Hi everyone. Here's chapter 4. Yes, the chapters are shorter, but more frequent. I guess I'm "back in the groove," as far as writing goes. Please email me your comments!! They really let me know whether or not this work is worth the effort. Oh yes, there's naughty words and some sex scenes, so if you're under 18.. well, you know the rules. It's your butt, not mine. ;-) Thanks for reading!



The Dark One

by David M. Roduner

Chapter 4

The detective looked at John curiously. "Okay son," he finally said, "what are you on? Pot? Meth? XTC?"

"I'm telling you," John passionately interjected, "He was murdered! By this.. beautiful.. Italian man. Said his name was Merk or something. Some weird name."

"And I'm telling you," the detective impatiently continued, slamming down his notebook, "that the coroner returned the results. Acute myocardial infaction. He died from a fucking heart attack. Now what the hell really happened?"

"How about we start with you explaining to me how little Steven dies of a heart attack at age nineteen?"

"He was high. 'happens," the detective replied shrugging. He paused and then sighed. "Look, buddy. I don't want to spend my weekend here. I just want to get it over with. He had a heart attack. He's dead. End of story. Let's just finish this, go home, and get on with our lives." The detective sighed again and drank his coffee, waiting for John to respond.

The voice was talking to John again, unnerving him. He can't help you. "Did you say something?" he curiously asked the detective. The detective shook his head; no. "That's what I thought." John sat up from his slumping position in the uncomfortable folding chair that lay across from the detective's desk and made up his mind. "Very well, what do you want me to tell you so you can go home?" The detective sipped his coffee, nodded and pulled out his tape recorder.

Stefen Jotes ran his hands in a semi-circular motion over the neatly polished and finished mohogany table that served as the centerpiece for meetings at Cranbás, Inc. "It has come to pass," he said to himself softly. Kim entered the room politely, as years of experience in this corporation had taught her.

"Sir," she said, interupting his thoughts, "I shall be leaving for the night. Is there anything that you will be requiring?" Stefan eyed his secretary lazily. She had the classic Asian-American business look: black hair neatly cared for and just the right length, neat and professional grey business suit, dark leather briefcase, Palm Pilot in hand for use at a moment's whim. Stefan sat there and made no reply. "Sir?" Stefan grunted something unintelligable. Kim was not fazed. Years of secretarial work told her all she needed to know. "Very good, sir. Have a pleasent evening." She quietly turned and closed the door, leaving Stefan alone with his thoughts.

"Jonathan," he said quietly to himself, "what kind of a name is that? A commoner's name. Certainly not of the Old Ways. He should be easily fooled. Easily turned. My Lord will bend him to His will. Yes, the Dark One will be with us always." Stefan stood up and left the meeting desk and stared out the clear glass windows overlooking the city, rubbing the orb with swirling mists that hung down his neck. I will find you boy, and I will kill you.

"Heh, pretty good, even for a young pup," the old man said, grinning.

Cor wiped the sweat from his brow. "Was it -- oof!" Cor went flying down to the floor. "What was that for?!" he yelled, rubbing his sore bum.

"The servants of the Dark One will stop at nothing," answered the old man, "and they cheat." Cor looked down at the ground, for he knew the sage was right. The old man opened his hand and spread his fingers again. "Up, lad. Sparring's not over yet." Standing up, Cor imitated the man's movement.

Cor's green mage-fire again clashed with the man's pale-blue. The fires crackled as they hit each other. Cor and the man sparred for about fifteen more minutes, panting from the power drain. The man lowered his arm, and patted Cor on the shoulder. "Well done, lad. Now move the stool and table. Life them and take them to the other side of the room."

"But I haven't recharged!" the youth protested.

"In real life," the old man interrupted, "we don't have recharges readily available. That's why one must pace himself." Cor grimaced, but complied. "You anam cathram, by the way, is a healer. He will be there when you need him most." Cor looked up at the man and smiled happily. The thought of another.. it was too perfect to imagine. He just hoped the Goddess had chosen a good mate. "To work, to work!" bullied the man.

John stirred in his drunken slumber. Was that a voice he heard? "What did you say?" he slurred. He turned around from his sleeping place on the cold floor to discover that he was indeed alone. Desolate and alone. Kill? Was that what the voice had said?

"Open this door right now!" Mel screamed. Ouch, the pounding! Make it stop.. John groggily stood up and stumbled over to his heavy down and opened it. Mel stared into his face. Damn, he looked like shit. She pushed the door open and walked in. John fell back onto the ground with a loud thump. He moaned in pain. "And what is that going to do for you, dumbass?" He looked at her mindlessly.. To sleep, to sleep perchance to dream... Ay, there's the rub.. "Get up!" she ordered. "Dammit." She crossed her arms, and lay down next to him, exhausted. "He was just a fucking trick that just kept returning. But Jesus -- nineteen? How on earth-"

"No," John slurred, "not earth. Wasn't from earth.. Not earthbound.. no, no. He just wanted the thing.." Melinda looked sadly over at her friend ran her fingers over his burning brow. God, he was at least 102 degrees. This wasn't good. "Can worry about forehead later. Ouch! It hurts." John winced in pain and closed his eyes. To sleep.. John rested a bit, and his eyes fluttered open again. "We must see the old man." Mel sat there, dazed. John closed his eyes and decided to try what he used to do.. Focus.. find your point... He felt the energy pour into him, filling him. Yes, gain the power, use the power.. He put his two hand near each other, palms facing. Not touching, but almost. He could almost feel a magnetic force surging between his hands. He lifted his hand and put them near his head, just over the brow. That magnetic force that he couldn't describe began to pull out the pressure. Pull out the pain. John lowered his hands, breathing heavily. The pain was there, but much weaker. He could focus now. He could think. Melinda yawned and looked up at him. He extended his arm and lifted her up. "Let's go for a walk," he said, in an otherworldly voice.

Stefan glared at his brute. "Motorcycles," he said smirking, "are such silly human toys."

"Ay m'lord," the brute said, bowing his head.

"Fool!" Stefan silently yelled, "Not here. They're not to know. No one! We're only here as long as no one knows. As long as no one understands. We don't want them to understand, now do we?" Stefan said, glaring, running his slithering finger down the brute's leather-clad chest.

"They'll believe what they will, m'lord. Believe what they want to see." Stefan stood taller and looked at his brute with a keen eye. So this fool knew more than he had first presumed. Excellent. "What shall we do with him, sir?"

"With him? I really don't care. I just want the amulet destroyed. Demonsdeath is not to leave this time."

"They control time, master?" the brute asked, anxiously.

"Yes, the power we have not yet learned. But the Dark One will find a way. We must stop them at all costs. The value is so severe.. if they are able to delay us.. It would be extremely inconvenient." The brute was blinking blankly. Not that smart after all. "Find John. Bring Demonsdeath to me. The red eye will tell you its truth."

The brute bowed, but paused. "And what if, m'lord," the brute pondered, "he used the mageskill on me? I've seen such gruesome deaths. Before the Dark One sent me over to your service, of course."

"Don't let him find his anam cathram, then!" Stefan replied wearily. "Stop at nothing. These are no longer games that children play. This is war. We must win!" The brute nodded.

"Where might I find him, m'lord?" the brute asked finally. Stefan's dark-brown ponytail whipped over his shoulder as he looked out the windows.

"He is not trained. I cannot locate him unless he uses his skill." Stefan paced the floor, then froze. "Wait!" he yelled. He closed his eyes and clutched his orb. It began to glow a dark eerie grey, mists swirling about. "He has used his gift.. But he is still untrained. He used it at his home. I can feel its movement though.. Ah, he cannot block yet. Foolish boy! He walks.. to the Park of Seasons." Stefan's lips curled into a horrid grin. "Go now, brute! Do thy work!"

The leather-clad creature that was almost human briskly walked to the garages at Cranbás and mounted his motorcycle, speeding towards his target.