Living with Spirit Girl
Father was rushing out the door when he stopped, then said, “Yes, Usara, Blake’s here. Hello Dorothy.”
I turned hearing the sound of the young lady say, “Hello Mr. Manwell. My father is wanting to take Blake and me to the zoo. Is that all right?”
“To the zoo?”
It was Mr. Tork that said, “Yes, if you don’t mind. It is Friday, and Dorothy says that she and Blake do not have any tests until next week. I felt the zoo would be more educational and entertaining way of them spending the day.”
Father turned back to ask, “Would it be all right with you, Beatrice?”
Mother asked, “Usara, this will include Arraelly, won’t it?”
Mr. Tork answered, “At present it will have to include Arraelly. Isn’t that right, Blake?”
I did not know why I needed to join the conversation, but replied, “She should like the zoo as well.”
Mother said, “Felix and I got to meet Arraelly last night. She seems to be a very pleasant young lady.”
Arraelly had been telling me about her time with my parents, but I listened as Mr. Tork replied, “I have enjoyed my visits with her as well.”
“I really do not like being left out of the loop in this matter.”
“It is quite bizarre, Beatrice. Trust me that it took me by surprise when I learned, and I am still trying to come to grips with her presence. Let me however say that I fully believe she means well, and I have found her very protective of Blake. She wants to resolve the problem, then hopefully we will be able to hear the whole story and come to term with all the facts.”
Father spoke of being in a rush. As he ran out to the car, Mother allowed that I could spend the day with Mr. Tork. My brother then spoke of my possible invitation to watch the cage match tonight. When Mr. Tork mentioned seeing if Arraelly could get him in as well, Mother nodded that I could go with Dorothy’s father even as my brother griped of having to stay home.
As I walked with Mr. Tork and Dorothy back to their house, he asked, “Blake, I need to ask Arraelly about some warnings of possible robberies.”
I replied, “Once in your house, Mr. Tork, I can have her appear. She is eager to tell you about it.”
As promised, once in the Tork’s home Arraelly showed herself. I gave her the brooch, then listened as she spoke to the man about her conversation with the FBI the night before. She had been telling me about it, but it helped hearing a more sequential flow of the facts. After she had finished, Mr. Tork asked the question I had not thought to ask.
“Arraelly, do you believe that you could find Lorither?”
She replied, “There really aren’t that many places he could be. The only reason the authorities have not found him is that they have ruled out certain places as places a convicted criminal or gorilla would not go. They have ignored what I told them of us being an aquatic species preyed upon by larger more aggressive creatures. I feel that I can certainly find him.”
“What would work against you?”
“Nothing would work against me, but what I have not heard anyone speak about are the men. I would think they could be found. That has me cautious believing there to be plans and loyalties I don’t know about. I saw the men comfortably sitting about the house. They were not griping about a lack of pay. The fact that they disappeared tells me that there was another layer to the plan.” Arraelly’s voice went very soft as she added, “Lorither knew that his stealing of the boat would be recognized.”
Mr. Tork had a very serious tone in his voice when he asked, “How much of this did you tell the FBI?”
“None. I’m sorry, Mr. Tork, but I am not going to risk Blake. Having the people at the bank recognize and report those casing their places of business is a better option. They are adults. They know the risks, and they have the ability to report things through the proper channels. The authorities being alerted by them in no way involves Blake, although it can also end up giving me the information on where to act.”
“Honestly, Arraelly, I approve. Let me add that I also appreciate your confiding in me. In return, I am going to honestly admit that I will be picking your brain to learn what more you might be able to tell me. I do have people at risk. While I will agree that they should not be placed above a minor, I still do not want them hurt.”
“I guess the zoo will be a good place for that.”
“Ah, so my plans are being revealed.” Mr. Tork smiled as he said that, and seeing Arraelly start to grin he said, “You seem to be a fascinating lady, Officer Arraelly. I envy Blake in his ability to have so much association with you, but I suspect his youth prevents him from seeing the potential in your presence. I however very much want to learn all I can about you, so please stay present where I can speak to you.”
Those words had Arraelly tell me she would keep the brooch. While Mr. and Mrs. Tork did what they felt was necessary before leaving, I looked to see Arraelly glaring at me. When I glared back, she grabbed my hand and I heard words in my mind.
“Just seeing if I could send a message to you without touching or speaking.”
For some reason Dorothy grabbed our hands. The look on Arraelly’s face I felt displayed some evidence of her thinking the same thing I did. No thoughts from Dorothy could be detected by me, and what she said gave no indication of being able to detect what Arraelly or I had in our minds.
“I want to be a part of this team.”
Arraelly replied, “Well, good, but that means you help me keep Blake out of trouble.”
Mrs. Tork said, “Yes, Dorothy.”
I had to say, “It can get boring. I just sat in the car with the FBI and did my homework.”
Mr. Tork replied, “Well, today you get to visit a zoo. The objective is however the same. You stay out of trouble while we work with Arraelly to hopefully figure out how to stop trouble.”
He and Arraelly began to speak with each other as soon as we loaded up in the car. It did help that I knew the people she was talking about. I had only seen Lorither and Honnider from a distance, but it was enough to give substance to all the things I heard about them. Dorothy did softly some questions, and I believe we were both glad to hear Arraelly speak to fill in any gaps that she left out in her explanations.
It took me by surprise finding her speaking with Mr. Tork about things other than the animals on display. It really became apparent at a large enclosure housing a number of wildebeast. Arraelly pointed at things she saw around the pond. I knew she had spoken of herself as an aquatic person, and I had seen her true form, but it surprised me that she would be interested in things of that nature and not the animals she surely did not have on her own planet.
Something about the discussion however bothered Mr. Tork, as he took out his phone and made a call. He tried to appear calm as he got Arraelly to speak of the animals on display. However, when his phone rang he quickly answered and moved to a bench as he spoke to others.
When he closed the device, he said, “Arraelly, you have already made this day profitable for my company. They found some of the men with weapons and masks. While they might not be able to actually pin any crime on them, the fact that they will be out of commission for the day cannot help whatever plan was being put into action. We are to have a late lunch, and while we eat I want you to look at a number of surveillance videos.”
She replied, “That is fine, but I wished we could find Lorither. I have been at this place before of fearing for people’s lives but unable to locate the murderer. I had Lorither before where his plans were stopped, but that only had him work on his own. He is vicious. That is why I am needed. Only someone like me with the drive to persist has a chance.”
I had to ask, “Do you think he is here at the zoo, Arraelly?”
“Being a gorilla at a zoo will not please him at all. I believe he wants the money to assure Honnider of other plans in the hope of no longer being a gorilla.”
Mr. Tork asked, “Are they able to switch bodies?”
“No evidence of that, but I do not truly know about our situation either. That might be possible, and in their plans, but at present I have no idea what their immediate plans are. I would like to speak to Honnider about his plans, but as long as Lorither is out there I have to be concerned for people’s lives.”
We continued to walk about the zoo. Coming to the enclosures for the great cats, Arraelly started into a discussion of predators and prey. What I believe interested the adults was hearing her speak of Lorither being hard to catch on her world because dead bodies were not uncommon. Arraelly’s people were preyed upon by creatures with it a fact of life that some were killed. It was funny listening to her speak of how her people had presented a belief that a world of predators would be filthy as the rotten remains of prey would be left about. She spoke of what she saw in the predators on display as well as our own culture, and how that surely gave Lorither problems. Her lecture actually helped me see new things in the animals, and I walked through the zoo wondering about what more of Arraelly I might learn.
The FBI agents met us at lunchtime, and brought us to a room in one of the buildings of the zoo. I found it at first interesting to watch the surveillance videos, but it quickly became boring looking at people and speculating what they might be doing. Finding one group being arrested for clearly having weapons on their persons had the adults go into a discussion of motives and plans. Everyone acknowledged that arresting people on minor infractions did not really help, but I found myself again become interested when Arraelly brought up a map of the city wanting to know where the banks were where the arrests were made. The FBI agents showed that they had already been considering certain facts by presenting the information to Arraelly, she then pointed to two other banks speaking of wanting to see their surveillance videos.
We left the zoo to go to one of the banks. Things became boring as we sat in a conference room while Arraelly and the FBI agents watched security images. She pointed out two men who acted like they were conducting normal business, but both held their phones in the manner of taking their own pictures. It actually became interesting when we left the room to go about the bank looking to see what might have been found revealing a weakness of the building.
As we moved about, one of the FBI agents got a call of another finding a similar couple of men in the video at another bank. We got back into the car and went to a branch of Mr. Tork’s bank. As we moved out of the vehicle, Arraelly however spoke a conclusion.
“He’s not going to attack here. It probably makes sense to you, but I know Lorither better than this.”
Agent Norwood looked about, then said, “Actually, Arraelly, what we have speculated on the mentality of Lorither would agree with you.”
Attempting to make my own opinion, I looked around. This bank was on a busy street with other stores and fast-food places nearby. The other place had also been near a major road, but beyond the location of most other active businesses. I found myself accepting that someone expecting to quickly rob a bank and get away could find traffic problems. I however did feel a need to voice an opinion about something I had heard of Lorither.
“This would be a good place to kill people.”
Arraelly looked to me as she said, “Mass murder, yes, but his objective is not to do that. Lorither will kill someone, but he wants money. Just killing people will not fund whatever is being planned, so he needs to make the robbery.”
As if to support me, Agent Norwood said, “We will assign someone to watch this bank, Blake.”
“However, I am going to have you at the other bank.”
“We would rather have the minors elsewhere.”
“I have a range limit, so I need Blake nearby.”
Mr. Tork said, “I will keep you safe, Blake.”
Arraelly however wrapped her arms around me as she said, “Don’t worry about it, Blake. The other bank is near the road leading to the coliseum where the cage fight is being held. If Lorither will attack early enough, we can leave to go watch Fernando.”
I had to admit, “It sounds like a plan, Arraelly.”
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.