Category Archives: Crusader Mysteries: Magna Mystery: Missing Identity
Collegiates & Crusaders
A young girl is found, laying face-down in a puddle of murky water. She is barely breathing when someone finds her, and takes her to the Hill View Hospital. She awakens to find brother detectives Frank and Joe Harrison standing over her bed. The Harrisons agree to take her home, since she has no home, and find out who she is. The only thing she remembers is looking directly into the barrel of an assailant’s gun. The doctor diagnoses the girl with amnesia, and the boys try to help her find her identity. But danger follows them every step-of-the way, making the search that much harder. Will the Harrisons be able to help her search for her….
The girl was shivering, and cold.
The Hill View streets could be murder if you’re not careful, she thought, hugging herself as she walked along, trying to keep warm.
Suddenly, she heard a noise coming from the Alleyway. Instinctively, she turned her head to see what was going on. “Just some cats nosing around old garbage cans. Nothing to be scared of.” She muttered to herself, watching her back.
Just then, a mean, gruff voice said from the shadows, “Wanna make a bet?” With as much strength as he could muster, he put her in a choke-hold and pointed a gun to her head.
She couldn’t tell what the man was going to do, so she made her body go limp. It didn’t work, so she tried karate on her attacker. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. It’s bad for your health to mess with agents.” She muttered sarcastically, watching the man’s every move.
While she did so, another attacker came up from behind her and hit her on the head with a lead pipe. In a few seconds, all went black and she fell to the ground. The men just ran off, disappearing into the darkness.
They were gone, and she was alone.
She woke up again in a hospital, surrounded by a couple of guys. One had blond hair and the other was chestnut. Slowly, she looked around. “Where am I?”
“Hill View’s Philbrooke Memorial Hospital.” The blond answered. “My brother and I found you on the ground after you were attacked by two guys.”
“My name is Frank Harrison, and this is my brother, Joe.” The chestnut-haired replied. “Who, may I ask, are you?”
She hadn’t thought of that. She knew she had amnesia, but didn’t know her own name. This was humiliating! She shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“Definitely a case of amnesia.” Joe, the blond, replied.
Their eyes met, and there was a connection.
“Do you know anyone here?” Frank replied.
The girl shook her head, reddish-blond curls flew in her face. “If I don’t even know my own name, how would I know if I knew anyone here?”
Joe smiled. “Good point.”
“Well, did you want to stay with us?” Frank asked. “Just until you find yourself.”
The girl smiled back. “Didn’t know I was lost.”
Joe laughed. Whoever she was, this girl was funny. “You can stay with us until you find your missing identity.”
“You make me seem like a charity case.” The girl smiled.
Case. The word toiled in her mind. Why?
For now, she had no where to go, no one to go to.
Or did she?
“Okay, I give.” The girl replied, and was released that day.
“First things first.” Frank replied, escorting her out into their car. “Do you know the world-famous detective Harley Harrison?”
She’d heard of him, yes, but where from? “Not really.” Just in case, she thought.
“He’s our dad.” Joe bragged. “Right now, he’s in Zimbabwe on a case.”
Frank scowled at his brother.
“You know what. Come on, lets go home. I’ve had enough rushing around for someone who doesn’t even know her own name.”
Though she was still sleepy from the pain medication in her system, the girl heard Joe’s next words.
“I can’t help it. I like her.”
The girl smiled from the back seat. Already, she liked him, too.
A couple of days later, the brothers were gone, and only she and Mrs. Harrison remained. Her muscles ached, and with every step she took, her body complained.
“May I use your phone, Mrs. Harrison?”
“Certainly. Go right ahead.” Mrs. Harrison knew about her amnesia, and was helping her find a name.
The girl placed her hand on the phone, thinking aloud. “You know, it’s funny. I don’t even know my own name, yet I know a phone number.”
Mrs. Harrison smiled before returning to the kitchen.
Alone at last, the girl thought.
She dialed the extension and listened to it ring twice before a woman answers.
Shannon. The name seemed familiar. Was it her own?
“I don’t know who you are, but I think I know you.” Were the only words she could muster.
They were the only words the Shannon woman needed. “Tell me where you are and I’ll come and explain everything to you.”
What a relief. Someone who knew who she was.
“I think I’m in Hill View, Michigan.” The girl replied.
“Somehow, get to the Mall. I’ll find you.” Shannon said, then hung up.
The girl stared at the phone, and a flash of light blinded her.
Suddenly, it seemed she was taken to another place.
“Hey, are you listening to me?” A guy with dark brown hair and deep brown eyes gave her a smile. “You seem far away.”
The girl nodded, her image nodding up and down with her head.
“Listen up. We’ve got a case to crack, so I want you to be careful.” He said, then kissed her lips. “Understand?”
Again, she nodded, and came back when she felt someone tapping her on the shoulder.
She turned to see Joe Harrison smiling down at her. “What’s up?”
“I think I just had a flash of memory.” She said. “No name yet, I’m afraid.”
She began to walk away from the phone and Joe, but spotted a picture hanging on the wall. It was the coastline, where the ocean met the sand.
It reminded her of something, but she didn’t know what.
“You like that?” Joe asked her. “It’s the California coastline. A friend of ours there had a friend of theirs paint it.”
There was a small building in the corner of the picture, just small enough to be hidden. Somehow, she knew that place.
Her head hurt, and she began to get dizzy all over again.
She had a mission. She couldn’t be sick.
Mission – where did that come from?
Case — Mission — they were both words that described – what?
Joe caught her and sat her on the couch. He lightly laughed. “You are a piece of work, aren’t you?”
She turned. Work. That was what both words described. What she did for a living. Thing was, what did she do? “Sorry, Joe. I didn’t mean to zone out on you.”
“That’s okay.” Joe replied. “Did the picture tell you anything?”
Should she tell him?
Two days ago…the men in the alley….the Harrisons…it was all a blur, but one thing stood in her mind.
She was on a case with –
Shannon. She’d forgotten about Shannon.
The girl stood. “Sorry, Joe. I have to meet someone at the mall.”
“Did you need a lift?”
What would Shannon say if she brought an escort? Better to not chance it. “No, I can walk on my own. Thanks anyway.”
“Not in Detroit, you won’t.” Joe kidded. “I’m going with you, and that’s final.”
The girl smiled.
When they came upon the Mall, the girl saw a woman with dark brown hair pulled up in a bun. She turned to Joe before leaving the car.
“Stay here, just in case.” She instructed.
“No problem.” He smiled at her, watching her go.
Slowly, the girl made her way to the woman.
That was Shannon?
The woman smiled, reading her thoughts.
Wait a minute – I can do that, too. How?
“Hello,” The girl spoke up. “Are you Shannon?”
The woman nodded. “At least you remember my name. That’s good news.”
“How can I remember you, and not who I am?”
“You’ve learned not to reveal your own name in times of crises.” Shannon summed up. “Right now, all I can say is that guy you came with, he’s a Network Agent. You, my dear cousin, are a System Agent.”
“Rivals?” The girl guessed.
Shannon nodded again to both questions, smiling. She put her hand on the girl’s back. “Come with me, I’ll tell you everything.”
Just then, they heard commotion coming from behind them.
Then a gunshot.
“Let’s get out of here – fast.” Shannon commanded, taking her hand and running.
The girl panicked, and ran with her, unsuspecting.
She felt something from the bottom of her soul. Fear. Death. Hate.
She didn’t like the feelings one bit.
“What’s going on?” The girl asked. “I don’t understand.”
“You will as soon as I tell you.” Shannon led her underground, where no one could see them. She doubled over, catching her breath.
The feelings were stronger now, and she had no idea why.
Another vision started.
“So, you think you are so hot, do you?” The man’s raspy voice echoed in her thoughts. “Now, you must die for your own cause!”
He laughed in her face, his alcohol-stenched breath made her turn her head.
She tried to get up, but found she was tied to a chair and gagged. “Let me go!” She tried to cry out.
The guy continued to laugh, and came closer to her.
Closer, you stupid idiot, closer.
With a fierce kick, the girl sent the guy to the ground with a loud thud.
Not before she could warm her hands enough to eat the rope away.
She stood and tied the remaining rope around his hands and fled.
Now, to get back to the System and make a report.
Shannon touched her sleeve and shook her out of the spell. “What did you see?”
The girl stared at her. “I don’t know how to explain it. Was it a memory, or a regressed action? Was it the future, or the past?”
Shannon sat her down. “Just tell me. I’ll understand only if you’ll tell me.”
The girl told her.
Shannon nodded her head. “A past memory. I read it in the report.”
“When did I make a – report?” The girl asked.
“Two weeks ago.”
The girl’s eyes were wide.
“Do you remember anything about yourself besides that?”
The girl told her about the previous vision.
“Also two weeks ago.” Shannon replied. “That guy is your partner. At least, he was until he was kidnapped.”
The girl gasped. “Kidnapped?”
Suddenly, getting to know who she was seemed like a bad thing.
Joe Harrison jumped as he heard the gunshots. Whoever that girl was, she and her friend were in trouble.
He put the car in reverse and followed close to the girls until they disappeared.
“Damn.” He cursed to himself. He parked the car and hopped out, following the girls. “You’re not getting away that easily.”
When he caught up with them, he had overheard the end of the conversation.
The two girls froze as he walked closer to them.
“Stay back.” The brown-haired one commanded.
Joe held his hands up in surrender. “I’m not gonna hurt you. Honest.”
“He’s with me, Shannon.” The mystery girl replied.
“What do you know about what happened out there?” Shannon pressed, suspicious of him.
“Nothing.” Joe replied. “I was wondering the same about you.”
Shannon studied him for a moment, then nodded her head. “You’ve been helping her, haven’t you?”
“To find her identity, yeah, I guess.” Joe shrugged.
“Nick has nothing to do with this, does he?” Shannon asked him.
“Who’s Nick?” Joe asked.
“You honestly don’t know who Nick is?” Shannon asked and he shook his head. “You know, your boss?”
“I don’t work for a guy named Nick.” Joe told her.
“He and his brother Frank were the ones that took me in.” The girl said.
“What’s your name?” Shannon asked.
She heaved a sigh of relief. “Good.”
Joe was confused. “What’s good about that?”
“Listen, whatever happened out there is dangerous stuff.” Shannon supplied. “Why don’t you go home? I’ll take care of her from here.”
Joe shook his head. “Not a chance. I’m not a guy to give up too easily.”
“You don’t know what kind of mess you’re getting into if you stay.” Shannon said.
“Try me.” Joe was serious.
“I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.” Shannon replied.
“Don’t worry about me.” Joe said. “I’m a big boy. I can take care of myself.”
“Are you sure?” The girl asked. “Even I don’t know what’s in store for me.”
“Positive.” Joe said, taking the girl’s hand. “Frank and I agreed to help you, and we will.”
“I’d like that.” The girl said softly.
“We can’t stand around in the sewer all day. Let’s get out of here.” Shannon said. She grabbed the girl’s hand and they disappeared before Joe’s eyes.
He had to blink twice to make sure his eyes weren’t deceiving him. Confused, he rushed back to his car, where Shannon and the girl waited.
“How did you do that?” Joe asked Shannon.
Shannon smiled. “Magic.”
Joe shook his head and told them to get in. “First stop, my house. We’re gonna pick up Frank.”
“Why?” The girl asked as she sat beside him in the front seat. Shannon sat in the back.
“We’ll need all the help we can get.” Joe replied, starting the engine.
The girl couldn’t help staring at Joe as he drove.
He sure is cute! The girl thought to herself.
Her eyes met those of Shannon’s in the side mirror.
You can say that again. Shannon relayed with a grin.
The girl closed her eyes, then caught her reflection in the mirror as she opened them again. If only she could remember who she was!
She made mental notes of her appearance. Long, reddish-brown hair. Strange-colored eyes, silver blue, she thought.
The word Magic ran through her mind and she closed her eyes, having another vision.
Someone was snapping their fingers in her face. “Hello! Anybody in there?”
The girl in the vision shook her head out of the daze. “You don’t have to do that, you know.”
The girl shrugged. “I don’t know. All I know is something’s gonna happen to me, and I won’t know what to do about it.”
“When is this supposed to happen?” A male voice asked. It was the same person, she realized. Her partner.
The girl gasped out of the vision, blinking her eyes open.
“What’s up?” Joe asked her.
The girl shrugged. She saw she was back at the Harrison’s, so she climbed out of the car. Shannon followed.
“Nice place.” Shannon whispered.
“I like to call it home.” Joe replied, giving the girl a smile.
She smiled shyly in return. “Where’s Frank?”
Joe looked to the driveway and saw the pick-up the brothers used. “In the house. Come on, I’ll introduce you.”
Joe went inside, but the two girls lagged behind.
Shannon grabbed her arm. “What did you see?” She whispered.
“I don’t know how to explain it.” The girl answered, shrugging. She sat on the porch, with Shannon beside her. “I guess it was of me, having a vision.” The girl replied. “Sound crazy to you?”
Shannon shook her head. “What was the vision?”
“I told a boy, my partner I think, that something was going to happen to me.” The girl replied. “Only, I wouldn’t know what to do about it.”
Shannon smiled. “I remember you telling me as soon as you had it originally.”
The girl was confused. “Originally? So, it was a memory?”
It took a second for the thoughts to register in her head, but the girl figured something out. “It came true. Here I am, with no identity, trying to find out who I am. Meanwhile, someone’s out to kill me.”
“That someone is Henry Degrazi.” Shannon whispered, making sure no one heard her. “Degrazi is from an underground drug ring. You were working on a case with your partner when you lost your memory. The two of you were close to catching them in the act.”
The girl thought it over. First, no identity. Next, her partner was kidnapped, and finally, a drug lord is out to kill her. She sighed.
“Don’t worry, cousin.” Shannon pet her back. “Your memory will click back in gear soon. I promise.”
The girl stared at her. “Why won’t you tell me who I am? It’s obvious you know me, and that I’m on some sort of case.”
Shannon took a deep breath, but didn’t get to say anything.
The girls heard the front door slam shut.
“I heard about your adventure.” Frank Harrison joked. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, considering.” The girl replied, standing.
“Considering what?” Joe asked.
“Considering she’s got a drug lord out to kill her.” Shannon supplied.
The brothers looked at each other.
“I warned you, Joe, but you insisted on helping.” Shannon said.
“Ma’am, we’re trained detectives.” Frank supplied. “I think we can handle a little drug ring.”
“Just another day in Hill View, huh?” Joe joked with him.
Shannon stared at them. “Who do you work for?”
“Ourselves.” Frank said. “Who are you? Do you know this girl’s name?”
“My name is Shannon Ryan-McNathaniels.” Shannon introduced. “I’m the Chief of Detectives at a place in California now known as the System-Network. I’m afraid I can’t tell you who she is.”
“If you were in California when I called you, how did you get here so fast?” The girl asked.
There was that word again. It meant something, she knew it. But what?
“I got here with a Travel Spell.” Shannon replied, watching the brothers’ reactions.
“Spell?” Joe asked. “What are you?”
“I am a Mystic, and so is she.” Shannon said. “Listen gentlemen, we can’t talk about it in public. If we can find somewhere private, I’ll explain everything.” She paused. “Maybe then, you’ll think twice about helping us.”
“If you’re trying to make us quit the case, you’ve got another thing coming.” Frank said.
Shannon sighed, and the girl shook her head.
Frank and Joe led the girls to their clubhouse in the backyard. As soon as they closed the door behind them, Frank spoke up.
“Wanna explain yourself now?” He asked, leering at Shannon.
“Didn’t your mother teach you to respect your elders?” Shannon leered back. “By looking at you, I’d say you’re twenty and your brother is eighteen. I’m a whole thirteen years older than you are. If you know what’s good for you, you’d listen and not question me.”
Frank was silenced. Who was this woman? How did she know the mystery girl?
“I know her because she’s my cousin.” Shannon announced.
Frank stared at her. Before he could open his mouth, Shannon smiled. “Did I forget to mention I’m telepathic?”
“Magic? Mystic? Telepathy?” The girl asked her. “What do they mean, and why are they so important to me?”
“You’re a Mystic, and an agent of the System-Network working on a case to bust the city’s most ruthless drug lord.” Shannon explained. “You’re telepathic, too. I have to admit, you’re more powerful than I was at your age.”
“How old am I?” The girl asked.
“Are you sure you can’t tell me who I am?” The girl pleaded.
“Sorry, but no.” Shannon regretted. “Your memory has to return on its own.”
“That could take forever!” Joe cried.
“Not really.” Shannon said. “According to Lady Doc back home, amnesia is only temporary. Once the victim sees or hears something that’s important to them, they’re shocked out of it. Their memory returns to normal and everything is fine again.”
“How long?” Frank asked. “Hopefully not forever.” He looked at his brother, who blushed away from staring at the girl.
“Maybe my name will help?” The girl replied. “Or the name of my family? You have to give me something, Shannon. Otherwise, I won’t be able to do my job, whatever that is.”
“She has a point.” Joe supplied.
Frank looked at the strange girl now. “You sound like a detective yourself.”
“I am?” The girl asked.
“Since you inducted in the System-Network three years ago.” Shannon told her with a grin.
“All this information is making my head spin.” The girl held her head.
“I know it’s a lot to digest, but it’s part of who you are.” Shannon said. “It’s complicated. Then again, so are you.”
When the girl looked at her cousin, Shannon smiled.
“What can we do to help?” Frank asked, wanting to get down to business.
“First things first.” Shannon said, in charge. “How long have you guys been detectives?”
“Since we were kids.” Frank said. “I shouldn’t tell you this, but our father is Harley Harrison.”
Shannon’s eyes shot up. “That’s where I’ve heard your last name from!”
“Huh?” Joe asked, and Frank shrugged when he looked to him.
“Your father and I worked on a couple cases together some time ago.” Shannon said. “Is your mother’s name Laura?”
Frank nodded. “What does that have to do with anything?”
Shannon smiled. “Is she home now?”
Frank nodded again. Shannon left the clubhouse and headed inside.
Where did this woman think she was? Frank asked in his head, frowning.
Joe was the first to enter the house through the back door.
“Mom, where are you?” He asked.
“In the kitchen, Joe.” Their mother’s far-off voice called. “I’m making dinner.”
Frank followed his brother, Shannon, and the girl into the kitchen.
As they walked in, their mother said. “I’m making one of your favorite –.”
That’s when she turned, meeting the eyes of Shannon Ryan-McNathaniels. They were silent as the two women stared at each other.
“What are you doing here?” Mrs. Harrison asked, her green eyes startled.
“Nice to see you again, Laura.” Shannon said. She turned to Frank and Joe. “She needs to rest.”
“Aye, captain.” Joe said. He took the girl out of the kitchen.
Frank stayed. “How do you know each other?”
Mrs. Harrison looked at Shannon for validation. When Shannon nodded, she went on. “We used to be System agents together.”
“Was she in charge then?”
Shannon shook her head. “Nope. My aunt Dixie was.”
“That was before…” Mrs. Harrison said softly. She cleared her throat. “Frank, go check on your brother, please? I have to talk to her alone.”
Frank hesitated, but left.
As soon as he left the room, Mrs. Harrison asked. “Do you know the girl?”
Shannon nodded. “She’s my cousin.”
“She’s a little young, isn’t she?”
“Not really.” Shannon said. “Remember Jenni?” When Mrs. Harrison nodded, she continued. “That girl is her twin sister’s daughter.”
“What’s her name?”
Shannon shook her head. “Sorry, Laura. If I can’t tell your sons or the girl, I can’t tell you.”
“Her memory has to return on its own.” Shannon explained. “She’s already had visions, so that’s a start.”
“She’s a Mystic too.”
“That would explain the eyes.” Mrs. Harrison replied.
There was an uncomfortable silence between the women until Shannon sighed.
“So, how is Harley these days?” She asked. “Still with Intelligence?”
“He’s in Zimbabwe on a case right now.” Mrs. Harrison told her. She looked at Shannon’s ring. “Who’s the lucky man?”
“The-Network-Boss-and-rival-of-the-System Nick?” Mrs. Harrison couldn’t believe it.
Shannon smiled. “We’re combined now, as the System-Network.”
“Is that where she called you from?”
Shannon nodded, then looked down. “Six years ago, the Network building was destroyed in an Earthquake. Allison Dubois, Nick’s second-in-command came to the System, pleading my other cousins to let them stay there until Nick and I got back from our honeymoon. The girl’s Momma agreed, although reluctant at first. Like us, she was trained to be a rival of the Network’s agents. The girl was ten-years-old at the time.”
Mrs. Harrison stared at her old friend. “Why can’t you tell me her name?”
Shannon closed her eyes, then opened them again. “She’s listening.”
The boys came back into the kitchen.
“She’s out like a light.” Joe announced, with Frank behind him.
“Good.” Shannon said. “Meanwhile, I have to get back home. My children need me, too.”
“What about the girl?” Frank asked. “Are you just going to abandon her?”
“I’m not abandoning her, Frank.” Shannon replied. “I will be back, I promise.”
Mrs. Harrison hugged her goodbye. “Keep in touch, okay?”
“No problem.” Shannon whispered in her ear. She pulled back, turning to the door. “See you guys later.”
“See ya.” The boys chorused.
The girl was sleepy anyway, so she decided to listen to her body and rest a bit. Her mind was drained trying to remember who she was. Only the seldom clues Shannon, Frank, and Joe had given her had made her think.
She closed her eyes and pictured herself as an image in her mind’s eye. Silver-blue eyes were the biggest clue. Reddish-brown hair was another, with the note of her being a detective the second most-important clue to her identity. Shannon had also said Magic more than once, and the words Mystic and Telepathic rung in her head.
The System….The Network…Mystic Magic…detective work…a mysterious, if not handsome partner who had been kidnapped, and herself with amnesia just before cracking the case wide open.
The girl pulled the afghan around her neck and snuggled into her pillow, thinking of the previous visions.
Another image, one totally different from the others rang in her mind.
At first, it was cloudy, and a mist of fog cleared a path for her mind to follow.
A feeling of peace, warmth, safety, and love filled the air, and this perfect world was just that; perfect. She smiled, breathing in the fresh air. As she looked around, she saw her partner in front of her.
He was wearing a very strange necklace that hung on a silver chord around his neck. There was a jewel in the middle of an eye, opalescent, she thought it looked like. A wave of thread around the eye seemed to hold it in place in the middle of the dream-catcher’s webbing. The necklace glowed as he tried to reach her.
This time, he used a very strange name to call her.
Please, help me, Enchanted Child. I need you.
Enchanted Child? What did that mean? She asked herself. She took a step only to gently lift herself above the ground, taking flight. The air around her was calm and the sun comforting wherever she was.
Her partner was still on the ground, but he looked up to greet her with a smile.
Still stumped, huh? He asked her with a twinkle to his brown eyes. Bear with me, Child, but I have to do it. To save ourselves.
She opened her mouth to speak, but screamed when she found she was falling into nothingness. She landed with a hard thump on the ground, making her eyes tear with pain. As she stood, she noticed a couple of things. One, her partner was gone, and two, so were the warm and safe feelings she’d felt when arriving in the first place.
Something around her neck felt warm, almost burning, so she looked down to find a necklace like his, only the jewel was on the ring on her left hand.
This was getting strange. Why did she feel so afraid for her life now, when she’d felt safe not two minutes ago? What was going on, and why can’t she remember who she was?
It was all a big mystery to her, and she hated not understanding anything.
Sure, the pieces were being put together, but not fast enough for her impatient Mystic, detective’s mind.
The temperature of the air around her fell drastically low, making her wish she had a blanket or a sweater to cover up in. In less than two seconds, a sweater appeared in her hands and she put it on quickly.
How did I do that? She asked herself. She wasn’t complaining, the air was getting colder as the moments passed.
Trouble was, where was she? This place was dark as anything, blacker than night, she supposed. She couldn’t see two feet in front of her. Then again, she couldn’t even see her own two feet!
“Hello!” She called into the air, hoping someone would hear her. “Anybody listening? Anyone here?”
Her own voice echoed around her.
She began walking, only to fall further down.
Unable to stop, she screamed, waking up.
Joe Harrison heard her screams, and rushed to her side.
“Woah, are you okay?” Joe asked her. “What happened?”
“Did you have a nightmare?” Frank was behind him.
Joe watched as the girl sat up in bed, holding her head as she shook it. He sat next to her, taking her hand.
The girl looked at each of them, contemplating. She bit her lip and nodded her head. Joe listened closely as she told them her horrifying dream.
“Mom told us about that place a few times.” Joe supplied softly.
“What is it?” The girl asked.
“It’s called the Abyss.” Frank replied. “It’s the dimension between the worlds, time, and space.”
“Why was it so cold?” She asked, looking at Joe for answers. She shivered, hugging herself.
Joe hugged her back, totally ignoring his brother’s rolling eyes. “No one knows.”
“Where’s Shannon?” The girl asked, pulling her hair out of her face in a huge clump. She threw it over her shoulder.
“She’s gone.” Joe told her. “Went back to her family, she said.”
The girl looked horrified. “She’s the biggest link! How could she leave me?”
“She said she had to get back, but will return later.” Frank said.
The girl groaned, suddenly depressed. “How am I to know who I am if no one tells me?” She asked aloud. Joe continued to hug her shoulders. “I only have a few clues to go by.”
“What are they?”
“My looks, for one.” The girl started to explain, her voice sounding more confident as she went along. “For another, the words Magic, Mystic, and Telepathy play a big part on who and what I am. She says I’m a Mystic, but won’t tell me what that means? Have you ever heard of the Mystics?”
Joe and Frank looked at each other.
“If Shannon claims she is one, I don’t see the harm in telling her that.” Frank replied.
“What?” The girl asked, glancing from Frank to Joe impatiently.
“The Mystics are a very strange family, mostly in town.” Joe explained gently.
“They can do things, like move something with their minds.” Frank supplied.
“They can tell the future, like Anna Woods-Reading.”
That name, Anna. A relative, perhaps? The name “Reading” tolled in her mind as she chewed her thumbnail in thought.
“Stop, you’ve got something.” The girl replied, telling the brothers her theory. “Anna Woods-Reading. She sounds familiar. Even the last name sounds familiar to me.”
“Could it be your own family?”
“Depends. What does she look like? Maybe it’ll conjure up a memory or two?” The girl instructed.
Joe beamed. This girl was smart, he had to give her that.
The girl caught his grin and blushed.
Before either of the brothers could say anything, the trio were called downstairs.
“How long had I been sleeping?” The girl asked.
“Only an hour.” Joe replied. “Was it enough?”
The girl smiled, nodding her head.
She could smell the fragrances of the makings of a wonderful dinner. When the trio got to the table, there were five settings at the table.
“Dad’s home?” Joe asked excitedly.
“He’s upstairs, but don’t hound him about the case.” Mrs. Harrison teased. “He claims he’s overwhelmed.”
Frank laughed. “Dad? Overwhelmed? Yeah, right!”
The girl giggled along with them. She sat down next to Joe, who blushed away from her eyes when he saw her.
She sensed the warmth of this family, and the closeness. She wished she knew her own!
When she heard steps from behind her, she turned and met the eyes of an elder man. His blond hair was wet, as he’d just taken a shower and dressed just for dinner. His smile was friendly, and she could sense the love he had for both his work and his family.
Wait a minute, she thought. Sense?
She shook her head and sighed.
When he saw her eyes, his went wide. “By the power of the Mystics!” He whispered, looking at his wife. He held his chest as he stared at the mysterious girl. “Laura, is this….”
“An old agent, yes.” Laura Harrison kissed her husband on the cheek before they both sat down. “Shannon was just here an hour ago. We’ll talk about it later, Harley honey.”
Harley Harrison stared at the girl for a moment before helping himself to mashed potatoes and gravy.
The girl stared at him, suddenly getting another vision in her mind as she brushed his hand.
“What is it?” Mr. Harrison asked her when she gasped.
She could do nothing but stare at him for a few seconds, her heart pounding.
“Don’t –.” The girl spat. “Don’t go back there…”
She shook her head, trying to get the images out of her mind.
“What’s wrong, dear?” Mrs. Harrison asked her sympathetically.
“Don’t go back to Zimbabwe.” The girl whispered, in a trance. “You’ll be killed by Mustafa.”
Harley Harrison always knew the Mystics were a strange family, able to tell the future just by a touch of the hand or a look in the eye. What he didn’t know is that this one was old enough to be that powerful.
“What else do you see?” Mr. Harrison asked, his eyebrows bent in interest.
“Stay home, I beg you.” The girl replied. “I don’t know how I know, but I do. Spend time with your sons and wife. Never mind the case with Mustafa and Degrazi.”
She turned to the brothers. “The two cases are linked! How?”
Joe shrugged, unable to speak because he was chewing.
After a moment of staring, Mr. Harrison put his hand on hers once again. This time, there weren’t any horrible visions. “We’ll have to talk later, my girl.”
The girl took a deep breath and nodded, returning to her meal. Though she barely knew them, she had a feeling the Harrisons, Joe, Frank, Laura and Harley, could be trusted.