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The Books of Darkness

by Robert N. Stephenson

Table of Contents
Chapter 24

The Ta’ibah

It was easy to blend in with the walls of the club; the majority of the lighting pointed to the stage, the dimness of which was designed to hide the wrinkles some of the not so young women on display. The music lifted the spirits of the patrons, its ringing volume more an annoyance than stimulation. Women danced, swung on a pole and stripped naked. If desire still existed somewhere within me, it didn’t feel the need to explore this world of lights and flesh.

Sarina watched the stage, smiling and drinking as spread legs played out in front of her. This world of hers no longer registered in the darkness. What I could see was inside the men scattered about the room. Seething inkiness, black lusts and thoughts depraved to the point of The Dark One himself.

What would a Uttuke want in such a place? What did Sarina see that I could not? Was all this for Diana’s benefit? I didn’t see this when I touched her mind. Then it did work in a hazardous fashion, her desires could have been mixed, hidden inside the mess.

I shifted between the men enjoying women dancing just for them. Breasts were shoved into their faces but they couldn’t touch, dare not touch for fear of retribution from one of the sizable protectors. I flowed with two women leading men backstage for more personal attention. Subdued light, deeper shadows, quietness. The men occupied booths at opposite ends of the private arena of flesh. I had chosen well.

The woman slow-danced; the man, arms stretched across the high-backed booth watched and licked his lips, eyes raping the woman with every move. His darkness ran thick. He was ready. I slid into the booth beside him; the woman, now naked, bent over, mock-played with herself. The man blinked.

I thrust my hand through his chest and ripped the life of his heart free. The woman continued to dance, the man, empty of everything that had made him real, stared on. I squeezed his heart between my hands until black dust flowed between my fingers. It felt good, rich.

I stood and calmly walked from the room. The woman would finish her parade and the man would be thrown out as a drunk. In his chest the shell of a heart still beat. It would stop with time, and then The Dark One would take this human stain from the Earth.

Merging back into the wall to the left of the stage I watched a beautiful woman dance for the women. Her face reminded me of something. Two bodyguards escorted my feed from the club. I also took my leave. Sarina and Diana had left; I could catch up later. I wanted to walk into the lights of clubs and enjoy the play of colours. The man’s life gave me energy I could burn, and I didn’t want to waste it in sitting and watching.

Into the hum of the city I walked, into the throng of lives searching for something that didn’t exist. Love, lust, or a combination of both? The men certainly harboured these desires, the women much softer wishes.

Proceed to Chapter 25...

Copyright © 2009 by Robert N. Stephenson

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