Chapter 7:

The Axis

The Only Female

"Karl is that you, my boy?" Karl's grandpa ask. Karl grab a chair nearby and sat beside his grandpa bed.

"I'm here, grandpa." he said. The old man on the bed show him a smile. As usual, his two gold teeth is showing.

"I'm so glad you're here boy. There's so much I want to tell you. But your grandma forbids me from doing anything but sleep and rest. I feel like I'm dead already." he said and touches his grandson chin. Karl take his grandpa hand and give him a little pat.

"Please don't say that, grandpa. You gonna be alright." Karl added, trying to uplift the old man spirit. 

Karl's grandpa is smiling again.

"So, they said the last time... But, I'm afraid my time has come, boy. There's no more adventure for an old man like me. I'm well past my prime and on my way to see my maker..."


"Hush, dear boy and listen to me. Grandpa have a secret to tell you... It's about our family. Might be useful for you someday. You and your bride."

"What is it, grandpa?"

"The Axis. I heard the committee talking about it got stolen a few weeks. Mandy Abermore was the one who stole it."

"Mandy Abermore? As in... Alice former governess?"

"That's the one. I heard she's a bit of a troublemaker, Karl. Better not let Alice see her ever again." he said. Karl begin to think about the incident during their sudden 'honeymoon'. Mandy death and the necklace immediately enters his mind.

"I don't think that would be a problem anymore, grandpa." he said. His grandpa coughs again. Then, he turned to look at Karl.

"They still hunting for her, last I hear. Keep that sweet little girl away from that woman if you don't want the committee sniffing behind your back." he reminds him. Karl nodded.

"Speaking of which, where's Alice?"

"She's outside with grandma."

"Oh, now that's an awful news. How can you leave here there, Karl? Your grandma is gonna eat her up alive."

"That's a a terrible thing to say, grandpa. Grandma wasn't all that bad."

"You don't know her well like I do. Trust me, I had live with that woman for more than fifty-years. She doesn't like anyone, not even me." Karl's grandpa laments. 

Karl force a smile, "Alice is a sweet girl. I'm sure she and grandma will get along well, grandpa." he added. Karl's grandpa coughs again.

"I hope so... Fifty-years is a long time to be spend, not liking anyone." he replied.


"Do you like strawberries, my dear?" Karl's grandma asks. Alice turned her back towards her and smile.

"Yes, I love them." she said. Karl's grandma smiles.

"Here. Have some more. This one is red, plump and juicy."

"Thank you, maam."

"Call me, grandma. You're married to my grandson so that technically made you my granddaughter as well." she added. Alice nodded and put the strawberry inside of her mouth, all while Karl's grandma watching her.

"Is something the matter?" Alice asks, wiping down the strawberry juice dripping from her lips. The old woman left out a sigh.

"It's about Karl's grandpa. I'm worried about him." she said. Alice put down the fruit and walk towards the woman in front of her. She sat down right next to her and put one hand on hers.

"Grandma, please don't worry. I'm sure he'll be okay soon." Alice tries to coax her. She sighs again.

"I'm not sure this time he will. The doctor told me that his cancer is back."

"Grandpa has a cancer?"

"He, did. Now it have come back. I'm worried if he doesn't have long with us." she said. Alice had turned quiet.

"I see I had worry you. Please don't be, my dear. This is what happen to most old people, me included. All I could hope for now is heir to carry on our family legacy."

"Heir, grandma?"

"Yes, my dear. You and Karl had been married for a few weeks now. Do you feel anything strange yet?"


"Don't be shy, dear. Tell me everything."

"I... Well..."

"There's nothing to report, grandma." Alice heard a voice coming from behind her. It's Karl. He nodded at his grandma and take a seat right next to her.

"Karl, my boy... Have you had a nice chat with grandpa, dear?"

"Yes, grandma."

"And how was he?"

"Strong as a horse. But, he's already fallen asleep after eaten his medicine."

"Nice to hear that. I never be able to convince him to eat anything. Now, do you want some tea my dear? I can ring you a new one." she said. Karl shakes his head.

"I'm afraid Alice and I have to leave first, grandma. We have some urgent business to take care off."   

 "Urgent business? Like what?"

"I'm afraid I couldn't tell you that.... I had made a promise with grandpa."

"You and your grandpa. Always with your secret pact and all that... Well, Alice and I have ours too... Isn't that right, my dear?" she says. Alice see her winking at her. She smiles.

"Yes, we have our secrets too, Karl."

"A secret? Like what?"

"Not telling." she shot back. Karl pouts.

"Fine. Alice, there's something I need to tell you... Do you want to step inside of my bedroom?"

"Your... bedroom?" Alice asks hesitantly. Karl nodded. Karl's grandma is looking at them interestingly.

"Alice dear?"  Karl's grandma call out. Alice turned at her.


"Perhaps you should go." she said. Alice turned at Karl. He nodded. She left out a sigh.

"Okay, Karl... Let's go." Alice said. She waves at Karl's grandma before climbing up the stairs, lead by her husband. As soon as they entered his room, Karl immediately locked it from inside. Alice form a frown.

"Karl? What's the matter?" she questions him. Karl put one finger on his mouth. Alice nods.

"What's the matter?" she whispered back at him. Karl look to his left and right. Then, he said;

"It's about the necklace, Alice. Mandy's hidden flash-drive. I think I know what it is."

"What is it?"

"I talk to my grandpa earlier... I believe it's something called as 'The Axis'..." he said. Alice takes a gulp down her throat and listen to the rest of Karl explanation. 

- End of Chapter 7 -