Brandi meets a Zana e malit while returning her Grandmother's ashes to Albania.
Brandi fixed her stare on the topographical map of Albania. As usual, her brother had followed her instructions while relying entirely on his own faulty memory and warped sense of humor. He had color-coded the contours, but had neglected to include both a color key and scale to help her understand the Albanian geography. I suppose, she thought as she rolled up the map and stuffed it into her backpack, I'll have drag him along to help me find Grandma's treasure.
She sighed, I'll be damned if I let him steal Granny Prende's inheritance. She left everything to me, and I'm going to do just as she requested.
Shouldering her backpack, Brandi picked up her smartphone and then headed for the front door. When she reached the foyer, her phone rang, so she stopped to answer it. "Brandi here."
"Why?" Brandi shook her head as she listened to her sister-in-law. "Tell him to use his own credit card! If he wants to go to Albania with me he can, dam well, pay his own way. Call him back, tell him to meet me at the private airport just west of I40, and tell him to bring at least three-hundred in cash."
"He has approximately two hours to get there." Cutting the connection, she ran out of the house, locking the door behind her.
At the airport, Brandi boarded the 327 Baby Cessna Skymaster that she always hired for her trips abroad. She sit down in the passenger seat directly behind the pilot's station before checking the time on her phone. "Thirty minutes to spare." She smiled and waved at the pilot as he entered the plane.
"Anyone else boarding, Miss Bajraktari?"
"No, Mr. Kolonja, not on this trip. We can leave whenever you're ready."
Aleksander Kolonja closed and secured the door before going toward the front of the plane. He paused to make sure Brandi's seat belt was fastened before going to the pilot's chair and beginning his take off procedure.
Several days later, after making two prearranged landings in London and Paris, they landed in Tirana, the capital of Albania. "Miss Bajraktari," Aleksander asked as he helped her disembark, "how long will you be visiting Albania?"
"I'm not sure," she said as they walked toward the terminal. "Tonight I'm going to the American Embassy, and tomorrow I leave for the mountain village where my Grandmother was born. I have contacted some cousins about a clause in Granny's will. Do you have family here in Tirana?"
"Yes, Ma'am, my Mother and two brothers."
They stopped at the terminal entrance. "In that case, why don't you take a paid vacation. While I'm at the embassy, I'll have some funds transferred to the Kolonja Airlines account. Also, if... or perhaps I should say when my brother contacts you tell him, I went to Grandma Pendre's hometown."
"Of course, Miss Bajraktari."
Standing in the shaded mountain glen, Brandi contemplated her next action. Her cousin, Aferdita, had assured her that this was the clearing which family legend talked about. Brandi hoped her cousin was right because she did not want to go galavanting all over the Albanian mounts to find it. She dropped her backpack on the ground before removing her cellphone from the pocket of her jeans. She turned the phone off and then placed it in her backpack. Removing a cremation urn , she closed her backpack and sats down on top of it.
"Zana e malit," Bradi said, opening the urn. "Fairy of the mountain, do you really exist? If so, please appear to me. I am Prende Bajraktairi's granddaughter. I am here to scatter her ashes in the place she met my grandfather."
"Welcome, Granddaughter of Prende." A beautiful woman with golden hair appeared before Brandi. "It is good to know that your grandparents heeded my warning and left Albania. Where is your grandfather's ashes?"
"Grandpa was killed in the war. I don't know where his body is buried. Granny Prende never told me."
"Scatter Prende's ashes and leave, but beware. Your brother seeks to steal Prende's fortune. If he does, disaster will befall everyone on the planet. Brandi, you are the only one who can safely wield Prende's discovery."
Word Count: 701