don’t be afraid.”

“What?” Em looked up startled. “Kal?”

“Yes, it’s me sister.” Kal was weeping now. “We have to say goodbye and let you go on into the light.”

“What the heck are you talking about?” Em’s voice rose in bemusement.

“OH MY GOSH!” Kal staged whispered dramatically as she whirled back to her friends. “Poor Em doesn’t know she is dead! We must help her!”

Now Em was standing and staring aghast at all of them.  Kallista took Em’s hands in hers and crooned softly. “Don’t worry Em, I will be your ghost whisperer and help you into the light. Just promise not to haunt me!”

“I’m not dead!” Em snapped, yanking her hand from Kal’s grasp. “What are you all doing here? I thought I had told you all I needed some time to myself!”

“Oh no….” Kal spoke lowly as she scurried away quickly, “This is where ghost Em is gonna go berserk with her head turning all away around and stuff. GET BACK EVERYONE!”

Grunting intensely, she dove behind a couch and clutched a make shift cross.

“Em is not dead!” Everyone shouted at the quivering Kallista who was still not quite convinced.

Uncertain, she hung back a bit, occasionally darting forth to softly poke at Em’s arm then jumping behind NJ to hide.

“We need you back Em,” Gep began as gently as he could but getting straight to the point, “It’s not the same without you.”

“Are you going to make us grieve you too?” Noam asked quietly.

“I see what this is,” Em spoke through a clenched jaw, “You are the intervention group come to take me back home like a helpless little girl!”

“Not at all, Em!” Kallista spoke up helpfully. “We want to take you home as a helpless big girl!”

For all her helpfulness all Kallista got was an elbow in the gut.  While she stoop over and puked her breakfast out in the corner garbage can, Noam tried to smooth things over for Em.

“We want you home yes, you’re our sister after all!”

Em turned away from them with hunched shoulders. “You were not supposed to find me.”
“Well, we are the Purple Roses, we can find anyone.” Daniel smiled, encouragingly.

“It’s just that…I can’t leave now.” Em confessed. “I have been grieving yes, but I am on a mission of my own.”

Everyone waited for her to tell them more but she stayed quiet.

“Well?” Gep asked, slightly annoyed.

“Well, what?” Em looked back at them innocent.

“Aren’t you going to tell us about it?”

“Nope.”

That was an answer no one took well, but Em ignored them as she walked into the bathroom to get ready for the day. An awkward silence lingered about while they waited. Finally Kallista spoke up.

“I’m feeling kinda funny today,” She complained, rubbing her neck.

“Well you look funny so that’s no surprise.”

Kallista was the only one to laugh.

“What do we do now that Em refuses to go home with us?” Noam asked, worried.

“I say we kidnap her!” Kallista growled.

Everyone ignored her.

“I say you go home without me and let me come back when I’m ready!” Em spoke as she came out of the bathroom.

“We are worried about you, Em” NJ spoke quietly.

Em’s frustrated look melted as she surveyed them. “Look guys, I’m into something deep here; it’s best you don’t get involved.”

“You don’t think we can handle it?” Flame asked defiantly.

“It’s not that,” Em spoke with exasperation, trying to explain, “It’s just that-“

A knock on her door interrupted her before she could finish and the door flung open surprising them all, except Em.

“Emerald! Your friends are here and we need-“  The man’s voice died down as he stalked in and saw them all. “It’s too late!”

He looked at all the Purple Roses intently finally settling on the sleeping form of Kallista. Used to her odd antics everyone ignored her except for the strange man.

“Who are you?” Gep asked the obvious question. “What is it you and Em need to do?”

Adra took one look at Em’s white face and knew it was not good. She was staring at Kallista.

“This is not good.” She spoke lowly as she moved towards the prone girl.

“It’s just Kallista,” Flame shrugged, “She is never good. We want to know who this dude is?”

“And what he wants to do with us,” Octa added.

“I’m Drew,” The man spoke without looking at them. Instead he took off the scarf Kallista had been wearing. “It looks like your friend was bitten by a werewolf. I came to late…. You never should have come.”