Tuatha's Children  

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2011 

 

 

Chapter 7

There was a knock at the door.  Jeff had dozed fitfully worrying about
Willow, and wasn't really asleep.  He quickly got up, pulled on a tunic and
walked over to open it.  Jennifer was waiting outside.  "Can we talk?" she
asked.

"Sure, come on in," he invited.  "What's up?  I thought you were back in
the other world?  Did everyone come back?  Where's Willow?  Is he okay?"

"Hang on," she said, waving her hands.  "I'll answer your questions, but
take it slow."

"Sorry, it's just that I'm worried about him."

Jennifer nodded as she sat in a chair and Jeff sat back on the reclining
platform that served as a bed.  "I understand.  I'd feel the same way if I
was separated from Caseldra.  First off, I got a phone call from a friend
of yours, Craig someone."

Jeff perked up.  "Craig?  Craig Langston called here?  I didn't know you
had phones here."

Jennifer laughed.  "No, I was in the house back in Waterford.  Scott had
him call.  They are on their way back to it now."

"Did they find the kids?"

"Not exactly.  They found Willow's dad.  Somehow he and the kids were
separated and they are lost in the human world.  Craig said you are a great
tracker and you might be able to find them.  That's why they are on their
way back to the house."  Jeff had an odd look on his face.  "What's wrong?"
Caseldra asked.

"I can't track the kids in another world from here.  That would mean they
want me to go back there."

"Yeah, I guess."

Jeff shook his head.  "But that would probably mean I'll turn back into a
vampire."

"You don't know that.  Maybe this land cured you, just like it did Alex.
You can go back and be a normal person."

"And maybe when I go back to that world I'll be a normal 210 year old
person.  You know what that means?  That means I'll be dead, just a bunch
of dust.  I've seen old vampires die.  It isn't pretty."

* * *

The ride back to Waterford was interesting to say the least.  The entire
time Craig spent talking on his phone, first to Jennifer back at the old
Victorian house, then to people in his office in New York, making various
arrangements.  At the same time Rayel was staring at Willow, unable to
think of anything to say, while Willow sat in uncomfortable silence, not
sure what to ask his father.  During this time Robin and Rood were both
staring at Rayel, wondering what tortures they could put him through for
taking the children.  Scott was a little softer, but coming down on the
side of Robin, while Sharon was trying to fit into the bench seat in the
back that was too crowded with Rood and Scott sharing it.

In a few hours they were pulling up in front of the old house by the
riverfront park.  As soon as they all came inside, Caseldra met them in the
foyer.  She said that Jennifer had returned to Tuatha to speak with Jeff
but had not come back yet.  "We'll talk to him," Craig said as he grabbed
hold of Willow's arm.  "How do we get to this magical land?"

"Follow me," Scott said and led Craig, Willow and Rayel up the stairway.
After a quick word from Rood, Akuta followed the group upstairs.

In the unused bedroom on the third floor, Scott crossed to the closet and
opened the door.  It was just an empty closet.  "In you go," he said and
Willow stepped inside.

"Come on, Dad," he replied reaching out his hand.  Rayel looked around
nervously, but reached out and took his son's hand, then stepped into the
tiny little room.  Scott closed the door on them.  He waited a few seconds
and then opened it again to an empty closet.  Akuta quickly stepped in and
Scott indicated that Craig should join him, pushing the door shut behind
them.  He again opened it and stepped in, pulling it shut.  He then reached
out to the back wall of the closet.  It opened at his touch and he stepped
out of the small wooden cabinet in the wizard's library.

"If I didn't just see it with my own eyes, I would never believe it!" Craig
Langston exclaimed as he looked around at the big, vaulted stone room he
found himself in.  He knew it wasn't part of the house he had just been in.

"Come on, Dad," Willow said to his father.  "I want you to meet my...my
partner."

"Partner?" Rayel asked, confused.

"He's a reversal," Scott told the older man.  Rayel just looked surprised
and followed his son out of the room.  Akuta, Craig and Scott trailed along
behind them.

As they walked down the corridor they ran into Rowana who had also returned
to the castle.  "Good, you have returned," she said with a smile on her
face.  "The lady Jennifer is waiting with lord Jeff in the smaller audience
chamber near the throne room."  Scott led the way and they quickly mounted
the stairs leading upward.  Soon they were opening the door to the
conference room.

Jeff looked up and spotted Willow.  His face broke into a wide grin.  He
jumped up and grabbed his lover, hugging him tightly and then kissing him.
When the two broke apart, Willow made introductions.  "Jeff, this is my
father, Rayel," Willow said.

"I'm so very pleased to make your acquaintance, sir," Jeff said and reached
out to shake Rayel's hand.  The older man offered it slowly and just looked
about surprised.  Jeff then turned to look at Scott.  "This young lady here
was trying to explain to me that I need to return to the other world and
become a vampire again."

"We could sure use your talents," Craig said as he stepped out from behind
the group that was blocking the door.

"Oh my God, I never thought I'd see you here," Jeff said and smiled again,
reaching out to hug his old friend.

"I never thought I'd come here," Craig replied.  They all sat around the
big conference table.

"Jeff, this guy," Craig nodded toward Rayel, "abandoned those two kids in
Kansas City."

"I meant no harm.  I was trying to find my son," Rayel protested.

"Never the less, they are lost in that big city.  We need to find them.
You know you could probably track them by smell."

Jeff looked worried.  "I think I might," he agreed.  "But we don't know
what would happen if I go back there.  Does anyone really know what this
magic stuff might do?  In a best case I'd become a vampire again.  Then
again, when I go back, since I'm human again, maybe I'll just turn 210
years old, like that book, Lost Horizon about Shangrila that I read.  The
girl left her magical land and turned really old, then died and blew away
as dust.  Here I have a life, a human life."

"It would only be for the time it takes to find the kids.  Then you could
come back here again and be human for the rest of your life."

"I don't know."  Jeff wanted to help out his new found friends, but he
worried about the magic between the worlds.  What if he was stuck on one
side and Willow was on the other.

Then Rayel spoke up.  "I've wanted to find my son so badly.  I thought he
needed me.  I've spent years trying to get back to him, and when I did, I
found he didn't need me at all.  He has you to love him and take care of
him."  His eyes met Jeff's.  "I only thought about my needs, and finding my
son.  I thought not of the consequences and now I am responsible for losing
the children of this man and others," he nodded toward Scott.  "I know the
pain they are going through because I have lived it for many years.  If you
care for my son, please have mercy on the parents of the children who are
missing."

Willow suddenly looked concerned.  "I really didn't think about the
consequences.  Are we sure that Jeff will just turn into a vampire again?"
he asked.

Robin looked around.  "Lady Caseldra," he said, spotting the small girl by
the door.  "Please find your father and have him come here immediately.  We
have questions for him."  She bowed and quickly left the room.

Meanwhile Craig pulled out his cell phone.  As he feared, he had no
reception on this side of the magical gateway.  "While you folks talk, can
someone get me back to that flying closet?  I need to make some quick phone
calls and it looks like you don't have any cell phone towers in fairyland."

"Come with me," Jennifer said and took him out of the room.

A few tense minutes later, Elnar enter with his daughter.  "My lord," Robin
greeted him with a smile.  The little wizard looked nervously about and
immediately worried.  He and the king hadn't always been on the best of
terms.  He felt, and justifiably so, that Robin didn't really have
confidence in his abilities.  "We have questions about the nature of magic
that perhaps you can explain," the king continued.

"If I may be of service, lord," the little fairy said, taking a seat at the
conference table.

"Please," Robin said, gesturing to Jeff and Willow.

"Well I'm a...I was a vampire," Jeff explained.  "A night walker, I guess
y'all call them.  When I came to this land, it seemed to cure me.  Now I am
human again.  These here folks want me to go back to the human world and
help them out.  It's really important.  But no one seems to know what that
will do to me.  I may be cured and be a normal human, or I may turn back
into a vampire, or I'm afraid I might turn into a 210 year old human and
just die.  Can you tell us what the magic will do?"

Elnar looked extremely nervous with all eyes on him.  "The two worlds are
essentially very different," he explained, stalling for time.  "They are at
what we understand as different vibrational rates.  To come here, you must
vibrate faster than you do in the human land.  In other worlds you must be
speeded up.  This explains why you were cured of your condition.  Being a
night walker, your body has slowed to the point of death.  Your heart no
longer beats and you don't age.  In coming to our world, you were speeded
up, which makes you human again.  Your heart now beats, your blood flows,
and you will age and die as any other human.  In other words you are no
longer immortal."

"That's all well and good, lord wizard," Scott interrupted.  "It explains
why he is now alive, but the question is, what will happen if we take him
back to the human land again?"

"That is harder to say," Elnar replied.  "I don't think he will stay human.
When he steps back into a slower vibrational world, most likely, he will
slow back to the speed of his previous existence.  He will most likely
return to the night walker condition.  There is a chance that he could just
slow enough to be a regular human.  But he certainly won't age and die.  He
will be either a live human or an undead night walker."

"Well, how bad can it be?" Jeff asked as he stood up.  "I've been a night
walker for 187 years.  I guess I can go back to being one again for a
couple of hours."

"I thank you with all my heart," Scott said and came round the table to hug
Jeff.

"You people sure are huggy touchy feely.  You'll have to not do that when I
change back," Jeff laughed.

"Come on, let's find your human world clothes," Willow said, grabbing his
lover's hand.

"We'll meet you down in the wizard's library as soon as you're changed,"
Scott said and jumped up to leave.

"We may need some help finding our way back there again," Jeff said.

"I'll act as your guide," Rayel told him.  "I know the way and it is the
least I can do."

"How know you the castle that well?" Akuta asked him.

"I was a palace guard for Oberon the Stalwart, many years ago before I
found my way to the human world," the man replied.

"It may not take long at all," Craig said.  No one had noticed that he had
slipped back into the room.  "I have our people working on it in Kansas
City, searching databases for two boys with the description you gave me.
They are also tracking police reports, social services, and runaway
networks.  We'll at least try to have some leads for Jeff."

"Before we go back, can I make a request?" Jeff asked.

"Anything, lord," Robin said, grateful that the man was willing to turn
back into a vampire to help them out.

"Can we have breakfast.  This could be my last human meal for a while and
my stomach is growling."

* * *

A short time later the group gathered around the cabinet in the wizard's
chamber.  "Okay, let's get this going," Jeff said.  Willow gave him a quick
kiss and they stepped into the wardrobe together.  Willow opened the door
that suddenly was the backside of their confined area and stepped out.  He
was pleased to see the room was extremely dark, with a small lamp on a
table illuminating it.  Night must have fallen in the human world, which
should be a help.  Jeff stepped out of the closet and took a couple of
steps in the room.

"Well, how do you..."  That was as far as Willow got.  Jeff's eyes rolled
back in his head.  He clutched his arms to his chest and he let out a
scream before falling to the floor.

Willow dropped to his knees, grabbing his lover as others began to file
into the room.  "What's wrong with him?" Willow asked, tears in his eye.
Sharon was examining Jeff.  She and Rood had heard the scream as they
stepped out of the closet.  He appeared to be unconscious so Rood picked
him up and carried him downstairs to a bedroom, laying him on the bed.

Craig came running into the room just after Sharon opened his shirt and
began listening to his chest and feeling for a pulse.  She looked really
worried.  "I...I think he's dead," she said in shock.

"Well of course he's dead.  He's a vampire.  He's supposed to be dead,"
Craig said.

"No, this is a dead body," she said.  "There's no life here."  Then to her
surprise the body which she had just examined began to writhe and moan.

"Jeff," Willow shouted as he sat on the edge of the bed and tried to take
his lover's hand.  Sharon jumped back in shocked surprised.  But the most
frightening thing was the animal sounding growl that came through the
clenched teeth as the body on the bed tossed and thrashed.

"Blood, we need blood!" Craig said.  Scott and Robin had joined them in the
crowded room.  "Where is the nearest butcher shop?"

"Gosh, I don't know," Scott answered back.  "I used to shop at Kroger's.
Umm, there's a meat market on Kellogg Street.  It's probably the closest
thing we have."

"Come on," Craig said grabbing him by the arm.  "Let's hope they are still
open.  And everyone remember he isn't normal right now.  Stay back and
don't give him a chance to bite you."  The two dashed down the stairs, out
the front door and into the van parked at the curb.

"Jeff, I love you," Willow said with tears in his eyes.

"Hurts...it hurts so bad," Jeff gasped and then growled again.  His body
arched in a spasm of pain, then fell limply back onto the bed.  He was
breathing heavier now, laboring for breath and then he simply stopped and
seemed to take on the aspects of a dead body again.

"Will he be alright?" Willow asked, looking up at Sharon.

"I honestly don't know," she said.  "I've never dealt with anything like
this.  But I'm guessing this may be normal for him.  His body is adjusting
from being human to being whatever this is, and it can't be an easy
process."

"Jeff," Willow said, reaching out and putting his hand on his lover's
forehead.  Jeff's eyes snapped open.  They appeared to be red rather than
the normal green color, and he snarled like a wild beast.

Sharon pulled Willow back from the bed with the help of Rayel.  "Just let
him be.  I don't think he's in a condition to think rationally."

Some minutes later, Craig and Scott came back with a large plastic gallon
jug.  It appeared to be full of a red liquid.  They came in to find
everyone in the drawing room.  Sharon had forced the group out of the
bedroom and shut the door.  Rood was standing guard over it making sure no
one went in and more importantly nothing came out.  Craig told him it was
okay.  Rood eyed him carefully and then nodded, letting Craig open the door
and walk in.  The door slammed shut quickly and there was a loud growling
sound as of a wild animal.  Rood turned and stared at the closed door.
Willow stood beside him wondering if they should open it.  But in about ten
minutes, the door opened and Craig stepped out.  "He'll need a bit of time
to compose himself and then he'll be down.  Come on."  They returned
downstairs to the drawing room.

"What happened?" Willow asked.  He was torn up with concern for his
boyfriend.

"Apparently it wasn't an easy transition like when you guys went to the
fairy world and Jeff turned human.  I gave him the blood and after he threw
up the breakfast he ate before leaving, he drank about half a gallon and
seemed to calm down and act more like himself.  He's not very happy about
turning back into a vamp, but he'll cope.  He just needed a bit of time to
come to terms with himself, and to finish off that gallon of blood."

Shortly after that Jeff stepped into the drawing room.  Willow immediately
jumped up and ran to him.  He let the boy embrace him, then slowly put his
arm around his young lover.  He had the look of someone who had been ill
for a very long time, and his skin had taken on a gaunt pallor that looked
quite different from the human Jeff they had known.  "I'm sorry if I
frightened or upset anyone," he apologized in his slow Southern drawl.  "I
guess I didn't realize I would have to go through that transition again.  I
had forgotten how hard it was the last time, but that was so long ago and I
was nailed inside a coffin."

"Can now we work to find my son?" Robin asked sharply.

"Already on it," Craig replied talking on his cell phone.  "The van is out
front and Enterprise will be dropping off another one within the hour.  We
have a charter flight waiting to take us back to KC.  And I have agents in
Kansas City already searching for the boys, making inquiries to see if we
can pick up any leads.  Here," he said and tossed a second cell phone to
Jeff.  "My number is programmed in if we get separated so we can keep in
touch."

"Thanks," Scott said to Craig.  "You're very thorough."

"Well, that's kind of my job," the man replied.  "If Jeff is supporting
this search and rescue plan, then his whole staff will be a part of it."

Within the hour a small charter plane was leaving the Waterford commercial
airport.  It carried Jeff, Craig, Willow, Rayel, Scott, Robin, Rood, and
Sharon.  The others were left behind to guard the gateways back to Tuatha.

 

 

 

 

 

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