Chapters 17- 20 By Dawn
After school, Laurel heads to work at her father’s bookstore. As she heads home she sees the paramedics at her house taking her father out on a stretcher. He had begun to throw up blood and even though her parents are naturalists, they knew he needed care at a hospital.
Laurel’s mom goes with her dad, leaving Laurel at home alone but she calls David to come over to help her from dwelling on the negative. David talks Laurel into playing the guitar for him. Afterward, they snuggle while watching a movie.
The next day David stops by to help Laurel and the book store.
Two weeks later, Laurel’s father has shown no improvement. Although they located the toxin in his system, the doctors had no way of treating him because they’d never seen such a thing before.
Laurel and David continue to work at her father’s bookstore. Laurel is dismayed that Mr. Barnes calls every day, but she doesn’t give her mother the messages.
One evening, her mother calls to tell her that her father has been given about one week to live due to heart failure. David drives Laurel to the hospital where they see Mr Barnes. Laurel’s mother is standing with Mr. Barnes signing papers. Laurel’s mother is pretty angry that she never received Mr. Barnes messages, but now the papers are signed and the sale of the home in Orick is almost final.
Laurel asks David if he is hungry, but it’s a ploy so they can visit Mr. Barnes at his local address displayed on his business card. They head over to the Barnes house because Laurel has a really bad feeling. They peep in through a window and see two other seriously ugly men with Barnes. They also see a freaky animal chained up nearby.
The dog opens one eye and starts barking. David decides they should get out of there, but before they can an arm comes through the window and grabs Laurel. They next grab David and slam he and Laurel up against a wall. Both Laurel and David get hurt pretty badly.
They question Laurel and David. David just spills to Laurel’s chagrin so she slaps him silly. The thugs try to decide what to do with the two nosy kids and finally decide to drown them. Scarface (one of the thugs) ties them up and weighs them down with rocks.
Once dumped in the water, Laurel is able to breathe oxygen into David’s mouth to keep him alive. She manages to get free and they survive, although a little worse for the wear.
Laurel and David rest a while and try to recover, then slowly make their way back to David’s car.
Laurel knows the men who hurt them are not human and that she must go to Tamani with this information. Laurel leaves David in the car sleeping while she finds and explains everything to Tamani. Tamani is able to help heal some of her wounds through artificial sunlight.
Tamani puts Laurel to sleep and the next morning Tamani tells her those men were trolls. Tamani thinks he may be able to help Laurel’s father but they must first take care of the trolls.
Laurel meets Shar, who guarded David during the night. Tamani tells Laurel of the gateway he guards, but Shar tells him the Queen will be upset if they tell Laurel the truth. Tamani presses on and tells Laurel that they guard the gateway to Avalon, King Arthur and Merlin’s Avalon. Tamani tells Laurel of Oberon and Excalibur.
They head off as a team to kill the trolls……
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION ON THE QUESTIONS HERE
Why do you think the doctors are unable to help Laurel’s dad?
What is up with that weirdo Mr. Barnes and his freaky side kicks?
Did you think Laurel and David’s “experiment” would play a part later on in the book?
What did you think when you found out Tamani guards a gateway to Avalon?