Tattoo Book 7 part 3.2
Posted by harmony0stars on August 27, 2011
“I suppose I should just be glad that I won’t be causing an incident between England and Scotland, and quite possibly Ireland,” Jack griped as he threw himself onto the bed. It made alarming creaking noises and sagged under his weight. “Boggles the mind how far I‘ve fallen… so we‘re to be grave robbers now?”
The squalid little apartment in which they’d holed up smells of mold and dishwater. It made the hotel that Mike had booked when they first arrived in Scotland look like five star accommodations by comparison. There wasn’t a floorboard that didn’t squeal under their feet or a patch of wall that didn’t show alternating layers of peeling paint and wall paper. It was furnished, but that wasn’t saying much. Glory would rather have camped out on some cardboard in an alley than used any of the furniture in the two room flat.
It had been Jack’s recommendation that they take an apartment rather than rooms at a hotel simply because it was a matter of record what kinds of places Mike preferred. Only a week and a half had passed, unlike the last time Glory had traveled to the Otherworld, but that was long enough that Jack’s superiors would have begun searching for their missing agents and the American visitors. Jack really didn’t want to be found without Maria, though he didn’t bother to explain why he was so nervous.
At least Glory had been able to call home to reassure Ann and the boys that she was okay, and herself that nothing untoward has happened in her absence. They had been worried after over a week of silence, but it would have been worse if she’d been out of contact for months. Either Arawn was getting better at connecting their two worlds, or time between the two planes was so inconstant that there was no way of measuring how much would pass on each foray.
“Maybe… I don’t know,” Glory sighed and sat on the edge of a rickety wooden chair, the seat white with wear. It was possibly the cleanest piece of furniture in the place. “We would actually have to find his grave before we could even consider robbing it. The abbey of Scone has been missing for centuries.”
“Scone?” Trevor said, his brow wrinkling as if the name of the place had sparked some memory.
“Is that where they make those nasty little cakes?” Mike asked in an attempt lighten the mood.
“You’ve obviously never had anything but store bought,” Jack sniffed. “Say what you will about modern advancements, there’s some things the twenty-first century simply does not do better.”
Perhaps sensing her growing irritation, Mike tried to suppress his humor. “So… missing huh?”
“Well, they know generally where it was,” she said in an exasperated tone, “but there’s a castle built on that spot now.”
“The Palace of Scone,” Jack broke in. Mike snorted, and Glory gave him a dirty look which he ignored.
“Look… I can go by myself,” Glory said. “You guys have really been through enough on my account.”
“Never mind,” Mike replied, looking over an atlas he’d purchased. “If it’s as important as you say, you need all the help you can get.”
“Well… at least I don’t think it will be dangerous,” she said half to herself, “it’s just the best lead.”
“Wouldn‘t matter if there was danger,” Mike said without looking up. “You might need us anyway.”
The drive to Scone took a little over an hour, ample time for Glory to prepare. Before leaving Edinburgh, they stopped at an occult store called the Wyrdshop so Glory could purchase some supplies. After their adventures in the Summerlands, her cousins were not so quick to turn their noses up at magic as they had been when they first met. Still they waited outside when she went inside. She’d just as soon have had Jack wait outside too with the way he snickered at some of the merchandise. Granted most of it was hokum, that didn’t excuse his rudeness.
By the time they reached the palace, Glory had fashioned four pieces of clear topaz into charms that would hopefully keep them from being arrested for defacing a national landmark (if it came to that). They were nowhere near as useful as the tarnkappe, but seeing as the authorities were unlikely to take kindly to strangers digging up the landscape, it was better to be proactive. What she had in mind was going to take enough out of her that she didn’t want to have to worry about upsetting the staff.
Jack held his little piece of clear topaz to the sky with a smirk. “Well, I suppose I’m all set for my life a crime.”
“Hush,” Glory said crossly. “It’s just for misdirection. It won’t actually make you invisible. So don’t do anything suspicious.”
“Like dig a nice big hole in the landscape, looking for the real coronation stone?” He tucked the charmed topaz in his pocket and let out sharp bark of laughter. Glory wasn’t the only one to flinch at the high pitch.
“We’re just doing recon,” Mike said. “No one’s digging any holes unless we have to, and then it’ll be at night. Not in broad daylight.” He glanced at Trevor who had been strangely quiet since they’d left Tir Na n’Og. If Trevor noticed the concern, he didn’t acknowledge it. “They’ll figure out a way to turn her human again, Trevor.”
Trevor looked up, startled. “Yes… eventually. I’m not worried about that, though it‘s too bad about… well, probably for the best considering how people feel about their…” He trailed off, and ended with, “Well, she’ll have a happy life there when she’s changed back, happier than she would have had here. I’ve seen it, so… well, I’m glad.” As everyone continued to stare at him, he ducked his head. “Sorry about being so quiet. It’s just a bad feeling. I’ve been trying to drag up more details, but there’s nothing yet.”
to Book 7, part 3, page 3