Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5.13

Posted by harmony0stars on December 7, 2009

When they finally reached home, it was already dark outside. Glory had considered trying to sneak out of the house in the morning while Robert was still sleeping, but there was no telling how long she’d be at the dig site. He hadn’t been shy about telling her all about the various foster homes he’d been in and out of, so she really didn’t want to damage their fledgling family by abusing his trust. It was clear from the way he seemed to cling to her, that he had abandonment issues. She had no desire to contribute to them by leaving him alone in the house when he wasn’t expecting it.

Which meant that she’d had to tell him exactly what had occurred while Professor Scott had her undivided attention beneath the campus of Miskatonic U. Though Glory tried to convince Robert that staying in a house warded against unwanted entry would be much safer than accompanying her to the dig site, he refused to be pacified. The promise of a new Xbox 360 Elite with Ethernet and his very own personal computer failed to change his mind, even as he was quick to point out that he wouldn’t mind having them regardless.

Glory sighed and hoped the draug was not active during the day. “The computer maybe though it will stay in the library,” she agreed. “You’ll need it for schoolwork anyway. But just so you understand, this dig site is possibly every bit as dangerous as Tacita Ruggles’ little shindig. So if I say jump, you don’t bother asking how high, you just jump as high as you can.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied abashedly, perhaps finally regretting his determination to accompany her, but too proud to admit it.

“What are you wearing tomorrow?”

Robert looked baffled. “I don’t know. I was just going to grab something…”

“No, never mind,” she said, having a better idea. “I’ll add some charms to your sneakers, since you’ll be wearing them every day regardless of whether you’re with me or not. I can always come up with something better later, just so long as you have something by tomorrow.”

“Cool! Can I watch?” he asked eagerly. He sat down at the foot of the stairs, prying his sneakers off and handing them to her.

“Robert, it’s really not that interesting!” she assured him, steering him up the stairs as he stood. “And anyway, it’s late. Time for you to be in bed.”

“Awwww!”

“To bed, or you’re staying home tomorrow,” she replied sweetly, adding, “I don’t know what we might encounter at the dig site, so I don’t want you to be sleepy or distracted.”

Grumbling to himself, Robert stomped up the stairs as Glory followed, smirking slightly. He really was a good kid, regardless of what Officer Hart had said, but she was undecided on how much magic to which he should actually be exposed. The tracking spell seemed fairly harmless, the same with protective spells, and she couldn’t help but think that sharing her research with him would be a good thing if he ever had to defend himself from supernatural enemies. But it would also mean she’d have to show him her secret room and the ancient tomes and manuscripts she had so far collected. She would not repeat her mistake and write another book. Everything she came up with now, stayed in her head. The more Robert learned however, the more he could be forced to give up to Lori if she ever managed to get her hands on him, and there was no way to ensure that he wouldn‘t write anything down himself. So another book to lose. Would teaching him then be reducing her troubles or adding to them?

Ultimately she decided to focus on creating protective charms for the boy and let her worries over what he might or might not learn from her germinate for another day. Glory carried the shoes into her room and stood in front of her entertainment system. If anyone had ever expected a secret entrance to be found in the room, surely they would have thought the closet was a logical entry. Instead, she’d had a biometric iris scanner installed in the remote sensor of her television. Leaning down, she pressed the on button as she looked into the panel. The only indication that it had worked was the faintest of clicks as the locks released on one of the huge speakers to either side of the television. Both were five foot tall, bolted to the wall behind them so that they did not touch the floor at all. The last thing she needed were marks in the carpet to give her secret access away.

Even unlocked, the speaker on the left appeared no different than the speaker on the right. Her hand print was required to open the door the rest of the way. The iris scanner did not mean the speaker itself would swing away from the wall, at least not immediately. Instead, the huge box was fitted with a false front. The innards of the speaker swung out as she pulled the door open to reveal another sensor inside. She lay her hand over the panel and a faint whirring a moment later meant that the hydraulic locks had released. If anyone ever did discover the existence of the secret room, even ripping the speaker off the wall would only reveal a blank rectangle identical to the one behind the right speaker.

She shut the door of the speaker and pulled. It might have looked effortless to an observer, but the whole thing actually weighed over a hundred pounds. She’d instructed the construction workers to install hinges which could withstand several hundred pounds worth of weight pulling on them and once the men had gone, she’d filled every available space in the speaker with sandbags. Even if someone managed to get through both locks, they’d still have a difficult time getting through the door and might even think there was a third lock to find. It was all she could think of to delay a truly determined thief from getting to her collection. The house itself was peppered with valuables to distract a casual burglar from her little library, if they could even get past her protective spells.

to Book 5, page 14

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