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has some kind of strange

has some kind of strange powers.” She turned away and said nothing. I kept insisting, and she finally turned to me. “It’s hard to explain but believe me it is safer for you not to have it. Actually, I’ve been searching for the other half, that’s the whole reason I was on the road in the first place. Weird how it turned up at your grandpa’s.” She paused. I waited. “It’s not time to explain everything to you yet,” she said. I was so confused. Nothing that she was saying was making a whole lot of sense, and I wasn’t going to give up on my demand for her to give me back the amulet. Or at least my half of it. Eventually. But first I needed to clear my head. “Can we saddle up a couple of horses and ride out to the river. I remember where it is from my last visit. I really need to get thinking straight again.” We saddled a little paint for her and a palomino mare for me. The horses were smaller than stallions and mares and just right for our pre-adult heights. Maybe it was something about the smooth gait of horseback riding that tended to sooth my frayed nerves. Waffles who had been a bit bored found something to do. Waffles chased after and insisted on coming with us. By the time we arrived at what I had remembered as a river, which now seemed no more than a fast running creek, I felt much calmer. We drank from the stream. It was fresh and cold, Waffles, right beside us lapping hard. We tied our mounts up in the shade and in range of grazing. I took Kelly by the hand, and we headed for the burbling creek and plopped ourselves down on the grassy bank. The sawtooth red mountains in the distance loomed hazy in the midday sun. She lay back with a long blade of grass in her mouth and gazed at the passing clouds. We were silent. Then I said, “I don’t really know what that was all about but I did get some distinct feelings.” She gazed over at me. “Like what?” “Mostly I felt like there was something I had to do or was expected to do. Something important. And I had a glimpse of my birth parents, there were two guys, I must have seen it wrong, but I had a distinctive feeling that I was being born. Something was special about them, the guy holding the trident drew blood from both his and the older, gray haired man’s hand, as their blood spilled, the older one appeared to command the lightning in the sky, and the other made the sea swell.” Kelly chewed her blade of grass for a minute. “Two guys, with abilities that’s an impressive vision and you felt like this was your birth—” She went back to thinking. “Do you believe that all of this has anything to do with what happened to your parents?” she asked. “Yes, I do.” She seemed surprised by the quickness of my answer. “Interesting, so a blinding white light was the cause of the crash?” Kelly said. “Yeah,” is all I could say. “Has anything else happened that seemed out of the ordinary?” Kelly asked. “Well… back at the Waffle House, I swore that was Polybotes that we both saw.” I looked her deep in the eyes, waiting for her to laugh at me. But she never did. It almost seemed like she was expecting me to bring this up, it felt splendid getting this off my chest. Besides, Kelly was the queen of weird, so I felt pretty safe talking about not so common topics. Her eyes widened, “Look, Davis, don’t judge me Ok? You’re right that was Polybotes… but I do not want to talk about it.” It was hard getting answers from Kelly, but at least she confirmed that I did actually see Polybotes back at the Waffle House. Was nice hearing confirmation that I wasn’t crazy. Kelly got silent, and after

a while, we saddled up and headed back to the ranch. Kelly was silent for nearly a mile. “Davis, I know you’re looking for answers… And you know I got them. And I thank you for not pushing me to talk.” Kelly said. I nodded. Once back at the ranch, we put the horses back in their stalls, I was getting re-accustomed to modern day luxuries, such as abundant food and proper hygiene. It was pure bliss after roughing it two weeks cross-country. We were living like guests on a dude ranch going for rides, having cookouts at night. Taking part in some of the farm work. And Kelly and I were getting closer by the day. That’s when Alicia showed up. I have to say I had no idea at all that she would follow me out here – and it was stunning to see how Kelly’s jaw dropped at the sight of the cute girl from back home. We had met her cab out in front of the ranch house. When she got out, she threw herself into my arms, and I got the feeling that my troubles had just begun. After the greeting, I of course had to introduce her to Kelly without giving any real details of how and why we seemed to be together. The girls almost immediately launched into a thorough female appraisal of each other, eyes lingering on one another’s seemingly best features. I was shocked; Alicia was the last person I expected to get out of that cab. While she was in my arms, her head and hair buried in my shoulder, she murmured, “That was a terrible, terrible thing you did, scaring your Aunt like that and me too. You should have stayed home as I suggested.” I pulled my head back and looked at her. “Did you receive my postcard?” “Yes, I got it a few days ago and hopped a plane out to Arizona, then I called a cab from the airport, and now I’m here.” I smiled. “I take it you kept your promise?” “Yes, but how on earth did you manage it?” “That is a long story. And where Kelly comes in. We came out here together.” I immediately realized my mistake. I knowingly had brought another girl into the picture. Now I had to explain her and not make it seem like we were a couple in any way. Although I guess, we actually were. In fact, we had shared some intimate moments together. Alicia cocked her head and tugged a strand of hair behind her ear. “You mean you guys traveled together out here?” I could see her head processing that information and conjuring up all kinds of things, most of which never happened. Her eyes locked on Kelly seeming to give her another, even more thorough evaluation and when she was through there was fire in her eyes. Alicia glowered at me. “Do you have someplace for me to stay? I won’t stay long. I’ll be out of your way soon.” “Hey, wait a minute. You’re letting your imagination go wild.” She only gripped her backpack and said, “Just show me where I can get some sleep. Please.” It was the last word that let me know how she felt. After I had shown her the guest room, I returned to join Kelly outside. Kelly was standing on the porch one hip loosely against the porch rail. “She’s pissed in case you don’t know it.” I shrugged it off. “Nah. She’s just tired. She didn’t expect anybody like you.” Kelly simply said, “No. She’s pissed.”

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