Dark Vengeance

                                              By Arthur


James Crowley Junior; or JJ to his few friends and family, sat on the
wrought iron park seat alone in the late afternoon, the faint damp smell of
distant rain was heavy in the air as JJ let his thoughts once gain go
through his day and the impending return home.

The many questions running through his head had brought only more confusion
to what he thought would be a new freedom to his spirit, he was now sixteen
as of a few days ago, and could at last admit his darkest secret to his
family, he was of legal age and there was little that could be done now
but, had he gone too far?

JJ's day had started well, at home everything was even better than it had
been leading up to his birthday last Monday, it was now Wednesday and
everything was looking up until his fateful meeting earlier.

School had gone well, his few friends had been in a good mood as in one
more week they would have their mid term break and have two whole weeks to
play around before returning to the constant burden of homework, over
expectant teachers and the pressure of his sporting afternoons.

JJ had decided to pick today to tell his parents about his preferences now
that he was of legal age but first he had decided to sound it all out with
the family priest, Father Bryant, JJ's Mother had been the religious one in
the family, his Father, James senior, had little to do with his Mothers
rapacious need for the church but had let here take a very young James
Junior through all the usual parts of boyhood religion, it would do him no
harm and would allow the boy too get some other values.

JJ had, at a very early age, been able too see through the churches
teachings, by the age of ten he was only going to church with his Mother
for the three masses each week to keep the peace, he had long lost the
desire to follow in his Mothers footsteps as far as that went.

Father Bryant had always been a good man, he had visited the family each
Sunday after mass and sat with JJ and his Mother as they went through the
days sermon, JJ would have preferred to be outside with his friends playing
than sitting inside with the grown ups, his Father never joined them and
could always be found out in his garage working on something or other.

JJ had decided the previous night to come out into the open to his family,
they had always treated him well and would understand, after all it was not
1950, it was 2013 and the world was a new place with tolerance and
understanding, he had decided to go too Father Bryant and tell him
everything and ask for help in how to approach his family with his
revelation, it had not gone well.

JJ never thought father Bryant would be like he was, the tightly pursed
lips, the sour look on his face and the wide angry staring eyes as the
priest had slammed his open bible shut and told JJ to leave and take his
heathen ways with him, he was never too enter the sanctity of the church
again, JJ could only look open mouthed at the man he had known all his life
as a supporting and understanding man, the fear in JJ's throat began to
rise as he realised what this man would now do.

JJ had risen and walked out of the church with a numbness he had never felt
before, his dark good looks were now marred by a pale faced fear as tears
began to slowly fall down his young cheeks, suddenly the future did not
look so bright, JJ had walked until he was close to the park and found this
old bench by the small lake to sit and ponder what he had just done, of all
the people in the world, JJ thought the priest would understand his plight
and feelings, you only had to read the daily papers to know what went on in
the Catholic church and how they protected their gay priests, to be turned
aside because he was like those same priests was something JJ could not
fully understand.

>From the shadow of a nearby tree, the forty something, well dressed man
watched the young teen sit and worry, it was plain too see the boy had a
big problem and the man could feel for the boy, it was not an unusual sight
for the young now days, not like when he was a young teen so long ago.

The dark stranger could smell the scent of rain in the air, he had inside
information that it would rain just after midnight; he only hoped the boy
would find his answers before then. He looked the boy over again as he had
done for the last five years when the first signs had shown, it appeared he
would be needed sooner rather than later.

As the man looked at the boy closely, he could see the ancestral back
ground, his Father had been of Polish descent, his Mother of Nordic stock
and both showed up in the boy, the dark glossy hair and thin black eyebrows
the slender build of the Poles was well evident in the boy, from his Mother
he had got the high cheek bones and startling blue eyes that were almost
almond shaped, much like the boys of the Slavic nations.

The stranger watched the boy and, when he saw the boy take a deep breath,
as though to steady his young nerves, he stepped from under the tree and
approached quietly, the man stood silently waiting until he was noticed, he
did not want to open the conversation but let the boy do it.

JJ got the feeling of someone close to him, he lifted his eyes and saw not
five feet away from him, a tall man who may have been anywhere from forty
to fifty, he was dressed in an expensive suit and wore a wide brimmed old
fashioned hat, his eyes were protected by reading glasses that had
transition lenses as they showed a faint yellowish tint when the fading sun
light hit them under the hat.

JJ, being a polite young man and having been well versed in manners with
adults, smiled at the man and said.

"Hello, I'm sorry if I have your seat, I was just about to leave."

"Hello young man, no you have not taken my seat, I was just watching you as
I walked past and saw a look of sadness on your face, are you alright, do
you need any help?"

JJ was quite taken by the strange accent of the mans very formal English,
it took a few minutes before he realised it as a very British accent, a
strange place for such a well dressed man from Britain to be walking.

"Ah, no, I'm ok thank you, just something that I have to do and am not
looking forward to."

JJ watched as the man reached inside his smart suit jacket and produced a
small white card, offering it to JJ, the man said.

"Well young man, this is my card, if you ever need any help or are in
trouble just call that number, it's my personal number and you can get me
at any time of the day or night, now are you sure you are alright?"

JJ took the offered card and looked at it, it was a heavily embossed card
of very high quality, there was a strange coat of arms in the centre and
the mans name was printed in gold with a telephone number in black ink
below it, it read, P.J. Brakenburg Esq. And then the phone number, JJ
smiled at the man as he placed it in his shirt pocket out of courtesy, he
knew he would never actually need it, it was not a good thing these days to
accept help from strangers.

"Well young man, I will leave you to your thinking, remember, anything at
all and you can call me."

With those words said, P.J. Brakenburg turned and walked away, his back
straight as thought he was from the military, JJ saw that there was almost
a slight swagger in the mans walk as he disappeared into the late afternoon
shadows, it had been an interesting meeting but he had no intentions of
taking the strange man up on his offer, after all, what could ever make him
want to call a stranger for help.

JJ had come to his final decision, it was time to go home and face the
music, his Father would stand by him even if his Mother would take a little
more convincing, it was the one draw back of being an only child, the
Mother always seemed to want to over protect a single child more than when
there were two or three, this was going to be the hardest day of his young

JJ turned into his driveway and walked towards the front door, as he lifted
his head he stopped in confusion, standing on the stoop with arms akimbo,
stood his Mother, her Sister and Father Bryant, the priest was holding his
bible in one hand and his rosary in the other, of his own Father there was
no sign, JJ suddenly got a sinking feeling, this did not look good.

As he got closer he saw his small wheeled weekend bag on the pathway at the
bottom of the steps, the import of that suddenly made his blood run cold,
they couldn't, they wouldn't especially without his Father present, his
sudden hope was dashed as his Mothers narrow lipped mouth spat out the
words he was hoping not too hear.

"Get your bag and get off my property you disgusting little queer, I'll not
have you soiling this good Christian home with your vile ways, now get out
and never set foot on this property again."

JJ could only stand and stare at the Mother he thought loved him, what he
now saw was a very bitter and angry woman, it was not the loving Mother
that had watched over him when he was sick or frightened in the dark, this
was some other harpy, this was more like her Sister, his aunt who had never
liked JJ.

Father Bryant stood silently as he ran his rosary through his large
fingers, a look of satisfaction forming on his angry face, his right hand
almost shaking as he gripped his bible tighter, JJ could only look with
shock at the trio lined up against him, he had not even been allowed to say
a word or ask for an explanation, he was being dismissed like some bag of
garbage his Mother no longer wanted, JJ frantically looked around for his
Father, he would understand, he had too, but he was nowhere in sight, JJ
watched as the trio turned their backs and went inside slamming the front
door behind them.

JJ sank to his knees as the darkness of night surrounded him, his life had
just ended, he had nowhere to go and nowhere to live, he had been dismissed
like a piece of dog shit on someone's shoes, tears began to fall as he
realised he had not even said one word in his own defence, he had never
been given the chance.

With resignation plainly on his young face, JJ rose to his feet and moved
to take up the small bag, his school backpack was still on his shoulders,
as he pulled the long handle out and turned towards the front gate, a
figure stepped from the shadows of the large oak tree in the front yard, JJ
immediately recognised the large frame of his Father through his tears.

Slowly his Father walked towards him, in his hands he held a large manila
envelope, his hand was shaking slightly and JJ saw that his father also had
a tear in his eye.

"JJ." His Father began; the sound of sadness could be heard in his
voice. "I'm sorry, I tried to stop them, I don't want this but, if it's you
or your Mother, as much as I know she is wrong, I have to stick with her,
find somewhere you can stay for a couple of weeks and then call me, I
should be able to calm her down by then, it's that blasted high minded
sister of hers along with that bigot priest she seems to like."

JJ could only look at his Father and let the tears flow, even his stalwart
could not save him, JJ's Father reached out his hand with the envelope.

"This is yours, it has your passport, birth certificate and all of your ID
cards for school, I've put in as much cash as I had here, its not much but
it should get you through the night, tomorrow on the way to work I will
transfer some money from my bank into your savings account, your cash cards
is in there with your other stuff, I...I don't know what to say, I..."

JJ stepped towards his Father as the man reached out with his open arms to
hug his only son, suddenly, before they could connect a loud angry voice
came from the now open and dark doorway.


James senior shook his head and looked at his only son with guilt in his
eyes, he knew that what was being done in the name of religion was wrong
but there was little he could do at this stage, given time he would change
his wife's mind and his son could return and the home would return to
normal, James senior sniffed back a tightness in his throat as he watched
his boy turn and leave, his young shoulders heaving as the tears flowed
from his eyes, little did James senior know that this would be the last
time he saw his son as he now was.

JJ was in a quandary, he had nowhere to go and didn't even know which way
to turn, unseen behind him a slim dark figure followed in his footsteps,
the dark figure moved with total silence and seemed to skip from shadow to
shadow with little effort as he followed the young slumped shouldered
figure in front of him, it was easy to see the boy was silently sobbing as
the soft rumble of the bags wheels echoed in the darkness.

It seemed like hours before JJ found himself at the same bench in the park,
his face was flushed from his sobbing and the feeling of total loss and
rejection, what did he do now, his life was over, his young shoulders shook
again as a new fit of sobbing shook his slender frame, the small figure in
the darkness kept his distance and watched silently.

JJ had no idea how long he had been sitting on the bench but, as the first
few heavy drops of rain fell on his shoulders, he suddenly realised he had
no cover and the dark and threatening clouds overhead told of a vicious
storm headed his way, now what did he do, as he crossed his arms over his
chest to keep a little warmth in his fast cooling body he felt the hard
stiffness of the card in his shirt pocket, with cold unsteady fingers, JJ
pulled the card from his pocket, looking around he saw a telephone booth
across the park, with his bag behind him and the large envelope still in
his hand, he made his way towards the phone booth, what option did he have,
he had to make the call, the rain began to get heavier.

JJ dialled the number on the card, it had barely rung once before the very
precise voice answered, it was as though the man was expecting it.

"Hello, is that you JJ?"

"Uhm, yes Mr. Brakenburg, how did you know?"

"Call it intuition, do you need help?"

"Uhm, yes, I don't have a home anymore, I don't know what to do and a storm
is coming, I...I had no one else to call."

"It's alright JJ, that's why I gave you my card, now where are you?"

"In the park where we met."

"Stay right there in the phone booth, one of my drivers will be with you in
a few minutes, he will bring you too my house, we can talk more then, I
want you to remember that there is no obligations to my help so you have
nothing to be afraid of from me or my staff."

"Thank...thank you Mr. Brakenburg, I don't know how I will be able to repay
you but I promise I will find a way."

"I'm sure you will JJ, now my driver should almost be there, I will see you

As JJ hung up the phone, a long black limousine pulled up close to the
booth, from the front door the driver appeared and opened the rear door
with a smile in his direction.

"Mr. Brakenburg is waiting for you young sir."

As JJ was about to lift his small bag into the car, the driver reached out
and took it from him saying he would put it in the trunk until they got to
the house and that JJ should sit back and relax. As the driver got back
into the car, JJ saw through the tinted glass that separated the driver
from the passenger, a slim figure appear out of the night and slide into
the front seat alongside the driver, JJ wondered what all that was about
but the sudden loud pounding of the rain drowned out his thoughts and he
sat back, for some reason he felt safe alone in the back of the large car.

The limousine seemed to speed through the dark rain swept streets with
little regard for other motorists and even less care for danger as the
driver twisted and turned the large car through the dark streets as
lightening flashed and thunder crashed overhead, JJ, even with the mad
speed of the limo, still felt completely safe in the back, he had no idea
where they were going but something told him he was safe.

It was some time later, JJ was not sure how long they had been driving but
they were well outside the city, it had not occurred to JJ that it was
strange the car took so little time to get to him and yet it had taken such
a long time to get to Mr. Brakenburg's home, he just had too much on his
young mind to even think of something so strange.

Finally the limousine pulled up to the large stone steps of a huge mansion,
standing at the top of the steps was the ever impeccably dressed
Mr. Brakenburg although this time without the hat, the mans long black hair
was tied in a pony tail that JJ had not seen during the afternoon meeting,
at Mr. Brakenburg's temples the hair was showing a tint of grey, as he got
ready to leave the back of the limo, JJ saw a short thin figure jump from
the front seat and almost glide to the mans side, something was said and
then the small figure seemed to just disappear into the darkness as though
he had been made of nothing more than mist.

JJ stepped from the limo and saw the wide and open smile of Mr. Brakenburg,
it was an open invitation to join him, JJ turned and saw the driver with
his bag in his hand, at that moment his stomach began to tell him he had
not eaten since earlier in the day and his eyes were now growing heavy, he
had not realised how late it was, slowly he made his way up the steps and
stood before the tall man who had offered to save him.

JJ heard at that moment what sounded like a very powerful motor bike start
up at the back of the mansion and, with less than ten seconds passing, it
roared off into the darkness, JJ did not even get to see it as his hand was
taken by the older man and shaken in welcome.

"Come inside JJ, we have a room ready for you and you must be starving as
well as tired."

To JJ it was as though the man was reading his mind, it was at that exact
moment that his stomach let out aloud cry for nourishment, Mr. Brakenburg
smiled at the sound and led JJ into the huge house, the foyer was large as
was the rest of the house, Brakenburg led JJ through to the large dining
room, the twelve seater table was set for one and a young looking African
teen was standing beside the chair waiting.

Brakenburg led JJ to the chair and then took a seat opposite him, as JJ sat
the African boy who was dressed in some sort of old style clothes which
were a white shirt, baggy white trousers and red sash wearing what looked
like a red Fez on his head, he was also wearing spotless white gloves, the
teen pulled out the chair for JJ to sit down, he then opened and laid a
white linen serviette on his lap and disappeared through a door behind him.

Minutes later and the African teen reappeared with a large silver platter
with a high top lid, he carefully placed the silver platter in front of JJ
and then disappeared as Brakenburg gestured for JJ to eat as he sat and
drank a red wine from a tall crystal glass, nothing was said while JJ was

Even though he was almost starving, JJ could not finish the huge platter,
he was finally so full and now also tired that he was nearly asleep at the
table; it was then that Brakenburg first spoke to him.

"Do you feel better now JJ?"

"Yes, thank you Sir."

"No need to call me Sir JJ, you can call me Phineas or as my few friends
are wont to do, just Phin, we are friends after all, now, I'm not going to
go into everything right now, you must be really tired after the day you've
had, I'll get Tana to show you to your room so you can get some rest, don't
worry about your school tomorrow, I'll sort it out for you, you need to
sleep in and rest."

"I don't know how to thank you; I don't know what I would have done without
your help."

"Nonsense, now here's Tana, go with him and he will get you settled and I
will see you in the morning."

JJ did not realise how tired he was as the African boy reappeared beside
him and, with a smile on his young face, led JJ from the room as Brakenburg
sat and watched them go, he had other things to do and the boy would need
all the rest he could get for what was too come.

JJ was shown to a large bedroom, he was so tired he barely looked further
than the queen size bed before he collapsed on top of the covers and was
asleep before his head hit the many pillows plumped up at the head of the
bed, he was well into sleep as Tana began to undress him and pull the
covers over his sleeping body, Tana smiled at the newcomer, he really liked
what he saw of the semi naked body as he tucked the comforter around the
new boy.

Brakenburg went to the panelled wall and opened a hidden cupboard, inside
was nothing but a small touch pad, Brakenburg punched in a seven number
code and waited for the secret door to slide open, he then went in closing
the door behind him, after walking down the metal lined passageway,
Brakenburg came to a halt outside another thick metal door, using a
different code he entered it, inside was a large black stone alter in front
of which was a heavy carved throne like chair, Brakenburg sat in the chair
and closed his eyes, from deep inside him came the sound of a soft voice.

"Is the boy secure?"

"Yes Master."

"Have you given him the elixir?"

"Yes Master, it was in his food, he will sleep for the required five days."

"What arrangements have you made for his family?"

"It is being taken care of as we speak, Master."

"And you are positive he is the one?"

"Beyond any doubt at all, Master."

"Good, you have done well; make sure he is ready before the six months are

"It will be as you have ordered, Master."

Brakenburg left the hidden chamber and, as he stepped into the study where
the door was hidden, he saw one of his minions waiting for him, it was the
slender figure of the young Asian boy he had sent to finish off the plan,
glancing at the boy he got a quick nod in reply and the boy clothed in
black, left the room as silently as he had appeared, Brakenburg smiled to
himself and went to make the rest of the arrangements, it was going to be a
long day but he very rarely slept anymore, he had given up that bad habit
of wasting time many years ago.

Brakenburg's eyes turned a golden colour for a few seconds, within a minute
the brother of Tana stood before him.

"Poma you will serve the young master with your life, if I once see him
unhappy or hurt it will be yours and your brothers head on my wall, is that
clearly understood?"

"It shall be as you ask Sir." The boy, Poma, bowed low and left the room,
he had been in this mans employ for many years which his young age belied,
it was one of the advantages of working for such a man that he and his
brother never aged as it will be for the new young man asleep upstairs.

When he finally awoke, JJ had the uncomfortable feeling of being asleep for
far too long, the bed underneath him felt lumpy and he wanted to get up to
ease his aching bones, as he lifted his eyes to look around the room he saw
two African boys that were mirror images of each other, Tana he knew but
the other boy he had not seen but the name Poma came instantly to his mind,
he could even tell which was which, JJ felt an itch in the middle of his
back and wanted to go and shower he had that dirty feeling of not washing
for some time and his mouth felt as though he had been eating something
that was not nice and was covered in fur.

As he began to get out of the bed, both boys walked up to him with a long
white robe, they seemed to know exactly what he wanted, as he slipped the
robe on he saw that he was dressed only in his satin boxers, he could not
remember undressing before going to bed last night, he also felt as though
his hair was longer than it should have been.

Tana and Poma led him through to the bathroom where a hot shower was
already going, the two boys gestured for him to enter and they would join
him to help him wash, now it was JJ's turn to feel out of place, he had
never been naked in front of anyone in his life and now he had two very
good looking boys wanting to see him and even wash him, he wasn't sure he
was ready for that yet, with a sheepish gesture he indicated he wanted to
shower alone.

The two boys just nodded, bowed and left the bathroom, JJ sighed with
relief and slid his boxers to the floor and stepped out of them and into
the hot running shower, the first blast of water felt so good on his skin
that he just stood under the spray and let if pummel his young body, it
felt so good he didn't even want to start rubbing soap into his skin.

JJ stood under the shower for what seemed hours and yet the water stayed
hot, there seemed to be an endless supply of hot water in this house, not
like at home where if you were not first you could end up with luke warm
water for your shower, both his Mother and Father had liked long hot
showers, it was not until he was a teenager that he got to beat them into
the bathroom for the first of the hot water.

At last JJ had had enough, his stomach was once again complaining about not
being fed, he felt as though he had not eaten for a week, this thought was
only pushed aside as his back itched again, he had definitely spent too
long in bed and his circulation had been deadened, it was the only

JJ went back to the bedroom and found the two boys with new clothes for
him, they looked like black silk, both the shirt and trousers were a
shimmering type of cloth, on the bed were a pair of black boxers and black
socks with a divide where his big toe would fit, on the floor were a pair
of what looked like black slippers similar to those worn by Asians in the

JJ slipped the boxers on under his damp robe, once they were on he did not
feel so exposed as he pulled on the trousers and then the shirt, both fit
him like a glove, next came the thin cotton socks followed by the soft
slippers, it felt strange for him to have his big toe separated by the
socks and specially made shoes but it gave him a better feeling of balance
as he was to find out.

Waiting for him at the large dining table was the smartly dressed figure of
Phin, his smile was as welcoming as it had been when JJ had arrived, on the
table was a large meal all spread out, to JJ's eyes it looked as though
there was enough food for ten people and yet there were only the two
settings, JJ took the seat opposite Phin, Tana and Poma immediately began
to fill the large plate in front of him as again, Phin sipped from a glass
of wine, this time it was a light white wine, the man never seemed to eat
but this did not stop JJ from filling his mouth, it appeared that
everything on the table was a favourite of his.

It was quite a feast for JJ but, finally, after half an hour, he was full,
even if he had had the bad manners to keep eating, he would not have been
able to force one more fork full into his mouth, all the time Phin had been
sipping his wine and smiling at the voracious appetite of the teen, it was
a good sign, a sign that the Elixir had taken hold, it would now be only a
matter of time and not much of that remained.

JJ sat back in the large chair, his belly was full and his body clean, he
felt well rested and everything around him appeared with much more clarity,
even the two African boys seemed to be larger than life, JJ smiled back at
Phin, the gentleman seemed happy with what he saw.

JJ was the first too speak.

"I want to thank you; I don't really know what I would have done."

"There's no need for thanks, you have already done more than you know; now
I have something to ask of you."

"Anything, it is I who owe you so much; I will try to do anything you ask."

"Well thank you JJ but it is I who have to make you the offer, as you are
not aware, you have been asleep for five days, this also means you have
been away from school for the same period, however we have made certain
arrangements that make it appear as though you no longer exist, I will
explain this more fully when we leave the table but, for now let us say you
are free to go and do what you like."

JJ sat in his chair stunned by this new information, it came as a total
shock and yet there was the timber of truth in what Phin said, at this
point his shoulders began to really itch, he though he had washed properly
and got rid of it until suddenly, without warning, he felt the most painful
tearing of muscle he had ever known, not even a bad cramp during football
had felt like this, he let out a loud scream as his body slid off the chair
and onto the floor, immediately Phin was kneeling beside him and holding
his hand as the throbbing pain shot through him again.

"It's going to be ok, just try to relax JJ, let it happen, don't fight it,
it will be easier that way, it is almost over."

The soft whispered words of Phin filled his ears as the throbbing in his
shoulders began to recede and, from somewhere behind him he heard a
rustling sound like falling leaves but softer, Phin spoke again but this
time to the two African boys Tana and Poma.

"You know what to do, get too work and take care of your Master."

With Phin still holding his hand and the two boys seemingly brushing
something on his back, JJ began to calm down, he could feel a stickiness
dripping down his back which was now being washed away by the two boys, had
he injured himself some how, he had no memory of hitting anything sharp,
slowly he began to feel different and yet safe, the two boys soothing hands
were caressing his back and shoulders as Phin let go of his hand and sat
back on his haunches.

"Well JJ that was a little sooner than I thought it would be; it's time to
meet someone that will tell you all."

Slowly JJ rose to his feet, he suddenly felt a little top heavy and had to
adjust his stance, as he did so he saw a movement from the corner of his
eye and turned towards it, it was an image in a mirror, but what an image,
it was a young dark haired teen dressed all in black but that was not what
surprised him, what really caught his eye were the large pair of wings
sprouting from the teens shoulders, they were huge and the top of them were
slightly above his head and the lower tips were below his knees, with
something akin to fear, JJ recognised himself, the next thing he knew was
blackness as his body sank to the floor in a faint.

A calm familiar voice woke him from the faint, it was Phin, the two African
boys were holding a hand each and rubbing his wrists with their fingers,
slowly JJ came too, the shock of seeing a pair of imaginary wings on his
back slowly receding as he tried to regain his feet, it was then he felt
the weight behind him and he then knew it was real, he had a pair of very
large wings attached to his back, JJ had never been one to swear or cures
but this was a time when it would be ideal.

"Fuck me." Was all he could say as he looked at the smiling face of Phin
and the two boys.

"I don't think that would be a good idea JJ, I'm sorry, had I known this
was going to happen this early I would have taken time to tell you
everything, now we don't have any time, come with me and you will find out
everything you need to know."

Slowly JJ stood and followed Phin towards the far wall, Phin opened a panel
and punched in some numbers that made the panel open and a passageway was
exposed to him, Phin led the way through, the two boys staying in the
dining room.

At the end of the passage, Phin punched in some numbers on another pad, the
metal door swished open almost silently, inside JJ saw the large black
stone block and a very ancient looking chair much like a throne, as JJ
followed Phin into the room the door closed with a hiss.

JJ watched as Phin sat in the large chair and closed his eyes, seconds
later JJ saw the black stone begin to glow in an unearthly light, something
between a blue and a purple glow shimmered into being, JJ was awe struck
as, from the centre of the stone came the figure of a large bearded man
and, most unlikely, he held what looked an awful lot like a lightening bolt
in his hand, JJ shook his head to clear away the strange vision, the room
suddenly became full of sound as the shimmering figure filled the space
with his voice.

"Is the time passed already loyal servant?"

"It has not Master, this has happened most unexpectedly and I brought him
into your presence at first sign."

"You have done well, I will take him into the realms so he may learn, for
your service I will fulfil your desire whatever it may be, what is your

"To serve the one, Master."

"Then it shall be, go now and await his return."

Phin rose from the chair and left JJ standing alone in the room, the
shimmering figure looked down at him and, for the first time a large smile
broke out on the figures lips.

"Come, defender, I will take you too the realms where you will learn all
you must learn."

JJ felt himself pulled towards the stone alter block by some unseen power,
as soon as he was beside it, the room shimmered and he was suddenly
standing in a green field, the heady smell of fresh wild flowers filled his
nostrils, beside him stood the larger figure he had seen in the room, the
giant of a man still held the sparkling lightening bolt, JJ started to
hyperventilate as he tried to take in everything around him.

"Do not fear young one, this is your realm, here you are safe from all and
everything that could offer you harm, and that, I must tell you, is very

JJ took in a few deep breaths, suddenly he felt at peace even with his mind
in turmoil; he turned to look up at the man.

"You are not wrong young one, I am Zeus and you, well you are of many
parts, well two to be exact, in you runs the spirit of Icarus the seeker of
flight, as well as the spirit of the illegitimate son of Thor, a demi god
called Magni, for this reason your wings are fully white from those of
Athena for her purity and the black tips are from Magni, you young one are
from this time to be called Perisone, defender of the good and slayer of
all that is dark."

JJ stood open mouthed as the fabled god told him all about his history and
the work that lay ahead, after an hour of talk, Zeus knelt down beside
where JJ had sat on the fresh grass.

"Now that you know who you are and what your calling truly is, I will give
to you some items to aide you on your quest to return the world to its
former goodness."

As JJ sat and still tried to take in and understand all he had been told,
on the grass in front of him appeared a sword of shining silver metal,
along the centre of the blade was an engraving of a lightening bolt.

"This is the sword made by Hephaestus armourer to the Gods and weilded by
Damocles, it is infused with the power of my lightening, anything you
strike with this sword will be split asunder be it evil or magical."

Next to the sword there then appeared a square hammer with a black wood
handle, the head of the hammer was tied to the shaft with a gold rope.

"This is the hammer of Thor, it will smite those who would tear the fabric
of the realms and release unto the world of man all manner of things best
left locked in the darkness."

Next came a breast plate and grieves of black shiny metal embossed with
scenes of ancient battles.

"This is the armour of my son Achilles, it will protect you from all manner
of magic's both of the realms and the normal world"

Lastly came a golden shield, it glowed in the fresh sun light and even JJ
could feel the power emanating from the large oval shape.

"This is the shield of Perseus, taken from the dead hands of the Gorgon
Medusa, it will protect you from all manner of projectiles as well as
strong magic's, when not in use you can place them here in the realm and
when in need you only have to call them too your hand, as you take up each
of these gifts, their power will infuse in you and you will understand how
to use them as they carry the souls of their owners."

JJ could only ogle the items on the grass before him, each called to him
and, one by one he lifted them up, as he touched each one he felt he knew
exactly how to use them.

"Now young Perisone, it is time for you to take wing and for this I have
one of the old ones to help you, he will be here very soon, you may have
known of him, his name is Aether the god of the upper air, he will be your
guide as you learn to use your wings, learn well young Perisone for there
is much work for you to do when you return to your realm."

JJ sat with an open mouth, everything he had just been told ran through his
mind in a rush, suddenly there was a lightening of the air around him and a
figure shimmered into being, it looked to be no older than himself although
the youth was very blonde and had the first beginnings of a fine beard
forming on his chin.

"Come Perisone, it is time for you to fly to the heavens, let us make play
of the winds, come, come."

JJ could only watch in stunned silence as the young man before him rose as
though levitating on thin air, with a feeling of being mesmerised, JJ stood
up and, for the first time allowed his new wings to open wide, it was as
though he had been doing this all his life as the wings took over and he
was suddenly a hundred feet in the air, his wings working with a smooth
symmetry that he had no idea of how it was happening.

Up and up they went, Aether turning circles around him as he swooped and
turned on the air currents, JJ did his best to follow him but he was just
not skilled enough as yet but he gamely tried as best he could, it seemed
to JJ that they spent the whole of the long warm afternoon flying, as each
minute passed he got better and better until he could fly along with Aether
in all manner of intricate manoeuvres , soon he was soaring higher than he
had ever thought was possible, diving, twisting and turning as he chased
the elusive Aether around in the currents, at last he felt as though he was
home in the air, at this realisation he headed back to earth, Aether close
beside him.

When they landed Aether grasped JJ by the shoulders and kissed him hard on
the lips then, with a smile as wide as a canyon, Aether took to the air
calling out as he disappeared into the heavens.

"You have sweet lips, Defender Perisone, one day you will find love and he
will be the luckiest of all men."

JJ could only stand still with his mouth open, it was his first kiss, not
only that, it had been from a mythical god, as he thought about the kiss
and the adventure of the afternoon, JJ felt something form beside him, in
an instant he was once again in the presence of Zeus.

"Well you have stolen another heart young Perisone, I never thought the
time would come when Aether would part with a kiss, now, we must get you
back to your realm, there is much for you too do, your servants await you."

JJ suddenly found himself back in the room with the black stone alter,
without a thought he waved his hand at the closed door and watched as it
slid open, somehow he knew he did not need codes or anything else to open
even the most stubborn of locked doors, his was an all encompassing power
and it flowed through him with little effort on his part, he also knew what
was right and what was wrong, it was as though everything in the world
stood out in a clarity he had never known before.

JJ walked down the passage and emerged in the dining room, it looked as
though the others knew he was coming, on the table was laid a huge meal
and, for the first time in what seemed like ages, JJ felt a hunger he could
never describe, as he sat at the head of the table, the two African boys
smiled at him and began to pile food on the large silver platter in front
of him, Phin sat at his right hand side smiling as JJ dug into the food.

"Tell me My Lord Perisone, was you trip to the realms an interesting one?"
Phin asked.

JJ with his mouth full could only nod and try to smile around the food in
his mouth, he had no idea how he could be so hungry after just a few hours
with the gods, from somewhere deep in his mind came the answer, in mortal
terms he had been in the realm for more than six months, hence his hunger,
a small shiver went through his body as he realised how long he had been
away, it had seemed like only a few hours.

Finally, as JJ chewed the last of his mouth full, he asked Phin.

"Who are you really Phin, I know you are more than what you seem?"

As Phin smiled at him the answer swept into his mind, Phin was in fact a
reincarnation of Hermes, messenger of the gods among other things and not
forgetting his aptitude as a trickster or deceiver of those who would want
more power than they could handle, JJ just nodded as he looked at the
smiling man.

"You see My Lord Perisone, you have no need to ask, everything known by the
gods is at your command as you have now found out, it is now your duty to
bring back the true belief in the gods and not let the iniquities and
delusions of the modern religions to fog the minds of men, it is the time
for the return of the true gods, however, this will also mean the attempted
return of those who should not be in this realm as you now well know."

JJ nodded his head in understanding as he spooned another mouthful of
strawberries and cream into his mouth, it almost felt as though the more he
ate the more he wanted, this went on for almost an hour before he felt full
once again, looking down he expected to see his narrow waist protruding out
in a large bulge but he saw only the normal thin waist he had always had,
where the food had gone he had no idea, but he was now full and ready to
see what was next.




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