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The Books of Darkness

by Robert N. Stephenson

Table of Contents
Chapter 28

The Ta’ibah

He let Steven go. The man had proved useless on the most part. As I expected he would be. We had Diana Arlyn.

I let the woman fall to the ground. A jogger out for a night run. I needed to go into the city, into the lights and I needed this woman’s light, energy. She would be found by morning. She had had an empty life. It was sad, she would not be missed. I could still feel sadness sometimes, but it was usually reserved for myself. I had to exist by the way I’d chosen. Again I knew I had not chosen wisely.

I left her lying on the path beside the weir. I felt solid and ready. I had to arrange a meeting with Diana. I must use caution, because if she fled I might not be able to get to her again. She sounded scared, apprehensive, and I knew I had only one chance.

I had now been given a deadline for the book. Finally. Three days, then he would do what he had to. I couldn’t let him do that. Despite everything I wanted Sarina to live, and if I was right in my understanding, it was also important Diana not die, not be taken.

The street lights were bright, immediately some of my strength drained. I fight to protect myself within my shell of darkness. The central mall was crowded with late night shoppers, the stink of humans filled the air and the sound of the city troubled me. I preferred silence accompanied by the soft whimpering of a dying soul.

I would need another feeding before the night was out, and this time I would find someone who was filled with darkness, bubbling with anger. I would expend a lot of energy with Diana, more than I have in over fifty years. I had the power to do what ever I liked, but to use it was costly. Perhaps this is why power-hungry Ta’ibahs rarely lived beyond a century. I had other plans. Power was not one of them.

As I waited for the lights to change and let me cross into Rundle street I saw a gang of ten youths harassing young women as they walked passed. Yes, a gang. The Dark One had commented on their anger; he wanted more of them. Easy target, retribution blamed for their deaths. After I’d got the information I needed I would let them drag me into the shadows, allow a robbery. Then into his pit I will lead them.

Proceed to Chapter 29...

Copyright © 2009 by Robert N. Stephenson

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