The Power of the Dark Lord

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2010

 

 

CHAPTER XX

Sharon sat on a stool beside the pallet that served as a bed for her
patient.  Rood was sleeping next to her.  He seemed almost human as he lay
there.  But she had to remind herself that he wasn't human.  It was in fact
this very difference that had saved his life.  She reached out and gently
moved his hair back so she could see his pointed ear.  It was so alien, and
yet it was this alien quality that called to her, fascinating her.  She
pulled the sheet back and looked at his nude body.  It was perfect, no
ounce of extra fat, long and lean and muscular.  She felt an erotic appeal
as she looked at him.  This was certainly not the detached doctor/patient
relationship she knew she should be maintaining.  Sharon wondered what it
would be like to have a personal relationship with the beautiful man.  But
could he live up to her fantasies and expectations.  For all she knew, he
too was probably gay and had some equally handsome guy waiting for him
somewhere.  All this went through her mind as she continued to stare at his
sex organs.

"Pretty impressive, hunh?" a voice said, startling her and causing her to
blush furiously.

"I...I was just...as a doctor..."

"It's okay," Scott said softly.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to embarrass
you.  I can't help but stare, myself.  All of them are so incredibly
beautiful."

"You're the king's lover, right?" she asked as she pulled a linen sheet
back up over Rood's nakedness.

"Yes," he admitted candidly.

"I heard he was missing; I'm sorry."

"I'm going on a rescue mission to bring him back," Scott said,
determination in his voice.  "I leave at first light on the morrow."

"First light on the morrow?"  She gave him an odd look.

"Sorry.  I mean dawn tomorrow morning," he said with a sheepish grin.
"After a while you start to think like them and even talk like them."

"Do you know where to find this king of yours?" Sharon asked.

"I have an idea of where to start looking," Scott replied.  They stared at
each other in silence for a while.  "Well, I just came to see how he was,"
Scott added and looked down at Rood.  "Jen told me what you did for him.
Thanks.  He's a good friend."

"Can I ask you a question?" Sharon said suddenly.  "Is he...is he gay too?"

"Rood?  No.  Far from it.  In fact, I'm afraid he's a bit of a playboy.
Well as much as any Tuathan ever could be."  At that moment, Rood stretched
and opened his eyes.  Scott smiled down at the blond guard lying on the
wooden pallet.  "I just came to see how you were doing," he said.

"Better," Rood answered in a hoarse whisper.  His throat was still awfully
sore from where the respirator had been inserted.

"The healer will be here soon.  Just rest.  Don't try to speak," Sharon
ordered from her position at the other side of the bed.

"You've been through a lot," Scott said.  "You just rest and get well."

"Is Robin..." he started with an effort.

"Don't try to talk," Scott said, but Rood wouldn't listen.

"Robin too busy to come?" he croaked with his lop-sided grin.

"I've got to be going.  You take it easy and get well," Scott said as he
started to pull away.

The smile instantly left Rood's face.  He reached out and grabbed Scott's
wrist with lightning reflexes, holding it in a vise like grip.  "Now don't
get excited," Sharon said as she saw the change come over her patient.

"Where is he?" Rood whispered.

"My lord, I have to go," Scott said, trying to extricate himself from the
gripping hand.  He felt tears coming to his eyes as he thought of Robin and
what he wasn't telling Rood.

"Where is Robin?" the captain demanded.

Just then the healer entered the room.  "My lady," she said and bowed to
Sharon, and then stepped over to the platform.  "I can do nothing for this
one while he fights like this," she said.

"Okay, I won't go," Scott said.  "You cooperate with the healer and I'll
tell you what happened."  This seemed to help and the guard leaned back,
relaxing a little.

The healer made the gestures of prayer, touching her fingers to her
temples, and then to her shoulders, and then reaching out in supplication.
She gently placed her hands on Rood's throat and stood quietly for a
moment.  Next she placed her hands so as to cover his left ear.  Then she
gently stroked his brow.  "His body is sound, my lady," she said to Sharon.
"He lives, thanks to you.  I have only eased the pain and irritation in his
throat and head and healed his ear."

"You healed his ear?  You mean you cured a missing ear drum and interior
structure, not to mention the damaged nerves?  That's a miracle," Sharon
said somewhat skeptically.

"No lady.  I only touched his spirit and helped it to heal the damaged
items.  What you did...bringing him back to life from the halls of
death...now that is a miracle."  The woman bowed and left the room.

"How do you feel?" Sharon asked.

"Fit," Rood replied in a firm voice and tried to sit up.  She quickly
pushed him back down.  "But can I not get up?"

"No," the doctor said firmly.  "I want to check you out completely from top
to bottom."  She suddenly became very self conscious of what she had said
and began to blush.

Rood smiled his crooked grin.  "Then please, my lady, examine me.  Would
you care to start with the bottom?"  He spread his legs slightly and thrust
his hips forward causing the sheet to outline his crotch.

"No," she said firmly, taking on her best tough-doctor attitude.  "I'll
start with your top."  The woman grabbed Rood's jaw and roughly twisted his
head to the side so she could look into his ear.  After a moment she
released him and reached around to feel the back of his skull where the
other guard had struck him with a sword hilt.

"So tell me a tale, my lord," Rood said to Scott as the doctor continued to
prod and poke at him.  Scott told of the troll invasion and the subsequent
battle.  He then related how Robin had disappeared without a trace.  "Where
was I during all this?" Rood asked.

"Hush," Sharon said as she pressed her ear to his chest to listen to his
heart.

"This is nice," Rood said and reached down to stroke her hair.

"Stop that," she ordered and jerked away.

"Rood gave a smile, and then looked back at Scott.  "How did the trolls and
this other thing enter the palace?" he asked.

"By the drawbridge," Scott said.

Rood's face instantly clouded.  "I should have been here.  Where was I?
What fool left the gate open after dark?"

Scott took a deep breath, sat in a nearby chair and launched into the tale
of how the drawbridge came to be lowered.  He glossed over the battle and
tried to cushion the blow, but had to tell of the deaths involved.  The
golden color that had returned to Rood's skin seemed to drain away, his
face taking on a slight bluish cast.  His eyes filled with tears and
brimmed over.  "What sin have I committed?  Why could not you let me die?"
he cried in despair as he glanced at the doctor.  She was moved by the
total anguish he experienced and stepped close to him, wrapping her arms
around the man and letting him weep on her breast.

"Rood, it was not you," Scott said.  "It was an evil spirit that did this,
not you."

"Was this not the hand?" he asked as he looked up at Scott.  "Give me your
sword so that I may sever it from my arm."

"That will not bring Tomar and the others back," Scott said gently as he
placed a hand on Rood's shoulder.

"What will?" the captain asked in a childlike voice.

"Well, nothing.  But for a start, I could use some help in rescuing Robin.
And that is your place as his personal guard."

"Now wait just a minute," Sharon objected.  "This man has just come back
from near death.  I can't let him out of here."

"Am I not well?" Rood asked defiantly.

"Maybe," the doctor hedged.  "But I'd still like to do some tests."

"Tests?" Scott asked skeptically.  "What are planning?  X-rays, an EKG and
blood work?  I don't think the lab's up to it.  This isn't Waterford
General."

"Well...well what about observation?" Sharon suggested.

"You may observe me," Rood said as he stood up and dropped the sheet to the
floor.  "Meet I not with your approval?"

"That isn't what I meant," she said as she looked at his splendid physique
and again blushed.

"My lord Scott can observe me on our journey and be watchful of any strange
behavior.  He shall pledge me his word to slay me if I again become so
possessed."

"I want to do the observing," she argued.

Rood's face brightened and he broke into his characteristic smile.  "That
is agreeable," he beamed.  "Fetch my tunic and be prepared to ride at first
light.  I shall come for you then."

"What?" both she and Scott said at the same time.

"Our lady healer shall accompany us on our quest," Rood said to Scott with
a laugh.

* * *

"You are not one of the fair folk!" Robin argued.  "My father was of the
high born.  Tall and fair of skin was he with silken hair the color of the
sun."

"Before years, yes," the shadow hissed.  "Know I spells.  Learned I have
from years in living.  Look thou into flame here."  A shadow arm pointed to
the torch.

Robin looked at the flickering, yellow flame.  As he watched, it seemed to
grow and expand, brightening to a steady, white glow.  In the center of the
light was a blurry image.  Robin stared at the shape which grew into the
picture of a man on a horse.  He was a tall, handsome member of the high
born race, sitting atop a white stallion.  The man's facial features
vaguely resembled Robin's.  He knew this must be his father from years ago.
The scene broadened to show a desolate, snow covered landscape along which
the king rode.  Suddenly the solid earth beneath his horse gave way and the
man and mount both slid down into a dark pit that opened up.

"Eldritch Mountains swallowed up king high," the shadow creature narrated.
"In search for dark world was he.  Found it he for certain,"

The image in the flame changed to one of a gloomy cavern, not unlike the
one in which Robin was now chained.  Oberon was surrounded by trolls and
fought his way through their ranks, stabbing and hacking with his sword,
cleaving their bodies.  The white stallion, on the other hand, did not fare
so well.  It reared and stomped on the black, hairy creatures as they tried
to overwhelm it, but in the end, they managed to engulf the animal,
slitting its throat.  The beautiful beast's legs buckled and it dropped
down into the swarming monsters.  Meanwhile, the king managed to back
himself up against the wall and continued to fight tirelessly.  As he did
so, the stone behind him seemed to change in texture.  The image rippled
and he fell backward through the wall as if it had turned to water.
"Caught king was," the shadow said gleefully, almost as if it enjoyed this
simple history.  "Tortured king was.  Never again see would king land of
childhood his or family behind he left.  Never again see would king baby
behind he deserted."

Robin blinked away the tears as he realized his father's fate.  "Weep king
for?" the voice taunted.  "Why weep king for?  This king is dead years
many."

"But you said..."  He was unable to finish his statement.  Anger flashed up
inside him.  He had believed the creature for a moment, and now he knew it
to lie and twist the truth just to hurt and torment him.

"Watch, usurper.  Watch and learn.  Fate same awaits thee."

The image showed King Oberon stretched out on a stone table, nude and bound
with chains on his ankles and wrists.  As he lay prone in this position two
dark, shadowy figures approached.  At first Robin thought they were trolls,
but then he realized they were much too big and moved too easily.  These
were creatures of the same race as this shadow being that now taunted him.
The figures revealed an evil assortment of knives and began to mutilate the
body of the still living man, while he writhed and screamed in anguish.
They began at the head and carefully shaved off all of the king's hair,
then they methodically sliced off his ears and cut away a portion of his
nose.  One of the creatures painted a thick, black, tar-like substance on
the wounds which seemed to instantly stop the flow of blood, although not
the pain from the look on the man's face.  The demons next sliced long
strips of skin from the body, in no apparent pattern and for no reason
other than to torture their victim.  They carefully cut off the fingers and
toes and sliced away the man's nipples.  They then cut into the lower body
and sawed off the entire genitalia, coating each new mutilation with the
thick substance.

"Smooth, he they make.  So smooth," the shadow narrator said with a crackly
laugh.  "Remains nothing that outward protrudes, nothing by which caught he
could be.  Now thus prepared, now thus enter he the service of Lillith."

The mutilated body on the stone table had passed out from the pain.  Even
watching this silent horror scene caused robin to wretch and very nearly
lose consciousness himself, but he forced his head back up.  He wanted to
see what terrible things these creatures did to his father.  He wanted to
remember this and let it fan the flames of hatred burning inside him.  He
knew his hate could help him survive.

Another creature entered the picture.  It was shorter than the others, and
much stouter.  That was the only difference that could be seen, yet Robin
knew instinctively that it was female, and that it was somehow in command
of the other two demons that had tortured his father.

"Watch now, usurper.  Watch and witness.  Here how dies thy father."

The short, stout creature carried an earthenware bowl.  A gelatinous, blue
fluid bubbled and sloshed in the vessel.  The dark beings that had
mutilated the body now reached out and turned the head to the side.  The
ear was gone, only a small, gaping hole remained.  The female monster
raised the bowl and slowly poured its contents.  The bubbling goo oozed
over the lip of the container and drizzled down, falling directly into the
ear hole.  It seemed to sizzle and splatter, droplets splashing out onto
what remained of the fair skin of the king's cheek.  Where it touched the
face it caused the instant appearance of dark, blue-black blemishes.  The
ear hole eventually took all it could contain and the fluid began to
overflow, oozing down the flat side of the head and etching black lines
down the neck.  The evil creature then began to pour the remaining solution
across the king's battered body.  Once the bowl was finally empty, the
monster discarded it and reached out to turn the head back so the face was
again looking up.  As she did so, the eyelids snapped open.  No longer did
normal eyes look back out of the head, only green, fiery orgs identical to
those of the creature narrating the story.

"See you, usurper.  Dies thy father.  Witness thou birth mine!"  As it said
this the images faded away, leaving only the oily glow of the torch flame.
Robin slowly moved his gaze to the glowing eyes of the shadow demon.
"Lillith served I seasons many for.  The will given I was service only of.
But passed time, died the will.  With death will of receive I desires anew.
Originally will Lillith of was conquest and Tuatha to rule.  King high
desired to be woman this of dark world.  Lillith changed.  Form human begat
she.  Melusine became she."

"Melusine!" Robin breathed.

"Know thou her?" the monster asked.

"We defeated her not long ago.  She is dead," he replied defiantly.

"Not so maybe.  Harder think they than to kill of dark world," it
admonished.  "But enough of her speak we.  Wonder thee not of will now
mine?"

"Yes," Robin answered.

"Her will took I.  King high of Tuatha be I and again shall this come.
Thou usurper die shall, just as did father thine before thee.  Will mine
serve thou shall and king high I again shall be!"

Tears began again to flow down Robin's cheeks.  The shadow creature noticed
this and began to laugh hysterically.  "Yes, yes.  Weep now!  Weep for
thyself.  Weep fear in of fate faces thee.  Same as father thine, shall be
thou."

"You are wrong," Robin said to the creature.  "I weep not for myself.  I
weep for you."  The laughter died away instantly.  "I weep for the loss of
what you were, and for what they have done to you.  You were a good and
noble man one time and did not deserve the pain and suffering.  I love you
and pity you."

"Good and noble?" the voice shrieked as the monster that once had been the
same as Robin drew close to his face.  "Good and noble man who allowed his
mate to die, who watched her die, then deserted his son in guilt?"

"You could not stop her death."

"I could.  If you had not been born she would yet live."

"And that is why you left on this suicide journey?" Robin asked.  "Because
I reminded you of the love you had lost?"

"Yes," an almost normal voice cried out.  "I...I loved her."  The glow in
the eyes seemed to die slightly.  "I could not love you.  You had taken her
from me...so I left you."

"You wanted to be caught and killed," Robin said suddenly with new insight.
"That is why you set up the stewardship to rule in your absence and why I
was sent away to grow to manhood.  You never intended to return.  You did
this on purpose, wanting to die."

"No!" the creature shouted as the glow in the eyes flared up, then they
faded rapidly.  "Yes...I could be with her again.  I could join her in the
western islands."

The green light all but disappeared from the eyes.  As it did so the shadow
creature seemed to take on substance.  It filled out and became three
dimensional.  No longer a being of evil magic, it now stood before Robin, a
bent and twisted shell of a man, blackened and horribly mutilated.  "My
father, I love you still."

"No!" the voice cried out as the old man turned away, trying to hid his
hideous face.  "No, you cannot love me.  You cannot.  I deserted you as a
child, and now I have brought you to this place to suffer the same fate as
I."

"You were and still are the high king of all Tuatha, the Dagda, Oberon the
Stalwart, and I bid you homage," Robin dropped to one knee before the shell
of the man that had been his father.

Slowly, the old creature turned and looked at him.  The fiery glow that had
been its eyes was now gone.  Two very normal blue eyes looked down at Robin
from the hideously scarred face.  Robin looked up at the poor wretch, tears
sill coursing down his own cheeks.

"Weep not for me, my son.  I deserve not your tears."  He reached out a
fingerless stump of a hand to gently caress his son's face.  "Oh, if
only...if only I had..."  His blue eyes glistened and filled over with
tears as he continued to start into Robin's intensely green eyes.  "When I
look at you, I see my lady Titania looking back from the deep wood."  They
stared at each other for what seemed an eternity, lost in silent communion.

Suddenly Oberon jerked his head up and pulled his hand away.  "She comes
for you!" he said in anxious fear.  "She knows!  She knows I am no longer
subject to the will and she comes.  You must leave or you will suffer my
fate."  The old man reached down and waved his hands over the chains
holding Robin.  They fell to the ground in disconnected pieces, as if the
links had never been truly interlocked.  "Come, come quickly," Oberon said
as he hobbled across the room to the small hole in the opposite wall.  He
dropped to his knees and crawled through, Robin following closely behind.
Once they had exited the chamber, all was total darkness.  "I cannot see,"
the old man said.  "Before the will allowed me to see in the dark, but now
I am blind."  Robin turned and crawled again through the hole, back into
the chamber and quickly retrieved the torch from the wall.  Holding it
carefully, he again left the room to join the old man in the tunnel beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

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