He walked into my office after ignoring the pleas of my secretary that I was in a meeting, and sat down across from me. I was in the middle of eating my dinner of a freshly-delivered pizza. The first steaming hot piece was halfway to my mouth when I saw him sit down and just stare at me, then I put it down slowly and looked back.
“Are you Elenore?” his voice was soft, with an edge of impatience about it.
“Yes.” I nodded, “Would you like a slice? I’m about to eat dinner.”
He glanced at the pizza and nodded, “Okay, seeing I interrupted.”
Placing a couple of pieces onto the lid and turning it around to face him, I glanced at him, “So, you know my name, what’s yours?”
“Daniel.” He picked up one piece and bit in. After polishing off most of the slice, he told me his problem and why he approached me, “I have been trying to get a hold of you, but you’re a tough one to nail down.”
“Not really, I have all your messages, but have yet to get back to you.” I took a sip from my drink as I listened to him.
“Will you take my case?” he asked, “I just need you to do that.”
“Sure… but exactly what is your case? You’ve told me a problem and that I’m who you were looking for, but not why.”
“You’re not exactly the run of the mill kinda …”he cleared his throat, “… detective I’ve tried before.”
“Oh… I get it, you’ve tried the rest, now you’re going to try me out.” I smiled, “Funny.” I stood and collected the now empty pizza box, closed it and shoved it into my recycling bin, “You can go now.”
Standing, he pulled from his pocket a bottle of light blue liquid. It shone when my desk lamp lit through it, “Before I leave, please, I beg of you, take this.”
My eyes widened as I took it gently from his fingers, and I heard myself whisper, “That’s Dragons’ Tears. True-to-life, rare as all shit Dragons’ Tears.”
“Yes.” He nodded, “I believe you’re looking for it for a spell you’ve been working.” He pointed to the bottle, “I can get more as payment.”
Shaking my head, “But dragons are extinct, so are fire-drakes. And by the way it’s reacting to light, it’s not fake, so where are you getting this from?”
“I can’t tell you, but trust me when I say that my name is Daniel and I do need your help with my problem.” He said.
I looked into the swirling bubbles of gorgeous blueness in the tiny bottle before looking back at him, “What do you need me to find?”
“The Key to where?” Desmay asked turning from her ancient texts.
“Yeah, I know… I’ve only heard of it, but never been there – nobody has.” I pulled from my bag the bottle of dragon tears and turned it around in my hands, “And my payment is Dragons’ Tears.”
Stepping down from the ladder which leaned against her library of books, she looked at what I had in my hand, “Holy shit. Just look at that thing.”
“It’s real.” I said holding it up to the light and watching its gorgeous blueness turn around. My eyes moved back to her as her blond curls massed around her face, “Can you help me?”
“Sure.” She nodded, “I’ll just fly you to the UK to and area of land where Avalon is supposed to be – but isn’t – and the key will work.” She set a box on the table and opened it with a brass key and began sorting through it, “I was given something strange about five years ago by some weirdo at a convention. He didn’t want anything for it, but told me to protect it with my life.”
“And?” I asked.
“Well… remember when my house was broken into but nothing was taken?” she kept rummaging.
“Yeah. That was strange.” I shook.
Smiling she pulled out a long, crème-coloured skeleton key. It looked like a toy, “They were looking for this.” She gave it to me, “It’s the key to Avalon.”
“Does it work?” I asked.
She shrugged, “There’s only one way to find out.”
The monolith stood tall in the middle of the field as the fog rose around it. This was the place: Avalon. It was surrounded Arthurian mythology and history; and yet people didn’t know what was the truth about it. Daniel, Desmay and I had walked over two kilometres across that marshy field to the tall old ruins of what was left of Avalon.
“This place used to be something of legend… a place where magicks of long ago worked and was once real.” Daniel smiled as we all climbed up to the tall, moss and vine-covered doors stood.
I looked at him, “You know, this might not work.”
He nodded, “But you will still be paid.”
“I must bless this place first before continuing. I can’t just open these doors without asking permission.” I pulled open my bag and laid out my Book of Shadows and Athame.
“Just use the key.”
“No.” Desmay said, “She can’t, not without blessing place first – and then blessing the key. Being an occultist, she must do everything by the book, or something bad will come from this place.”
Daniel turned on me, “Dammit woman, you don’t get it! I must get inside that place.”
I stopped and looked at him, “Why?”
“Because I was thrown out of there… it’s been a thousand years and a day and I’m supposed to be allowed back in!” he turned to the doors and thumped on them, “But when I asked the Gods, they denied me access.” His gaze turned to me, “Why do you think I asked you?”
“Because I’m a practicing witch; and you were going to sacrifice me in your place to get in.” I smiled.
He turned, shocked, “How did you know?”
Smiling, I opened my Book as I pointed my Athame to the sky. Thunder clapped above us, “Goddess of change, Diana and gods of All, do you wish us access to permit Daniel…” a massive thunder clap cut me off as lightning struck a nearby shrub. I turned to the man, “Whatever you did to be thrown out pissed them off.” I turned back to my Book, “I have the Key to Avalon…” my hand reached inside my pocket, pulled it out and held it high. As it was held up, lightning flashed! Thunder cracked!
My life changed forever as I was permitted access to Avalon.