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The Darken Vessel: Minerva 14

Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!


The Calm Before the Storm …

It’s noon when Amanda finally stirs out of bed. Rubbing her eyes, she lifts up the venetian blinds and glimpses through them. Then, she sighs.

“Looks like the better part of the morning is gone. It’s a good thing that I don’t have any classes scheduled for today until 3:00 pm.” Amanda murmurs to herself aloud.

There is a light vibration coming from her nightstand. When Amanda observes the display—it’s Henry.

“I kinda felt that you’d be sleeping in after last night. How are you?” His husky voice sounds extremely inviting to Amanda.

“I’m well—thanks for asking. Katlin has already left for classes and I’m not sure where Cami is.” Amanda replies looking around the room.

“She is probably enjoying her new body. Before the tragic circumstances that led to her becoming the Stimme—she was Lycanthropic. A beautiful Norwegian cat very similar to Cami. That’s why she was so happy for the transformation.” Henry explains.

“Tell me, what did she look like as a human?” Amanda is more than anxious to know.

“She reminds me of you a lot except that you’re a strawberry blonde and she’s a golden one. You’re both a delight to have around. In fact—Arnaud was quite taken by her.” Henry confides.

“From what Megan tells me, Arnaud is a very hard-core Lehner.” Amanda remembers one of the conversations she had with her mentor.

“She is absolutely right. However, there was something about that particular feline which more than ruffled a few of his feathers. And now you have put them both on a path of renewed interest.” Henry declares.

“Wow, I knew it! It seemed like more than just a coincidence that I purchased that tabby from Brad Willis, Do you suppose—” Amanda questions.

“I wouldn’t be surprised. Vlatka has been known to dip her fingers into the affairs of mortal men when it suits her purpose.” Henry recites not realizing just how much this reality has had an effect on his own life.

“I’d love to chat with you all day, but I’ve got an afternoon class that starts at 3:00 p.m., Hank. Then I am meeting with Ethan, Megan, Cami, and Katlin. We’ve got to do something about Демон. When he decides that my sister-in-law is of no further use—” Amanda inwardly shutters.

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head regarding this ever happening, honey. It’ll be alright. We’ve got a member of the Enlighteners watching Billy’s place plus Ethan has explained some important things to him. When Megan bestows to him the necessary item—Демон’s hold on Julia will be greatly lessened.” Henry reassures her.

“That’s good to know. I had no idea that there was such a vast network of Enlighteners. It is definitely a secret organization.” Amanda marvels in admiration.

“And it is imperative that it be kept that way. We don’t need any interference from the ‘good intentions folk’.” Henry chuckles.

“Hank, what about the Oracle of Behörde?” Amanda wonders.

“The book is in a safe place. Cami and I are the only ones who know where it is. When the time is right—after you have disposed of Демон, we two shall permanently close der Riss.” Henry pronounces.

“Once the Rift is closed, then the only way that anyone from Behörde can enter the Reich der Sterblichen (Realm of Mortals) is through Das Portal des Äußeren Reiches—that passageway?” Amanda inquires.

“Yes, that is the only way. There are only a few who can invoke Das Portal—Vlatka, Cami, Вячеслав and soon you, dear Prefix Delma!” Henry answers with a small hint of pride.

“Me?” Amanda questions.

“Yes. This is all I can tell you at present. Now prepare for your classes and your meeting. We will speak again very soon, my Love.” Henry ends the call.

For minutes Amanda stares at the phone. Then Cami enters the room.

“You have been speaking to Henry Hamilton?” Cami guesses.

“Yeah, sometimes he’s a puzzlement to me, Cami.” Amanda confides.

Even before she was known as the Stimme, Cami was a lovely Lycanthropic humanoid of the Northern Lands!

Even before she was known as the Stimme, Cami was a lovely Lycanthropic humanoid of the Northern Lands!

“How so?”

“He says that I will be one of the four individuals who will have the ability of opening Das Portal. I know that I possess the ring and all, but what I don’t understand is why I am given the exalted honor along with the three of you?” Amanda gives Cami a quizzical stare.

“Soon everything will be crystal clear. In the meantime, go take a shower and I will patrol my new territory.” Cami declares.

Amanda does as the feline suggests and is soon on her way to her classes at Algoma University. The classes proceed without incident and as she moves toward her borrowed car Katlin approaches.

“I’ll go with you to return the car to Billy.” Katlin offers.

“Return the car—did he request that I do so?” Amanda is confessed.

“No, it’s just that you have a new one.” Katlin couldn’t contain herself.

“I have a new car? What’s going on?” Amanda demands.

“Henry felt that it wouldn’t be a good idea for you to continue to use the car that actually belongs to Julia. No, Billy didn’t ask for it back. However, the fact that it belongs to her—”

“I think I understand.” Amanda replies shaking her head. “That Демон must be a pretty powerful renegade. However, I do possess the ring.” Amanda reminds Katlin.

“That protects you and those close to you. It does not protect the possessions of others. Especially the one who is under Демон’s influence.” Katlin says.

“You’re pretty good.” Amanda admits grudgingly.

“I have a good teacher. Now let’s get that vehicle back.” Katlin retorts.

“Sure, but maybe Cami would like to come along.” Amanda gives her friend a deviously grin.

“Oh you little troublemaker!” Katlin exclaims, returning the smile.

When the two young women reach Katlin’s condo, they find Cami sitting serenely on one of the wicker chairs facing Helen Austin. Helen rises when she sees the two cars.

“This cat of yours is fascinating! It’s like she understands every word I say.” Helen informs the women.

“Yes, Cami is extraordinary. She has become a very vital part of my life.” Amanda confesses and the moggy leaps off the comfortably cushioned chair into her waiting arms.

“Is she a good mouser?” Helen inquires. Cami then bounds to the porch again and strolls over to the woman, looking into her eyes.

“No need to answer.” Helen decides.

Both young ladies enter Amanda’s vehicle. There’s no need for Katlin to take her car. Cami sits quietly on the front seat with Amanda while Katlin relaxes in the back. Soon, they are cruising down the road toward Billy’s home.

“You do realize that it won’t take long for Демон to discover who I really am? And you can believe that this will not sit pretty with him.” Cami warns.

“I know it won’t! At any rate, I don’t think he’ll give either of your true identities away, Cami.” Amanda responds.

“No, he’ll just bristle up something fierce to get us both out of the house, which is just fine with me. I can’t help but feel sorry for Julia though.” Cami rejoinders.


“Because she is really going to miss that son-of-a—”

“Cami, please!” Amanda laughs so hard that she has trouble steering the vehicle.

To Be Continued ...

The Darken Vessel: Minerva 15

  • The Darken Vessel: Minerva 15
    Great Aunt Emily was exiled to долина невозврата for her everlasting punishment. It would seem that a far worse fate is in store for Демон as the Vorabend des Vollmondes—Eve of the Full Moon approaches.

© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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