The Pandion Prophecy ... Part 3


Welcome, and thank you for visiting the continuing story of “The Pandion Prophecy.” There are eight chapters in all.

A link to the first chapter appears below.

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The music videos at the end of each chapter are an integral part of the story.



Paul Kelsey laughed as he retrieved a digital camera from his field kit. “You are crazy, man.”

“You wish,” his brother replied. Opening the seal of an evidence bag, Doug carefully pulled the shovel blade from the sand and slid it into the bag. “Like it or not, Santana was better than Hendrix.”

“Are we talkin’ about the same Woodstock? You’ve heard the music. It was exactly the other way around. Stop embarrassing yourself.”

Doug swiped the air with a gloved hand. “You’re only saying that because Dad was there in ’69 and idolized Jimi Hendrix.”

“No, because I have an ear and a soul,” said Paul as he prepared his camera to take photos of the chest. He loved photography, how it captured his passion for curiosity while seizing a moment in time that would never come again. Kneeling in front of the box, he raised his right leg to steady his arm while he gripped the camera with the firmness of a tripod. The light sensor recorded various images until he focused on the metal strips hugging the corners at the base. “What the hell?” he muttered. Rather than waste time by switching to the macro in his kit, he zoomed in the attached lens for a higher resolution. Seconds later, he dropped the camera to his waist and sat back on his heels. “Hey. You need to take a look at this. Now.”

Doug recognized the urgency in his brother’s voice and hurried to his side. When he knelt down beside him, Paul stretched out his arm as a warning. “Don’t get too close. You see what I’m seein’?” he asked, pointing to the base.

The hard, slick surface of the metallic substance had begun to fragment into jagged layers of slender scales. Sand-colored particles moved with the skill of architects, sculpting and prodding the shapes into strange patterns.

“It looks like some form of oxi-reduction but the color’s off,” remarked Doug, frowning.

“You were the chem. major. What element or compound causes physical changes this fast without a burn-off -- or worse?”

“Prolonged exposure to the sun and moist air might’ve begun to catalyze something, along with the chemical residue left over from whatever burned the interior walls. Those agent compounds...they almost look like spores, but they can’t be organic, unless..." Doug shook his head with alarm and sprang to his feet. “Whatever that thing is, it's not made from wood. We shouldn't be anywhere near it without full protective gear.”

The Kelsey's stared at the chest in awe, unable to move. The scales suddenly stretched and multiplied, like living cells, and burrowed into the pocked walls of the chest. Rippling veins created in their paths were instantly absorbed. The charred lid leaning against the side of the box imitated the transformation, feeding on organisms that flowed from the copper-colored labyrinth lodged in its center, as if shedding and then consuming its own skin.

Stunned, Doug sank to his knees behind his brother who continued to shoot more images on sheer impulse. He grasped Paul’s arms and wrenched him backwards. “Get away from it!” he yelled.

Paul tossed the camera into his field kit and pulled the carrying strap over his shoulder. In a blind panic, the two men scrambled across the sand toward a large fieldstone retaining wall below the cottage. Reaching the barrier, they turned and sat with their backs pressed against the rocks. Paul grabbed the camera and took more photos until his arms dropped, limp at his sides.

Tiny moth-like shapes of pewter gray had exploded upward from the chest as if bursting forth from a cocoon. The chest and lid disintegrated into a cloud of living, vibrating symmetry. Within seconds, only the shadow of an outline remained in the sand. The once invisible breeze became textured with a thick, skittering dance that rode the air amid a deafening chorus of clicking sounds. The life forms stilled, then swirled into a funnel that arched toward the ocean to form an undulating canvass that hovered a foot above the water. Seeming to emit a sigh of release, the frenzied chameleons mirrored the movement and color of the waves before disappearing into the flow of the ocean tide.

The brothers gazed at the water in shocked silence. They waited for a sequel to emerge from the waves, but the phenomenon had ended. Moved to tears, they each grabbed the other’s shoulder like two euphoric kids who had just seen their first rainbow in four dimensions. Glancing upward, they hooted at the sky and wiped their eyes.

Jesus. How the hell are we ever going to explain this?” asked Doug in a hoarse whisper.

Paul felt the oxygen returning to his lungs and held up his camera. “Can you imagine where we’d be without these photos to back us up?”

His brother nodded. “Probably in some psych ward, strapped to a Thorazine drip. Question is…what now?”

“We call this in to Baron right away and don’t do a thing until he gets here.”

“There’s one thing we have to do.” Doug got to his feet, ran over to where he’d left his sample kit and pulled out a fresh pair of gloves along with the containers he needed. He scooped a little of the sand from the chest’s outline into a powder box. Using a small fluid sampler, he harvested a few ounces of water from the incoming tide. He lifted his trophies up to the bright sunlight, then walked back to the rocks where Paul sat, brushing the sand from his camera.

Doug started to show his brother something in the samples when he spotted a black SUV slow to a stop on Ray’s driveway. Two men dressed in dark business suits jumped out of the vehicle. As they headed for the front entrance of the cottage, an unmarked van drove up and parked behind the SUV. “We’ve got company,” he said evenly. “They look like Feds.”

“Oh, sure -- like from Men in Black?” Checking the settings on his camera, Paul smirked at his joke.

“I’m not kidding. And they’ve brought a forensics unit.”

“Huh?” Paul turned his head in the direction of the cottage. Scowling, he faced the ocean and positioned his field kit directly in front of him to hide it from view. He opened a side flap on his camera and removed the memory card.

“What the…are you doing a hot swap?”

Paul glanced up at his brother, keeping his voice low. “They’re not here by accident. And no one told us they were coming. If they’re holdin’ a federal warrant, they can appropriate everything we have. We’ll give ‘em your camera and mine -- not my photos. No fuckin' way. This is Baron’s investigation and these shots are proof of what we saw. Listen to me...we were in the cottage, working. When we came back down to the beach a few minutes ago, the chest was gone. Got it?”

“No, I don’t. We’re not subordinate to them. They can’t show up here, cold, out of nowhere and commandeer an official inquiry.” Doug's eyes narrowed on the bare sand where the chest had disappeared. Holding back potential evidence in a federal investigation had serious consequences. Even so, his instincts warned him that the uninvited guests had their own agenda... and it didn’t involve helping the Kelsey’s or Raymond Stiegel. “Whatever you’re doing, do it quick,” he said quietly.

Using the heel of his shoe, Doug tilled a short, deep furrow in the dry sand at the base of the wall and dropped the small containers into the opening. He kicked the surrounding sand into the hole, taking a mental photograph of where he’d buried the samples. With a sidelong glare he watched one of the men from the SUV hurry down the narrow path leading to the beach. He pulled a cell phone from his belt clip to call his boss.



Special Agent Ethan Lynch didn’t hide his frustration. His unannounced visit with Raymond Stiegel at St. Johns had been waylaid by Jack, who was escorting him to the far end of the ward corridor when his cell phone rang. Twenty years with the Bureau had failed to temper the agent’s rogue tenacity. His thick brows stitched into a frown as he stared at the floor. I don’t have time for this, he thought. He listened to the detective wrap up his conversation with his field tech and yearned for the days when hospitals banned the use of mobile phones.

“You boys pack up everything and leave, Doug,” instructed Jack. “Without paper or a heads up, they get nothing. Understand? Good. I’ll talk to you later.” He ended the call and glared at the agent. “You sent a team in there with no warrant, no notice to the FPD or the Commissioner. What the hell’s going on?”

“We don’t have your pipeline to local judges. You secured your search warrant within what – an hour? And on a Saturday. Impressive.”

“You do realize that without our cooperation or a federal warrant, you’re sidelined – right? What brought you here?”

“I was recently assigned to the Boston Field Office…”

“That’s not what I asked.”

Lynch gave him a measured look. “A source I’m unable to discuss right now. We have reason to believe this may not be an isolated incident.”

“What are you talking about? Are you telling me Stiegel might be in danger?”

“No, I didn’t say that. But I need to speak with him immediately. No need to get all prickly about it, Lieutenant. To be candid, I didn’t expect to find you here.”

“Yeah…well, today’s your lucky day.” Sarcasm was unusual for Jack, but he had no tolerance for the man’s conduct. Despite popular myth, the FBI and police generally cooperated and worked well together. He knew intuitively that the agent was a maverick, incapable of taking offense. “You need to speak with him? Until you stop throwing your weight around and are more forthcoming, that’s not gonna happen.”

Lynch went silent. He wasn't above using his 6' 3" frame to intimidate, and began to square-off with the detective when Kate walked up behind them unexpectedly. Feeling the tension between the two men, she gently clutched her husband’s arm. “Excuse me, gentlemen. Ray’s still sleeping. His attending physician just gave orders that he’s to rest, undisturbed. No visitors.”

Jack’s eyes never left the agent. “If I have to park half a dozen uniforms outside his room, I’ll do it,” he snapped.

Annoyed, Lynch turned to leave, but not without a parting message. “We’ll be at your office with the appropriate warrants on Monday morning, Lieutenant. Early. Have everything available. I’m sure you know what I’m referring to,” he added, nodding at Kate.

The Barons watched him stride down the busy corridor toward the exit doors. They’d both been given a warning -- almost an ultimatum. Kate thought about Ray’s voice mail, photographs, and cell phone that had found its way into her shoulder bag before she left the cottage for the hospital. Lynch knew all of it…and more.


The shingle beach at Blackpool Sands in South Devon, England was nearly deserted. Although the sun had dropped below the horizon, the sky was not yet dark. The young man’s breathing began to labor while he lay, belly flat, on the rim of the hole he had dug in the sand, and pulled a small chest from its resting place. His tears merged with beads of cold sweat as he listened to the giant nimbus of exploding light and color that only he could see.


Lisa Gerrard is an Irish-Australian composer and artist who often sings in her own unique language she created as a child. The above video was created by fotoaugecom of YouTube. The final moments of the video are the most compelling as they relate to the story.






Copyright Notice

Written and copyrighted by Genna Eastman (Genna East) 2014; all rights reserved.

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Comments 39 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

The dialogue in this installment is particularly crisp this week. It is a pleasure reading your work...I want to bottle this and give it as a gift to many of the other writers on HP. Maybe they would take the hint. The final paragraph ensures we will return.....just a very nice job of writing, Genna.

blessings always

bill


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 11 months ago

What Bill said, and also WOW. Wow Genna! I love your style. You are a gifted writer and this episode is the best thusfar.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 11 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I am feeling kind of sorry for the cinematographer who has to show the case drying like a desert rain puddle into fragments that fly off like an exaltation of larks. The intuitiveness between Kate and Jack is so keen. You characters come to life on the page.

Have you begun shopping this to the big publishers?


always exploring profile image

always exploring 11 months ago from Southern Illinois

I agree with every comment above. I know the story deals with the paranormal, but what? A compelling read that stirs the imagination. The video pics. and the sound added to this mystery. Excellent writing Genna!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Billybuc: Hi Bill. Thank you! But I worry about such nice comments in that there are still more chapters to go. And many blessings to you, my friend. Your hub articles, inspiration and encouragement have helped me try to be a better writer.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Carb Diva: It's a pleasure to see you and to read that wonderful comment. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you and other readers will continue to enjoy the story.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Mckbirdbks: Lol. I agree, Mike. A cinematographer supervises camera crews working on a film. If this were a movie, I'd give that task to special effects in a heartbeat. :-) (CSI's are lucky. Their modern cameras are digital, designed to capture moving images at high frame rates.) I see the frenzied, tiny moth-like creatures more as inverted commas, with minuscule grey wings. Thanks so much for the nice comment about the characters. That is exactly what I wished to achieve. I hope all is well, and that you are having a great week.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

AlwaysExploring: Thank you, Ruby. I only hope that everyone's interest carries on as the story unfolds on HP. And you are spot-on about, "but what"? With Pandion, things are never what they seem. Hugs.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

On a different note, the world lost another great artist today, and a wonderful human being: David Bowie. May he rest in peace.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 11 months ago from Southern Illinois

I didn't know he had cancer. R.I.P. David.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 11 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Genna,

Your contemporary references and attention to accurate - precise details stand out in this chapter.

The Lisa Gerrard video gives suspenseful chills - calling me to walk through the doorway, so Thursday...I welcome you and the next installment...!

I bawled at the death of Bowie... his last video (Lazarus) is hauntingly profound as he 'did things his way' until the end.


DnWW 11 months ago

This is aces Genna! Wish I had your imagination. Your characters that are natural and believable. The pace is just right. Human nature is the backdrop to something below the surface. I keep thinking about the buried chests ---- Gerrard haunting song in a language we don't speak intrigues.

What happens next?

Dana


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton

It just gets better and better so I'd like to tell other hubbers that if you haven't experienced Genna East.. then what the hell are you waiting for? awesome my friend


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

AlwaysExploring: Hi Ruby...I understand that few people knew he was fighting cancer for over a year. He passed peacefully, surrounded by his loving wife, Iman, and family.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Maria Coujor: Maria...I'm so pleased you find the story interesting. And you are right in that attention to detail is always important. Thank you. David Bowie was a beloved icon, who influenced the music world in so many ways. He will be missed.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

DnWW: Dana: I appreciate your thoughtful reading and encouragement; it means a lot to me. And I love your observant comment about Gerrard. Actually, three of the chapters have music videos with an element of song that is sung in a language no one speaks. (This includes the video in installment 2.) There is a reason for this.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

FrankAtanacio: Frank, we all wish we had you and Bill (Billybuc) as our agents. Thank you, kind sir. :-)

I should caution readers that Pandion is a roller-coaster ride.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 10 months ago from Central Florida

Genna, this is the most compelling and riveting story (writing) I've read in quite a while. You're a master of the craft and I'm not just saying that in order to support a fellow hubber. This is truly amazing imagery, writing, research, and imagination at work.

I'm hanging on to the edge of my seat, especially after the last scene of the video. It verifies my interpretation of the flutter that freed itself to sea.

Awesome story!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This story is both very unusual and very compelling, Genna. I'm looking forward to the next installment a great deal!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Bravewarrior and Alicia C: I appreciate your comments more than you can know. :-) I get a bit nervous though, in all humility, because Pandion is a roller-coaster ride. Not every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, but they do cause the reader to wonder what might be waiting around the corner. I truly hope you enjoy the rest of the story.


annart profile image

annart 10 months ago from SW England

Yet another excellent piece of writing. I hope you're making this into a book. It's getting more involved and progressing at such a rate!

Ann


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Ann, for those very kind words. I'm bit nervous in that I hope readers will continue to find the story intriguing.


annart profile image

annart 10 months ago from SW England

I don't think you should have any worries on that score, Genna! You capture and hold the reader's interest and imagination.

Ann


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 10 months ago from Riga, Latvia

Fascinating story.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Annart: Thank you, Ann. Those are kind words.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Gypsy Rose Lee: Thank you, Rasma. :-)


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Genna

I got here first and had to go back to read part 2! The forensics boys sure got a shock! What was in the chest?

Awesome

Lawrence


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Lawrence! :-)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 10 months ago from southern USA

Dear Genna,

Brilliant chapter! I am thoroughly enjoying reading your superb series here. I see a New York Best Seller and Block Buster hit in the future!

The video is mesmerizing and that door that leads to where …

The dialogue provides much insight to each character. I takes a great writer to describe what came out of that chest no doubt.

Great writing as always,

Theresa


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Faith. As always, I cherish your visits and kind thoughts. Thank you!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

You have me hooked. Going on to the next part, 4!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you! :-)


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 9 months ago from Cape Cod

I once commented to Billybuc that he was like the amazing trumpet player Al Hirt. As a young man I thought I was a pretty good horn player until I saw Mr. Hirt in person. I gave up the trumpet the next day.

I became a disc jockey, a newscaster, an editor, and a writer. I did these things for many years. Then one day, I read something by Billybuc. I gave up writing for two weeks! And now, Genna East comes along with the Pandion Prophecy novella and .....and....and I'm going to have to give up writing again!!!!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 9 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Billybuc is a phenomenal writer; one of my favorite's. I know you won't stop writing -- you're far too good! :-) But I thank for those kind words. I'm still struggling to be better with my writing...not having enough time is my major concern right now. Thanks again for taking the time to read Pandion. I only hope you like the remaining story and ending installments.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 6 months ago from USA

I'm retracing my steps with earlier chapters. Great story!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 6 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you! It's good to see you. :-)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Genna...OK. My heart rate is up there. Mystery, excitement and suspense building. Your writing is simply perfect. I shall be back!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 months ago from Houston, Texas

This is certainly a compelling story and the suspense keeps building. Nice job!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Fpherj48 and Peggy: I appreciate your taking the time to read this story. And I so appreciate your supportive and comments. Thank you. :-)

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