Part 1: The Darkness Calls…
I stood alone in the dimly lit corridor. Before me loomed the damp stone walls of the catacombs, behind me, a large wooden door.
What lay behind this door was the God’s best kept secret. I did not know the truth of the secret. It was my job to guard it unconditionally. It remained unlocked, and out of trust by the Gods, I continued to guard it without question.
All I did was guard this door. I knew not of the God’s place beyond the corridor or of the place behind the door. This was my place, in front of the door at the end of a long passageway, and for a time, I was content.
Time does not pass for me as one would expect. It could have been moments or it could have been generations that passed as I stood my silent watch. In the place where creation began the sense of time as humans know it did not exist. No one came or went from the room that I endlessly guarded. I began to wonder what sort of secret was held so sacred that not even the Gods visited it.
My answer came to me, subtly at first. He approached slyly, slinking through the shadows. As he neared I knew him to be a God. In my ignorance I could not see his intent as impure, for how could a God be anything but pure? He beckoned to me.
“Keeper of the secret,” He spoke so softly.
“I am.” I replied.
“What secret is this that is so well kept beyond an unlocked door?” He smiled.
“Are you not a God? Should you not know more than I as its keeper?” I replied, confused.
“Would you not desire to see it with me?” He grinned.
“It is not my place to want such things. It is my place to stand guard.” I answered.
I thought perhaps I was being tested, although, I did not understand why. This was my place and they had never had a reason to disturb me in it before. The God pressed on as he came closer to me.
“Aren’t you the least bit curious? Will you not open the door and let us see the truth for ourselves?” He asked.
I pondered it for a time with the God standing beside me. If the God wanted to see it, what harm could come from knowing? I looked at the door as my curiosity grew. I reached out and placed my hand on the door. It was so cold.
I pushed ever so lightly on the door. It shouldn’t have moved at all. However, it flung open violently. I and the God beside me were stricken by the truth of death.
I was overwhelmed by the feeling. I did not want to die! It was foul and grotesque knowing the nothingness it would end as. I fell to my knees and wept. What have I done?
Still on my knees, I looked up, tears in my eyes, as I faced the council of Gods. I realized then how I detested them for creating something so wretched. Not a word was spoken aloud but I could feel the intent grow into violence.
In their anger of my betrayal they lashed out. I was wounded, leaving a void that would not heal. I knew then that I would die. I could not accept this as the end. I demanded life!
Cast from the heavens I was, thrown away to die on the playground the Gods called Earth. I stumbled and cursed the Gods. How dare they throw me away! Vengeance must be mine!
I was answered by the only other to be cast away by the Gods. The dark father appeared before me with an offer. If I would embrace chaos and darkness I could live out my hollow immortality feeding from the life of the mortals the Gods favored. How could I refuse? So is how I became Tris Morte, God of the living dead.
Luna Cacciatore stared at her blank computer screen. She typed a few words and stared again, still drawing a blank. Everything she attempted to write at this point just looked like pure crap to her. Frustrated, she hit the back space repeatedly as the thought crossed her mind to throw the whole damn lap top out the window.
The phone rang, startling Luna from her agitated contemplation. She reached for the phone and muttered curses at the caller id. It was her editor again, pest that he was, lucky he did such a good marketing job of her novels or she’d have fired him already.
“Luna darling! How are you? How’s the new book coming along? Only six months to go.”
“Fantastic, Kyle, you know I haven’t written a god damn thing! Don’t you have another author to harass?” Luna cursed.
“But you are my favorite author. That four part series you did was just brilliant. Still on top of the best sellers list! How about we do dinner?” He continued to chirp.
“Not tonight Kyle.” She replied sounding more agitated than she intended to.
“You’re not going to be able to come up with anything if you keep yourself locked up in that stuffy house. Now I’ll pick you up at seven sharp!”
Luna heard the phone click and was met with the call ended message so she closed the phone in disgust. She wondered why she had relocated so close to the annoying jerk, knowing he never gave her a moment’s peace. She was really starting to hate living so close to Los Angelis.
Promptly at seven, the door bell rang. Luna answered it with her most charming smile and beckoned Kyle inside. She motioned for him to take a seat as she turned back to the mirror and attempted for the third time to re-pierce her stubborn ear with the earring.
A slender black dress caressed Luna’s thighs as it rested just above her knees. Simple open-toed heels sat next to the door for her to squeeze into before they exited. At last, the earring went in. She snagged her shawl, slipped into her heels, and turned to Kyle with a grin.
“Shall we?” She chirped.
“You are radiant, as always! Let’s enchant the masses shall we?” He grinned as he held open the door.
Kyle held open the door of the black BMW for Luna and then climbed into the driver’s seat and turned the key in the ignition. He pulled the car out of her drive way and headed toward the expressway that led into town. Traffic passed them by as he puttered merrily down the road in the slow lane. A few exits had passed before he took the turn into downtown and hit the main street light just as it turned red.
Lena did her best to struggle through the long ride with as much patience as she could muster up. At last Kyle pulled up to the valet parking sign where he handed over the keys and led her through the door. The restaurant was packed. Wall to wall people pressed in waiting for a table to open. Luna looked at Kyle with worried disapproval. She ran her fingers through her dark red hair and sighed.
“You worry too much darling. I made us the reservation a week ago.” He chuckled.
“Why do you do this to me?” She asked as the hostess escorted them to their table.
“If I gave you warning you’d have all that time to find a way out of it.” He grinned.
“Johnny Walker, red label please, on second thought better make it a double.” Luna told the waiter as he brought the menu.
“You know that shit will kill you. Same for me thanks.” Kyle replied as he sent the waiter away.
“Hypocrite,” She mumbled.
“The world won’t miss me as much as it would you.” He replied with a grin.
“Ironically, I’d make you more money if I was dead.” She replied wickedly.
“That’s artists not authors dear.” He chuckled.
“Kyle Dagwood, you bottom feeder.” A deep voice called out from behind Luna.
“Jack Wellington!” Kyle exclaimed as he stood and shook the man’s hand.
Luna turned slightly and looked over her shoulder at the man. He was huge, twice as wide as Kyle in the shoulders. He was bald, by choice, she noted by the stubble lines on top of his head, and his eyes were so blue they looked silver. He wore an expensive suit with a blood red tie tucked in under the silk lined jacket.
When Jack smiled it was a wide grin. To Luna, it appeared almost feral in nature. She shivered as his deep voice turned into velvet words.
“Tell me who this intensely ravishing woman is with you.” Jack seemed to grin wider as he looked her over.
“Jack, this is Luna, my company’s finest author. Her series is at the top of the best sellers list.”
“Charmed, I assure you.” Jack said as he bowed and kissed her hand.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Jack.” Luna replied, slightly repulsed.
“Jack is one of Los Angelis’ richest men. He likes to spend his time paling around with the best.” Kyle chuckled.
“You give me far too much credit.” Jack laughed. “Do see that copies of her novels make it into my hands. If she is as fantastic as you claim, I may have a project for her.”
“Of course Jack. You’ll have them first thing tomorrow.” Kyle smiled.
“Enjoy your meal Miss Cacciatore. Perhaps we’ll meet again soon.” He said as he bowed to her again.
Luna watched Jack disappear into the crowd. She polished off her drink and slammed the empty glass down on the table. She looked at Kyle completely disgusted.
“A bit of an arrogant bastard don’t you think?” She scoffed.
“Oh, he’s harmless once you get past the rough exterior.”
“Yeah, right, sorry Kyle, but I think I lost my appetite.” She stood and pushed the chair back.
“Don’t get up. I’ll take a cab home.” She walked away leaving Kyle to stare blankly at the table.
Luna stepped outside of the restaurant and made her way over to the curb. As usual, with her luck, there wasn’t a cab in sight. To make it that much worse, the sky rumbled and let loose with torrential showers. Even holding her purse over her head wouldn’t save her as her make-up ran and her hair clung to her shoulders.
Luna cursed a long string of curses out of her misery. She should have just stayed home. An umbrella opened over her, pushing back the rain from her face. She turned to see Jack smiling weakly behind her.
“I pray I didn’t upset you dear one.” He said softly.
“Not at all,” She mumbled straining to see a cab.
“Can I offer you a ride my lady?”
“No thank you sir,” She replied as she stepped out from under the umbrella and hailed the oncoming cab.
“Wait, Luna, please?” He almost begged as she opened the cab door.
“Look, Jack, your false charm might work on lesser women. I however see you as arrogant and pompous at best, so shall we dispense with the idle bullshit? I have better things to do.”
Luna slammed the cab door with herself safely inside. Jack watched her drive away with morbid curiosity at her bold nature. The man’s entire presence had frayed her every nerve. She was absolutely clear about not being interested in seeing him again.