Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
The Truth Regarding Minerva ...
It is about 7:30 am the next day when Megan picks up both Katlin and Amanda to take them to the library. Billy is a bit suspicious regarding the entire affair.
“Dr. Farmer—Megan, why do you need to get Mandy so early. I could easily have dropped her off. In fact she could have navigated the trip herself. She’s good at taking directions.” Billy complains as he watches his younger sister hurry to the car.
“Billy, Mandy and Kate are helping me with a project that requires we proceed at this particular hour.” Megan informs Billy truthfully.
“I suppose you’re not going to tell me the nature of your excursion?” Billy is not quite convinced.
“Billy, you need to get ready for work. The research you are doing is vital to this project. Now, please—we’ve got to get going.” Megan replies, following Amanda to the car. Soon they are travelling down the road heading for Brampton.
“Was Billy giving you the third degree, Dr. Farmer?” Katlin giggles.
“You can drop the doctor for now, Kate. And yes, he is very protective of his sister. I can imagine your delight when he finally left to pursue his doctorate.” Megan shakes her head in empathy.
“Like I told you before, I’ve always been the inquisitive one. I’m the one to find out what’s needed and get things straight!” Now the trio is enjoying a hardy laughing session. It makes the time pass pleasantly and soon they are near the library. Megan speaks first.
“Just as I thought, the lady who calls herself Mrs. Fowler is there waiting for the Director to let her in.”
“I wonder why she comes so early?” Katlin asks.
“So she can be finished before it gets too crowded, obviously.” Amanda chimes in.
“Exactly.” Megan affirms. “She apparently doesn’t want to draw too much attention to herself. Mrs. Fowler knows an awful lot about the history of both Farris and Perthe. I’ve heard it said that when she discusses certain aspects of the area it’s as if she’s really there.”
“Mrs. Fowler is Matilda. No one ever knew the woman’s last name, did they?” Amanda calculates.
“Right again, Mandy. Your brother and Chelsea Darby told me a lot about you. Of course, being your brother, I just figured he was exaggerating a bit but when Chelsea kept insisting that I recruit you into the Secret Order—”
“You realized what a jewel you had. If I didn’t already have a firm position in the organization, I’d might be a bit envious. But Mandy, you’re incredible!” Katlin agrees completely.
“I hear that a lot.” Amanda retorts dryly. “Now what’s the plan?”
“I want you to go talk with her. If I approach her, she’ll detach my identity straight away and could be frighten off. Kate might be just a little bit too forward.” Megan smiles at her favorite Graduate Assistant.
“Thanks a lot.” Katlin frowns then smiles slyly.
“However, our Mandy here has a special connection with both animals and people—especially with animals. Mrs. Fowler—Matilda will sense that and relax somewhat.” And, with that explanation Amanda is off.
Amanda crosses the street and approaches the entrance to the library’s Civic Center. A very timid Mrs. Fowler turns to look at Amanda. She studies her face carefully. Amanda returns the stare with unblinking eyes. Slowly, Mrs. Fowler approaches the young woman.
“You know who I am?” Mrs. Fowler asks and Amanda nods. “You are not alone, are you?”
“No, I have Dr. Farmer with me and Katlin Washington. You know why we are here, don’t you?” Amanda stares deep into Mrs. Fowler’s eyes.
“So young, yet so powerful! Yes, I know what you seek, and it is a very dangerous mission.” Mrs. Fowler whispers as if she thinks she may be overheard.
“Minerva only comes out during the full moon and dwells in Destiny Forest.” Amanda rejoinders.
“Don’t speak her name.” Amanda notices an involuntary shudder from Mrs. Fowler. A moment later, the Director is there is let Mrs. Fowler in but before she moves, she scribbles something on a piece of paper and thrusts it into Amanda’s hand. Then she disappears into the building.
Amanda returns to the car and hands the note to Megan. It reads:
Room 146 when the center opens. We’ll talk—Matilda.
“This is great!” Megan exclaims. “I knew that she would sense your sincerity. She looks quite well, doesn’t she?”
“She doesn’t look as old as she should be, that’s for sure. Like someone in their late 50s. I wonder how she manages it?” Amanda queries.
“There must be something in that book that assists her. We have got to be extremely cautious. We don’t want to endanger her in any way.” Megan remarks as they impatiently wait until it is convenient to venture into the facilities.
There is a small crowd in one of the conference rooms where Matilda gives a brief lecture on some of the history of Farris, answering random questions. She notices Amanda and the others as they enter and find a seat near the back of the room. Thirty minutes later, Matilda concludes her final comments and prepares to return to her quaint little office. She is later joined by Amanda, Katlin, and Megan.
“Ladies, please have a seat. I have a special blend of tea made from hibiscus and lavender. It will put you in a delightfully relaxed mood. The four women sit together sipping the tea. Matilda opens a window slightly and a very pleasant breeze is ushered into the room. Finally, Megan speaks.
“Matilda, why did you assist Minerva in her evil plans?”
“Let me explain. I felt very sorry for the girl. After her sister death, she seemed so small and helpless. I didn’t know what to do, so I went to visit her, and we had a long talk. I agreed to help her resurrect the essence of her beloved sister Tabitha Jenkins.” Matilda takes another sip of her fabulous tea while the others patiently wait for her to continue.
“Tabitha returned looking very disturbed. She told us of how she found Raymond passionately involved with Brandi Wooden. She attempted to end the engagement, but he laughed—insisted that no one would want a plain, doughty woman other than for monetary gain. She slapped him, pulled the ring from her finger, and threw it at him. She ran and he ran after her. She lost her footing and slipped. She screamed for him to help her, but he just stood there staring at her. Suddenly, the earth gave way and she plunged to her death below the cliffs.” Matilda shudders some more and then finishes her tea.
“But the legend is that Tabitha told Minerva that she was pushed off the cliff by Raymond. He was telling the truth—he didn’t push her, nor did he try to help her.” Amanda is in shock at the realization.
“And this happened during the full moon?” Megan accepts another cup of tea after Matilda pours one for herself.
“Not only that but the rising of the Blauen Mondes!” Matilda announces.
“The Blue Moon?” The three women echo in unison. Matilda nods in affirmative.
“So, you didn’t turn Minerva into that avenging beast, did you?” Megan stands and walks over to Matilda. Matilda rises from her seat at the desk and looks at Megan.
“No.” The one word says volumes.
“And, knowing this you had to go into seclusion, with The Book.” Matilda now looks at Katlin.
“You still have strong ties with the community, so you assume an alias and give historical lectures regarding Perthe and Farris. Being on guard for your connection.” Amanda responds. “A young woman who will help you.”
“I knew you would be the one. The Voice told me to be on watch for you, Amanda!” An excited Matilda acknowledges.
“The Voice?” Katlin questions.
“The Stimme!” Matilda, Megan, and Amanda recite in unison.
“You know about the Stimme?” Katlin inquires of Amanda.
“She is the Chosen One to assist in the Canadian Wilderness! Her range is wide, but this is where she is needed the most.” Megan declares.
Where is Oracle of Behörde?” Amanda asks Matilda.
“The Stimme has hidden it. I am not obliged to state where, but it is indeed safe.” Matilda answers.
“But you are not. Amanda will accompany you to the Northern Plains. There you will be under the protection of Madame Zaire and above all, Вячеслав Возникают! Minerva, or whoever she is, will never dare go against him. Classes won’t start for another week. Amanda will have plenty of time to go and return. Matilda, you will go with Amanda. I command it!” Once again Megan invokes her supreme authority as Guardian of the Canadian Wilderness, and all are obliged to obey.
To Be Continued ...
The Darken Vessel: Minerva 6
- The Darken Vessel: Minerva 6
In the midst of the calamity facing the Canadian Wilderness towns of Perthe and Farris, Jenny Hamilton is facing a crisis of her own. Matilda has fled the Northern Plains for asylum while the Hamiltons are about to come to grips with their nemeses!
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS