Fantasy Fiction posted April 19, 2019 Chapters:  ...17 18 -19- 20... 

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Preparing to leave [Attention New Readers-See Author Notes!]

A chapter in the book Renaissance of Enchantment

Chapter Six, Part 1

by Y. M. Roger

They're preparing at the refuge for Maggie & Addy. Stephen & Geoffrey will be picking them up to go to the airport in the morning... right now, Maggie and Addy just have to pack...
[Previously, as Maggie and Addy arrived home...]
“Alright, I know you’re tired,” she said as she unlocked their door, “but we’ve got some packing to do.”

“Packing? But I’ve got some science reading to finish up.”
Maggie held the door open for him.
“That’s all gonna have to wait for a few days, Addy.” Maggie could feel the excitement building inside of her again as she closed and locked the door behind them. “We’re leaving first thing in the morning.”
Addy stopped in his tracks and stood with his back to Maggie. Then, he spun around, arms crossed over his little chest as he pinned Maggie with a doubting and accusatory glare.
“Says who?”
[begin new]
Maggie looked at that little face and those crossed arms and knew they’d reached another point of contention. She also knew that Addy was tired and that his young world was about to be upended yet again. But, hey, Addy was smart – that would be her angle of attack through his rising pre-teen mood this evening.
Maggie held out the copy of the paper Geoffrey had given her ‘for her records’ and grinned from ear to ear.
“Ms. Rosemary Fenna, my great aunt, has just passed in Alabama.” Addy’s curiosity took over his whole demeanor and he reached, tentatively at first, and took the paper from Maggie. “It’s all mi–” Maggie caught herself and started again. “It’s all ours, Addy.”
She let his little eyes scan the paper as she pointed to her name at the bottom.
Addy looked up at her and narrowed his eyes.
“But your name is Marguerite Son, right? This is for a Marguerite At–”
“Actually, Addy, that’s just what your mom called me so that we could be together.” She stepped forward, bent her knees to his height, and pulled Addy close to her – the look on his face whenever Dorothy was mentioned always got her right in the heart. “This is my real name.”
He looked at her with those big eyes that she knew placed her at the center of his world.
“But that’s just your nam–”
“No, Addy!” She raised her voice on purpose. Tears were beginning to well up in his eyes, but her voice surprised him. Good, that had been her intention.
She turned him to face her so that they were eye-to-eye. She wiped a tear that tried to slide down one of his cheeks.
“You know the deal, Addison.” His little eyes widened just a bit as it was evident he was remembering something. A little smile tried to break through as he nodded just in the slightest.
Maggie raised an eyebrow, allowing that to be the only question she would ask. She waited patiently for Addy’s answer.
“That we’re in this together no matter what?” he stated in a very timid voice as more of a quiet question.
Maggie frowned at him, taking his little face in her hands.
“No, Addy.” She smiled at him. “I do not recall that ever being a question. Try again.”
Addy’s countenance lit with his usual happiness.
“You and I are in this together no matter what.”
Maggie gathered him to her in a big hug.
“That’s right!”
But before she was ready to let go, Addy began to extricate himself as he almost always did, but his genuine smile remained. He lifted the paper to begin reading it again, but Maggie took the paper from him quite unexpectedly.
Addy was too stunned at first to say anything, but he followed Maggie to the small kitchen counter where she lay the paper down and grabbed a pen from their mug caddy. Addy stood right next to her, standing on tip-toe, trying to get a better look at what she was writing on the paper.
“There.” She replaced the pen and handed the paper back to Addy.
He scanned the paper looking for what she had written. Maggie knew he’d found his name printed next to hers the minute his whole body relaxed, and he looked up at her, a smile on his lips and in his eyes.
“Not ever a question, Addison, don’t you forget it.” She leaned over and kissed the top of his head again. “Now, we need to find something to pac–”
There was a clunking noise out in the hallway.
Maggie and Addy looked at each other, but then Maggie motioned for Addy to step off to the side so he wouldn’t be in the line of sight when she opened the door.
Upon opening it, she peered out into the hallway. There, on the floor next to their apartment door, were two large suitcases. They were certainly not new by any means, but they seemed quite sturdy. Question was, where had they come from?
Maggie stepped out and looked up and down their small hallway. She didn’t hear any noise from across the way at Punky’s place. Usually, they were at least active by now if not being a bit rowdy with their music which always seemed to be about ten or more years out of date. She knocked, and the door creaked open just a bit with the action.
“Uh, guys?” She had no idea of their real names since they always avoided eye contact and hurried away when she tried to speak to them. As she stepped just inside the apartment, she saw pieces of furniture that could not have been used any time recently. In fact, what was there had to have been gutted by rodents because only the springs and some rusted frames were strewn about the place. The dust layer on the floor was quite thick, and she thought she heard tiny critter feet skittering in the ceiling above her. Instinctively, she ducked, even though there was no good reason for it.
Maggie took in the stark emptiness of the place as she wondered where all the guys and sometimes girls had gone. Hadn’t she just seen a few of them going in here a few days ago? Motion out the corner of her eye caught her attention. She turned to see a very skinny, young man – an old t-shirt hanging on his gaunt frame – busying himself in the kitchen area. His ebony skin left nothing of his bone structure to the imagination yet his motions were so fluid Maggie would say he flowed rather than moved.
“Oh, hey, Mags!” The slender guy stopped moving and turned toward her. His features were hollowed out – his near-black eyes so deep set Maggie just wanted to drag him across the hall and feed him. She guessed he must be an addict or something – there were just too many of them these days. “You get those bags she dropped off for you and Addison?”
Maggie frowned. She?
“Uhhhm, yes?” It was the best answer she could manage at the moment.
The man just laughed a hearty laugh as if he did not recognize her confusion.
“Good then, huh?” He seemed quite nervous, yet he was nowhere near threatening – his actions were more wary than anything. Once again, Maggie wrote it off to drugs. “She said to tell ya to be sure to pack everything important that can’t be replaced.”
Maggie just stood there, still trying to figure this guy out. And then it dawned on her: the ‘she’ must be an assistant or something to those two lawyer-types that were picking them up in the morning. Maggie relaxed a bit.
“But I thought they were going to send mov–”
“Dunno. Think you’re her only client here. So, who knows what’ll happen when you leave tomorrow.” He laughed again and returned to whatever he had been doing with such grace in the kitchen, although Maggie could not for the life of her figure out what that was.
On second thought, Maggie had been under the impression that the one named Geoffrey had been in charge. Oh, well, she’d ask him about it in the morning. She shrugged to herself and stepped toward the man who seemed to be her age or maybe a few years older.
 “You know, I don’t think we’ve ever formally met.”
Again, with the odd yet warming laughter. This time, the lanky man hopped up on the kitchen counter and squatted into a crouched position, his head moving continuously as he eyed her.
“Sure we have, Mags.” He scratched the back of his neck, and then seemed to swat at a fly. “I’m Punky.”
“But…” Maggie paused in confusion, trying to remember when she had actually ‘met’ the guy or guys she had denoted as ‘Punky’ – it was just some name she’d made up, wasn’t it?
Just then, Addy stepped up beside her and looked around at the deserted apartment. He gently slid his hand into hers and grabbed hold.
“Come on, Maggie,” Addy insisted as he began tugging her toward the suitcases in the hallway, “we have packing to do.”
Punky just waved at Maggie as the two of them left – a huge grin lighting his emaciated features. Maggie waved back as she was tugged by the assertive Addy out of the apartment. Addy raised his voice – turning to ‘aim’ his speech behind them – as they stepped into the hallway toward the large suitcases.
“Thank you, Mr. DeJesus!”
Once they were back out in the hallway, Addy dropped her hand and grabbed one of the cases. Maggie frowned in confusion and looked around for Mr. DeJesus, but she didn’t see him anywhere.
“Addy? Why are you thanking Ju- uhm, Mr. DeJesus?”
Addy just rolled his eyes in exasperation as he hauled one of the suitcases into their apartment.
“That is who you were talking to, right?” He dropped the case just inside their doorway and continued into the apartment. “Hey! Come help me find Bongo’s food!”
Maggie’s brow furrowed further, but she just let it go for now. Addy was probably just stressing about this whole moving thing. He was definitely a creature of habit when it came to most things, and this move was going to be so far out of ‘routine’ that even she was nervous. But she did make an important mental note as she brought in the other suitcase and locked their door: when this move was done and they were settled in their new place, she would have to see about getting Addison’s eyes checked.
Punky didn’t look anything like Julio DeJesus!
To be continued…

Maggie - Marguerite B. Atkinson. Maggie is Rosemary’s great-niece.
Marguerite A. Son - Maggie’s alias when she lived with Dorothy
Rita Bee - Maggie’s current alias & the name she is known by at the Courtside
Addison (Addy) Westmorland - little boy with Maggie, being raised by her
Dorothy Westmorland - Addy's mother (deceased)
Larson ‘Lars’ Carney – owner of the Courtside Coffee-N-Cola, the diner where Maggie works
Rachal - other waitress at the Courtside Coffee-N-Cola
Eduardo - waits to walk Maggie home when she works late
Scully - with Eduardo to walk Maggie home
Julio DeJesus - apparent maintenance man in Maggie and Addy’s building  
Punky & pals – group of young hooligans across the hall from Maggie & Addy’s place
Bongo - Maggie & Addy's large, black cat
Twilight - Great Gray Owl seen outside the diner and at Maggie's apartment

Rosemary - (deceased) Rosemary Fenna, Sister of the World Wide Hecate Order (WWHO) and Guardian Protectress of The Refuge
Demetrius - tall, mysterious male resident of The Refuge, marked for death (perhaps more) by the WWHO
Peadar - Irish male resident of The Refuge, helped Rosemary with upkeep
Lycaois - (aka Lyca) Goth, warrior-looking female resident of The Refuge
Freki - Lyca's over-sized pet 'dog'
Koko - Native American male resident of The Refuge, has unending optimism and warmth about him...most of the time
Kato - large male Refuge resident who wears the clothes of a teenager. Kato is a young lion-shifter.
Memphis - nymph from Demetrius' original homeland, now auberge factotum to The Refuge

Geoffrey Staltson - Rosemary's lawyer and friend to the residents at The Refuge
Charlise Staltson - Geoffrey's wife (they have a three-way marriage - Geoffrey, Gary, and Charlie)
Gary Staltson - Geoffrey's husband
Stephen - private investigator employed by Geoffrey
Jinx - computer hack/whiz working with Stephen, handles all the tech-forensics for investigations. Jinx is Stephen’s partner.

Theo Atkinson - Maggie’s birth father
Delilah Atkinson - Maggie’s birth mother, disappeared when Maggie was about ten.
Lyssa Atkinson – Theo’s current wife


ATTENTION: If you want to catch up, this weekend is the time!! :) :) I have promoted this under the 'balloon' that EVERY back chapter will earn you 5 reviewer points plus funny-money -- Hooray! You'll actually earn and be all caught up if you act this weekend! Don't miss the wonderful opportunity!! :) ;) :) :)

As some of you know, these next five to six weeks are going to be all-consuming so, you may or may not see another installment before then.... Sometimes the crazy blonde writes as an 'escape from stress' so you just never know!!

Thank you all for your continued support -- it means a lot on this end!! Thanx for reading me and take care! :) :)

Image of 'abandoned brownstone at 221 West 137th Street' from Google images via Harlem Bespoke []

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