The Bluebottle Boys (Vol. 1): Chapter 18: Bethany, Part II [section 11 of 12]

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[The featured picture is a 16th century woodcut of cynocephali.]

“You must learn to know and recognise your true self, Reggie,” said Brother Sinjin. “And this is what you will soon begin to practice.

“Do so the same way that you practice your music now, and with the same devotion you give to St. Cecilia, and you will see your way clearly enough.”

“But why do I have to learn all this and other kids don’t?” I asked.

“Partially because you are destined for bigger and greater adventures than they are, and must be prepared for them,” said Lieutenant Hælin, laughing.

“You’re making this sound needlessly messianic,” sighed Brother Sinjin. “’Tis not as if he’s a chosen one, or shall save the world – well, nowhere near the whole world, in any event.”

He looked at me more earnestly. “Do you know how you worry that a diabolical confluence of events might make Quentin, that nemesis of yours, end up with his ‘finger on The Button?’”

I nodded mutely.

“Well, another confluence of events, some Celestial, some Karmic, some Spectral, some Astral – none diabolical as far as I know – have combined to place you, at some point, where you will hold your own fate – and the fate of others – in the palm of your hand, and you will need to know what to do when the time comes.

“Today, you needed to see these worlds to know of which I speak.

“In the future, you’ll know them better, experience them, and learn what to do within them. You had a taste of that already, during your night in the cemetery. This was not exactly something we’d planned for you – although someone clearly did – but it did confirm our belief in you, that you can keep your wits about you in strange and threatening situations, at least if you have some idea of what to do.”

“And you will not be alone,” said Sir Aeduuin. Whenever you need us, we will be at your back, ready to take your side, heal you, counsel you or protect you. But now, your potion is wearing off; time approaches for you to leave here and return to your body.”


© 2017, 2016, 2015 G. H. McCallum and Duvanian Press, all rights reserved.

The Bluebottle Boys (Volume One) and Walking Backward for Christmas: A Tale of Woe from Soggyhall are each now available from Amazon Books. The Bluebottle Boys (Volume Two) is expected to be delayed due to illness and surgery (mine) and to technical problems beyond my control, but should be available in early 2018. The next novel of the series, By Good Angels Tenanted, will be available later in 2018.