The Mystery Of Misty Reese By Harmony Ackerman

Copyright © 2011 Rachel Wright; all rights reserved. Published with permission.

After last year’s adventures, Harryn, Skye, Dave and I decided to opt out of the summer camping trip this time around, and as soon as everyone else had left, we started planning where we would go on our holiday. Of course, we weren’t supposed to go anywhere, but we didn’t think anyone would notice we were gone.

There were a couple of other kids left in school, too – Sean, who is only eleven but has had an interesting life travelling with gypsies and stuff, and Marisha, who is thirteen, and kind of odd. They agreed to come with us but they obviously thought we were really weird when we started talking about riding to Hawaii! Of course, we weren’t planning to go to the real Hawaii, ‘cos Harryn wanted to watch the volleyball and it isn’t on in July. But we knew they wouldn’t believe us so we didn’t bother explaining. They’d soon see.
The other kid still hanging around was that Misty Rease. We just couldn’t seem to shake her off. Every time we turned around, she was there, watching us. Really annoying! So when Harryn’s amulet disappeared from his locker, she was our prime suspect. But what she didn’t know (or at least, we didn’t think she knew) was that we could use the remaining pendants to track the missing one. We decided to do that first, and once we’d taken it back, we’d carry on to Hawaii.
We soon found ourselves riding up a mountainside, with this spooky-looking castle up on the top. There were glowing lights in the windows. Next, we found a dead guard on the path; he’d been strangled. We really hoped it wasn’t Misty that had done it – we knew she was weird, but didn’t think she was a murderer. But when we reached the castle, one of the guards there told us that a young woman matching Misty’s description had passed by here the previous day.

I’d have preferred something more, you know…enlightening.

By this time, we were getting worried about what trouble Misty was getting herself into, so we decided to leave her to it for a bit, and headed off to Hawaii instead. I spent most of the two weeks in the beauty salon and on the beach, since there wasn’t much else to do. Actually it was a bit boring – I’d have preferred something more, you know…enlightening. I didn’t see much of the others – Harryn was watching the sports, and Dave spent most of his time in the bar. Isha found herself a man called Sven – I don’t know what they got up to but I’m fairly sure she’s far too young for whatever it was. That girl is really quite creepy. She didn’t want to leave Sven when the two weeks were up, but the boys went and told him how old Isha really was and threatened to tell on him. He left pretty quick after that. She was not best pleased, but it serves her right.
We left the island and set off in search of the missing pendant. We soon tracked it down to a jeweller’s shop – at first we thought Misty had pawned it, but when we went inside, we saw the jeweller handing her a necklace covered in blue crystals – just like the ones on our pendants, but much bigger.
She wasn’t surprised to see us, and she handed back Harryn’s pendant without argument. Her excuse for stealing it was that she’d needed it to locate the source of the blue crystals, so she could make one for herself. She confessed that she was in fact the daughter of Julian, the man with the white armour and the big horse we’d met the previous year. After we’d told him our story about the pendants and Miss Flaumel, he’d wanted to find out more about us and had sent Misty to the orphanage to investigate.

They were resistant to my hairspray, but Skye had her sword and magic helmet

Misty told us that her father was just one of several sons of a great king who ruled in a city called Amber. The man called Bleys that we’d met was another, as was the man we’d seen in Miss Flaumel’s library. Once upon a time, Misty said, two of the other brothers, who were named Eric and Corwin and didn’t like each other very much, had gone hunting together and only Eric had come back. The family thought Corwin was dead, but in fact he was in our world masquerading as Carlos Cory – the man who set up the orphanage! Miss Flaumel is their sister, and when she discovered where Corwin was living, she moved there too and watched him from afar. Then one day he left our world and went back to Amber, where he was captured by Eric and put in a dungeon. What Misty didn’t know is why Miss Flaumel continued to sponsor the orphanage after Corwin had gone. She was planning to use the blue crystals to find out.
Misty took us to see the place where the blue crystals came from, which turned out to be a mistake as we were attacked by those horrible looking grey people we’d first seen on the plane when Miss Trees disappeared. They were resistant to my hairspray, but Skye had her sword and magic helmet with her and she heroically fought them off. She even shot one with a rifle whilst he was chasing me – luckily Skye is a good shot! The boys were pretty brave, too, except Sean who ran away. Afterwards he tried to claim he hadn’t but we all saw him.
After that, we went down into the mine, and chipped off some more bits of the crystal, while Skye kept watch outside. There was a workbench in there, suggesting that someone was still making the amulets. Misty seemed to think it might be Fiona, the Princess we met last year who taught us how to use the pendants. Anyway, when we’d collected a pocketful each and a handful for Skye too, we headed off to Miss Flaumel’s house.

According to the tree, Skye had a couple of half brothers that she didn’t know about

Misty had explained that she’d been planning to use the pendants to get past Carmella, Miss Flaumel’s maid, so that she could snoop around for information that might reveal why she was so interested in our orphanage. We were curious too, so Misty persuaded us to do the deed instead. She seemed to think we’d get in less trouble than her if we were caught.
Skye took one of the pendants and knocked on Miss Flaumel’s door. Carmella answered, and she confirmed what Misty had already told us – that Miss Flaumel was out for the evening the ‘Eternity Society meeting’. Skye slipped the pendant into Carmella’s pocket, and then we used the mind link to encourage her to go to bed early. We sneaked into Miss Flaumel’s office, and to our surprise, her invitation to the Eternity Society meeting was still on the table. Worried that she’d forgotten it and would return, we set Harryn on watch. Sure enough, he saw a car pulling up in the drive, and we all had to go hide in the garden until Miss Flaumel left again.
Once the coast was clear, we had a proper look around, and found something strange: a sheet of paper with lots of women’s names on and their birthdates, and the birthdates of their children. What was interesting about it was that the dates went all the way back to the seventeenth century. Then we found another piece of paper with a family tree on it. The names at the top of the tree were Corwin and one of the women off of the first document. There were six or seven generations on there, and near the bottom, were some names that we recognised. One was Skye’s name, and another was Karen, a girl who left the orphanage a couple of years back, and John, who is still at the school. These three names had the letters CCSGO next to them. Quite a few of the other names had the letters ES after them.
According to the tree, Skye had a couple of half brothers that she didn’t know about, and her Dad had lived a long time and had had more than one name. In fact, most of the people on the tree had lived longer than they should have, if the dates were correct, and several of them had more than one surname and more than one death date. This fit with what Misty had told us about Corwin and his brothers and sisters having really long lifespans.
We came to the conclusion that Miss Flaumel had been keeping a record of all the children this Corwin had fathered while he lived on our world, and of their children, and their children’s children, and so on. Skye was one of them, which probably meant we were, too. There was a David Brown on the list – he was too old to be our Dave, but could be his great-granddad or something. ES, we supposed, stood for Eternity Society, and we guessed that Corwin’s descendants had got together and formed the society once they realised that they were different to other people. Poor Skye was a bit upset by the whole thing, understandably. Must have been a peculiar feeling, seeing her own name there.

And then all of a sudden, Miss Flaumel was standing next to us.

Once we’d learnt this, we couldn’t resist going to the ES meeting to see if we could get a look at these presumed relatives of ours. After stealing the pendant back off the sleeping Carmella, we made our way down to the Grand Lodge where the meeting was being held. It was getting dark now, so it was easy for me to climb up the walls and slip inside through a second floor window without being seen. I checked it was safe and then Skye, Isha and Sean came up too. Dave and Harryn stayed outside to keep a look out.
We crept to the edge of the balcony and looked down on the hall below where the society members were all seated around a big table, having dinner. There were a couple of dozen of them, at least. None of them looked particularly familiar, except for Miss Flaumel, of course. We caught a few snippets of conversation, and determined that they were discussing something that they wanted to look like an accident, and didn’t want the police to be involved in, which sounded ominous. Especially since those family trees we’d found had an awful lot of accidental deaths on them.
Skye started making some sketches and the rest of us settled down to watch. And then all of a sudden, Miss Flaumel was standing next to us. She was really cross with us for being there. Sean and Isha tried to make a run for it, but she caught them – I don’t know how, it was as if we had amnesia or something cos we all kept forgetting the previous five minutes. Dave and Harryn managed to get away but the four of us were taken back to Miss Flaumel’s house for a telling off. I don’t remember the journey at all – one minute we were in the lodge, the next we were standing in the Westchester library. Miss Flaumel is a very powerful lady! Anyway, it turned out she had a good reason for being angry…
She told us that the members of the Eternity Society were, as she described them, “a bunch of power-hungry maniacs”. When other members of the family refused to join them, they would have them killed, so that no-one except themselves would know of their existence. Miss Flaumel thought they were getting out of hand, and so she started arranging for the children of the family to be sent to the orphanage, where she could protect us.

Isha was the first to realise that it was the ES members who were responsible for the death of her parents – probably true for the others, too, though I doubt they had much to do with my mum’s death. She did that to herself. But then, maybe it was my Dad who was descended from Corwin, and who knows what happened to him. Isha was furious – she was in favour of going down to the lodge and slaughtering them all (how she was planning to do that, I don’t know), but thankfully Miss Flaumel told her she wasn’t ready and refused to give her their names.
The rest of us were more concerned about the danger to our own lives. Miss Flaumel said the Eternity Society didn’t know about us yet, or about the orphanage, but if they ever find out we’d be in lots of trouble. She took us back to the school and made us promise to stay there, which I was quite happy to do! After she’d gone, we had a long discussion about what to do next, and came up with some contingency measures. We put some of the blue crystals in a safe place (can’t say where) and set up a couple of safe havens in nearby worlds. I hope we never have to use them, but with the Eternity Society on the prowl, and the possibility of word getting to Corwin’s rival Eric via Misty Rease, I somehow doubt we’ll be that lucky. In any case, I’ve never been so glad to see the teachers and all the other kids return. Question is, how many of the others are like us? Miss Flaumel said only Corwin’s descendants could use the amulets, so I guess that includes Tommy, James, Hannah and Christopher as well as the six of us. And there’s John, who was on that family tree. Can Miss Flaumel really protect us all on her own? I don’t know…

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