(Before Bryan’s match…)
“I see what you mean. That does seem kind of weird.” Bob said after telling him about the gum. As it turns out, he is who Amelia was shamelessly flirting with earlier. He seems to like her though.
“Not at all. It’s a talisman.” Amelia answered plainly.
“Like voodoo or something?” Bryan asked still assessing if he liked practically volunteering his brother for marriage to this girl.
“Exactly. It doesn’t have to be something like a necklace or a snakehead or something. The whole purpose of a talisman like this is to sound off the alarm of discernment.” Amelia continued.
“And you just lost me. What the hell does that even mean? You’re getting all mystical on me.” I said frustrated and staring at the gum like it was going to get up and dance around in a circle or something. I was tempted to light a match to see if it would gravitate towards the flame.
“It’s like a sixth sense. You can feel when peace has left the room, when you’re alone and you feel someone else watching you, when you have a bad feeling before going somewhere telling you that you shouldn’t go. This stick of gum has been prayed over, by those below, to sound off when angelic power is near. It works like a compass.” Amelia explained.
“A compass?” Bryan asked.
“Yeah. When you found it Jared, was it sticking straight up and down in the drawer or was it kind of sideways?” Amelia asked me.
“Uh, sideways I think.” I answered.
“Look. I will show you. Open the front door.” she said and positioned the stick of gum on the coffee table so that the tip of it faced the door.
One of the blood demons walked by peering in to be nosy. The gum twitched and the end of it seemed to follow the demon’s stride as it past us until the gum was facing the wall to the right of us.
“Now you Raphael. Come stand in front of where it’s pointing.” Amelia instructed.
Raphael walked over to it and like a magnet, the tip that had been moving shot straight in the other direction.
“Hmm…” Raphael said. “I think I can use such a thing to our advantage.”
We stared blankly at him, half expecting him to plop the gum into his mouth and blow a bubble with it or something. Instead he faded into nothingness and over the course of the next hour or so about 50 sticks of gum gradually gathered on our table.
“Why would he want to bring something like that into our room?” Bob said to Bryan.
“Who knows? He’s on our side though so I’m not worried about it.” Bryan answered.
“Who’s turn is it?” Amelia asked grinning.
Great. She has a royal flush again. I feel it. I don’t know how, but that girl has to be cheating. No one is THAT good at poker. Strip poker to be exact. I’m down a shirt, both socks, my watch, and I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have just raised my undershirt. Bryan on the other hand may have to give up that necklace he always wears, and Bob is down to his boxer briefs.
This ought to be interesting.
“I bet two feathers you want to know what I’m up to more than you want to see who wins. Get dressed.” Raphael said walking towards us.
“She was going to win anyway.” Bryan said standing.
Bob just looked at her grinning. Somehow I think he was losing on purpose to tempt her. She watched him un-strip and nearly drooled. I think all she’d lost so far was a hair tie.
Raphael walked around the table 3 times and the sticks of gum started to rise on their own. They each exploded into little aster crystals that began to glow with a pulsating blue light. Raphael began to hum a song I’d heard from a movie when a Wolf was learning to tame Wall Street and the asters dispersed, floating through the walls, the ceiling, and the floor.
“Now they all have a Holy Object in their room to torment them. They won’t touch it for fear of death and expulsion back to hell. It will be as though nails are constantly scraping against a chalkboard day in and day out.” Raphael said grinning.
“That’s pretty devious Raph.” Bob said.
“Wise as serpents, innocent as doves. That’s what they get for trying to poison you.” he said confidently and sat down. “We need to talk strategy.”
“Ok. What’s in store for me?” Bryan asked.
“Bob is taking your place today.” Raph said.
“Um, why?” Bryan asked almost insulted that his brother was standing in for him.
“The opponent has a weak spot for him.” Raph continued and let his gaze flicker to Amelia.
“What? He’s fighting me?” she asked surprised.
“No, but he is quite famous in his neck of the woods.” he explained.
“Talk.” Amelia demanded of Bob.
“My name is Majun. I’m Bryan’s brother. My dragon name is Bob which stands for Born Of Bloodshed. There are several opponents that I will be fighting in your stead as I have been incorporated into your team. Raphael here has agreed to help free our mother in exchange for this. So, now there is no rush to Tibet save for the countdown to her dismemberment if we fail. Clarissa is responsible for mom’s ordeal. She heard about Bryan and Genevieve and decided to torment him since he never seemed to understand why she left him. Reasons she has recently made clear to me.” Bob explained.
“So let’s hear it.” Bryan said somberly.
“She cheated on you. She felt like cheating on you with humans didn’t count so she had a lot of men all over the world. She was the one night stand queen. Some men she drank, some she didn’t. But, it wasn’t until she started fooling around with one of our kind that she truly felt like she was cheating on you.” Bob began.
The pain in Bryan’s eyes grew to glistening tremors as he held back tears.
“She began to form an emotional connection with him. His name is Marshall and he is stationed out of Canada. After about a decade of her cheating with him she started to worry that she didn’t deserve you anymore. How could she when she had formed a bond with another man? How could she claim to love you as deeply as she thought she did? So, she sabotaged your relationship in any way that she could. But, when you decided to just love her through it and try to work it out she finally just divorced you because she felt guilty. But, she always thought you would be out there loving her somewhere, not getting on with your life.” Bob continued.
“That selfish witch.” I said.
“Oh it gets better. Because you found another chance with Genevieve, however short lived, she’s been planning on killing her mother in law as revenge for bringing you into the world, just to torture you. As though her cheating and breaking apart your marriage was all your fault. She’s psycho Bryan.” Bob ended.
“This ends now.” Bryan said as he got up and walked through the front door.
“Those flying spiky things get video? I want to see this.” Bob asked Raphael.
“Well now that you mention it…” Raphael said as he looked at us mischievously and the glass coffee table top shimmered until it played the audio and video of a high definition tv. It was like following Bryan with a security camera.
“If he kills her will he technically be divorced then?” Amelia asked as innocently as she could sound.
I think she’d still prefer Bryan to Bob. But, Bob only smiled and seemed to revile in the idea of her being a challenge.