PrepTober Plot Background story
Julian Mackowiak sat in the restaurant, his journal and pen down beside the empty plates from his lunch. He was happy to be back in England, back at the Agency’s home. He and the others from the Special Agency Magic and Supernatural Objects – SAMSO or the Agency – had successfully retrieved an object, a wand that could call and control demons, away from a Nazi officer who, with others, had been planning to use the evil creatures in an attempt to remove Allie forces from Italy. But thanks to sympathetic Italian Catholics, the Agency was able to thwart the plans. With the wand safely within the depths of the church, the sergeant was able to relax.
He had a family back in upstate New York, a wife and three daughters. He joined the Army a week after Pearl Harbor, with his brothers Andrzej and Stanislaw, and his brothers-in-law Antoni and Kazimierz Przybyła, Tadeusz Olszak, and Michal Glabinski. None of them were assigned together, something they all insisted on, and Julian was initially stationed at Fort Lee, to teach the next crop of cooks on how to do things the Army way. A natural talent in the kitchen, he had assigned himself to being there for the duration, until a visit from several officers changed his life.
“I’ve been told that you were a private detective in civilian life?” a general asked as the man finished his second slice of apple pie.
Julian nodded. “But there’s not much call for that kind of work here in the Army,” he answered. “My skills in the kitchen are best served here, teaching others.”
“We don’t believe so,” a colonel jumped in. “We’ve received intel that you’ve done work back in New York for the Catholic church, finding some lost items that greatly needed return.”
Without hesitation the cook answered, “I thought that was to remain secret.”
Finishing his second slice of cake, a colonel added, “Nothing in civil life is secret from us, not at this time.”
A day later, Julian Mackowiak was on a troop ship and on his way to England, to join an agency that very few knew of.
“Is there anything you’d like further?” a blonde waitress asked. She was older than most of the women in this part of the country.
The American smiled and asked, “Maybe just another cup of tea would be good.” She nodded and hurried her way back to the kitchen. Julian opened the journal, took up the pen, and jotted a few more notes, to add somethings he had forgotten earlier.
“Does he know that documenting his actions could be perceived as espionage?” a well-dressed English man asked his equally dressed table mate, a woman how, like Mackowiak, was writing into a journal.
“I do not think so, sir.” The woman placed her pencil down and looked at the man. “But we’re sure that no one knows of his actions, beyond those back at Berkshire Castle.”
The man, Lord George Wellington, heir to the Lordington barony, had been with the Agency since its founding in 1938, when the British learned of Hitler and the government collecting of suspected magical and supernatural items from across Europe. He had been the one who read the backgrounds of people, men and women, who could be trusted with the information they would learn and be capable of retrieving such items. Lord Wellington never doubted Mackowiak, and even now as he watched the man write about his latest foray into Europe that faith had not waived.
“Let’s just hope everyone believes the cover story, that he’s writing stories for his children since he’s still just a cook.”
The woman smiled and nodded. “Yes, sir.”
Charlemagne Duquesne opened his grandfather’s journal and read: Christopher’s Wand had the power to both conjure and direct demons. He shook his head, still in disbelief that such items existed. A few years earlier, he had been bequeathed these stories, the documentation of Julian Mackowiak’s time in Europe during the war. His grandmother and mother both told him that they were just stories, something he wanted to publish once he returned. He believed it, for a while. Once he had someone attempt to steal them, however, his view changed.
He did not stop using them as the plots for short stories, novellas, and novels, the money he earned from them helped him purchase a car, helped him take Sabrina Roussell to her prom, and helped him move out of the Charlotte State College dorms and into an apartment, even before his initial semester had finished.
“A wand that conjures demons,” he whispered. “First time for that,” he added before he wrote notes into his composition book. “This may be good for a novella.”
Outside the three-story building, an unassuming sedan sat, three men inside watching the second-floor window intently.
“Tell me again how we know this kid’s the novel writer?” the bald man in the backseat asked.
Aspirated, the dark-eyed man behind the wheel answered, “Because we have contacts within the publishing industry!”