The giant oak tree was one-hundred and twenty-five tall and twenty-two feet in circumference. Twelve feet of the interior of the tree was hollow and had been converted into a room. In the middle of the room, a beautiful hand carved, spiral wooden staircase loomed. As you climbed the stairs, there was hand carved, wooden decks, at the knothole located within the tree. Thick ships porthole were used as windows for the knot holes, with the exception of the topmost four knot holes. In knot holes there were telescope lenses in place of windows. From here, at the top of the old oak tree, the five children took turns viewing the town of Dansville, and the town meeting that was taking place in the gazebos, in the center of town.
“It appears Mrs. Norton is holding the town meeting tonight,” Andrew said sarcastically then continued, “Missy do you think you can open a channel to her using your clairaudience?”
“I can try, but I don’t think I would be able to amplify it for everyone else to hear, even if I can hear it myself,” Missy said thoughtfully.
“Oh well, if you can at least hear what she is saying, then you could just tell us what she is saying,” Ngame muttered.
“I’ll try,” Missy was saying as she started focusing.
“I think we should all go up there and demand that Mrs. Pettyjohn lets us take a look around the school. I know that there is something evil going on up on that mountain.” Mrs. Norton screeched to the crowd.
“I hear tell that there are strange lights at night and sometimes, when the wind is coming from that direction, you can hear children screaming,” Lorna Johnson said.
“Well I was told that the children, who went in to that school, are never seen again. I think they may be running experiments on those poor children,” Martha Mays said in an eerie voice.
“Do you think they are turning them into monsters, sort of like some kind of Frankenstein’s?” Edna Lawrence, asked Abigail Norton.
“Of course not, I told you I heard this; nonetheless, there could be something to the rumors…” Martha let her voice trail off. As she gave a wickedly sly smile, she knew she was helping her best friend get even for the injustice done to Abigail and her daughter.
“Mrs. Norton is smiling at the other ladies and nodding her head,” Missy told the other children, as she peered through the telescope.
“What are they saying now?” Nancy asked as she moved closer to Missy.
Once again Missy started concentrating, so that she could hear what was being said at the meeting.
“Mr. Adams has just walked up to the front of the crowd, and has raised his hand to silence everyone.”
“I for one, think we need to wait till dark, and then sneak up on that mountain, and see for ourselves what is going on.”
“And just how do you plan on getting close enough to find out anything, James,” David Mays asked him.
“They say that the fence around that place is impossible to climb. I was told that it is electrified,” Lorna Johnson stated.
“Hogwash Lorna, how on earth do you think they are going to electrify an old stone fence? The only problem I see would be how to climb over a fence that is twelve-foot tall,” Daniel Abernathy said grumpily.
“Daniel is right. I think we need to send Mrs. Pettyjohn a letter telling her that either she allows us to make sure the children under her supervision are safe, or we will call in the authorities to investigate her and that so-called school of hers,” Billy Johnson told the crowd.
“That sounds fine to me,” Abigail Norton said, “However, I think we should at least go up there and try to make Mrs. Pettyjohn let us in first. If she will not let us in, then we will call the State Police. I for one want to see what is going on inside there. Everyone here knows my daughter Bertha is the smartest girl in the state, and Mrs. Pettyjohn refused to let her come to that school,” Abigail said as she pointed towards the school.
Giggling, Missy said, “No one is agreeing that Bertha is all that brilliant, but they are whispering just the opposite, to each other. Mr. Mays told his wife, that if Bertha was the smartest child in the state, the rest of the children must be babbling idiots. Mrs. Abernathy said that the only thing that made Bertha appear smart was that she had other children doing her homework, and the teachers had not caught her cheating on the tests yet.”
Ngame stood quietly with her eyes closed, as she allowed the knowledge, of what would happen in the future fill her mind. After a few moments, she opened her eyes and said, “We need to go talk to Mrs. Pettyjohn. Something bad is going to happen if we do not find a way to stop it.”
Turning quickly, Ngame headed down the stairs.
Looking at each other, and feeling frightened, everyone quickly followed her.
Knocking on Mrs. Pettyjohn’s office door, Ngame waited anxiously for admittance, as the others caught up with her.
“What is it, what did you see,” Jinnee asked in breathless anticipation, when she hurriedly caught up with Ngame.
At that moment, Mrs. Pettyjohn opened her door.
“My goodness, Ngame, you look absolutely frightened. Come in and tell me what is wrong.”
As she stepped aside to let the children in, she noticed the grave look on each one of their faces.
Mr. Tolliver was seated in one of the chairs in the office, but stood up as the children entered.
“I guess I will be leaving as I see you have some important business to attend,” He said as he prepared to leave.
“Mr. Tolliver, I think you need to stay and hear this, it is about Mrs. Norton and the town meeting.” Nancy Stellar said as he was heading for the door.
Raising his eyebrow, James Tolliver said, “What town meeting?”
“The town meeting that Mrs. Norton is holding at this minute in the town square,” Andrew answered, with what sounded like anger in his voice.
“That old troublemaker is trying to get everyone to come here and demand to be allowed to come on the school grounds and look around.”
At that moment, the children all started talking at one time, trying to tell what was happening in town.
“Hold it one moment, Children, I think everyone needs to calm down, and tell me from the beginning what is going on, one at a time, that is,” Mrs. Pettyjohn gently told them.
After Missy finished telling what she had overheard from the town meeting, Ngame said, “I saw the future, Mrs. Pettyjohn, and it will be the end of everything if you do not stop her.”
“What exactly do you mean, ‘the end of everything,’ exactly what did you see Ngame?”
Taking a deep breath then slowly letting it out, Ngame said, “I saw men in uniform, with guns, storming the walls, helicopters landing and men in suits getting out of them, they were invading the school, like ants that have had their mounds disturbed. Men and women in white coats were operating on some of the children. And they were cutting off my wings…”
Tears were spilling over the brims of her eyes, as Ngame continued telling of the horrors that would come, if something was not done to stop it.
Nina Pettyjohn’s look of pure anger was quickly replaced with a small forced smile as she looked at James Tolliver and said, “It would seem that you need to get to town, and see what you can do to neutralize the situation. As for myself, I will contact our elders. We must not let this happen.”
“Come children, it is dinnertime, and we must not let this minor problem interfere with our daily routine. Now do quit worrying, you did the right thing, but we will handle it from here.
Leading the way to the dining room, Andrew whispered to Trevor, “I think we need to go to town tonight and see what else we can find out.”
“Yeah, but are we going to tell the girls?”
“I suppose so, we may need help, and the girls would be angry if we left them. We will tell them after dinner,” Andrew grinned wickedly as he spoke.
Once the children had filled their plates and were seated at their table, Nancy looked at each one of her friends and asked the question she knew was on each one’s mind,” What can we do to help stop this horror from happening?”
“Trevor and I have talked, but I think we should talk about this after dinner. There are too many people who may hear us and you heard what Mrs. Pettyjohn said about not frightening the others,” Andrew admonished.
“Well you do not have to sound so bossy Andrew, of course we heard. I heard Mr. Tolliver call Mrs. Norton a toad, and I want to rearrange her physical particles and really turn her into the toad she is. I bet her husband and the town would be happy if she came up missing,” Jinnee said mischievously.
“I agree with that, but if anything were to happen to the old windbag, it may cause more trouble for Mrs. Pettyjohn and the School,” Ngame whispered.
“True, but it would be fun to do it,” Jinnee said with a giggle.
Once dinner was over, the children were allowed to play outside, if their homework was finished. To be allowed out of their rooms, they had to take their finished homework and turn it in to the professor it was supposed to go to, and in return their professor would stamp their outside pass. Having completed their homework assignments, the six friends gathered at their favorite meeting place, the giant oak tree.
“Let’s go to the top of the tower where we can talk,” Andrew suggested.
“Whew, what a climb,” Ngame said as she reached the top. “I will be so glad when I learn to mind travel,” she said wistfully.”
“True, but you can already fly,” Nancy told her.
“Yes, but you know we are not allowed to do that, which is natural to us, in the day time. Could you imagine the trouble the old frog lady would cause if she could see some of the things we can do?” Ngame said with a mischief shinning in her eyes.
Standing up and placing her hands on her hips, then striking a snobby pose, Missy proceeded to mimic Mrs. Norton, “See there Mr. Tolliver, I told you those evil people were experimenting on those poor little children. Now there is the proof, they have turned them into birds, ghost, witches and vampires. My goodness, was that a werewolf I just saw? We must take things into our own hands and call in those wonderful government people who would humanely use the children for lab specimens and experiments. We only want to dissect them for the kindhearted reasons of taking over the universe, naturally.”
After everyone got over the hilarious laughter Missy’s impersonation of Mrs. Norton had brought on, the talk became serious.
“I think we need to use our God-given skills tonight, and see what we can learn as to what the old frog is really up to,” Andrew told them.
“I think you’re right Andrew. Somehow I got the feeling that she was just trying to stir things up, but she also has a plan that she is not telling everyone,” Nancy said.
“Ngame, do you see anyone trying to come over the fence anytime soon?” Trevor asked.
“I wish I could tell you, but it’s not that easy. I simply can’t see exactly when something is going to happen, only what will happen, if changes are not made.”
“What time do you think we should try to sneak out?” Jinnee asked Ngame.
“Why ask me, Ngame asked her.
“Well, I just thought that since you can see in the future, maybe you would know when it would be safe for us to go.”
Sitting Indian style on the floor, Trevor looked over at Andrew and grinned. “Uh, it will be ok if we leave here at ten tonight.”
“How would you know that Trevor, have you gone out before?” Nancy asked him.
Andrew answered the question for Trevor, “Yeah, we go to town once in a while. The last time we went out, we saw Mr. Mays sneaking out at night, so we followed him.”
“Where was he going?” Missy asked.
Andrew looked at the wide-eyed, inquisitive little eight years old and said, “He went to Joe’s Bar. I think he likes to drink, but he does not want his wife to know.”
“Oh, I thought maybe you saw him do something important,” Missy looked disappointed.
“Who knows Missy, we may find out some very important stuff tonight,” Ngame told her, as she stood up and headed down the stairs. Looking over her shoulder, she said, “We had better go in before it is time for lights out, or we will get in trouble.”
To be continued…