In another part of London, hidden deep within the auspices of fallen grandeur, a lone figure paced back and forth. The robe he wore swept across the stale air with each turn. The figure, an elderly man, slightly stooped, wore an expression of rage. His eyebrows were pitched toward the center of his forehead as his mind worked through the problem at hand. His eyes glowed a fiery red from the frustration, hate and exhaustion from days without sleep. The pacing stopped only long enough to re-fire his pipe, which he kept tightly between his teeth. The gray smoke spread throughout the room, unimpeded by any movement of air, save the sweep of his robe at each frustrating turn. The lone figure had been pacing for nearly a week. All of his sources confirmed his suspicion.
"Those damn meddlesome kids," he mumbled to himself. "They need to be taught some proper respect." He whirled round once again and came to an abrupt stop. The smile that grew ever so slowly from one corner of his mouth faded into an evil sneer. "And I know just the bloke to do it." Reaching within the confines of his robe, he pulled out his wand.
"Verba communico, Osomma," he said firmly as he pointed the wand at the television in the corner. The screen crackled with bright flashes, went totally black, then slowly started to glow. As the intensity increased, an Arab man appeared.
"Yes, Master," the man said in Arabic as he bowed.
"Rise and speak." The man stood and faced his master.
"What is thy bidding?"
"Come now, Osomma. You're a man of the world. You must know that proper British protocols insist on small talk first."
"Certainly, my lord."
"Dispense with formalities. I hope you're enjoying my villa?"
"It is the epitome of luxury."
"For what I pay, you better be enjoying it. Villas in the highlands of Germany don't come cheap, but they do provide the perfect retreat from the eyes of the world."
"And your generosity, my lord, is most appreciated."
"Ah, then, maybe my generosity can be repaid, in part, by a small favor?"
"My resources are at your command, my lord."
"Ever the suave and debonair servant, Osomma," the elderly man chuckled, but then turned serous. "I have two pains in my arse that need to be plucked from existence."
"My resources reach far and wide, my lord."
"I know that, you twit!" the elderly man spat. "There are two teenagers who defy everything that is sacred to the true world of magic. They must be eliminated at all costs." The Arab couldn't help but smile.
"Certainly a menial task as this is within the range and scope of my lord's intimate staff?" The old man sneered.
"You pompous ass! Of course it is! But this task must be delicate. The two of which I speak are, ah, special. They are immensely popular within the magical world as well as the human world. So much so, that I am in need of dubious methods of removal ... methods I believe that are at your beckoned call, Osomma." The Arab bowed and smiled.
"My lord, it is indeed an immense pleasure to bring my army to bear on those who bring you trouble."
"Good, for it would be of immense pleasure to bring unbearable pain and torture to those who would deny me." The Arab flinched at the words, but held his composure.
"What would you have me do, my lord?"
There are certain things in the world of the mortal human being that are accepted, and then there are certain things that are merely speculated about. The world of the magical reigns among those of the speculative. Everything that denies to conform to the conservative views of mortal human thinking are considered evil ... magic, the dark arts, witches and wizards, ghosts, telekinesis, and even, to the surprise of the magical world, homosexuality. Being "gay" had long been accepted as a normal way of life in the magical community for as long as any of the wisest of the wise could remember. To contradict Mother Nature and her Devine plan is ostracizable.
There are eight esoteric powers over the material plane. Mother Nature makes these powers available to everyone, but there are only a few who have the predisposition to be aware of them and even fewer who are able to use them. Those that have the ability are called magical. They are entrusted with a gift. As with all gifts of this magnitude, they are not to be abused. Of these magical people, there are a few seekers of the truth that find themselves preoccupied with these powers and are distracted from the transcendent truth. The powers become a source of ego and are used to control and manipulate, winning submission and adulation. The deliberate use of these gifts in one's own self-perpetuation is frowned upon by sages and advanced sincere seekers. These practices are distractions from the real goal of transcendent truth and become a source of evil.
The eight powers are Anima, Mahima, Laghima, Iishitva, Prakamyam, Antarayamitva, Prapti and Vashitva. Anima is the ability to become very small. Mahina is the ability to become very large. Laghimna is the ability to become very light or to be anywhere in the universe. This comes from controlling the ability to be between the chakras of fire and ice. Iishitva is the ability to understand all entities in the universe and to direct and witness their actions. Prakamyam is the ability to take the form of anything. Antarayamitva is the ability to see the inner nature of any entity. Prapti is one of the most egotistical powers in that it is the ability to get or create whatever is desired. And finally, there is Vashitva, the ability to control forces and create new life.
Malin, the old man, was intimately aware of each of these powers and had evoked each and every one of them or some variation of each during his life. At last the old man was able to sit back on the settee in front of the fire and relax. His conscious mind was filled with horrific visions of torture and death for the two teenagers. The thoughts filled his conscious mind. Schemes of pain, torment and the ultimate end to the two people who had reeked more havoc over his plans than any other living souls brought a smile to his haggard face.
"Those two little weaklings won't know what hit them. I look forward to leeching the very life out of each of them while the other one watches." He giggled out loud as he conjured up a cup of tea. Its sweet, warm liquid quenched his parched throat. "Yes indeed. Those two sorry excuses of wizardry are going to regret ever being born."
On a mostly deserted street in London's warehouse district, the location manager for the film had found the perfect setting for scenes at the door of the Leaky Cauldron. The street on either side of the location shoot for the movie had been cordoned off and each end was guarded by hired off-duty constables to keep the crowds of fans at bay. Trailers for each of the top stars of the film had been moved there for wardrobe, makeup, relaxing between takes and in the case of the younger film's stars, so teachers could have access to provide education in required British courses. Coming from lunch, Tom and Daniel appeared in Tom's trailer.
"Now remember, we need to be discrete," said Tom as he stowed his wand. Daniel sighed.
"I know, I know. But that doesn't mean I have to like it." Tom pulled him into a hug as Daniel continued to complain. "I see other people expressing the way they feel in public and it frustrates me that I can't do the same." Tom released Daniel from the hug and sat down on the couch. He patted the space next to him. Daniel sat down heavily.
"Dan, you're an international superstar. Your face has been on the cover of literally dozens of magazines and your name is recognized and known around the world. What you do in private is of a lot of interest. People are naturally curious. However, given the current feeling toward gay people, I don't think news of us shagging is going to be greeted with fanfare."
"I know, Tom. Believe me, I know. But I still don't like it."
"You like the paycheck."
"Well, that's true," Daniel said smiling.
"Then don't muck it up." The two boys relaxed and waited to be called to the set. The occasional snog was kept quiet and the blinds were kept shut.
Several blocks away, a lone car scurried along, its sole occupant with one goal in mind. Approaching the guarded barriers protecting the film's cast and crew, the driver sped up. Before anyone had time to react, the car smashed through the barriers and careened on down the street. It passed trucks loaded with lighting gear, cameras, generators, and movie props. The young driver pushed the accelerator to the floor. Thirty-five hundred pounds of steel lurched forward as the engine hungrily ate the additional petrol. The car streaked toward a group of trailers. The back seat and trunk were laden with explosives. The young man at the wheel raised his arm and covered his eyes as the vehicle made contact. A loud scream was the last sound to pass over his lips. The explosion ripped through the trailer and everything within fifty feet. As a huge fireball rose into the afternoon sky, a decrepit old man sat in his settee by the fire. He took a sip of his tea and smiled.
Note from the author: Sorry about the cliffhanger, but I just couldn't help myself. Despite the bleak outlook, there's more to come, so keep checking back. I also invite you to visit my website at www.tarheelwriter.com for more stories. Comments are certainly welcome. Thanks to my editors in the Sunshine State! You two are the best!