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Item #4 - The Trouble with Fire and Ice


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With three items found and ten to go, Flahme hoped for a little downtime before the next assignment. She decided to take up her friend Marah’s offer for a getaway at her and her husband’s beautiful home called Big Bear Lake House. At present, she was sitting outside the guest house on a sun lounger staring into the swimming pool.

Marah was not only a coven mate but a dear and trusted friend; she was also a powerful witch in her own right and had links to an Irish deity called Brigit. Flahme found Marah’s family and life fascinating. All the connections and large family she was part of, and she had met a number of them including her brother and father, also powerful witches. They welcomed her so readily even though she was a demon. Not that they had anything to fear, she would never harm any of these people.

The only downside she was worried Marah, recently and very happily married, was trying to find her a ‘good man’. Flahme wasn’t so sure she wanted a good man, just one who accepted her odd and unique ways. Flahme felt an affinity for the strange things in life, that was where she was most comfortable. Besides the only man, she had on her mind was the one with the soulful brown eyes with whom she had almost bared her soul.

She sighed, drawing her knees up wrapping her arms around them, resting her chin on top. Romance was not what she needed right now. She could die or fail any of the remaining assignments. Shivering, she looked around, once again feeling as if she were being watched. This occurred regularly now.

“Hello, Flahme.”

Uncurling fast she yelped and turned trying to locate the source of the voice, hands out ready to throw fire.

“Well, look at you, quite a little firebug,” the voice continued seeming to come from everywhere then a shimmer appeared in the space near her and a tall brown-haired man, the spitting image of Benedict Cumberbatch dressed as Dr Strange stepped through.

Flahme gaped at him a moment. “I just watched that movie last night!”

The creature stared at her then looked down at himself. “Oh, cosplay.”

“In Hell?”

“Yes, it’s become a thing. Lucifer’s not there you see.” He shrugged the rest off. “My name is Phenex, and I have your next assignment. We decided to make it easy on you after Buer cheated on the last one. Some of us are looking out for you,” he said with glee. “Team Flahme.” He raised a weak fist in the air.

“You make it sound like there are sides.”

“There sort of is.” He stopped and looked around then whispered. “There’s a betting pool now.”

“What are the odds?”

He grimaced. “Ten to one, you won’t make it.”

“What? No! I will win this.” She thought about this for a moment. “If I’m Team Flahme, who is the other team?”

“Team Hell, of course. So be careful because some are now working against you.”

“That’s not fair!”

“Demons,” he tutted. “Look, we’re getting off track - your assignment. I need a phoenix stone. I don’t care where you get it. I will take any kind.”

“Where the Hell am I supposed to get that?”

He grinned and winked at her. “I told you we were gonna help you on this one. Go talk to your friend; she might know.”

Marah was a phoenix witch, hot damn. This one actually might be easier as Phenex suggested. Flahme's lips curled up.

“Okay but what about the marks? Buer said…”

He cut her off. “I can’t talk about that, and I have to go, judging is beginning and I’m in with a chance with this costume. If I think danger is on the way, I will try to let you know or send a minion to do so.”

“How will I know to trust this minion?”

Phenex thought and then put his hands on his hips and bent down, he began bobbing his head and flapping his elbows back and forth. “bok bok bok.”

Flahme’s eyes widened her mouth hung open; then she snapped it shut. “Did you just imitate a chicken? That’s the sign?”

“Yes. Good luck.” With that said, Benedict Cumberbatch saluted her and disappeared.

She just stood for a moment not entirely sure the last part occurred. Had she finally lost it altogether?

Snapping out of it she blinked about the house until she found Marah. Excited beyond words Flahme attempted to catch her breath. “Marah, you’re never going to believe this. I need to find a phoenix stone. Can you help me?”
March 31, 2019 07:17 am


+It was a nice warm and sunny day and Marah just came back from her recording session. Going in the house she changed clothes getting into her swim suit. Going to the pool she swam a few laps then got out of the pool and went to the lounge chair where her towel was already stretched out on it.

Relaxing on it she took picked up her book and took a sip of her limeade and laid back letting the sun bake her body. Going to her marked page Marah began reading where she left off. This was the first time in weeks she was able to relax with out the kids. As she read she stared wondering if Flahme was here or if she went to town.

She was just starting the next chapter when she heard Flamne call for her. Closing her book she placed it on the side table and sat up as Flahme came to her catching her breath before she started speaking. “Marah, you’re never going to believe this. I need to find a phoenix stone. Can you help me?” Marah looked at her and smiled hearing about a Phoenix stone.+

" Calm down did I hear correctly you said a Phoenix stone? I heard of them yes I would love to help you when and where do we start? You do know that a Phoenix stone can be very dangerous and complicated in getting it. But who else to help you then a Phoenix herself. I'm ready when ever you are"

+ Marah was very excited and intrigued and sure it showed in her tone and facial expression. She never saw a Phoenix stone but she heard of them and she was sure her father would have a book on it since his library at the castle was larger then any public library she ever been to.+
March 31, 2019 01:30 pm


Flahme’s excitement came to a screeching halt. “Dangerous and complicated? That stupid demon said this would be easy? “ She blew out a breath, then immediately worried the demon in question might have heard her call him stupid. Shaking it off she realised she hadn’t told Marah anything of how this came about.

“So a demon called Phenex came and told me my next assignment was to find a phoenix stone. He didn’t specify where it was or if it was a particular type, just that he would accept any kind I could find. He suggested I talk with you. Perfect timing I was here!”

Flahme thought that perhaps the ‘easy’ part was the fact that she was here with Marah, but the actual getting of the stone wouldn’t be as simple as Phenex made it out to be. High ranking demons were the worst. She didn’t mention the betting pool, knowing Marah would do all she could to help her regardless of that added annoyance.

“Okay, so we don’t know where one is, then what is your inkling on how we might start. Is there anyone in your family who might know?” Marah’s family was huge; surely someone could help them.
April 03, 2019 07:38 am


+Marah thought for a bit she remembered reading about it but where was it that? Then she smiled as her eyes grew wide.Looking at Flahme she stood up and spoke.+

"I remembering reading in one of my fathers books about a Phoenix stone and did you know there are only 3 in existence? One is a Ice blue, one is a fiery reddish orange and the last one is a yellow orange with the image of the phoenix. And when placed together it has an ultimate power to the Phoenix that holds them. It say when all three are placed together they combine into one stone mixed it the fire and Ice with the Phoenix glowing in the center of the stone. Because of the power they were hidden all over the world. The Ice one was to be hidden in an ice cave at Svalbard in the arctic.The fire one hidden in the volcano Vesuvius in Italy due to it being the most dangerous. And the Phoenix Image one is in the Rain forest in the river basin of Congo. So do we need to get just one or all 3?"

+Marah looked at her full of excitement. To get all 3 would be the most exciting adventure but also the most dangerous. Knowing there must be others out looking for those stones or those that were sworn to protect them for the one worthy Phoenix.+
April 05, 2019 09:06 pm


In the silence after Marah stopped speaking, you could have heard a pin drop. Flahme was excited beyond words. They had something. This was going to happen. Her breath exploded out of her as she tried to speak and failed. She tried again, this time the words tumbled out of her.

“We could get all three! No, just one. No, three. I can go into the volcano. But if we had three, we could make the large one. That would be something. You could get the Ice one. We could get jets all over the place. Imagine the rain forest.” She spoke the last part in a hushed awestruck tone. Flahme stopped to catch her breath, emerald hues gazing into the distance. She refocused then looked at Marah pulling her thoughts together more comprehensively.

“We only need one.” She nodded decisively, but she could see Marah was as excited as she was. “But, if we were to get all three and make the combined phoenix stone we still have to give it to Phenex. So which is best, get one, and he takes that knowing that we can never make the combined stone. Or, we make the combined stone and then have to give it up to a demon. Because, Marah, I am up for the whole adventure just to see what it would look like.” Flahmes eyes sparkled and flared red for a brief moment as she studied her friend.
April 06, 2019 08:59 pm


+Marah looked at her remembering some things she read.It was going to be sneaky on their part but it was worth it.+

" We could get all 3 yes but give him only 1. I sat the one with the image in it. Cause legend has it that if a born Phoenix that carries both Fire and Ice can turn the stones into one, If that happens that stone is bound to that Phoenix. It will destroy any one who should take it from the said Phoenix. So if we get all 3 we must keep them apart. So I say give the image one to the demon. Then maybe when your done with all those task you have to do he just might be willing to make a deal with us.If we tell him I hold the other 2. He wont double cross a true Phoenix would he?"

+ Marah gave her friend a smile she couldn't believe she was actually thinking evil thoughts well not evil but mischievous thoughts.+
April 09, 2019 12:30 pm


The cool breeze drifted around Flahme’s form as she paced around the area, the hem of her skirt kicking up with the draft. The plan: give the demon the image stone, make a deal for him to come back at the end so we can still make the combined phoenix stone. The idea was great, but could Phenex be trusted. She highly doubted it but had nothing concrete to base that on.

“We need to get the image stone first. From experience, Phenex will pop up out of nowhere as soon as I have his prize. As to whether he can be trusted, probably not. Demons are a tricky bunch, and he’s a high ranking one. Also making deals with demons never goes well according to any story I’ve ever heard. What if he asks for your first born or something?”

Flahme continued to pace around the area thinking on how they might get this to work because making the combined phoenix stone was something worth attempting. She spun back to Marah. “Do you have any lawyers in your family. If we make a deal it needs to be watertight, so he doesn’t trick us into giving up our souls or your children's souls.” She shrugged. “Demons seem to be all about souls.” Something tickled at the back of her mind when she said that as if some realisation or ancient knowledge was trying to break through into her conscious thought - a locked memory. The moment vanished with the next breath.

Shaking her head, she turned back to Marah. If they didn’t have a lawyer, they would just need to tread very carefully. As she waited for Marah’s answer, she used her phone to look at the Democratic Republic of the Congo where much of the river ran through. This place was huge, how were they ever going to find it, where do they even start? “Do you know the specific whereabouts of the image stone?”
April 10, 2019 05:34 am


+The cool breeze felt good from the heat of the sun that was tanning her body. Marah stood up as she put on her beach wrap. She could see Flahmes wheels in her head going and she couldn't help but smile especially when Flahme mentioned any Lawyers in her family. Walking over to her her arms were wrapped around her waist as she spoke+

" Girl did you forget who my father is? He has a slew of lawyers how do you think I was able to give my kids the Boru last name? Trust me every T will be crossed and every I doted. Trust me I know demons can't be trusted but if hes a smart demon which I think he is he will know of my family my grandmother and that side of my family. I never met my grandmother Brigit but I have heard of her through my father, brother and my aunt. She is not one to double cross. The River Basin runs down hills where I heard of under water caves beneath the falls in the Rain Forest. If the stone is there it will call out to me. Trust me from what I read it calls out to any Phoenix that should be near seeking it."

+ Marah started to wonder if that demon would double cross her or at least try. She really didn't think a demon would cross a Phoenix especially the grand daughter of the Fire goddess+

" Flahme don't worry about the demon tricking us we will deal with it hand have everything in writing. And if he asks for my first born like most demons do well he will have to trake a trip to the Summer Lands cause that is where Abigor is."
April 10, 2019 06:18 pm


At the mention of her father’s lawyers, Flahme’s face lit again. She knew Marah had loads of connections but didn’t even think of the necessity of one lawyer never mind several. “Great, then that is covered if we need one.” She felt bad mentioning first born when Marah’s first child had already passed. “I’m sorry Marah. I can’t even imagine what that must be like to lose a child.” Flahme moved to her and hugged the other woman.

Letting Marah go, Flahme blinked to her room and grabbed her laptop returning a moment later. She brought up a map of the Congo Basin to see where they might go. It was much easier to see the map on the larger screen than on her phone. There were four international airports though they could land at a smaller airstrip considering they would be going via private jet.

“There are several waterfalls, but the one that sounds closest to your description is Inga Falls which isn’t a true waterfall but rapids. There is rain forest all around, and I can imagine there could be many caves underwater or otherwise.” Flahme grinned at Marah. They had a plan. “I too have a detector that hones in on the item, so together we have this in the bag.”

Calling the Menagerie, Flahme quickly arranged for a plane to take them to Inga as there appeared to be a small airstrip there. “They will have transport ready for us tomorrow morning, is that enough time for you to organise everything?” she asked Marah before she would take off to her rooms to prepare her backpack.

April 13, 2019 05:35 am


+Marah giggled with Flahmes excitement and she hugged her friend back. Seeing how hurt Flahme was at the mention of Abi's death she felt bad for her friend. Yes it was hard for her but she knew if the gods of old were willing he could return one day.+

"It is hard Flahme. I told you about how Danny killed Abi and Mya. Then the 4 that I had with him. I guess that is why I treasure the ones I have now. "

+ She watched Flahme blink then return with her lappy and walked over and sat next to her as she brought op the Congo River Basin and the map of the Inga falls. +

" I have seen a show of the Inga Falls. You know there a center where the water falls from all sides. What best place for there to be a cave but in there and a safe place to hide the stone. I bet its there Flahmy. "

+ Marah listened as she called the Menagerie's Plane. As Flahme spoke with excitement Marah called Helga on the intercom on the table to come to the pool area. When the woman arrived Marah looked up at her and spoke.+

" Helga miss Flahme and I have to go away for a week we are leaving tomorrow, would it be ok for you to watch the kids? If not I will call my father."

Helda +The old woman looked at spoke to her mistress+ " Its ok Ma'am no problem at all they are well behaved children."

+Marah nodded and looked at Flahme+

"Well its all set but I will call my dad just to let him know. So what time tomorrow? Morning ...noon.... or tomorrow night?"

+ Getting her cell out she makes a quick call to her father but got his voice mail she left a short message that she would stop by later to talk to him+

" Voice mail I will just go see and tell him him person."
April 14, 2019 04:15 pm


“Exactly what I was thinking,” Flahme said in response to Marah’s observation of the Inga Rapids.

She found a few places online, but nothing that was very close. It would mean they needed transport and wondered if they could have a car take them there or if that was even available in the Congo.

“Feel like camping, Marah?” She enquired with a blush on her face. “It would be easier if we could just camp near the falls and go from there, any hotels are miles away, and I don’t even know how we would get there. Would your husband be appalled if we roughed it for a few days? Between us, I think we can take care of just about any potential danger.”

When Marah enquired about what time of day, Flahme suggested noon. “That way we can have a good breakfast to set us up for our travels, and I really like those poached eggs and smashed avocado thingy Helga does. What? We might not eat like that again for days.” Flahme would not apologise for finally finding some foods she could call a favourite. Try having no memory of even such simple things, and anyone might appreciate it more.

“Alright, you go talk to your father I’ll pack and then plan out the rest of the trip to get the other stones. Also, try to figure out what else we might offer the demon so he will return the phoenix stone to us.”

They would have to tread very carefully. The more the demon understood how vital the stone was, the bigger the deal would need to be. Flahme knew that demons were notorious for making deals as watertight as possible and complicated enough that you would have to give up your or another’s soul to seal it. What did they have that a demon would want desperately enough to agree to their terms?
April 15, 2019 10:10 pm


+ Marah couldn't help but smile when she mentioned Helga's cooking.That Swedish old woman could come up with a lot of dishes that were strange.Flahme was right it could be a while so maybe she would have Helga make a couple of food baskets for them to take on the trip.+

"Yeah she is a good cook and the things she comes up with is amazing. After noon sounds great. Time to pack and sleep in a little. I will ask Helga to make us a couple of baskets to take with us."

+ When she mentioned Camping Marah smiled and claped her hands together and spoke in response.+

"I love Ca,ping I use to take David and Marcus camping a lot. so that sounds great. I am sure if we cant get a car I am sure we can get some horses. You can ride can't you?"

+Marah looked at her and smiled. If she can ride once they get back they will have to take the horses out and ride up the mountain.+
April 15, 2019 10:29 pm


Laughing at Marah’s enthusiasm for camping, Flahme felt things were looking up again. She hadn’t expected such excitement from Marah, but she should expect the unexpected since her life was an unpredictable mess at the best of times. The prospect of having packed baskets of food made by Helga also cheered her. If they found the Inga Rapids weren’t where the stone was, they would relocate until they found it, simple. If Phenex was right, and this was supposed to be easy, the first location should be the right one.

Hugging Marah, they both left to do their particular tasks to get prepared for their journey. Come the morning Flahme was devouring more poached eggs and smashed avocado as Marah entered the room, stretching and yawning.

“I’m all packed. We need to leave in two hours. I got Helga to get out a two-person tent. I think it was a four-person tent so a bit of luxury for us, and I have planned the trip for us to go to the other two destinations, though it may be best if we split up for that. I was thinking you go to the Arctic and I got to the volcano. Fire doesn’t burn me so I can go right in there,” Flahme said all of this without hardly taking a breath.

“But first things first, the image stone.” She waited a moment as Marah got her bearings. “How did everything go with your father? I’m still hoping we find something the demon really wants instead of having to make a deal in blood or some other bodily fluid.” Flahme wrinkled her nose at that thought.
April 16, 2019 09:00 am


+After talking to Flahme that afternoon she went off to see her father and tell him the news of where she would be. Arriving home she ate a late dinner and went upstairs and started packing all that she would need. +

"There that should take care of everything. The kids will be taken care of and Chris is off on an assignment for a couple of weeks he wont even know I been gone. But I will leave him a note in the morning."

+ Going to bed she she set her alarm and laid back and went to sleep. It felt like she just drifted off when the alarm went off. Turning off her alarm she got up made her bed and went to her bathroom and took a shower. Getting dressed in jeans and a tee shirt Marah sat by her bed and opened her night stand drawer. Pulling out a pad and pen she started writing a note for Chris in case he came home soon telling him that she would be off with Flahme in the condo searching for a Phoenix stone. Placing the note on the pillow she walked over to the bedroom door. Opening the door she then turned off the light and picked up her bags leaving the room she closed the door and went to the entry hall putting her bags by the door she headed to the kitchen seeing Flahme already there. Smelling Helga's food she sat at the table pouring her some coffee+

"Morning girl. I'm all packed and ready to go. I even left Chris a note in case he comes home before we get back. Yes The Image stone first. Everything went fine I told him so he knows where I will be."
April 17, 2019 11:31 am


“Fantastic, then we are all set. Time to get this show on the road.”

Marah and Flahme packed up Marah’s car with all they needed for the trip. Flahme had opted to take a backpack, and they added the tent and the food baskets Helga had made up for them along with Marah’s bags. The trip to the airport was uneventful filled with Marah and Flahme working out where they might be able to pitch a tent near the Inga Rapids. They didn’t know if they would even be allowed to camp so close, but would try and see how far they got.

The private jet got them there in around nineteen hours including one stop for refuelling. Thankful for Helga’s delicious food which they nibbled on during their flight and chatted about everything and nothing. The jet contained two sofa beds, so Marah and Flahme managed some decent sleep as well.

Before landing, Flahme took a shower and changed into lightweight cotton pants and long sleeve top with a tank top underneath. They had read some travel information about their destination, and this was the suggested clothing primarily to deal with the insects and bugs. The main thing to be careful of here was themselves. Two white women alone, blonde and red hair that appeared affluent stepping off a private jet. Prime targets. Thankfully both Marah and Flahme could take care of themselves and each other, what they had to think about it doing anything magical or demonic in front of too many humans.

Once the plane stopped, Flahme stepped off the plane, blinking in the sunlight and waited for Marah to join her at the jeep that awaited them as a friendly local moved their gear to the back fo the vehicle. They were finally here in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
April 20, 2019 07:17 am
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