“I have good news, and I have bad news Agatha. Which would you like first?” I was at his house in Dallas, and Jack finally looked like he had gotten a good night's sleep.
“How about both at once?” The only bad news I could think of would be the Council of Witches coming after me because of the Dragon I zapped.
“It’s not all that bad. Don’t worry. I’ve decided to take a small vacation and stay here with my wife for a month or so.” He held up his hands to forestall my comments.
“Let me finish. You have orders to take the rig back to Quantico. Director Mills wants to evaluate your last few assignments. Plus you have told me of your garden. Don’t you have to check on it?”
I nodded. The offshoot of The Garden was very important to my future within the FBI. High-quality supplies were hard to find outside of Maine and Mount Untersberg in Germany.
“So the bad news is you get to drive the rig home. I will fly over when my vacation is over and join you.” He smiled at me.
“I thought… I mean… Jack, I…” I couldn’t speak for a moment.
“You thought your time was up with me, didn’t you? Well, it isn’t. This is your permanent assignment, full Agent Blackmore. Congratulations. You are no longer a newbie. You still have to answer to me but you do that anyway. Start packing. According to my calculations, it should take you three to four days of driving.”
Smiling, I whipped out my cell phone and ran the distance. “Jack.” I pointed at my phone.
He laughed. “Don’t believe those things. Yes, it is about a twenty-hour drive straight through. However, this thing doesn’t do super long distances well. You will have to stop for fuel at least three times along the way. Driving that long, especially for a newbie is tedious and very boring. Take the extra time to go slow and enjoy the drive. Okay?”
Looking back over the past couple of days, I could see the value of his extra day theory. If we were pushing to get to a crime scene, that was one thing. I was just headed home. Trying not to go to sleep was the problem plaguing me now. Well, that and a very annoying Unicorn.
“Shall we play a game?” I looked down, and Fergus was in the seat next to me.
“How did you get up here?” I chanced a look behind me. The last place I saw the little terrorist was on the workstation just behind my seat.
“I jumped. So where are we?” He had the almanac open on the seat and was staring at it.
“Between West Virginia and Kentucky. When did you start reading?”
Fergus pranced about with his head in the air. “I’m a Unicorn I can do lots of things.”
It was all I could do not to shake my head at him. “Why do you want to know?”
“I want to poop in every state. Can we stop for a rest?”
Why oh why did I even ask him. “Sure, why not. Look at the map and tell me when the next stop is. It should be a little green bed or triangle next to the highway.”
“What road are we on?” Fergus trotted across the map stopping on West Virginia.
“Don’t worry about the map, there is a sign for one.” I pointed out the window. Then I realized he couldn’t see over the dashboard or even out the window.
The rest stop was typical of many along this route. Well, paved, lots of parking, and a nice tourist information center was the norm. I parked the RV in the truck parking area and scooped up Fergus.
“I will take you outside and let you do your business in a moment. I have my own inside.” I placed his struggling form into my ever-present shirt pocket.
After taking care of much needed bodily urges, I tried to find a nice soft patch of grass for my Unicorn to graze in, which made me sound insane.
“Go do whatever. I’ll keep an eye out for hawks and cats.” I set him down in a large patch of clover.
“Cats! Where!” Fergus looked in all directions at once.
“Nowhere. Just eat and whatever. I really and truly don’t want to know.”
There was a picnic bench nearby, so I sat and watched him prance around chasing off a couple of bumblebees.
“Those things can sting you, you know.”
“My horn is more powerful.” He swung his head back and forth shaking it.
Why did I shrink the insane Unicorn? Wasn’t there a nice normal one I could have been given? I tried not to look like the crazy owner of a Unicorn.
Fergus’s voice behind me scared me half to death with a fireball instantly forming in my hand. “Yaaaah! How the hell did you get up there?”
Standing on the top of the picnic table, Fergus looked up at me. “I jumped. I’m ready to go now.”
Regaining my composure I nodded. “Sure. Let’s go.” I scooped him up and headed back to the RV not even thinking about how he got up there in the first place.
Remembering what Jack told me to do, I did my walk around before starting up. The RV looked fine as far as I could tell. I remembered doing the clean and fix spell back at school and thought I might have to do it again before too long. We were looking a bit ragged along the edges. Checking beneath it was last on my list. I looked underneath the front and spotted a shadow that seemed out of place.
“Can’t we leave?” Fergus was growing restless.
“No. I have to check something first.” I reached into one of the outside compartments and pulled out a flashlight. For Jack or me they would open, but anyone else would find themselves stuck to the side of the rig. Gotta love Magick!
I shined the light under the rig in the direction of the shadow I saw. There was a sudden movement, and I could hear the clicking of nails on the concrete as well as what sounded like horns?
Running around to the other side, I witnessed what looked exactly like a Jackalope scurrying across the parking lot, its horns bouncing as it leapt.
“Did you make more of those things?” Fergus looked up at me from the top of my pocket.
I let out the breath I was holding. “No. I didn’t.”
Climbing back inside I deployed the sat dish and fired up the internet. Several search words got me a Tennessee Newscast that was rated as a hoax. ‘Jackalopes Fact or fiction?’ More research turned up a Kentucky hunter that swore he was attacked by bunnies with horns.
All I could think was please, please, let them be some other Jackalopes and not mine. How did they get all the way to Kentucky and West Virginia?