Across a blasted and burned landscape. A great wide oily black river sits stagnant and unmoving near a row of devastated shipyard warehouses. The buildings show signs of a conflagration from many decades ago. The years have taken their toll on the warehouses, but they stand none the less. Old docks run from the warehouses into the black river.
The spirits of soldiers and civilians alike from countless eras surround one warehouse and walk the perimeter on watch for assault. A phalanx of debris surrounds the building being maintained by the spirits of the lost. Even in this bleak environment the spirits show a small amount of relief, as their leader Daniel has returned victorious.
Inside the warehouse managers office, Daniel’s pleased he has saved his now resting grandson. He brushes Jesse’s hair from his brow and kisses his forehead. Brenda places a hand on Daniel’s shoulder. Daniel smiles and places his hand upon hers and leans his cheek against her hand. Brenda looks at Jesse, as he begins to stir on the sofa.
Jesse sits upright holding a look of bewilderment of his condition and surroundings. Daniel sits down next to the sofa in a chair and stares at Jesse with compassion in his every movement. Daniel turns to Brenda in her brightly colored blouse and khaki Capri pants, “will you stop please?”
She lowers Daniel’s arm after examining his wound, “Doesn’t look good. Your luck she didn’t…” “I’ve had worse,” Daniel cuts her off. Brenda shakes her head, as she places a hand on his shoulder in concern for his well-being. Daniel winks and smiles at Brenda then turns his attention back to his grandson.
“What’s wrong?” Daniel asks. “Just…weird,” Jesse shakes his head with a look of confusion, as he stares at the ground. Brenda looks concerned with Jesse’s behavior, “How did she find him?” Daniel shrugs, “How did she find any of them?” “Fair Enough,” Brenda sighs.
Brenda leans over Daniel and looks deep into his eyes, “We’ll cross him over just like my girls.” Jesse looks shocked, “You mean I don’t have to stay here?” Daniel shrugs and pauses seeking the right words. “Normally yes, but it’s not that easy when…” Jesse’s confusion fills his small face, “When what?” “We can talk about that later let’s focus for the moment on the fact that. I have missed you,” Daniel reminds Jesse of his passing.
Jesse nearly disappear in the arms of his grandfather’s embrace. Jesse closes his eyes finding his first moment of comfort since awakening in the morgue. “I missed you too grandpa,” Jesse returns Daniels hug as tight as his small body can. “I thought you went to heaven. At least that’s what Mom said?” Jesse lifts his head looking deep into Daniel’s weathered face.
Daniel offers a smile to the worried boy, “Doesn’t work like that.” Brenda shrugs and looks through piles of papers on the desk, “Once you have no more unfinished business, your Bright Road will open again.” Jesse looks confused for a moment, “That glowing thing would have taken me to heaven?” Daniel turn Jesse to face him, as he nods assuring him that his statement holds truth.
Jesse looks shocked at the discovery, “When she led me away.” “She stopped you from going to heaven,” Brenda interrupts Jesse’s line of thought. Jesse looks confused, “She told me to follow her because the phantoms were coming. I didn’t know better and I followed her.” Daniel stands, “You’re not the first. She can change her shape, and has led many from their bright road.”
“Why would she do that to people?” Jesse asks. “They are looking for something. Something that we have to stop them from getting their hands on,” Daniel points to Jesse. Jesse’s confusion grows, “huh? Me?” Daniel nods, “and others like you.”
Brenda embraces Daniel from behind to comfort him. Daniel lowers his head and pulls away from Brenda. He looks away from both of them. “Tell him,” Brenda pleads. Brenda turns him to face her. Daniel pushes away and sits next to Jesse on the sofa. Jesse’s confusion melts into worry, “what?”
Brenda clears her throat catching both Daniel and Jesse’s attention. “What?” Daniel asks. “He deserves the truth
Daniel nods to Brenda, as Jesse looks around the room. Daniel steps away from Brenda and settles next to Jesse on the sofa with a look of concern.
Daniel clears his throat and looks to Jesse, “Our family like a few others are very special.” Daniel closes his eyes, as his brow furrows. Jesse looks to Brenda and shrugs. “Just watch,” Brenda calms the young boys growing concerns. A low rhythmic humming emanates from Daniel’s body.
Jesse jumps from the sofa, as Daniels body begins to glow with brilliant blue aura. The aura moves forward becoming a ball of light in Daniel’s right palm. Brenda smiles and motions for Jesse to come back to the sofa. Daniel opens his eyes and exhales deeply, “This is a Key of Charon. Every member of our family, after me, can do summon a Key.”
“What is it?” Jesse asks. “A gift,” Daniel responds with a disarming smile. “A gift that allows us to open very special door,” he continues. “What doors?” Jesse’s curiosity helps him grow bold enough to return to the sofa next to Daniel. “Who gave it to you…us, Grandpa?” Jesse stares befuddled at the glowing blue orb.