I’ve posted the NaNo novel through November 15. It ends with Amy June, Geoffrey, and Bow sitting in a Denny’s, taking stock. After all, is there a better place to take stock than a Denny’s? They are, after all, “Always Open.”
“Okay. We’ve got to get back to Licky soon. So let’s take stock. We have one pixie. At least two misdirections: one for Geoff, and one that resulted in the book shelf crash that got me. One professor, in hospital. What else?”
Bow answered. “One janitor with sharp eyes and a good sense for people. He let me out before the police got there, anyway.”
“Check that. One keen and kind janitor. And one silver key, left in a book that would be easy for us to spot.”
“That’s how you got out?” Bow asked.
“Yup,” Amy June answered. “It didn’t unlock the door. But it did open a little lock box we found, and inside that was a key for the door.”
“What was the book?” Bow wondered. Amy June handed it to him. “I’ve heard of this,” he said. “Tibetan Book of the Dead. Very popular among the hippies back in the day.” He turned it over. “It’s not rare, though. Not this copy anyway. This is just a ratty old paper back.”
“Exactly,” Amy June said. “That’s what made it easy to find in a rare book room. Right on the table. Hidden in plain sight.” They all looked at each other. Hiding in plain sight – it was a hallmark of Marq Pilgrim Senior’s approach to avoiding danger. They felt as if he might be with them.
Bow slid the book back across the table toward Geoff. “There’s something else,” he said.
“What’s that?” Geoff asked.
“Look at page eighty four.”
Geoff flipped the book open, riffing through the pages until he got there. “Oh, wow.” He held it open and handed it back to Amy June.
She looked at the page, too, and her eyes got wide.
On the page, around the margins of the text, a little cartoon had been drawn. Two people, laughing, holding hands, smiling. Amy June recognized the eyes and smile on the man’s face, and the long dark hair of the woman. She felt tears burn her eyes but held them back.
“Grandpa Marq. And Grandma Sara, if I’m not mistaken.”