Webs of Mangled Darkness
October 7, 2013
This serial began last Monday
Figuring that he probably wouldn’t be getting into another fight before noon, Jack used his most recently acquired spell and healed himself. Looking down, he took off his new leather in disgust. He had bought it for himself with the money he had taken from the Ripperkah in Pennsylvania. He still had plenty, but when one is unemployed you needed to make you cash flow last.
“Guess I won’t be picking up any chicks wearing this.” He said while tossing the slashed jacket onto the chestnut colored bar. A minute later, he was using the land line to call Phillip. He saw the silhouettes of police officer poking around in the alley behind the bar. He watched them move as he filled his friend in on the Xemmoni attack.
Nine minutes later Phillip walked through the front door of the pub he owned. “You look like hell,” the man said while motioning toward the huge blood stain surrounding the rent in Jack’s shirt.
“Look who’s talking,” Jack said, while pointing at Phillip’s wrinkled ensemble of loose fitting brownness. “It looks like you didn’t even take off your trench coat before you went to bed.”
Phillip laughed. “Well, how do you think I was able to get over here so quickly?”
Then they grew serious as Jack filled him in on the attack he received from the armored Xemmoni. Once he was done, Phillip said, “Yeah, sounds like a Hyades alright. But I never heard of the silent stalkers using armor. They are hard enough to kill normally.”
They both leaned back in the bar chairs and Jack winced when Phillip opened an ale. “Starting a little early I see…”
But Phillip held up his hand in a silencing motion. Someone stood outside of the bar’s front door. A second later a hard rapping sounded, like the door had been struck with a solid object.
Jack slipping back into his bloody leather while reaching behind the bar for the big wood cutters axe he hid there.
Phillip was strapping his Sword of Mecca back to his waist when both Stalwarts froze.
A darkness seemed to be eating the sun itself. It poured under the front door like a spreading puddle of filthy ink. Black webbing covered the windows thrusting the insides of the bar into darkness. Thorns of grasping ebony grew over the interior walls. Like grasping hands, they covered the ceiling.
Phillip drew his cutlass and motioned for Jack to open the front door, but as the neared the street side of the bar the front door flew open with a loud bang.
A man defined by pure darkness stood in the doorway and despite themselves, each of the Stalwarts retreated a pace when he stepped into the room. Stark black eyes burned at them and waves of malign evil poured off the man like steam. A stygian overcoat matched a large angled hat and both appeared to arc away from the figure in odd jagged angles. A mahogany cane stayed clutched in one pale hand.
“Darcarre,” Jack whispered.
“Certainly,” the figured whispered. “And I am aware of what you attempted to do not long ago. One of you fools tried to hurt my pet.” He waved a gloved finger at them while his red lined lips cracked into a grin under his pallid face. “Not that you could, but we don’t need to attain publicity just this yet. We have more important things to attend to. This is why I, The Baron, am offering you a single chance to leave Boston before nightfall. If you flee this city at once, you will be allowed to continue your misguided existence,” his smile grew wider, “for at least a bit longer.”
Jack had never faced such a creature, let alone had a conversation with one. Cold fingers of dread scratched at his scalp. He could feel the power flowing from this Xemmoni and it caused him to have to focus to keep from shaking from the onslaught.
Phillip found his voice first. “Why spare us at all?”
Waving a dismissive hand, The Baron continued. “Stalwarts are like rats, or perhaps roaches. You kill one and their father’s sister’s boyfriend’s dog will be chewing on you leg the next time you are entertaining. I have serious issues to attend you and for the price of your lives, I expect you to call every ‘would be’ hero you know and tell them to flee from this city as well. I have no time to deal with such minor issues.”
“Some of the Xemmoni we met in the past didn’t consider us minor issues,” Jack Spit out.
“Oh please,” The Baron said, and then with a motion from both hands he sent two of the hugest Black Veins Bestows he had ever seen straight into the chest of each man. With a gasp they were both thrown backwards over chairs as growing black curse that spread over them like veins of evil. Agony owned them as their flesh turned black and burst. Jack tried not to scream, but realized he already had.
The Baron turned and his overcoat whipped around him like a vampire’s cape. “Remember this will be your only warning. You and any other Stalwart seen in Boston will be exterminated after sundown.” He gaze the one final icy look of hatred, “in the most unpleasant of ways.” As he exited the bar, the door slammed shut on its own accord and the returning sunlight did nothing to lesson the torment as the Stalwarts were left curled in moaning balls of pain.
To be continued next Monday