Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Prelude Into Madness ...
Walter drops the gun in utter horror. He can’t phantom what has just happened. On the floor lies Professor Archimedes with blood seeping from a small wound on his right temple when he hit the corner of the desk with his head. There is also blood gushing from his chest from a bullet that reached his heart killing him instantly.
Walter hears footsteps and knows he has to leave before the security personnel arrive and discover that it was he who had performed the fatal act. He had no choice—it was the final order of a desperate man. A man that he loved and admired as a son loves his father. A man he had to murder! He retrieves the gun and makes his escape.
Slipping through a secret passage unbeknown only to Walter and the late professor he gingerly makes his way home still clutching the weapon in his hand. It is late, and he sees that no one is on the once busy streets but he. Finally, he arrives at his place of abode.
“Walter is that you?” It is the voice of his sleepy mother.
“Yes, mum—go back to sleep. I’m ok.” Walter lies. He is haunted by the events that have recently taken place.
With quiet steps he enters into his room and locks it. Then he hurries to his desk and searches for a pen and paper. He finds an unused composition book and opens it. He begins to write.
"I trust that you will find this journal both edifying and plausible. My name is Walter Murdock and I am sharing this account as told to me by a member of The Order. This story involves secrets that have been kept for epochs. It tells of an abhorrent and malevolent creature of darkness. It also involves a young man caught up in the impossible quest of fighting this creature while racing against his own dark enigmas. The story that follows may seem incredible, but it actually happened in the not so distant past. Read my account—if you dare!"
November 4, 2020 in Professor Octavius Archimedes’ Study—
“Murdock, have you ever heard of The Sacred Order of the Phoenix; commonly referred to as The Order?” asks Professor Archimedes leaning on one arm.
“Do you mean the mythical bird—why professor?” Murdock asks conjuring up images of the firebird.
“Because I have something I want to share with you—something so bizarre that it could only have happened in a dream, but yet it is true.” The professor replies mysteriously.
“Ok, Professor now you really have my curiosity stirred!” Murdock says.
“I want much more than that, My lad. I need your full attention for what we are about to embark upon is an adventure of the imagination; the imagination steeped in reality! It started two centuries ago to this very date!” Professor Archimedes proclaims.
“What do you mean, professor?” Murdock asks.
“Let me explain to you about a secret society …” Professor Archimedes begins.
“The Countess of De Otero is the founder of this Secret Society. In the Fall of 1819, the Baroness Von Schreiber was on a hunting expedition with her brother the Baron. She is accidentally shot and mortally wounded. Near death she wanders upon a phoenix just at the time of its transformation. When the phoenix burst into flames, the Baroness throws herself upon the ashes. The Baroness resurrects becoming immortal. Not only does she possess the powers of the Phoenix but much more!
The Baroness now becomes the Countess of De Otero and has the ability to transcend both time and space by manipulating matter. She forms the Sacred Order of the Phoenix that consists of three disciples with conversion powers of the wolf, the jaguar or the falcon. This is achieved with the assistance of a small amulet—created from the special alloy titanium. The properties of the amulet make the wearer invincible against night stalkers; however this indestructibility comes at a horrific premium. The chosen one will eventually be consumed by the very animal he or she epitomizes. ”
The professor pauses to take a final small sip from a flask to his right; he then continues.
“There can only be the trio at any given time. Before the consummation is complete however, the present owner must bequeath the talisman to a new follower!”
“That’s an incredible story, professor.” Murdock says not knowing what to think.
"But there is much more to the story .... my dear Walter ... much more. Let me begin!"
Sunset, November 4, 1820 at Baron Von Schreiber’s Castle—
“Baron Von Schreiber, I was just wondering why I never see you during daylight hours?” Octavius asks.
“The reason why I only come out at night is because I hate the sunlight. With my fair complexion I would probably burn to a crisp.” The Baron tells Octavius with a smile that displays his large white canine teeth.
“I always rely on my faith in a Higher Power to get me through difficult situations.” Octavius says showing the Baron a glimpse of the small amulet he wears around his neck. The Baron flinches at the sight of titanium and gives Octavius a dangerous stare.
“Has your faith ever failed you?” The Baron says with a menacing look, as if attempting to borne into Octavius’ soul.
“It never has.” Octavius says with a look equally menacing. There is something in Octavius’ look that even gives the infamous Baron a chill.
“Where did you get that amulet?” The Baron probes not quite able to see the shape.
“Oh, do you mean this, Baron Von Schreiber?” Octavius replies again showing the necklace with the symbol of the wolf.
“The Wolf … yes, young Octavius where did you get that?” the Baron questions intriguingly.
“A lady friend gave it to me.” Octavius replies smiling.
“What’s her name?” The Baron continues to probe.
“The Countess of De Otero … Baron would you like to hold the amulet?” Octavius asks.
“No, I wouldn’t,” The Baron states and walks away murmuring something about The Order.
Later that night in Jillian’s Bedroom, Baron Von Schreiber’s Castle—
The Baron enters her room. Her sleeping form is like an intoxicant to the hungry red eyes of the vile creature of darkness. With catlike movements he walks forward with only one purpose in mind—to drink deeply from the fountain of her tender throat. The Baron is unaware that he is being observed by a silhouette hiding behind the velveteen curtains. It is Octavius and a full moon is just beginning to rise.
When Jillian turns in her sleep to face the balcony double doors; the light reflects a small object, one similar to Octavius’ around her neck. It is a miniature amulet in the shape of a falcon—bird of prey and enemy of the bat! Within moments, the Baron silently slips into the night. Then there is the minuscule flutter of wings. Octavius smiles—another potential victim is saved from the Baron’s evil influence.
However, Octavius wonders why the Baron changes his mind. He was expecting his first confrontation with the creature.
Octavius creeps closer to where Jillian lies sleeping and sees the amulets around her neck. “Jillian … could she be the one?” he asks silently still rejoicing in the knowledge that his altercation with the Baron has been temporarily postponed.
With a swiftness that mirrors the Baron, Octavius leaves the room to melt into the shadows before his transformation. The shrill cries of a wolf can be heard in the distance! As Jillian opens her eyes; a small smile appears on her face. She has also interpreted the Baron’s intentions.
To Be Continued...
Journey After Dark ...
- Journey After Dark Part 2
The journey continues with a revelation: who is Jill and what is her real involvement with "The Order?"
© 2013 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on October 19, 2018:
In keeping with the season--"take a bite" out of my Gothic Classic revised!
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on November 05, 2013:
I often wish that someone would bring back the "good old fashion horror story" where you have clearly defined villains and the hero or heroine is one that you can standup and cheer. Not so much gore, please!
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on October 16, 2013:
Some of my best ideas come from the old horror epics!