CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and THIRTEEN
“Who are you?” he whispered in a hoarse voice.
“I believe that I am your grandmother and then some,” she said with a soft smile. “I did not believe it until I saw your face. We could be twins.”
He looked into her face and for the first time saw his own. She gave him an ironic smile.
“Please, let me introduce myself,” she said. “I am Bathsheba.”
Shocked, Nelson stopped moving.
“Wife of Uriah,” she said. “Mother of Soloman, among others. Consort to King David. You are my child by my first husband, Uriah, the warrior. He was…”
She gave him a soft smile.
“You don’t want to hear about ancient history,” Bathsheba said. “Know that your ancestors love you.”
“Why have you come?” Nelson asked. “How have you come?”
“I was invited here by my daughter, your mother,” Bathsheba said. “She has a mother’s right to be by your side. She could not attend, so she asked me to slip in here. I have tried for… a long time.”
Bathsheba looked around.
“This is a wretched place,” she said. “How can you stand it?”
“I can’t,” Nelson said.
“It’s time for you to return home,” Bathsheba said.
“How?” Nelson asked, tears falling down his face.
“Remind me,” Bathsheba said. “Who is the Grandmaster?”
“Jacques d’Molay,” Nelson said.
“Jacques d’Molay is long dead,” Bathsheba said. “Dust. He was loathed in life and left here in death.”
“I am on a quest!” Nelson asked.
Bathsheba rolled her eyes.
“Men,” Bathsheba said. “I said to my husband, ‘I will not do this! You are my husband, my love.’ He said, ‘He is my King, my friend. It’s my honor.’ His King and friend had him murdered leaving me to…”
Bathsheba stopped speaking. She gave an angry shake of her head. Nelson blinked.
“Please,” Nelson said. “I am exhausted and desperate. Speak plainly.”
“You are the Grandmaster of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon.” Bathsheba raised her eyebrow at him. “You are my descendant. They are dust.”
“How?” Nelson asked.
“Decide that you’re done with this…” Bathsheba said.
“My father’s life is in the balance!” Nelson’s voice rose with desperation. “I need to…”
“Go home, my son,” Bathsheba said. “Gather your strength. Draw from mine, your mother’s, all of your ancestors. Only then will you get where you need to be. You are dying here.”
She leaned forward and kissed his cheek.
“You are so loved,” she whispered and disappeared.
He closed his eyes and felt himself drifting.
When he opened his eyes, he was lying in the grass in front of the crazy house they called “The Castle.”
“Oh my God,” a young man’s voice said. Feet ran over pavement in his direction. “It’s Nelson. Go! Get Heather! Get Blane!”
The young man dropped next to him.
“Uncle Nelson?” the young man asked.
Nelson was looking into the face of Nash Norsen. He was too shocked to respond.
“Come on,” Nash said. “Slowly. He’s bruised all over. Bleeding. Badly. Noelle — call 911!”
“I did,” Noelle Norsen said. “They said they were coming.”
Realizing he was likely naked, Nelson looked down. He was wearing his mideval Templar costume.
He heard running. He felt strong hands under his armpits lifting him to standing. He felt a wave of pain and passed out. He was carried inside.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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