Fantasy Fiction posted June 17, 2019 Chapters:  ...19 20 -21- 22... 


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Getting ready for the airport...

A chapter in the book Renaissance of Enchantment

Chapter Six, Part 3

by Y. M. Roger




Background
Last minute packing for Maggie and Addison to leave for the airport....
Maggie dropped the big suitcase by the door. She hadn’t realized how few clothes and shoes and such she actually had until now – she had room for pretty much everything personal in the one suitcase. She laughed to herself as she turned to tidy the little kitchen.
 
“Addison?!” She opened the refrigerator and sighed. They’d cleaned it last night and the few plastic containers they had were in the drying rack. There was just enough milk for Addy to have a good bowl of cereal and take his vitamins. She grabbed the carton. “You and Bongo get out here and eat something!”
 
The door to Addy’s room opened just a bit. One shoe flew out and landed near the couch. There was a bit more rustling around behind the door followed by thump and an un-energetic ‘ouch’. Then another moment’s delay before another shoe joined the first. Finally, a half-asleep Addy stumbled out – sock ball between his teeth – still buttoning his jeans. His t-shirt had made it over his head, but only one arm was through the proper hole.
 
“Hmmphh-mmmffmmph-mmmfffthch,” he said through the socks, his focus entirely on the uncooperative zipper.
 
Maggie had to laugh as she finished pouring his cereal and made herself a cup of coffee – Addy had never been a morning person. She refrained from stepping over to help him, though. He had recently entered that ‘defiantly independent’ stage and insisted on doing things for himself. At least that’s what all of her online ‘mom blogs’ had said of ‘what to expect’ during these ten to twelve years of age. Yes, that was a couple of years older than his actual age, but she’d found that was where Addison fit developmentally. And, according to all the blogs and even some of the medical websites, every child was different and matured at different rates. Well, Addy was right on track for about two years ahead of his calendar age and seemed to be following just fine.
 
“What did you say?” she asked as he pushed his other arm through the t-shirt and yanked the socks out of his mouth.
 
“I said, Bongo’s out here with you.” Addy grabbed his shoes and plopped himself on the couch and pulled on a sock. “He didn’t sleep with me last night.”
 
A very cold feeling started in the pit of Maggie’s stomach and began to work its way outward. Bongo was not out here with her. The big cat had been by the door when she fell asleep, but, when she woke up to find him gone, she had assumed he was with Addy as was his way when Addy had bad dreams.
 
She placed the coffee mug on the countertop and glanced at her watch. Those lawyers would be here to pick them up in under an hour. Maggie swallowed her panic and smiled as Addy hopped up to his chair and began to pour his milk.
 
“I’ll look under the furniture while I pack your room.” She turned away so she wouldn’t have to act so well much longer. “I’m sure he’s sound asleep in th–”
 
 
“I a’ready packed e’ryting,” Addy proudly announced through a mouthful of cereal.
 
Maggie didn’t pause in her steps.
 
“You have, huh?”
 
She smiled to herself as she took in the suitcase on the floor beside Addy’s bed with bits of clothing hanging out one of the sides. She lifted it onto the bed, opened it up, and walked to his small chest of drawers, checking in each of the drawers to be sure he had everything out of it. She noticed a few of his books that he had basically outgrown, but that he had always insisted on keeping with him. It had been a security blanket of sorts, she had theorized – a tie to Dorothy. She lifted them up and flipped through The Very Hungry Caterpillar, smiling as she spoke.
 
“You forgot your books here in the bottom dra–”
 
“You said Mr. Staltson told us to only bring what we needed!”
 
Addy had donned his ‘edge of aggravation’ voice. Maggie stopped and peeked out the doorway to get a look at his face. Yep, he had that little furrow of consternation to his brow.
 
“But I thought you would wan–”
 
Addy huffed and Maggie stepped back out of the doorway to keep from laughing at his cute determination and, perhaps, feigned annoyance.
 
“I don’t need those, Maggie.” She could hear the eye roll through the wall. “They’re just some kids’ books I don’t read anymore.”
 
She heard the tapping rhythm of his shoes against the back of the lower cabinets increase just in the slightest with his words and had to smile to herself. He was trying so hard to grow up.
 
“Well, what if I stick them in my suitcase?”
 
The tapping paused but then resumed at the accelerated pace.
 
“Maggie, I don’t need those things anymore!”
 
 “Alright, Addison.” She wouldn’t lie to him. “You don’t need them anymore. I get it.”
 
She nodded and huffed out a little chuckle as she placed them out of sight in his suitcase, continuing her re-packing of Addy’s ‘packing’ to include folding his clothes rather than just crowding them in the suitcase pell-mell.
 
She finished about the time she heard Addy washing his dish, and, once again, she felt the dread of the missing Bongo rise up in her. Looking at her watch, she tossed in Addy’s stuffed lion and the fuzzy yellow throw pillow he’d won at the street carnival last year and latched the suitcase. He probably didn’t need those either, but she wanted him to sleep.
 
Especially if Bongo was gone.
 
“Double-check that there’s no other food in the refrigerator and take the garbage out, please.” She lifted the suitcase off the bed and made a lame attempt at looking under the bed, although she knew there was nothing there but dust.
 
She heard Addy go out as she stepped back into the main room, the feeling of loss starting as a lump in her throat. Just at that moment, she heard the big cat’s friendly growl from behind her.
 
Maggie jerked and turned her body to look over her left shoulder, but she felt the cat brush by her right leg heading out of the room as well. Quickly turning back – the move putting her just a bit off-balance with the suitcase – she started to speak to the mischievous feline.
 
“What am I gonna do wi–”
 
But there was no Bongo, no nothing but an empty kitchenette/living area. Maggie stepped toward the couch to peer over it – perhaps the cat was simply out of her line of sight…
 
“Bongo?”
 
But there was just the couch – no more, no less.
 
As she stood, bewildered, Addison burst back in the door, his little eyes alight with excitement.
 
“A really big truck-car-thing just pulled up outside!” Maggie could tell his nerves had kicked in again because he was talking must faster than usual and his little feet could not stay still, even in place. “Is that what we’re gonna be riding in? Is it, Maggie?”
 
She couldn’t help herself but grin at his enthusiasm. Oh, yeah, he was vibrating with it.
 
“Most likely, Addy.” Maggie searched one last time for Bongo before making the mental decision to go with Addy’s excitement and not mention the cat’s absence. There was a chance with all the goings-on that he would overlook it – at least initially.
 
She put Addy’s suitcase down and sighed internally – time to put on yet another false happy face for her charge. She needed to think of a distraction. Fast.
 
Suddenly, it was as if the warmth of the large animal was standing right next to her leg and purring – she could feel the vibrations along with the warmth! She looked down, but, of course, there was nothing there.
 
Maggie did a quick mental inventory as a firm knock sounded on the door to the outside of the building. Okay, she was pretty sure she was still sane today. She pushed herself to move toward the door already falling back into her protective mode – she’d file the cat sensation away as something to ponder later.
 
“You watch the suitcases; I’ll get the door,” she said as she approached him, “and don’t try to pick them up.”
 
She tussled his hair on her way out the apartment door, and he feigned annoyance at the move that was usually reserved for ‘little boys’. “I don’t want you hurt when you get to fly on an airplane for the first time, Mr. Independence.”
 
Addy laughed as he followed, stopping dutifully at their door’s threshold and watching Maggie’s back.
 
To be continued…

 

Maggie - Marguerite B. Atkinson. Maggie is Rosemary’s great-niece.
Marguerite A. Son - Maggie’s alias when she lived with Dorothy
Rita Bee - Maggie’s current alias & the name she is known by at the Courtside
Addison (Addy) Westmorland - little boy with Maggie, being raised by her
Dorothy Westmorland - Addy's mother (deceased)
Bongo - Maggie & Addy's large, black cat
 
Rosemary - (deceased) Rosemary Fenna, Sister of the World Wide Hecate Order (WWHO) and Guardian Protectress of The Refuge
Demetrius - tall, mysterious male resident of The Refuge, marked for death (perhaps more) by the WWHO
Peadar - Irish male resident of The Refuge, helped Rosemary with upkeep
Lycaois - (aka Lyca) Goth, warrior-looking female resident of The Refuge
Freki - Lyca's over-sized pet 'dog'
Koko - Native American male resident of The Refuge, has unending optimism and warmth about him...most of the time
Kato - large male Refuge resident who wears the clothes of a teenager. Kato is a young lion-shifter.
Memphis - nymph from Demetrius' original homeland, now auberge factotum to The Refuge
 
Geoffrey Staltson - Rosemary's lawyer and friend to the residents at The Refuge
Charlise Staltson - Geoffrey's wife (they have a three-way marriage - Geoffrey, Gary, and Charlie)
Gary Staltson - Geoffrey's husband
Stephen - private investigator employed by Geoffrey
Jinx - computer hack/whiz working with Stephen, handles all the tech-forensics for investigations. Jinx is Stephen’s partner.



Image of 'abandoned brownstone at 221 West 137th Street' from Google images via Harlem Bespoke [www.harlembespoke.blogspot.com]
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