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A Peculiar Party ~ Part Seven March 28, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Magick & Mystery, Word Play.

IMGP3544b“You said you believe that someone or something compelled you to return to read the plaque.”

“I’m sure of it.”

“Let’s assume you’re correct.  Why you?  Why Betty?”

“I’ve given that some thought and have a theory.  First, frogs are amphibious with a high moisture content.  If the magic is conducted via moisture, as it seems to be, we would be more susceptible to the spell-weaver’s magic than the average tourist.”

“That makes sense.”

I snapped my fingers, “Have you ever read Hidden Messages in Water?”

Freddie raised his eyebrows at me.  “Yes.  Just this past week.”

“Combining Emoto’s research with your theory, our anonymous sorcerer would have been able to steer you and Betty down the proverbial garden path using the power of suggestion.”

“I’d say so.  I suspect that when the spell-weaver communicated with us, it seemed much like our own intuitive impulses firing.”

“Making you believe that curiosity alone impelled you back to the plaque.”


“Of course, curiosity sometimes kills the cat.”

Freddie nodded assent.

“Let’s assume we’re on the right track.  Why did the spell-weaver need you for the spell?”

IMGP3524b“I believe the totem needed the sand.”

“The sand in Betty’s necklace.”

“Yes.  We were only a few blocks from the beach when the alleyway appeared.”

“The spell-weaver would have sensed you coming, communicating water molecule to water molecule.”

“Yes.  He, she, or it read our minds, knew we were coming down Fifth Avenue, knew where we’d been, and knew that Betty had a vial of sand around her neck.”

“And sand in her shoes that had started to chafe.”

IMGP3537b“The spell-weaver lured Betty in with the promise of a seat to ease her aching feet.”

“Okay.  So it lures Betty in, encourages you to explore until you find the totem, urges you both to back-track to read the plaque.”

Something niggled at the back of my mind. “Wait!  You said you had just started reading the plaque when you heard Betty.”

“Yes.  So?”

“If you didn’t have your glasses, how were you able to read anything?”

“Wow!  Now I really do feel like I’m being cross-examined.”

I shrugged.  “Sorry, Freddie.  Old habits die hard.  Once a recovering litigator, always a recovering litigator.”

“Fair enough.  To answer your question, I hadn’t actually read anything when I heard Betty.”

“So you didn’t notice that you didn’t have your reading glasses.”

“No.  Not then.”

IMGP3541b“Why did the totem need you to read the plaque?”

“I don’t think it did.”

“You don’t?”

“No.  I think it just needed the sand.”

“And the best way for it to get its hands on the sand was for Betty to hand her glasses over to you, pulling both chains off at the same time.”


“And once it got hold of the vial, the spell was complete.”

“That’s my best guess.”

“It’s a decent working hypothesis.  Except for one thing.”

Freddie stiffened and leaned forward.  “What’s that?”

“If the spell-weaver could conjure up an entire alleyway complete with totem pole, why couldn’t it go to the beach and get its own sand?”

Freddie relaxed.  “I’ve wondered the same thing.  Why involve a couple of middle-aged frogs . . . and run the risk of them croaking?”

To be continued . . . 

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


1. SidevieW - March 28, 2013

I’m getting lost

nrhatch - March 28, 2013

Sorry, Sidey. Can you tell me where you were when you stopped knowing where you are? 😛

SidevieW - March 28, 2013

Quite early on I think

nrhatch - March 28, 2013

As I see it, you’ve got three choices, Sidey:

(1) Keep reading and see if the unclear becomes clear,
(2) Backtrack a bit to see if you can get back on track, or
(3) Abandon ship.

That’s a choice that only you can make.

nrhatch - March 30, 2013

A new option:

Several readers requested that I post A Peculiar Party Under The Palms as a single page.

Just click HERE and you’ll be whisked through cyber space to join the party. Wheeee . . .

2. Pix Under the Oaks - March 28, 2013

It’s all about the sand? Croaking.. 🙂

nrhatch - March 28, 2013

Maybe the spell weaver is . . . the Sand Man! :mrgreen:

3. suzicate - March 28, 2013

…can’t wait to see where this is going. Today’s comments and replies gave me a chuckle!

nrhatch - March 28, 2013

Thanks, Suzi. We’re closing in on the finish line . . . just a few more twists and turns before journey’s end.

4. Grannymar - March 28, 2013

I’m dizzy with all the turns.

nrhatch - March 28, 2013

Sounds like you’re in the same boat as Sidey. Maybe there’ll be nobody left “on board” by the time we reach the finish line.

Grannymar - March 28, 2013

I am not giving up now, I need to know how we reach the finish.

nrhatch - March 28, 2013

Yay! I’m delighted to hear that, Grannymar. 😀

5. diannegray - March 28, 2013

So many twists and corners here 😀 I actually saw a frog last night in my friends bathroom so I put him outside in a tree – he didn’t croak 😉

nrhatch - March 28, 2013

Lucky frog! He’s much better off in the tree than in your friend’s bathroom. Glad he didn’t croak.

A few more surprises . . . and then we’ll head for the finish line.

6. sufilight - March 28, 2013

Haha, I chuckled when you added Emoto’s work to the story. It’s fun watching how the mind of a former lawyer works, making the main character needing precise facts during the investigation. So, it’s all about the sand???? 😀

nrhatch - March 29, 2013

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Marie. As a litigator, I developed a “theory of the case” early on. As I reviewed the “facts,” I would weigh each against the theory.

If the facts all “fit,” that would be the theory I’d present to the jury. If facts didn’t fit, I had to decide whether to adjust the theory, or find a way to prove that those “facts” weren’t the truth.

At this point, the working theory is that the totem needed the sand but that leads to the rather obvious question:

“If the spell-weaver could conjure up an entire alleyway complete with totem pole, why couldn’t it go to the beach and get its own sand?” :mrgreen:

7. judithhb - March 28, 2013

Since I have been MIA for several weeks Nancy I haven’t read the earlier parts. Off to do so now. 🙂

nrhatch - March 29, 2013

Hope you enjoy, Judith. Most of the chapters are quite short.

8. Team Oyeniyi - March 29, 2013

Also been MIA – but taking some time over Easter to stop past and say HELLO and Happy Easter!!

nrhatch - March 29, 2013

HELLO and Happy Easter! 😀

9. Three Well Beings - March 29, 2013

I’m with you, too. I think there are lots of little nuggets in the twists and turns. I am very curious about how this journey is going to end…or if it will have an actual ending at all! 🙂

nrhatch - March 29, 2013

Thanks for following along, Debra. I got a kick out of writing this story ~ definitely a bit out of my norm. I think Marie (comment #6) nailed why I used this “theory of the case” style.

There is an ending. I started posting the story BEFORE I had ironed out any of the details . . . but I wrote faster than I posted. There is an actual ending WHICH answers the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW and ties up all the loose threads.

Unless I missed one, in which case we’ll open the floor for a Q&A debriefing. 😉

10. dearrosie - March 29, 2013

I’ve never been to Naples. I now know never to sit on a bench in that city.
Nice to see how your lawyer mind works in the questions.

nrhatch - March 30, 2013

Marie’s comment got me thinking about the Q&A approach of this story ~ heavy on dialogue, light on exposition. Much like having a witness on the stand to “paint a picture” for the jury.

It’s been lots of FUN . . . especially since “opposing counsel” can’t interrupt me with objections. 😀

11. nrhatch - March 30, 2013

Several readers requested that I post A Peculiar Party Under The Palms as a single page.

Just click HERE and you’ll be whisked through cyber space to join the party. Wheeee . . .

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

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