One by one they jumped, walked, slithered or flew into the empty elevator shaft. Crow didn’t understand why everyone was committing suicide, but as a member of the working press – even one with just two weeks before retirement – he felt he should chronicle their deaths on the concrete floor 13 stories down.
Having wings, he wasn't worried about his own safety, so he jumped into the shaft and started to spiral down. Suddenly there was a blinding flash of light, and the next thing he knew he was sitting on a sandy beach with all the others, a warm sea breeze ruffling his feathers. Somehow, they had arrived on the island of Tenerife.
“Wait a minute!” shouted Crow. “We can’t just jump into an elevator shaft in London and wind up in Tenerife without some kind of explanation. Who knew that it was a portal, and even if you knew it was a portal, how did you know we’d travel to Tenerife and not Hoboken?”
“Elementary, my dear Crow,” said Selene,
her pumpkin medallion swaying as she bent over her laptop. “While all of you were busy listening to Merlyn’s recitation of the items Green Druid needed for her spell, I was busy conducting a Google search. I knew, of course, that elevator shafts are frequently linked to other places, and so I simply punched in the keywords “elevator,” “shaft,” and “portal,” and I was quickly directed to a website, http://www.travelbyelevatorshaft.com
. There, you can find timetables and destinations to places all over the world. There’s also a handy list of elevator shafts that really are
elevator shafts, and lead nowhere but to your death. But suspecting that this elevator shaft was the genuine article, I simply entered the address, 672 Monarch Way, London, and saw that the elevator shaft at that address leads to Tenerife. Green Druid must have known this, which is why she chose that location to start the incense company. You see, she knew that once she’d gathered the ingredients for her spell, she would need to travel quickly to Tenerife to access the dracaena draco, also known as the millennial dragon tree.”
Of course Selene
had not said any of this prior to leaping into the shaft, and Crow marveled at the trust everyone else had shown in her. They had simply followed the orange one without question.
But Crow wasn’t through. Just because everybody else had blind faith didn’t mean that he did. “And where are Kat Lady, Green Druid, Billy Joe Bob and Mandahr?” he asked. “And what about Night Hawk? Anybody seen her?”
“Well, I don’t know for certain,” said Selene,
“but I suspect they’re already here on the island somewhere. It’s quite possible that our friends have fallen into the clutches of the Green Druid and they are with her. Obviously, she needs to get to the millennial dragon tree, so it seems an easy decision that we should set about finding it. We find it, we shall find them.”
Everyone nodded their heads in agreement, and aside from simply walking off this assignment, Crow had to admit to himself that he didn’t have a better idea. The friends trudged through the sand toward the city of Icod, which they could see shimmering in the distance. Merlyn had said that the millennial dragon tree was located there.
At the edge of the beach was a lemonade stand, and as the hot, tired group was passing by, they noticed the flaming red hair of the proprietress. Drawing closer, they saw that it was Beith.
“TIMEOUT!” shouted Moon Cloud in the voice of Billy Joe Bob. “Hold on just a galdurned minute,” she stormed, floating around to confront Crow. “Why do you have to write Beith in to every single one of these durned stories? She’s nothin’ but trouble, and she don’t hardly never even show up no more to help with the writin’! How many thumbs does she have to bite off before you get a clue? If it ain’t Celtic, she ain’t interested, and there ain’t nothin’ Celtic about this story atall. Now I, for one, don’t want to risk my life again on some wild shoe escapade. Ain’t we got enough prollems already without havin’ her along? She’s nothin’ but trouble, I’m tellin’ ye, and I think you oughta just backspace and erase her outa there right now!”
Beith was out from behind the counter of the lemonade stand in a flash. She tripped once on her stiletto heel, which she had just begun to wear again, the aftereffects of the Tara Hill exorcism finally beginning to fade. She climbed back to her feet and marched up to Moon Cloud and said in a scathing tone, “Who are you to say I’m trouble, Moon Cloud or Billy Joe Bob or whoever you are? If not for me, there probably wouldn’t even be such a thing as Pub Crawls, or whatever you call them these days. I will admit to causing my fair share of minor difficulties, which have always been easily overcome, but at least I do more than drift around wetting myself all the time like some I could name!”
The scene could have turned ugly, but cooler heads prevailed, and now Selene
took a few minutes to fill Beith in on all the details of what had happened so far, and Beith explained just what she was doing in Tenerife. It seemed that one of her Celtic Studies professors had a theory that the recipe for corned beef had originated on Tenerife, and he had organized an archeological dig to seek evidence of it. Beith was accompanying the team, and operated the lemonade stand during off hours to help with expenses.
And Beith quickly proved her worth, as she came up with an idea. “You say that Green Druid still needs three drops of cat urine, but that she hadn’t procured them yet, but that she possibly has Kat Lady in her clutches. Now it seems to me that lemonade looks a bit like urine. Now Kat Lady won’t be able to hold it forever, so we have to assume that Green Druid will get those three drops that she needs. But it might be possible for us to take some of this lemonade and, if someone could distract Green Druid’s attention, then maybe someone else could work an old switcheroo with the lemonade, and then the spell wouldn’t work as designed. But first, straight away, we must find Green Druid and the others, mustn’t we?”
The plan was just crazy enough that it might work, and everyone agreed that they should give it a try. Beith filled a jar with lemonade, and they all set out again in search of the millennial dragon tree.
Crow wrote it all down in his notebook, suspecting the entire time that this was going to turn out bad …