Little Cherine Book 02 - BPost001
I have decided to copy the story into my diary so that I have it here for remembering forever that she wrote for me one of her first ever stories. I think our future family will also be wanting to read it. P.S. The name, the double ‘cc’ part is pronounced as it is in the word cappuccino - i.e. Avi-etcci. I have decided to copy the story into my diary so that I have it here for remembering forever that she wrote for me one of her first ever stories. I think our future family will also be wanting to read it. P.S. The name, the double ‘cc’ part is pronounced as it is in the word cappuccino - i.e. Avi-etcci. - Sorry, I did enter it (the short story Avietcci) in the diary, but then felt uncomfortable about it being in here and have removed it, but I have added it as a satellite story, placed in the same folder this diary is, for those who wish to read it. As for how I enjoyed the story…that is for Meli and me to know - you decide how much you like it for yourself.
This is the start of the Big Posts (min 10 pages each) for LiTTLE CHERiNE, Book 02. I hope you enjoyed Book 01 ...and I know you'll enjoy this book even more.
By the way, if you are asking why these posts, the answer is, I want to make it easier and more enjoyable for those who are genuinely interested in reading my books as books, not as single pages. Therefore I am posting at about the maximum that Steemit can handle, ten pages per post.
As a reminder, here are the last few sentences of Book 01:
Book 2: At the end of the first book, Robert was departing from the Athens airport. He is flying from Greece to Taiwan, with a number of stops on the way. The idea is that they want to have shorter distances for teleporting. The girls are sharing his journey from his mind and are seeing the areas Robert identifies as being suitable for them to jump to.
I have decided to copy the story into my diary so that I have it here for remembering forever that she wrote for me one of her first ever stories. I think our future family will also be wanting to read it. P.S. The name, the double ‘cc’ part is pronounced as it is in the word cappuccino - i.e. Avi-etcci.
- Sorry, I did enter it (the short story Avietcci) in the diary, but then felt uncomfortable about it being in here and have removed it, but I have added it as a satellite story, placed in the same folder this diary is, for those who wish to read it. As for how I enjoyed the story…that is for Meli and me to know - you decide how much you like it for yourself.
If you missed the first book, here is the link :
“Why? Are you immigration or police?”
He greeted a policeman who had almost deferentially greeted him from the other side of the passage, about twenty metres away, so I did not believe him when he laughed and told me, “No.” He must have sensed me, for he added, “Shall we say I am a man of some influence? Now, please follow me, I would prefer to restrict the number of eyes who see me with you.”
To test him, I dryly stated, “I’m not interested in smuggling anything for you.”
He smiled. “From such a young age you have learnt that attack is the best form of camouflage - to misquote a favourite saying…it is not I who intends smuggling anything, I do believe you are the smuggler, a most extraordinary one. Come I have the ideal spot for you.”
My heart raced, but I was not allowed the opportunity to challenge him, for he turned his back on me and walked off. Puzzlement, anxiety, plus I could sense that Cherine was emoting a vague feeling of ‘almost’ knowing him, compelled me to follow.
He pointed at a shop, close to the end of the passage. “The owner has erected a partition for displaying his wares and the police either have not realised he has created a blind spot behind it, or else they do not care.”
He walked past the partition and I saw he was right. I also saw a door. He discretely pointed a finger, “It is his excuse for placing the partition, as it would not look good to have a service entrance as part of his display. The door only leads to a couple of stores for cleaning materials, so I suggest you avoid the early morning and late afternoon hours when the cleaners use it.” He opened the door. “As you see, it is not locked.” He led me in and opened the last door down a short passage. “This store room is not used, it should be safe for you.”
“Who are you and why are you doing this?”
“The time will come when you will realise who I am. I prefer to wait for that time, for you to find me…just don’t take too long, for as you see, I am getting on in years.” He looked directly into my eyes. “I will be waiting, for your coming will be very important for me. I see from your hand luggage that you come from Athens. If I sense death is close, may I contact you - perhaps through your office?”
“What is the purpose? Why are you being so mysterious about who you are and what you want from me?”
“It would be a disservice to you and of no benefit to me, should I speak out of turn. You must first realise you know me and then you will recognise the need to speak to me - and understand why you are needed.”
I pulled out a mini pad and wrote my phone number. “It would be better that you call me directly. My name is…”
“Shh, there is no need to speak it. Enjoy your trip.” He quickly turned and walked away, the slip of paper already in his pocket. I sensed Cherine agreed with me when I decided to do as asked, so I let him leave. The feeling that both Cherine and I have, that we should know who he is, kept me busy for many hours as I tried to force my subconscious to identify him for me.
At Singapore I got a taxi at the airport and told the driver that I only have a short time before leaving. I asked if he knew of a secluded spot where I could be alone to meditate for a while. He must have been convinced I wanted to take drugs for he spent a large part of the trip telling me how severe the penalties are if I do.
At Bangkok the driver told me I would have to spend a number of hours driving out of the city as there are no secluded spaces close by. I got him to drop me off and looked for myself. I found a derelict Christian church which had a very old cemetery behind it. That would have to do I decided - though I had a chuckle when I imagined the reaction of anyone seeing us appear in the cemetery.
Hong Kong was easier. We went up into the mountain, beyond the racecourse. At a small tea-room and pub I asked if it is possible to take a walk into the forest that is directly behind it. I found an area that looked promising. The taxi driver had demanded his fare, even though he was to take me back to the airport. When he saw me walk off into the woods, I was told, he drove off. If not for a rather drunken but very nice old English gentleman, I would have missed my flight. I had to call for my protector though so as to ensure I got there safely. I repaid his kindness by sobering him up so that he would get home unharmed. He was overjoyed, this meant he could go to his next favourite haunt for a few stiff drinks with the money I had given him for petrol.
At last I arrived in Taiwan. What I really wanted was a small hotel out of the centre of town, but I decided we might be less remarked upon if we stay in the centre of Taipei, in one of those horrid huge hotels the American tourists and businessmen favour. When I asked for a suite and explained I would have a number of ladies joining me, I was suddenly treated like royalty. They obviously came to their own conclusions and think highly of a man who knows how to enjoy his life and has the money to do so. I have no argument with that way of thinking - I just wish I could afford it (lol).
The management sent me fruit with a bottle of champagne and asked for my suitcase of clothes to freshen up for me - a very good idea, I wonder why more hotels don’t do it. I finally had to ask not to be disturbed as I’d had a long trip and needed to sleep before the ladies arrive. That they understood, and after a sizeable tip, I was left alone.
I really was tired, but knew the girls were anxious to join me. One thing had pleased me more than anyone can imagine. All the way and even here in Taiwan, I had not lost my link to Cherine (that had been my fear) and we were all still able to mindspeak, though they were rather reticent, muting me from their conversations. I sat down, promising myself I would jump in a short while. My eyes closed and I slept. When I awoke it was dark.
I stood up, ashamed of myself and needing a quick visit to the bathroom before jumping. I heard and sensed I was not alone and the lights went on. They had all arrived on their own! They gave me the fright of my life.
Once we settled down they all tried to tell me at the same time of what they had done. As I left Dubai, they arrived, having seen it through my eyes - though they kept away from the man I’d met, just in case he recognises Cherine. The same for all the next stops. Though they sometimes had a long wait and spent their time sight-seeing. I got angry, since girls alone in many of those areas were not safe. They laughed and showed me the shapes they took on. God, but they looked like a really rough and tough bunch of Greek men. I wondered where they had seen them.
At least I could get a good nights sleep. In any case, that was what I claimed I hoped for.
Cherine told me, “That man who helped you at Dubai, I also feel I should know him! Robert, I think it is important we work out who he is.”
“He seems to be confident we will work it out.” I shrugged and smiled. “I’ve given him our phone number, just in case we take too long.”
They told me about Jonathan and Percy. They said the father was very quiet when they picked up Maria-Elena, but that Percy, as a Greek woman does, was emotional, kissed them all and could not stop talking. She told them to give me a kiss, which they all wanted to do. My healer must have been quite disgusted with me by the early morning hours.
Of course none of them had carried anything with them, not even a toothbrush, so I had to go out the next morning with Dommi and buy clothes and toiletries for all of them. As there are boutiques and a pharmacy in the hotel it was not too big a problem, just damn expensive. I had to buy two sets of clothing for each girl, for them as adults and as children. Since that meant they needed at least four sets for each of them, I made some shopkeepers very happy. At least they delivered to the room.
The word spread very fast and I found myself being accosted by a number of professional girls, even when with my own girls. Of course not one of my loves could even pretend to be jealous, so they had to find other reasons for making me pay.
I wanted to take the girls out to see the sights, for them to enjoy themselves before beginning on our fruitless quest, as I knew they would be feeling too deflated afterwards to enjoy themselves. I was convinced the girl/baby we are to search for only exists in the imaginary world of Meli and wanted them to at least have seen and felt they were in a different country and culture. The girls were not interested, giving me amazed looks at my obtuseness as they declared they wanted to start the search immediately. The question now was, how? Though we debated it a while, we found no solution, for as I told the girls, I did not like the idea of hiring a detective. Finally in desperation I did what they do in novels and the movies. I asked the concierge, who seemed to be a fairly nice young man.
“We are looking for someone. We do not know their name or where they live - whether it is here or in some tiny village. For all I know they could be living out on some farm. What we do know is this. The man is an American, the woman is Chinese, very young. She is either pregnant or has recently had the baby. We do not think they have left Taiwan yet. I am offering a reward of five thousand dollars to whoever helps us find them. Can you help?’
He told me his name is Wing. He asked a number of questions till he got it through his thick skull that we truly knew nothing more. He was deflated for a short few seconds until he recalled the reward.
“The money you offer? It U.S dollars?” Upon confirmation he put on a show of sadness. “Everything so expensive now. To ask some kind person to give so much time to find this people you wish to find, they will be so disappointed to hear you offer so little.”
I thought I had been generous, but I saw he was right, if I was to treat this as a genuine search - at least for the sake of my loves. “We would not want to disappoint such a kind soul. Wing, they find the persons we want, not just some American Chinese couple with a baby, it must be the one we want, they get ten thousand. If they cannot find them but I see they did spend a lot of time on this, I will pay two thousand.”
The blighter got me up to five thousand and twenty if successful. The twenty I was not worried about, as I knew it would not be earned. The five I thought was steep, but it was also cheap since it made my loves so happy.
Now my girls were more than happy to spend time seeing the sites. It is most unfortunate that we did not quite see eye to eye on what that meant. To them it meant seeing the shops. It also meant that if I let them have their way I would have to charter a plane and be declared insolvent. Somehow I managed to get them to water down their ambitions to save me so much money by buying everything that was such a bargain. Not that they ever asked; they just looked at what they wanted with such longing, mentioning how much cheaper it is and what I would save
While here, I decided to take care of another problem that was urgent. Okay, a normal businessman would have contacted a good attorney or firm of accountants, but I am not a businessman, I prefer dealing with someone I like and have a good feeling about. As Wing had some cousins and uncles running around for him, he was still available to help me with this problem of mine. I explained I want a private medical facility to undertake a private contract. I gave some details.
They must have back-up facilities for power shortages or breakdowns. I want a large room that is fully secure. Within that room will be placed a number of refrigerators. The facility must have a good reputation and the owners be trustworthy. Also, I specified, no questions asked.
This information cost a few thousand, but I did not mind. Two days later he took us to a company outside the city. They have a modern facility and the building belongs to them - which is important for me. However, they were not friendly or helpful. I think they only agreed to meet us so as to show off to us presumptuous westerners, and it probably was not a good idea turning up for the meeting with a bunch of beautiful females. They proudly showed us around and explained the development they have undertaken of new drugs based on old traditional Chinese homeopathic remedies. It sounded like a pipe dream to me until I was given the sales results of the first products they have put on the market. I was also able to see signs that indicated they are cash starved. Their orders are becoming too large to handle without expanding their manufacturing base.
On my suggestion, Wing took one of the directors aside and extremely politely gabbled away for a long time. I saw the old chap look at my girls through his bushy eyebrows and blandly he offered us tea. I accepted, though my girls, apart from Meli, showed bad manners and asked for coke. Meli explained later, that from visiting the peoples of her worlds, she knew we have to drink the tea, even though she had not wanted to.
It came out during a very long conversation that what they need is an investor who can put up about four hundred thousand dollars. We bickered about the shares they offered in return and with Cherine to guide me, I stopped at just under the point where he would have refused. She told me he now no longer feels contempt for me and admires my negotiating skills.
I then appended to that a few demands of my own. As this meant extra income for them, he only used this to try and get a few dollars more than what he thought the service is worth. I had seen they have land available behind their facilities. I got a map of their property and buildings and sketched an extra facility to be put up for us. I offered to pay for this, even though the building will belong to them, but demanded a lease of two hundred years. He was taken aback by a westerner thinking in such long range terms, but agreed, subject to the investment as previously agreed. I told him to get the papers ready within three days. He agreed to make temporary facilities available until our building is completed, but insisted he has to know what it is for.
I explained that there is, we think, a considerable market for providing a facility where people can have tissue samples preserved for hundreds of years to await the day science is able to replicate (clone) them. I explained that it is not up to us to decide whether it is probable or will be allowed anytime in the future. Since people are willing to pay for this service, it must be something they want or need. He thought about it and tried to demand a slice of the action. I regretfully advised him it is not possible. This operation will be world-wide, with each set of such tissue being stored in over twenty countries to maximise chances of them surviving the next couple of centuries.
We finally agreed they will represent us in Taiwan and the Far East, with a commission on any clients they bring in. Cherine gleefully warned me that he is extremely excited beneath his smooth, friendly but bland exterior. He sees this as something that will appeal to a great number of his fellow countrymen.
Soon as we got back to the hotel I had to find a Panamanian company to buy off the shelf. It was found and I paid for that too. Soon as I had the information, I contacted the old guy and gave him the name and other details he needs for the drawing up of the contracts. He then reminded me that before our share of the profits can be remitted overseas, local taxes will have to be paid. I thanked him for his honesty and assured him it is not a problem.
I phoned Alki and told him what I have done. I asked whether he and Elia would come in as shareholders. He knew the real purpose, but still he became excited. He assured me he personally will make available at least two million dollars and he was certain Elia can match him. He then laughed and told me that despite myself, I am going to turn into a multi-millionaire.
At least four times a day the girls would ‘pass’ by the concierge desk and ask Wing if he had any news. I was impressed by his continuing patience and goodwill. He was remarkably apologetic each time, regretting the delay and so on and on. One time, when he did not know I was watching, I noticed a glint of amusement in his eyes. On the fifth day he explained to me that he has family and family of family from all over the island searching. They have found a few Chinese girls with children from American visitors, but none of them are babies recently born.
On the sixth day he called me in my room and asked to meet me at a tea-room close to the hotel. When I arrived there we found him with an older man. He is very fat, but his eyes have a friendly look to them. I received the impression that he seems to think that life is designed for his own amusement and though I sensed he is a bit of a rascal, I liked him.
Although he was extremely polite, I noticed his eyes kept returning to Tina. I guessed it was the wildness that fascinated him. Suddenly, as if she had not been there all along, he noticed Diana. He broke off his chatter, the kind I seem to have to go through with all of them before they are willing to broach the subject we are meeting to discuss. I had early on realised it is a tactical game, especially since I am a foreigner. They see it as a victory if I break down, get impatient and ask a direct question, betraying my eagerness or need and thus handing over control of the meeting to them. On seeing Diana though, he stopped talking for so long that Wing had to politely remind him he has news for us.
He gave me a mournful look, “That so. I have no heart though to tell you this sad tale. Perhaps it would be better I offer not to tell you, though it would break my heart to lose the miserly sum my poor nephew negotiated with you.”
“The tale must be very sad indeed for you to offer to forego that miserly sum. However, we have travelled a long way and that young lady,” I pointed to Diana, trying to use his fascination with her, “would be distressed to leave without the tale you have to tell.”
“That would break my heart, but it was only so as not to break yours that I offered to remain silent. I have found the girl and baby. The American, he gone. It would appear the love was false and he has wife and two children back home. With him he took honour of the young mother and her whole family.”
I do not know if my jaw dropped, it sure felt like it, and I heard the silvery laugh of Meli within my mind, with the echoes from the other girls, though I could sense they too were trembling, hardly able to believe it. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (I had always considered it an expression used by authors that has no basis in fact).
Quickly I collected my dazed senses. “Such deceivers find it easy to succeed when they find a heart of purity. The dishonour is not hers or of her family, but rests solely on the man. Please tell us, where is she now?”
“We are both men of the world. Though the sum be but miserly, surely you do not ask that I deprive my nephew of the money he has worked so hard for by revealing her location?” He shifted his great bulk, took one more look at Diana. “However, your answer was reply of a man who has honour. You may remunerate my nephew later. For myself I ask but one thing. Would you permit this foolish fat old man to ask the question that troubles his mind, without taking offence?”
“No. I know what your question is. Wing, you will please return to your hotel. Arrange a vehicle to be waiting for us, something large enough to fit all of my young ladies.”
“I am so sorry, I do not think we could find one, unless you want a mini bus.”
He was being earnest and apologetic in his response but I could not help it - I burst out laughing. “Then hire us a small bus please. No offence meant Wing, but I do not believe you should hear the question your uncle wishes to ask.”
“I understand sir.” He took leave of his uncle and the girls.
“Before you ask I have a question. How did you know?”
“You cannot see it? She has the newness and purity of a soul that has just arrived from the world of the spirits. She has no sins trailing her into this life, nor even those of this life. How can this be?”
“You ask of us to show great faith in you. I would have walked away long ago, but I have been reassured that you mean no harm and are a person to be trusted. I hope my advisor speaks truly; she has always been correct up to now.”
He nodded at Cherine, “This little one, she is the advisor?” As Cherine looked at least over twenty, I was taken aback by his description of her as a ‘little one’.
“A little one?”
He did not even pretend a polite smile. “Appearances are not always what they seem. I saw your talent when you arrived. It is the first time I have seen this in a person of your race, or in one so young. I also see that there are others here who are even younger.”
“I crave your pardon. When we arrived we were given your name, but it has slipped my mind.”
“Names that are foreign can truly be slippery, no offence taken. It seems to westerners all Chinese must be named Fu, Chu or Yung. That is truly not the case.”
“It is also thought amongst us that your people have a sense of humour we do not understand. I am pleased to see that is also not so.”
“You do not realise it and I am amused, so please do not feel slighted. You are talking to me as westerners of wisdom talk to foolish Chinese in American movies. You may talk as you would to your own people.”
“That was brutal. Fine old chap, how about a name? In case my name was slippery too, I am called Robert.”
“As was the great Scots poet.” He smiled. “You confuse the job my poor nephew has with quality of person. Did he advise you he has university degree, has brilliant mind and yet has to work at that job in the hotel? With our factories moving to mainland China because of cheaper labour, difficult now to get a good job. Too many in our country have a degree”
“He did not. I am pleased you told me. I find he has dealt with us in a straight and honest fashion. Perhaps I will need to have a talk with him. Fu Chu Yung, we have a problem here. You have news my loves are dying to hear and if we do not get to that subject soon, they will make me pay for it dearly tonight.”
“You may answer my question later. I think you will and I see new wisdom coming to me. Ladies, I did not speak falsely, it indeed tragic tale. The girl was foolish. She fell in love, believed in his love, but feared he might leave. She got pregnant hoping to keep him. When she found out the truth about the man, she waited to give birth. She at present in hospital within this same city. She decide to die because of disgrace and broken heart.”
“It alive, though the family have decided not to feed it, to let it die. After all, it a girl and cause of disgrace. It also cost them daughter much loved.”
“I wish to interfere. For one, the baby, we do not wish to let it die. Secondly, the mother, we would like to save her. Would you object to either?”
“It is not up to me to disagree, however, if you are to save her and leave her to face her dishonour with poverty, you will make her suffer the pains of suicide again. The baby you may only save if you are willing to adopt it.”
“How may the mother regain her honour and still live, seeing as to how we cannot bring back the American.”
“Honour, if handled correctly does have a price. You are shocked? Poverty shocking too. It makes minds narrow, but money buys forgiveness and shuts many mouths. I warn you though. Even if you save her life, adopt the baby and find the right price, when you are gone she will find herself without family.”
I could only tackle the problems one at a time. “Which is more urgent, the baby or mother?”
“The mother, the baby is but hungry.”
“Take us to her then please. I only need to see her.”
His eyes widened. He stood up and bowed. “Master, I thought I was so wise to see the truth of the ladies. I should have remembered that when a man thinks himself wise, he but being a fool. I forgot to think that for a man to be loved by such women there must be something extraordinary about him.”
I stood up, suddenly impatient of the games. “Enough of this. Just take us, the girls will wait here, except for you Cherine, I may need you. Let’s go.”
The damn hospital was only three blocks away, though our guide did not enjoy walking even that distance. I felt foolish, just having arranged to hire a bus, but that is par for the course - whenever I try to anticipate problems. He had a little talking to do to get us through, but we were soon at the entrance to the ward she was in.
There must have been about twenty beds, but Cherine and I sensed where she was. Standing at the foot of her bed I looked at her. Cherine confirmed she is the right one, the girl we are looking for. I sent the healer in. As we turned to leave, I saw a very young girl in the next bed who must have been in an accident. She stared at me with such pain and despair in her eyes it broke my heart. I called to Cherine’s healer. It came to me and accepted the job of healing the young girl.
We walked out as our guide arrived at the door. Curious he looked in and then followed us.
“We go for the baby and her honour now. We shall return to collect her afterwards.”
He refused to go without his nephew. It was not avarice, he was just being cautious. Back at the hotel, Wing was quick to pick up that something has happened to his uncle, but when he heard where we are going he got upset.
“That a very poor neighbourhood with very hard people. They will not ask whether you are British or American. The people in that neighbourhood very fond of the girl. If they see a foreigner arrive they will think you are from the man who dishonoured her and not ask questions. It could be dangerous. Please remain here and allow me to go. I will find the price, as my uncle put it, and return.”
“Then the price has to be paid and then the baby collected - and fed. Wing the baby may be dead by then. I will not stand for it. We go now.”
I made certain the girls stayed in the hotel and with Cherine at my side we left - using the bus. She had gone up to the room in the meantime and returned at her true age. The uncle, with an ecstatic look on his face, bowed to her which made Wing bow too, though he was confused.
Her family live in one of those blocks of flats governments like to put their poor in. Unlike in the U.K. at least the poverty here was not accompanied by the same degree of vandalism, filth and stench, mostly my senses were overcome by the strange scents of their spices and stale sweat.
An old woman opened the door. The uncle talked to her. A small crowd of children had gathered and this soon brought the adults. One man began to shout at us. I realised it was insulting, but pretended not to understand, and Wing and his uncle did not interfere, leaving it to me - though Wing gave his uncle some nervous glances.
Soon the small crowd of neighbours were openly showing hostility. As I saw someone move, I projected Cherine into a monster of a dragon. She hissed at them and lashed her tail in anger. There was screaming and panic and we were soon left with a terrified old woman, a bemused uncle and a shocked nephew. I changed Cherine back and pushed my way into the flat.
“Is she the mother?”
“Where is the father?”
“In bed. She says he drunk.”
“Wing get him, bring him here please.” He rushed off to do so.
I borrowed the healer of Wendy just long enough to sober him. I think he was more shocked to find he had wasted his money on the drink and was sober again, than to find himself facing foreigners.
I let his wife gibber at him in terror. When he slapped her he found himself thrown against the nearest wall. As I had not moved, he lay there slumped in terror.
“Explain to him the dragon was real, all his neighbours have seen. He is to tell them we have come to take the baby and his daughter to our world. They were dishonoured here, not only by the foreigner, but also by her parents and neighbours. They knew she is a pure and sweet soul, yet turned their backs on her. The disgrace is theirs, not hers.”
Wing told them word for word I believe. The uncle put in a few words too, bowing to me all the time. They brought me the baby. I gestured for Cherine to take it. Once it was in her hands, Meli confirmed it has the soul we are looking for.
When we returned to the hospital the mother was sitting up. The whole ward was astir. She had been expected to die and here she was fully recovered.
“Tell her to feed her baby. Her honour has been bought and she will now come with us. She need never return to that home of disgrace.”
“I speak English.”
“Then you understood me. You have been healed, your daughter has been brought to you for feeding, please do so now. You will be given full explanations later.”
I turned my back on her, waiting. As I did so I saw the young girl, she was staring at me, awe on her face, the despair gone. Cherine came to me, put her hand on my chest. “What is it Robert?”
“I can feel it. You girls are going to end up having a whopper of a fight with me. I do not care, this time I will not give in.”
“About the baby damn it! You all think of it as belonging to Meli and want to love and bond with it. Not this time girlie. Her future does not lie with us.”
“If you say so then I accept it.” Taken aback I stared at her. She gave a little smile. “There are times Robert when you are right.”
As we returned to the hotel I told Wing, “You are worried. Do not be. Tell your manager that I, the crazy foreigner, was about to get into a dangerous situation. You did not want the bad publicity of a guest of theirs being harmed, so took off from work to protect me. I will confirm you helped save the day. Soon as they are satisfied, you then resign. I have a job for you. You will also have your twenty thousand dollars.”
“It belongs to my uncle sir.”
“What! The full miserly twenty thousand?” The uncle had the grace to look abashed.
“I need to know more about you. You have kept to your side of the bargain and here is your money. The money however is not what you are here for. For me to open up, tell you what you want to know, you must first explain yourself. How did you know about Diana and the others?”
“It would be easier if you call me Charlie, all the tourists do. I earn my living through my nephew, he finds foreigners who are looking for a Chinese fortune-teller. I am suitably impressive with my large size and inscrutable face?” I agreed with a nod and a smile. “I cannot tell the future, it is all a sham. I do have other gifts though, some I was born with and some came from years of training with the Masters of our Temple. As a young man I found it difficult to not show my sense of humour at the most inappropriate times and finally I was sent to rejoin the outside world.” He spread his hands, “Sometimes I regret it, but then there are many times I thank the gods.”
“I see you are now speaking English correctly yet you accused me of acting like a bad movie. Never mind. What did you think when you saw Cherine turn into a dragon?”
“I felt a raw blast of power such as I have never felt in my Masters. I realised you, a foreigner, must be a Supreme Master.”
“Would you wish to join me? To do so I warn you, it requires a strong sense of humour, a little craziness and there are extremely strict rules about how you use your gifts. All the rules of man apply to us - the difference is that we adhere to them. No gift may be used against any normal human.”
“It sounds interesting. An order that requires these qualities may be one worth dying for.”
“I am more interested in finding those who consider it worth living for.” That got a laugh from him.
“In that case I definitely would be interested.”
“It will take a while for me to explain, to tell you of our gifts and what we are hoping to achieve. For a man to reach your size it must have taken considerable dedication and it would be a pity to make you lose so much of your hard earned size by making you sit throughout our talks without suitable replenishment. I suspect the hotel food would not be of your choosing, but here is the hotel menu. Please choose so that we may all order. I would rather do our talking here, in privacy. Cherine has already disabled the microphones the management placed here this morning.” I sighed and added, “I wonder what made them suspicious of us.” He looked at my loves and smiled without answering.
It was a pleasure explaining to Charlie. He was quick to understand and I realised that beneath the lard which disguised him, is a kindred soul. His only distress was when he realised he is to lose his size once the healer becomes part of his life.
“Charlie, the way we normally help others to grow, develop their gifts and form a circle, is by taking them dancing. There would be little point in doing so with you right now. You will first need to find those you wish to have as part of your circle. Then when you dance you will have your family. We are willing to return here whenever you are ready.”
“And of the girl and baby?”
“You have a suggestion?”
“Before I do so, I need to know, what was so special about them that you would travel around the world to find them?”
I had to explain about Meli and her worlds. When he heard of the dance of the girl and that it was her soul we had come in search of, he was visibly trembling. “What you are saying is that your daughter is able to create souls. That goes against everything I have learnt.”
“I think not. I think her worlds are real worlds she has tapped into. She tells me this one is a world still to come. I now see she speaks the truth.”
He humbly asked Wendy to sing for him. She stood in the centre of the room and stared at him. He saw how her eyes changed colour and as she began to float she sang. It was a strange song that will haunt me for a long time and yet it meant almost nothing. To Charlie it obviously meant a great deal - he sat with tears coursing down his cheeks even after she had ended.
That was when Wing arrived. He saw his uncle and silently sat in front of him with his head bowed.
“Wing, son of my brother and son of my heart, this man here, he sees straight into the heart so speak the truth. Do you love me.”
“As the father I would have loved if he had lived.”
“The girl we brought in, forget that nonsense about honour, do you see it possible for you to love her and the baby?”
“If you wish me to uncle.”
“That will not do. This would not be an arranged marriage. Love is required. I will speak of this no further until you have found within your heart an answer, whatever it may be.”
“Then may I speak Charlie? Wing, have you resigned?”
“The manager is not in his office, so I will in the morning. You ask a lot Mr Teller, no discussions, no offers, just the instructions to resign. I will do so, for I see my uncle.”
“Wing, he reassures me you are intelligent and suitably qualified. University degrees do not qualify you for the job I have in mind. Only your character and heart can. Are you honest and loyal?”
“If I may Master? A man who asks of another honesty and loyalty seldom gets it.”
“I do not ask Charlie, I expect it. Otherwise the relationship is one way, with me giving my loyalty only.”
“Then you have my oath that my son will give you no reason to regret all you give him.”
“I am bound Master. By my uncle’s oath and by my own nature.”
“Would both of you cut out this Master crap please? My name is Robert.” I explained that I want him to be my representative in Taiwan. I offered him a decent salary and a share of the profits. “It is up to you; guard my interests and you will become a wealthy man.”
“Robbie, the Chinese girl is getting upset, she wants to know why we are keeping her here.”
“Wing, help out please.” With a groan Charlie got up.
“It may be better I talk to her.” He went in and we waited.
“What are we going to do Robbie? Are we taking her with us?”
“No Meli. We are leaving and she will stay with Charlie and Wing. We will return in ten days. If they are a family, we dance with them. If not, then we take her with us - by plane.”
“May I ask?”
“My uncle has accepted you as his Master. He swore he would never return to that life again. How did you convince him?”
“What is the easiest way to convince someone Wing?”
“To tempt them?”
“Not quite correct. To allow them to convince themselves.”
“I learn from you Master.”
I sat down in front of him. “Listen and try to understand. I am not a Master. Secondly, I am no wise man. The girls will all tell you so, as a matter of fact they claim to love me because I am foolish and a little bit crazy.”
“He is not telling you the complete truth.” Cherine gave me a look that dared me to try and stop her. I sat without responding. “We love him because he is one of those rare people who love others more than he loves himself. When you come dancing with us you will see.”
“What is this dancing that can show so much truth?”
I had to go through the whole story again. If not for the dragon and my violent attack on her father without moving, I think he would have written me off as a nutcase.
“Do you see why your uncle said love was important? We hope to see you form your own circle with her and the baby.”
The uncle chose that moment to bring in the girl. “It is time I think for you to tell her what you told me. She will listen with an open heart.” I groaned and when the girls laughed, Wing joined them.
“This time we do it differently. Tell me your name please?”
“My adopted father, uncle Charlie, said you will say my name is too slippery, that you should call me Su.” She grimaced.
“We will try to call you by your real name. Want to try us out?”
“Su will do for now. It just makes me sound like one of those girls…”
“Her name in English means ‘wild flower’.”
Wendy asked, “Could we call you Lisa? You smile like a Lisa.” Shyly she nodded.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
22nd April, 2019
* posted on Steemit: 22nd April, 2019