Happy Hump Day and welcome to another installment of Wednesday Briefs! I'm continuing with Bethany and Hodgins strange story and I've used the prompt "We will be victorious". I kind of forced it in there because I didn't know where it could fit in. *grin* Also, please excuse any errors, because I must admit that I wrote this in a hurry.
*Haven't read the older chapters? Press the tab above that says Wednesday Brief and scroll down to the bottom.*
Light of Time 4
Bethany watched her grandfather with large eyes. He played around with some wires, murmuring under his breath and shaking his head every few seconds. She inched closer, a nervous rumbling making her stomach clench and her palms sweaty.
“Grandpa?” she whispered as she came to his side and saw what he was working on. It was barely a wisp of light but it was brighter than anything she had ever seen before.
Her grandfather smiled, the wrinkles on his face stretched and his brown eyes twinkling.
“I found your father’s notebooks, BJ,” he whispered conspiratorially. He must have seen something in her face because he hurried to reassure her. “Don’t worry, it will be okay. No one knows and I’ve hidden them somewhere safe.”
“It wouldn’t be safe if I told you, child.” He admonished with a chuckle. “Now, what are you doing down here instead of upstairs studying with your governess?” He gave her a mock stern gaze while toying with the wires again. The bright light faded, plunging the dungeon like space back into its usual state of semi-darkness.
“She left hours ago, Grandpa. Ms. Eliott asked me to fetch you for dinner.”
Tucking something into his pocket, he took her by the hand and led her upstairs, murmuring something about housekeepers that can't keep their noses to themselves.
Bethany gasped aloud as she watched her grandfather play with the wires, the stone and the glass. He didn’t say a word. She wasn’t supposed to be there. As a woman, her role in society was established: marry and have children. Repopulate a planet that had dwindled in inhabitants after World War 5 and had become little more than a shell of its former self.
Fortunately, she had been brought up differently. With her parents dead, her grandfather had taken over her upbringing, and he was everything but conventional. He was, of course, no fool and had made sure to give her the proper education and etiquette for one of her status, but he’d also taught her other things outside the norm.
“What do you think about this one, Beth?” Her grandfather gestured for her to come closer and inspect the shiny blue stone he held in the palm of his calloused hands.
“It’s different than the others,” she murmured. She pulled out a magnifying glass from her skirt pocket and inspected the rock. “Do you think it will work better? Make the light brighter?”
“What’s different about it,” her grandfather asked, deflecting her questions.
“The edges are more polished and the center is slightly darker than the rest.”
She did as asked, swallowing down her surprise as she saw for the first time the glittering specks of silver in the interior of the gem. “Silver.”
Her grandfather nodded the pride in his eyes unmistakable. “I think this might be it. We've tried with gold, copper and that dratted material the government tries to pass off as useful, but silver--”
"Is almost extinct. Where did you get this?" Apprehension unfurled its way inside of her and she stared at her grandfather. She was aware that as the years passed and he grew older he was beginning to grow desperate with the experiments, but a rock like the one he held in his hand was worth a fortune- not to mention that it was almost impossible to find.
“Where did you find it, Grandpa?”
“That's inconsequential, BJ. This, I am certain is what we've needed all along. Your father never thought of it, but it's so rare and precious and the glow it gives all on its own-" He paused, catching his breath, his eyes shining almost as bright as the stone's depths. "This will give us all a better life."
"Grandpa-- if there is only one..."
"I'm going to test it."
Her grandfather chuckled. “What kind of silly question is that, child? Of course, now!”
Her cheeks burning, Beth said nothing as she watched her grandfather don his coat and tuck the precious stone inside a pocket.
“But, it's late. Where are you going?” Worry like she hadn't felt in years ate at her gut.
“I can’t test this here, it could be dangerous.”
“Don’t worry. It will just be a routine test.”
“Grandpa.” She didn’t like this one bit. That stone was one of a kind and there had been failed experiments before with more common objects.
“I’ll be back for dinner and we’ll celebrate our victory, because I know that with this, we will be victorious.”
"Grandpa," she whispered, watching as the elderly man left never to return.
“Careful.” Warm fingers caressed her forehead as she turned on her side. Her head pounded and her chest felt tight, like it always did when she dreamed of her grandfather.
Slowly, she opened her eyes to a dimly lit, barely furnished room. Blue eyes stared at her with concern. “Are you all right?”
General Hodgins moved away, setting into a chair, as she sat up. “All I remember…” She trailed off as the memory of being snatched and taken on a horse rushed back. “You’ve kidnapped me!” she accused, jumping to her feet and swaying precariously.
Hodgins remained motionless. “Yes and no,” he finally admitted. “Now, sit down or you’ll faint again.”
To be continued…
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