He thought He Saw – Part 51

He Thought He Saw redThey decide to explore the house and look for more secret hiding spots. Heath takes the basement while Brian takes the top floor and Jordan explores the ground floor.

Brian was halfway through his exploration of his parent’s room, using a combination of the stud finder and tapping on the walls, when Heath called his cell.

“Come downstairs. I think I’ve found something.”

“Be right there.”

Brian gave the wall a final tap, satisfied he hadn’t discovered anything else. He and Jordan met in the kitchen. She followed him down the stairs. Brian trotted down, mindful of the low ceiling at the end of the steps. He ducked his head sideways and noticed the couch was no longer in front of the door. Wondering why Heath had moved it, he came around the end of the stairs and stopped suddenly. Jordan, who was on his heels, nearly fell over him. He caught her automatically, his eyes riveted on the sight before him.

Seated on the couch, calmly drinking a beer with Heath Barrett, was another man. The man’s face was gaunt, sallow. His hair was long, bushy and tangled, with bits of twigs braided in it. His face was covered with a thick growth of beard. He stood slowly, as if his joints were stiff, holding out his arms in greeting. His smile warmed Brian to his very core. There was no mistaking the twinkling eyes.

“Dad!” he gasped, stumbling forward.

“Hello, son,” his father said, his voice harsh and rough.

Brian rushed to his father’s embrace with a cry of anguish. It hurt to see him like that, almost a shell of himself. He hadn’t lost his strength. His arms wrapped around Brian in a crushing hug.

“Did you know he was here?” Jordan asked her father.

“I suspected when we came in. He left a few signs around and about. The twigs and leaves on the floor by the back door—oak, ash and hawthorn.”

“That’s why you took the basement. You knew he was down here.”

“Easiest place to hide out.”

“Where have you been?” Brian asked his father. “We needed you—we—I missed you so much!”

“I’ve been following Mr. D. He gave me the slip the other day when he went to Jordan’s. He’s getting smarter, laid down a false trail. Even the guardians were confused and nothing rattles them.”

They all sat on the comfortable, old basement furniture. When he sat down, Brian realized that two huge dogs were curled up on the rag rug behind the couch. He gasped with delight.

“You brought them!”

“They brought themselves,” Miles said with a chuckle. “Those two don’t do a damn thing they don’t want to. Kids, meet Zofia and Janus.”

The dogs hopped up when they heard their names. They practically tackled the teenagers in their enthusiasm to say hello. The room was full of happy yips, slurps and laughter as they all got to know one another. When the greetings were finally concluded, Heath and Miles grew solemn.

Miles scratched at his beard. “I can’t wait to shave this off. It’s driving me crazy. Been nice in the cold, though.”

“Where have you been, Dad?”

“Around and about. From Texas to Florida and everywhere in between. I’ve been tracking Mr. D.”

“Deid—?” Brian asked.

His father held up a hand in warning. “Don’t over use his name. He can track those who call him by name.”

“Sort of like Voldemort,” Jordan said with a smirk.

“Yeah, well, he’s fictional, Jordan,” her father said. “This guy’s for real and he can pull your bowels out through your nose with a thought, so keep that in mind before you make fun.”

“Sheesh, Dad. Just trying to lighten it up a little.”

“It’s okay, Heath. She’s trying to understand. Yes, like Voldemort, Jordan. If that helps you comprehend how bad he is,” Miles Casey replied.

“So this Mr. D,” Brian said quietly, trying to stay calm. “Is he the main baddie or are there others?”

“Do there need to be more?” Jordan asked. “Sounds like he has it covered.”

“He’s a scout,” Miles replied, taking a sip of his beer. “He goes ahead, tests the defenses. If a group successfully defeats him, he goes away and nothing else happens. If you fail against him, all Hell—quite literally—breaks loose. So far, he’s been defeated. But this is a pivotal year. Heath says he explained about that.”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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He Thought He Saw – Part 50

He Thought He Saw redBrian discovers he’s what’s called a Dreamer, a very rare gift from their lineage. While watching the tapes, he learns that the doctor was able to take away the dreams so he wouldn’t be afraid. But when he turned 15, the dreams would start again and couldn’t be contained.

“What I intend to do is two fold—I will block the memories of the dreams so he won’t be haunted by them. I will also take away the fear of sleeping.”

“Can’t you keep him from dreaming?” Miles asked.

Beauchamps glanced at him, shocked. “If I do that, he’ll go mad. A person must dream. I can’t stop them, nor would I, even if I could. But I can do what I said. He’ll grow to be a man without the fear. Once he matures, the ability will come back. Then nothing can be done. He will learn to master it or he’ll lose his mind.” The doctor spread his hands, shaking his head.

“Do what you can,” Maribelle Casey said. “Please! I can’t listen to him scream another night. I can’t bear to sit with him at night, having him cry himself to sleep.”

Dr. Beauchamps nodded. He dimmed the lights. “Sit over there.” He pointed to the far side of the room, deep in shadow. “Brian, I want you to look here,” he said softly, his voice dropping an octave.

Brian focused on an object that the doctor held. It was a bright, clear crystal similar to the one he wore under his shirt. It caught the light, refracting it into brilliant spectra and light-birds.

The doctor spoke in a soothing baritone, speaking in a language that Brian didn’t know. The image of the boy stared at the crystal, watching as it swung and spun in Dr. Beauchamps’ hand. A happy smile wreathed his features as he gazed at it, wide eyed. Soon, a joyful sigh escaped him. Dr. Beauchamps put the crystal around his own neck, dropping it under his shirt. He straightened up, his face serene.

“He’s unafraid now,” he told the Caseys in a quiet, gentle voice. “He’ll sleep on the way home in the car and wake without any knowledge that he was here. When he wakes from his nap, he’ll feel happy and free from fear. Bedtime won’t scare him, nor will the dreams. Though he’ll continue to dream, they will not disturb his slumbers.”

“Thank you,” Maribelle said quietly, not wanting to startle her son. “How can we repay you for this?”

Dr. Beauchamps smiled at them. “When the time comes, help train my boy. He’s four years older than Brian and has quite an affinity for telekinesis.”

“Really?” Maribelle smiled. “Wonderful! Miles can help with that. It’s one of his gifts.”

“Excellent. Everything should be fine, but if you notice anything unusual about his sleeping habits or lapses of memory, call me immediately.”

“We will. Thank you,” Miles said, shaking Dr. Beauchamps’ hand.

The family left. The doctor walked over to the hidden camera. Reaching for it, he turned it off and the screen went black.

Brian expelled a breath he hadn’t even realized he was holding. “Wow!” He couldn’t think of another way to express what he was feeling.

“Now you know why you can’t remember your dreams,” Jordan said quietly. “But you still have nightmares.”

“My dreams are incredibly vivid,” Brian admitted. “I don’t always have nightmares, but they seem to be more frequent now. And he was right. They started the night of my birthday.”

“Do you think you could train yourself to remember and write them down like Edgar Cayce did?” Heath asked.

“No idea. I never tried. I guess I could. Maybe I should put a voice activated recorder in my room when I sleep.”

“I have one of those,” Heath said proudly. “I use it for client interviews. We can get it from my office and set it up.”

“That would be great,” Brian admitted. “But it still doesn’t get us any closer to how we fight Deidrich or if he’s the main bad guy.”

“Maybe your dad said something in his notes,” Jordan suggested.

“Maybe so. I keep wondering if that was the only hiding place. I can’t imagine my dad putting all his valuables in the same spot. Things he didn’t want even my mom to find, for example, might be somewhere else. We need to check all the walls for another spot for that key.”

“Why do you think that they’d all be hidden the same way?” Jordan asked.

“If something works, stick with it. Even if the hiding places are revealed, who says the combinations are the same? I’m willing to bet there’s more to it than just that one place.”

“Do you want to start up here?” Heath asked.

“I don’t know,” Brian admitted. “What do you all think?”

“We could each take a different floor,” Jordan suggested. “One in the basement, one here and one upstairs.”

That sounded like a good suggestion. Jordan put the key back in its hiding place and they each took a flashlight and struck out for different parts of the house. Heath volunteered to take the basement, since Brian and Jordan weren’t too keen on being down there alone. Brian took the top floor while Jordan examined the ground floor. If they didn’t find anything, they’d explore the attic together.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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He Thought He Saw – Part 49

He Thought He Saw redBrian is quite disturbed to find out that Heath has actually seen the tapes of him sleeping. Full of trepidation, he sits down with the others to watch himself.

“Will you be in here, Daddy?”

“I’ll be right here the whole time,” Miles replied.

Brian felt his eyes water. His father had always been his rock, his security. Once the sensors were in place, Brian went to bed. His father sat with him, reading books and singing to him until he fell asleep. Miles stayed by the bed, a pen and legal pad in hand.

“I’m writing down the times that he speaks and as much as I can of what he says, in order to document this in written form as well as the video.”

Brian mumbled, tossing and turning under the blankets. Miles leaned closer, listening. The sound was muffled somewhat by blankets, but the recording picked them up.

“October thirty-first, Halloween night—twenty-twelve. The boy shall see things unlike any in this life. He shall run at first, but soon he will stand up and take charge. He will dream dreams and see visions. And the guardians will watch over him.”

Watching it now, Brian realized that his six year old self had seen him fight off the wraiths in the fog on Halloween night. It was obvious the child didn’t know he saw himself nine years in the future.

They watched a while longer. Each dream narrative was as confounding to Brian as the first had been. His phrases were clipped, abrupt and frightening.

“I don’t remember any of this,” Brian said. “Why can’t I remember?”

“I wish I could tell you,” Heath said. “I don’t know.”

The last tape showed Brian in an office. He and his parents sat in front of a large, wooden desk, waiting. There were no wires or sensors, so Brian assumed that this was a meeting rather than another sleep session. A man in a suit and tie walked in. Miles rose, shaking his hand. Brian clung to his mother.

“Mr. and Mrs. Casey, Brian.” He smiled. His eyes were sad, but his smile was warm.

Brian looked at the man, searching his face for something familiar. The man raised his glasses and Brian shivered with recognition, but not in a bad way. There was something special about this man. He had mocha colored skin and his eyes were a silvery color that glittered like metal.

“He looks like Andre,” Jordan said in an awed whisper.

“I’m Doctor Beauchamps,” he said, his voice lilting with a Creole accent. “You were referred to me by my colleague, Dr. Rufus, in Natchez.”

“Yes, sir. He said maybe you could help us. Our son—sees—things,” Miles said slowly, gauging the doctor’s reaction.

“What sort of things, Mr. Casey?”

Brian’s parents exchanged a furtive glance. They weren’t sure how much to share with this unfamiliar man.

“Mr. and Mrs. Casey, Dr. Rufus is a close friend and mentor. He also—bears the mark.”

Brian’s parents gasped. Dr. Beauchamps took off his suit coat and rolled up his left sleeve, showing them something hidden there. Brian assumed it was his own mark.

“Anything you tell me will be in strictest confidence. And I assure you, I will believe you.”

“Brian dreams,” Maribelle Casey said, stroking her son’s hair. “He has such horrific nightmares that he wakes up screaming. He’s terrified to go to bed.”

“Does he always have them?” The doctor asked.

“No,” she replied. “But his dreams are so real to him. He can’t sleep. He’s scared, Doctor. I want my son to stop being afraid to close his eyes at night.”

“I see.” Dr. Beauchamps nodded, steepling his fingers under his chin. “Brian, can we sit over there a moment so I may look at you?”

Brian grinned, nodding. He regarded the doctor with complete trust. Dr. Beauchamps led him to a leather couch and sat next to him. He gazed intently into Brian’s eyes. Without relaxing his gaze, he spoke to Brian’s parents.

“I can take away the fear and dull the memory of the dreams—for a time. When he reaches the Age of Awakening, the dreams will resume. Quite possibly with more intensity than before. I can’t stop that. Anything I do now will last only until his fifteenth birthday.”

“We understand, Doctor,” Maribelle said. “But we have to do what’s best for Brian. He doesn’t understand what’s going on and we don’t either. We don’t know anyone who can train him.”

“I don’t either. The Dreamers are rare, as you know. But I can take the fear away. Shall I proceed?”

“What else will it affect? Will he remember us? What he’s learned in school?”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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Red River Radio Presents Dellani’s Tea Time with Barbara and Karen

The New Year is upon us! As we’ve done for the last few years, Christina and I will chat with a couple of our other Red River Radio hosts, Barbara Ehrentreu and Karen Vaughan. Tune in TODAY at 4PM EST or catch our recorded podcast later.

Barbara Ehrentreu is the author of If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor and After. She has also penned a lovely book called You’ll Probably Forget Me: Living With and Without Hal.

Karen Vaughan is the author of eight cozy mysteries, among them Left for Dead, Dead on Arrival, Dead Men Don’t Swing and Dead Comic Standing.

Co-host, Christina Giguere, known by her nom de plume of Rachel Rueben, will also chat about her work. She is the author of young adult novel, Hag. She also has a wonderful vampire novel, Eternal Bond, available to read on WattPad.

 

Host Dellani Oakes is the author of 12 published books – mostly romantic suspense, but 4 of them are from a science-fiction series set in the distant future. Dellani’s most recent book is Lone Wolf Tales: A Lone Wolf Series Companion, a collection of short stories connected with the Lone Wolf series.

Each author will talk about her show, her goals as an author and how she feeds her writing addiction. Be sure to tune in TODAY at 4 PM EST for this fun filled show.

He Thought He Saw – Part 48

He Thought He Saw redHeath tells them that they are descended from Druids and gives them a little more information about their origins.

“How many families are involved?”

“Eight in every key location. We’re in one of those spots. There’s another one in the Spokane area of Washington, one in Peru, another in New Zealand—all over the world. If we were to trace you back far enough, you’d find that somewhere in the family lineage was a Druid or other magic wielder.”

“This is getting more far fetched by the minute,” Brian said. “Ancient Druids? Really?”

“Scoff if you want, but it’s true.”

“Who is Deidrich?”

“We aren’t exactly sure. He shows up when there’s big trouble brewing. We don’t know if he’s the ringleader or a flunky. He’s powerful and pure evil. He’s the reason your dad left. He showed up around the time you and Chase turned fifteen. He was afraid he’d come to cause trouble. It appears he was right.

“When Jordan started seeing things, Jackie and I didn’t want to believe she was the one. We have five kids. I always hoped that the burden would fall on one of the boys.”

“Nice, Dad. Wish this on someone else.”

“You are my only daughter,” Heath replied. “I’ve got your older brothers and I love them dearly, but you’re my baby girl. If I had to pass this on to someone, why not one of my boys? But fate chose differently. That’s why we moved back here after your fall. We knew we’d be needed and you’d be safer with the others around.”

“Is that why I’ve always taken gymnastics and martial arts? My friends all took ballet. I took kick boxing.”

“Exactly.”

“How did you know it was Jordan?”

“I know this sounds like something out of a Fantasy, novel, but she has a mark. I bet you have one too.”

The teenagers lifted their left arms, gazing at the underside of their biceps. Each of them had a peculiar strawberry mark. They were nearly identical in shape, size and color. Heath lifted his arm, pulling up his sleeve. He had the same mark.

“It appears when you’re chosen,” he told them calmly.

“If you know all this stuff, why are you reading through it all with us like it’s new?” Brian asked suddenly.

“It’s always good to have a refresher,” Heath replied. “And we have to make sure you actually do it. We haven’t forgotten learning it ourselves. It’s not exactly Donkey Kong.”

“Meaning it’s not a video game? Or meaning it’s not much fun?” Jordan asked.

“Both. Smarty. Admit it, if we weren’t taking you through it, you’d have ignored that family tree.”

“I still don’t get why that’s such a big deal,” Brian said. “So I’m related to some weird guy who had visions.”

“Not just some weird guy,” Heath replied, somewhat exasperated. “He was a prophet. He had visions that were very accurate. His dreams were written down and are referred to even today. He foretold this time. He knew it was coming and he tried to tell people to be prepared. Unfortunately, those who actually believed him were considered just this side of crazy.”

“Are you comparing my dreams to his?”

“Edgar Cayce trained himself to remember and record his dreams. None of us knew how to train you because none of us had visions the same way. Your folks tried, but you were so afraid of what you were seeing, you blanked them out. The only way to document your dreams was to film you when you were asleep. Some of these tapes I’ve seen, but I had no idea where Miles kept them.”

“You’ve seen tapes of me talking in my sleep?” Brian was horrified.

“Yes. I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have, but it was important.”

“What did I say?”

Heath paused. “I think it’s important that you see for yourself. My telling you won’t make as much of an impact. But be prepared for…. Well, be prepared.”

They took the tapes into the living room and Brian set up the VCR. The tapes began with a date stamp at the beginning. A man’s voice narrated, doing a sort of voice over, until the action focused on Brian. He saw an image of himself. He looked about six. He was dressed in his pajamas and a technician was sticking sensors to him. His father sat with him, keeping him calm.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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2016 A Good Year for Writing

Dellani Oakes with glasses2016 stunk in a lot of ways, not the least of which were all the deaths, both famous and not. Too many taken from us too soon. There was one respect in which 2016 was kind of all right. It’s a very personal way, not something that means much to anyone but me.

For several years, I’ve made a resolution to finish a book a month. This doesn’t mean that I start and finish the book in the same 30 day period (though I do that, too). This means that I take a book I’ve been working for awhile, maybe years, and I complete it. I’ve been making this same resolution for three years now, and I’ve just made it again. I don’t always meet this goal, but I feel that if I make a concerted effort and write constantly, I’m progressing well. Of course, the new goal becomes getting them publication ready—a longer and more complicated project. (And, let’s face it, a lot less fun)

In 2016, I managed to finish fourteen books! That’s better than one a month. There were a few months I didn’t complete something, but others where I did two or more. Please keep in mind, unless it states short story or novella, these are all books 50,000+ words. That includes the ones written in 5 – 10 days.

This years list includes:

January – Author of Love

February – Tarrah (a short story)

March – As yet untitled novella

April – Ranger’s Heart & When Tis Done

May – none finished as I was editing Room 103 for publication

June – How Far is Heaven, Sierra and Food Truck Hero (which was written in 6 days)

July – Raven Willoughby: Origins, Beach Bum, Alton & Velda and Game Junkies

August – He Needed Killin’ (written in 9 days)

September – none finished

October – none finished

November – So Much It Hurts (2016 NaNo, completed in 5 days)

December – none finished

Overall, not a bad year, though I did better in 2015 (25 books), but I consider anything 12 and over, a win. I finished 14 books in 2014 as well. Though I didn’t finish any books every month of the year, I started 4 new ones. I couldn’t seem to make up my mind how to finish them, but it gives me a goal for this year. Challenge accepted!

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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He Thought He Saw – Part 47

He Thought He Saw redNot only to they find a safe, they also find the video tapes as well as a stash of money.

“But your mom can use this.”

“She may know it’s there,” Brian said. “So we leave it.”

“Okay.” She put the money back in reluctantly.

Other items followed. A packet of pictures was in an envelope at the bottom of the stack. The color prints were faded and brittle, as if they were old. A few fell out onto the floor. Jordan picked them up, dropping them with a gasp.

“That’s you!” She pointed accusingly at her father. “What are you doing in pictures in Brian’s house?”

Heath picked up the pictures, smiling fondly. “Wow, that takes me back a few years. Yes, that’s me,” he admitted. “And that’s Brian’s dad and Clifford Finley. We went to high school together.”

“Is that Mom?” Jordan stabbed the photograph.

“Yes. And there’s Maribelle.”

“Why did you act like you’d never met her before? You never said!”

Heath sighed, holding the picture fondly. “I’d almost forgotten that summer. That was the year we all turned fifteen. My birthday was in March, your mom’s in June. This was at Miles’ party in May. Born just about the same time as you,” he said to Brian.

“The day before,” Brian replied quietly. “And mom’s birthday is in June, just like Jackie’s.”

“Oak, Ash and Hawthorne,” Jordan whispered. “Just like us. Dad? What’s going on?”

Her father didn’t answer right away. He put the things back in the safe and removed the key from the wall. He handed it to Brian. When the key was removed, the hole closed.

“Let’s put up the picture. At least now we know we don’t have to move it every time,” Heath suggested.

“You still haven’t answered my question,” Jordan said. “What’s going on?”

“That summer, things changed. Stuff started happening. And this stranger came out of nowhere—a bum in the woods. It was rumored that he was breaking into houses and stealing things. No one could prove it, but the police did their best to run him off. It wasn’t until our parents got involved that they finally got rid of him. No one saw him again for almost twenty years. Until he showed up at our door.”

“Mr. Deidrich?”

“Yes.”

“How did he get in? Didn’t you recognize him?”

“I did, but by that time, he was already inside. Your mom never saw him before,” he told Jordan. “She invited him in when I wasn’t there. By that time, he’d gotten his shoe in and influenced all three of us before I realized what had happened.”

“How did you fight him off?” Brian asked. “He didn’t have nearly the hold on you he had on our mothers.”

“I didn’t drink his tea, I just pretended. And I used the same charm you did later. The salt was a nice touch.”

“Mr. Finley gave that to me.”

Heath nodded. “Cliff Finley always had a way with charms. He was better at them than the rest of us. Your mother was the one who had an affinity for stones and metals,” he told Jordan. “Maribelle always had a way with plants. Her tisanes and potions are amazing.”

“Charms? Potions? Dad, you make this sound like something out of Harry Potter. What are you guys, witches or something?”

Her father didn’t reply. Instead, he sat at the table and folded his hands in front of him. He waited for the teenagers to join him. They sat, leaning forward expectantly.

“For lack of a better term, you could call us witches, but Druids might be more accurate. Our families know about the old ways and keep them alive. When we reach fifteen, a sort of floodgate opens and we start to see things and have unusual experiences.”

“You call having fog creatures stalk you—unusual?” Jordan asked angrily.

“I don’t know what to call it,” Heath replied. “We never had stuff like that happen. But you have to remember that this is a pivotal year. This is the year everything changes.”

“Because the Aztec calendar says the world is going to end?” Brian’s suggestion was somewhat sarcastic.

“Not entirely. It’s not going to end, but much will change. It’s like that every hundred years or so.”

“You’d think it would be in the year two thousand instead of now,” Brian said.

“Not all calendars are the same and there are discrepancies. Who knows how it originally started. Anyway, your great-great-great grandmother was born in 1917, five years after the last major upheaval. There’s a special child in each generation of each family.”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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