Previously: The Legend of Leonard Letterman, Pt 15
Wilhelmina’s eyes grew wide and she exchanged a significant look with Jerra as he placed the compact mirror into her palm. She ran her fingers over it, careful to keep it closed.
“Is it”- Jerra’s affirmative nod left the remainder of Wilhelmina’s question unspoken.
“It was lost…” her voice sounded far away to Leonard, even though she was standing right next to him.
“Not lost, Miss. Stolen, hidden, and found again,” Jerra replied, his voice creaking, eyes flickering between the ground in front of him and Wilhelmina’s face. “It was in Krosis.”
“How did she get this?” Wilhelmina asked, her eyes narrowing as she looked to Jerra.
“I don’ know, Miss. I only know she give me tha’, told and me how to use it, gave orders through it” he said miserably, hanging his head further as he spoke. Silence stretched itself throughout the room, tucking itself into every corner.
“Um…could someone maybe explain? Otherworlder here, a little confused.” Leonard waved with a nervous grin at the pairs of eyes that turned to him. Wilhelmina cast Leonard yet another of her appraising looks. Even then, she seemed far away to him, lost in the forest of her own thoughts.
“Forgive me,” Wilhelmina started, looking between the old man in irons and the shirtless Leonard next to her.
“This,” she held up the small, closed mirror, “is a speaking glass, long thought to have vanished. It allows you to speak through the glass across great distances, including through the portal. You speak with the reflection of the person holding the glass’s partner.
“It seems Jerra here,” Wilhelmina continued with a brief but venomous glance to the named man, who flinched at the way she spit his name out, “has been utilizing this to speak with and act on orders from Etta, which also confirms that my sister is not in danger, but is most likely the cause of it.” Her expression darkened, soft features growing harder than they seemed capable of becoming.
“Out with the rest, Jerra.” Wilhelmina crossed her arms as she waited, mirror still closed in her hand, reminding Leonard of the way she had clutched the amulet in it hours earlier.
“Masha and me, we was talkin’ about the Letterman, and the amulet in the ki’chen. She told me how you found it. So, when there was a momen’, I slipped away and spoke to her through the glass. Told her about them both.” Jerra seemed to grow even smaller as he detailed his betrayal.
“She told me to bring the amulet to the portal, and then someone would be through to-to take…to take Mr. Letterman,” he admitted despondently. Leonard exchanged a bewildered glance with Wilhelmina.
“Me? What could she want with me?” Leonard exclaimed, looking from Wilhelmina to Jerra as he tried to rein in the alarm rising in his chest.
“I swear, I don’ know. I just did as she told, Miss,” Jerra answered, emphatically shaking his head as he looked at Wilhelmina with a pained expression.
“Why did you do as she told you?” Wilhelmina asked, piercing the man with her words as much as with her stare. Leonard watched her outline shake with restrained emotion. Jerra’s weathered face looked ancient, his lower lip trembling slightly as he held his questioner’s eye.
“She…she told me my lil’ lass wasn’ missin’, tha-that she was in Krosis and, she told me tha’, I’d get her back, if I do as she say.” His voice cracked and his eyes started to leak, pleading as he added, “I’m sorry, Miss! I just had to try…”
Wilhelmina paused a moment before asking the same question crossing Leonard’s mind, the harshness gone from her tone, “how did you know Etta truly had her? Jylla went missing nearly four years ago.”
Jerra nodded towards Wilhelmina’s hand. “I saw her, in the speakin’ glass, just over a year ago.”
Click here for Part 17!