The Power of the Dark Lord

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2010

 

 


Chapter X

The day passed quickly and pleasantly.  The two of them worked through the
morning trying to help Akuta improve his vocabulary and syntax.  As the
oppressive heat of the noonday sun began to take the house the fairy grew
restless.  He put together a halting question.  "We go walk move in water?"
He then pointed to the lake.

"You want to go to the lake?" Sharon asked.

"Yes," Akuta answered, happy that she understood his request.

"Okay," she agreed and they walked across the yard and out onto the little
dock that floated a short distance into the water.  Akuta was about to jump
in before Sharon realized what he really wanted.  "You want to swim?"

"Toosweem?"  She moved her hands to indicate swimming, and then pointed at
the water.  "Yes, toowseem.  We toosweem."

He was about to dive in again when she stopped him.  "You can't go in
dressed like that.  You'll get your clothes wet."

"Cloe sweat?"

"Clothes, clothing.  They will get wet."  She tried to indicate what she
meant by tugging on his shirt sleeve.

"Ah, yes," Akuta said suddenly and peeled his shirt off, giving her a
glimpse of his perfect torso.  Before she could react, he had shucked his
jeans as well and stood before her totally nude before plunging into the
dark water.  His head broke the surface and he called to her.  "Sharone,
come, toosweem."

"I haven't got a suit," she began, but then decided that if he didn't care
why should she.  As Akuta watched, she quickly slipped out of her sweat
shirt and jeans and dived into the water beside him.  It was considerably
colder than she had expected and took her breath away.  "It's so cold," she
said as she paddled around.

"Water is good," Akuta said.  "Like ocean."  He then began to swim away
from the dock with long, smooth strokes.

Sharon began to follow him, but stopped before she was very far out.  She
wasn't that good of a swimmer and hesitated to get out too deep.  As she
splashed around a sudden incongruity struck her.  How did he know about the
ocean?  "Hey!" she called.  "Akuta!"  Her new friend dived under the
surface and disappeared.  Just as she was beginning to worry, he emerged
quite nearby, aplashing sparking droplets everywhere.  Sharon began to swim
to shore, Akuta following close behind her.  As they reached the dock, the
girl realized they didn't have towels on which to dry off.  The alien
boosted himself up onto the floating wooden platform and turned to help her
out.  Again she was struck by the sheer beauty of his naked form and raw
masculinity.  "Go get us towels," she said as she stayed in the murky
water.

"Get tah-well?" he asked.

"Towel...to dry off," she said slowly.  The man stood and walked gracefully
back up the dock and across the yard.  She watched the muscles ripple and
undulate as they fluidly propelled him on and up the porch steps.  "Why
can't I find someone like you?" she asked as she paddled about and kept her
head up, treading water.  A few minutes later he returned carrying two
fluffy, bath towels.  Dropping them on the dock, he again stooped down and
offered her his hands to help her out of the water.  "I can manage," she
said.  "You just turn around."

Akuta shook his head gently and picked up one of the towels.  He turned his
back to her and began to wipe the sparkling moisture from his golden hair
and body.  Sharon climbed gracelessly onto the wooden platform and grabbed
the other towel, wrapping it quickly around herself and pulling it up over
her firm breasts.  She picked up her clothes and holding the towel tightly
in place, headed up the path to the house.  On the porch she turned to look
back.  Akuta was still standing naked on the dock, the towel in his hand
and her brother's borrowed clothes in the other.  He was looking off across
the water in the direction of the city.

Inside, Sharon took a quick shower to wash the lake water from her skin and
hair, dried off, got dressed and headed for the kitchen to try and fix some
lunch for the two of them.  Looking through the cabinets she realized she
would have to go to a grocery store.  There was a small, farming community
just a dozen miles down the road.  She was sure she could get what they
needed there.  Sharon opened the screen door to find Akuta sitting on the
porch steps.  She looked him in the eyes and said, "I have to go buy food
for us at the store.  I won't be gone long."

"I cannot stay here with you," he replied in her mind.  "I must return to
my home.  Besides, I am endangering you.  Those that seek me will soon be
after you."

"They already are after me," she responded.  "You're safe here.  They won't
find us."

"Even if they find us not, my friends and my mate must worry for me.
Sharon, I must return."

Again she could feel the tears begin to come.  "But how will you get home?"
she asked.

"Can you return me to the city?  My friends will seek me there.  They will
look for me in the dwelling where I first arrived in your world."

"I don't know where that is," Sharon said, grasping at straws.  She didn't
want to lose this wonderful man.

"It is a tall structure on a small lane.  There is a park across the
roadway and a river beyond," he said in the silent telepathy.

"One question,? she demanded.  "How did you know the word 'ocean?'  We
haven't used it in our lessons."

"It is the word my mate used when we visited your great western area,"
Akuta replied.

"Then you and your mate have been to our world before," she thought.

"Of course.  My mate is of your race.  He comes from your city."

"HE!"  Sharon quickly looked away and broke the mental contact.  Akuta was
gay!  Not only did she fall for a beautiful alien who was already involved
with someone else, but a gay alien at that.

"Sharone," Akuta said, reaching out and pulling her chin up so that she
again faced him.  She looked down.  "Sharone, look eyes," he said sternly.
She glanced up and was immediately caught in his stare.  "Bothered are you
that I am gay?" he asked.  "I cannot lie about my love, but I forget that
those of your world have harsh feelings for such people."

The girl blushed a bright red.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to react so.  It
was just such a shock.  I'm not bothered by it."  She looked away and stood
up.  Slowly, Sharon walked to her jeep.  "Come on, if I'm going to take you
home," she said aloud and tried to smile.

* * *

"Where are we?  What happened?"  Dr. Sorenson asked in a frightened voice.
The four of them were standing in the middle of the foyer in the old house
that Scott knew as home.  Jennifer took the confused man aside and tried to
explain to him that the pink quartz was actually a magic stone.  Meanwhile
Scott and Alex headed for the window in the drawing room to check outside.
The morning sun was still shining in as they slipped to the sides of the
glass and carefully peeked out.  Sure enough, a man was still sitting at
the park bench across the street.

"What do we do now?" Alex asked.  "We're back where we started."

"Not quite," Scott corrected.  "We know Akuta got away and that he's
probably okay."

"I guess that's right, but we're still trapped here," Alex argued.

"After dark we'll just have to try again."  The foursome waited through the
interminably long day for evening and coming of darkness to help hide their
escape from the Victorian house.  The three friends took turns napping, but
Emile Sorenson was continually jumpy and upset.  Scott wouldn't let him
call home for fear the lines may be tapped.  All he could do was sit and
wait along with the rest of them.

As the sun slowly began to dip toward the west they heard a car drive up in
front.  Scott and Alex crept to the window and looked out.  Alex could
hardly believe his eyes.  As he watched, his lover got out of the jeep and
started up the walk with a young woman.  "That's Sharon with the alien!"
Sorenson had come over to the window and was looking out as well.  "What
are they doing here?"

"They're about to be caught!" Scott said as he and Alex mad a dash for the
front door.

Akuta and Sharon were just coming up the steps onto the front porch when
they heard the iron gate in the fence behind them creak open.  They both
turned to see two men in dark suits and ties heading up the walk toward
them at a brisk pace.  Two more similarly dressed men were coming around
the side of the house.  "Akuta, quick, disappear," Sharon said as the two
of them backed to the door.  Either he didn't understand her, or he was
being noble and refusing to leave her.  Whatever the case, the alien
continued to stand at her side, their backs against the door.  Suddenly,
the door behind them opened and hand reached out, grabbing the two from
behind.  They were almost yanked off their feet as they were pulled across
the threshold and the door was slammed shut again.

"Akuta!" Alex said as he tightly hugged his lover.  The fairy struggled to
turn around, his face beaming with joy when he saw who it was who had saved
him.

At the same time, Scott helped Sharon to regain her balance.
"Dr. Sorenson!" she exclaimed as she looked up to see the pudgy little
scientist enter the foyer.

But there was little time for greetings.  Almost immediately a loud
pounding came on the door.  "Somehow, I don't think they're going to take
'no one home' for an answer," Scott said.  No sooner were the words out of
his mouth than the sound of glass breaking came from the back of the house.
"That's the kitchen window.  They're inside for sure."

"The wardrobe!" Jennifer said suddenly.  "It's our only hope."  She turned
and bolted up the stairs.  "Come on!"

"Follow her!" Scott ordered and pushed the two startled scientists after
her.  Everyone raced up the stairs and down the hall to the door that
blocked the upper staircase.  Jennifer opened it and began climbing, the
others in hot pursuit.  On the third floor Jennifer quickly led the way to
the dirty, deserted room.  They all quickly followed her in and Scott shut
the door behind them.

"Quick, get in," Jennifer said as she pulled open the closet door.

"It's no use," Sharon Gates said in protest.  "They're bound to find us.
Surely they'll look in the closet."

"I don't think so," Alex said.  "Haven't you ever read your C.S. Lewis?"
He stepped in and pulled Akuta in after him.  Jennifer closed the door,
waited a couple of seconds, and then opened it again.  The closet was
empty.

"It works," she said triumphantly.  Knowing how some of Elnar's spells
worked, she wasn't too sure this would.

"Is this a secret passage or something?" Sharon asked.

"Something like that," Jennifer replied.  "Next?"

"Hurry!  I hear them coming up the stairs," Scott said from his post at the
door.  Sorenson and his assistant stepped into the closet with definite
feelings of trepidation.  Jennifer quickly shut the door on them and Scott
sprinted across the room to join her.  She opened the closet again to
reveal an empty interior.  She and Scott stepped in and he pulled the door
shut behind him just as the door to the room was being opened.

"In there!" one of the men shouted as two of them burst into the room.  The
first had seen the closet door closing.  They dashed across the empty space
and jerked the door open.  Emptiness.  "But I saw..." the man began and
stepped into the little closet.  He felt around and banged on the solid
walls.  There was nothing, no secret door or hollow wall.  Nothing.  "I
don't get it," he muttered.  "I was sure I saw something move."

"Maybe it was the wind," his partner theorized.  "You know how drafty these
old houses can be."

"Yeah," the first man said as he looked around again.

* * *

The door to the wardrobe opened and out tumbled the two scientists.  Sharon
Gates and Emile Sorenson looked around in wonder.  They were at first
struck by the sheer marvel of their magical transportation.  And then, the
two of them were astounded by the almost medieval surroundings.  They were
standing in the wizard's library, a musty old room in the white tower.
Where they had expected to find the scientific wonders of a technologically
advanced society, they were instead welcomed to a world that seemed to be
frozen in the tenth century.

The door on the oversized furniture piece opened again and this time Scott
and Jennifer stepped out.  Dr. Sorenson slowly circled the wardrobe,
carefully examining it from all angles, and paying especially close
attention to the back side.  It was as if he expected to find a hidden
panel or secret door, even though he, himself had come through from the
closet in the other world.  "How is this possible?" the little man asked.

"Some form of rift or worm hole in the time-space continuum," Sharon
answered.

"Oh, don't be silly.  Such a thing would require enormous amounts of power
or energy, like the gravitational field of a black hole for example."

"It's just magic," Jennifer explained.

"There's no such thing!" Sorenson protested.  His voice was high pitched
and edged with the terror he felt.  The little doctor was sure he was
beginning to lose his grip on sanity.

Before anyone else could react, the door to the library opened and Alex and
Akuta entered.  The minute they had arrived they had quickly gone in search
of weapons on the chance that anyone from the human world might follow the
group.  They came forward, each carrying a long sword.  Akuta stepped to
one side of the wardrobe while Alex quickly gave his weapon to Scott.
"Here," he said.  "You know what to do with this better than I do."  Akuta
then reached out and opened the door.  Only the empty wooden interior
greeted him.

"Where are we?" Sharon finally asked as the others began to relax.

Akuta held up his hand, and then reached into one of his pockets.  When he
and Alex had gone for the weapons he had obtained something else as well.
He held out a tiny bottle of oil and poured a small amount in his palm.  He
then stepped forward and dipping two fingers of his right hand into the
sparkling liquid, he gently anointed Sharon behind the ears.  He then rewet
his fingers and touched them to her lips.  There was an instant stinging
sensation which made her want to wipe the oil from her mouth, but Alex told
her not to.  In a moment the unpleasantness was gone.  Akuta then repeated
the unusual ceremony on the pudgy little man.  He then bowed to Sharon and
said, "Welcome, my lady, to the Palace of Esbereth in the high country,
seat of the Crystal Throne and heart of all Tuatha."

"Your syntax and grammar are perfect.  How...how did you learn that so
quickly?" she marveled as Sorenson merely blinked his eyes in confusion.

"I speak but my own language, my lady.  It is the power of the chrism you
now wear that allows your ears to understand and your tongue to reply in
kind.

"We all war the magic oil when here," Jennifer explained to the newcomers.
"That way we can communicate.  And they wear the oil when they visit our
world.  Except for Scott.  He already speaks both languages."

"As shall I someday thanks to your assistance," Akuta answered.

"Come on, let's go," Scott urged them and headed toward the door.

"Go?  Where?" Sorenson asked in his confusion.

"We've got to find a way to send you back, as well as finding out what
happened to the other humans that came here."

"How do you propose this, my lord?" Akuta asked.

"Let's start at the throne room.  Maybe Robin has an answer."

The six of them, following Scott's lead, headed out of the magicians
chambers and down the corridor to the large, open staircase.  They climbed
up to the top level and headed down a wide hallway.  Scott was surprised to
find no guards at the oversized doors to the throne room.  "Where is
everybody?" he asked quietly as he pushed open one of the big doors.  It
swung easily on its hinges and the group slipped into the chamber.

The sight of the crystal throne took the scientists' breath away.  It was a
tall chair carved from a giant block of clear quartz crystal.  The throne
was mounted on a high platform of the same transparent rock from which
descended a long staircase of quartz.  High above, the ceiling contained a
giant, faceted stone that capped the white tower.  From outside it looked
like a diamond setting from a giant's ring.  Inside, it worked like a
jeweled skylight throwing spectrums from the sun's beams around the room
and causing the throne and stairway leading up to it, to glisten like
melting ice.  "Magnificent," was all that Dr. Sorenson could say.  Sharon
Gates simply stood in silent awe.  Aside from the members of their party,
the room was empty.

"The throne room is never left thus," Akuta said in anxious tones.  "Some
great calamity must have befallen the kingdom."

"What about the trolls?" Scott asked.  "Before we left to look for you,
Robin said there were trolls in the nearby foothills."

"Trolls are nasty creatures to be sure, but certainly not serious enough to
call away the entire guard."  Akuta shook his head in disbelief.

"Well they certainly went somewhere," Alex ventured.  "Where do we go from
here?"  The rainbow spectrums had disappeared as they spoke and the room
began to grow dark as the sunlight faded from the overhead crystal.  "It's
getting dark."

"If anything as important as you say is happening," Scott said to Akuta,
"wouldn't the high council know?"

"Yes," the fairy agreed.  "Let us make hasted to the council chambers.
Follow close behind me.  As it grows to night I am sure your eyes will fail
you."

He was right of course.  Already the humans were beginning to have
difficulty seeing in the rapidly darkening throne room.  Scott remembered
how black some of the castle's halls could seem at night.  "Take each
other's hands," he instructed.

"Don't these people know about torches or candles?  Or have they not yet
discovered fire?" Sorenson asked as he stumbled along.

"Of course they have fire," Jennifer countered.  "They don't need candles.
They can see perfectly in the dark."  The two scientists were again
reminded of how little they really knew about their strange companions as
they allowed themselves to be let away into the inky blackness of the
castle.

 

 

 

 

 

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