Eddie awoke. We was lying flat on his back somewhere. Someone was poking him with a stick. He looked up, and found he was staring into the sun, with a vague silhouette of someone standing over him. The silhouette turned into the face of America as she leaned forward to get a better look. 'You awake now?' she asked. She prodded him with the stick one more time to make sure. Eddie was slightly frightened. He still had not got over the shock of being somewhere he least expected to be. He still was not sure where it was. He looked around with a scared look on his face. 'You're on my lawn,' said America. 'What?' 'My lawn. You're sleeping on my lawn. Come inside, we'll discuss it some more.' 'Discuss what?' 'What we spoke about before. You remember? Before?' 'Before? Before when?' 'You have no memory of what we spoke of before?' 'No, should I?' Eddie was perplexed. This old woman was considered weird at the best of times. 'Before your accident. We spoke of it before. I thought that was why you wanted to see me the other day. You never mentioned it.' 'Mentioned it? Mentioned ... what? What did we discuss before the accident?' 'Come inside. We must talk again then.' Eddie stood up and was aching all over. Why did he feel so tired all the time? He felt exhausted. Maybe this was what it was like to run a marathon. He brushed himself off a little, and followed America back into her house. The house looked completely unfamiliar. Like he had never been their before. The opposite of de ja vu. It was called jamais vu. He had a sensation he had never ever been in this house before. It all looked totally unfamiliar, yet he knew in his mind that he had in fact been in many times before. in fact, he had visited just the other day. Why did it all seem so weirdly different? He suspected it had to do with the talisman that was now burned into his heart. 'Shut the door behind you,' America said. 'We have a lot to discuss if you can't remember anything.' 'I can remember some things. I remember you.' 'Hmph, so you should young man. So you should. Come into the kitchen and sit down a while.' Eddie felt he could go in to the kitchen and sleep a thousand sleeps. He was just so tired. 'Sit down. Sit down. I'll make us some tea, and I'll read your tea leaves for you.' 'Um, thanks,' Eddie was not sure what to make of it. He had no memory of having tea leaves read for him before. Something in his psyche told him that he had allowed America to read them for him previously. 'The pots already boiled,' she said as she placed two tea cups on the table. She picked up the tea pot and swished it around in the air a little. It came back to him about his previous visits. Jim and Eddie used to visit all the time for about a year. That was why Eddie and Jim were afraid of her and started to avoid her. At first it had seemed exciting. They visited her, she would read their tea leaves, or their palms or tell them something regarding their futures. She told Jim, he was eventually going to be a stock broker and make millions of dollars. Eddie, well, he was going to become a famous artists or something. He was not going to ever be as rich as Jim, but she was certain he would be successful and well known. Both of the boys took it to heart. They became a little freaked out when she revealed to Jim that his Grandmother was due to die soon. Two months later, she died. Then, America started to tell Jim that his Grandmother was visiting her all the time. At first Jim was a little upset, but tried to ignore it. Then came the day that she started to inform him of things he had never shared with anyone. Things that a ghost might just be able to find out. So Jim became convinced that America was really talking to his dead Grandmother. It scared him and Eddie enough that they began avoiding her at all costs. Now she poured the tea and Eddie was going to have her consult the leaves. He drank, making sure he did not drink the tea leaves, then he placed the cup down for her to read them. 'I can see you need help. Help from a friend, but you are unsure how to get them to help you. You need their help, as you are trying to help another friend. Still, maybe there is another who may be of benefit. Someone else who can help you achieve what you want to achieve. Someone different to you and your friends. Someone who knows how to defeat the evil which has your friend ensnared!' America was deliberately trying to be vague. She was hoping Eddie would interpret her as the one he should seek help from. She was hoping Jim was the friend in need of help, and that Eddie would assume Mark was the evil. Eddie's mind did not think along those lines at all. He interpreted it to mean he had to seek the Magi out. The Magi would help him to help Slim. Slim was the friend in need, and the demons were the evil. He started thinking and assumed that the magi would tell him how to bring Jim into the realm of sleep with him. An ally to help fight the evil and to help liberate Slim. America's mind was set on one path to try to bring Eddie back to the fold. To try to convince him to visit her more often. It was the sort of control she loved over people's lives. She could make people love you or hate you, the same way she controlled Lillian, and the same way she made people hate Mark. Power over other people. It was better than money, more important than television and America had honed the art of manipulating people to like who she liked, and hate who she hated. She was the queen, people did her bidding. The power made her feel euphoric. People did what she said, just because she had said it. She felt like she was providing a service. She made people's lives easier by making all their hard decisions for them. Who to marry, who to talk to, who to hate. She felt putting spells on people to make them fall in love was a good thing. The fact that it removed people's free will was irrelevant. As far as she was concerned, love was a good emotion, so making two fall in love was therefore a good thing. The fact they might be incompatible was irrelevant. Her job was important, and people should just do what she says without question. Then there was Bob and Akane. She was going to put a stop to that. She hated Akane, though she never did know why. She was just certain that Akane deserved to be brought down a few pegs and she did not like the fact that Bob had grown so close to her. That was a relationship America was going to nip in the bud, and she was going to stop it for good.