Who's Afraid of the Darkness 11
It’s A Beautiful Morning …
Jo awakes early the next morning, feeling better than she has since the problems first begun in Madisonville.
“Good morning, dad.” Jo says cheerfully and both Jacolby and Jenny look at her in surprise.
“You are feeling exceptionally cheery this morning.” Jenny replies.
“I had a very pleasant night’s sleep. I don’t remember what I dreamed but it ended up on an extremely positive note.” Jo answers and receives a knowing wink from Henry Hamilton.
“What’s going on with you two?” Jacolby questions.
“Nothing at all Jacob. Can’t I look happy to see my goddaughter?” Henry offers in a way of explanation.
“I think something is going on.” Jenny retorts looking from her husband to Jo. “Care to elaborate?”
“No.” Henry tells his wife—Jenny taking the cue drops the subject. She knows that when the time is right, Henry will explain everything.
“What’s for breakfast, I’m starved. Must be this clean country air.” Cody replies smelling bacon cooking on the grill along with fluffy pancakes and eggs. “Nothing like country living.”
“It’s not hard for a man to get used to this type of living. There aren’t too many chefs that can cook as well as our Barbara!” Henry brags.
“I think our Sophia can give her a run for the money. Not to put any reflection on your culinary abilities Barbara, just saying.” Jacolby recites in good-humor.
“Well—just eat hardily. Madame Zaire will definitely put you through your paces. Having a nourishing breakfast under your belt will make all the difference.” Explains Jenny.
Everyone is quiet as they enjoy the meal. There are fresh fruits, homemade pastries, and juices along with the other items. Cody and Jacolby gleefully accept seconds in everything while Jo and Henry seem exceptionally delighted in the slice hams, turkey bacons and beef sausages. They all seem to be at the table a little over an hour when Henry finally speaks.
“It’s time we make our way to the Perpetual Forest. I think taking the foot-path will be profitable for all of us—especially Jacob and Cody” Henry laughs.
No one argues as each individual slowly pushes him/herself from the table and follow Henry down a very pleasantly long dirt road. There is a wonderful peacefulness that engulfs the entire area and Jo can’t help but remark regarding this fact.
“This is such a tranquil place.”
“It hasn’t always been like that. When that witch Viktoria was alive—things were nothing short of a nightmare.” Jenny states.
“Darling—let’s not bring up unpleasant memories. Our purpose here is to help our friends with their problems.” Henry admonishes.
“You are right, dear. I’m sorry.” Jenny apologizes.
“Well, we are almost halfway there everyone. Madame Zaire still enjoys her lovely celestial surroundings in the late spring and summer months but when the first traces of winter shows itself; she becomes the guest of the Hamilton Lodge. As you can imagine—our colder weather can be pretty brutal, even in the Perpetual Forest. But, it’s extremely beautiful when the frost kisses it.” Henry smiles.
It’s about 45 minutes before the troupe reach a small clearing. Madame Zaire looks very excited as the Hamiltons approach her home along with the Albrights. Finally meeting the descendants of Вячеслав is a high honor.
“Welcome to the Perpetual Forest and my home, worthy descendants of Вячеслав. Your presence is hailed as the morning dew is revered after a hot tropical night!” Madame Zaire proclaims. “And now you enter a new phase in your life!”
The Training Begins …
Madame Zaire is dressed in ceremonial costume and has like garments for her guests. Jenny helps her distribute the apparel and they enter the lovely cabin to change clothes. Soon, each member of the group returns wearing their individual garment. A special chair is brought out of the cabin for Henry Hamilton. Both Madame Zaire and Jenny stand on either side of him.
Jacolby along with his twins stand before them and Madame Zaire speaks.
“When the lessons have ended you will possess: the speed of
Чика the Cheetah, the wisdom of Эхуань the Eagle, the strength of Эхуань the Bear and the courage of your ancestor, Вячеслав. And now let us begin.”
Jenny goes into the cabin and returns with three incense containers. Each one is a beautiful color and gives off a special, exotic aroma. She hands the first one to Madame Zaire.
“I call on the Spirits of the North, bring to us Чика to do your bidding.” Madame Zaire requests. There is a wisp of warm air and the faint sound of an animal. The next instance, Чика appears before them. She first sees Henry and bows her head slightly—then approaches Madame Zaire.
“I was in pursue of my dinner when I received your summons.” Чика states.
“I do apologize, but your services are needed by Вячеслав!” answers Madame Zaire.
“Very well—let us begin the training.” Чика responds.
Each member of the Albright family is led deep into the forest by Чика and is taught the ways of the cheetah. How to be subtle when approaching the prey and soon the chase begins. As expected Jo possesses the sped equal to Чика and is able to sustain it the longest.
“Truly—the blood of Вячеслав flows freely in your veins.” Чика compliments Jo after the completion of her training before returning to the pursuit of her meal.
Next, Эхуань the Eagle appears. Эхуань is a beautiful as well as majestic animal and is larger than any eagle the Albrights have ever seen. Again, each member of the Albright family is led deep into the Perpetual Forest and upon returning has acquired the new attribute. With the completion of Jo is herald as being the best student—but this knowledge is only revealed to Jo alone.
Эхуань is the Guardian Bear of the North. Her fur is a brilliant white and her teeth are extremely large. Bruna is a fierce looking creature who becomes both submissive and subdued when in the presence of Вячеслав in his human form. She speaks.
“I have been summons and I will do your bidding oh Вячеслав great and powerful monarch of the North!” Эхуань replies. “Greetings to Madame Zaire and the mate of Вячеслав!”
Эхуань walks up to each of the Albrights and looks distinctly at Jo. She nods her head in respect—the same way that she does to Вячеслав. “This one will be returning to our Northern Lands when her assignment is complete. Her name is Принцесса Гардиан meaning Princess Guardian.”
Jacolby looks from Вячеслав to Эхуань. He is a bit dismayed at this revelation but Cody is filled with pride.
“Fear not, Jacolby my friend.” Henry begins. “Your daughter will be in excellent hands and is always free to visit you and Cody in Madisonville. She is truly a Guardian of the North!” Henry proclaims. “Now—on with the training.”
To Be Continued …
Who's Afraid of the Darkness 12
- Who's Afraid of the Darkness 12
The Albrights have been equipped to face any Therianthropy threat! They will be a vital element in restoring the balance in the universe. In the future, they will be known as The Magnificent Marvels!
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS