Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe Volume 1 — Chapter 3
Ravyn placed the box on the corner of the desk and lit a cigarette. Her fingers twitched with an irresistible urge to peruse the journals.
She stretched her arms above her head, pleased to find her shoulder barely twinged. I have to work on the revisions. The box drew her attention. I better put it in the safe.
Halfway down the steps the stairwell spun. Beads of sweat formed on her forehead and her stomach lurched. Ravyn sat and leaned against the wall. What the hell? She stood when the feeling passed.
In the fruit cellar, she lifted a hinged section of the floor which concealed a large safe. She punched in the code and lifted the door. With the box secured, she returned upstairs. In the kitchen, her legs grew heavy and her eyes threatened to close. Her vision darkened and the image of a glowing raven appeared. When the spell passed, she continued to her office. What was that all about? With work to do, she shoved the incident to the back of her mind.
Forty-five minutes later the doorbell broke her concentration. The mailman stood on the porch. “Hi, Frank.” Ravyn opened the screen door.
“Hi, Ravyn. I have a registered letter for you. ” He handed her a pen. “ Sign here.” Ravyn signed and accepted the rest of the mail. “Have a good day.”
“Thanks. You have a good day, too.” Ravyn glanced at the return address. It matched the address of the box. Now what?
Ravyn plopped on the office sofa and opened the envelope. Inside were three sheets of paper. One sheet contained a map with no names for the roads or other features. Except for the letter, the last sheet contained runic writing. With a shrug, she lay back and read.
I hope this letter finds you well. The fact you have received this, and a box containing certain items, means I’m dead. Either by natural causes, or murder made to look like natural. Either way, I’m unable to meet with you and explain the situation.
People are looking for the journals and items I sent you; guard them with your life. The answers you seek about your lineage lie in the journals, and explain the work your parents did. I assure you, your parents were not spies, nor did they work for the government.
You will meet those who worked with your parents, if fate is kind. Their identities are within the journals.
As for the disk, there’s another you must find. The other four are with another person. Once you have all six, you must use them to recover another item. The ring is the most important of all. I strongly recommend you wear it.
I will end the letter here, wishing I had a chance to meet you and tell you about your parents.
Take care, Ravyn, and remember, the others out there will do anything to get the items. Stay vigilant.
“This reads like something out of a bad novel.” Ravyn tossed the papers on the desk; the envelope teetered on the edge before it fluttered to the floor. This is crazy. A faint voice in her head said, ‘What if it’s true?’
“If it’s a crazy fan, the letter is evidence. I better put it in the safe.” Ravyn scooped up the envelope and stuffed the papers inside.
With the letter secure, Ravyn returned to work. As she stared at the words, they blurred and doubled. Exhaustion swept through her. “More caffeine or a nap?” The sofa sent a subtle invitation. As she lay down, her shoulder spasmed. It wouldn’t do to fall asleep during the party tonight.
Jennie stood next to the sofa, a smile playing about her lips. She looks so peaceful. I hate to wake her. She checked her watch. We have a party to attend. Jennie knelt and shook Ravyn’s shoulder. “Time to get up, love.”
Ravyn opened her eyes and stretched. Her shoulder spasmed and she grimaced. “Hey, Jennie. I guess it’s time to get ready for the party?”
“Yes.” Jennie stepped to the desk and went through the mail. “You want to take a shower?”
“Yeah. Next time I take a nap, I’ll use the bed. The party is casual, right?” Ravyn headed to the bedroom.
“Yes, it is.” Jennie followed.
Jennie rooted through her dresser and brought out a pair of dark red jeans and a red tank top. “Do you want me to make a haircut appointment for this week? You’re getting a little shaggy.”
“Yes, please. Sometimes I think I should get it cut short and spiky!” Ravyn yelled over the shower.
Jennie laughed. “People would wonder if you joined a motorcycle gang or a punk rock band.”
Wrapped in a towel she returned to the bedroom. “Some people think I practice black magic because of my books.” Ravyn tossed aside the towel and dressed. “Bunch of idiots if they can’t tell the difference between fiction and real life.”
Jennie stared at the map of scars on Ravyn’s body, left by years of abuse at the hands of various foster parents. The scars left by surgery for injuries sustained in a car accident and road rage attack the most prominent. “I hope you left a little hot water.”
“Yep.” Ravyn sat on the edge of the bed to put on her high tops. “Remember, you said you’ll be the designated driver tonight.”
“I haven’t forgotten. You watch how much you drink; I don’t want to carry you to bed. Despite being so damn skinny, you’re no lightweight.” Jennie called over her shoulder. “Did you do your exercises?”
“I forgot. If you ask me, it’s a waste of time. I’d rather practice taekwondo. I’m more relaxed when I’m finished.” Ravyn stuffed her pockets with wallet, keys, and her phone. She liked to travel light. As she ran a comb through her hair, she spotted a few silver hairs among the black. Her mind wandered back to the box and the letter. “Is it possible the strange dreams I’m having are connected to those items?”
“What did you say?” Jennie rubbed her hair dry with a towel.
“I was thinking about the box and letter I received today.” On the bed, Ravyn leaned back on her elbows and ran an appreciative eye over her wife’s body. “Hurry and get dressed before I pounce on you.”
“What letter?” Jennie quickly dressed. From the top of the dresser, she grabbed two wrapped boxes, handing one to Ravyn. “That’s for Nicole.” She placed the other box in her pocket.
“I received a registered letter today from someone with the initials JCM. He said it’s important I wear the ring and that I’ll find answers about my family legacy in the journals.”
Jennie grabbed her car keys and phone. “Maybe you should tell Lyta about this. She might be able to help figure things out.”
“Why not? She’s a detective; her connections could be helpful.”