Detective Lisa left work worried about what might be happening at the house. Her husband Josh could not be there all the time for the children, and something was lurking around in the dark and the shadows. She caught glimpses of the stalker three times now, but all she could say was it was not human.
Josh kept the back outside light on after dark. He kept the front porch light on, and the one over the garage as well. He normally kept those two on for Lisa, for when she got home, but now they were doing double duty. He spied out the windows.
Megan, their eight-year-old daughter, sat in front of the television again. Josh considered canceling the cable contract. For some reason, certain cartoons had taken an unnatural hold on the girl. It was getting so he could not go through a whole evening without hearing about how she wanted to go to Florida.
“Boys,” he called up the stairs. He heard shuffling around before he got an answer.
“Anything out back?” More shuffling before the answer came.
“Mister Filbin’s shepherd got loose again.”
Josh jumped when the doorbell rang. He felt like he was under siege. Maybe he would talk to Lisa about Florida if she could take the time off. He opened the front door and shouted again.
“Boys. Grandma and Grandpa are here.” He welcomed them and let Megan tackle them while the boys rumbled down the stairs. Josh went once more to the kitchen window to try and see Mister Filbin’s dog, or whatever might be out there. He did not know all the details, but he heard about what happened at the university.
Anna Lee woke up to the sound of broken glass. The men crashed into her rooms and she moved, but as fast and as strong as she was, there were too many of them. She ended up unconscious, but managed to crawl under the table before she passed out. That was her salvation. In the middle of the floor, they would have tripped over her and likely would have made sure the job was done and might have thrown her body out the window. Under the table, out of the way, they ignored her. After they found what they wanted no one bothered to crawl under the table to make sure the job was finished.
When Matthew found her, she was still unconscious. They rushed her to the hospital and got her on a respirator, but the doctors were uncertain if she would recover. Matthew also noticed the concrete block was removed from the wall and the scroll was taken. He could not say what was on the scroll, but there were three things he could say. The scroll was in perfect condition, though Anna said it was over three thousand, six hundred years old. It was written in a language that Matthew never saw before or since, and he was familiar with the look of just about all of the ancient scripts. And Anna Lee said it was the most valuable piece of writing in history. It was secreted away and guarded since the time of Christ and it could bring about the end of the world if it fell into the wrong human hands.
Lieutenant Tomlinson of the New York Police Department knew he was out of his depth. He called Miriam at the FBI, and she called Lisa. She thought the scroll might end up at Jersey State in search of a translation. Jersey State did have some of the most sophisticated translation programs in the world down in the archives room.
Lisa went to the university and knocked on the door to the suite. Melissa was the one who answered. Sara was present, helping the girls pack for the Thanksgiving holiday. When Lisa stepped into the room, she went straight to Emily and hugged her. Then she told her. Anna Lee spent most of last Christmas in Columbus Ohio with Emily and her family. Emily cried.
“I need to go to her,” Emily said.
“You need to go home for Thanksgiving and see your family. Miriam at the FBI has her under twenty-four-hour surveillance. I will call you if anything changes. I just thought you should know.”
“What were they after?” Sara asked. Everyone stopped and stood around to watch and listen.
“A scroll, ancient.” Amina spoke first and shook her head to say she could not see any more.
“A scroll,” Lisa repeated with a nod. “And they found it. Mindy, there is a good chance it may turn up here. It seems it was written in some obscure, ancient language. They will probably need it translated. We need to watch for it.”