Tuatha's Children  

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2011 

 

 

Chapter 8

"Roon, I am so hungry," Raven complained.

"Just be quiet.  I am going to go in there and get some of that food.  You
wait for me beside that large stone dwelling."  The boy pointed at a big
brick building.  Raven did as he was told while Roon made a dash across the
street and walked to the doors of the grocery store.  They opened as if by
magic and he slowly walked in.  He had been watching others and he saw how
they exchanged paper, coins and cards for the food.  He knew he didn't have
any, but figured he could just sneak out with a few pieces of fruit and no
one would be the wiser.  The boy casually picked up a couple of apples and
some grapes.  He did his best to try and conceal them in the baggy clothes
that Rayel had found for him, then casually walked back to the door,
avoiding the men at the checkout counters.  He was just about to slip out
the magical doors when someone shouted at him.

"Hey you, get back here and pay for that stuff."  Roon bolted, running out
the open doors and dashing into the street, narrowly avoiding being hit by
a car.  He dashed down the sidewalk and around the corner of the building
where Raven was waiting, and right into the arms of a man in uniform.  He
tried to struggle but the man had an iron grip on the collar of his shirt.
He was half dragged to a waiting car and roughly shoved into the back seat
beside his friend.

"What will happen to us now?" Raven asked nervously in Tuathan.

"I know not, but at least we can eat."  He pulled an apple out of his
pocket and handed it to Ravin who greedily bit into it.

"That ain't Spanish," one of the cops said to his partner as they pulled
out into traffic and headed back toward the precinct station.  "What
language is that they're talking?"

"How the hell should I know," the other cop said.  "Not our problem."

"These people cannot understand our language.  Speak not in English and
they will not know what we say," Roon wind whispered to his friend.  Raven
nodded back, knowing that he hadn't mastered the art of wind whispering,
speaking so that the sound only went to the person you intended to
communicate with, and not to everyone else within hearing range.  The two
cops in the car had no idea that Roon was even speaking.  "Remember our
games of he who must not be seen?" Roon asked.  Again Raven nodded.  "As
soon as this wagon stops and they open the doors we shall play that game.
I think we can easily hide from these two.  They will not be able to see
Tuathans when they know not what to look for."

"But Roon, I'm not so good at disappearing as you are," Raven whispered
back.  "They're jabbering back there in that foreign language again," one
of the men in the front seat said.

"Well they have interpreters down at the station.  Maybe one of them can
understand them," the driver replied.  "If not, then someone from
children's services might.  Anyway, it's not our problem.  We picked up the
two little shop lifters that had been hitting that area.  That was our
job."

"Yeah, but that one kid ate the evidence."

"I shall create a diversion," Roon wind whispered.  "As soon as they are
focused on me, you hide the Tuathan way.  You are good enough at it to fool
these two.  When they look for you, I shall hide.  Then we can get away
from here."

In a short time the car pulled to a stop in the precinct parking lot.  The
two cops got out of the front seat and walked around to the back.  One
opened the door on Raven's side of the car and said, "Get out."  The two
boys slid out of the car, but as soon as they were on the pavement, Roon
kicked one of the officers in the shin and started to run.  The other man
grabbed him before he could get away.  They then turned to find Raven
missing.  "Go find the other boy," the man yelled who was holding Roon.
The cop turned and began to run down the lot looking between cars, trying
to find the boy.  Meanwhile Roon appeared as docile as he could, hoping the
man would release his hold.  It worked and the man ordered him to walk
ahead, keeping his eyes on the boy.  But he made the mistake of glancing up
for a moment and in that brief half second, the boy completely vanished.
The cop stopped and looked around.  As impossible as it seemed, the child
was gone, as if he had never existed.  The policeman began to search and
then backtracked his footsteps, but it was too late.  Both boys had almost
magically disappeared.


* * *

"Are you sure you're okay?" Willow asked his lover.

"I'm fine.  I guess I just didn't expect it to hit me this hard.  I wasn't
human all that long, but it sure was a shock to turn back into a vampire.
I'll be okay.  Don't worry about me."  Jeff reassured his boyfriend, but
Willow could still detect a difference, a cold aloofness that hadn't been
there before.

As the group stepped off the plane they were met by a large passenger van
and driver.  The man was an old friend of Craig's from his days in the
military.  They quickly compared notes as the group climbed into the
vehicle.  "There was a surveillance video of two boys running down the
street from the bus depot two days ago," the driver told Craig as Robin and
Scott listened in.  "And there was a report of two boys shoplifting food
not far from there.  A scanner said they were picked up by the police."
The group then headed off toward the police station thinking this might be
easier than they had suspected.

However, in arriving a short time later, they were informed of the
disappearance of the two boys.  Robin spoke directly with one of the two
officers, explaining that it might be his son.  "What was the appearance of
the boys?" he asked as he looked deeply into the eyes of the policeman.  He
was using the deep communication, although the officer was not aware of it.
After the two stared intently at each other for a few minutes, Robin broke
the eye contact.  "They are the right ones.  They are our children," Robin
said as he turned and headed out the door.

"Wait a minute!" the cop shouted.  "We have some questions for you.  You
can't just walk out of here.  Why did those kids run away?  Have you got
any proof they are yours?"

"You let them get away," Craig said as he stepped in front of the cop while
the others slipped out the door.  "I think Mr. Smythe's attorney might have
some questions for you."  Craig didn't know if Robin had a last name or
not, so he used Jeff's name, knowing they had a legal staff at their
disposal.

In a few minutes they were out of the building and crossing the parking lot
to the van.  Jeff cocked his head to one side and took a deep breath.  He
noticed a scent that he hadn't spotted before.  It was similar to Robin,
but subtly different.  It could only be another fairy, and he was certain
it wasn't any of their party.  He immediately began to follow the trail.
"He has something," Craig said as they watched the vampire run off down the
sidewalk and into the darkness.

Jeff ran down the street following the scent.  It darted behind a building
and he followed down the dark alleyway.  He continued to follow the trail
through a very seedy neighborhood and eventually came to a dead end at a
blocked alley.  He looked about, but there were no children there.  They
must have doubled back.  Jeff turned and saw the entrance blocked by a
number of teenage boys dressed in leather.  Jeff was instantly on alert as
he began to walk back to the alley entrance.

"Yo, looks like we got us someone snooping around in our territory," one of
the boys said with an arrogant tone.  They all stepped up to block Jeff's
exit.

"I'm looking for two small boys," Jeff said.

"Well, looks like you found us instead," the one who had spoken before
replied.

"If y'all will just let me pass, there won't be any trouble," Jeff
returned.

"There won't be any trouble?" the teenager laughed.  "He's afraid he might
give us some trouble, guys.  What do you think?  You think he's gonna give
us some trouble?"

Jeff sighed.  He didn't have time for this.  Moving like lightning he
grabbed the speaker by the throat and lifted him off the ground, easily
tossing him down the alley.  The others moved in rapidly, but Jeff was
moving almost too fast for them to see.  He grabbed each boy, flipping them
back into a pile on top of their buddy.  "What the hell was that?" he heard
one of them say as they slowly tried to disentangle themselves and get up.
Meanwhile he sniffed and caught the scent again, moving on.  He continued
down the block.

"Where is he?" Willow asked as the group all looked out the van windows,
peering into the darkness.

"Well, he went this direction," the driver said.  "But he was moving so
fast, it was like a blur.  I think we lost him."

"At least he has a cell phone with him," Craig said as they continued on
down the street.

"But it will be dawn soon," Willow said.  "We've got to find him before
that."  They continued to drive around for the better part of the night.
Just as the morning sun was beginning to peak over the horizon, Craig's
cell phone rang.

"Where the hell are you?" Craig asked.

"I'm in a basement of an old warehouse not far from a river.  The last
street sign I saw was Second and Walnut."

"We're on our way."

Robin leaned forward in his seat.  "Has he found the boys?"

"Not yet," Jeff replied, having heard the question through the phone.
"They were here, in this basement, but I think that might have been a day
ago.  As soon as the sun sets, I can get back on their trail."

"Why cannot he look for them now?" Robin asked angrily.  "If they were
there, they must be nearby."

"We can look," Craig explained.  "But he can't be out in the sun.  Remember
he's a night walker."

"Of course," Robin said grumpily as he sat back.

The van continued on to the warehouse district and drove around.  Willow
called Jeff on the cell phone and they tried to point out where he might be
hidden.  Finally coming to a deserted looking building, they pulled to the
side allowing Craig to check it out.  There was a basement stair leading
down off the street.  Craig pushed on the door and it opened into the dark
room.  "Jeff, you in here?" Craig shouted.  When he received the
affirmative reply, he went back and collected the others who followed him
down into the building.

"They apparently spent some time here," Jeff told the others as they looked
around the empty room by the beams of their flashlights.  There was a dirty
mattress in one corner but nothing else to be seen.

"They are not here now," Robin replied.  "Cannot we continue searching?"

"I'll check with our sources," Craig answered, "but I think we'll have the
best luck with Jeff trailing them.  We're all exhausted and we need to get
some sleep.  Some of us have been up more than twenty four hours."

"There's a motel just up the road a bit," Fred, their driver offered.

"Great, let's go back there and get a fresh start at dusk," Sharon
suggested.

"We need no sleep.  We can continue searching," Robin said as he and Rood
stepped forward.

"But where would you look?" Craig asked him.

After some discussion they all agreed to return to the hotel for the day.
"Um, one small problem," Willow spoke up.  "Jeff can't go out now in the
sun.  He'll have to stay here."

"That's fine," Jeff said quickly.  "Y'all go back to the hotel and get some
rest.  I'll be fine here.  I've got a nice comfy mattress to stretch out
on."

"You aren't staying here alone," Willow argued.

"Well you sure as hell aren't staying here with me," his lover replied.
Despite their argument, Jeff insisted Craig take Willow back to the hotel.
"You'll be sleeping anyway.  You won't miss me.  I'll be fine here as long
as Craig brings me back something tonight."  He gave his friend a knowing
look and Craig nodded, thinking he would find a blood supply somewhere
before returning.  "Now you go and let me get some rest too.  I'll see you
in a few hours."

Despite his protests, Craig managed to drag Willow out.  The group all
piled back in the van and Fred took them off to the motel.  Jeff settled
down on the mattress and tried to get some rest.  The thirst was beginning
to build and he knew he needed to drink soon, but was sure he could hold
off till Craig returned in the evening.

Shortly after noon, Jeff had been napping.  He suddenly sat up, his senses
alerted by a sound.  Someone was coming down the steps toward the basement
door.  He got up and stepped to a darker corner to be away from any light
spill that might come in if the door was opened.  The knob turned and the
door began to open slowly.  The bright sun lit the room, causing Jeff to
turn his face away and hide his sensitive eyes.  Someone entered the room
and the door closed again.  In the dim room, lit by only the slightest
gloom filtering down from upper floors with broken out windows, a small
figure moved across the open space.  It was obvious the newcomer couldn't
see as well in the dark and was moving slowly and carefully.  Jeff took a
sniff and instantly detected the scent.  It was one of the two boys he had
been tracking.  Jeff moved swiftly across the room, grabbing the boy from
behind and putting his hand over the child's mouth to prevent him from
screaming.

The boy struggled, but Jeff being much stronger, held him in place.  There
was an intense burning at the back of his throat and he had an almost
overwhelming desire to just bite down and end the struggle.  But he pulled
on all the inner strength he had to restrain and whispered quietly.  "I
mean you no harm.  Don't scream.  I'm here to help you.  Do you
understand?"  The figure in his arms still remained tense, but stopped
fighting as hard and managed a nod.  "Where is the other boy?" Jeff asked
as he slowly slipped his hand from the child's mouth.

"He...he got caught," the voice sobbed.  "Are you gonna kill me?"

"No, if you promise not to run away, I'll call your parents."

"I promise," the boy said between sobs.

Jeff released him and reached in his pocket for the cell phone.  The minute
the boy was free he bolted for the door.  But Jeff was faster and was
standing against it, his back to the closed door before the boy reached it.
The kid screamed again and ran back in the darkness falling down on the
concrete floor.  Jeff quickly flipped open the cell phone and punched in
Craig's number.  A few rings sounded, and then his friend's voice came on
the line.  "I've got one of them," Jeff said into the phone.

At that moment the boy screamed.  "What's going on?" Craig asked urgently.
"Jeff, you aren't doing anything we'll regret are you?"

"Not yet," Jeff said through gritted teeth.  "Get her quickly, please.  And
bring a drink with you."  He clicked the phone off and dropped it back in
his pocket.

"Please let me go!" the child pleaded as he scrambled back in the darkness,
finally coming up against a brick wall.  "Please hurt me not!"

"I won't hurt you if you just shut up!" Jeff growled, the burning in his
throat becoming more intense.  "What's your name, boy?"

"Raven," the child whimpered.

"Raven, are you the king's son or are you the other one?"

The boy was silent for a moment.  "How know you about the king?"

"Can't you just answer my question?" Jeff said, frustrated by the child.

"I...I guess I am the other one."

"Well at least we have one of you.  The king and his mate and several
others from Tuatha are here looking for you.  I just called my friend and
they should be here soon."

"Are they really angry?" Raven asked.

"They aren't exactly happy, but they'll be pleased to find you.  Where is
the other boy?"

"He got caught last night," Raven repeated his earlier statement.

"Caught?  Caught by what, or who?"

"Some man in one of those funny horseless wagons.  He grabbed Roon but I
got away.  They looked for me for a while, and then they went away.  I was
hungry so I was trying to find some food but I found none."

"You'll have all the food you want soon," Jeff said as he slowly slid down
the door and slumped onto the floor.

"What is wrong with you?  Are you sick?" Raven asked.  He began crawling
toward the voice.

"I'm fine," Jeff said through his gritted teeth.  "Just stay back."  Raven
stopped and sat in the middle of the floor.  "Tell me about the man who
took your friend."

* * *

The van pulled up outside the building and everyone jumped out, running
down the stairs to the door.  Craig stopped them all at the bottom of the
stairwell.  "Let, me go in first.  Remember, it's daytime and the light is
dangerous for Jeff."

"I will go with you," Robin said, matter-of-factly. Craig just nodded his
head.  The two gently pushed open the door and Craig slipped in followed by
Robin.  Craig turned on his flashlight, sweeping the beam around the room.
The first thing he caught was the face of a frightened young boy sitting in
the middle of the floor.  "Raven!" Robin said in relief and rushed to the
child.  "Are you hurt?  Where is Roon?"

Craig's beam swept the floor and behind the door he found Jeff, hunched
over.  "Here buddy," he said, slipping the jug of blood to him.  "Drink
this."  Jeff reached out snatching the plastic jug and taking a fast swig
from it.  He seemed to relax a bit and then sat up straight, drinking again
deeply.

"What is he drinking?" Raven asked as he looked over at the man who had
found him.  "It looks like blood."

"Worry not about it," Robin said.  "We must get you home."  He took the
boy's hand and led him out of the darkness and into the sunlight outside.
Outside the others quickly surrounded the boy, Sharon giving him a fast
examination and pronouncing him in good shape.  "Where is Roon?" Robin
asked again.

"Some man in one of those funny wagons caught him last night.  I hid.  The
man took him away."  Raven began to cry.

Robin hugged the boy close.  "Worry not, child.  We shall find him and
bring him home."

 

 

 

 

 

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