Inspector Bertio cautiously put his phone to his ear like it will explode, making a ruin of the unblemished building of the Police Department, Ingfalls, if he didn't employ ample care.

A mild voice, chock-full with supremacy, domination and authority spoke on the other end.

“I know for sure that your constabulary is very well aware of the case at Radford Glade - the disappearance of everyone present for Mr. Wadsev's promotion to CEO - a total of Seventeen individuals including Mr. Wadsev and his wife, and I'm also certain that radical actions are already being executed or formulated by the police force - but - YOU MUST HURRY,” the person on the other end paused, “and we expect a report from the Chief Inspector, personally, latest by Monday.”

“Okay sir -” Bertio replied like a programmed doll.

“And did I add that,” the voice subsided to a hush, “the press mustn't know about this. If they do, the Citizens of Ingfalls will, too, in no time, and it won't make things easier for anyone. Not the Press or the Police Force or even us here at the Chamber.”

Three beeps from Bertio's handset signalled the end of the call and once again, his attention was on the room with Sergeant Marger Whayte and Chief Inspector Eallric Hancey.

“Any ideas on what to do now?”

Marger asked no one in particular.

For about thirty seconds after, Eallric's office was soundless but for their racing heartbeats.

“How about you both go to Hunters walk to see what you can find. I'll head over to Radford Glade myself, just to see things and put down a few details needed for the report I'll submit.”

“But sir - how about taking a cop with you?” Bertio probed.

“Nah, I'll be fine. I'll go with a gun just in case things try to get messy. There are so many things happening and we barely have enough cops to contain them all. I can't take another off duty.”

With that, Eallric stood up and adjusted his belt that restricted the movement of his huge tummy, the two others stood after him.

“Well, see you both this evening,” Eallric said.

Sergeant Marger Whayte and Inspector Bertio Holex started heading towards the door before Eallric put in, “and do not hesitate to call in for Backup if events start Spiralling out of control. We wouldn't want to lose any of our finest men.”

None of them turned back but gave a series of nods till they were out of view.


Eallric sighed as he tilted the large map with one hand over and over and over again - to his left and right and left. He had circled Radford Glade on the map with a red marker before leaving his office because he didn't know its location and how to get there and that was why he was trying to find True North on the map which in his words, “had faded.”

His 404 zoomed along on the thin, extremely lonely and well twisted highway located on a remote hill with gorse bushes all around him, sometimes poking onto the road.

As he moved, a dark, thick, chunk of dust began accumulating reducing his visibility. He glanced at the side view mirror, there was no vehicle behind his and he was quite sure there was none at his front, too. He was all alone on the stretching, mountainous, narrow and empty lane of Haunted Hart (HH).

As he built pressure on the gas pedal, Eallric couldn't help but feel scared, and anxious.

He turned on his headlamps as the dark grime that had been coming together in the air had grown darker, keeping the blue sky and golden sun obscure.

Then a cold wind began blowing into the car and it wasn't cold mountain air rushing into the car as he sped along, it was different.

All of a sudden, the car screeched - disobeying his legs that were frantically marching on the pedal, and came to a halt in the middle of nowhere. Then his headlamps went off!

The engine came alive before going numb not less than a dozen times as Eallric clumsily turned on the ignition.

Then in fear, all alone on the dark highway, he crawled out of his car, folding his arms together to keep the cold wind that kept increasing in intensity away.

A menacing howl disseminated through the sky like a billion thunderbolts clapped together and Eallric jumped and crouched in panic - at the same time.

The wind increased, bringing tiny particles with it, and Eallric had to hold on to the car handle tight to avoid being blown away.

After a couple of threats to blow Eallric and his Peugeot 404 away,  the whiffs began to abate like a calming sea wave but the atmosphere remained just as dark.

The howl came again, not as loud as the first but loud enough to shake Eallric to his foundation.

Then as if the weather condition was being controlled by a switch, the air became chocolaty all of a sudden instead of close-to-pitch-black.

If Eallric had been told by an authentic soothsayer that he'd see what he did next with his eyes, he'd had refused to believe vehemently.

About four hundred metres from Eallric (on the side of the expressway he'd been coming from - farther from Radford Glade) was a man? No! Wizard? With a tipped black hat and robe that flew after him like a cape as he kept swinging in and out of reach of a beast? - skillfully, on a broom, at an incredible speed.

Eallric squinted his eyes, hoping to see something different, something real, something that'll be accepted by the society as being real, as being true, as being legitimate, accurate and exact, something those at the Chamber of Duties will accept as normal but unfortunately, what his eyes were feeding him at that moment, although was as real as life, was contrary to his beliefs or anyone else's.

He couldn't see what it was the enchanter was in a feud with clearly but he mananaged to see two heads, each with three horns that twisted in and out, about 20 inches long, and a tail with spikes attached to a large globule with wicked, gleaming skewers, something he would've sworn was a mere hallucination.

Then all of a sudden, a loud scream of “Invocasi Repelleos!!!” filled the air and a blazing, interwoven locks of green and blue energy shot out of his wand? And landed heavily on the creature possessing two heads, causing both the beast and the wizard to jolt backwards as the force of the spell was massive.

Like the  flame of a candle setting ablaze a forest, the spell began to grow bigger, and bigger, and brighter. It was almost like a Virtual Reality game to Eallric.

Then a howl erupted through the air - like the previous ones, before dying down to a slow grumble then - nothing.

The wizard sighed, bent his head, firmly gripped his hovering broom to avoid falling off and bent forward, relaxing his spinal cord followed by deep breaths that Eallric could decipher because of the highs and lows of his shoulder.

Then suddenly, he shot a sharp look in Eallric's direction.

The atmosphere was still very ginger coloured but the eyes of the floating, airborne figure was forest green with a gloomy shade of black in its centre.

A chilly shiver from Eallric's core extended to every part of his body. He didn't know if to stoop in adoration and rever the wizard or to run. He chose the latter and after a few scrambled actions, he was in Peugeot 404, pushing the key into the ignition which caused the engine to come alive instantly followed by his illuminating headlamp.

His tyres screeched and sprung into movement but what he'd seen wasn't the most puzzling part of it all for Eallric as he drove out of the clearing mist.

Still in a frenzy, Eallric stole a glance at his dashboard. Somehow, a few words had been etched on his dashboard and he saw it before it faded. The words said;

“DO NOT tell a soul, or else...”


The rest of Saturday and Sunday was uneventful for Gerey. Other than spending quality time talking to Mrs. Engow on Saturday evening, his mind kept reflecting back to the strange empty book (that could speak) when he got home.

Sunday was fairer to him though, he wore his very best attire to Church and the service was quite good although he had to fight off the urge to sleep way too many times (because Aunt Brione sat beside him on the long, uncomfortable bench of the Catholic Church), especially when Bishop Callrean was ministering from the magnificent pulpit.

In the evening, when the sun had gone down and the wind decided to play a bit, Aunt Brione's two friends - Enen Balle and Sarrey Gede came for their accustomed gossips and he had to serve them coffee, as usual.

Finally, it was Monday. The day Gerey Wysalt and Cwena Engow and Eallric Hancey had been looking forward to all weekend.

It was the day of their next history class with Sir Oswic, and the same day Eallric had to submit a report to the Chamber of Duties.

The eye of the gods that illuminated Wabrook from twilight to dawn vanished sluggishly as the sky went from being dark to pale blue then bright, welcoming the warm, soothing sun that heated up the land.

Of the household of three, Gerey was up first (before his alarm went off), picking out his crisp, over ironed long, snowy trousers and spotless T-Shirt accompanied by a (faded) sky blue robe - the usual Ingfalls High male uniform.

He looked around frantically, waving his red hair about then heaved a sigh of relief when he saw his shiny, polished shoes where he'd kept them the night before.

Within thirty minutes, Gerey was squeaky clean and his features were accentuated - ruddy hair, pink lips, white clean teeth (and fresh breath), a fair, equally toned skin.

Gerey checked the time on his watch, 5:27 a.m. He headed out of his room and strolled down the customarily dark corridor. He picked up pace when he heard a throaty groan that was unlike Aunt Brione and a muffled shriek of excitement, “I'm cumming!!”

He went to the kitchen and made for himself, Aunt Brione and Uncle Eallric a meal of Pancakes, with a topping of Jelly and two hard boiled egg for each individual. He was putting them in plates when someone cleared his throat behind him, “Up early? Someone's beginning to take school more seriously,” it was Uncle Eallric and he chuckled in between his words.

Hancey let a pancake slide back into where he'd been taking them from and he turned to look at Uncle Eallric, “Well, yeah. I realized that what I'll become later in life - directly or indirectly, has something to do with taking school very importantly, so...” he turned back and picked up the pancake, “'M making my teachers my friends, too. Geometry and Physics the most,” his nose puckered as he mentioned those dreaded subjects.

“That's great, I knew you'll begin to see reality for how it truly is now, I guess Cwena talked sense into you during the weekend,” he paused, “And I'm taking you to school today. I have to uhm - be at the Chamber of Duties - This morning, for some official activities.” Uncle Eallric rubbed the back of his head with a free hand. The other had the tube of  a toothpaste squashed in his grip.

“Chamber of Duties, huh? I didn't know the Police had things to do with them.” Gerey eyed Uncle Eallric doubtfully.

“There are many things you know, kiddo,” Uncle Eallric said, walking away from the piercing stares of Gerey, “and add an extra Pancake to mine. They look delicious. I'll be in the shower, telling Aunt Brione of how I made you love school!”

“You shouldn't tell me that!” Gerey said, irked with thoughts of Uncle Eallric and Aunt Brione in the shower together. Perhaps, it was their wedding anniversary cause they never did such.

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