Melinda stepped closer to the back wall not sure of her sister’s intentions. Her mind was still reeling from everything that had been happening but none of them impacted her more than the discovery of Angie’s transformation to Tulkoy.
“You couldn’t stay with me on the path could you? Just couldn’t resist going off on your own?”
“I didn’t just go off on my own,” Melinda shot back. “I called and called but you didn’t answer. What was I supposed to do? And then I came across the fork in the path and made a choice. That’s all it was.”
Tulkoy started pacing back and forth. “You’ve spoiled everything Melly. You…”
“Don’t call me Melly,” Melinda said, sharply.
Tulkoy stopped and stared at her, thought for a moment, then continued pacing. “What am I going to do?”
Melinda didn’t respond.
Tulkoy stopped to face her. “I don’t have much choice in this. Neither do you Melinda. So maybe the question is, ‘What are you going to do’?”
Melinda stared into Tulkoy’s eyes searching for the familiar sparkle that always resided in Angie’s eyes, but it was no longer there, replaced by a cold evilness that gave Melinda the chills. “What has happened to you? What’s going on Angie?”
“It’s Tulkoy to you now. What’s going on is no concern of yours unless you decide to join us.”
“Join what? Join a bunch of murderers! Have you lost your senses?”
Tulkoy fought back the urge to lash out at Melinda like she would have to one of her subjects. “We are not murderers, and don’t speak to me like that again or…...”
“Or what? Put me in a cage like the others?”
Tulkoy squared her shoulders. “If need be, yes.”
Something in Tulkoy’s tone made Melinda realize that she was no longer dealing with her sister but with a malicious person who had taken over Angie’s personality. She reasoned just as quickly that the danger she was in was real and that her life most definitely hung in the balance of what she said.
Melinda cleared her throat. “What exactly would I be joining?”
Tulkoy studied her for a moment before accepting that she was being sincere. Because Melinda was her sister, Tulkoy chose to forego the usual short orientation speech she gave to the new people requesting to join the Dalkum. She filled her in on the basic knowledge of what the Dalkum consisted of and what was expected of its members. When she finished, she asked, “Do you have any questions?”
Melinda shook her head. “No, not yet.”
Tulkoy nodded and continued. “The Dalkum is from an ancient cult that developed somewhere near Mycenae. In spite of the fact that it originated long before the Greek mythological gods, it was still in its infant stages when the Greeks came into power and was overshadowed by their mythology. It wasn’t until five years ago that it was unearthed and re-discovered.”
“But wouldn’t such a discovery be made public knowledge?” Melinda interrupted.
For the first time that night, Tulkoy smiled. “Normally it would have been but the discovery was made by one of the people who live in this neighborhood and he claimed he was overwhelmed with a feeling of secrecy and so never revealed to the authorities his find.”
Tulkoy saw the puzzled look on Melinda’s face and before Melinda could ask, Tulkoy added, “So how did I become the Polcara or queen in modern English?”
“There was much confusion at first, but the more the scrolls were deciphered, the clearer it became that the true Polcara would be identified by a black birthmark shaped like the head of a Mustela putorius, or as most people know it…..a polecat.”
Melinda gasped remembering her grandfather saying that Angie’s birthmark looked like a polecat and when she had asked what that was; he said it was like a weasel and a carnivore, an animal that eats other animals.
May 1, 2014