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A Peculiar Party ~ Part Three March 24, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Magick & Mystery, Word Play.
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IMGP3524b“What happened when you went into Naples for dinner, Freddie?”

“We left early enough to stop by the beach.  Betty had received a necklace on her birthday ~ a vial of pink sand on a gold chain.”

“Sounds charming.”

“Betty wanted to re-fill the vial with Naples sand.”

“Why Naples sand?”

“She wanted a piece of home next to her heart whenever we traveled.”

“I see.  That sounds like Betty.”

Freddie nodded.  “After a short stroll on the beach, she filled the vial, inserted the cork, and hung it around her neck.”

IMGP3535b“What happened then?”

“We left the beach and walked down Fifth Ave to have dinner at The Wind in the Willows.  We never made it.”

“Why not?”

“Something or someone put a spell on us.”

“Step by step . . . walk me through that night.”

“Betty had sand in her shoes.  From the beach.  She saw a bench against the wall in a well-manicured alley and sat down to empty her shoes.”

“Did you wait for her there?”


“No.  I decided to explore a bit.”


“Yes.  Despite having walked from one end of Fifth Avenue to the other on countless occasions, I had never noticed this alley until that night.”

“How odd.”

“And getting odder.  I wandered down the path a short way and stumbled across a totem pole.”

“In the alley?”

“In a small garden, just off the alley.”

“Was Betty with you?”

IMGP3541b“Not then . . . just as I started to read a brass plaque in front of the totem, I heard her calling and turned back.”

“So, you don’t know what it said?”

“I wish I could say that.”

“Sorry.  You’ve lost me.”

“I met Betty and urged her to return with me so I could read the plaque.”


“At the time, I assumed I was merely curious.  Now, I realize that something or someone compelled me to return.”

“Compelled you?  Who?”

“No idea.  That’s what we need you to help us sort out.”

“Okay.  Go on.”

IMGP3542c“Betty and I returned to the totem and I fished around my pockets for my reading glasses.”

Knowing Freddie, I smiled.  “Let me guess.  No luck.”

“Right.  I had left them at home.  Betty wears a pair on a chain around her neck.  Same prescription.  She pulled the chain over her head and handed them to me.”

“Why didn’t she read the plaque?”

“Probably afraid she’d topple over.  She’s a bit top heavy in that bonnet.”

I grinned again.  “So you read the plaque.”

“Yes.  I put on her glasses and stooped over to read the plaque.”

“What did it say?”

Freddie’s voice dropped from his steady rich baritone to a husky whisper as he intoned, “Beware.  Beware.  The sands of time be not stilled.”

IMGP3541c“That’s all?”

“That’s all I remember.  As soon as I read those words, the light shifted and the totem pole started to glow.”

“To glow?”

“Yes.  Instead of standing in a garden of turquoise and greens, everything around us turned metallic.”


“Yes.  The building.  The totem.  The palm trees.  And . . . ”

“. . . and you and Betty.”


To be continued . . . 

If you missed any installments, the entire story can be found at the Short Stories tab . . . or just click HERE!