I was contacted over the weekend by a reader, and asked if the third book of Amber had been completed. You see, this person just finished reading Sex Magick and wanted to continue along. Unfortunately, I've got a considerable amount of writing to do before the third book of Amber is completed and published.
We exchanged a few messages, and I spoke of some of the events that I've experienced in my life to inspire the scenes in my books. And I think those moments with one of my readers was just the medicine I needed to get moving on House of Witches (the third book of Amber). Since then, I've written three new chapters and am back on a roll!
It's my goal--nearly a promise--to have House of Witches available to the public by late summer / early autumn of this year.
Little Paw, the Schizophrenic Teddy Bear has returned to the Literary World of Tom Raimbault. Let's join him in one of this adventures in which he is hired by the FBI to repair their radios.
Little Paw the Schizophrenic Teddy Bear Repairs Radios for the FBI
It was a warm, summer night as Little Paw slept soundly in his room. But he was soon awoken by a summoning voice. "Little Paw! Little Paw; wake up!"
The cub sat up, rubbed his eyes and looked around. There was no one in the room, and Momma and Papa Bear were sound asleep. Perhaps he was only dreaming.
His head gently hit the pillow in a wish to nod off to dreamland, but the summoning voice returned. "Little Paw! Don't go to sleep!"
"Who's there?" The cub was startled and nearly terrified.
The voice seemed to come from the bedside radio. "Little Paw! I am the leader of the FBI and I'm speaking to you through your radio. We have a very important job for you, provided you accept. We've been watching you for some time and have decided that you would be the perfect candidate for our FBI radio repair person... er... teddy bear. Would you be interested?"
Little Paw's eyes opened wide with a beaming smile. Would he be interested in such a duty? Little Paw would be honored and gladly accepted the challenge.
But it was necessary to test the cub as the voice continued, "Secret agents have put one of our radios in your neighbor's garbage can. It looks like any other ordinary radio, but it receives FBI communication. If you successfully retrieve this radio, then you have passed the first part of our test. And if you can repair the radio, you will have passed the test entirely and will be designated our official FBI Radio Repair Agent.
Little Paw certainly couldn't awaken Momma and Papa Bear, asking permission to retrieve the radio. What if they said no? This would lead to failing the test and he couldn’t land the job as FBI Radio Repair Agent. It was easier to crawl out the bedroom window, into the night, and over to his neighbor's garbage can. And just as the leader of the FBI mentioned, there was a radio waiting for repair.
Back to his house, through his bedroom window, Little Paw was safe and had passed the first test. He hid the radio under the bed and crawled back under the covers. Tomorrow he could examine the radio and hopefully get it to work.
"Little Paw! What are you doing? Why are you sleeping? The FBI needs that radio and you agreed to fix it! You are someone who backs down on his word. You are worthless and cannot be trusted!” The voice called out through the bedside radio. Apparently, the FBI had an advanced technology that was able to send signals through Little Paw's bedroom electric outlet that would monitor his activities. This was serious business, and it was best to begin the evaluation of the FBI radio right away!
Little Paw worked the night; all the while he was under careful watch by the FBI, and spoken to via the bedside radio. They wanted to make sure the cub did everything correctly. FBI radios are serious, and there can be no tolerance for errors!
By dawn, Little Paw had discovered a simple problem with the radio. The wire that connected the exterior antenna to the interior circuit board had been cut. He simply used electric tape to restore the connection, and the radio, once again, worked.
Again, the radio wasn't much different from what one might have on a bedside table. But it had the ability to receive FBI broadcasts. Little Paw listened carefully for a few minutes and overheard a portion of a broadcast that contained FBI secrets about the government.
The voice from the leader of the FBI became outraged.” Little Paw! What are you doing? You are not to listen to FBI secrets; it is forbidden!"
He didn't mean any harm; the cub was only curious, and hopefully the FBI would forgive him. Little Paw unplugged the radio and hid it in the bedroom closet. Soon he would receive instructions of where to deliver the radio so secret agents could retrieve it.
Time passed, and Little Paw continued to receive additional jobs from the FBI. The plan was consistent: crawl out his bedroom window at night, locate the radio and bring it back into his bedroom where the evaluation process could be done. Some nights he didn't wait for a mission to be given. Little Paw simply crawled out the window and searched for the FBI radios without prior instruction. The leader of the FBI must have been proud of the official Radio Repair Agent, who exhibited the qualities of a proactive operative. But the cub never received instructions of where to deliver the repaired radios. His bedroom closet was building up a collection, and there was no way to hide them.
One day, Momma Bear asked, "Little Paw, why are all of these radios in your closet?" She discovered the collection of radios and was most curious. Her cub was expected to always tell the truth, no matter how difficult the truth might be.
Little Paw realized that his job was top secret. But he couldn’t lie to Momma Bear. The words ran off his tongue, "Those are the radios that I fix for the FBI." He was in a state of disbelief. Did he really divulge his secret job to Momma Bear?
"Oh, you fix these radios for the FBI?" Momma Bear chuckled. "Honey, that's wonderful! Do you actually get them to work?"
Little Paw watched in horror as Momma Bear plugged one of the radios in the electric outlet. He yelled out, "Momma, no! You're not supposed to listen to FBI secrets! It's forbidden!"
Momma Bear was understanding of her cub. "Don't worry; I won't listen. I just want to see if it works."
Unfortunately, while Momma Bear checked to see if the radio worked, Little Paw overheard a brief notice about the President of the United States meeting with extraterrestrials later in the week. It was already too much information! And the leader of the FBI could be heard clearing his throat through Little Paw's bedside radio.
Momma Bear turned the radio off and put it back in the closet. "Well that's wonderful, honey! Papa will be so proud of you! Maybe some day you can have a job as a radio repair person." She was so happy that her cub could now play and have an active imagination. The medicine truly was working; Little Paw was finally a normal teddy bear. But Momma Bear couldn't help but wonder where all those radios came from. There must have been 20 in that closet; old walkmans, clock radios, boom boxes and even transistor radios from the days long past.
The disrespect for FBI confidential broadcasts on Momma Bear’s part triggered curiosity for the bear cub. What if there was a way to listen to FBI secrets without the leader of the FBI’s knowledge? Could he shroud his invasion from the watchful eyes through electric outlets? All it would require is to be away from the bedroom outlets—any outlets—and Little Paw would be safe. But how and where were the questions that burned and continued to agitate the teddy bear’s curiosity.
One day, he made a discovery that might very well have made that desire a reality. The bedroom closet contained over two-dozen radios waiting for delivery to the FBI. Many of them were battery powered which meant they could be used in a place where electric outlets were unavailable. Coincidentally, the very closet that stored the radios did not have an electric outlet! He could sneak through the door and listen to the FBI secrets. And to prevent the sounds of the radio being overheard by the leader of the FBI, Little Paw could plug a pair of headphones into one of the radios and listen until his heart was content.
It would require much thought and speculation. What were the consequences? Could he get caught? And what could he do with such information? Perhaps he could sell FBI secrets to enemy countries. Little Paw once heard that espionage was a financially rewarding lifestyle. And the more he thought about it, the more he realized that the FBI had never paid him for his services.
One night, after dinner, Little Paw opened up one of his toys and removed a 9 volt battery. He did this with extreme caution, as if not to let prying eyes from the electric outlets see. The leader of the FBI was most likely intelligent and could detect Little Paw’s intention to invade FBI confidentiality. He opened the bedroom closet door, pretending to look for a shirt to wear. Then he quickly slipped through the door and shut it behind him.
Once in the dark, he pulled a penlight from his pocket to examine the collection of radios. A small radio that used a 9 volt battery for DC power looked promising. Plus it included a headphone jack to accommodate the pair that Little Paw had in his back pocket. A quick clip of the 9 volt battery, connection to the headphone and flip of the switch “on”; Little Paw was now in the violation zone, listening very carefully to every FBI broadcast. In one report, it was mentioned that the FBI now held the technology to observe what every home in America was doing via television sets. Unsuspecting citizens were unaware of the camera-like devices installed behind the screens of their TVs. Needless to say, the teddy bear cub was frightened upon hearing this. The FBI was probably observing Momma and Papa Bear each night while they watched TV. Perhaps they knew that Momma and Papa Bear ate honey late at night!
Frightened, he turned the radio off, pulled the battery and put it away. But just before the cub left, he heard a voice coming from the light fixture in his closet. Unbeknown to him, the FBI had seen everything through the closet light fixture, in much the same way they could see through the electric outlets in his room.
The angry voice announced, “Little Paw, I told you not to listen to FBI secrets on the FBI radios! It is forbidden! Now you are in big trouble!”
Oh no! What was Little Paw going to do now? Terrified, the cub had no choice but to run out of his room and tell Momma and Papa Bear everything. He even informed them of how the FBI was watching through the living room TV. Then he reminded, “Turn it off Papa! They can see us!”
Of course Momma and Papa Bear were very concerned. Why was their little cub suddenly having a relapse?
“Little Paw, have you been taking your medicine?” Momma Bear was quick to look in Little Paw’s bottle of pills. Sure enough, he had missed many days worth of medication. Of course! The FBI certainly wouldn’t recruit a teddy bear to repair their radios. As for watching her and Papa Bear through the TV: hopefully that wasn’t true! They might see her eating all that honey late at night, and… well, let’s just say that Momma Bear didn’t have the same figure from 10 years ago, and neither did Papa Bear!
Little Paw was immediately given a pill along with a nice cup of relaxing, chamomile tea. He was tucked into bed and reminded to always take his medicine.
Papa Bear collected all the radios from Little Paw’s bedroom closet and brought them out to the trash. “There! If the FBI doesn’t want my cub listening to their broadcasts, they can pick the radios up in the trash where they belong!” Nobody messes with Little Paw, nobody!