I grumbled “ You’d think the old lady would just move the recipe “ I sighed watching the screens as they finally stopped in front of the famed cookie shop.
“Brian there are two people in front of the cookie shop and two behind the counter. Another is near the bathroom and I lost track of the sixth.”
No sooner than I had finished my sentence did I hear two gunshots ring out.
I scanned the cameras but didn’t see Brian anywhere.
My heart sank when I saw black boots from behind the directory sign. Rounding it I saw Brian laying on the floor, two gunshots to the chest. I leaned down checking for any signs of a pulse. Nothing.
“Man. You didn’t deserve this. Your wife is going to be devastated.” I looked over my partner of 2 years then up scanning the area for anyone nearby.
I heard a whisper and glanced over near the pet store neighboring the Madison Maine Mall Directory sign
“Mrs. Greenwood, I’m relieved to see you are ok. I reached into my pocket grabbing the keys and unlocked the pet store door.
“Go inside and stay in there. I will come back for you. The police should arrive in moments. I will do my best to make sure they don’t get the recipe.”
“Luca I need -”
“Mrs. Greenwood please, they shot Brian, you need to stay here. I will come back for you, ok?”
I locked the door behind me after she nodded a timid yes. When I arrived I was too late. The robbers were already on their way out the window scaling down the side of the mall with some strategically placed ropes.
“Madison Police Department, weapons down”
“I am security within the mall. Luca Davenport” I mentioned setting my gun on the ground. As they approached keeping my hands where they could see them.
“Oh, I know who you are Luca.” The police Chief Karl Edwards stepped forward.
“Officer, if you would like to accompany me to the security room I can show you what happened.”
“That won’t be necessary Luca, I think we all know what happened here”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Look, Luca, we all knew the fugitive gone good act wasn’t going to last forever. Let’s not make this harder than it has to be”
“ I didn’t do this !” I exclaimed frustrated at his determination to pin me for any crime that happened in this town since my release.
“He didn’t do anything, officers, Luca wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Mrs. Greenwood huffed as she came up the stairs to the food course looking displeased with the police chief.
“ Ma’am with all respect this man is a criminal.”
“Sir with all respect you're an ass. You have been since you were a child. Luca did his job. There were six men. They took my recipe!”
Karl pinched his nose and cleared his throat at Mrs. Greenwood's bluntness.
“Mrs. Greenwood if you were a witness to what happened here I will need you to speak with Officer Blakely. Luca, I will need your statement but you can speak with me. This reeks of an inside job. Your partner is conveniently dead where the cameras can't see what happened and they got away.”
“Yeah because I found Mrs.Greenwood was still here and put her in the pet store to be safe.”
“That was kind of you. “ The chief said with heavy sarcasm.
I sighed heavily
I heard the zipper of the body bag close as officers snapped the last of their photos. Mrs.Greenwood looked annoyed at their continued presence.I glanced at her shop which was normally clean and tidy, now messy and disheveled.
“Well, that is everything for now. Luca, do not leave town anytime soon.”
“Of course not ” I replied annoyed.
Waiting for the police to clear the scene.I watched Mrs. Greenwood leave her chair and head toward her shop.
Slipping my phone into my pocket I walked to her.
“Mrs. Greenwood, I’m so sorry about your recipe. Also, I will clean all of this up, you can go home and get some sleep”
She chuckled in response
“Oh, my sweet Luca. It's quite alright this mess won’t be here long and it was never about the recipe” She grinned squatting onto the floor opening a mini-fridge.
“Luca have you ever heard of sleight of hand”
I laughed at her question knowing she knew I was
“Well, it turns out I’m pretty good at it myself.” She grinned happily punching in numbers to a hidden safe.
Inside was empty or so I thought until she pulled out an old but still sturdy black moleskine notebook with a serpent on the front , hugging it to her chest.
“Luca, take this. And guard it with your life. They will be back and I’ll be waiting. You see, while everyone has been after my recipe for years, this is what I guard.”
“Mrs. Greenwood I’m confused” I went to open the book but her hands stopped me
“Not here child, not here. Go home, and whatever happens, understand that none of this is your fault and you can become the man you want to me”
I looked into her honey eyes. Her wrinkles telling a story of a life well lived full of love and laughter. Her once dark brown hair had silver greys weaving in and out of it that sparkled from the reflection of the moonlight outside.
“Mrs. Greenwood let take you home.”
“No dear, I'll be fine, but you need to go. You protect that book. It was supposed to be given to someone else but “ she paused. “She has refused the responsibility” a sad sigh left her
Something in my gut told me I wouldn’t be seeing Mrs. Greenwood again, that saddened me, but she looked serious. I tucked the book inside my coat and offered my open arms for a hug.
“Thank you Mrs.Greenwood for always being so kind and believing me when I said I wanted to change”
“You don’t need to thank me, dear, you will do great things, even if you don’t know it yet” She hugged me tightly then pulled away. Waddling back to her shop and beginning to tidy things.
I began walking away as the grief of losing my partner set in. I turned around for one last glance at the cookie shop and Mrs. Greenwood and the shop was immaculate meanwhile Mrs.Greenwood was already putting cookies in the oven.
I was puzzled but decided maybe I was just tired and continued to my car.
Once safely home I turned on my lamp and took the book out.
Mrs. Greenwood's words echoing in my head,
“It was never about the recipe”
I opened the book and the first page had old decorative manuscript letters SSOSS flipping to the next page it was blank. As was the page after that and the page following. Soon I found myself flipping through the entire book finding nothing but blank pages.
“Bizarre old lady “ I laughed, tossing the book near the lamp and sinking back into my chair, opening a beer, and taking a drink.
I fell asleep in my chair and my head woke up aching.
I decided a lemon water would probably help and I knew that beer last night was a bad idea.
While squeezing the lemon juice droplets splattered the open notebook that Mrs. Greenwood had passed me and letters slowly came to the surface then disappeared.
No way. I said looking at the pages. I squeezed the remainder of my lemon into a dish and started rubbing the pages holding them near the heat of the lamp.
Quickly words appeared on the first pages.
The Secret Society of Silver Spheres.
A society of women, witches, and other entities that imprison the evil of the world.
The next page had a bank location and safety deposit information on it. I felt the spine of the book as directed by the page and sure enough, a hidden key for the box was there.
After I retrieved the contents of the safety deposit box I got to work. Opening the box I was puzzled even further. The only thing inside the black-velvet-lined box except spheres. Spheres that each had a small tag attached with a page number and date. The first sphere I picked up I flipped to the corresponding page number, rubbed it with lemon juice, and heated it up revealing something I never expected to see.
1855 - Jack the Ripper will rip no more.
Ball number 1
Captor's- Beatrix Walker, Victoria Grayson, Madeline Rose Thompson & Helena Greenwood
I frowned. Helena Greenwood? As in Mrs. Greenwood. But that's, that's impossible. I looked at the sphere but gently set it back into the box. I noticed a tattered beige envelope at the bottom and gently pulled it from beneath the remaining spheres. Inside were two bundles of old $100 bills. Each bundle labels $10,00.00
I rubbed my face confused by what was in front of me but interrupted by a knock on the door.
I opened it revealing a young woman, with dark brown hair and honey eyes similar to Mrs. Greenwoods.
“Can I help you”
“No Luca, I’m here to help you. My name is Nyx, My mother sent me”
“Who is your mom”
She rolled her eyes pushing past me. “Yes, Luca, that is my mother”
“You don’t sound happy about that” I chuckled
“Not really, but yet I AM happy that I don’t have to deal with this bullshit for the rest of my life unlike you “
“I’m sorry what?”
“Ok long story short ; I don’t want to be here long, my mom is a 100s-year-old witch protected by the old gods. You won't see her again though, her time here is done.” She mentioned solemnly and picking up the book is your field guide and these” she gestured running her hands over the spheres
“are the difference between life and death for so many.”
“Wait, so are you trying to tell me your mom was a witch and those, those have people inside them?”
“Uh-huh, Jack the Ripper was her first and favorite. A group of Victorian prostitutes decided to change the game on him and many others after him. Now I am here to give you her magic and mine so you can learn to do the same” Over the next few decades you will imprison the serial killers or killers who the cops can’t. It's not an easy job and one that I don’t want much to do with but my mom certainly thought you would enjoy it. “
I attempted to process everything she just threw at me, finally resolving my feelings.
“Say no more, let's do this,” I said, grabbing the black book from her.
“Let's” She smiled, sitting down, starting to explain more while showing me an easier way to reveal the hidden words upon the pages.
To conclude Luca
“You must protect this book and the spheres with your life until someone can take over for you. You can recruit people but be careful so many lie about their abilities and those people won't help you”
“ Well then sign your name in the back and once you do there is no going back. “:
I quickly scribbled my name waiting for her to take the book
Meeting her eyes Nyx grinned and said
“Welcome to the secret society of silver spheres Luca, You will do well, I’m sure.”
About the Creator
Wife & Mom Fueled by ;
Caffeine & Gratitude, when I’m not writing you’ll find me raising awareness about our planet’s needs , in the kitchen ,outside with the family, taking photos or in a bookstore.