Chapter Thirty-Five – Pointy Ears
When the police car pulled up in front of the cemetery, there were already men at the scene studying the situation. It wasn’t a large investigation, but tape was pulled around the entrance gates, and a couple of the men were taking notes. The door of the car pushed open, but the man who stepped out looked nothing like the rest of the police.
He had short, blonde hair, and the smoothest pale skin. He sported a dark suit, a bowler hat, and over his shoulder was a jet black umbrella. Following behind him, also from within the car, were two young woman who wrapped their eager arms around his shoulders as he gazed upon the scenario before him.
The man smiled. But it was no ordinary grin, because the teeth of an ordinary gentleman don’t cause the women around them to swoon.
“Mr. Jackson,” the closest cop motioned. “I don’t know what you know, but it looks like some punks might have set off firecrackers throughout the graveyard. A couple coffins were dug up though, so we’re still trying to figure that out. The bodies are missing.”
In response, the dashing man rose a hand in the air. With his other, he brought the umbrella down, and wrapped his fingers around the hook to lean it like a cane.
“Please,” he finally spoke. “Call me Noah. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to see it for myself.”
“All right, Noah. The women have to stay here.”
He nodded. With his free hand, he pulled the constricting arms off his body and set them aside. He smiled, and with a single look, the two ladies knew, but they were ultimately left blushing and speechless. Then, he followed the cop into the crime scene.
One of the policemen left behind whispered, “So what’s with that guy?” to another.
“Don’t know why we need his help either,” the other replied.
“So why’s he here?”
“The chief said he had no choice. He was sent here by someone above him.”
“Above the chief?”
“Yeah. Guess this guy is a big deal. People say he sees things that everyone else misses. Maybe that’s why he has his own groupies.”
“I wish I had that.”
One of the girls yelled out, “Go solve that crime, Noah~!”
The two made it to the center of the cemetery. It was quiet, despite the odd car’s engine zooming by in the background, or the single shouting of one of his fan girls. Noah’s eyes were oddly focused. He tipped up his cap, gazed to the sky, and let out a lengthy exhale.
“Firecrackers? Yeah. Right,” he whispered.
“What is it?” the cop asked.
“Nothing. Just thinking.”
He continued on. Kneeling to the soil, he followed the trails of singed grass, foot prints, and small craters caused by peculiar impacts. He looked to the unnaturally dug up graves, and the opened but empty coffins. Finally, when he stood up straight once again, a shining and excited grin stretched up his cheeks.
“Finally,” he mumbled. “Another one.”
The cop frowned. “You going to let me in on anything?”
“There was definitely more than one person here last night. I’m afraid I can’t explain further right now. I need to go, immediately. I’m going to have a lot of work on my hands here in Edmonton. More work than I’ve had in a long time.”
They made their way back out once again. In his short absence, the crowd had already grown exponentially. It seemed like his presence was discovered. A van from the local news team was present, and a gentleman was present and prepared with a microphone in-hand.
Noah looked about. There were pedestrians growing around them with interests piqued. He was no stranger to this—the hum of the rolling cameras, the news anchor on the scene, the audience cheering him on. It was an immediate switch flicked in his mind. As soon as he approached the anchor, he grinned at the camera, and it was like he was born to be filmed.
“Ah. There he is now! The legend from Toronto, Noah Jackson,” said anchor.
“Hello there. Thank you, really. I appreciate that. So far, your city is beautiful,” Noah replied.
“And we’re happy to have you. At least, I know I am, but some people find you to be odd and definitely eccentric. What do you have to say about that? And what are you doing here at the cemetery?”
“Well, I really don’t mind people saying that. I am a bit flamboyant,” he said with a chuckle. “But what’s wrong with that, right? And it seems like some hooligans vandalized the place. It’s awful, but nothing special. May I?”
The man looked to Noah’s hand towards his microphone. With a nod, he handed it over, and immediately, the handsome gentleman stepped up to gaze directly towards the camera.
“This is a simple message to the vandals that came here last night. I have a feeling you’ll see this. I am going to find you. All of you. I’ll personally bring each of you in. Won’t that be so wizard?”
Taking the microphone back, the anchor laughed. “An interesting vocabulary you have, Mr. Jackson.”
“Call me Noah, and that’ll be all. It’s time to get back to work.”
Back in the basement laboratory, Alchia and Poppet remained waiting for a response from their benefactor, and in the mean time, they did as they usually do. The taller girl was nose-deep in hefty books, and the smaller one was bored and fiddling with a portable game system in the corner—something to distract her from the previous night’s failure.
“Big sis?” Poppet asked.
“Those two are going to pay, right?”
“Of course they are. We’ll track them down as soon as possible.”
“Good. I want revenge! They saw me humiliate myself, and then they destroyed my toys.”
“We’ll destroy them in return. Don’t worry, Poppet. With his help, we’ll have all the power we need. Can you believe it? Us running into someone like him. Luck really smiled upon us.”
A slow, almost melodic, footfall echoed over the staircase nearby. The girls turned, ready to attack, but then they saw a familiar face. Neither of them left the door unlocked, nor did they hear a doorbell ring. But he had arrived.
Alike Arlandria, the man had an unnatural grace to his appearance and demeanour, and his ears were pointed, but he was incredibly tall with long, slicked back, raven hair. The outfit he wore was bizarre to them, but the elaborate combination of red, black, and patterns of leafy vines, was of the norm to his homeland. His cold cyan gaze fell upon the two.
“Tyreth. You, uh… made it inside,” muttered Alchia.
As he reached the bottom of the steps, he turned with direct intent. The voice he spoke with was deep, monotone, and stoic.
“So there certainly are wizards in this city,” he said.
“Yeah! Meanie ones,” Poppet blurted out.
“My theories might have been correct after all. I can feel it. The Blade of Shadows is here in Edmonton somewhere. Soon, I’ll finally have what’s rightfully mine, and not these ridiculous humans.”
“But, we’re humans,” Alchia said.
“And wizards. That places you at least some level above these people.”
“I’m glad we could help, but they got away. How is this going to get you that Blade?”
“The Blade and I are closer than you might believe. It’s fine that they left, because the thing about humanity is that they’re dangerously curious. I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be able to bait them out again.”
“But, won’t baiting them also bait the government? They’ll send spellbreakers and things.”
“Let them. Rebel wizard or official spellbreaker, we’ll eliminate them all if they get in our way. Now, tell me something. It’s important. Did you, or did you not, see somebody else with pointed ears?”
Over the landscape of white came a blinding light shimmering over winter’s embrace. A chill still hung in the air, but through the tiniest slivers between the clouds came the sunlight, and beneath it, four wizards, a boy, and an elf. They were all far from civilization and wedged between a series of hills and trees, so the breeze’s whistling was the only noise to greet the silent arrival of one after the other through a few portal doors.
Renatta, now wearing a black coat over her usual attire, shivered and tucked her arms beneath her armpits.
“Brr. I can not wait for winter to be over,” she mumbled.
“So, uh. This is the spot,” Daveon said.
Eldrian gave him a thumbs up. “It’s perfect. I knew I could count on you to find a vacant place in the middle of nowhere.”
“It’s my speciality.”
“That’s my line!”
Deena cleared her throat. “I believe you wanted to introduce someone, Eldrian.”
“That’s right,” Eldrian replied. “Dav, Ren, this is Arlandria. She’s an elf.”
Renatta gasped. “I have only heard stories of the elves! Is it true they live in a flying city up in the sky? And it is made of solid gold? And there are all the cookies you can eat?”
The elf slowly shook her head. “Not exactly. We don’t live in the sky, but we do have cookies.”
“I had a feeling you were an elf when I saw you, but I couldn’t believe it. I heard stories myself,” said Daveon. “Out of all things Eldrian could bring to me, I never thought one of them would be an elf. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Arlandria offered a short bow and a friendly face. “Thank you for being accepting. I don’t want to be an intrusion.
Renatta shivered once again. “Why are we out here?”
“It was starting to feel unfair to shove everybody into Deena’s house, especially now that we have so many others,” responded Eldrian. “And it’s something different. Isn’t it nice outside today? I mean, nice for Alberta weather in the winter time.”
“That is true,” she said with donut muffling much of her speaking. “And I have warm-up food.”
“So, let me tell you all what happened to Renatta and I,” Daveon started.
He went on about the strange girl who was controlling skeletons—how she was a wizard and the powerful attack she used against them. He told them about the dug-up graves, and how they thought she was under attack.
“So there’s other wizards around here,” Deena mumbled.
“It’s a big city, I guess. Maybe there’s a lot of wizards and we just don’t know,” said Kevin.
“I have something else to announce,” stated Eldrian. “We may have a problem.”
He slipped the phone out of his pocket and unlocked the screen. Already up was a news article with a video ready, and after holding it up for all to see, he pressed his finger down on the play button. It was Noah Jackson.
“This is a simple message to the vandals that came here last night. I have a feeling you’ll see this. I am going to find you. All of you. I’ll personally bring each of you in. Won’t that be so wizard?” it said at the end before the focus returned to the news anchor.
Everything went quiet once more. This continued for what felt like an eternity, but finally, Daveon approached Eldrian with an apologetic expression.
“I’m so sorry.”
Eldrian placed a hand on his shoulder. “It’s not your fault. I have no doubt in my mind you did exactly what you needed to do, and what you had every right to do.”
“Dav. Ren. It wasn’t your fault. This little girl caused all of this. It’s her that should be penalized. Maybe we just need to track her down. Get some answers. For all we know, she’s raising more skeletons somewhere else.”
“I’ll let you know if I hear anything.”
“Pardon me,” spoke Arlandria. “But if we’re trying to seek things out, may I make a request?”
“Of course. Whatever you want,” Eldrian replied.
“If you ever see another elf, please let me know. Even rumours. This also goes for a special, magical weapon. It’s called the Blade of Shadows.”
Stay tuned for Chapter Thirty-Six – Night Trap!