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   Chapter 43 Keeper of the Crossroads

Keeper of the Crossroads By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 11456

Updated: 2018-03-13 11:12

Chapter 43

After breakfast Jamie laid out his plan to Del, who agreed to act as Jamie's living anchor with a bit of amusement showing on his face. Jamie shrugged it off and led Del to the closed basement door. Jamie frowned at it for a moment. It looked exactly as he had left it the night before.

"Could you try opening it again?" Jamie asked Del. Obligingly, the small man stepped forward and turned the doorknob. It turned, but the door would not open. Del flipped the lock and made certain it was not stuck and then tried again with the same results. He stepped away with a shrug. Jamie, a frown still creasing his forehead, reached forward and turned the door knob. The knob turned and the door swung open. Del's eyebrows shot up and the amusement that had tinged his features before disappeared.

"I'll go in first, " Del said, stopping Jamie with a wave of his hand when Jamie tried to start down the stairs. "I'll be the first down the stairs so if there is a nasty surprise the basement can't lock me out once you are inside. And on the way back up the stairs you will be the first out with me following behind so that again the door can't close with me on one side and you on the other."

Jamie nodded admitting that the plan seemed sensible. He didn't want to become a permanent fixture in the basement. Somehow he didn't think the house actually planned to eat him, but he had seen enough horror movies that knowing he wouldn't be the last to leave the basement gave him some measure of comfort.

'Conditioned by Hollywood, ' Jamie thought as he followed Del down the stairs. 'Or wherever the B-movie capital of the world is.' The basement was the same as yesterday. As it contained no movable objects, Jamie couldn't see how much would change. There was still no dust and the sense of waiting seemed the same. Jamie closed his eyes a moment. It was almost the same. It felt a little more ... excited than it had the day before. As if it had higher expectations than earlier. Jamie frowned and opened his eyes. There was still no sense of menace. Del watched him expectantly.

"It feels the same as yesterday, " Jamie said aloud. "Like it is waiting, but without any malice." The words were no sooner out of his mouth than the basement seemed to change. Jamie stepped away from the center of the room and Del followed. Jamie couldn't put his finger on exactly what had changed at first. It felt as though someone had taken a deep breath or there was a slight pressure change, but nothing dramatic. Del was frowning now and looking around him. There was a light breeze that swirled around the room.

'Or at least it feels that way, ' Jamie thought realizing he could feel the wind but neither his or Del's hair or clothes were moving as they would in a wind. The hair on the back of his neck stood up and Jamie rubbed at the goose bumps that had risen on his arms. The light from the flashlight seemed to dim and Jamie realized it was because a window had appeared in the wall and sunlight was streaming into the basement.

Slowly Jamie's eyes scanned the room. The edges of furniture appeared and became more solid as he watched. A shadowy form became a table. The table solidified and Jamie could see bowls, such as the ones Del used in the kitchen scattered around. One had a rounded lump rising from the center and was covered with a dish cloth.

'Bread dough?' Jamie t

mixing bowls.

"Do you think the two of them could share for the ritual?" Robin asked. "They've never been keen on sharing before."

"Terrell does not share power. Nor do any of his kin, regardless of which House they stand with. If they are willing to share the space it is because they have reached an arrangement, perhaps pooling both sides of the power of the lune merdos rite, giving them the power drawn by light and the power drawn by dark. As neither is willing to say what the power raised will be used for and both Houses fatten the ranks of the Brotherhood of Shadows I am loathe to see either of them in possession of it. I have the feeling it would not bode well for the rest of humanity and would thus violate the agreement. Still if I had to make a choice between them, I would go against Terrell in this. There is nothing but malice for humanity in him."

As Jamie listened, the Keeper's words began to fade away. When he finished speaking, Jamie could see Robin's mouth moving in comment, but could no longer hear the words. The items in the room also seemed less substantial and he realized that this vision, or whatever it was had reached its conclusion and was fading away. The scene began to fuzz around the edges. The light from the window faded. In a blink Jamie was staring at the empty basement illuminated only by the beam of the flashlight. The sense of waiting had vanished with the scene.

The basement was now just a basement. Jamie turned to Del. The smaller man's eyes were wide and he was breathing fast. Jamie touched his shoulder and Del started as though he had forgotten Jamie's presence. As Jamie had forgotten him while he watched the scene unfold, he figured it was only fair. Jamie tilted his head towards the stairs, not really wanting to say anything just yet. Del nodded and gestured for Jamie to precede him. Jamie walked up the stairs, Del following. They left the basement with no problems and Del closed the door behind him, turning the lock to secure it.

"That was certainly interesting, " Jamie said. Del looked at him and shook his head.

"Human magic is very strange stuff indeed. I think I need a bit of a sit down after that." Del said He headed towards the kitchen as if seeking a more familiar realm.

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