ch. 3. closing a few holes.
Colonel Chester had learned not to question orders, but this was ridiculous. First, the base C.O. posts orders that any and all unusual mail or phone calls are to be transferred to him. Then, that a unit be kept at combat readiness and ready to move out until further notice. Now he's got me taking twenty men and a fricking tank, because some kid writes in crayon that there's a monster under his bed!
Phoebe sat with her fists under her chin next to the big tree Shawn had his clubhouse in. It wasn't fair. She'd found Frankenstein, and they'd said she could be in the club. They'd made her stay home when they left to find the old house and the magic necklace thing. They'd called it something like an omelet. When she'd asked they'd said it was sort of like a necklace. Everybody had something to do, except her. They told her to "guard the clubhouse", but she knew that they just didn't want her along. No monsters were going to come here; they'd be too busy chasing Shawn when he found the necklace. That's how it worked on TV. Shawn couldn't run all that fast, but he'd have his bike. The monsters wouldn't be able to catch him. Everything would be alright. She still wanted to be there when they did the spell thing. They couldn't read the funny old book to do it, but they'd said Patrick's sister could. That didn't sound right because even she knew that Patrick's sister was dumb. If Shawn couldn't read it, there was no way the blonde that couldn't use a VCR could do it. They'd gotten Scary German Guy to read it before; why couldn't he read it again? That was it! That's how she could help! She sat up straight and picked up her stuffed dog from beside her. Holding it in front of her, she looked into its eyes and spoke. "Scraps, we're going to go see Scary German Guy."
Otto rubbed his forehead in frustration. He was confident that the boys would find the amulet. There was no mistaking the determination in the eyes of Shawn, the policeman's son. He was confident that they could do the ritual. What worried him was that he couldn't think of a safe place to do it.
There weren't any accounts of what happened IN the castle that night, but what happened TO it was well documented. The priest who replaced the one who disappeared with Dr. Van Helsing had written down the accounts of several villagers and had included descriptions of what physical signs he had found. The castle had been destroyed when it collapsed, seemingly pulled into itself. When people eventually went to see what had happened, they'd been astounded by what they found, or rather what they didn't find. The castle was gone. Not merely destroyed, completely gone. Not a stone or pebble was left. The pit that remained was deeper than the dungeons had been thought to be. The new priest later wrote that surely people had exaggerated in their accounts of how the area was besieged by demons and other things of evil. He described the site as having a feeling of peace, of calmness to it.
With what Otto now knew of the amulet, it seemed that the ritual had been successful. Transylvania had a long history of evil. Around the end of the nineteenth century that had changed. More than one scholar had gone mad trying to find out what happened, and how to repeat it in other places. If the amulet had caused all that, then it was too dangerous to use just anywhere. Who knew what unleashing its power could do in a population center. The castle was probably destroyed because the stones themselves held psychic imprints of all that had been done there. Perhaps if the ritual were done in a place where the ambient energies weren't so steeped with evil... Perhaps here. Yes, that might work. He looked around the room. This place had been his home for a long time, but then again, so had Germany. Even as old as he was, he could start over if he had to. This house would be safe from anything that would try to stop the ritual. It had been heavily warded by the council's magic-users when he'd first moved here. The good things that had happened in this house since then would have strengthened the wards even further. Such an atmosphere might very well spare his home. Lacking any evil to target in the immediate vicinity, the amulet would reach out and grab the monsters that Director Travers had mentioned. They would probably be the greatest imbalance in several miles. He hoped that he was right, that his home wouldn't be affected, but it would be worth it if even one thing of great evil were eliminated. If he were wrong, well at least innocent bystanders would be at a minimum. His neighbor on one side was on vacation, and the one on the other side would be at work when the ritual had to be done.
His thoughts were interrupted by the doorbell. He hurried to the door, expecting Shawn and the others. He found a little girl instead, She seemed familiar. He'd seen her before... Phoebe, Shawn's little sister; that's who she was. She seemed a bit nervous. "Are you looking for Shawn?"
"No Sir", She answered in a quiet voice.
"Can I help you with something?"
"Can you read the funny old book again tonight? I don't think Patrick's sister can do it."
This child knew about the diary? Didn't those boys understand the need for secrecy? Then again, he knew how hard it was to keep secrets from children, especially when they were related to you. He remembered that he hadn't been much older when he'd found out about his own father's "other" job. "I suppose I could, although I'm not sure that it would be needed tonight." Otto replied cautiously.
Phoebe spoke with absolute certainty. "Shawn will find the necklace thing, you'll see."
"How can you be so sure?" Otto asked, mildly curious.
"Because he took Frankenstein with him to the scary house.", the little girl replied as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
Otto's eyes widened. It was a few moments before he was able to speak in a shaky voice. "I want you to show me where. Wait here while I get my keys."
A/N Sorry if the quality seems to suffer for Phoebe's parts, it just seemed to fit better for the internal dialogue of a five year old. I was also trying to express her innocence and the trust she has in her brother.