Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dark World: To the Manor Borne

[Worse pun than usual in the title. Sorry.]

(The story begins here.)

“How do you intend to get to Dvorak Manor?” Darren asked. “The tree’s still blocking the road; it didn’t disappear with the woman and her pets.”

The doctor stirred uneasily at the reference. “The car’s fenders are reinforced, and its motor is powerful; I can probably push the tree enough out of the road to proceed.”

“Then why didn’t you do so before?”

“I didn’t say I could do so quickly and easily. It will take a minute or two, and we shall be sitting ducks until I get through.” Lassiter moaned faintly in the back seat, where Darren was stationed. Without looking back, the doctor said, “Keep an eye on him. I’d like to be underway before he regains consciousness, and if he shows signs of backsliding, you may have to convert him again.”

Silence held until the doctor pushed past the tree; then he asked quietly, “Is Lassiter still unconscious?”

“Yes. Why, do you want to rouse him with smelling salts and bludgeon him unconscious again?”

“Don’t be facetious; I only do that to werewolves. How hard did you hit him, anyway?”

“Not nearly that hard. I think he’s resumed his near-coma.”

“Very convenient.” The doctor paused briefly. “Darren, did you feel anything unusual when that woman looked at you?”

“You mean the pull? Of course. We all have a world of evil inside us; she was calling to that evil, trying to use its power to control us.”

“And Lassiter?”

“She already had an opening there: the power of the curse is gone, but not its effect. He now has a door open to a part of himself most of us keep sealed off, and the true monster within can surface quite easily.”

“I see.” Another pause followed. “You spoke before of another world touching ours. Do you mean Hell? Is she a demon?”

“Not Hell and not a demon. There is something demonic afoot, certainly; but I suspect she is still physically human, and the nature of that other world is as unknown to my theology as to your science.”

“And you felt something before she appeared?”

“I’m used to such evil, yes. I could feel it coming like a cold, rank draft from a swamp. That’s why I looked at Lassiter’s hair: I expected a breeze.”

“Well, give me plenty of warning next time.”

“You expect another attempt?”

“Don’t you?”

Darren didn’t answer. He didn’t have to. They drove on in silence to the fortress called Dvorak Manor.

[I'll resume reviews and such for a few days. The next installment of Dark World will be Dvorak Manor. First, however, I'll post a belated explanation about the story itself.]

1 comment:

Katilinum said...

Brilliant! Real page-turner!

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