“Yes, that’s right. The plumber will call round on Thursday morning and fit your washer. What was that? Yes. I see. Ah, no… not now. Mention it to him when he’s there, and he’ll take a look. Charge? Just ask him before, he’ll let you know. He may be able to fix it for you then as well. OK. Bye!” Sheila placed the receiver on the cradle. The bell above the door jingled and she looked up.
“Morning, Cyril. The road seems busy today, doesn’t it?”
“Have you not seen the news?” Cyril asked, removing his coat.
“Not had time this morning,” Sheila said, typing an entry into a calendar on her computer. “There. Anything interesting?”
“Interesting?” Cyril pointed back to the door. “They’ve got roadblocks across the town, and diversions everywhere. That’s why I’m late.”
“Why’s that, Cyril. I didn’t notice anything when I walked in.”
“The news is saying two explosions ‘appened over Rodderswych last night. One was up high in the sky, and a second, they’re saying, over by Cabbles Green. Doesn’t your sister live over that way?”
“She does, Cyril. On the Rodderswych Road. I was there this morning… nothin’ out of the ordinary, I saw. The road was quiet though, thinking about it.” Sheila bit the inside of her bottom lip nervously.
“They’d’ve closed it.” Cyril gestured over to the police station across the road. “According to the news, that BSA is involved.”
“What? Cows?” Sheila was confused.
“Eh? No… the Space Agency. They’re saying something came from up there.” Cyril pointed upwards this time.
“Up there? Like in heaven?” Sheila tapped her desk nervously.
“Heaven? Sheila, no. From outer space. You know what this means, don’t you? Aliens.”
“Aliens? Oh no!” Sheila began to worry.
“So you didn’t see any little green men on your way in this morning?” Cyril laughed.
“No…” Sheila thought. “Not little green men…”
“Best get on, love!” Cyril said. “Call me if anything urgent comes in.”
“Will do. Cyril, can you cover the desk for a few minutes? I’ll just nip outside to make a phone call.”
“OK, love. But look out for them you know whats!” He laughed again.
Sheila retrieved her mobile phone from her bag in the drawer on the desk, and quickly walked outside. Cyril wondered why she hadn’t used the desk phone, but then sat back in the chair and started looking through the details on the on-screen calendar.
Outside, Sheila walked into the alley at the side of the building, and then into the car park at the back. Keying in Mabel’s number, she stopped herself before making the call. She scrolled through her contacts and called a different number. A groggy voice answered.
“Ryan? It’s Auntie Sheila. Are you up?”
“I am now, Auntie Sheila. What’s up?”
“You need to get round to your Nan’s quick. There’s somethin’ going on, and you need to make sure she’s alright. You know how she is.”
“Just go round an’ tell ‘er they’re looking. She’ll know what you mean.”
“Why don’t you just call her, Auntie She?”
“Can’t love. You need to go round. When you get there, you’ll know. Be quick now, love. Got to get back.” Sheila ended the call and ran back into the shop.
“The future?” Dawnstar was shocked. “So I’m trapped. Without a time sphere I have no way of returning.”
“A time sphere, love?” Mabel was curious.
“It’s a craft we use on occasion to visit different time periods.”
“You’re taking this all very well, pet.” Mabel offered, reassuringly. “Mind you, I think I am too. It’s not every day you meet an Angel. Or an alien from the future!” She chuckled, but Dawnstar stared out into space. Through the window, Mabel noticed George standing outside their neighbour’s gate. “What’s ‘e up to?” She asked.
“Mabel. Could I have more tea? And do you have any sage I could burn?”
“Tea? Why of course, love. There’s still some in th’pot. I bet you’re parched. But sage? No, I don’t normally ‘ave that.”
“I need to try a meditation to contact my ancestors.” Dawnstar explained. “Sage will provide the smoke I need to inhale to allow me to begin my journey. I also need a quiet space.”
“Well, it’s quiet up in our bedroom, love. You can use that. And the bed’s lovely and comfy too, so you’ll be away in seconds! You’re welcome to lie on that. ‘Ang on… will sage and onion stuffing do?”
“Sage and onion stuffing? I do not know what that is, but as long as sage is present, it should be enough. I need it dry so I can spark the Flame of Enlightenment through it.”
“Well, it’s dry love. I ‘ave to make it up with a pint of boiling water. Do you need the full box?”
“Box? No,” Dawnstar pointed to the sofa. “The round plate you gave me earlier that I placed beside me… an amount on that will be sufficient.”
“And you burn it?” Mabel asked. “Do you want some matches?”
“To light the fire. Ooh, you won’t burn the duvet, will you?”
“No, I can channel the energies to ignite the flame, and it will be extinguished as soon as the smoke appears. I just need to inhale the smoke and my meditation will commence. I mustn’t be disturbed, however, as I could become trapped in the Ancestor’s Realm.”
“Tell you what love, I’ll get you your sage and onion on a saucer, and take you up to our room. When you’re settled, I’ll nip next door and stop George from phonin’ the police. I know that’s what he’s up to.” Mabel went to the kitchen and opened the stuffing mix, pouring some onto a saucer. She poured another cup of tea, and then walked Dawnstar upstairs to the bedroom at the back of the house.
“Thank you, Mabel. You have been really kind to me.”
“No problems, love. I’ll just be next door.”
This is the fifth part of my fan fiction tale based on the DC Comics character Dawnstar. The first part can be found here, the second here, and the third here. The fourth part is here. Dawnstar was created by Paul Levitz and Mike Grell. All other characters are of my own creation.