The Birthday Sham Pt. 3
"Yes, that's right officer," said the old woman who lives on every block and minds everyone else's business. "The license plate said 'Freek Andy'. No I don't know what that means. Yes, you heard me right. Orange haired monsters and a giant spider. Yes, they were eating up two little kids. No, I'd rather not leave my name, goodbye," she hung up the phone and wondered if she had done the right thing. With a heavy sigh she poured herself a cup of tea and went back to her post peeping out from behind the left curtain of her front window.
"Kids," she said dismissively while blowing on her tea, "Always getting in trouble with giant spiders and goblins. Some things just never change." She began to smile while her thoughts drifted to her monster filled past, and sighed. "Those were the days, weren't they?"
Meanwhile at the police station, Officer Nancy Newton hung the phone up after saying she'd look into the old woman's report and then she stared out the window and thought about her options. When she was done thinking and pondering, she excused herself to the bathroom and made a call on her cell phone.
A phone rang at The Society's Head Quarters, which Gustav answered with his usual zeal and enthusiasm. "Gustav speaking, thanks for calling The Society's Supernatural Mishap Hotline, what is the nature of the Supernatural Mishap that you find yourself mixed up in on such a fine day?"
"Hi Gustav, it's me, Nancy," she said through a smile.
Gustav could hear the smile she made and it made his face turn an uncomfortable shade of red, which of course Nancy could hear just fine. She tried to un-smile and make a regular conversation face, but the sound of Gustav turning red was too much and she found herself unable to get her face to do anything other than smile. Gustav was sure he heard Nancy's smile intensify and it caused a little bit of steam to shoot out of his ear. Nancy thought she heard a wisp of something or other and giggled, just inside herself though, she didn't want to embarrass Gustav.
Gustav cleared his throat and tried to remember he was at work. "Hi Nancy," he said in the coolest way he could muster, which wasn't very cool at all. Not that it mattered. Nancy saw past Gustav's lack of coolness and found him to be genuine and kind, which are two qualities that always beat out coolness.
"Is everything ok? I never thought you'd have to use this number." Gustav gave the Supernatural Mishap Hotline number to Nancy instead of trying to kiss her good night after their first date because he really liked her and had for some time and he wanted her to feel safe during this recent upswing in monstrous activity. It seemed like the gentlemanly thing to do, especially since they spent most of the evening talking about the new Supernatural Task Force the police recently formed in order to better handle the current state of increased Weirdness that had been plaguing the town. Monsters had been appearing everywhere since Halloween and nobody knew why. Neither the police nor the Members of The Society had any clue whatsoever about how this happened. They only knew that things were getting worse and they needed to do something about them.
"No, I just got off the phone with Anne."
"The Old Lady who always calls and never leaves her name?"
"Exactly!" Nancy was pretty impressed that Gustav remembered and Gustav couldn't help but feel a little proud of himself for remembering but each quickly remembered that they were in the midst of some very serious business and they shouldn't be acting like they were making plans to attend an ice cream social this weekend. There would be time later for Gustav and Nancy to smile, giggle, and otherwise awkwardly communicate their newfound mutual affections for each other, but this wasn't that time. This time was for handling a delicate disaster and ensuring that there would be time later for all those things.
"Okay, so anyway. Anne said she just saw a giant spider attack two kids."
"Oh my." Gustav's face returned to its normal color, then he began to turn pale.
"There's more. A white van pulled up and two goblins jumped out, tossed them in the van, and sped off."
"Oh dear." Gustav's face was as pale as pale could be and continued, somehow, to get paler.
"She said the license plate was 'Freek Andy'."
"Are you sure?" Gustav said, serious and not pale this time.
"Yes, that's what she said."
They spoke for another minute or so about the incident before hanging up amid a rash of blushing, a few awkward 'bye-byes', and a pair of matching smiles. Each knew that the other knew that they would speak again soon with saying a word about it, which left each of them feeling hopeful and light, like they were filled with fizzy bubbles that were constantly popping inside of them, making them feel like a shaken soda can whenever each thought of the other.
Gustav knew who Freek Andy was, everyone in The Society did. Well, everyone except Jimmy and Sally and that would be remedied soon enough, if it hadn't already. He deduced from the address that the kids were definitely Jimmy and Sally, which was both good news and bad news. If there were two kids in town capable of dealing with Freek Andy, it was Jimmy and Sally. On the other hand, Jimmy and Sally couldn't be sent to rescue themselves, which created a problem.
He picked up the phone again and called Jimmy's Grand Father, "Magus, it's Gustav. Freek Andy has returned and kidnapped our Junior Sorcerers. Yes sir, right away." Gustav hung up the phone and left his post at the Supernatural Mishap Hotline. Less than a minute later he was speeding towards Grand Father's house.
While Gustav was doing that, Grand Father picked the phone up, dialed a number, and patiently waited for the other party to answer.
"Hello," said a woman's voice.
"Anne? It's Magus. Can you stop by? I could use your help on this."
"I'm retired Magus, I'm done with this."
"Anne, this is a Level 10 Situation, please. I'm begging you."
"Level 10? Why didn't you say? That's the worst one."
"So you'll come?"
"Give me an hour."
"I'll send a car", Grand Father said.
Anne hung up the phone and poured herself another mug of tea. She took her daily vitamin before sitting down at her kitchen table and staring at the bird feeder in the back yard, calmly sipping.
When she finished her tea she rinsed out the mug and went upstairs to get dressed. She opened her closet and pulled an ancient looking wooden box from all the way in the back. She placed the box on her bed and opened it. It contained a robe, a dagger, a belt, and an ornate looking wand with bunches of lightning bolts carved on it, and a witch hat.
"Been a while, huh?" Anne mumbled to her reflection while she stood in front of a mirror. "Everything still fits," she smiled at herself, pleased with her appearance. She took off her robe and placed it, along with her hat, dagger, and wand into a back pack. She then busied herself with getting dressed and ready for the meeting. When she was done, she looked and felt years younger. She swore she was a little taller too, but couldn't be sure.
"Well, there's time enough for one more cup of tea," she noticed aloud, "might as well help myself," and that's exactly what she did.
Gustav arrived at Grand Father's house and was immediately sent back out to go pick Anne up.
Grandfather sat impatiently at his dining room table. The waiting game was his least favorite of all the games. He tried to keep his mind on the situation at hand. He went over the facts, as he currently knew them, and had to admit he had no useful ideas whatsoever at the moment. He knew Freek Andy was back, but how? Why? What did he want with Jimmy and Sally?
Freek Andy should still have been imprisoned in the jar buried under the biggest tree in town. Dealing with him was one of the first real assignments he, Jimmy's Grandmother, and Anne worked on back when they first joined The Society.
Freek Andy used to be called just "Andy" but that was a long time ago. He also used to be Anne's twin brother, but an evil heart that's full of darkness and jealously can, in time, dissolve any bond of love between two people, even the special bond between twin siblings. Andy always wanted to be a Grand Magus but he was rotten at magick and no amount of practice or study made any kind of a difference in his abilities. It broke his heart when his sister was accepted as a Member of The Society, which he had been dreaming of joining even before he found out it was real. The disappointment was too much for him to bear. Eventually he turned to Shadow Magick, where anger and jealousy, as opposed to truth and love, form the source of one's magick powers.
To be a Master of Shadow Magick a person doesn't have to be knowledgeable about the subtle laws that govern the universe, all that's required is a heart full of hate and a willingness to make your personal failures everyone's fault but yours. Freek Andy was good at Shadow Magic, maybe the best. If there is such a thing as being the best at the worst, he was that thing.
For months he tormented every member of The Society until things got so bad that a council was convened and declared Freek Andy must be destroyed. The task fell to Jimmy's Grand Parents and Anne, who, through no real fault of their own failed to destroy Andy. But they did, through great effort and sacrifice, manage to lock him in a jar and imprison him all the way at the bottom of the biggest tree in town for what was supposed to have been forever, but only lasted until a few days ago.
Grand Father lit his pipe and continued to wait for Gustav to return with Anne. After several minutes the doorbell rang. As Grand Father rose to answer it, the door flew off its hinges and a grotesque looking man with wild red hair and a black robe entered the living room.
He opened his mouth to speak, revealing a grotesque set of twisted yellow and black teeth, "I'm sure you remember me," said the man.
Grandfather said nothing.