I stopped the car by the foot path to a grubby looking house half way down New Forest Grove. Cutting off the engine I took a deep breath, looked in my mirror and got out of the car. The neighbourhood did not look too safe so I locked the car for good measure. Placing the keys into my jeans pocket I stepped onto the path that led me to Helena's front door. I hoped that she was in the house but then again maybe not. I was probably over reacting to the situation at hand but then again how many people wake up the morning after with their clothes torn up and no recollection of the goings on of the night before. I put my foot onto the first of three steps leading to the door and with an almighty pull I fell to the ground.
I lay there dazed for a few seconds and then realized that someone was standing over me and blocked the sun from getting into my eyes. I focused my eyes and the sight for the person startled me. Standing over me was an aged woman wearing full black robes and carried a long stick. Upon further inspection the elderly woman was very short with the stick towered over her, her breath stank of tobacco and her eyes were bewildering. I had seen them before.
I started to get up, moving back from the woman as I did so. Finally pulling myself up with the help of the railing on the steps. Although I was scared I felt another emotion too-curiosity.
'How do I know you?' I asked slowly, cautiously.
The woman did not answer. I thought maybe she failed to hear me so I started to ask the question again:
'How do I...' I did not get to finish as the woman began to talk. She spoke slowly and I could not place her accent yet, I had heard the accent before. I had met this woman before but where? How?
'People are in grave danger, sir. You must get back to work, lives are in peril. King Jacob cannot stay hidden forever. What you seek is in the South Forest still but not for long. Find it before the enemy does, Nankara depends on this!'
At this I blinked and she was gone. Confusion took over. Nankara? South Forest? What did she mean?
Turning I walked up the steps slowly thinking immensely. If I did not know the meaning of this message, Helena would. She always knew!
I knocked on the door and waited behind the welcome mat that was worn with age. My mother told me always to stand behind the mat. 'It is a sign of offense to stand on or after a welcome mat. The mat is only for when you have been welcomed into the house.' She always told random facts of knowledge and surprisingly they were the facts that I remembered. Like useful fact like 'Make sure to pay the electricity bill on time or they cut you off', or 'Remember to put the garbage out the night before collection because they might be gone by the time you get up!' My life had been a mixture of trial and error since my parents left me in charge.
The last two years has been the hardest years of my life. Without my parents I was left to raise my younger sister, run a household and hold down a decent job to help two people survive. Last Christmas was the worst period. I had just lost my job in November so I could not buy any good food and instead of paying the electricity bill I brought Scarlet a new art easel and supplies as she had been using the same brushes since her tenth birthday. She never complained but I knew that she was not happy with the results from the old brushes. As a result of this kind gesture we had no electricity for three days. Scarlet was so happy when she opened her present she ran and hugged me, thanking me again and again and promising her first painting to me. The next day she came back with a wad of cash in her hand. She had been to the pawn shop and sold her art supplies to pay the bill. She might only have been eleven but she was very mature.
I zoned back into reality and found minutes had gone by and still no answer, I knocked again and waited thirty seconds-no answer. I looked in the windows. Everything was dark and unlived in. I tried the door but it was locked. I went around to the back and tried that door. It swung open and crashed to the ground, glass and wood went flying everywhere.