Synopsis

Queen Celestine's Mistake written by Samuel Mogbolu, is the second book in the novel series 'Rise of the boy god'. It is the sequel to Kid from Gemville.

The book continues from the cliff incident in Norway where the first book ended and focuses on Reginald Bloomfeld's crisis of identity, the power mad hunger of Alphonso Bloomfeld (the supreme harizim) and the struggle of the lesser harizims to retain their thrones as the supreme mercilessly circles around like a predator.

In this sequel, Simon's true destiny unfolds as he remains a major player in the power game.

Up till this moment, the sequel is yet to be released even after countless promises to that effect.

 

Excerpt

Shika                                                                              

He rose up slowly, casting a casual glance at his furious attackers. They made him think of angry sharks trapped in a bubble. It wouldn’t do to linger, his Wind Cell was cracking. Soon they would break free.

He stepped towards the girl lying motionless beside the kneeling Jen. She’d been so brave, jumping in front of the boy like that, such loyalty.

Jen was sobbing. Not that she would have a clue what just happened. The 'Will Bind' didn’t work like that. It was merciful, leaving the victim free of memories that could prove too overwhelming.

Her brutality had startled him. How she’d savagely slashed and then delivered that cold push.

He walked to the cliff’s edge and looked down. His eyes could clearly see the frozen water from up here; he could pick up the languid movement of sea life, just below the ice surface. The boy was nowhere in sight. He must have sunk in from the fall.

He looked around and sighted the other kids lying unconscious, a sorry tangle of limp bodies resting amidst fallen trees.

The whole cliff top was in horrific disarray. Hopefully, a furious branch just knocked them out. He wasn’t too keen on leaving a massacre in his wake. Such things wearied him now; the lesser the deaths, the better.

He heard the first thunderous snap in his Wind Cell and swung into action, picking the fallen girl like she weighed nothing. He swung her over his shoulders as a hunter would his game.

“Till we meet again Jen,” he muttered and tapped her lightly on the head.

Jen lolled and fell asleep. And then the Wind Cell broke, creating a violent gust. Their yells split the air. Like dark poisonous vapour, they surrounded him, eager to annihilate him, but he was gone.

 

 

  

“Are you certain the boy is dead?” his Harizim asked, standing in front of the fire place.

Reginald had been here, he could feel echoes of the boy’s angst. Apparently father and son had argued here, not too long ago. Shika bowed his head.

“Yes, Lord Harizim. I am very certain.”

The Harizim’s voice seemed to echo in this grand and quaint room “good, where there any complications?”

Shika sighed. Of course he would know.

“Yes, I was ambushed at the cliff. Natasha is dead.”

If the Harizim was displeased, he hid it well.          

“They would want retribution,” the Harizim said “I’m sure you understand… my will is to tow the path of peace.”

Shika looked grieved. He’d done it to protect his master’s plans. But he was yet easily dispensable.

“I understand.” He muttered staring at the blue rug.


 

Sofia

Windy evening, very relaxing. The festival showed no signs of relenting. She barely looked at the celebrants though. From a tender age, she’d learnt to admire the beauty of her feet.

Such pastimes shielded her from the stares of her townsfolk. Anything could arouse their interests. The scores of missing young girls told the tale.

How the town looked serene and cosy but she hated it; both the town and the people. If the blessed virgin deigned to hear her prayers, they would all be lost by now in the belly of an earthquake.

She merged with the crowd’s boundary, determined to follow the current until she got home. She’d gone to the graveyard to leave some flowers and a prayer for her sister.

Her sister was not dead, at least not definitely. But she’d been missing for several years and judging by the way of things in this town, was probably very dead.

“Where have you been?” her mother asked from the kitchen, looking cross.

She mumbled, meaning to slip off to her room.

“Come and do the dishes! How can you be so wayward?”

Just so you know, she loathed her mother too and her father and her brother and her uncles and everyone around her. They were all like this town, treacherous and filthy. Except little Pablo; Pablo was an angel.

She went into the kitchen and set about her work. The smell of sauce pervaded the tiny house. She didn’t perceive it though; it was too common place, too constant.

“You will go to your uncle’s place tomorrow. It’s time for you to put in your quota.” Her mother said from behind her, dicing the chayotes.

“What uncle?” Sofia asked.

Everyone was an uncle or an aunty in this town. Apparently, blood didn’t determine such things. Or maybe everyone was actually related that way. She mused wryly.

“…..so I hope you’re prepared. Remember not everyone would put up with your insolence.” Her mother continued.

“Hmm…” Sofia muttered even though she had no clue what her mother was talking about.

Her face fell when she noted the guest who came home for dinner. His name was Julio, a very tall and wrinkle-faced eye sore. Over the years, she’d come to understand his position as their family’s benefactor.

‘Julio says he can set it up…Julio would take care of it.’ For her parents, Julio was forever doing this or that. He inspired in them, a deep sense of loyalty. Julio could fart in a cup and ask them to sniff it.

She knew he was one of the reasons her sister was missing. Her father had gotten into some trouble back then and feared for his life. Well Julio had come to the rescue but he’d had had a request.

Now apparently, he had another request. He was obviously the uncle her mother had been piping about. Which meant her parents wanted another bloody favour.

It was unfortunate that they were all born with the short end of the stick, with a wooden spoon in their mouths and every day, life sprayed them with large balls of shit.

But her parents were way too ambitious. She didn’t have a problem with ambition, mind you. But when ambition could push one to do anything, regardless of other people’s expenses, then it was evil.

She knew what her parents wanted, they wanted out. They wanted the life on the other side of the borders.

“Very nice isn’t she, our Sofia?” Julio said as he took a sit at the head of the table.

Julio wasn’t even older than her father. Her father bowed his head and smiled sheepishly. His eyes keen with the light of anticipation.

“She’s grown into a fine woman.” He acquiesced.

Sofia picked at her food as the heat of their stares, scorched her breasts. She didn’t need to look up to know what they considered.

Now that she thought of it, the candle light was placed too close to her. She had a flashing desire to uproot it and place it at the centre of the table.

“Why so quiet tonight?” her mother asked.

“She’s dreaming of dinner with Justin Bieber.” said Stefan, her elder brother.

Stefan had refused to pick up the family mantle as a carpenter. He was a dreamer and a hoodlum.  Julio chuckled.

“Justin Bieber eh, hehehe. I could put you up in a music video, if you want.” Julio said.

More like a porn video.

She continued picking at her food.

Julio looked at her father “I have finalized your papers.” He announced and took a mouthful.

You should have heard the rapturous gasp from her family members.

“Ah Julio, may good follow you.” her old uncle mumbled toothlessly. Even he wanted life beyond the border.

“First thing I do when I get there, is get a record deal. There’s not enough Mexican rappers out there. I’m going to come up with that fresh blood, you know what I mean?” Stefan babbled now. As is usual when he began such talk, every one tuned out.

“We’ll have to do it in batches. It’s much safer that way.” Julio continued.

Her parents eagerly nodded.

Julio gave her father a look of rebuke “Marcel told me about the three thousand pesos. You’ve gone back to Faro eh?”

Her father looked miffed “I told Marcel, I had it handled.”

“Really, you have three thousand pesos in your chest now? Huh? Fine, you take care of it then.” Julio rapped on.

Her mother folded her hands as if in prayer “no Julio, don’t be like that. He must have had a rough day, Faro calms him.”

“Pfft…rough day at his work shop? What rough day? You know what I have to go through every day? You don’t go blowing money away.”

It should have been comical, the contrite look her family members had donned. Julio dipped his hands in his pocket and brought out his brown wallet.

He counted out the sum and handed it to her father. Then he stood up. Her parents stood up too as if on cue.

“Sofia, you will come stay with me as from tomorrow.” He said.

She continued picking at her food. Imagining the earthquake would happen this moment as he strolled out of the house with her parents in tow.

A half hour later as everyone retired to their rooms, she heard the usual yells from her parent’s bedroom and then came the bashing sounds.

Father got angry any time he lost at Faro. He got even angrier whenever Julio chided him. Sometimes he got so angry he decided to make use of not just one but the two female punching bags God had blessed him with.

Well, she wasn’t having that tonight. Her mind was a region of storm clouds and explosions. If he ventured towards her tonight, she would kill him. She got off her bed and bolted the door.

Even though she missed her sister, she was quite pleased to have this room all to herself. Stefan shared his room with their uncle and little Pablo.

Everyone was used to his loud complaints about uncle’s poisonous farts. She had a feeling being exposed to such monstrous fumes must have been what constituted the general autistic symptoms he regularly displayed.

She feared for little Pablo. Every night she prayed that the virgin would protect him and not let him become a retard as a result of being exposed from a tender age.

Gbam, gbam, gba, “Sofia! Open this door now!” her father yelled.

She relaxed on her pillow, and dreamt of a life far removed from all this. Far removed from her mother’s pathetic bleats, entreating her father to let her be.

Perhaps this was why most of her peers dreamt of love. Love was an escape route; it was prettier than all this ugliness.

“Sofia! Open this door I say. You open it this instant!”

 

  As is usual after a dramatic night at their home, the next morning was calmer than a graveyard. Father was still asleep when she walked out.

Stefan had gone off to smoke with some friends and her mother was in the kitchen preparing breakfast. Normally, she would be preparing to go to the flower shop. But now she wasn’t so sure.

If she was to move to Julio’s today, would she still be required to help out at the shop?

“Good morning mama.” She said, standing at the door of the kitchen.

Her mother glanced at her and nodded. She should have been beautiful, her mother. Beautiful if she didn’t have purple bruises under her eyes, if her face wasn’t gaunt from worrying.

Sofia had been told she took after her mama. Tall and slender like her, with the same dark eyes, olive skin, and big breasts. Her breasts had always made her self-conscious. She was still trying to break the habit of wearing thick sweaters.

“Shall I go to the shop today?”

“Today you wash yourself and look decent. We can’t have Julio seeing you like this.”

She sighed, determined not to be hurt by the fact that her mother constantly viewed her as a commodity. They were leaving soon anyway; perhaps she would never have the misfortune of seeing them again.

Her mother noticed her staring. “Well go on. Don’t just stand there.”

Perhaps she should run away, she mused as she went outside to the bathroom. She would be eighteen next year, she could fend for herself.

She came out of her bedroom fully dressed to meet Escobar waiting in the parlour. Her old uncle sat in the parlour too, griping to no one in particular. Her father was still asleep and her mother, still in the kitchen.

“Sofia.” Escobar said with a wide smile.

He was chubby and jovial and sported a moustache. She didn’t like him too.

She smirked “I guess we should be leaving now.” She said.

“Ah yes,” he said standing up.

She loved the fact that she could see atop his bald head, that he strained his neck like most short men, in an attempt to look taller.

“Wait, let me get my belongings.” She said.

He waved his hand “no need for that. Julio has all your needs covered.”

Her mother never came out to watch her leave. Not even when she got in Escobar’s Nissan.

 

The car stopped at a storey building full of traffic. She sat still, letting it sink in. This was her new reality.

Escobar briskly climbed out.

“Come on,” he said when she still sat there.

She stepped out. This place was high up. You could see the Redeemer statue from here. If only that earthquake would happen now. She followed Escobar up the front porch and came into a bar. It teemed with jovial sounding fellows and near nude women.

“Come, your room is upstairs. I will show you.” Escobar said.

   

Reginald 

 ‘And I said hey

Hey, hey, hey

Living like we’re renegades

Hey, hey, hey,

Hey, hey, hey

Living like we’re renegades’

Louis hummed along to what he considered XA’s most ethereal track as the car sped down the highway, taking them to school.

Reginald had his window slightly rolled down so that he could look at the sombre, white, clouds fenced round by rooftops and bridges. Simon was gone.

They say he fell off a cliff, freak accident. So many blogs had carried it. He’d not known Simon was that popular. He’d tried to contact Daniel but Daniel no longer surfaced online. His Bip account had been dormant for weeks.

He’d always felt Simon was his soulmate. Not in the romantic way people use the term. But they belonged together, back then he’d thought they would attend the same college after high school, tour the world together, since the both of them really didn’t need to work, and then finally end up getting married to sisters.

He’d once told Simon that. Simon had laughed and said something about wanting to be as debauched as Cassanova. They were barely thirteen then, yet Simon had read Cassanova’s memoir.

He’d forced Simon to tell him the whole story and after everything had modified his plans. They wouldn’t get married to sisters, but they would experience the same escapades like Casanova till they could write their own memoirs.

He’d not done anything cool enough to write in a memoir and Simon; Simon had left without writing one. But that was not what hurt him the most.

It was cruel, what they’d done to their friendship. Wasn’t it something too precious to be abandoned for distance? What did distance have to offer anyway? 

He checked his pocket to see if he still had some codeine. It helped him forget, first his mother and now Simon. When the news hit, he’d thought of taking a shortcut from his room window.

What was the point of it all? Everything was so boring and bleak. He thought his heart was gone but every time he felt that twang, he knew it was there. It wasn’t whole as it once was. There was a hole there now; for Simon, for mother.

But he couldn’t do it, fall from his room window that is, even though he so desperately wanted to, needed to. He was too scared of the consequences.

He wasn’t scared of the fall, rather that it would prove what he’d slowly begun to realize. Better to live under the illusion, this illusion that he was like Louis, ordinary flesh and blood.

They stepped out of the car and strode down the walkway. Louis was silent, very aware of what he was going through. The cold breeze blew against them and sent their school robes flying.

He watched his school mates mill about in groups. They seemed so immature, did he really belong here? But where did he belong anyway, perhaps sitting in his castle watching ignorant mortals about their miserable days.

He chuckled at that. He was fond of it, thinking ridiculous thoughts like that.

“What’s that?” Louis asked.

“Nothing.” He said.

Three boys intercepted him, soon as they were past the school doors.

“Sup Reign.” Cameron said.

Cameron was on the football team, nearly as tall as he and a full blown brat. He only existed when Cameron needed a favour. But His existence was perennial though because Cameron always needed favours.

This was the side effect of being the school’s number one cool kid.

“What do you want?” Reginald asked.

“Hey, I can’t say hi to my buddy?” Cameron protested.

Javier grinned. The three of them were on the team. He could already figure out the request.

“So, what do you want?”

Cameron rolled his eyes and swung an arm over his shoulder. Henry proceeded to take Louis in arm.

“I’m not going to prom with you.” Louis said.

They chuckled at that.

“Funny you,” Javier said as they marched them towards the classroom.

“So um, you know my birthday’s coming up, the big one-eight.” Cameron started.

“Nobody says that.” Louis said.

“It’s my birthday man, be tender.” Cameron said.

Javier nodded “yea, it’s his birthday, have a heart.”

Good God.

“So anyway I was thinking of renting out the Bataclan for the night.” Cameron went on.

They’d gotten to the door of the classroom and Javier stood in front to stop them. Reginald rolled his eyes. Javier reminded him of the star of the Tudor show. They both had very similar qualities.

Reginald folded his arms “how ambitious. Was the rent too high for you?”

“Come on, seriously. It’s not the rent, a place like that, it takes more than money…you know that.” Cameron went on, not swallowing the bait.

“So what does Cameron want from me?”

Cameron clapped his hands “Yuss, you just make a phone call. Let em know Bloomfeld’s son wants the place for the night.” He leaned closer “your pops probably owns the place anyway.”

Reginald sighed.

Cameron went in for his classic line “who saved you from those alligators? Who risked his life for you?” he gave the usual pause “who loves you baby?”

“Boy,” Louis muttered.

“Yea, hits a spot every time.” Reginald murmured.

If he remembered correctly, Cameron was the reason he fell in a pond of alligators in the first place. And if screaming ‘help’ counts as saving, then Cameron was a hero.

“Come on Reginald, this is really important.” Cameron pleaded.

Like he gave two fucks about…good lord, not that creepy kid again. The kid walked up to him and smiled. It was a beautiful black kid, probably about twelve.

It was fond of showing up at random moments. It never said anything, just smiled, lingered around and then sauntered away. Worst part, no other person seemed to see it.

“You uh, you need some time to think on it?” Javier asked cautiously.

Reginald scratched his head “huh?”

They all considered him with puzzled looks.

He straightened his coat and cleared his throat.

“I’ll make the call.” He said and abruptly made for his seat.

“You the man, Reign.” Cameron called out.

The kid was a bit more persistent today. It hung around throughout his lessons, making funny faces behind the teachers. He did his best to ignore it. His mates already thought he was weird.

Weird was low enough. Perhaps it was the Codeine. He would ease up on it for a while.

 

“Don’t forget to make the call.” Cameron called out at closing time while he got in his car.

Reginald nodded. His face fell when he saw the person waiting in the car. Louis looked tense as he took a sit at the other end. He wasn’t to blame; Richie’s presence was something to be endured.

“What’s up crownie?” Richie said, patting him on the back while chewing his gum like the donkey he was.

Crownie was the latest of his detestable nicknames. It meant crown prince but that didn’t make it any better.

“You got evicted from hell?” Reginald asked relaxing on the seat.

“Yea, sad. Satan couldn’t stand being bullied.”

“Nice, we’ve bonded. Louis open the door for him.”

Richie chuckled “you are so uptight. You fucking depress me. You should chill; I mean you’ve got everything.”

“Is there any reason why you’re riding home with me?” Reginald asked.

“I just want to chat with my little cousin. You don’t pick your calls, you don’t accept invitations…and hey, I heard your boyfriend passed on. Fell off a cliff or something. Freaking epic right?” Richie said chuckling.

If he’d endured the kid for a full day, he could endure his cousin.

“So it’s your condolence you came to offer. You could have done that over the phone.”

Richie laughed and turned to Louis “see what I mean, he’s a real piece of work.”

He cleared his throat “I think it’s grand though. Do you know his father had teams scour the area? You should have seen the helicopters, the divers, pretty grand, all of it. They didn’t find his body though. Some say piranhas had a feast so…”

“Richie, good God.” Reginald gasped.

“Alright, it’s sensational, that’s all I’m saying. Anyway, your father sent me. You remember what we talked about?”

“I told you I’m not interested.”

Richie scratched his head “there’s a slight glitch there. It really wasn’t a request. This is tradition.”

Reginald glanced outside.

“Look, your birth right makes it mandatory for you to join the society…” Richie paused and gave Louis a suspicious glance “your fuck boy is safe isn’t he?”

 

Louis grimaced.

“Anyway, I’m sure you’ve started noticing things, strange stuff. They’ll only get worse, little cuz.” He looked to the chaffeur “Stop me here.”

The car stopped immediately and the chauffeur came to open the door. Richie leaned over Reginald on his way out, staring right in his eyes “inevitable.” He muttered and stepped out.   

 

Saturday afternoon, he had the chauffeur ride him to the Bataclan theatre. He’d never interacted with the management before so apparently a phone call wasn’t going to do the trick.

Louis was off for fencing practice. He’d become obsessed with swords ever since father showed him his blade collection. If Reginald ever fancied a sword before, seeing his father’s interest was enough to incite his deepest apathy. No, he would never be interested in fencing.

The theatre owner seemed very intrigued by his arrival.

“Monsieur Bloomfield.” He said with a smile, “Please have a sit.”

Reginald took a sit.

“I understand you called hoping to rent the place?” the man said, folding his hands together.

Reginald studied him, vaguely amused. The man probably was trying to mask his exasperation with an air of civility. He had a pointed nose and animated blue eyes with hair that looked like grey silk.

“Yes I did, I wish to use your theatre as a venue for a birthday party.”

The man chuckled and relaxed in his oxblood leather seat “well you see monsieur, we usually rent the place out for concerts, you know, musical shows. There are several venues more suitable for birthday parties.”

“Do you have any concert booked right now?” Reginald asked.

“As a matter of fact, we do. There is one tonight, U2 is going to be performing, the place is already sold out.” The manager said, glancing at his silver wristwatch.

“Well, the birthday is in two weeks’ time. I’m booking early.”

“The thing is monsieur, booking the theatre for a private occasion such as this would require shutting out the public. This is essentially against what we stand for as an establishment and eh…”

“It would cost me a lot…” Reginald finished.

The manager shook his head “it really is not about the price, monsieur Bloomfield.”

He hated pulling this card but it seemed only suitable right now.

“My father owns a huge share in your partner’s company. It’s not like I’m a stranger. Consider this a favour.”

The manager sighed. Who didn’t want to do Alphonso Bloomfield a favour?

The manager scratched his head “it’s five-hundred-thousand for a night.” He said.

Reginald stood up and stretched out his hand. The manager stood up too.

“The birthday means a lot monsieur, it’s really not about the price.” He said with a grin as he shook hands with the manager.

The ball is in your court, Cameron.

 He stood outside at the door of the theatre and looked across the street. The chauffeur stood at the car, waiting patiently. He’d stared a while before he realized he’d been staring at her.

She’d seemed out of focus. She was in his school wasn’t she? One of those people he just never had a reason to speak to. He briskly walked across and came up to her. She seemed uneasy.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hey, you live around here?”

She was carrying her school bag and was dressed in a slim mauve gown.

“Um, no I came for ballet classes.” She said, using her thumb to point to a building a couple metres away.

“Ballet,” he said with a smile. “I’m sorry, what’s your name?”

“Right, of course.” She muttered.

“No, I’m sorry. I’m really not good with names.” He said hastily.

“I’m Francesca.” She said strolling along “so what brings Reginald to the eleventh arondissement?”

“I came to see the theatre manager.” He said following suit.

“Oh…why?”

“Cameron is…you know Cameron right?”

“The one in our class? Yea why?”

“He wishes to use the theatre for his birthday.” Reginald said.

“Oh,”

“Hmm. Well, have a nice weekend Francesca….I uh..”

“Are you going?” she asked.

He paused in mid-whirl “what?”

“Are you going for the party?”

“I don’t know, maybe. Why?”

She shrugged “just curious. So where are you going now?”

“Home, I guess.”

“I don’t eat before my classes. I love to have lunch at that café over there before returning home.” She said.

Reginald glanced at the cafe. A tall lady, clad in a bright yellow dress and red sunglasses, strolled out. She buried her nose in her phone and almost walked into the lamp post. Wasn't she a bit lightly dressed for the weather?

He scratched his head “okay,”

She scratched the nape of her dark hair. She’d tied it into a knob with a pink ribbon “so you’re hungry?”

“Ah..” he glanced across the street at his chauffeur. The man looked intrigued “yea I guess; I skipped breakfast too.”

She smiled “come have lunch with me then.”

As they sat at the table, waiting for their orders, he studied her. She had laughter in her eyes. She wasn’t pretty, just really attractive. Her blue eyes were like gems, the way they sparkled and her skin was pale and smooth, very smooth.

“This is the first time we’ve spoken.” Reginald said.

“I know.” She said “why do you comb your hair like that?”

“How do I comb my hair?”

She waved a finger at his forehead “like that.”

“Is it bad?”

She seemed to consider “no, it suits you.” she said “But it’s always like that.”

He shrugged “guess it’s a thing of habit.”

She placed a finger under her chin “or maybe a deliberate gesture.”

He smiled “believe it or not, I’ve never given it much thought.”

“Okay,”

“I like your skin.” He said.

She glanced at her hands “why?”

“You have beautiful skin.”

She smiled. The waiter brought their food. She took bread and sauce with a glass of juice.

“Why do you like ballet?” he asked.

“It teaches me discipline and it’s very soothing. You should try it.”

He picked at his food “I already know discipline.”

“Really? Well, you’ve always seemed pretty tense to me.” She said.

For some reason he felt thrilled that she’d already formed an opinion of him.

“That’s the discipline I’m talking about.”

She sipped her juice “if you don’t mind me asking…I’ve always wondered about Louis.”

“What about him?”

“You guys seem pretty close. But he’s not your brother.”

“He is something of the sort.” Reginald said.

“Okay. I miss my brother, he joined the army.”

“Where is he now?” Reginald asked.

“On assignment in Syria.” She said, avoiding his eyes for the first time.

He carefully touched her hand. Because he felt he should and because he was curious to know what her skin felt like.

“He’s a hero.” Reginald said.

“Hmm,” she muttered “I’m the last one at home. The eldest two are married.”

“Guess you have the house all to yourself.” They were similar, the both of them.

She leaned forward “you could come see me, if you want to. I’ll let you in.”

He studied her. Why had he never spoken to her before?

“I’ll come Francesca.” He said “Come to my place too, whenever. I’ll let you in.”

She smiled at that.

He chilled. The little boy was here. He stood behind her. One day; one day of total peace. Was that too much to ask for?

Francesca frowned “what’s the matter?”

“Uh, it’s nothing….”

The boy was gesturing to something outside. Reginald looked through the café’s glass screen and saw two individuals standing in the middle of the street, watching him.

Wait, he recognized one of them, the lady. It was the lady in yellow of just now. The duo sort of evaporated immediately. He was so puzzled; he placed his hand to touch the screen.

He couldn’t have seen correctly. Did they just turn to smoke? The blasted kid must be messing with his head.

Francesca watched him, apparently fascinated. She smiled when he looked a bit flummoxed.

“You know what Reginald,”

“What?”

“You’re such an interesting guy.”

He chuckled nervously, determined to pay no more attention to the kid.

 

 Alphonso Bloomfield

 He studied his wife’s portrait. She looked so vibrant, did she not? There was a time he loved her. Before it all, before the weight of his heritage pulled them further apart.

Now she was gone. He hoped Mashigi was pleased, Mashigi had willed it, and therefore it had to be. Even with such lofty sacrifices, his condition was still fast deteriorating.

Sometimes he coughed out clots of blood. It was too early; he’d not enjoyed this long enough. Little sacrifices did not work anymore; Mashigi grew more difficult by the day. He wanted something huge, something of horrific proportions.

Alphonso worried over his little prince. If he failed to consolidate his position, Reign would be road kill in his absence. Fortunately, his current plans intrigued Mashigi.

The Dark Soul loved anything that had to do with sabotage. Now that Dieu’s instrument was dealt with, there was no fear of external interference. The war was about to start and many would be taken unawares.

He strolled out to his waiting convoy, taking a moment to study every member of his personnel. Trust was a luxury his vast wealth could not afford, anyone could be planted.

He got in his Limo, trying not to be too bothered by Mashigi’s absence. The council would convene today even though it was just four months since they last met.

They wanted to whine and fume and throw tantrums over the manner in which he’d handled Simon. They still lived under the illusion that this was a democracy. So long as that served his purpose, he currently had no complaints.

Mashigi materialized beside him.

Alphonso glanced at him “nice of you to show up.”   

“I was with your son.” Mashigi said.

That caught him off guard.

“Reign knows you?”

“No, we haven’t been properly introduced. He considers me a weird, kid, ghost. A side effect of his frequent instances of drug abuse.” Mashigi said with his tiny childish voice.

Alphonso seemed exasperated “how is he?”

“He’s met a girl. I think he likes her.”

“He’ll meet several girls.” Alphonso said.

Mashigi looked away “the air is so tense today, your council is furious.”

Alphonso gave a faint nod “a by-product of Shika’s tactlessness.”

 

Indeed the air was tense, the Dark Souls seemed battle ready. But of course Mashigi remained unmoved. He seemed as nonchalant as ever.

The Limo finally joined the sea of its colleagues just outside the Versailles. Anytime a council session was held in his territory, they used the Hall of Mirrors as their meeting place.

It seemed only fitting. The mortals never knew to question them; they were accorded the same regard only given to the Heads of State who used this venue.

He looked at his Dark Soul “it is time.”

Mashigi slowly flickered. His fingers grew paler and longer. His torso shifted, assuming broader dimensions, his legs lengthened and then his face began to contort, stretching and hardening until finally even his clothes had changed to fit his mark.

He looked the exact replica of Alphonso.

“Satisfied?” he asked in Alphonso’s low granite tone.

Mashigi clicked his fingers and a little kid, his exact replica, materialized on the seat between them.

“Just to keep the Dark Ones at ease,” Mashigi said.

Alphonso smiled, he knew Mashigi was a god but his stamina was amazing. He-Alphonso- never would be confident enough to use his abilities for several hours and the council meetings were nothing if not torturously lengthy.

Mashigi stretched out his hand and handed him a medallion “you’re going to need this.”

It was Krastav’s key. How did he get a hold of it? Did he form it, as he’d formed his replica?

“Your turn,” Mashigi said.

Alphonso’s body gradually became as transparent as the air until he totally faded away, leaving only his clothes visible. He wished he was skilled like a Dark Soul so that even his clothes would vanish with him.

“Good,” Mashigi said “wait, you left out a hair strand.”

A hair strand.

“Thank you,” Alphonso said and completed his camouflage.

Mashigi still studied him “alright, you’ve never quite gained mastery of this. Do not disappoint me.”

It was a funny thing to be scolded by his spitting image. He deliberately avoided thinking scornful thoughts. Being petulant was a foolish risk when in the presence of a being who could hear your very thoughts.

The limo door opened and Mashigi stepped out with the kid replica in tow. The personnel surrounded the Dark Soul and escorted him through the entrance.

Alphonso was fascinated by his departure. Now he could understand what the first man who saw his reflection, felt like. Did he really look so regal? He loved the way the other Harizims paled in comparision.

Alone in the Limo, he quickly took off his clothes, no need for them. He took a deep breath and thought of Russia. The limo disappeared immediately, the air chilled and the snow fell. He hugged himself; his birthday suit was not warm enough for this climes.

Every member of the FOE, from the least inductee to his very self, had a basic ability. This ability could be used without leaving a signature.

In other words, no other member would sense the talent being used. Being invisible was his basic gift; therefore even if a member stood but an inch away from him, they would be utterly oblivious to his presence.

He considered this to be the most useful. The only ones he envied were those members whose ability to invade minds was basic to them, the minders.

But alas, teleporting was not basic to him. Several of Krastav’s men were materializing at random spots. One popped up right opposite him in front of a payphone, another close to a small kiosk. You could tell them from the long, white, overall coats they wore.

Apparently, they’d sensed the intrusion. They scanned through the pedestrian crowds, hoping to sight the intruder. The last thing he needed was to be caught by someone who could see through camouflages.

He got mixed in the crowd, moving briskly till he could spot the Grand Kremlin but a few metres away. He was coming from the left side and passed by the armoury and Borovitskaya building.

He climbed up the stairs and walked past the guards at the entrance, totally unnoticed. There were some white overalls looking around but even those ones failed to spot him.

He came upon the Georgievsky hall. A ceremony was in progress as folks chatted around in their waist coats and lovely gowns. He loved this hall with its low hanging chandeliers and ornate arches.

He meandered through the crowd and made for the bend that led off to the State Kremlin; so far so good. He was a bit nervous though as he was so far from his Dark Soul and would run out of energy the moment he was through with his mission.

He walked into the concert hall; it was relatively empty at the moment. He made for the stairway that led underground. There were hundreds of rooms down here but he could tell where the portal was. It called to him like the call of nature.

“Should be right around here….” He muttered tracing his finger on the wall as he walked down the hall until finally he felt the zing.

He stood at a door, smiling inwardly. He reached into his pockets and brought out the medallion his Dark Soul had given him. He placed the medallion against the door and muttered “ishkevich Krastav Molotov.”

A wooden hand gradually emerged from the door and awkwardly fondled him, perhaps searching for his lapels. It then proceeded to impatiently pull him by the neck. In that moment, the hall disappeared and he stood in the open in a grand arena.

Buildings, stately in nature with ornate pillars and gleaming entablatures, rose up to kiss the golden sky. Fires flickered from pitchers which peppered the place.

He saw several trainees practising under the tutelage of very watchful instructors. Everyone was hard at work, spitting fire or hurling spark arrows, or… wait a minute. The arena had gone quiet.

And then the worst thing happened. They all turned to face him. How could he be so silly? Of course they would have precautions in place to neutralize infiltration. Merely getting in here must have deactivated his camouflage. He stood stark naked for all eyes to see.

The floor below him began to melt until it became molten, so that he slowly sank in. The air grew dark with hordes of furious members who would eliminate this threat. Some of them were just inductees eager to please.

As he sank lower, he could see the Shariffs approaching. What a hassle. Now the Gourd room would be on lockdown. He could hear them yelling in Russian, ‘protect the gourd, protect the gourd!’

He loathed having to pull any complex stunt. Mashigi was too far away for such extravagance. He should have brought Shika along. He could not risk doing anything that would give away his identity.

No one needed to know that the overall Harizim had infiltrated another territory.

He slowly floated out of his miry prison and stretched his right hand towards them. The frost spread down the gleaming floor, making snapping sounds as it flowed and freezing everyone it came across.

It chilled the very buildings, rising up the pillars, freezing the flames until it permeated the air.

“Retreat!” they yelled but it was too late. Even the ones who were airborne remained motionless, frozen in mid-air. He looked around, pleased by the utter silence.

Now the air was beyond chilly and breathing hurt. He waved his hand to clear the fog that had begun to form. It would continue to grow as long as he kept up this ice prison.

Now where was the blasted gourd? He turned to his left and sped up to one of the temples, rapidly climbing up the steps. The ice he’d created crumpled under his feet.

It always startled him, how fast this technique of his worked. The whole temple seemed as though it belonged in a snow storm. Everything from the furniture to the ceiling, reflected under a layer of ice. And it was eerily silent.

The gourd stood at the end of the hall upon an altar made of gold. It was over six feet tall and just as wide. It stood forever inclined at an angle like all the other gourds.

It’s mere posture defied gravity, it should have fallen off by now. This of course was a basic symbol used by the Dark Souls to display their power. He stilled when he came close enough and saw a child leaning on a mat in front of the altar. She turned to face him.

“I left orders not to disturb me. Why is it so quiet outside?”

If his apparel or the lack thereof bothered her, she showed no sign. But more striking was the fact that his frost had no effect on her.

“Why are you resistant to the cold?” he asked.

She frowned “who are you?”

“I am Alphonso Bloomfeld, Supreme Harizim and heir of Mashigi. Who are you?”

The child stood up “my father has gone off to meet with you and the rest of the Harizims.”

Oh, she was Krastav’s child. He’d never met her before.

“Why are you here?” The child asked.

He leaned towards the child and breathed on her. The frost covered her immediately.

“You need not worry your pretty head.” He said.
 

About

I’m just Samuel, bony faced, laidback, absentminded Samuel. I don’t like to say much, I try to stay out of trouble. Some might say otherwise but that's some for you. Point is we don’t care, let’s just be chill and have fun. So come by whenever and ask me whatever.  It’s our party now and it won't start until your arrival.
 
 

 

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