Mary entered the inner room. The air within was similar to that of a greenhouse, warm and humid, almost suffocating. The room was illuminated by a feeble orange glow emanating from an overhead light fixture. A shrouded figure occupied a large table in the center of the room. Mary shut the door behind her. She removed the shroud and saw the motionless body of a naked woman lying on the ancient table—Emily.
“Emily, I have come to awaken you,” said Mary, who then climbed up upon the table and straddled the body lying upon the bier. Mary began to recite a chant she had found in Emily’s book of spells:
Ahmen lonah, ethen gonar, rehan delah.Mary embraced Emily’s inert body.
Ahmen lonah, ethen gonar, rehan delah.As she continued, Mary’s embraces became more passionate.
Ahmen lonah, ethen gonar, rehan delah.Mary began moving her body rhythmically over Emily’s.
Ahmen lonah, ethen gonar, rehan delah.Fully aroused, Mary’s body became flush with perspiration.
Ahmen lonah, ethen gonar, rehan delah.As she began to come, Mary kissed Emily on the lips, wetly and deeply. Emily’s body began to shake with small tremors, then larger ones, growing to match Mary’s convulsions. Emily took a deep breath and opened her eyes.
Outside, the storm had begun to rage in earnest, with nearly constant lightning and sheets of rain. Sean picked up Mary’s clothes and backpack and set them inside the Chamber House’s outer gate.
At the Regelind manor, The Brotherhood was preparing for its full moon visitation to The Chamber House. John, who had been the group’s leader, was sitting at the far side of the circular table, across from the new leader. The discussion concerned the recent events in Seattle. The new leader’s policy of assassination had mixed results. Two potential problems, Sally O'Donnell and Tara, the fortune teller/agent had been eliminated by a covert operative. That operative had then gone back to Tara’s house to ensure that Tara’s apartment was free of any evidence that might have linked her to the brotherhood. When he had inadvertently entered the duplex apartment below Tara’s he had been killed. Regelind knew that even if he hadn’t gone to the FBI, things were deteriorating so quickly the FBI would soon uncover The Brotherhood’s plot anyway. All that he could do now was wait; the preparations he had made over the last few days were complete. It would all be over soon. The meeting adjourned, and the members went to the house’s rear foyer put on rain gear for the walk to The Chamber House. The CCTV monitor positioned next to the back door, which showed the inside of the chamber room, was blank.
“Probably knocked out by the rain,” said John Regelind, when one of the members asked about the missing CCTV feed.
Mary rose up from her position on Emily and cradled Emily’s face in her hands.
“Welcome back,” Mary said, “How do you feel?”
“Thank you,” rasped Emily, “Groggy. Help me up.”
Mary got off the table and put an arm around Emily’s shoulder, lifting her to a seated position.
“I’ve got some clothes for you outside. I’ll be right back.”
A gust of cool air swept in when Mary opened the door. She saw Sean standing in the entry, looking out, with her clothes and her backpack lying on the floor behind him.
“Any sign of anyone yet?” said Mary.
“No, it's raining pretty hard. Is she…” Sean said.
“We’ll be out in a minute,” Mary said, picking up her things.
Back in the inner room, Emily had managed to get up from the table and was standing by herself. Mary helped her get dressed and then put her own clothes on.
“Can you walk?” Mary asked, and when Emily nodded, Mary said, “I have someone for you to meet.”
As the women walked out of the room Sean turned around.
“Grandmother… ” he said and tenderly embraced her.
A flurry of yips came from the direction of Regelind’s house.
“Company’s coming,” said Mary, “We’d better head out. I’ll re-lock only a couple of the inner door locks. That will keep them from entering the inner room for a while. By the time they figure it out, we’ll be long gone.”
The members of The Brotherhood walked single-file up the path to The Chamber House. As they approached the structure, the rain began to let up. When they reached the building the leader of the group motioned for Regelind to open the outer gate. Regelind, with shaking hands, opened the padlock and stepped back. The leader entered and reached for the switch to turn on the lights in the outer passage. The five sticks of dynamite, which had been embedded in eight hundred pounds of anhydrous ammonia, were connected to blasting caps that were wired to the light switch. In an instant, The Brotherhood ceased to exist.
Mary and Sean and Emily were already past the fence and several hundred yards down the creek bed when they heard the explosion and felt the shock wave. When debris began raining down a few seconds later they sought shelter under the overhanging branches of a large tree.
When it had stopped, Sean asked the women: “Was that your doing?”
“No,” said Emily.
“Not me,” Mary said.
“I think that’s the end of The Brotherhood,” said Sean, “Here’s to The Matriarchy, may we live to see the new era.”
“And here’s to my new family,” said Emily.
“We’ll head out as soon as we can to Iowa; you’ve got a daughter who’s been waiting to see you for a long time.” said Sean.
“And then we’ll go back to Seattle,” said Mary, “There’s a great grand-daughter on the way.”
“Yes, that will be nice,” said Emily, “If I can last that long.”