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The Books of Darkness

by Robert N. Stephenson

Table of Contents
Chapter 16

The Ta’ibah

Standing under dimmed light of the Royal Adelaide’s morgue suited my mood. I’d told him the taking of the young man’s energy was a mistake. He shrugged and that was the end of the conversation. We stood either side of a the body of the young man.

“It will take some care,” I said, which he understood. “Both prizes are stronger when the women are together; we can use this.”

He nodded, dragging his ephemeral fingers through the boy’s chest. He plunged his hand in deep; the body twitched once, then returned to its dead state.

“Now there is nothing,” he said, removing his hand.

“I will...”

“You will do what is necessary, what I believe is required.”

“Do you know what must be done.” He broke apart like a graphite cloud. I’d overstepped the boundary. He reformed standing beside the autopsy table.

“Yes,” he said. It surprised me.

“Will you tell me?”

“No.” His voice felt calmer. “Just do, my role is clear.”

I shook my head. I could only watch at this stage. Opportunity would come, it always did. I only needed to be ready. “I will need to steer lives to where I want them.” I said.

“I know.”

“There is one whose darkness I will not take.”

“I know.”

“Will you?”


“Why? Why are we playing this game?” The Ta’ibah knew what to do and how to do it, The Dark One needed our actions, our feedings. Why this game of cat and mouse? What did it mean?

“When the game is over you will know the reason why.”

“And if I make a mistake?”

“You won’t.” He drifted away from me and through the wall, for a moment a black stain spread across the white tiles, slowly fading.

I needed fear, real fear to help create what I felt he needed me to do. I made a dream from history and shadow. Formed it in a way only the right person would see. With a wipe of a hand across brow, a flutter of eyes, I sent it into the void, into the web of darkness. Who it was meant for I didn’t know. The dream would find itself a place to unfold. All it needed was darkness, the ever present night. A gentle push to bring them together, strengthen their reliance.

Proceed to Chapter 17...

Copyright © 2009 by Robert N. Stephenson

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