Location, Location, Location
I sat in John’s lap, Sven on the floor across from me as the old Ford truck pulled back into Pack lands with the ice boat behind it. We weren’t taking chances with being seen by any of Yuri’s men who might be watching the borders.
The whole way back, I was trying to figure out how to use my magic to help find her. Linnea was a nice person, and I had bonded quickly with her when she visited us on the island. “Her healing,” I said as I thought about the last thing I had done for her, “Did it work?”
“I don’t know for sure, it’s too early, but she did go into heat a few days later.” Sven pinched his nose as his head leaned back to the door. “All these years, all the disappointment, and we had hope again. I still do.”
“I’m sure she is going to be fine, and I’m praying your heat was successful,” I told him. “You have to be strong, be positive. Your men and your allies need that. Be that Alpha she needs you to be.”
He nodded, wiping the tears away. “One way or another, this gets settled by tomorrow night.”
“What about the money he wants,” John asked. “What is the plan there?”
“We haven’t touched our part, but Patrick has been busy with his side. We can come up with $218 million of the $275 million he wants.”
“He won’t be pleased.”
“I know, but I can’t give him Jessie either so it really doesn’t matter now, does it.” He looked at me. “Unless you can do another spell.”
“It won’t work,” I said. I had been thinking about this for a while. “You’d have to have someone who died weeks ago from having their throat slit. Even then, I couldn’t maintain the spell long enough for the autopsy. If a different body shows up in the morgue, it causes even more questions.” I’d been thinking about it for a while, but maintaining focus for a few hours had been difficult enough. “Then they would take blood and DNA samples to prove the identity. The only one who can fake me convincingly is me.”
“So it is back to finding where they are hiding Linnea.” We pulled into the pole barn where the boat would be store and were taken in another car to the Alpha’s house. The car was parked, and the garage door closed before we got out. “We need to call Alpha Esca,” I said. “I need someone to teach me how to do a location spell.”
We ate while waiting for the Alpha to locate one of the surviving witches of Miriam’s coven. With perfect timing, the FaceTime call came in just after we finished dessert. He opened the call as the three of us sat in front of the laptop in his office. The woman on the other end looked younger than Miriam, maybe thirty. “I am Marjorie, the Alpha told me you need my help.”
“Yes, we need to perform a location spell to find this Alpha’s mate. I have the powers inside me but was never trained to use them.”
She looked at me, I’m sure taking in my youth. “And where did these powers come from, child?”
“I absorbed them after High Priestess Gwyneth was killed by the men who were sent to kill me.”
She paused and looked at me. “I need to know how and why.”
“I received the powers of a witch first after a car bomb that severely injured me. My guide, Father Kempkechny, healed what he could before he died of his wounds, and he gave me his powers. I was untrained and still in danger, so Alpha Esca asked Miriam to come with us and help me.” A tear started to drip down my cheek. “Miriam and I became close as we worked together. We traveled to America, where she arranged for us to stay with her cousin Gwyneth at her coven in Grand Marais. She said the place was already spelled, and we could practice there without interference.”
“I know of Gwyneth, she is a good woman. How did she die?”
John picked up the story. “Jessie and Miriam were training in the woods when Gwyneth arrived with a man. The man shot Miriam in the back of the head, then shot me and Jessie. Miriam died instantly, and Gwyneth took her powers. It was all part of the deal; there was a twenty-million-dollar reward for Jessie’s death, Gwyneth was going to split it with the men who would do the killing so she didn't have to. The man didn’t want to share, though; while Gwyneth was absorbing her power, he shot her too, then he came to finish me off.”
“I felt their powers slam into me and heal me, then I killed the man before he could finish off my mate. Now I have the powers of all three, but I’ve never tried to use them to find someone.”
“The man who killed Miriam, where is he?”
“Dead, along with the others he brought up. The man who offered the reward, Yuri Zubkov, is still out there. It is his men who have taken Luna Linnea, and he is the one who still wants me dead.”
“I see.” She opened a book and looked down. “Location spells aren’t really spells at all. The spirit world contains echoes of where you have been before, little parts of you can remain attached to things you attach to emotionally. You need an object to focus on, something that she loved. The stronger the attachment, the better it works.”
“I’ll be right back,” Alpha Sven said.
“What do I do with it?”
“Did Miriam teach you how to meditate, to clear your mind?”
“Yes, I’m not great at it but I can do it.”
“You clear your mind and focus on the object. You have to feel the residual energy in it, let it become a string to tie you to her. Follow the string in your mind until you find her. This is where it becomes more difficult. What you can see depends on the strength of the gift you were given. You might just get flashes, images of where she is or what she sees. More powerful witches can actually follow the string with astral projection, putting their own spirit there to look around. In any case, you rarely get an address, you get clues as to where the person might be. What the place around them looks like, what is outside the windows, even who they are with. It takes some time and skill to get a location of someone you don’t know, and that’s not the worst part.”
“Chasing trails in the spirit world takes a lot of your energy. Depending on the witch, you might be out of commission for hours, even days. That’s why it is only done with the Coven, in a safe place.” She looked at her watch. “I’m sorry I can’t help more, but my own powers in this are not that strong. I hope you can find them in yourself.”
“Thank you, Marjorie.”
“A warning for you. I’m sure Miriam talked to you about white and black magic. Black magic will take over your soul, and the lust for power and the taking of life is its entry. You need to be careful, only use your magic for good or you will be lost as well.”
“I killed, only to save my mate and I,” I said quietly. “I did not like the feeling.”
“You shouldn’t. I am pleased the men who killed my High Priestess met their own ends so quickly. Balance in all things, young one.” She cut the connection.
“Now what?” John looked at me.
“I need to be somewhere safe where I can concentrate,” I said. “I need you and Sven with me.”
Sven walked in, holding a small stuffed wolf in his hand. “This is Lisanna’s, it was her favorite toy as a child. She kept it in our bedroom.” He handed it to me, I felt a tingle when I touched it. “She wanted our child to have it, she started sleeping with it by her pillow again when she went into heat.”
“We need a room with a bed, somewhere she can be protected while she sleeps off the spell,” John said.
“Come on. The safe room in the basement is perfect for that, I’m not getting in it if they come.” He led us to the closet of his bedroom, then lifted up the carpet to expose a hatch. He lifted a cover and punched a code in. “Only myself and Linnea know the code, but you can override the door from the inside.” The hatch came open, hydraulic rams holding it up. It was a good four inches of steel. “There is food and water for a week in there, of course you won’t be locked in unless there is an attack. To close the hatch, press the red panic button there on the wall,” he said. “It closes and locks automatically. Press the green button to open. It has its own power supply, so lights and heating are taken care of.” We went down into the room, it was about ten feet square with a tiny bathroom and desk. “The bed folds up on the wall if you need more space during the day,” he said.
“This is fine, leave the bed down and I’ll work from there,” I said. “John, you take notes of anything I say.”
“I’m on it,” he said as he pulled a pad of paper and pen from the small desk.
“Sven, I need you to sit in this chair. You know the area, the landmarks. If you have questions about what I see then ask, but don’t say anything until I start talking first. Getting my mind clear has always been a struggle for me, too many squirrels out there to block out.”
“Of course.” He sat down while John stayed at the table,
I sat at the top of the bed, crossing my legs in front of me with my back against the pillow. I placed my hands on my knees, palms up with the stuffed wolf in my right hand, and closed my eyes. I focused on my breathing, slowing It down and blocking out the rest of the world. All that existed was my breathing.
It took a while, but I finally felt myself slip into the relaxed state. I focused on the stuffed animal, reaching out with my powers to it. When I opened my eyes, things looked different, hazy, more colorful. I could see a faint green glow around the wolf, and a thin line shot out from it through the wall. I was so excited I lost focus, and everything went back to normal. “Crap,” I said as I opened my eyes.
“I had it, then I lost it again,” I said. “I saw the string she talked about. It left the animal and went through the wall just to the left of that panel.”
“Don’t move,” Sven said. He got up and moved to the wall. “Stop me when my finger is in the place the string went through.” He moved it along, then when I stopped he used his pen to mark the wall. Coming back to me, he pulled out his phone and opened his compass application. Holding it over the toy wolf, he pointed it at the wall and looked down. “One hundred seventy-eight degrees.”
Going over to a map of the territory posted on the wall, he took a marker and drew a line near due south. It followed the edge of the forest before cutting through the northern part of Duluth. “It doesn’t cut out a lot,” I said.
“It’s far more information then we had a minute ago,” Sven said. He called Alpha Stan, who was due to arrive soon with the first of his men. “She is being held somewhere along a line between my Pack House and the northern half of Duluth. Have your men start at Lake Superior and work your way north. I will send men south from here.” He listened for a moment. “I know, but it’s all we have so far. I’ll let you know more if I learn anything.” He closed the phone up.
“It could take all day just to search Duluth,” John said.
“I’ll try again,” I said. Closing my eyes, it only took ten minutes or so this time to drop into the right state. This time when I saw the glow, I relaxed and let more of my power come out.
I felt something snap, and instead of looking at my hands I was looking from above myself. I could see my body slump to the bed; John moved over, but Sven grabbed him and told him not to touch me. My body had a faint green glow around it, the same glow on the line. I thought about following that line, seeing what was on the other end, and suddenly I was no longer in the room.
I was flying.
Moving so quickly over the landscape I couldn’t process it, I zipped along until I was above a clearing by a lake. There were three homes, cabins really as I got closer to them. All were identical, all painted white with green decks facing the lake. I saw a couple cars, but before I could get a license plate I was on the deck of the middle cabin. I could see footprints in the snow, lots of them. The lake had a thin crust of ice, I could see the pines and cabins on the other side.
Then I looked through the window. Four men were inside, large men with scars and muscles. I moved through the wall and window, past the men and towards the room in back. I passed through the bedroom wall, and Linnea was there on the bed. She was gagged, her hands bound with silver cuffs behind her back, her feet in chains tied off to the bedframe. A man sat in the room, carving a piece of wood with a knife.
I willed myself to get closer to her, and it was like I was leaning over her now. I reached down, touching her face with the ghostly hand image I could see, and her eyes shot open. “Be strong, we’re coming for you,” I whispered, but nothing came out. Still, her eyes started to water up and she nodded.
I could feel the image fading, and I was sucked out of the room and back along the path in a matter of seconds. I felt like something had slammed into me, and I screamed a little in frustration as it was over. John picked me up, holding me to his chest. “What did you see,” he asked.
“She’s all right, bound and gagged in a bedroom,” I said as I fought off sleep. “Cabin on a lake, west shore. Middle of three identical white cabins, green decks. Two large SUV’s parked in back. I saw five men with her.” I was rapidly losing my battle. “Not in the city…”
I listened to her describe the cabins, and then her eyes unfocused and she fell asleep. I tried to wake her up, but it was what the other witch had described- she didn’t have the energy now. “Got all that?”
“I do,” Sven said. “Take care of her. Alpha Stan just arrived, and I’ll be back in a few minutes.” He went up the ladder to the bedroom and out the open hatch.
I pulled the sheet and blanket down, setting Jessie in the bed. Removing her socks, sweater and jeans, I tucked her in and kissed her head. “I’m so proud of you, my love,” I said. “We’ll find her.”