Lightning cracked somewhere behind us, and we all jumped before we could put the key in the lock of our abode! After a booming clap of thunder blared above us, the children winced, and Willow spat, “Stupid, scary storm!”
“Be thankful that it’s here!” Laraleigh advised her as Mom opened the front door. “Otherwise, we’d still be in the field!”
“I wish I wasn’t so talented at gardening!” Mom bemoaned as she threw herself onto the couch. “That made them force me into extra vegetable raising, and all that non-stop planting makes me wanna replace my garden with a rockbed! Well, when we finally get out of this hellhole anyways!”
Aidan grumped, “You mean if we get out of this hellhole! Clifton’s tracker will show us never leaving the farm, so he’ll have no idea that anything is wrong! Not ‘til Agent Hearne tries to contact us…!”
This line of thought made Aidan feel hopeful until Kinsey differed, “No, I’m almost certain they’ll have someone answer it and pretend it’s one of us. That’s what so many murderers do, and the police don’t think anything is wrong ‘til it’s too late!”
“Wow! That’s a very accurate assessment!” Aidan noted.
“Uh, yeah! I’m training myself to become a criminal analyst, so I have to be accurate! What? Why else did you think I’ve been studying all of those stories about killers?” Kinsey posed to us. No one responded because none of us wanted to admit that she had us worried for quite some time!
Mason brought up, “You know, I wasn’t doing my homework all year ‘cause it seemed so hard, but this is hard! When we go to class again, I won’t complain and I’ll thank my lucky stars I get to do that instead of this crap!”
Harper griped, “Mason! You swore! Mama!”
“I don’t care!” Laraleigh huffed as she plopped onto a chair in the dining room. Harper looked offended, so Laraleigh expounded on her decision, “What? What do you want me to do? It’s not like I can ground him or take away his internet privileges- ‘Mother’ already did that! Besides, I wouldn’t be tattling on anyone if I were you! He probably has a ton of dirt on you, Miss Troublemaker!” Harper grew sheepish and apparently opted to withdraw her grievance.
“Isn’t there some sort of law against child labor?” Minna queried.
I finally joined the conversation by bellowing, “Yes! It’s also mandatory to provide schooling to minors under sixteen! But those are minor offenses compared to the multiple felonies they’ve garnered from kidnapping us! Yes, we were sent to live here, but they can’t force us to stay here! Except they can ‘cause nobody knows they’re doing it! And why are they doing it? So we can help them collect money for them to recruit more people into this cult! ‘Mother’ and her goons are taking advantage of individuals in vulnerable positions! She’s making Fay Folks believe that they can get into Heaven by doing this, but really, they’re henchmen to an evil organization! All of those poor souls out there have no clue that they got fooled! Not that knowing the truth has done us any good! How can they justify taking away our lives? How can they still maintain their assumption of getting into Heaven? My fibroids are only gonna grow since I can’t go to my surgery tomorrow! Do they care that they’ll make me suffer? What if something happens to the rest of you? We can’t let them push us into harm’s way! We have to do something!”
Thinking about our dire circumstances got me so steamed up that I nearly marched straight out of this house to give them a verbal reckoning, but then Jackson piped up, “You can’t just go and fight them all! You don’t even have a wand!”
“You could use these!” Minna reached out of the rear window and held up the faulty wands that the FBI issued us.
“Don’t encourage her!” Mom admonished Minna.
I grasped onto these wands like I found buried treasure! They didn’t take all of our weapons away… “These will work!”
Aidan disagreed, “No, they won’t! That’s why we gave them to the kids as punishment!”
“You got that toolbox to levitate!” I argued. “They can work, and they have to! I won’t support their demonic efforts a second longer than I have to! I’m ending this today- with or without anyone’s help!” Luckily for me, the storm calmed down a lot when I chose to go out there- I got so riled up that I made a beeline out of there without considering the consequences! Aidan exasperatedly groaned, but he tailed me pretty closely.
“You two be careful! I do want grandkids one day!” Mom shouted to us prior to our departure.
I stood in the middle of the deadened grassland that “Mother” earmarked for elderberry bushes, and I glanced around for one of her minions lurking about! I finally saw a big Fay patrolling around the perimeter by some leafy trees, and Aidan whispered, “Shannon, no!” I was in too foul of a mood to listen to reason, and I hid behind a scarecrow to shield myself from the Fay’s view. I aimed my trajectory, and…
Desperately beseeching the wand to perform, I encouraged it, “Come on!” He disappeared from the clearing, and I muttered, “Damn!”
Aidan breathed a sigh of relief and attempted to guide me back to our dwelling. “Good! Now why don’t we spend the rest of the evening relaxing to prepare for- oh!”
I slipped away and snuck into some brush. I crouched low, and I concentrated as much as I could! My heart beat wildly as he inched closer and closer to my proximity, and my anticipation heightened as I pictured myself achieving success in this ambush! Soon, we could use his freshly incapicitated state to get out of this nightmare! I couldn’t fathom anyone in the closest town who would be willing to overlook our unfavorable reputation and let us use their phones though! I supposed that if I told them about all of the wickedness that the Fay Folks were involved in out there that they’d be more prone to assist, but then I realized if they did comply, I wouldn’t know how to get a hold of anyone- I haven’t memorized a phone number since the nineties! I shook my head and resolved to figure that out later. The guard was right there, my opportunity arrived! I raised my wand, and…
“No!” I growled as he passed by without me producing even a spark! Actually, my outburst propelled a couple of sparks out of the wand, but it didn’t lift my dampened spirits whatsoever! I felt very tempted to throw that twig out of my sight, but I didn’t want to alert any of the other underlings to our proximity, so I kept it. Plus, the wands in our hands were the only ones we had access to, and I didn’t want to lose it. It had to operate properly sometime– Agent Hearne wouldn’t have issued them to us if they didn’t, right?”
“Ready to go home yet?” Aidan inquired.
I emphatically replied, “Yes! I’ve been ready to go home since we arrived in Hawaii! What I’m not ready for is to go back to the shack!” I buried my face into my palms, and I lamented, “He was right there! I could have gotten him if I had my normal wand! Ugh! I would’ve been better off trying to trip him with this stick!”
Aidan put a sympathetic arm around my shoulders and consoled me, “We’ll find a solution eventually! At the moment, we’re too emotional to make any rational decisions, so let’s pause for a stretch and-!”
“We can’t pause though!” I cried out. “We’re in jeopardy, we have to tell the authorities! The longer we wait, the worse it’ll get! I already had two weeks of my life stolen from me, how much more do I have to give up?” The very notion of enduring this torture for a significant stint made my breath grow short, and Aidan was about to tend to me when, all of a sudden…
“Hey!” a male’s voice boomed, causing us both to flinch! I was already panicky about one dilemma, and now I had another! I felt positive he intended to deal us a severe punishment, but then he amusedly regarded us, “No hanky-panky out here! Return to your residence!”
For the second instance that month, Aidan and I were in the midst of a secretive expedition only to get interrupted by somebody assuming we were making love! And just like on the plane, we let them maintain that misconception in order to keep our true mission clandestine! I spent the entire jaunt hoping to persuade my magic to emerge, but unfortunately, we reached our territory with nothing to show for that effort except possibly some salacious rumors amongst the staff!
All I wanted to do when we went inside was go into my hidey closet and forget that this spectacular failure ever happened, but shortly after we set foot in the habitation, the Fay hollered, “New rule: everyone has to keep their pants on outdoors!”
The others all looked as incredulously, and Aidan snidely articulated, “Oh yeah, like we were actually doing it during monsoon weather in the middle of our kidnapper’s stomping grounds!”
“So, did you create an escape route?” Jackson eagerly petitioned us. Aidan and I gave him a peeved stare, but he didn’t get the hint… “Is that a yes?”
“Jeez, Louise! No wonder you’re flunking everything!” Laraleigh slapped her forehead and shook it out of frustration.
Willow asked us, “So, what do we do now?”
I couldn’t answer that because I had no inkling on what to do! Aidan confidently assured her, “We’ll think of something! Hang tight, we-!” I didn’t share his optimistic sentiments, and I couldn’t bear to listen to his rosy outlook at the pinnacle of my despair, so I dashed into my safe haven before he finished his speech!
Assuming that he would follow me in momentarily, I scooted up to the very back of the space. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for Aidan to join me. I turned away from him though since I knew what he intended to say, and I had no patience to endure it! “Don’t tell me everything is gonna be alright!”
“But it will be!” Aidan insisted.
“No, it won’t!” I argued. “Not without a solid plan anyways! We’re outnumbered and essentially wandless, we can’t do this on our own!”
Aidan mulled it over for a moment. “Well, there’s always fire! If burn up a building with large enough flames, it would have to get the attention of the authorities!”
I chewed on that concept for a flash, but then I had to shoot it down, “If any emergency workers visited this area, ‘Mother’ would simply pretend all is well while simultaneously preventing us from leaving or speaking with anyone. Besides, how would we create a huge blaze without magic?”
“I bet Harper has something up her sleeves!” Aidan reckoned.
“Heck yeah I do!” Harper confirmed.
I yelled, “No fires!” Her disappointment was quite audible, and I was too malcontent to satisfy my curiosity on what some of those methods might have been. Instead, I opined, “We need an ally from the outside to give us aid! Somehow, we gotta work out a technique of communicating without getting our adversaries attention that doesn’t involve magic or mobile devices.”
Harper proposed, “We could do smoke signals!”
“No fires!” I repeated. She exhaled in exasperation.
“We could try to get these wands to run…” Aidan adduced.
It beleaguered me to envision myself spending the night waving these wands around in vain, and the fact that this was our only avenue maddened me! I banged my noggin against the surface I faced from sheer disgruntlement… a little too hard! I produced a small hole in the wall! “Ow!” I pulled myself up, but preceding Aidan’s inevitable words of comfort, I spotted something in that chasm… “Woah!”
Aidan probed, “What is it?” I didn’t respond; I immediately tore off pieces of the structure, and he must have recognized that I wouldn’t have done that without a valid cause because he participated in this endeavor too. When we removed enough debris to get a full grasp of what existed there, we both gasped! The remedy to our predicament may have been in this edifice all along…