Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-six - Enter Wretched (part six)
Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-seven - Exhausting (part two)

Chapter Six Hundred and Thirty-seven - Exhausting (part one)


(part one)

Wednesday afternoon — 3:15 p.m.

Breathing hard, Sandy leaned on her cane. She was standing at the top of the basement stairs. The stairs had a lift, left over from when Honey and MJ lived downstairs. Today, she decided to take the stairs instead.

She made it up five steps! Five steps!

That’s more than she’d done since she was injured.

Of course, there were five more to go to get to the top. It took real determination to get to the top.

But she had!

She never would have tried it if she wasn’t trying to catch the state archeologist. They had traded phone calls for more than a week. Between moving to the Castle and all of this Covid crap, Sandy had been up to her eyeballs in . . . well, everything.

The state archeologist was here! At the Castle!

So Sandy was on her way to the main Castle kitchen.

If she could ever catch her breath . . .

“Tried the stairs?” Ava O’Malley asked, seeming to appear at Sandy’s side.

Sandy could only nod.

“Maresol would kick your ass,” Ava said.

Laughing, Sandy nodded.

“We’re done in the ballroom,” Ava said.

“And. . .” gasp, “the. . .” gasp, “state. . .” gasp, “arche. . .” gasp, “ologist?” Sandy managed.

“I prefer Heidi,” a woman’s voice came from somewhere near. “Please. Sandy. Can I bring a chair?”

Sandy saw the back of a sturdy, fit woman. She returned with a chair and a glass of water.

“Sit,” Heidi said. “That’s an order.”

Ava laughed at the idea of Heidi giving orders. Sandy collapsed into the chair. When she had caught her breath, she swallowed down the water.

“There,” Heidi said. “Come on, Ava.”

They got behind the wing backed chair and pushed. The chair slid easily across the ancient carpet. Soon, they were in the Castle living room. Ava squatted in front of the fire and lit the kindling. Heidi jogged into the kitchen. She returned with a tray with a pot of tea and some sandwiches.

“We had just made some sandwiches when Ava heard you,” Heidi said. “A woman gave me this tray and the pot of tea.”

“A woman?” Sandy asked.

“I think so,” Heidi said. “She was wearing this gold thing and. . . I don’t know, she reminded me of a statue of Artemis. There’s a wonderful bronze of her in the archeological museum in Athens.”

“Heidi always sees statuary in people,” Ava said with a laugh.

Sandy glanced into the kitchen and saw Artemis waving at her. She grinned.

“Problem of the trade,” Heidi said with a laugh.

Sandy smiled at them. When Heidi and Ava were bent over the sandwiches and tea, Sandy pointed up the loft stairs. Artemis grinned in thanks and went up the loft stairs.

“Thank you for your help,” Sandy said.

“No problem,” Ava said.

With her mouth full of sandwich, Heidi looked up. She chewed fast and swallowed.

“Sorry, I’d just taken a bite,” Heidi said. “I bet you’d like to know all about that head you found. But first. . . Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...


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