Everywhere I’ve gone in the past few weeks, I’ve been attracting thunderstorms–the kind that rip your trees out of the ground and totally freak your pets out. I love them.
This week, one of those storms blew some eccentric visitors into town. Their arrival was straight out of a horror movie, honestly. There I was sprawled out on my couch with my goofy Wolverine snuggie and a book, and then one of those crazy flashes of lightning fill the sky. When the lightning went away, there were five dark shadows standing stone still outside my window. Seriously, it was like the lightning zapped them down from outer space or something. Terrifying, right?
And then I remembered that they were supposed to be here. I invited them over for an interview. WHEW! How could I forget?
When I opened the door, two women, two men, and a very large creature entered my apartment. Here is a part of the conversation that took place between us.
Old Woman: Greetings, Lore Master. We are The Order of the Bell, and we’ve come to share our story.
Jacob: *wearing a ginormous grin because the old woman just called me Lore Master. How epic!* Good evening, all! Thanks for braving this crazy monsoon tonight. I swear this storm came out of nowhere.
Old Woman: Don’t fret, Lore Master. Dealing with danger is our specialty. Shall I put on some tea for us all?
Jacob: Sure, if you want. The Keurig’s over by my laptop.
Bald Man: Nonsense, my boy! Let Ms. Rose prepare something real for you. Do you already know our names? She’s Ms. Augustine Rose. I’m Merlin the Magician. We are also joined tonight by Ms. Hua Mulan, Mr. James Hook, and Sir Jacob Isaac Holmes. He’s really not as frightening as he appears.
Jacob: It’s great to see you all! You’re legends. I named my book series after you!
Augustine: We always wondered if somebody would tell the story of the Order.
Mr. Holmes: But let us be clear. It is not our story. We are merely here to assist the heroes from the sidelines and keep the worlds at peace.
Jacob: That sounds like a giant responsibility.
Hua Mulan: We’ve all had our trials. Fortunately, we were appointed to the Order because we live for the thrills. After you experience the rush of saving China from invaders, the day-to-day gets a little boring. I jumped at the chance to save the world again and again. I especially enjoy dealing with dragons.
Jacob: So Mulan saved China. What’s the story for the rest of you? What’s been your biggest challenge until the events of The Carver?
Mr. Holmes: There are some rather unpleasant entities hiding in the Woodlands. Aquamantulas, witches, wolves–
Augustine: Oh, the wolves are nothing, dear. Leave those to me. The Woodlands are my turf. It was the giants we really needed to worry about.
Merlin: Valid. I personally enjoy dealing with any object touched by a solid, well-constructed curse.
Jacob: Wait, did I hear you correctly? You enjoy curses?
Merlin: Don’t misunderstand me, Sir Lore Master! I only enjoy dismantling them. I suppose the skill is somewhat comparable to what the younglings in your world do when they take on computer viruses. ‘Tis such a thrill to discover all the little threads and back doors in what would otherwise be an infallible curse. There’s always a flaw. I wish curses never existed in the first place, but the genie has long been unbottled. Speaking of which, that’s quite a thrilling tale for another day…
Jacob: I can only imagine! How ’bout you, James? You’ve been pretty quiet. What’s been one of your challenges?
Hook: Peter Pan.
Hua Mulan: James! Did we not agree that the subject of Mr. Pan is off limits tonight, and always?
Hook: Aye. And yet Mr. Devlin posed a query. Shall I lie to our Lore Master?
Augustine: Maybe just pick something else, dear. You’re not so fond of alligators, for instance.
Hook: Crocodiles, lass. There’s a difference.
Augustine: Potato, potahto.
Jacob: So you protect the Old World from danger. How do you know when to come together?
Merlin: We listen for the bells. Although, now that we’re here, perhaps we should all invest in smart phones? I understand there’s a curious new brand of magic called GroupMe. I’m most interested in trying it.
Mr. Holmes: Does it require one to know how to read? Because I’m afraid Mr. Hook here hasn’t learned to distinguish his As from his Zs.
Hua Mulan: The bells are tradition. Leave them as they are.
Jacob: So which one of you would I call if I were to find a spider in my room?
Jacob: Any of you?
Hook: There be a reason I sail the seven seas, lad. The more distance I put between me and the shore, the more distance I put between me and those infernal demons. I’ll take my gamble with the crocodiles.
Jacob: Come on! You can’t be serious right now!
Augustine: Poor thing, I’m afraid you’re on your own with the spiders. We specialize in dragons, evil queens, werewolves, apocalyptic spells… you’ll understand if we acknowledge our weaknesses. There are certain types of evil we’re not equipped to deal with.
Jacob: I hate you all just a little bit right now.
On a dark and stormy night, which team would you call upon to save the world?
Next week, we’ll meet the person who first called upon the Order of the Bell. It’s kinda hard to call her a person, though. She’s more of a fairy, and she’s seen some weird stuff. I can’t wait to get her insight on her role in The Carver. Hope you’ll be there to meet Violet!