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Excerpts from EVIL REIGN



     The dry night air drifting over the Painted Desert no longer smelled of sweet cactus blooms, but of a musty odor that pervaded the area, and filled Peter's mouth with the taste of bitter soil. He pulled himself up and leaned against the side of his car. The top of his left shoulder blade began to sting and he reached back with his right hand and touched it. His fingertips felt the stickiness of moist blood seeping through his shirt and again his heart began to thud. A voice that he recognized to be his own, screamed inside his mind, pleading with his logical intelligence to not pursue the discovery any further. To leave the injury alone. To make himself believe the wound was the result of his fall from the car. Nothing else. But it was as if his physical being was totally detached from what he was thinking. And with that, his hand reached beneath his shirt and felt the horror that he so desired to never know. The wounds were deep and jagged, and shaped like the devilish grin that had sunk its teeth deeply into his flesh in his latest of nightmares. He felt the blood ooze from the deepest of the wounds, wetting through the fabic of his shirt, and quickly, consciously, he withdrew his hand.



     The man was about sixty years old, Greg surmised, with thinning, gray hair and a big, bushy mustache that covered his upper lip entirely. He wore a pair of small round, wire rimmed glasses that were slid down on his nose, forcing him to peer over the tops of the frames. If it wasn't for the black smock he wore with the golden signs of the zodiac printed all over it, Greg would have never guessed that this man was the fortune teller. That, and one other thing. The man's eyes. It seemed to Greg that this man was looking straight through his physical body and into a place that no one had ever seen. With their eyes still locked on to each other, the man spoke, with his face only inches from Greg's.

     "Go home, son, before it's too late," he warned Greg.

     "Hey, I just got here," he said and then he smiled, but it was a forced, nervous smile. "How much for a reading?" Greg took out his wallet and began to open it, but the man placed his hand over it, preventing him from doing so.

     "I have nothing to tell you, except, go home, now." he said, then turned to walk away.

     Greg caught his arm and turned him around to face him again. The man couldn't hide his reaction. His eyes told on him. He was afraid.




     He still had a firm grip on the phone and it pressed hard against his left ear. At first the sounds were vague, but soon he was becoming aware of the professor's voice coming through the receiver.

     "Huh?" Peter shook his head.

     "I said, you are needed, Peter. I am sure of it. Will you come?"

     The door was open. He couldn't stop what was to happen now even if he wanted to. It had begun. His answer tore at his insides as it came up and out of him, committing himself to things unseen.

     "I'll be on the next flight." Without another word, he lowered the phone and placed it gently in the cradle. He knew his old friend was right. It had found them again.




     Peter had looked squarely into the eyes of the professor that night, and without a word, said to him, "See? See? I told you there were things in the darkness. I told you." And for that brief moment when their eyes met, he was sure the professor heard every word.







Copyright © 2014 by Kaelin C. Murphy

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