The bookstore was lit up, the twinkle lights sparkling. Parker and Lexi were through the door before Bill was out of the backseat. They both sighed in relief, as they saw the old man standing behind the counter.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know your name,” said Lexi, looking at the old man.
“People just call me the old man.”
“I’d rather call you by your name,” she said, smiling.
“You were named after Merlin, the greatest wizard ever?” she said, her eyes wide.
“No,” said the old man.
“He IS Merlin,” said Parker, smiling at her. “You know, the sword and stone thing.”
“Anyway,” she said, dismissing them. “What about all the dead people and do you think the bad guys will come to the bookstore?”
“As for the dead people, they’re already dead, nothing to be done,” said the old man. “The bad guys have already visited. Their bodies are in the back room. I sealed the portal two hours ago,” he said, going through a short stack of books.
“How many bodies?” asked Bill.
“Three. One of them killed Casey. I could smell her on him. They didn’t know who I was. Though I just worked for the Company. Looks can be deceiving, you know.”
“Tell me about it,” said Parker, glancing at Lexi.
Bill came out of the back room. “No marks on them. How’d you do it?”
“I convinced their hearts to stop beating.”
“Can you teach me to do that?” asked Lexi.
Merlin stared at her for a full three minutes and said, “Yes. I can.”
“Thank you,” she said.
“Is all of this about the orange guy?” she asked.
“No,” answered Merlin. “It’s a power play between the rich and powerful. They want to kill a lot of people they don’t believe can contribute to their coffers. They are using the orange one to give them a way to do it. It’s politics as usual, just on a bigger scale.”
“So he’s being conned?” she asked.
“Yes, but he’s too egotistical to know it.”
Lexi nodded. “Now what?”
“Now we wait for orders,” said Bill.
“I think we should be pro-active,” said Lexi.
“She’s right,” said Merlin. “We need to act.”
“Wow,” she said. “How do you guys even get dressed in the morning? Does someone help you? Give me a minute and please, someone put the kettle on for tea.”
She came back an hour later with a slew of papers in her hand. “Okay,” she said. “Here’s the plan.”