“For the love of thunder!” Damien ran for the door. Eugene of all people, was out there alone. What was he going to do if a kidnapper went after him? Fix their saddle with the pliers he kept in his back pocket?
He rushed down the stairs. “Eugene!” You can’t let him know you’re worried. “Hold up. I came out to help you with the gate.”
The moon lit the sky bright enough for Damien to see the entire farm. The door to the barn was closed. Horses were by the gate. Not finding what he sought after, Damien looked further up the road. Nothing.
By this time Dan and the other boys joined him on the steps. “He couldn’t have gone too far.” Peter said, “It’s not like he left too long ago.”
“That gate is still open.” Brian pointed to the gate on the other side of the barn.
“You’d think that’d be the first one he went for.” Damien was not happy. Not happy at all. “Why can’t he just do things right the first time.”
Given the situation, Peter gave the most logical answer,“If people did things right the first time, we wouldn’t need people like Eugene to fix them.”
Breaking up into two groups of three, Dan took Brian and Peter towards the front of the ranch and Mark, Nicholas and Damien went in the direction of the opened gate.
Damien tried peeking in a gap between the two barn doors in hopes of seeing Eugene’s work light. No such luck. A flicker of light in the prairie caught Damien’s attention. Was Eugene exploring in the field with his flashlight? He stared in the direction of the flicker in hopes of seeing a more sustained beam. Nothing.
Mark had closed the gate and returned. “There’s no sign of him in this area.”
All three of them glanced in the direction of the beginnings of the tree line behind the house. Again, Damien saw the flicker of light. How could Eugene have moved from the area east of the barn to the area behind the house so quickly? His eyes were playing tricks on him.
The air around him blew in a circular pattern. As it increased in intensity, it blew through his hair. Damien felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand. Knowing with absolute certainty that whatever it was that wanted his friend was about to strike, Damien ran for the field behind the house.
A familiar voice pierced the worry surrounding him. “Damien, where are you going?”
It sounded like she was angry with him. Torn between trying to save his friend and trying to save himself from the wrath of someone who as equally powerful as him Damien slowed but maintained his course.
“Eugene’s out there. C’mon.”
“Eugene is sitting on the front porch with Angelica.”
He slowed to a stop.
“We decided nobody should go out alone. And what’s the first thing you do?” Alternating glances from the field to the house, Damien finally associated the name with the voice.
She was standing beside him. Mark and Nicholas watched him from the barn and Andrea was beside him? The air around them was still. His mind replayed the discussion from when they shared their encounters in the labyrinth. Andrea never shared hers.
“Who did you see in the labyrinth?”
Her face sparkled. Like she dropped a bucket of glitter on it sparkled. Andrea simply said, “Ask me no questions; I’ll tell you no lies. Simply be happy, I’m always your ally.”
Author note: Thank you for taking the time to read this part of the story. I hope you are enjoying what you’ve read so far. If you can, leave me a note to say hello…or let me know what you think of the story so far. Until the next chapter 🙂
Categories: Strangers in a Strange Land