(excerpt 19. If you missed the previous installment, scroll down the blog to catch up)
“I'm ready to get to Austria,” Janelle said.
“If this really is a “magic” carpet, there's no reason it has to take any time to get there,” I replied. As soon as I spoke the words, we were hovering over Lake Wolfgang just outside Salzburg.
“Who's this?” Janelle asked, referring to the man who was now sitting next to us on our nappy ride.
“A real estate agent,” I replied. “He's going to show us some lakefront villas. Pick out one you like.”
We spent several hours touring homes from our flying rug. We checked out the view from the lake, flew over the grounds of each house that pleased our eyes from the water, and zipped through the insides of the homes we really liked. Janelle settled on a majestic stucco manor with a large pool and beautifully manicured gardens by the lake.
“We'll have to send for your parents. We have plenty of room for them,” Janelle offered.
I snapped my fingers and they were there with us on the back terrace. I shook Dad's hand and gave Mom a hug.
“What are we doing here?” Dad asked. “Why aren't you in Alaska?”
“This place is lovely. Does it belong to a friend of yours?” Mom asked.
“It's ours,” I replied as I put my arm around Janelle. “And you two are welcome to live here with us if you want.”
“I don't understand,” Mom said.
“I'll explain it to you later.”
“But what about Alaska?” Dad asked.
“I'll explain about that, too. Right now it's time for lunch. Would you like to eat inside or here on the patio?”
“Out here would be lovely,” Mom answered. “The weather's so nice. This statue is lovely. Who is she?”
“That's Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, desire, and beauty,” Janelle answered. She turned to me. “Parker, are you okay?”
She could tell by the look on my face that I was disoriented. As my cognizance left me once again, I struggled to remember where we were and how we got there.
Something out on the lake caught my eye. I ran to the edge of the water in a panic to get a closer look at him. When I got to the dock he was nowhere in sight. The surface of the water was smooth and tranquil, like a mirror in a dream. I walked back to the terrace, trying process what I'd seen.
“What's wrong?” Janelle asked.
“Nothing. I thought I saw something on the lake, but it was nothing.” I didn't want to tell her that I thought I saw a man wearing a fedora – Chauncey -- in a boat out on the lake. She'd been through enough; I didn't want to worry her. I'm just imagining things, I told myself. Chauncey wouldn't follow us here, and he would never go up against me.
“Let's eat,” I said.
“I've been reading through this brochure about guided trolley tours in Salzburg. I thought your father and I would take one after lunch,” Mom said.
“Sounds good. The Mozart festival is going on right now. I'll have Wolfgang bring a car to the front door.”
“Wolfgang?” Mom asked. “I thought he lived in the 1700s.”
“Wolfgang is the name of our chauffeur. He'll run you into Salzburg where you can catch the trolley.”
“Would you two like to join us?” Mom asked.
“No thanks. You and Dad have a good time together. We're going to stay here and relax.”
“I want to go,” Carmen insisted.
“That would be lovely, dear. I've really missed spending time with you the last few years,” Mom said.
Carmen smiled and hugged her.
“Hey, sis. It's been a long time,” I said as I gave her a hug. “Have fun.”