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Edgar's Ghost

“We’re not going to drive all the way to Baltimore without you telling me why, are we?”

“I told you. It’s a surprise.”

“A surprise about who we’re visiting, yes, but you can’t tell me anything? Where do you know this person from?”

“We met in Philadelphia.”

“What were you doing in Philadelphia? Cracking the Liberty Bell?”

“Huh,” Zachary chuckled. “It was already cracked. I went there to meet him.”

“A-ha! Him. We have a gender. Can I get a time period?”

“Mmm. More than a hundred years ago. Less than two-hundred.”

“1800s. Ok. You met in Philadelphia, but we’re going to Baltimore. What’s in Baltimore? Famous. Philadelphia. Baltimore. 1800s. I have no clue. Ok… art, science, politics or religion?”

“Art, but that’s the last clue you’re getting.”

“Hmm. A painter, sculptor, composer or writer. The Humanities is not my strong subject, either.”


“I’m stumped. I wish I had web access on my phone. Oh, well. I’m going to try and sleep.”

As Zachary peered ahead of him, a dashed white line blurring into a solid line to his left, he glanced to the woman sleeping to his right. He marveled at how far he had come, emotionally, in just one month. Five weeks ago, he was blinded by the intoxicating poison that is vengeance. Now, his mind and his sight was clear. He still intended to destroy the Circle of Light, but that was just part of a larger plan. As for Astrid, she was unobtainable now. It was something he just had to realize and move on. And moved on he has.

“Wake up, sleepyhead. We’re here.”

Jade looked out her window at a restaurant that looked like a Tudor-style house with a giant, yellow sign. “Der Wafle Haus? We’re visiting someone at Der Wafle Haus?”

“We’ll eat lunch there, but right now, we’re going to check in at this hotel over here and we’re going to freshen up a bit before we visit with anyone.”

“That’s a nice way of saying I look like hell. Right?”

“Now that you’ve come out and said it…”

While Zachary took care of securing a room, Jade looked at the tourist attraction pamphlets on the shelves by the wall in the lobby. One of them stood out almost immediately. She grabbed it and sauntered triumphantly back to the front desk.

“You figured it out, then?” Zachary asked as they walked toward the elevator.

“Baltimore Poe House. You know… Edgar Allan Poe?”

“Yes. Is that so far-fetched?”

“I suppose not, but I find it a strange coincidence that you call yourself the ‘Raven’ and Poe wrote a poem called… wait… Are you… his raven? Did he write that about you?” Her eyes got bigger with every word that came out of her mouth.

“Yes and yes.”

“Do you realize how much of a cult figure you would be if people knew that? Especially the gothic crowd. Poe was the original goth.”

“Actually, I probably had him by a millennium or more on that crown. But that’s the sort of thing I’m shooting for. And it’s also part of the reason we’re here.”

“You’re going to be a rock star if you can prove you are who you say you are.”

“I don’t think anyone will require too much proof once I change into a raven.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Mr. Jerome,” Zachary said, shaking the museum curator’s hand, “this is my associate, Ms. Thorneheart.”

“Any friend of Mr. DiCorvo’s is a friend of mine, Ms. Thorneheart.”

“Call me Jade, then, please. How long have you two known each other?”

“Oh, a number of years, though, they have treated our friend much better than me, it seems. You’re a bit early for the tribute.”

“Yes, well, I’m making this year extra special.”

“You aren’t thinking of making this your last year.”

“No. No. I’m not ready to hang up the cloak just yet. No, I’m… I’ve just got something going on that I could use some help on and I thought I might pick a select few from the crowd and have Ms. Thorneheart, here, slip them a note.”

“Mr. DiCorvo, I mean no disrespect, but that will endanger the sanctity of the tribute. I can’t let—“

“I assure you, every measure will be taken so that our secret is not breached. Those few I select will not tell anyone.”

“How can you be sure of that?”

“You have trusted me for ten years. I will not betray you. And I will not betray Edgar.”

“You speak of him as if you knew him.”

“Is it strange to feel as though I did? Operating this museum… sometimes, doesn’t it make you feel like you knew him?”

“You’re right. I do. I absolutely do. So, old friend… what is this thing you’re needing help with? Can I assist in any way?”

“I’m afraid not, Mr. Jerome. If it turns out I need your help after all, I’ll let you know.”

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