I queried the Hekekias, “There’s only one bedroom?” I could see the area clearly, so it’s not like I had any confusion on the layout of the structure. Really, I was just hoping that what my eyes perceived had somehow been wrong! Only one door rested on the other side of this loft, and otherwise, the entire upstairs consisted of several inches of hay and a dozen cots. If there was merely a single chamber with any privacy in this place, I was prepared to fight tooth and nail for it! I would’ve trampled over the small kids, I didn’t care! I wasn’t about to spend the entire duration of this venture without a tiny iota of sanctuary! If it was a few days in a hotel, then I wouldn’t have complained, but who knew how long we were going to remain there!
“There aren’t any bedrooms,” Kaleo informed us.
“WHAT?” Almost everyone incredulously reacted upon hearing this.
Laraleigh inquired, “Then what’s in there?”
Kaelo replied, “That’s the bathroom.”
“There’s only one bathroom, and it’s upstairs? Oh man, this is gonna be rough on my knees!” Mom commented.
“How’s that gonna work with, uh, Anna?” Aidan probed.
Kalani complimented him, “Aw! That’s awfully sweet of you to show such concern over your cousin! Even though you have a restraining order against her, you still tend to her special needs!”
Aidan differed, “Uh, actually, I wanted to leave her at the airport! I was thinking that it’d be impossible for her to get through us to use the bathroom- she’d wake us up with shocks!”
“I don’t think she can get up here in a wheelchair…” Kalani concernedly opined.
“That’s what I once thought! But it turns out she’s good at spells that transport herself to spaces she normally wouldn’t be able to reach! It’s an aptitude she acquired in order to stalk me!” Aidan folded his arms in an irate memory of these instances.
From outside, Minna confirmed this, “It’s true! I did that a lot! I also learned to sleep outdoors if that’s helpful!”
Kaleo denied that proposition, “No, no! I don’t wanna be liable if you get attacked by the Night Marchers!” He saw our blank visages, so he clarified, “They’re ancient warrior spirits that roam the earth. If you make eye contact with them, you’ll get sucked away into the spirit world!”
“But if I’m sleeping, I won’t be making eye contact with anyone!” Minna argued.
“Don’t be ridiculous! You’re sleeping inside!” Kaleo decreed. “We’ll set up a cot in the dining room. Then, if you gotta use the bathroom, you can-.”
Minna guessed, “Go outside?”
While Kaleo gritted his teeth, Kaleo observed, “Oh, your luggage was already sent here! That was awfully presumptuous of them! What if we had refused to accommodate any farmhands?”
“If you wanna send us back home, we’d totally understand!” I expressed to her with a gleam of hope in my vision. It was my last shot at getting out of this mess, so I had to take it! If the Hekekias dismissed us, then Agent Hearne would have had to send us home! Or at least closer to our hometown! Or, even if we had to stay in Hawaii, we could have gotten sent somewhere with better accommodations! Sharing a space with ten people and no walls sounded like a nightmare, and I truly thought that the universe would send us into a better situation- this seriously seemed too terrible to be our reality!
“Oh, we would never do that!” Kalani assured me.
My spirits plummeted when I heard that! “Are you sure?”
Kaleo instructed us, “Well, take the day to get settled in. Then tomorrow, report to the field at nine… in the morning!” He added that last tidbit for Minna, who grew crestfallen at that directive.
Kalani concluded this orientation, “Aloha and e komo mai! Feel free to contact us if we can assist you with anything! I don’t know what a couple of aging Fays could do for a group of well-versed magians, but… Well, we’ll certainly do all we can!”
As they left, Kaleo pushed Minna into the building, and her chagrin over this action was written plainly in her body language! I didn’t understand that at all! I mean, wouldn’t she have wanted to have been closer to the man she was obsessed with? I didn’t broach the subject though because, quite frankly, I wasn’t positive that I wanted to know her rationale behind that! Besides, we were all too wrapped up in absorbing our new surroundings to pay too much attention to her oddness! Everyone stood in silence for a moment as we soaked in this unfamiliar scenery and really processed the fact that we would be occupying this abode for quite a while! It was strange to me that twenty-four hours ago I had just wrapped up a vandalism case and whisked Aidan away from our posh apartment to a fancy restaurant, and now I was due to sleep on straw and do menial chores! It was like I got thrown into some horrible reverse Cinderella story! I had my happily ever after, so why didn’t my fairytale end right there?
“Well, I dunno about y’all, but I’m fixin’ to see what they supplied us with!” Laraleigh declared. She and the kids began rifling through the baggage that had gotten sent here.
“We probably won’t be here that long!” Aidan took my hand and squeezed it gently. “Let’s make the best out of these circumstances!”
I didn’t readily accept his argument since I wanted to leave immediately and it was fairly obvious that this desire would not come to pass for us, but after I chewed it over for a bit, it occurred to me that Wade could get caught at any second, so our stay in this shanty may not last for the length I feared it would! I decided to push my anxiety aside and do all I could to enjoy myself! “We probably wouldn’t have gotten called into the station on a Saturday anyways! WE may not be home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t relax…”
Right as I laid myself down on one of the cots, Mom set down her cat carrier and sympathetically spoke to her pets, “Oh, my poor babies! You’ve been in there so long! You can come out now!”
The eight kitties cautiously crept out of their confinement, but they didn’t get very far when a loud crash emanated from the bathroom! All eight felines sprinted in different directions, and Minna apologized, “Sorry, I had to pee, and-!”
As she poked her head out, she evidently got within ten feet of Aidan and received some electric shocks! This freaked the animals even further, and the five youths all hooted and hollered at the spectacle their panic had created! This was all too much for me, so I shouted, “That’s it! I need some alone time!”
I dashed downstairs and glanced around. I didn’t anticipate discovering an unbeknownst hideaway, but I had to find one section of this hovel that I could claim as my own and visit when I needed seclusion! With the state of things at that juncture, I predicted I would wind up in that area very frequently! All of a sudden, I noticed a door under the stairs! I opened it, and the door came off of its hinges! A purple curtain with silver stars was right behind it, which definitely seemed different than the other decor of this property! Curious, I pushed the drapes aside, and…
“It’s a broom closet!” I identified as an assortment of cleaning supplies tumbled out. I gazed at the pile in disappointment. How could such a mystifying shroud conceal something so devastatingly ordinary?
“What were you expecting to see?” Aidan questioned.
I shrugged. “I didn’t have a clue what would be there, but I supposed I was hoping for something baffling so we’d have a nice mystery to solve during our stint here instead of… whatever this is!” I gestured to the chaos ensuing above us.
Aidan chuckled slightly as he related, “I know! I miss doing policework too! Yeah, we would’ve taken this whole weekend off to celebrate my birthday, but since that’s out the window, I would’ve preferred to-.”
Minna abruptly appeared downstairs and immediately got electrocuted! As Aidan scolded her for getting herself into that predicament by not giving him any warning on what she intended to do, I shoved the junk that this bizarre storage room held out, closed the curtain, and sat criss-cross on the floor. I could hear Minna and Aidan yelling, the little ones getting overly amped up, and the cats zooming around, but it was a tad more muffled than if I was in the main part of the cottage! It was perfectly pleasant, although I wished I had brought something to do while I was there! Still, I favored a slight boredom in that spot instead of the pandemonium everywhere else, so I relished my small period of solitude! I closed my eyes, but I couldn’t fully repose… I kept wondering if this would be enough to get me through the entire stretch of this ordeal!
“How come Scott Junior, Sarah, and Vanessa get to stay inside?” Kinsey moaned.
“Yeah, how come we can’t let Anna watch us too?” Jackson whined.
While we trudged our way to the top of the field, Laraleigh chided them, “You two griped about needing a babysitter before, and now that you gotta do some work, y’all wanna be considered young enough to need a sitter again?”
Aidan added, “Besides, you don’t wanna spend an entire day with Anna if you can help it! Trust me, you’re getting the best end of the bargain!”
We parked ourselves near some potted saplings, and then Laraleigh lectured the juveniles, “Your complaining isn’t gonna make the problem improve- it just makes your woes a little louder! No one wants to do hard labor, but that’s what happens when you get older, so you learn to stuff your feelings and deal with it! You don’t hear me groaning about it, do you? Though I do gotta question why they would start our schedule on a Sunday…”
“Actually, we thought you’d like to have Friday off to explore the island a little,” Kalani told them as she unexpectedly appeared before us, which made Laraleigh jump in fright!
“We’re allowed to leave the property?” I puzzled. I assumed that the Witness Protection Program would have had us totally isolated, so the probability of doing some touristy activities seemed out of the realm of possibility for us! I was so certain she had misspoken right then!
Kalani challenged me, “Well, of course! Why wouldn’t you be able to?” I simply threw up my hands in confusion since I couldn’t come up with a decent reply. I presumed that Agent Hearne or Clifton would’ve imposed restrictions for our movement in this territory, but if I couldn’t unearth a logical explanation for any limitations, they most likely couldn’t either! This unlocked some new opportunities for me! Perhaps I could escape often and find a means of doing significant investigation into Wade’s case…
Kaleo instructed us, “Okay, all you need to do is plant these trees in a row!”
“Okey dokey!” Mom cheerily responded. She was the only individual who didn’t seem daunted by this task! “Where are the shovels?”
“Shovels?” Kaleo furrowed his brows. “Wouldn’t you rather use your wands?”
My mother’s expression fell at that prospect. “Oh, we’re using magic? The thing is… I’m not so great at doing spells…”
I contended with her, “You did fine with hexing the cat carrier!”
“I know! And I’m still exhausted from pulling that off! I’ll try though…” She took out her wand and concentrated hard on moving one noni shrub in particular, and after several seconds, she nearly fell forward from overexertion!
“Let me take a whack at it!” Laraleigh aimed her wand at the same plant, and it wiggled slightly, but then she grew out of breath shortly afterwards.
Aidan and I exchanged doubtful glances, but we knew that we had no other choice but to give it a go with the cruddy wands Agent Hearne issued us. We focused on producing the effect we wanted to occur as much as we could, but once a minute or so elapsed without anything transpiring, I got frustrated and inwardly snapped at this misfortune! I think my emotions had an influence on my jinx because sparks flew out of my wand, and for a brief instance, I believed that I achieved success! It instantly became apparent that I had not! Everyone gasped in horror at the outcome of my error, and I wondered if I would ever be permitted back onto the force following this ineptitude…