Chapter Nineteen and Twenty of Samuel LIght, Spiritual Detective: The Shasta Caper is now posted on www.johnpirillo.com
Samuel Light, Spiritual Detective: The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Samuel waited for the shock wave to strike the restaurant, but it didn't happen. The light was gone as quickly as it had come, leaving the skies outside dark and thick with the mystery of what had happened. And one other thing. Every single vehicle in the parking lot was beeping their horn or alarms. Even the interior of the restaurant. Every alarm, even kitchen stove alarms were going off. Even watch alarms and phone alarms.
It was totally bedlam for about ten minutes until the alarms ceased as suddenly as they had started.
Samuel and Jimbo sat down, stunned, along with many others.
Then Samuel remembered Lady Marantha. He looked over and she was gone now. Where, he couldn't know because the flash had so completely diverted his attention.
"I'm getting the feeling we're being watched." Jimbo muttered, grabbing at the rest of his milk shake and the fresh fries that were coming complimentarily from the kitchen for everybody. There wasn't a person there that could fathom what had just happened and all were somewhat weak now, though not understanding why.
Al and M sat across from Samuel's table conversing animatedly, gesturing outside, then looking at Samuel, as if for a comment. He shrugged. Jimbo looked the way he was looking. "Which ones?"
Jimbo grunted and heaped ketchup on his fries and mashed about ten of them into his mouth at the same time. "Figures."
Samuel had no reply. What could he say. Nothing made sense at that moment. Not even his invisible friends. So he did the only thing he could think of, he reached for his plate of fries and began dunking them in ketchup and eating.
After about two refills of fries, six burgers for Jimbo and a baked potato and yogurt for Samuel, then shoved back their plates and eyed the dark outside. The skies dotted the skies like piercing, hot points of fiery arrows, blazing brightly across the horizon.
"Stunning." Jimbo said softly.
"The best part of our work." Samuel agreed.
Finally, he looked over at Jimbo. "I saw her again."
"You're crapping me."
"No. Really. Wierdest thing..."
"She was wearing a Park Ranger uniform and coming from the Lady's Restroom."
Jimbo chuckled. "Where else could a ghost come from in such a grand manner?"
Jimbo waved the Waitress over and she pulled out her order pad. "Still hungry?"
"Like the bottom pit of Hell."
She grinned at him. "I like a man with a big appetite."
Jimbo looked her over a bit more closely. She wasn't really that bad looking.
He felt Samuel kick him lightly on the ankle.
"Uh. Just more fries."
"Got 'em coming." She said, closing her pad.
"And an apple pie."
"With or without icecream?"
"No. I mean a whole pie."
Her eyes went round as moons. "Jesus in heaven, young man, you eat more than a bear craps in the woods."
"Not where I come from." Jimbo quipped with a grin on his lips.
She smiled. "I don't know where you come from, but I'd sure like to meet your Daddy."
"Me too." Jimbo said sadly.
"Oh. I'm...I'm sorry." She said, then hurried off.
Samuel patted Jimbo on his arm. "She meant well."
"Yeah. They always do." He sighed, then became quiet for a long time. Even when a hot apple pie was plunked down in front of him, already cleanly cut into sections for easy removal and a half gallon of ice cream, he remained quiet.
Samuel commiserated with him. Parents were special and neither one of them had had much luck with parents that stayed alive or home.
"Do I know you?" Lady Marantha asked to the left of Jimbo.
Jimbo and Samuel both looked at the same time.
Jimbo's mouth dropped open and a piece of the pie he had been eating tumbled out onto his plate.
She laughed. "I'm sorry. Didn't mean to ruin your dessert."
Jimbo hurriedly wiped at his mouth, shoved his plate back and made room for her. He sat next to Samuel, who scooted over for him. She sat down in front of the half eaten pie. "Apple. My favorite. Auntie here is the best pie maker in all of Shasta county."
"I bet." Jimbo answered blithely, confused, but buying into the play going on.
Samuel leaned forward. "You're not her."
"Not who?" She asked, puzzled at his words.
Jimbo covered for Samuel by shoving an empty plate in front of her, and dropping a fork and napkin beside it. "Help yourself to the pie."
As she did, he added. "And the ice cream. It's vanilla."
"You're a mindreader, big guy." She told him as she heaped a generous portion of ice cream onto the pie she had scooped onto her plate.
She dug into it a moment, while they watched politely, pretending to be looking at their own plates instead. She noticed and wiped at her lips. "I'm being rude."
She put out her hand to Jimbo. "Name's Nanny. Kind of a generic thing I picked up from the guys because I babysit a lot of their kids when they're up on the mountain for extended periods of time."
Jimbo shook it. He was surprised. Her grip was like iron. He knew what was coming next, and wanted to spare Samuel the grief. So he held onto her hand and scooted a bit closer. "I'm kind of interested what got you into the Park business, that is if you don't mind telling?"
She didn't try to remove her hand. Something Samuel noticed, but didn't comment on. He was used to Jimbo taking over when it came to the lookers. He wasn't as driven as Samuel about the opposite sex. It wasn't that he hated them, disliked them, or didn't desire to be with one, it just wasn't on the top of his priorities to do list. Some might call him gay for that, or strange, but he knew it was just because he wasn't karmically driven to mate or have sex, or to have children as most were. He had figured that out a long time ago in High School when he and Jimbo had competed for women and he had begun losing again and again, not because he wasn't interested, but because it just took more energy than he wanted to give up.
She looked over at Samuel, as if reading his mind, then smiled. "Actually, it's my ninth year in this biz. Started right out of college. Always loved nature. Started when I began rescuing lady bugs from the spider webs, graduated to saving fallen baby sparrows, then grew to hugging trees and wanting to plant and save them."
"Pretty impressive credentials." Samuel commented.
"I also have a Master's in Foresty and a Doctorate in Vulcanology."
"The study of vocanoes?" Jimbo asked.
"Not just volcanoes." Samuel added. "But the way they're formed, where they come from, what they're made of. Right?"
"By the numbers." She agreed with a nod of her pretty head.
Jimbo, again caught his breath. This gal was hotter than the Hostess he had gotten the number from on the flight here. "I still don't get it. Why would you want to live here all alone so high up on the mountain?"
"Oh, I'm not alone." She gestured to the men and women at the various tables, conversing lowly and talking about their work and familes. "They're my friends and family. I'm far from high and dry, and...alone." She added.
"Got another question." Samuel said.
"Shoot!" She told him, a crinkle in her eyes.
"That light. Ever happen before?"
"I saw you standing in the hallway outside the bathroom. You had to have seen it."
"Oh that light. No, I was in the lady's room. You know..." She left the rest unsaid.
Samuel and Jimbo exchanged looks, but Samuel said no more.
Samuel leaned forward on his elbows. "Would you recommend staying here for the night, or would we be safe to go up the mountain and camp out?"
"Stay here. Warm shower, good food, and great beds."
She said the last word as she turned to look at Jimbo, who almost grunted in surprise. She was hitting on him. At least he thought so.
Samuel didn't feel that at all. He knew it was just Jimbo's hormones kicking in. Every woman he met was date bait as far he was concerned. He laughed lightly.
Jimbo looked over at him and scowled, as if reading his mind.
"Still..." Samuel said.
"Oh, you'd be safe. But plan to freeze your asses off, because the temps going to drop a good forty degrees tonight."
"Popsicicle me." Samuel noted.
He looked over at Jimbo. "I guess we're staying."
"Sounds great to me." Jimbo said, his eyes on Nanny.
Samuel nudged Jimbo and he scooted out, so Samuel could get to his feet. Samuel nodded to Nanny. "It was nice to meet you. Jimbo, I'm going to scout the cabins here and reserve one for us."
"Okay. I'll bring the gear up as soon as I hear from you." Jimbo replied, his eyes still on Nanny.
Nanny watched Samuel exit into the hotel portion of the restaurant, then looked back at Jimbo.
"Tell me about yourself."
Samuel sat on the edge of his bed, looking out the window at the soft drift of snow that was falling as Jimbo came into the room, gently shutting the door behind him. He looked bushed.
"Man, that woman is something else." Jimbo sighed, as he almost dropped like a rock onto his own bed.
"I bet." Samuel agreed, still looking outside.
Jimbo shrugged out of his warm jacket and heavy sweater, then grabbed his suitcase and unzipped it. He tore out a pair of thermal pajamas, then headed for thee bathroom. He shut the door and several moments later Samuel could hear the shower running.
Samuel felt a slight presence sit beside him and turned to see Al seated there.
"It's her, isn't it?" Samuel asked.
Al nodded, smiling brightly.
"But how come she acts as if she never met us before?"
Al arches an eyebrow. Samuel frowns, then gets it.
"Jimbo and I were seeing another incarnation of her."
"But Jimbo never sees those things."
Al shrugged. "Things change."
Samuel brightened. "You mean he's opening up to the Light more."
Al shrugged again. "Perhaps."
Samuel laughed. "Quit playing Yoda with me. Is he or isn't he?"
Outside a bright light shone into the room.
Samuel stood up, bathed in the radiance. He moved slowly to the window and then his eye widened in awe. The Angel of Shasta Mountain was standing outside, holding a bright star clapsed between her hands, over her head. Her eyes were as bright as moons and focused on him.
Her gigantic wings, which were really huge whorls of beautiful, radiant energy, swirled behind her, giving them the feeling of motion or movement.
Samuel stood there bathing in the Light and feeling that somehow everything was going the way it should be.
"Samuel, can you throw me my robe, please?" Jimbo shouted from the bathroom door.
The Shasta Angel became a twisting whirl of energy and shot up into the sky, then vanished.
Samuel turned around, grabbed Jimbo's robe and tossed it. Jimbo caught it, then froze a moment as he noted Samuel's expression.
"You look like you just seen the devil."