The Darken Vessel: Minerva 3

Updated on July 1, 2020
Jacqueline4390 profile image

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

The eyes of evil ...
The eyes of evil ...

Getting Settled In ...

After a restful night, Amanda is ready to face the uncertainties of a new day. She goes into the kitchen and is greeted by a cheery Julia.

“I’m so glad you’ve come to stay with us, Mandy.” Julia replies, giving her sister-in-law a hug.

“So am I. That was some story about Minerva Jenkins. I guess Billy told you about our encounter with our Great Aunt Emily?” Amanda replies while finding herself a seat on one of the breakfast bar stools.

“Yes indeed and I find it even more fascinating than Minerva’s Tale. Imagine, you facing an avenging spirit at the age of 11 years. You must tell me every gruesome detail—and don’t leave anything out!” Julia insists as she brings pancakes along with link sausages, sliced fruits, and freshly squeezed orange juice to the table.

“Just hold on while I get the maple syrup and butter.” Julia adds as Amanda hops off the stool to find an appropriate seat.

Amanda and Julia spend the next few minutes smacking away at their breakfast while listening to an oldie “Summer Breeze”—Seals and Crofts.

That is such a together tune.” Julia says dreamily.

“Yeah, it’s like from another time when the summers were more laid-back. Do you think we’ll ever get back to such an era, Julie?” Amanda questions.

“I think it’ll be more on an individual basis than an era like back when that song was popular, Mandy. Each generation seems to creep further away from serenity and closer to sedition.” Julia remarks sadly.

“When the status quo has one group of people complacent over another—that group is satisfied. However, when the afflicted group decides to rebel, then you have disruption and chaos. Now, please tell me about what happened to you in Maple Groove.” Julia is most anxious to change the subject to something more entertaining.

“Well, it all started with Clarissa and me going to Greenburg’s Boutique to get a Ouija Board—” Julia breaks into the conversation holding a sausage link in mid-air.

“Your folks let you buy a Ouija Board? My mom would have skinned me alive for doing that.” Julia exclaims laughing.

“Hey, mine too. We were smuggling it into the house by way of the attic.” Amanda recalls.

“Oh ... well go on!” Julia encourages while Billy grabs one of their takeout plates, piles it with hotcakes, sausages, and fruit slices. He fills his thermos with Julia’s rich decaffeinated brew and heads for the door.

“Just a minute, Mr.—” Julia rises from her chair, plants a firm kiss on Billy’s lips and then returns to her seat.

“Ugh, this is why I wanted to live alone. So I don’t have to observe things like that!” Amanda mimics disgust, much to the amusement of her older brother.

“You know sis, you act more like you’re twelve instead of twenty-one.” Billy teases.

“That because living with mom and the rest of you guys I was so sheltered until I figured I’d be receiving Social Security before I was able to leave home.” Amanda corrects Billy.

“Anyway, have a good day you two. Amanda, you’ll be having a busy day tomorrow. Besides registration, you’ll be meeting Dr. Megan Farmer.” Billy reminds her.

“Dr. Megan Farmer?” Amanda squeals. “Chelsea Darby told me all about her. She’s a lycanthropic being!”

“Yes, and not by choice. Her story is both sad and exciting. Now if you don’t mind Billy, Mandy is going to give me her version of what happened during the Emily Gordon encounter.” Julia gives her husband a wave of the hand and devotes her full attention to Amanda; both tapping notes on her phone and scribbling down on a napkin until it is completely covered.

“This is going to make a terrific mystery!” Julia cries.

“”Are you going to change the names of the characters?” Amanda wonders.

“Of course I am—you’ve heard of based on a true story haven’t you.” Julia teases.

“Of course.” Amanda retorts.

“That’s what this is going to be. I can work on this tomorrow when Billy takes you to the university and the other errands. Then starting next week, you’ll be on your own to traverse the town. It won’t be that difficult and Brampton is a straight shot.” Julia rejoinders.

The remainder of the day is spent in throwing out Amanda’s old clothes and replacing them with new even more stylist items. Mandy feels as if she has won the sweepstakes and Julie is having the time of her life as well.

The Micro-Biophysics and Genetic Medicine Foundation ...
The Micro-Biophysics and Genetic Medicine Foundation ...

Finally Meeting Dr. Megan Farmer ...

Early Wednesday morning after a hardy breakfast, Billy takes his youngest sister to the Algoma University to register for classes, a tour of the Life Science and Environment facilities and a robust orientation session. Many of the professors who taught Billy’s graduate curriculum remember him and are delighted that Amanda will be beginning her master’s studies there.

“Your brother was one of my best students and with what I have heard about you, I am sure you will be also.” One professor replies.

“I’ll definitely agree with that!” It is Dr. Shirley Crenshaw. She was once a full-time research assistant and an adjutant professor, now she co-chairs the new Micro-Biophysics and Genetic Medicine Foundation which is housed at the university.

“Dr. Crenshaw, thanks for taking the time to visit the orientation session!” Billy retorts excitedly. “I wasn’t sure you’d be able to make it.”

“My pleasure, Dr. Gordon. Besides, I’m happy to escort you and your sister Amanda to Dr. Farmer’s office. She is most anxious to meet Amanda.” Shirley informs him and the three head toward the complex.

Amanda looks around in excitement at the uniquely structured building which seems to stand out from the others. Her degree interests are in Environmental Science and she wonders where she will fit in with Dr. Farmer’s discipline. As the door opens, she is about to find out.

“Please, come in.” Megan responds as the trio stand erect at the entrance to the office. A large tray of bones are placed on the cadenza as if they have been consumed by a very hungry carnivorous animal.

“Did you enjoy your lunch?” Amanda queries as she walks over to the tray to inspect the bones—there is very little meat left.

“You are a very astute young lady.” Megan replies as she walks over to where Amanda is standing. The young woman turns and faces her, looking straight into her eyes without blinking.

“If this is going to be a face-off, Billy and I can come back some other time.” Shirley replies and the contact is abruptly broken.

“Fascinating!” Is all Megan can say as she motions her hands to imply that everyone should be seated.

“You and your brother have had encounters with a lycanthropic spirit. However, your dominance of the situation is extraordinary—and at such a tender age. There is much I will be able to teach you!” Megan is completely satisfied.

“Shirley, before Billy has to leave for the Research Center at the Weinberger-Hawkes Laboratories, I want you to discuss with him our Special Project.” Megan informs her not taking her eyes off Amanda.

“I don’t know that I like the way you are observing my sister, Dr. Farmer. I mean no disrespect—” However, Amanda intervenes.

“You have nothing to worry about, Billy! Believe me, I am perfectly safe here with Dr. Farmer and besides—she’s already had her fill.” The response surprises both Billy and Shirley but delights Megan to no end.

“You heard her, scoot!” Megan retorts laughing.

To Be Continued ...

© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS



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    • Jacqueline4390 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS 

      7 weeks ago from Memphis

      Amanda is a complete surprise to Megan!


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