The tucson prophecy a pr.., p.1
The Tucson Prophecy: a prequel novella to the Paranormal Gift series, p.1C.L. Wells / Thrillers & Crime
The Tucson Prophecy
Prequel to the Paranormal Gift series
By C.L. Wells
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Copyright Christopher L. Wells (2016) - All rights reserved
This book is a work of fiction.
Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Author’s blog: www.fictionwithamission.com
Other works by this author:
The Seer: Book #1 in the Paranormal Gift series
For a current list of titles by this author, visit https://fictionwithamission.com/books-by-c-l-wells/
Author’s email address: CLWells@fictionwithamission.com
Table of Contents
The Seer: Preview Chapter
About the Author
Monday, September 2, 2002
The old man walked from the front door of his house to the mailbox. Thoughts of the premonition he had recently received were making him stir crazy, and he needed some fresh air. If his message to the Keeper didn’t succeed, the young girl would certainly die.
Pushing the thought from his mind, he walked slowly through the small garden courtyard along the stepping-stone pathway that had been carefully leveled so as not to cause him to stumble. He used his cane to steady himself with each step. It wasn’t an ordinary cane. Anyone who looked at it could tell that. It was a cane unlike any other in the world. If he’d had to guess, he would say that it probably didn’t come from this world.
He stopped at the mailbox and hooked the top end of the cane over one arm, then retrieved the mail and began flipping through it. The usual assortment of junk mail, a coupon advertiser, a flyer from the local grocery store, a cell phone company advertisement, the water bill, and an envelope from an online picture-printing service. This must be the pictures of his daughter and the grandkids that she had mentioned on their last phone call. Facebook was fine for when he was on the computer, but he liked to have framed pictures around the house to look at. His daughter sent him new pictures about four times a year so that he could keep up with the growing grandkids and all of their new activities.
He smiled to himself as he collected the mail in one hand and then took hold of his cane to begin the journey back to the house. It would be the highlight of his day to look through the pictures and decide where to place them. Maybe it would keep his mind off of the vision he had seen.
One of the flower beds caught his eye on the way back to the house, and he frowned. Weeds. He told the yard man to pull those weeds last week. He’d do it himself, but his knee had been acting up again. Laura would never have allowed weeds in her garden when she was alive. He’d have to find a new yard man, pure and simple. He just couldn’t bring himself to call that young man a gardener, even though that was what it said on his business card – that would elevate him to a status unbecoming his horticultural skills – or lack thereof, as the case may be. Yes, yard man would be a better term.
He poked at the weeds with the tip of his cane, as if to send them a message that their days were numbered. The afternoon sun reflected off of the shiny, black surface of the cane, and his mind was brought back to that unique artifact. It had been given to him some years before when he injured his right leg on a mission to save a young priest in South America. The priest would one day help save many lives during a bloody revolution, if only he survived the assassination attempt on his life. He had foreseen the assassination attempt, and been able to help save the young man’s life, but had his right femur broken in three places in the process. Upon waking up in the hospital, he had found the cane in a gift box at the foot of his bed. He could still remember the note that had been with it, verbatim:
I thought you might have use of this, considering your recent injuries. There is no other cane like it in all the world. Should you ever need to contact me for any reason, simply place the cane on the ground in the full light of the new moon, and I will find you.
There had been no signature on the note. There hadn’t needed to be one. He had known exactly who it was that had written it by the unique handwriting. It was a man – if indeed he was a man – that he knew simply as the Keeper. It was the same man who had given him the gift of seeing the past, present, and future – the gift of the Seer. It was the same man who he had attempted to summon just last week, with the very same cane.
Of course, he couldn’t see everything in the past, present, or future – just certain events. There were some things he could do to direct his special gift, but mostly it was through dreams and through physically touching people or things associated with the events he would then see in his mind. Last month he had foreseen the death of a little girl. If that little girl were to die, tens of thousands of others would perish in horrible agony. It was his job, as a Seer, to make sure that didn’t happen.
He had tried to find her himself. He knew she was here in Tucson, near a hospital, but he hadn’t been able to track her down yet, and he was running out of time. He was getting too old for this sort of thing; his body couldn’t take the long hours of surveillance and tailing required for this kind of work anymore. Last week, in desperation, he had summoned the Keeper.
As he shuffled slowly back to the front door of his house, with his mail in one hand and the cane in the other, he only hoped the Keeper would come in time.
As soon as he opened the front door, he sensed a strange electricity in the air, and he had the feeling that someone else was in his home. Although he was hopeful, he was somewhat apprehensive. If the Keeper were here, it would be only the fourth time he had ever seen him, and each time had been both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. He gripped the handle of the cane more tightly as he made his way forward into his study.
As he rounded the corner from the foyer into the adjoining study, he saw the Keeper. He was facing the bookcase that lined the far wall, and he was holding something in his hand. As the old man continued forward, he could see that it was a shark’s tooth. It wasn’t just any shark’s tooth. It was one he had retrieved himself from the bottom of the ocean during one of his early missions as a Seer.
Even viewed from behind, the man standing before him was still an imposing presence. The Keeper was well over six feet tall, with shoulders so wide they reminded the old man of a professional football player. He was wearing a black suit, which was offset by his snow-white, closely cropped hair.
“Do you remember when you found this?” the Keeper asked without turning around. The old man had never heard anyone else speak the English language with such a strange, other-worldly accent.
“I do. If I hadn’t have stayed down that extra fifteen minutes to find that tooth, I would have been blown up by the bomb that destroyed the boat I was scuba diving from.”
The Keeper placed the tooth back on the shelf and turned around. As he did so, he smiled ever so slightly at the sight of the old man. That smile was something the old man had never witnessed before – indeed, few people had.
“It’s good to see you, Gregorie,” he said, stepping forward and grasping the old man’s shoulders. “Please, sit down,” he said as he motioned to the reading chair that Gregorie normally sat in.
As the old man sat down, it occurred to him that the Keeper didn’t seem to have aged a single day in the almost fifty years since their first meeting. He was still bald on the very top of his head, and his face was still deeply chiseled with the creases accompanying an almost continually stern countenance. Along with his pale skin and ice-blue eyes, it made for an unforgettable impression. But he looked as if he had stepped out of a time-warp from almost fifty years prior, with no signs of having progressed any further in the aging process. And while his facial features made him appear about sixty years old, his physique and his apparent vitality were those of a much younger man. Wonders never ceased.
“I wondered if you would get here in time,” Gregorie said as he took his seat.
The Keeper sat down on a nearby sofa, extending his hands toward Gregorie, palms up. “Show me what you have seen.”
Gregorie looked down at the Keeper’s hands and hesitated. He knew exactly what he wanted. A Seer had the ability to show people the same visions they had seen by touching them and forming a sort of human interface at a subconscious level. Yet, this was no ordinary person. The first time the Keeper had touched him had been to impart the gift of the Seer to him all those years ago, and he’d been in bed for days afterwards in a coma-like state. At his present age, he wasn’t sure he could even survive a similar experience.
The Keeper noticed his hesitation and responded, “Don’t worry, you won’t be harmed.”
Gregorie reached out and took hold of the Keeper’s hands. The vision that he had seen came flooding back, all at once. In the first part of the vision, a young girl grew up and helped to save countless lives, bringing hope and life to thousands with untold positive outcomes spreading far into the future. Then, there was a second vision where she was killed as a young child, and those same thousands were dying in horrible agony, their loss to the world echoing down through the future generations.
When the vision was over, Gregorie released the Keeper’s hands and sat back in his chair, exhausted.
“Would you like some tea?” the Keeper asked.
“Yes, I would. Green tea, if you don’t mind.”
The Keeper left the room and returned a few minutes later with a cup of hot tea, which he handed to Gregorie. After he had taken a sip of the tea, he sat it down on a coaster on the table beside his chair. He was definitely getting too old for this kind of work, Gregorie thought to himself.
“I know the girl is here in Tucson, and that she’ll die sometime this week if we don’t do something to save her.”
“There is no time to bring in another Seer. They’re all working on other assignments,” the Keeper explained as he sat back on the sofa, considering the options available to him. He closed his eyes, reviewing the visions that Gregorie had shown him in his mind.
“There was a man in a tan, button-up shirt standing at a counter when the little girl was in the hat shop, in the vision of the future where she was saved from death.”
Gregorie closed his eyes and reviewed the vision in his mind.
“Yes, I believe there was.”
“I need you to tell me where he will be tomorrow, around noon.”
Gregorie opened his eyes. The Keeper was looking directly at him.
“I... I don’t know if I can do that.”
“You can,” the Keeper replied with absolute confidence. “You have only to concentrate on him.”
Gregorie slumped in his chair. “I don’t know if I have the strength,” he said wearily.
The Keeper extended his hands toward Gregorie. “I will help you.”
Gregorie stared at the Keeper’s hands, and then at his face. There was precious little he knew about the man seated in front of him, but there was one thing he had learned with absolute certainty over the years. When he said something, you could bank on it. He thought about how many lives were at stake, and then he reached out and took hold of the Keeper’s hands. As he did so, he felt a cool, refreshing sensation begin to creep up his arms and course through his entire body. He began to feel more alert and energized.
He began to focus on the man he was seeking in the vision. As he did so, time moved backward. He saw the man leaving the hat shop, walking backward. He bought some gum and then walked backward to a restaurant. He saw the man looking at a menu, at the top of which was the name of the restaurant – The Little Dragon, then he looked at his watch, and Gregorie saw that the date on the watch was set to Tuesday, September 3rd - tomorrow. At that point, the vision ended. He opened his eyes, but there was no one else in the room. The Keeper had vanished.
Tuesday, September 3, 2002
Jimmy O’Conner’s flight had arrived from Chicago early that morning. It had taken him an hour and a half to secure a rental car and get to the hospital. He had been waiting uncomfortably in a small waiting room since his arrival, and he was getting restless.
He didn’t much care for hospitals. In fact, the only person in the whole world who could get him to set foot in one voluntarily was in a bed just down the hall. He flipped through an old copy of Time Magazine as he waited for his sister’s doctor to arrive. At long last, a man in a white coat entered the room.
“Mr. O’Conner, it’s good to meet you,” the doctor said, extending his hand.
Jimmy shook it without saying anything, but that didn’t seem to matter much, as the doctor didn’t skip a beat.
“Your sister has told me so much about you,” he continued.
Jimmy wasn’t one for small talk, so he got right to the point.
“How bad is it, doc?”
“Straight to the point, I see. O.k. Well, Mr. O’Conner, your sister is in the advanced stages of heart failure. As you probably already know, she had a VAD – a ventricular assist device, put in last year. However, the disease has progressed since that time, and...”
“Just the bottom line, doc, please.” Jimmy hated long explanations.
The doctor smiled mechanically before continuing.
“Of course. I’m afraid that, unless we are able to find a heart donor, she has between two to four months left to live.”
Jimmy nodded his head up and down.
“And where could we find one of these donors?”
“Well, there is an organization called the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, which maintains a list of all patients in need of an organ transplant. When a new organ becomes available, they match things like blood type, tissue type, size of the organ, and a number of other things in order to find a suitable donor. Your sister has been on the donor candidate list for over a year already. If a heart becomes available, she’ll be one of the top candidates. Unfortunately, there’s no certainty that a heart will become available in time, or that she’ll be the candidate selected to receive the heart.”
Jimmy nodded his head up and down again.
“You already discussed all of this with my sister, correct?”
“Yes, yes, of course. At this point, it is simply a waiting game, Mr. O’Conner. We’ll keep her as comfortable as we can, and have her ready if a heart should become available. We’ll be sending her home in a few days, since there’s nothing more we can do for her here at this time.”
“Thanks for the update, doc.”
* * * * *
Jimmy knocked on the door to his sister’s room and cracked it open a bit. “O.k. if I come in?”
“Jimmy. Come on in,” came the weak reply.
He went into the room and looked at his sister, who was smiling from ear to ear at the sight of him. He felt his heart sink when he saw how pale she was, but he didn’t allow himself to show any emotion other than a slight smile.
“Do you like the flowers I sent you?” he asked, as he motioned to the bouquet sitting on the window sill.
“Yes. You know lilies are my favorite. Thank you, Jimmy.”
“Nothin’ but the best for you, sis.”
As far as he was concerned, Sarah was his only family. She was his half-sister. They shared the same mother, and she had passed away five years before, God rest her soul. Sarah’s father had died two years after that. As for Jimmy’s father – if the bum was still alive, Jimmy didn’t care to know about it. No, Sarah was it, and he would do anything in the world for her – anything.
“Did the doctor talk to you, Jimmy?”
“Yeah, he did.”
“It doesn’t look too good for me, Jimmy.”
“Yeah... I know.”
“I want to be buried beside Mama, in Chicago.”
Jimmy felt a catch in his throat, but he stopped it before a sound escaped his lips and pushed the thought out of his head.
“If it comes to that, I’ll make sure it happens. You can count on it.”
“Thanks, Jimmy. I know I can always count on you. Come here.”
He walked over to her bedside and she picked up one of his hands to hold it in hers. She looked up at Jimmy before continuing.
“I want you to promise me one more thing, Jimmy.”
“Sure thing, sis, you name it.”
“I want you to get out of Chicago and start a new life... away from the business.”
Sarah never did like to say the word ‘mob’. Whenever she mentioned it, she always used the word ‘business’. Jimmy knew she didn’t approve, but she never said so to his face, and never talked down about what he did for a living. The closest she ever came to it was saying, “Jimmy, you’re better than that. I know you. You’re a good person inside.” He’d thought long and hard about it, too – about starting over. He’d saved up some money, but it wasn’t quite enough to get out. The Chicago mob didn’t exactly approve of people getting out of the business. It would require a new face, a new identity, a new job... and not just for him, but for both of them. Because if he left, they would come for her to get him back – and then whack them both.
The Tucson Prophecy: a prequel novella to the Paranormal Gift series by C.L. Wells / Thrillers & Crime have rating 3.2 out of 5 / Based on19 votes