Flinging Jenna’s front door open, Lucas cleared the way for the paramedics racing down the street toward her house. Knowing that they would do all within their power to save her, he knew that was the best he could hope for. That it was a crime scene he had no doubt. That he could easily be implicated in the knifing that had taken place he had no doubt of that either. With his record at juvenile court, the police who came to the house would arrest him before even questioning him. He did not plan to be there when they arrived.
He wheeled away from the front door, ran through Jenna’s living room, and set his sights on the backdoor at the end of a long hallway. He would be out through that door and gone with the wind in no time. As he passed Jenna’s bedroom door, he caught a glimpse of the Muslim boy standing over her prone form, the blue sparks of his tazer flickering at the end of its metal prongs.
Lucas cursed, then retraced his steps to enter her room.
“What are you doing, you crazed psycho?” he snapped, his rage beginning to rise. “I gave you a chance to escape, and you try to kill her? I should shoot you and leave you for the cops to deal with!”
“She prevented me from killing the dogs,” Tariq wept. “She kept me from performing jihad! Sidiq and Ramah died without me, making me dilali! I was supposed to die! For that, she must pay!”
Lucas raised the pistol, flicked off the safety, and fired. Tariq screamed as the hot lead slug plowed through the handle of the tazer, causing the entire device to shatter into dozen of flying pieces. The last jolt of electricity to surge through it blasted the hapless boy off of his feet. He slammed into the wall and slid to the floor, stunned. The bullet passed through the tazer, corkscrewed in midair, and spiraled off kilter to strike one of the Chess pieces set up on the board next to Jenna’s bed. The hot lead struck Frodo’s head, plowed through his curly dark locks, removed the top of his crown, spilling shiny bright crystals through the air. A fireworks of radiant sizzling multicolored lights whizzed through the air as the luminous gems rained down directly on Jenna.
Spitting sparks, the enchanted diamonds were drawn to her bloody wound as if pulled there by some powerful magnet. She stirred quite suddenly, then lay still. Startled by the display, Lucas wildly blinked his eyes and looked on in amazement as a rainbow of colors emanated from the diamonds sinking into Jenna’s wound. Gasping in disbelief, he saw an ethereal falcon fluttering above her, its shimmering blue feathers pulsating with a sapphire aura that encompassed her near lifeless body. He heard Tariq whisper, “The Jewels of Opar! The imam wants them and he shall have them!”
“No, you don’t!” Lucas said, moving to stop him.
Tariq’s fist slammed into the side of his head, causing him to drop the gun and to fall to his knees on the hardwood floor. Through a murky haze, Lucas saw the Muslim kid dump the pieces of the Chess set into a green gym bag beside the bed. One-by-one, the plastic pieces of The Lord of the Ring’s characters fell into the open bag. When he had them all inside the bag, the boy turned to leave.
“No!” Lucas cried out. And again received a fist to the side of his head, sending him reeling. He saw blackness and was close to passing out when the screaming sirens came from outside. He heard car doors slamming. The sound of running feet. In seconds, the paramedics would be inside the house. He caught just a glimpse of Tariq climbing out through the broken window, carrying the gym bag with him.
Dizzily, he arose to his knees. A burst of fluorescent light erupted between him and the prone form of Jenna. The kestrel falcon rose up above her, sending a burst of sparkling lights zipping around her. “My God!” Lucas cried as Jenna’s hand clamped down on his wrist. She was weakly staring up at him. She whispered, “Stop him, Lucas!”
“Jenna!” he whispered back. “Please don’t die!”
But she had fainted once more, and there was a burst of activity from the fluttering falcon send a second burst of blue light directly into Jenna’s deep and bloody wound.
Hurried footsteps from down the hallway spurred him on. He snatched up the gun, hastily tucking it into his waistband. Voices came from out in the hallway. They were followed by the yellow beams of flashlights. Footsteps came nearer to the bedroom. A second before the first paramedic came into Jenna’s bedroom, Lucas dove out through her broken window, his sights set on the boy running down the alley ahead of him.
Behind the boys in Jenna MacGuire’s bedroom, two paramedics set to work to save Jenna’s life. Little did either of them know that the healing fire of the enchanted gems had already been ignited. And while the magic worked its way through her system, Jenna fell into a deep sleep, and she dreamed of the past.