The Storyteller Chronicles

The Collector Of Delhi

Part 9

Leaving With The Goods

We sat, and fortunately Mr. Watcher hardly broke his stride in his storytelling. I wanted little more than to find out what happened next so I was glad that the interruption was short.

He went on...

--

"The Storyteller and the boys found themselves in a long rectangular room with regular alcoves down each side, filled floor to ceiling with shelves of scrolled parchment. Having worked for his father every summer since he could walk, The Storyteller knew a records room when he saw one.

Billy, or was it Bobby, he was still having a keeping the hard time keeping the children straight, but one of the three was transforming one of the scrolls into a paper airplane. The third, was it Bucky? was arguing that he wanted to build a boat. The Storyteller snatched the half-formed creation from the boy and laughed when he saw what was printed on the scroll.

James ( Jimmy ) Hoffa

July 31 1975

What followed was a rather long and thorough list of attributes which Ainddri valued in her acquisitions and how Mr. Hoffa stacked up. Now even though it appeared that Mr. Hoffa didn't fare well, he could still have no little value here. The Storyteller made three large piles of scrolls on the floor. As he set the first pile he said, "This paper is good for airplanes," with another he said, "this is better for boats," and with the third he said, "all these are good for is shooting hoops." He wadded up a scroll and tossed it onto a high shelf in demonstration.

As the boys each took a pile, the Storyteller started his research. He went down to the next alcove and pulled a scroll and read. Philip Christoph von Königsmarck was a Swedish count who disappeared July 2 1694. The old lady liked him a lot, that was, until he tried to kill her.

She took the jazz musician Glenn Miller on December 15 1944 but he refused to perform for her so she got rid of him.

Joshua Slocum was probably the closest anybody came to Ainddri's ideal. As an adventurer in the early 1900's he always had a tale to tell, but he lacked imagination so his company stalled over time.

There was only one more scroll that The Storyteller needed to see to fully prove his theory and confirm his plan. It was in the fourth alcove from the last as far as he saw the the system of this place went, and there on the top of a stack was what he was after. In this last scroll, his own, he could see without a doubt the one and only way to keep Ainddri from hurting anyone ever again.

An hour later The Storyteller stood in the center of the large domed room calling for Ainddri at the top of his lungs down each of the passages that went out like spokes from a wheel. She entered the room ready to put the young man in his place despite no longer having her bodyguards, but was taken a back by his welcoming smile.

"My lady," he said most sincerely, "I apologize for causing you so much grief." The old woman, who was in a posture you would expect to see just before you were about to be dissolved into nothingness, had relaxed a bit. "I realized that what you have here is amazing, and that it's creator is equally amazing. With your permission I would like to stay."

Ainddri looked into his heart and saw no deception, he was willing to stay. She was surprised at this turn of events, not one of all the thousands had ever asked to stay, especially with having such ability to escape as he had. The Storyteller stood in front of her now, taking her hand in his own. "Will you have me?" He said with a note of hope in his voice.

There was a change in her then. It was nothing like in the fairy tails. It was not magical nor supernatural, but the change was no less impressive in its results. She was now the Ainddri from before, when he first laid eyes on her in his fathers office. They embraced.

The Storyteller looked down over Ainddri and his latest creation, a nearly exact copy of himself, from the second level landing that rimmed the room, with a mixture of joy and regret. Joy because they would make each other happy forever, and regret for having to leave them with the children, but he didn't think he could trust them in the real world where they would be themselves again.

The Storyteller pulled the doorknob from his pocket and forced it into a nearby rock. A sharp tug drew his attention downward where he was surrounded by the boys. "Can we go with you?"

"No, I think it would be better if you stay here." The Storyteller said getting on his knees.

"You think we're gonna be bad, but we'll be good, we promise." The boys looked at him with big doe eyes.

The Storyteller looked them over appraisingly. "You know what I'll do if you're bad, don't you?" They nodded sincerely. "Okay, then, you can come."

He pulled open the rock to reveal a small New York city apartment. Ziribella stood surprised at the phenomenon, that was, until she saw who was on the other side. The Storyteller removed the knob and replaced it on this side of the door, which was now the wall in Ziribella's apartment, and closed it behind them."

--

"So what happened to everyone?" I asked eagerly wanting to know.

Mr. Watcher paused thoughtfully. "Well, the three bodyguard's went on to start a day care center for under-privileged youths in the inner city. Believe me, no one misbehaved for them. The Storyteller's father was disappointed that his son did not stay, but as much for how his sons abilities would advance his practice as much as anything else. James continued on to be a public defender choosing to help others. And as for The Storyteller and Ziribella, that is a story for another time."

The End

For now

The Storyteller and Ziribella will return in The Science Of Magic