Hi everyone. Here's chapter 6. After re-reading chapter 5, I noticed several major errors, including the misuse of a character's name. I apologize for this profusely. 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 7

Cornelius blinked his eyes in confusion. He was no longer in that forbidden forest - or the Grove of Seasons, as his teacher called it. He was in some strange new place. Cor coughed and winced. The air was thicker - filled with toxins. But the smell of death was not as obvious. "Come," his teacher beckoned.

Jonathan looked up and breathed a sigh of relief. The man in white was back again. He looked at John and smiled. "What have you learned thus far, sweet?" Jonathan uttered a very confused "what" in response. The man touched John's forehead and nodded in response. "You are a healer, yes. And you have healed some. already. Good. Let us focus together on this girl." John nodded, and pressed his hand down on Melinda's wound as the white-robed man pressed mimicked this move. Melinda gasped and tried to hold her breath as she felt the pain drain away. She closed her eyes and did not wake.

John fell to the ground, gasping for breath. The man in white grasped John's shoulder kindly and smiled. "You did well, my son. It was the brute's blood, was it not?"

"That thing.. I don't know how.. but I split it in two.. and the blood hit her leg.. but I think Mel's ok now.."

"Yes, she will be fine. So John, we have now met you. I am Roger the White, and this is my student, Cornelius. He is wielded by Lifeshield. You know what you must do."

"Yes," John replied wearily, "I heard the bard."

Roger the White nodded. "I knew you would. The bard was connected to the brute you destroyed. We were able to break the Dark One's seal, though." John was the one to this time nod. "You misunderstand our travelling arrangements, though. Look at this mighty tree. An oak. A powerful tree indeed. Old it is, and wise. It is the key to our travelling power. It allows us to travel from one place to another."

"You can go to the past or future?" John asked quietly.

"No, but I shall explained after you have rested. Let us go to your home and lay Melinda down. We shall speak more there."

Roland held his king's hand at his bedside. Calamon knew that it was time. Time to release the lies from his side and tell Roland the truth.

"My friend, you have much to learn, and I have little time to tell you. Your wife - she was a witch. It is true. And she gave a special magic to Cornelius. Your son can no longer be of our world. He has a deeper task before him. He must stop the Dark One from ending time and grabbing the Goddess' power."

Roland blinked in confusion. "The Goddess? But I thought that you said that there was but one God.." he trailed off.

Calamon waved his hand, brushing away the words. "I said that to keep our fragile allegiance with Sertalùn. But God, the Goddess, the many gods, Lord and Lady.. they are all one and the same. The name matters not. We are watched over by that great being. But the Dark One lusts for our land. We must help delay him at all costs. And you, my friend, have quite a task before you. I need you to find the Wizard of Adhmad Aduaidh. That wizard will journey with you to correct what you must. And this," Calamon continued, grabbing Roland's jar of wine, "will not aid thee. Now go, my friend. The Dark One is after you. Be wary!"

Roland nodded, and slipped out the king's chamber silently, escaping through the back end of the castle, the very same door that he had left years earlier on the fateful morning of his wife's death.

Time is not a line, Robert the White explained. It has not a finite beginning or end, but rather a series of circling events. And within each circle events repeat. When you combine the many circles, a shape is created; what you would call a sphere. And with the power of the Trees of the Seasons, one can travel from one circle to another. When this sphere is observed as a whole, one can fathom what Time truly is. A combination of linked events that travel in and out of each other over and over. Most men are trapped in their chosen circle and never leave. But it is easiest for them. And it is best kept that way. Because of the nature of the circles, one cannot choose at what point he or she is sent to another circle. We always move forward, and it is the same in all circles. But that is the problem with the Dark One. He wants to control Time and break the circles. He wants to make this world his own. He is a fool: he thinks he can be the Goddess.

Cornelius shifted uncomfortable on John's bed. "Can he.. do that?" the boy asked. John looked at Cor with a curious gaze.

Roger the White looked at Cor also, but then sadly stared down at the floor. "I do not know. I simply do not know."

Mahou Ichida stepped off his boat and embraced the cool air hitting his face. He smiled to himself and whistled a happy tune as he pulled up his chubby hand and blew his magical herb into the wind. He had foreseen his skills being needed here, and he was right. The earth was dry and in need of repair. He grinned still, thinking that this western land of Frivesland was nothing next to his native soil, his beautiful Sertalùn. But that was all right. He would soon restore it to its former beauty and be on his way. The short, chubby man paused, and smelled the air. He felt something very wrong in the air. Machou then frowned. So the Dark One was here too! This was not good, he mused, not good at all.

The Dark One had already killed his anam cathram. But it was all right. Mahou, with his foresight, had seen it, and enjoyed what he could with his lifemate. He continued with his precious time alive, and fixed the forests as best he knew. He was always seen as odd in other lands: his yellowish skin always set him off. But Mahou could not be bothered with such trivial matters. He was too busy focusing on following the Lord's work, as he was instructed: heal what is broken. And Dark One or not, he was going to do it. Wickedness be damned.

So Mahou went on his way, forcing up a tune to whistle, which finally put him into better spirits. He sang a song from his youth.

Sing a song, a happy song,
And go about your way.
Dance a jig, a happy jig,
And lovely is the day!
I may not be a rich man,
I may not be well off,
But if I sing a happy song,
My joy cannot be scoffed!

Plant a seed, a lovely seed,
And see its blossoms bloom!
How lovely life can seem to be
Around the 'mid of June.
I may not be a wise man,
I may not be well read.
But if I plant a lovely seed,
I'll reap some joy instead!

Mahou was soon smiling again, skipping along the road, singing the many other verses to his gay little tune.

Jonathan and Cornelius were not whistling. "How am I supposed to work this this.. child?" John finally asked Roger the White, infuriated.

"He is older than he appears. Be not offset by exterior beauty. The Goddess has decreed.."

"FUCK your Goddess!" Jonathan yelled angrily, "I don't give a damn about her. There is no Goddess.. or God.. or anything. There is only pain. Since this began, your Goddess stole my lover, nearly killed my best friend, has left me poor.. I mean, look at this place.. and even before that, she killed my aunt!"

Roger nodded sadly. "You lost the lover whom you did not know you loved until it was too late. The Dark One meant to weaken you with that. For HE took your lover. He took your aunt. And he inadvertantly attempted to kill your friend here. That is his way."

"Oh, and I suppose I should be greatful! Oh joy.. look at what I have to thank for it. A half-dead friend, a little boy who just started growing pubes -" I am of seventeen summers! was angrily interjected - "and an old man, though kind, probably should be in some retirement facility! Not much going for me here, if you'll notice!"

"Listen you bottom-dweller," Cornelius angrily began retorting, which caused Jonathan to silently muse that dwelling on Cornelius' bottom wouldn't be a bad thing, "what do you care of my situation, or anyone's for that matter? My mother was torn from me and killed before my eyes.. Goddess.. mother, how I miss you.. " Cornelius blinked his eyes back to reality and continued, "My father has become a self-righteous fool and has denied me as his son, and I've spent the past week with this bloody pervert here learning the great magicks so I could fight the Dark One with my anam cathram! Well I'm still waiting. And I have not yet found him. But I know that the Goddess is good. I must be patient. But this is not for my personal gain. It is for this -sphere, you called it? - called time."

"Little boy, I am five years your senior, and have something to share." Cornelius drew closer, cautiously. "Joy is very rare. And it is short-lived. Be glad you've never loved. Because the moment you have it, it is stolen for you. I don't think I shall bother loving again; it's just not worth it. This world is not worth it. All we do is kill each other anyway! Who cares if it's some eastern psycho or the Dark One?" John's attention was then diverted from his argument by Melinda's soft moan from the bedroom.

"Please sir," Cornelius sadly plead. He quickly sat down on John's lap, his face mere inches from John's. "Please sir, do it for her. Keep the Dark One from her." Cornelius had no idea what effect he was having on Jonathan, though. John quickly smacked Cor's butt.

"Get up, boy. You are right. Let us take Melinda home and then do whatever must be done." John made sure to readjust himself first. He didn't want anyone to know how profoundly Cornelius has "risen his spirits."

Jonathan offered to cary Melinda, but Roger shook his head no. He just whispered a few words, and Melinda began to levitate between them. They exited John's home, which he realized he would not miss very much, and took her home.

"This air is disgusting," Cornelius whined as they took her home, his mood changed from pleading to bratty. "It sickens me. This world is revolting. Look at those hideous numbers painted on the road.. and those metal .. things.."

"They're called cars, boy," Jonathan responded.

"Of course, sir. But look at that horrible one! Goddess."

They observed a vehichle that looked like "a rat's ass," in John's words. The P.T. Cruiser - a truly hideous thing, according to all members of the party. "I agree, boy. Very astute. But the air.. well, one gets used to the city."

They continued walking as Cornelius continually complained about John's city. "Where are the horses? Where is the grass? The only trees I observed were by the Tree of Seasons. What has come to our land?"

"This isn't even our land as all, Cornelius," answered Roger, sensing John's growing annoyance. "The circle is a different land altogether. There is no Frivesland in this world."

"And no Serlatùn, bless the Goddess! What on earth is that contraption there?" he chatted on.

Cornelius received another swat on his rear end. "Would you possibly observe this silently? Do you want to wake the whole neighborhood, boy? That is a fire hydrant. Not let's go."

"Forgive me sir," Cornelius responded humbly.

"You are forgiven boy," John responded, patting him on the cheek. Not even a kiss! Cornelius thought. "Now let's go!" The boy followed John's command.