Sunday, October 11, 2009
“I’m so sorry, lady.” Ethan whispered stroking the fur of the dead doe on the ground before him. “It was an accident, it couldn’t be avoided...”
“Ethan!” Brian yelled “Get away from that thing. It might still be alive, he could attack!”
“No, she’s defiantly dead.” Ethan announced walking over to his husband “…and so’s my cell.”
“Damn. Now what are we going to do? We haven’t seen another soul in 45 minutes.”
“Well, I know you don’t like it” Ethan suggested “but I can try witchcraft”
“What? You mean you can fix this? Get us on the road again?”
“I can try” Ethan offered “I mean my powers got an upgrade when Red Eye bonded with me…”
“Ok just this once. Anything to get us moving again.”
Ethan stood off to the side of the car and closed his eyes. He placed his hands palm together as if in prayer and breathed in deeply through his nose holding his breath for a count of three and then out his mouth.
As Brian watched he noticed a faint glow of red around Ethan’s eyes and hands. Finally, Ethan opened his eyes and spread his arms out wide, palms facing the damaged car before him. His eyes and hands glowed so bright in the darkness that Brian thought Ethan would explode.
“I call upon spirits who in machines abide” Ethan chanted “and imps that make things go. Repair the damage to m…”
“Ethan cut it out! Brian exclaimed “somebody’s pulling over”
The glow indicating Ethan’s connection to Red Eye faded as his incantation trailed off and he lost his train of thought.
“We’re in luck” Brian offered “it’s a tow-truck. Whatever you did, it worked!”
“It wasn’t me” Ethan replied stepping up beside Brian to greet the truck.
“Looks like ya boys ran into some trouble” the driver observed getting out of his truck. Ethan noted the sign painted on the side panel read Hambone’s Garage. The old man wore dirty white overalls and a greasy cap with the words HOOF ARTED printed in two lines above the brim.
“Well, a deer anyway” Brian replied.
“Mmm hmm” the driver grunted checking out the damage.
“We sure are lucky you happened by.” Ethan began
“Weren’t no luck” the driver replied “Accidents happ’n in dese parts all the time, folks can’t call fer help on their little cell phones on account of the mountains. Blocks the signals ya see.”
“Oh...I see” Ethan replied feigning ignorance
“That’s why I keeps my cb radio in my truck there. Oh, by the way I’m Hambone. Hambone’s Garage. Owner and proprietor.” he announced proudly.
“I’m Brian and this is Ethan” Brian replied “Nice to meet you.”
“Now as fer ya car here” Hambone offered “I kin tell ya now its gonna need more ‘an justa simple patch job. I kin tow it back to my garage, but its gonna take neara week or more to git dun.”
Ethan gave Brian a look indicating he’d abide by whatever decision Brian made.
“I shuld be tellin’ ya though” Hambone observed “there ain’t no other garage within…oh pert near 60 miles.”
“I guess” Brian replied “we have no choice”
“Aight I’ll load’er up and we’ll be on our way” Hambone said walking back to his tow. “Oh and what do you want me to do about that?” Hambone asked pointing to the carcass.
“What do you mean?”
“Round these parts you hit you keep it” Hambone replied.
“We don’t want it” Ethan assured him.
“You mind if I take then? Hambone asked “some of the meat is bound to still be good.”
“No, it’s all yours” Brian replied.
“I’ll radio my boy to come pick it up then.” Hambone said satisfied.
Within fifteen minutes Brian and Ethan, were crammed in the tow truck along with Hambone and they were headed towards town.
“What did you say the name of this town was?” Brian asked looking at a map.
“Moonshine Mountain” Hambone replied “but cha ain’t a gonna find it on no map.”
“Why is that?” Ethan asked
“Oh it’s a small outta the way kinda place” Hambone replied “Usedta be a thriving community when the coal mines was a operating. But dey shut down bout 20…30 years ago. Town kinda died after that.”
“We can relate to that in today’s economy.” Ethan observed.
Hambone was quiet after that and seemed to be lost in his own thoughts. He hummed quietly to himself as if the two other men weren’t there at all. Brian covertly rubbed Ethan’s leg in the dark so as to convey to him that everything was going to be all right. Ethan looked to Brian in reply and gave him an encouraging smile. Its was well after midnight when the tow truck pulled into town and made its way to the Come On Inn.
“Garage’s just sup the street here on the left” Hambone instructed Brian while Ethan collected their bags from the car. “You kin come by after lunch time ta-mara and we’ll talk shop. Don’t worry bout knocking, jus go in da office dere, I had ma son call ahead so they be s’pecting you.”
“Yep” the old man grunted as he drove off.
The two men gave each other a knowing look, collected their bags and walked inside the office of the Come On Inn.
“How do?” the young man behind the counter asked “Y’all must be the two fellas Junior called about.”
Brian mentally noted that the boy couldn’t be more than sixteen. He was wearing a faded t-shirt and sweat pants. Judging from his case of bed-hair and the lateness of the hour, Brian surmised that the boy had been asleep when Hambone’s son had called them.
“You’re a little young to be running a motel aren’t you?” Brian asked
“Oh I don’t really work here.” Kaleb replied “my parents own the place. I just help out sometimes. They’re asleep in the apartment upstairs”
“We’d like a room please.” Ethan interjected.
“Oh we’re not booked up or anything.” Kaleb replied “You guys can have your own room.”
“No, one room will be fine.” Ethan offered.
“Oh I get it!” Kaleb announced proudly
Brian and Ethan looked at each other both wondering if they were about to be asked to leave.
“Trying to save money?” Kaleb observed.
“Something like that” Brian offered.
“Ok” Kaleb continued “but our rooms only have one bed, so you’re gonna have to share.”
“That’ll be fine” Ethan replied.
“I’ll just need a credit card and your id please.” Kaleb instructed “if you change your mind later we can get you another room.”
As the boy made copies of Brian’s driver’s license Brian and Ethan signed the register. When Kaleb returned he gave Brian his credit card and id back along with the keys to their room.
The two men collected their bags off the floor and began to walk away as Kaleb looked over the register.
“Hmmm. I didn’t take you two for brothers.” Kaleb grunted noting that the two men shared the same last names “You don’t look anything alike.”
“Same mother, different fathers” Brian replied as Ethan suppressed a giggle.
“Must be why you guys don’t mind sharing a bed” Kaleb observed “must have had to do that growing up a lot.”
“Good night, Kaleb” Ethan announced walking out of the office.
“G’night’ Kaleb replied with a helpful smile.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
“We’re making good time.” Brian said over the steering wheel breaking the silence “At this rate, we should be in
“Good” Ethan replied “I’m anxious to see our new house for myself and get settled in.”
Brian and Ethan had been driving for the better part of ten hours and now found themselves on the far side of
“I’m telling you, you’re going to love it baby. It has a great view of the ocean and the mountains in the distance, a huge fireplace, lots of space for me and all your voodoo….”
“Voodoo?” Ethan replied feeling slighted.
“You know that freaky deaky stuff you do.”
“Brian, that ‘freaky deaky’ stuff as you call it, saved your life.”
“I know” Brian said recalling the events of the previous year. As a Detective with the Shadow Falls Police Department he had been searching for an escaped inmate who had stumbled upon vast spiritual powers when he became bonded to a elemental. The inmate used his newfound powers to exact revenge on the man who had killed his lover. Ethan and Brian worked on the case, albeit separately, which put Brian’s life in danger before Ethan was able to save them both.
“I’m just screwing with you” Brian continued “Don’t get your broomstick up your butt, there won’t be any room left for me.”
“Brian” Ethan admonished him “I’m serious. When you married me you knew I was Wiccan. This is my religion. Would you make fun of me if I was Christian…or Buddhist?”
“Yeah, probably” Brian offered taking Ethan’s hand “but that’s our way, you know that.”
“I understand that we kid each other about a lot of things...” Ethan explained “…but when it comes to my beliefs I want you to be respectful.”
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry baby” Brian begged “You forgive me?”
“Of course, Brian, I love you.” Ethan replied “But it wouldn’t kill you to open your mind a little…broaden your horizons.”
“Well, we’re on the road for three more days” Brian offered “why don’t you use this time to educate me a little.”
“Ok” Ethan replied “Where do you want to start?”
“Well as a detective, I’d say start at the beginning” Brian says
“Hmmm” Ethan composed his thoughts “Witchcraft has its origins in ancient times when the earliest humans had a much closer relationship with the Earth than we do today. Nature was sacred and early man believed that spirits dwelt in all things from trees, to rocks, to water, and even fire.”
“That’s called animism.” Brian chimed in “I remember that from that class I took for the force on occult crimes.”
“Right.” Ethan continued “Nature was the great provider which supplied all of man’s physical needs so he looked to nature for his spiritual ones as well. In many ways, nature and man were mirrors for one another. Since women were the bearers of children it was believed that the spirit of fertility was female.”
“And she became the Goddess?” Brian asked
“Where did God come in?”
“Well” Ethan began “in the winter months when hunting became necessary for survival, it was the men who went off in hunting parties to seek game for food and skins for warmth. Since hunting was so associated with men, the God of the Hunt was believed to be male. He also was given the horns of a stag to represent his virility and connection to nature. And since there were often many men who died on the hunt the Horned God of the Hunt also became associated with Death as well.”
“And there you have your God and Goddess.” Brian stated wanting to show that he was listening.
“For thousands of years humankind's view of the God and Goddess remained unchanged. Religion was based on the belief that Spirit took the image of male and female form, each having many images, and personalities...until the advent of Christianity.” Ethan explained.
“And we all know what happened during the Witch Hunts…” Brian said “The Witch craze ran across
“Yes” Ethan explained “But, it didn’t begin that way. Before about 1400 ACE the Church tried to bring Pagans into the fold through a process called syncretism…”
“Sin what?” Brian asked
“Syncretism” Ethan laughed “It’s the process of fusing two disparate belief systems together.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well the church tried to convert Pagans by taking elements of Pagan beliefs and absorbing them into Christian beliefs and practices.”
“Hmmm” Brian thought about what he had just heard.
“So that’s why everyone thinks that Witches worship the devil?”
“Anyway, when their attempts to convert Pagans to Christianity in this way didn’t get the results they desired the church began using fear, ignorance, and hate to promote a climate of paranoia.”
“Everyone thought the devil was around every corner” Brian added
“The church did very little to dissuade the public” Ethan began “at that time it was illegal to even NOT believe in witches! The church seized the land and holding of anyone convicted of being a witch, so witch-hunting became a very profitable business.”
“Yes, witch-hunters were paid hefty fees for each witch convicted. And neighbor turned against neighbor” Ethan continues “Accusing someone of witchcraft became a very reliable way off an enemy or exacting revenge for some supposed wrong doing.”
“Why is that?”
“Because the only way to prove your innocence was basically to die!”
“The tests were rigged” Ethan explained “Take the swimming the witch test for example. An accused individual was bound, gagged, and thrown into a body of water. If, for whatever reason, the accused floated then he or she was found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However, if the accused sank he or she was declared innocence but invariably drowned.”
“That’s harsh” Brian said sympathetically “But wasn’t some of it true though? I mean, I’ve seen your book. Demons do exists, don’t they?
“Yes, but that’s another story entirely”
“Babe, we’ve got time.”
“Well there is this story in my Book of Shadows” Ethan said as he slipped out of his seat belt and got up on his knees facing the back seat “that speaks of the First Witch and her battle against demons….”
“What are you doing?” Brian asked
“Hold on a second.” Ethan said pulling his family Book of Shadows out of his suitcase and settling back in his seat.
“You brought your book with you?”
“You didn’t think I was gonna just throw it in a box and leave it with the movers did you? This book has been in my family for three generations.”
“I can see why you’d want to preserve it” Brian replied
“Here it is” Ethan said pointing to a page “Pandora the First Witch.”
“Pandora” Brian replied
“Ok, listen to this” Ethan began reading the entry
Long, long ago, the world belonged to demons and darkness crouched in every corner of the earth. Mankind in its infancy could scarcely increase his number in the face of such oppression. Then one day, the light appeared and drove the darkness into the confines of a book. The light charged mankind with the book's safety, adjuring him to never open the book, lest evil be unleashed upon the world again.
The light walked among men as Gods and a golden age followed. The book was passed down from parent to child with instructions that it was never to be opened. Over time, it was forgotten exactly why the book was to remain un-opened, but it became a matter of tradition to do so. After passing through a succession of keepers, the book fell into the hands of a young woman named Pandora. For the most part, Pandora took her duty seriously, but in a moment of weakness, she allowed her curiosity to overtake her and she opened the book!
Almost immediately, the world changed as the horror of Pandora's act set in. The people cried out in pain and pleaded for the Gods to intervene. However, they were powerless, since mankind opened the door for evil, he inherited the karmic debt for reconciling evil. The Gods, feeling the world's pain, left this plane for a dimension, where they could observe man and intercede on his behalf albeit indirectly, but still be insulated from his pain.
Before their departure, the Gods gave Pandora the gift of magick with which to oppose evil in all its shifting guises. As Pandora mastered her powers and slew demons, she wrote about her experiences in the book that once held evil, and which came to be called the Book of Shadows. Eventually, Pandora had children to whom she taught her craft, and they taught their children, and they taught their children. Today, all witches can trace their lineage back to Pandora, from whom they inherit their powers. However, along with the gift of magick, comes the bane of opposing evil in all its changing forms.
“So witches use their powers to fight demons” Brian said after a long pause “that’s so….Charmed?”
“Not just demons” Ethan interjected “but evil in all its forms, including demons. And don’t get me started on Charmed…..”
“I love you.” Brian giggled as he leaned into kiss Ethan.
“Brian look out!” Ethan called out
“Holy shit!” Brian exclaimed when he saw the deer standing in the road before him, but he was too late to react……
Sunday, September 20, 2009
“The match once struck burns so bright and for so brief a time.” Ethan thought to himself. The muffled sound of Brian singing in the shower broke the spell of fascination the match had cast over him. He quickly brought his attention back to the matter at hand and lit the candles about his makeshift altar which he had erected in the small motel room he now shared with his husband.
Before him on a small end table he had moved to face North he had arranged an assortment of objects that to the uninitiated may seem strange indeed. Bathed in the light of the candles he had lit for both atmosphere and illumination could be found several dried herbs and roots, various papers, an assortment of oils, incense, and a small red drawstring bag on which a small St. Christopher medal had been sewn.
Taking up a six inch candle of the palest white, Ethan anointed it with a combination of Block-Buster and St. Christopher Oil, muttering a prayer under his breath. “God before me, God behind me, God be with me; I on they path O’ God, thou O’ God in my steps. In the twisting of the road, in the winding of the river. Be with me by night. Be with me by day. Be with me by night and by day. Amen!””
When he was satisfied that the candle was properly prepared, he placed it in a candle holder. Under the candle holder he slid a sheet of paper which detailed his route from
From a small box beneath his makeshift altar, Ethan withdrew a round saucer, a small paper cone, and a small baggie of powdered incense. He began packing the powdered incense into the paper cone until it was completely full. He then placed the saucer over the opening in the paper cone and quickly flipped it over. Placing the saucer on the altar, he gently thumped the cone and then slowly lifted it revealing a perfect cone of powdered incense.
Ethan lit the candle and incense then took up a small pencil that was missing its eraser and a square of brown paper that had once been part of a grocery sack. He paused for a moment considering his words carefully and then began writing.
"May we travel upon the road with complete protection, arriving safely to our destination. May nothing block our intended path or impede us in any way, shape, or form. If we require assistance, may we find those who can and will happily come to our aid. And when our journey knows success, lead us safely to our new home where we may know safety, prosperity, comfort, and love. Amen.”
Once Ethan was satisfied with his petition, he turned the paper a quarter turn clockwise and signed his own name across the petition nine times. Silently, he anointed the four corners and center of the petition with Block-Buster Oil, which is believed to remove all obstacles from one’s path. Ethan then placed a whole comfrey root in the center of the petition and anointed it with St. Christopher oil, who is said to be the Patron Saint of travelers.
“St Christopher Protect us…” Ethan began his prayer “…as we set about our journey on the road to our new home. Warn us when danger is near so that we may stop while it is still possible. Be at the ready to direct us when our vision blurs. Carry us safely to our new home on the other side of the country just as you carried Christ in your strong arms across the waters. Amen.”
Ethan then wrapped the petition around the comfrey root and secured it with nine knots tied in a length of thread. The package was then placed in the small drawstring bag, along with some dried mint and a silver Mercury dime, and some earth from their new home which he had asked Brian to bring back to him. Finally he placed some of his own hair and nail pairings in the bag along with a small piece of bath tissue on which was some of Brian’s whiskers which he had carefully wiped out of the sink.
Ethan breathed a brief prayer into the bag then secured it shut with a knot. “Drink deep of this delicious oil which I now feed you…” Ethan muttered anointing the bag with Saint Christopher Oil “draw strength from its power, applying it to the task which I have set before you. See my husband and I safely to our new home on the other side of the country. Let no obstacle impede our path. When necessary, let our requests for assistance be met by those who are willing and able to provide for our needs and who will do so happily. Amen!”
“Smoke, lift this prayer to heaven.” Ethan whispered as he closed his eyes and placed the bag in the smoke rising from the burning incense. “God before me, God behind me, God be with me; I on they path O’ God, thou O’ God in my steps. In the twisting of the road, in the winding of the river. Be with me by night. Be with me by day. Be with me by night and by day. Amen!”
“What’cha doing there, babe?” Brian asks emerging from the bathroom.
“Blessing a charm to protect us on our journey…” Ethan replied keeping his eyes closed.
“You know” Brian continues “I have a charm that could use some blessing too.”
“You do, do you?” Ethan asks mischievously.
Ethan turns towards the sound of Brian’s voice and open his eyes to come face to face with Brian’s waist wrapped only in a cheap yellow motel towel.
“And where would this charm be?” Ethan continued the flirtation offering his hand to Brian who lifts him up where they now stand eye to eye.
“Around” Brian replies casting off his towel nonchalantly.
“I think I have just the oil to bless your charm with.” Ethan says leaning in to kiss Brian.
“Are you sure that wasn’t a love spell” Brian asks continuing to kiss Ethan as they both fall back on the bed.
“No, this is the love spell” Ethan replies as their shadows dance across the walls of their room brought to life by the flickering light of candles.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The Fool’s Journey
Set one year after the events of Extreme Prejudice, Ethan and Brian are now happily married and living together. However recent changes in their circumstances, brought about by the country’s poor economy, has forced the lovers to make some hard decisions about their future together.
House of Cards
The tiny bell sounded a gentle peel as Ethan entered the quaint shop of the local fortune-teller. Though he’d often read the tarot for himself and had them read for him by members of his family, he’d never been to someone who read the cards professionally before. Stepping inside he found no one about.
“Quaint” he whispers to himself looking around the shop. Ethan noticed that the shop seemed even smaller on the inside than it did from the outside. Though the room was small, the owner used every bit of available space in the shop lining the walls with shelves upon which rested statues of various angels, saints, and even a Maneki Neko facing the door to wave in customers.
In addition, there were a myriad of pictures, crystals, incense burners, and books piled upon the shelves. Between the various book shelves hung tapestries and framed prints of various tarot cards. Heavy drapes hung from the large picture window facing out on the street. In the window hung a hand-drawn sign which simply read Aunt Ruby in large bold letters and under her name Reader and Spiritual Adviser in a cursive scrawl.
“Somebody out there?” a voice called from a back room.
“Ah yes ma’am.” Ethan replied “My name’s Ethan Knox, I believe I have an appointment.”
“Be right wid’ja, son.” the voice informed him.
Ethan didn’t know exactly what to expect or even if the seer would be genuine. Continuing to look around the shop he noticed a table near the back of the room. It was made of wood which had been painted white. In the center of the table a square cloth lay flat and on top of it rested a cigar box. Beside the cigar box a fresh votive candle had been placed in a beautiful candle holder. Off to the side of the table lay a china saucer. On the wall over the table there was a framed picture of Jesus, flanked by a picture of John Kennedy on the right and one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the left.
“Sorry about that’ a woman said emerging from a door off to the side, “I don’t like to keep people waiting”
“You must be Aunt Ruby” Ethan replied. Looking over the woman’s shoulder he noticed a large altar on which burned many candles.
“That’d be me” Aunt Ruby answered closing the door behind her “Ah you’re Ethan that be right?”
“Yes M’am” Ethan replied. He was relieved that Aunt Ruby was not the image of the stereotypical fortune-teller. Instead of the moo-moo wearing gypsy weighed down with gaudy jewelry and a thick accent, Aunt Ruby was an older black woman he surmised to be in her late 60’s to early 70’s. She was dressed simply in a checkered sun dress and wore no jewelry except for a small wooden cross around her neck on a black cord.
“Take a seat yonder” Ruby directed pointing to a seat at the wooden table.
The two individuals took their seats across from one another at the wooden table. Ethan noticed that one of the legs on his chair was not as long as the other and so his chair rocked if he shifted in his seat.
“First of all” she began “I wants you to write ya name on this here piece of paper and under your name write your birthday for me.”
“What’s this for?” Ethan asked
“Oh its nothing baby” Aunt Ruby replied, “it just helps me to focus in on you during the reading.”
“Oh I see” Ethan complied figuring that every reader had their own method.
“Now” Aunt Ruby began taking the name paper from Ethan “Is you ever had da cards read before, boy?”
“Um, no m’am” Ethan replied “not professionally”
“I see” Aunt Ruby confirmed “Well, the ways I sees be like dis. The cards be like one a dem jigsaw puzzles. Only we don’t know what the picture look like cause it ain’t happen yet.”
Ethan nodded indicating that he understood her analogy
“So we have to throw the cards down” she continued “and try ta figures out what the picture be. You understand?”
“Ok let us start then.”
Aunt Ruby opened the cigar box and took out something wrapped in a colorful scarf. She placed the package on the center of the table and set the cigar box aside. Reaching into her dress pocket she takes out a pack of Marlboro cigarettes and fishes in the box for her lighter which she had tucked inside.
“Lord, be with us now” Aunt Ruby prayed lighting the votive “Open our eyes that we may see the truth and bless our minds that we may not only know but understand. In Jesus name. Amen.”
“Amen” Ethan joined in her prayer.
Aunt Ruby un-wrapped the scarf to reveal an aged deck of Tarot Cards, which Ethan noticed as the Rider Wait deck, and spread it out to read the cards on.
“Ok, cut the deck for me” Aunt Ruby asks Ethan pushing the deck towards him “..and put them back together.”
As Ethan cuts the deck into two and puts them back together Aunt Ruby places her hands on the name paper before her on the table. Ethan pushes the cards back to her across the table.
“Justice” Aunt Ruby remarks turning over the top card. “See that be you right there.”
Ethan looks at the card which the reader holds up for him to see.
“Your life be out of balance and you need to get yo’self self back on the right path.”
Aunt Ruby gives Ethan a chance to take this end before continuing.
“You see, how he got that sword in one hand? Holding it up in the air?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Well see, you gots the power to make change in your own life, but you can’t do it just sitting there on ya butt.”
“You gots to let that sword fall and cut away the ties of the past that be blocking you and holding you back.”
“You’re certainly right about that”
The reader then places the Justice card on the table over the name paper. She then takes up the remaining deck and begins laying cards out before her. Ethan can see no discernable pattern to the layout and observed that she was using no card layout with which he was familiar.
“I sees a death in your past from which you found a new strength.”
“Yes” Ethan confirmed
“But you been struggling with this power, don’t know if you be deserving it”
Ethan nodded deciding to let the woman continue rather than interrupt.
“I sees that you be a good man with a good heart. You’ll do the right thing.”
Aunt Ruby regard the cards before her before continuing.
“I see you got yourself a good man too” Aunt Ruby revealed “one dat love you very much”
Ethan looked away not sure how to answer
“Its okay baby.” Aunt Ruby replied “Ways I see it, love be love.”
“Well, yes” Ethan replied “We were married 8 months ago”
“I’m happy for you. You deserves all the love you can gets in life.”
“Now I see some big changes in the last month or so” Aunt Ruby offered analyzing the cards before her “You lose your job.”
“Yes, I did!” Ethan answered surprised “The magazine at which I was a columnist went bankrupt and stopped publishing.”
“Don’t worry about that baby.” Aunt Ruby offered “You gonna land of your feet, but not here. I sees success and travel in your future.”
“Yes” Ethan confirmed “Brian, that’s my husband, he’s been offered a job in
“Mmmm hmmmm. I see this gonna be a good move, for both of ya.”
“Really?” Ethan asks “I’ve been so afraid that we were making the wrong decision.
“Yeah, I see many opportunities before you which promise to be very successful for you both. ”
“Thank god.” Ethan sighed
“But I wont’ lie to you baby” Aunt Ruby warned “Dey gonna be obstacles along the way”
“What kind of obstacles?”
“It don’t be clear right yet.” Ruby replied “But you have faith in your man and your love for each other and you two gonna be ok, you understand?”
“Yes I think I do” Ethan replies “Anything else?”
“No, that be it as I sees it”
“Well thank you, Aunt Ruby” Ethan says offering the woman thirty dollars.
“Don’t hand it to me, baby” Aunt Ruby directed “Put it on the plate there, but kiss it first so it come back to you.”
Ethan did as the wise old reader directed and made his way toward the door.
“Oh, just one more thing baby” Aunt Ruby called out
“You be careful with that thing with dem red eyes around you, you hear me? Power have a way a making a man think he be God when he just a man. You understand?”
“Yes Aunt Ruby, I understand” Ethan replies “I understand all too well.”
As Ethan leaves the shop Aunt Ruby locks the door behind him and draws the shade. She turns and walks to her reading table.
“Didn’t even ask for it back.” she says taking the name paper from under the Justice card.
She enters the room behind her reading room and approaches her candle altar. She takes out a white candle and carves Ethan’s name on the candle with an old well worn screw driver she reserves for just this purpose. She then anoints the candle with oil muttering a prayer under her breath. Finally, she sets the candle in a holder and places Ethan’s name-paper beneath the holder.
“Walk with him Jesus” she prays lighting the candle “open the path before him and see him safely to his destination. Amen”
Hearing a knock at her door signaling her next appointment she turns out of the room muttering “Cause he shore gonna need it, Lord.”
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Hours later, Ethan wakes up in Brian’s arms and he sees that Brian is awake too and appears to be lost in his own thoughts.
“So” Ethan says tracing a line around Brian’s belly-button “Does this mean you’re ready to be open about our relationship?”
“I don’t know what it means.” Brian answered “It all happened so fast, I really wasn’t thinking.”
“Maybe it wasn’t that you weren’t thinking….” says Ethan angrily pulling away from Brian “…but what you were thinking with….”
“Come on, Eth, don’t be that way.”
“I’ve told you…” Ethan explains “…as your friend I can respect your decision to remain in the closet, but as your lover I can’t be with someone who is ashamed to acknowledge our relationship.”
“I’m not ashamed of anything.”
“Look, I was in my patrol car when this wave of heat came over me and I had this irresistible urge to come see you. I can’t explain it, it was almost like it was….”
“Yeah, how did you know I was going to say that?
“Put your clothes on Brian.”
“Ah, come on baby, don’t be like that. Hey, how bout one more time for the road?”
“We don’t have time, Brian, we have a murder to prevent!”
Brian and Ethan race to the Powers Family estate in Brian’s patrol car. Once there, they find that the front gates have been torn apart and a path of destruction has been left behind in Ricky’s wake.
“Stay in the car.” Brian tells Ethan as he takes out his revolver.
“No, Brian” Ethan replies “I’m not letting you go in there alone and I can help
“Ethan, I don’t have time to argue with you….”
“Fine” Brian says defeated. “But stay behind me.”
The two men enter the foyer and slowly make their way through the house.
“Mr. Powers! Brian announces “This is Detective Brian Lewis with the Shadow Falls Police Department.”
Receiving no response the two men continue exploring the house.
“Look at this place” Ethan says surveying the damage.
“Looks like a tornado came through here.” Brian replies
“Yeah, a really pissed off Tornado.”
A loud crash booms in another room and the two men move to investigate.
“Police! Freeze!” Brian announces kicking in the door to an office and brandishing his weapon.
To their surprise, Brian and Ethan are met by the body of Derek Powers floating in mid air and writing in pain as if being torn apart from the inside. Ricky stands there bold and defiant, his arm raised in the air and clenching his fist.
“What are you doing here, Ethan?”
“Ricky, you have to stop this now!”
“Not until this scumbag admits the truth!”
“What truth?” asks Ethan
“Enough of this!” Brian interrupts “Stop what you’re doing and put him down!”
Ricky easily disarms Brian with a wave of his hand and Brian’s gun flies through a window breaking the glass. With another wave of his hand Brian is thrown into a wall where he falls to the floor unconscious.
“I said” Ricky explains “NOT until he admits the truth!”
Ethan moves between an Ricky and Brian, who lay unconscious on the floor.
“Ricky, you have to let this go” Ethan explains “You’re only making things worse for yourself.”
“This asshole…” Ricky growls deserves to die!”
“Ricky, Its only natural for you to blame Derek, but you have to take responsibility for your own actions….”
“Take responsibility?” Ricky questions “Don’t believe everything you read.”
“Now…” Ricky commands turning his attention to Derek “tell them what really happened the night your son was killed.”
“I….don’t….know” Derek replies in broken breaths “what …you’re talking…about.”
“TELL THEM!” Ricky commands increasing the pressure on Derek.
“Ok, Ok” Derek relents “I’ll tell them, just let me go. I can’t breath…”
Ricky releases his hold on Derek who falls to the floor on his hands and knees.
“The day my son died” Derek begins “I walked in on him and Ricky having sex in Matthew’s room.”
“What” Ethan whispers surprised
“I…I was appalled….disgusted…that my son MY SON…was a homosexual. I walked away angry and found myself in my office. Matthew followed me trying to explain, but I wouldn’t listen. I accused Ricky of seducing my son…my beautiful son…and turning him into a degenerate; but Matthew said it was he that seduced Ricky. “
“Finish!” Ricky orders
“Matthew and I, we argued. I hit him. Ricky got between us to protect Matthew and I drew a revolver from my desk. I didn’t mean to do it.”
“Didn’t mean to do what” Ethan asks
“You see, I was only trying to protect me and my son. It was Ricky I meant to shoot, but Matthew jumped in front of him……”
“What else?” Ricky urges Derek to continue
“I dropped the gun and went to go to Matthew, but Ricky beat me to it. Then we heard sirens in the distance. Ricky ran away and I hid the gun telling the police that it was he that shot and killed my son…….”
As Derek looks to the past, an unconscious Brian is given a glimpse of his own future. He sees himself as an old man, now retired from duty and living a lonely existence. As the scenes of his future life pass before him Brian thinks to himself that his life could have turned out so differently had he been able to release his own fear.
“…and now that you have confessed to your crime…” Ricky announces “I sentence you to death!”
Ethan moves to stop Ricky from carrying out his threat and Ricky waves his arm to telekinetically repel him. Ethan deflects the energy with his own power resulting in a backlash that knocks down all three men.
“Ricky” Ethan says more aggressively as he staggers to his feet “the truth is out now. He can’t hid from his crime anymore, but its not your place to judge him. Let the authorities take him in where he will pay for what he’s done.”
“You’re right” Ricky relents
Ethan moves to help Ricky to his feet and is caught off guard when Ricky telekinetically hurls him against a wall.
“But I just can’t seem to do anything right!”
Ethan feels the invisible hand of a giant pressing into his body, leaving an impression in the wall in the shape of his body. As he begins to lose consciousness, Ethan recalls his tarot reading from the day before and the image of the Strength card, which depicts a feminine individual closing the mouth of a lion by sheer force of will, flashes across his mind. Summoning all his strength Ethan cast a spell to bring an end to this madness.
“From beyond the western gate,
return one felled by a father’s hate”
“What are you doing?” Ricky demands
“bring an end to a lover’s ire,
& rid him of bitter desire!”
“Stop it! Stop it now!
The room grows silent and begins to glows with a light so bright that it temporarily blinds both Ricky and Ethan.
Distracted by the light, Ricky releases Ethan, who drops to the floor. When the light fades away the ethereal body of Matthew Powers hovers above the destroyed room.
“Matthew?” Ricky asks “Is that really you?”
Ethan watches and Matthew and Ricky seem to make a silent exchange, which he does not fully understand.
“I love you.” Ricky whispers just before he falls to the floor and has what appears to be a seizure. The familiar red glow leaves his eyes and is replaced by its natural brown.
Ethan witnesses Ricky’s spirit rise into the air where he and Matthew embrace and are reunited in the afterlife. Before disappearing into eternity they point to a place behind a bookshelf that seems to be important to them.
As the spirits of Ricky and Matthew disappear forever, Ethan hears Brian moan and runs over to him.
“Is it over?” Brian asks
“Its over.” Ethan replies.
“Are you alright Ethan?”
“Yes” Ethan replies “Don’t worry about me, you had a nasty bump on the head. We should get you to the hospital.”
“Forget about that for a minute.” Brian says placing his hands on Ethan’s shoulders, and looking him in the eyes, “I know I’ve been an ass but if you will still have me, I promise that things will be different now.”
Ethan pauses, and searching Brian’s eyes notices that Brian has somehow changed. Ethan answers Brian with a kiss and they both embrace as the sound of siren fill the air. An inspection of the bookshelf reveals a wall behind the bookshelf with a bank of security monitors which recorded Derek’s confession that it was he that killed his son and not Ricky.
The Chief of Detectives arrives on the scene along with the paramedics. Derek is determined to have several broken bones and internal bleeding, but he will live.
“Detective Lewis’ The chief explains “you’re going to have a hard time explaining just what happened here.’
“Excuse me chief” Ethan interject “But Brian’s had a nasty bump on the head and I think he should see one of the paramedics before he answers any questions’
“And just who are you?” The Chief asks Ethan.
“He’s my boyfriend” Brian interjects
“Oh” the chief replies “well then, you ah go see the paramedics and I’ll read your report later.”
As the paramedic cleans Brian’s wounds and checks him for a concussion, Ethan takes the opportunity to gauge how serious Brian is about their relationship.
“Are you sure” Ethan asks “that this is what you want. I mean, we’ve just been through a lot and I don’t want you to wake up tomorrow thinking you made a mistake.”
“Yes” Brian answers “this is what I want. Don’t you?”
“Of course, it’s all I’ve ever wanted Brian.”
“Ok, you’re fine’ The paramedic interjects “just keep those bandages clean and no sleep for at least four hours.”
“I love you, Ethan.”
“I love you more”
The two men take each others hands and walk towards the car. Ethan climbs into Brian’s car and they share a kiss as Ethan’s eyes now glow red. They pull away knowing that whatever the future holds, they will face it together.
The End of
will return in
THE FOOL’S JOURNEY