Brian finds a note with the necklace, in his father’s handwriting. It directs him to a book called The Encyclopedia Magicka. Curious, he decides to use his father’s laptop to see if he can find information.
He clicked the icon and opened a PDF file. It looked as if someone had scanned an old book. The pages bore the stains of time. In places, the ink was faded and nearly unreadable. Someone had written notes in the margin, explaining the text.
Another file appeared on the screen. This one was a Windows Media file. Brian clicked the arrow, starting the video. He recognized his father’s desk. This was filmed in this office. His father walked into the frame and sat. He looked worried.
“Hi, Brian. If you’re seeing this, it means I’m not there to tell you this personally. My investigation may take me away soon. Things are coming to a head. I’m guessing your mother gave you the amulet and you saw the name of the book. I also assume you came in here to look for it. Smart move. I found it myself a couple years ago. I scanned and hid it. That book holds secrets the other side can’t be allowed to find. Guard this file carefully. Share sparingly and only with those you trust completely.”
He folded his hands, leaning toward the camera. “Brian, you’re in a lot of danger. Things are changing in the world. We are coming to a time of great enlightenment—but only if the balance can be kept. I know strange things are happening. You’re probably terrified and I’m sorry I’m not there to help you. I had to weigh the choices. Leaving you won’t be easy, but investigating this further had to take precedence.”
He sighed, closing his eyes. “I’m not explaining well. You know that people talk about how the world is going to end in December in 2012. It’s not ending, but it will be changing—radically. Everything we take as real and natural—is no longer. Besides, the Encyclopedia, I’ve gathered files to help you. They are all on this computer. I’ve also loaded them onto a flashdrive. Take out the upper right drawer. It’s taped underneath.
“When you’ve watched this, I want you to erase the file. Don’t tell anyone you can’t completely trust. And if your mother tells you something, listen to her. She has amazing intuition. I’m sorry, son. You don’t deserve any of this. I wish it could be different. Read the Encyclopedia. Go through the files—quickly. You need the knowledge to help you.” He held up his hand as if trying to touch his son. “I’m sorry, Brian. I miss you terribly. I love you.” He paused for a moment before rising to turn off the camera.
With tears in his eyes, Brian erased the file. He wanted to watch it again, but he knew his father was right. Things were changing, getting crazily out of hand. He had to tell his friends immediately. He thought first of Jordan and decided to call her before he contacted the others.
Her phone rang twice and she mumbled hello. With a lurch, Brian realized he’d woken her. A glance at the clock showed him it was nearly midnight.
“Jordan, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“Well, you did, so what do you need?” she didn’t sound happy, but she wasn’t angry.
“I found some information my dad left. We need to talk about it.”
“Now? Brian, it’s midnight and we have to be up for the bus at the butt crack of doom.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was so late when I called you. It can wait until morning.”
“It is morning, moron.”
“I’m going to come by a little early in the morning. We really need to talk.”
“Okay. In that case, let me go back to sleep so I can be my usual perky self.”
Laughing at her, he apologized again and hung up. The idea of Jordan actually being perky amused him.
Turning serious once more, Brian retrieved the flashdrive from its hiding place. It was one of the bracelet kind that many of his classmates wore. He had one himself that was the same color and style. He put the flashdrive around his wrist and put the drawer away. He wasn’t sure what to do about the computer, but since it had been fine here until now, he decided to leave it alone. Better not to draw attention to it by moving it.
Brian set his alarm early and wrote a note for his mother before turning out his light. Sleep was hard to come by. His mind spun out of control with everything his father had, or hadn’t, told him. He wasn’t clear on details, but Brian hoped that the files he’d left would explain more.
Finally, around 3:00, he dozed off and woke to his alarm blaring at 5:30. He took a hot shower, hoping it would wake him up, and made a strong cup of coffee. He poured it in a travel mug, left the note for his mother, and headed to Jordan’s.
The air was chilly and damp. Brian hunkered lower into the collar of his coat, wishing he’d worn his beanie. His hands were so cold, he could hardly feel his fingertips. His breath hung around his head in a hazy cloud. Ice coated the sidewalk, so going was slower than usual. He had to watch carefully where he put his feet. His next door neighbors had left their outside faucet dripping. The water had run down the steep driveway and flooded the sidewalk in front of their house. Brian had to walk into the street to avoid falling on the three foot, icy patch.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes