The pouring rain had been slowing Pet down since before she landed in San Francisco; the short flight back to Sacramento had been delayed for over three hours because of lightning strikes and she could have walked home faster. Pet cursed and growled at herself for not calling Araceli to come fetch her in The City, but she wanted to surprise her foster mother. Pet had been trying to get a hold of Tass for almost a week, but the cell phone always went straight to voice mail; that was weird and did make Pet a little anxious.
But she was finally home now and her eyes happily took in the familiar roads and neighborhoods of
Sacramento. It was well after two in the morning and
there wasn’t much traffic on the streets, but it was still good to be
back. Her plans originally were to come
home after Alaska,
but many things had happened to make Pet somewhat of a world traveler now.
She was exhausted, but still energized and eager to begin organizing all the data accumulated from her investigations. The taxi finally turned off at 12th and zoomed smoothly into Curtis Park, she saw the lit sign for
Carolina’s and Pet’s stomach growled for some Adovada. The Mexican eatery was open all
night; after all the airline and hotel food, Pet was more than willing to go
out in the dark and rain for some decent grub.
She could see all the lights from her house blazing as the cab turned
the last corner and Tass’ beat up old Geo in the driveway; Pet always assumed
the worst and was more than relieved that Tass was still alive.
Bright light spilled onto the red cement porch as Tass flung the front door open and came out with a happy smile. “About lucking time ditch!”
Pet threw her arms around Tass, no one had called her a twitch, sitch, sandwich or Mitch for almost a year and it was like music on her ears. She paid the cabbie as Tass emptied the trunk and bade him safe driving before both women went in from the rain. Pet took a quick shower and changed into her favorite pajamas while Tass secured some fine edibles from the local drive thru.
The kitchen smelled delicious as Pet ate and listened to Tass relay all the news. “I just couldn’t see it, y’know? I mean I want him to be happy of course, but I just can’t be Mrs. Dr. Tass in
Kansas.” Tass shook her head a little sadly and
repeated, “ Kansas.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Well at first I thought you would be coming right back – and I didn’t want to trucking talk about it,” Tass replied while picking at a tortilla. “Then you went to
Japan, Malaysia and what? Egypt?”
“Serious is better than
Tass retorted, to which Pet could only nod in agreement.
“So what are you going to do now?” Pet was delighted to have Tass back home and was in no way pushing her back out the door. But Tass always had a plan, and a back up plan and a plan for when those didn’t work, so Pet was curious.
“Oh I have a plan,” Tass assured Pet knowingly and she fixed her brown eyes on Pet. “We are going on an expedition.”
Pet had been expeditioning for months and now that she was finally home, Tass wanted to turn around and do it all over again. “Where?”
“Here,” Tass replied firmly, “we’re going to look for more runes right here.”
Pet stopped eating and stared quietly at Tass for a moment before saying, “We have already been ‘here’, I think we’ve been in most of the caves in
Central California by now.”
“We weren’t looking for runes dumb bass, we were just looking.”
“Well, we would have seen them,” Pet tried to stop her eyes from rolling up, but failed and Tass’ eyes narrowed in displeasure.
“Oh?” Tass leaned over the table with one eyebrow rising menacingly upwards, “How many people saw the rune in that
cave and didn’t actually see it?
Tass was right and the idea hit Pet like one of the angry lightning strikes that came with the storm. She had been searching the world and collected three more runes, but they were different from the
rune. That was the message Pet was
following, the Sonoma
rune, and if there were more then Tass was right. The messages would all be right here at home.