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   Chapter 28 Keeper of the Crossroads

Keeper of the Crossroads By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 9382

Updated: 2018-03-13 11:04


Chapter 28

The long shadows created by the evening light made the dusty store room seem a little foreboding. Instead of making due with just the over head light he turned on a few of the extra lamps to chase the shadows away. He was a little chagrinned that the extra light made him feel better about the space.

"I'll need to see the markings on the boxes, " he rationed aloud. Privately he hoped he wasn't getting to the stage where he wanted a night light. Jamie scanned the inventory in case any of the older journals were mentioned but couldn't find any. He picked a box at random, checked the numbers against the inventory. He smiled at the words Maps, assorted. Jamie pried the lid off and hoped that the maps would prove to be of some use.

Instead of finding the maps rolled as he expected, Jamie found a stack of maps, each with a sheet of archival paper between them. The maps themselves were more artwork than map and each had the name Alexander Fulton scrawled in the now familiar handwriting. In various parts of the maps, buildings had been depicted in great detail, nearly popping off the page while the map itself faded to the background.

Many of the places depicted Jamie had never heard of while others were familiar only from Albe's stories. He was beginning to realize that those stories were a different sort of fairy tale. Some of the names were familiar to him but he couldn't place why he found them so familiar.

"Perhaps I'll see them in my dreams, " he muttered, thinking of what he had been told about the training of a new Keeper. Jamie thought of all the new terms and names he had come across in the last few days. The house of the Fiery Lily, Stedovan, High Talbot Aldrous of the House Duval, the Gederan and the Federan, the Lustan, and Longrin of the Fedalas as well as Queen Genivia. All were things he looked out for as he carefully paged through the maps.

"After all who knows how long the Queen has ruled, " Jamie thought. The Lustan, it turned out had a page all of its own. There were roads leading to and away and they were marked only with arrows and numbers. For a moment Jamie stared at the numbers. 3, 6, 6, 9. They didn't mean anything to him taken in total.

"Except they are all multiples of three." Jamie leaned back from the page and took a broader view, wondering if the number three was significant. Each of the numbers was placed squarely in the center of what looked like roads leading away from Lustan.

"Maybe they are mile markers, " he thought. The two sixes were in opposite directions. According to the corner compass, they were the east and west roads. The two roads ran straight in opposite directions. The other two roads, marked with a three and a nine did not seem to be as carefully placed.

"Almost like they we

lead from the Keeper's house to the Lustan. "Do you think that is marked in miles or some other measurement?"

"Who drew these?" Del asked.

"One of my ancestors, " Jamie admitted.

"Human then?" Jamie nodded. "Then probably miles would work. It'd be different if it was one of us."

"So it might be walk-able, " Jamie said. He looked out at the lightening sky. "It is supposed to be a fine day."

"Would you want to eat breakfast and just pack a lunch for our trip out or do you want to eat breakfast while we walk?" Del asked. Jamie smiled.

"I think we can eat breakfast here, " Jamie said. "I still have to sketch out a portable version of the map, just in case we need it. Del nodded.

"I'll just get started then." Del returned to the kitchen while Jamie retrieved Albe's field map and began marking out the various components of Alexander's map on it.

"Hopefully this will lead to something more concrete about Albe, " Jamie thought. When he was finished, Jamie put the map aside and slowly began to stack the larger map squares up into a pile, careful to replace the archival paper between each page. Jamie then unrolled the carpet and began to put the furniture back in place. The scent of coffee and biscuits wafted from the kitchen and Jamie took a deep breath and smiled. His smile faded to puzzlement when he heard a car door slam.

"None of my visitors have driven cars." Jamie walked to the front door and saw his mother, brother and strange man exiting his mother's car. They hadn't seen him and his first thought was to duck back inside and pretend he wasn't home. He had done that before. However, this time he didn't think they would go home that quickly.

"And I don't have time for this, " Jamie said frowning to himself. He stepped fully onto the porch, shutting the door behind him and waited for them to notice him.

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