They knew where the new center was, of course. Marius worked it out as soon as he had the Curse Keeper’s three significant points, on the same day he worked out the spot in the pond, but he had to be seen figuring it, or someone nasty might figure out more than we wanted them to know. He considered flying the whole pattern, just to make sure, but decided not to put such a temptation in the way of the unpleasant.

Marius was fairly certain that he could avoid, evade, or escape any attempt to capture him, but there was not much he could do against a rifle with a scope. Neither Mrs. Hillary nor Dennis Yates would get any power from such an act, but it might go a long way toward relieving their feelings. The bother and inconvenience of getting shot was definitely more than an additional bit of theatre was worth.

On his way out, Marius passed not far above Special Agent Whitfield, where he stood outside the remains of Mr. Sallus’s house. More of it had collapsed since the initial damage, and there was talk that the remains would be demolished as unsafe. Though Marius passed almost directly behind the man, the FBI man turned his head in an almost owl-like manner and called out, “Marius, I would like to speak to you.” It felt rude, but Marius kept going without hesitation. They could probably trust that the Special Agent served on the side of right and justice, but still… ‘Probably’ just was not good enough with the stakes as high as they were. Maybe they could engineer another opportunity when Magnar, Maximus, and Marius could all see what the man wanted together.

Marius settled into his sheltered thinking spot under the empty church roof. He made a great show of staring off in the directions of each of the relevant homes in series. Then he flew twice around the steeple, and headed out again.

The new center lay in the empty church, of course. It is true that the building had never housed a congregation, but the thing that makes the difference between a church and any other building is the consecration, not the decor, and everyone called it a church. It should suit well enough in the minds of people like Mrs. Hillary and Dennis Yates.

Marius flew home by way of the East Wood Haven. There was no sign of the mid-sized sedan with government plates, or any other unusual activity in the area. They only had three more days until the plan would either succeed, or the whole world would fail. It is amazing how very long the month grew in those final days when they had no attacks or upsets to fill the passing time.

Marius arrived at the house to find something of a party attitude reigning in the place. The ladies reacted to the growing tension by turning on some music, and really pushing the boat out in the kitchen. With D/OG around to serve as interpreter for Magnar and Maximus they were all telling stories and jokes and dancing around the house. Marius was not the type to plunge into the middle of things, but he knew a great many stories to share, and sometimes had a delightfully dry wit that snuck in from the shadows and tickled the mind when one least expected.

When life weighs most heavily, there is nothing like friends and family to ease the gravity of the situation for a while.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s