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 Curse of Collecting

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PhantomnessFay
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PostSubject: Re: Curse of Collecting   Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:15 pm

Good grief! Alone again. Where is everyone?

Here is a new chapter. Please R&R. Enjoy!

*****************************************************************

CHAPTER 17

Taylor Pine’s Apartment

The night seemed endless at Taylor Pine’s apartment as Chris Lawson and Mallorie Hancock sat in the dark listening to the continual knocking at the door. The knocks seemed to come in a sort of sequence. Two at the top, two at the bottom then one to the right and one to the left. After repeating this for several minutes, the sequence changed. A series of random knocks came rapidly, the volume increased with each passing minute. With all the noise one could only assume the person or persons living across the hall would be pretty annoyed and come bursting out the door ready to silence whoever made the racket, but no one did.

If some one knocked to tell the resident they were there and wanted to be invited in, then they would have called out or go away without making such a ruckus. Logically speaking. However, what knocked at the door and why the weird pattern of knocking? Needless to say, Chris and Mallorie huddled together with their hearts in their throats, afraid to move, afraid to speak, almost afraid to breath. Any minute they felt sure the door would cave in and some unspeakable monster would be standing in the doorway ready to devour them.

All of a sudden, silence fell heaving in the hall and throughout the small apartment. Mallorie didn’t move a muscle. This time she would not make the mistake of listening at the door. Whatever stood on the other side she did not want to see or hear and neither did Chris. For once, the two agreed on something.

Then all at once a key jiggled in the lock and the door flew open. Mallorie screamed like someone was killing her and Chris picked a chair and flung it at the figure in the open door.
The silhouette ducked and a familiar voice growled a word of caution as the light switched on.

There stood Chris’ uncle Taylor with a look of shock on his face. “Watch it! What are you trying to do, put me lights out?”

Chris apologized profusely and Mallorie took several deep breaths to keep from hyperventilating.

“Someone or something was making some weird knocking at the door. We thought it was that,” Chris tried to explain, although his explanation sounded rather feeble and strange.

“Knocking? What was strange about it,” asked Taylor as he moved all the way into the room and closed the door behind him.

Chris then explained the pattern of knocks. His uncle’s eyes widened. He knew what it was, but who sent it?

Taylor asked the two to relax and sit as he made some tea. He had a few things to tell them and hopefully they would not be disturbed again. One thing he had to know, who they’d talked to and if any odd things had happened to them. That may explain the “knocking’. But how did it know they were in his apartment? Not good. None of this looked good.

Mallorie started to tell him about her encounter with Cursen Bathory and his chauffer, but Taylor held up a hand for silence. Sounds pushed about from the apartment across the hall.

When all went quiet again, Chris asked why the person across the hall didn’t come out to see what the knocking was all about.

“It came for you, not my neighbor. Only the people it comes for can hear it. Just like the apparition of the man in the fedora, death’s head and cloak. You see him because it came for you. No one else sees him, no reason for it,” Taylor tried to explain as he poured the steaming hot water into a teapot that contained a tea ball filled with English Breakfast tea.

Taylor brought a tray filled with china teacups and saucers, the teapot of steeping tea, containers of sugar and cream, a few small plates and a box of assorted cookies. He sat the tray on the coffee table so that each person could prepare the tea to suite his or her taste.

While his nephew and the reporter explained their meeting with Cursen Bathory, Dallas Porter, Arthur Pembroke, the haunting of Chris’s office and the sudden need to steal the ledger, the old man sat back in a rickety old chair, sipped tea, and munched cookies.

Mallorie ended the accounts with Cursen’s chauffer chasing her.

For a long moment Taylor said nothing. He felt a lot of remorse for selling the death’s head to Pembroke. In a way it was his fault that Pembroke became possessed, a ghost returned the grave and creature of untold evil now invaded the modern world. Of course he meant Bathory.

“More tea?” he asked as he picked up the teapot. Chris and Mallorie both shook their heads.

“Then let me tell you something. Cursen Bathory is a warlock. Contrary to popular belief a warlock is not a male witch. A warlock is anyone who has betrayed his or her coven. Some people may contend with that, but Bathory is living proof. Anyone like this will do anything to get what he wants.”

The two sat in silence puzzling over what he said. Then they ticked a look to each other.

The old man continued. “What you heard at the door is a called a “knocker”. It’s a thing conjured up to flush out people that don’t want to be found. I’m pretty sure Bathory sent it.”

“Uncle Taylor, did you see anything out there when you came upstairs?”

“No. Saw nothing and heard nothing.”

“Mallorie and I are pretty much confused. Nothing makes sense. I for one really did not believe in the supernatural until all this stuff began to happen. I’d be more than happy to chuck all the stuff you’ve collected, except it would be a waste of your money. We should sell it. As for the ledger, I don’t know what to say. I had no idea that Arthur Pembroke had a grip like a vice,” Chris finished as he rubbed his throat at the thought of the strangling.

“Maybe we should call the police,” suggested Mallorie.

“And tell them what? That a warlock is sent a demon after you?” Taylor’s eyes flashed with a mix of anger, upset and excitement. “They’d throw you into Bedlam and toss away the key.”

After finishing her tea, Mallorie set the cup and saucer on the tray. The warm liquid did help calm her nerves, but the threat still existed and kept her on edge. Her hands grew cold and a knot formed in the pit of her stomach.

Taylor asked the two to remain with him for the rest of the night. After pulling the bed out from the sofa, he offered it to the reporter. He and his nephew would take the floor. Blankets and pillows would make them warm and comfy.

“I will go to the offices of Pembroke, Billingsworth and Porter in the morning. I have a day off from the library, so I may as well make good use of it.” Uncle Taylor tried to sound brave and comforting.

“Uncle Taylor, what is going on? Just tell us plain and simple,” his nephew folded up some blankets and laid them on the floor near Mallorie who nestled comfortably in the bed with a huge blanket wrapped around her.

“The short version - The dearth’s head makes the wearer mad. It was for that reason. Bathory made it and wants it back. He will need a cursed black diamond called the Eye of Brahma as well. He cursed it way back in the day. From what I understand, this will help him attain ultimate power. That’s all I know. And he will destroy anyone or anything that tries to stop him,” came the reply.

After that, no one could sleep, but nobody said another word until morning. The only thing in their minds, ultimate evil wanted cursed things to bring him unlimited power. What a nightmare!





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PostSubject: Re: Curse of Collecting   Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:01 pm

Hopefully someone will be by soon to read this most intriguing story.

Here is the next chapter. Please R&R. Enjoy!

****************************************************************

CHAPTER 18

Office of Dallas Porter

The weather forecast said lots of sunshine with temperatures in the low 70’s, but somehow that just didn’t seem right with the thick dark clouds and the chill wind that whipped through “the city that never sleeps”. Dallas Porter stared out of the big window of his high-rise office thinking about all the trouble they’d been having since their dealings with Cursen Bathory and their now insane business partner Arthur Pembroke.

The beep from the telephone console told him he had a call waiting. Upon answering it, his administrative assistant told him that Bathory stood in front of her seeking audience with him. Obviously he wanted the Eye of Brahma and the infamous death’s head.

Dallas thought for a moment. He really didn’t want to talk to Bathory alone. So he asked his admin to give him a few minutes. Then he dialed Binky Billingsworth’s extension.

“Billingsworth,” answered the voice on the other end of the receiver.

“Porter here. That Cursen Bathory chap is here for his diamond and mask. I don’t want to be alone with him. He gives me the “willies”.

“I suppose we can’t stall him any longer. I’ll go out to meet him and then we’ll both come into your office. Chin up ol’boy. Binky’s here.” With that, Billingsworth hung up.

In the reception area, Cursen Bathory ran his fingers through his thick blond hair as he sat waiting impatiently to be seen. He wore a dark colored raincoat and carried an umbrella. Patience hardly graced the man’s being. The merchandise had to be here by now, so why did the auction house stall in giving them to him. Already, he’d paid good money up front.

At that moment, Binky Billingsworth entered the room with an extended hand and a cheery greeting. Since he felt confident he could flatter Cursen enough to smooth his ruffled feathers, he chattered on about how nice he looked and what a pleasure it was to have him as a client. However, Bathory did not seem taken in or amused. He rather felt very insulted and annoyed.

As they entered Porter’s office, the scene got a bit nasty and harsh words began to fly.

Cursen’s eyes began to flame as he raised his voice. “I’ve been waiting for months on this diamond. You tell me you’ve secured it and then it takes eons to for me to take possession. I paid good money upfront and I will not be cheated or pushed about like those poor fools you double talk here in America. I, like you, am a British subject and I demand respect. Otherwise, you will deal with the consequences! Do I make myself clear?” Cursen finished with a look ticking from Porter, sitting behind his posh, oak desk and Binky sitting off to the side.

Porter’s mind flitted about trying to figure out how to tell his client that getting the mask away from poor demented Pembroke was almost like contemplating major surgery. The man rarely removed the death’s head and quiet frequently, it looked like it might be part of his face. Flesh and mask melded into one. Ridiculously frightening, but true.

As for the black diamond, the Eye of Brahma, well that story seemed even more ridiculous and frightening; especially when they told him customs still had it.

“What? Stuck in customs? Whatever for? Where is the bloody thing coming from?” The way Bathory held the umbrella they just knew he would send it crashing down on one of them. But who, that was the question.

“Paris, France,” came the reply.

“What is the bloody problem? Get it out of customs. That’s what you do, right? That’s your bloody job.” Bathory raised his voice so, the admin knocked on the door to see if they needed assistance. Binky shooed her away. After she closed the door, Binky calmly said the diamond would be released in the next couple of days. He didn’t want to tell him the person they bought the diamond from died a horrible death and INTERPOL wanted to use it in their investigation. Hence, the curse again claimed another victim.

“There is something you are not telling me,” Cursen pointed the tip of the umbrella at each man. Porter swallowed hard and Binky mopped his damp brow.

“You are not going to tell me the bloody thing is cursed, are you? I’ve heard that story before,” Cursen went on, knowing all along that he put the curse on it himself.

“No, no, of course not,” Porter groped for words. It’s just some minor detail with red tape, you know how it is?”

“No, I don’t know how it is? Explain it to me. I have had nothing but mishap after mishap since coming to this country. First my job is suspended because someone thinks it’s funny to terrify the cast and crew of the very play I am to direct. Now you give me this gibberish about red tape and stuck in customs,” the old warlock came within inches of bringing down balls of fire to incinerate the entire building. Needless to say, the business partners didn’t realize how close to death they really came.

“Please Mr. Bathory. Just give us another week,” pleaded Binky in a most professional and courteous manner. Both he and Porter grinned from ear to ear in hopes Cursen would agree.

For a moment no one said a word. The old warlock considered going outside the law as he did in the old days and take what he wanted with no regard for human life, but here in the modern world, he would draw too much attention to himself. Law enforcement had advanced too much for him and so, he just gave both men a look that sent them squirming in their seats.

“I will give you two days. That’s all. Two days. If you do not have the diamond and the mask for me by then, I will have to resort to drastic measures.” And with that, Bathory rose up from the chair and pointed the tip of his umbrella at them again.

“Two days, gentlemen. Or you will damn the day your were born!” With that, the warlock turned on his heels and moved to the door, opened it and sort of glided out majestically. This left Binky and Porter literally shaking in their shoes.

Porter pulled out a bottle of aged Scotch from his desk, removed the lid and gulped down the fermented liquid. Binky jerked the bottle from his hands, splashing and spilling the smelly drink all over the desk and Porter. After a couple of swigs from the bottle, Binky took a deep breath and tried to get a grip on himself.

Gracie Square Hospital – Arthur Pembroke’s room

The room looked nothing like part of a hospital, or sanitarium. With all the expensive furniture and wall hangings, it appeared as part of a penthouse or quarters fit for a king. A big screen television stood against the wall where an entertainment center held rows and rows of DVDs and music CDs. Arthur lounged about the room in his dark cloak and death’s head. The fedora hung on the wall near the door.

A sweet opera played in the background. One of the CDs, no doubt.

So far, the only out bust of violence displayed when Chris tried to take back the ledger. The same one Arthur now thumbed through. From time to time he would answer an unheard question or offer a comment to thin air, as if in conversation with someone. Thing went on like this for a few minutes until Porter and Billingsworth showed up.

Arthur did not wish to be disturbed and tried to ignore them as he continued his chat with Mr. Nobody. The two business partners exchanged looks. Porter went around behind the man to see what he was reading.

According to the ledger, the death’s head mask was found in the lake beneath the Garnier aka the Paris Opera House back in 1980. A maintenance worker found it floating past him in the lake as he and a co-worker did some routine checks. For a few years, the Garnier displayed it in a case. However, when many mishaps began to occur with regard to the ballets performances, rehearsals and general business, the management decided to sell the thing. This is when it wound up in the hands of Chris’ uncle Taylor Pine.

In the late 1800’s, the mask allegedly belonged to the legendary Phantom of the Opera, the infamous Opera Ghost whom the gendarmes and Paris officials still feared and regarded as quite mad. Most of the mishaps at the Garnier resulted in madness.

Porter tried to read more, but Arthur abruptly closed the book, jumped up and turned on him with the Punjab Lasso, the smelly discolored yellow cord made from catgut.
Binky grabbed him from behind, but as big as he was, Arthur slipped from his grasp and caught him around the neck with the signature weapon and began choking the life out of him. Porter lay on the floor gasping for breath while Binky started turning blue for the lack of oxygen. In the background, a maniacal laughter seemed to be all around them and everywhere at once. The same laughter Binky heard before everything went black.



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PostSubject: Re: Curse of Collecting   Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:09 pm

Wow! I can't believe I missed out on so much! This is getting very interesting! I wonder what will happen to Arthur? And will O.G. Really let Bathory get away with everything?

I am at the edge of my seat, dear friend! Brilliant writing as always!


D Very Happy
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PhantomnessFay
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PostSubject: Re: Curse of Collecting   Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:26 am

Slytherliggie you're back! Welcome! So happy to see you. Yes I have written a lot since you have been gone. I will start back writing, but when I begin editing A Walk Through Dimensions I will not have time to write for this one.

Very happy you enjoyed the story so far. There is more to come. Very Happy
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