Chapter Twenty Two

Billy was shocked when he realized that Chandra had finally fallen asleep. Neither of them had said a word in a while and as the silence had stretched between them he couldn't help but wish that she didn't hate him. All that talk of having friends got to him. It was true, he didn't have any and he didn't need any, but that didn't necessarily mean that he didn't want any. Not that he would ever admit to that, especially to Chandra.

Another thing he would never admit was that she spoke a lot of sense. Having his father as his one and only companion was not good for him, he knew that. But besides from the old man no one else would put up with him. He had always been mischevious and wreckless, but he had never been a really bad person. He always did what his father told him to whether it was, 'shut the hell up,' or 'go into the bank and fire a few rounds into the ceiling while I get the cash.'

He was good at taking orders. It was about the only thing he was good at. Maybe if he'd had a better father he would have been given some better orders and in turn would have made something better of himself. He'd had Harris ordering him around when they were younger too, the instructions he gave always being the exact opposite of what Isaiha told him to do. Chandra and him were very alike in that sense. Maybe, Billy thought to himself, if Chandra had been around back in those days I would have listened to her. After all, she's a lot prettier than Harris, that would have made listening to her somewhat easier. Although not much.

It got him to wondering where she had come from, where she was going back to. He realized he would never know and had quickly accepted the fact. He didn't know why, but he wasn't scared of her the way he had been the first time they'd met. After she'd disappeared Isaiha had scared the living daylight out of him, going on and on about how he was back. He, Billy knew, was Yago Ortiz. Isaiha had told Billy enough stories about him over the years. Yago was a Brujo who had been an aquaintance of Vernon Alston. They'd had dealings back when Isaiha was a young boy. Isaiha blamed the Brujo for sending his father mad. Billy knew the story well. The Brujo had coerced Vernon into killing a child, although Charles Mason had a hand in it too, that hand being wrapped around a thick wad of cash.

Charles Mason had paid the Brujo to work magic on the tribe of Indians, to make them leave the town. The spell required the blood of a child and Charles Mason came up with the inspired idea of making it seem like the Indians had killed the child. It had nearly worked. But over forty years later the Indians were still in Lundfeld, and the Masons still wanted them out. Billy hoped that whatever town he ended up in next, it was nothing like Lundfeld. Although he knew that regardless of what the town was like he would still be the same. And that posed a problem. Because like Chandra had said, maybe if he never changed then he'd never be happy. He looked at Chandra sleeping peacefully, listened to the wind whipping around the trees outside and wondered. Could he ever change?

The Masons house was set a fair way back from the road. Two clusters of large trees bent and swayed in the wind on either side of the immaculate white and blue clapboard building. What appeared to be a man sized shadow crept up the path way, shoulders hunched and head bent down. Before the shadowy figure had even reached the steps to the porch, the door to the house opened to reveal a short plump man, another shadow against the glow of candle light.

The plump man nodded his head and stepped aside, motioning for the shadowy figure to enter. Once inside, the plump man shut the door, closing out the stormy night. He ran a chubby hand through his receeding strawberry blond hair and turned to face his visitor. 'Yago,' he greeted him.

Yago straightend up and bowed his head slightly. 'Walter.' Walter stepped forward and ushered the Brujo into a seat.

'Please, take a seat,' he urged his guest before settling into a chair opposite him. 'Tell me, how are things progressing?'

'Main Street is chaos,' he said in a slightly accented voice. 'Pandemonium.' Walter clapped his hands together once and smiled.

'And the Griffins?' he asked raising an eyebrow.

'I have not been to check on them,' Yago replied. 'But I sense their... discomfort.'

'Wonderful,' Walter told him with a smile that was both ugly and radiant at the same time. 'By the end of the night we will be rid of the two problems my family has been plagued with.'

The Brujo grimaced. 'I'm afraid the Indians are immune to my magic. They are one problem you will not be rid of.'

Walter shook his head and chortled. 'Oh but don't you see? I already have the majority of this town thinking that all the strange occurances around here are being caused by the Indians. After a night of death and destruction, they will take it on themselves to run the Indians out of town once and for all.'

When Adahy and four of the other braves arrived on Main Street they were shocked to find a large group of the townspeople huddled together among the burning buildings. Deputy Hinkes was circling the edges of the group shouting out reassurances and trying in vain to calm them down. Upon seeing the approaching braves he finally lost his cool. Drawing his gun he jumped into a two handed shooting stance and aimed at them.

'Stay back!' he yelled. 'You hear me? You stay back!' Adahy stopped in his tracks and raised his hands in a gesture of peace.

'We are not here to cause trouble,' he called back. 'We are here to help.'

'Like hell you are!' jeered one of townspeople. 'Don't you think we know that it's you savages who are responisble for all of this?' Adahy maintained his demeanour of calm and turned to look at his fellow braves. They all nodded before forming a circle and joining hands. The townspeople looked on, too scared to speak, and watched as the five braves began a low inaudible chant.

'Stop them!' Deputy Hinkes yelled over at the Sheriff. 'Stop them before they kill us all!'

'It ain't them!' Isaiha bellowed. Deputy Hinkes sneered scornfully at the old man.

'Like any of us are going to listen to you Alston!' Finally the braves stopped. Adahy stepped away from the circle and approached the Sheriff. 'Didn't you hear what I said?!' Deputy Hinkes screamed at him. 'Stay back!'

Adahy ignored him and continued his walk over to Sheriff Vasey, pausing infront of him. 'I can take you to who is controlling this,' Adahy told him quietly. 'Whether you will be able to stop him... I do not know.'

'This is the Masons house,' Deputy Hinkes said cynically as Adahy led them up the road towards the clapboard building. 'Are you expecting us to believe that it's Walter Mason doing all of this?'

'It's Yago!' Isaiha yelled. 'Yago Ortiz!' His hands were still cuffed behind his back and Sheriff Vasey was holding him by the collar of his shirt.

'Yago Ortiz?' asked the Sheriff. 'You mean that Brujo who was suspected of murdering Cheryl Cooper all those years ago?' Isaiha's face twisted into a grimace of pain, a pain that was not caused by anything physical.

'He's back,' Isaiha replied hoarsely. 'He's the one I saw by the jailhouse before. I'm telling you, it's him!' As the men stood at the foot of the Masons path, staring up towards the house the Sheriff drew his gun.

'Deputy,' he said with strong authority. 'Take hold of Isaiha. I want to go in there and ask Mr Mason a few questions.' Deputy Hinkes stepped forward and grabbed Isaiha's collar roughly.

'This is madness,' the Deputy muttered to himself.

'This is magic,' Isaiha replied.