Weaving Moonlight

The first in the Tales of Terrahgonia series.
Lux Robertson has a destiny.
Prince Stefan wishes to shape his own.
Jamie Cooper just wants to belong.
What do these three teens have in common? They all have a legacy to uphold. But to do this means braving a war against the tyrannical false queen of Terrahgoina, a mystical land long ago forgotten by mortals. But with hidden secrets and traitors in their midst, they may not survive to save the kingdom.

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15. Prince of Darkness

Author's Note: Apologies for not updating in ages. I've had this chapter for ages but I couldn't be bothered to type it out from my notebook. Also, I have RSI so typing gets painful. Finally managed it though. Hope you enjoy!

Date published: Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Someone woke Jamie rather roughly, shaking him in his sleep.

            When he finally came to, he realised he felt very stiff, and that he lay on a cold, hard floor. Rolling over to face who had dared to awaken him, Jamie came face to face with a weathered, wrinkly face. The older man to whom in belonged wore a long black coat, and his twinkling blue eyes unveiled an unnerving interest in Jamie.

            “Do you happen to have a cigarette, or any money?” he asked. His voice was considerably gravelly, but not unkind. “I ain’t never seen you here before.” Jamie rubbed his eyes, wondering where ‘here’ was. As he inspected his surroundings, all he could figure out was that he was on an unidentifiable street.

            “Where am I?” Jamie asked the stranger.

            “London Victoria.”

            “What the hell? How?”

            “I don’t know,” the man sighed. “You looked pretty smashed when I saw you in the early morning, and sure enough you passed out right in front of me. I lent you my blanket.” And so he had. Thought the blue and white blanket looked a bit worn, and the white had long since gave way to greyness, the gesture forced the ghost of a smile on Jamie’s face.

            “Thanks. I don’t have a cigarette, but I do have a fiver.” Jamie felt around in his pockets, but came empty handed. Just great. “One moment,” he said, reaching out for his trilby hat.

            “What yer looking for?” the man asked.

            “My hat. That hat means a lot to me. Did I have it when I passed out?”

            “The black one? Yeah. Some blokes passing by took it. Would have stopped them, only they looked kinda drunk and threatening like. I don’t want no trouble.”

            Anger welled up inside Jamie. He had been pushed around, manipulated and humiliated, but no one, no one took his hat and got away with it.

            “I meant what I said. That hat means a lot to me, and I’m getting it back one way or another.”

            The man merely shrugged. “I don’t suppose there’s any point telling you to be careful then?”

            “Nope. Warnings like that are wasted on me.”

            Jamie gave the man back his blanket and stood up, exposed to the chill of the London morning weather. His clothes had been in better shape. They appeared to be torn and even scorched, as though he had survived a fire.

            Memories of that awful night came flooding back.

            “I name you Vasvi-Shyama, The Darkness Unknown.”

            Being possessed by a being of such an immense power— even for a short time— had been brutal agony. He had felt himself wasting away, his spirit too weak to carry on in the body he was being shoved out of.

            For a moment, h had even wanted to let go, to no longer feel, and to just be free. He was glad he had come back to his sense. His father was surely waiting for him.

            Crossing several roads, Jamie finally came across an alleyway where he sensed the magic of his hat emanating from. Sure enough, three unclean looking men stood congregating in the narrow street, smoking what he hoped were just regular tobacco cigarettes.

            “Hey,” Jamie began. The trio stared at each other but did not deign to address Jamie.

            “Can you hear something, Matt?” the bald one asked.

            “I’m not sure,” the bearded one replied. “Sam?”

            The third one just smirked, revealing crooked teeth. He was the one with Jamie’s hat.

            “I don’t mean to disturb you guys but you see, that’s my hat, and I need it back,” Jamie explained. “Please,” he added, for good measure. He wasn’t surprised when they laughed in his face.

            “The hat stays with me, kid,” Sam said. “I like it.”

            “And I understand that, but see… I was given that by my old man, and it means a lot to me.”

            “Kid, I’m only going to say this once as a warning,” the bald one snapped. “Fuck off.”

            Jamie sighed wearily. Things would have been quicker the easy way. He still felt groggy and he knew in his condition, getting into fights was unwise.

            “How about you give me the hat for a moment so I can say my goodbyes, and show you a magic trick?”

            The bald one cracked his fingers and stalked towards Jamie. He grabbed Jamie by the throat and smashed him into the wall.

            “Are you thick? I told you to sod off.”

            Jamie felt the fury churn and bubble inside of him. He was really sick of people trying to intimidate him. The only thing he fund scary about this man— considering that he himself was a powerful Virtuoso and Guardian at that— was his sickening breath.

            “Let him go, Bill,” one of the other said. Jamie couldn’t see past Bald’s cold glare. “I wanna see this magic trick. If it’s goo, then we won’t beat you black and blue for being a pest.”

            “Do I get the hat back too?” Jamie chocked out. He was answered by a severe attack to his stomach. The bald guy, Bill, threw one hell of a punch. “Okay, I get it.”

            The one called Sam walked towards Jamie and warned him with his threatening eyes. Jamie had seen better.

            “Don’t try nuffin,” he warned. Jamie nodded even as he thought through a plan to get away with his hat. Transporting away in front of three mortals was not advisable, even if they were high as fuck on weed. Even if he could, he was not sure he had enough strength to do so.

            Jamie took his hat and reached into it, bringing out several notes of twenty and fifty pounds. They were all illusions of course, but the men quickly snatched them off of him.

            “You got any more?” Baldy asked.

            “No,” Jamie answered.

            “Liar.” He was brought to the wall again.

            “Okay, okay!” he relented. This time he reached further, thinking of the item he wanted.

            The hat was no mere hat, capable of creating illusions and storing objects. The Sand Dust he brought out was very real, and after a flurry of glittering dust, the three men were asleep on the dirty floor.

            Jamie kicked the bald man’s stomach— admittedly, a petty revenge. An animalistic nature inside him had yearned for a fight but his weary body had strongly opposed. Just as well. These men had no idea how lucky they were.

 

The train and bus journey home was nerve-wracking, and Jamie couldn't shake off the feeling that he was being watched. Going home to face his parents was difficult enough. Looking at the Metro newspaper, he realised it was already Friday. He had been gone for over twenty four hours. His mum would be worried sick, and his step-dad would be furious. It was no secret that Jamie and Charlie— his mother’s husband of three years— did not get along. Jamie was basically the freak of the family. That was due to his magic, and his connections with Terrahgonia. Mortals would never understand a connection like that.

            By the time Jamie stood outside his house, and retrieved his keys from his hat, he was a fresh pair of clothes. James and a t-shirt, nothing fancy. He had made sure to use real money this time and had paid the kindly homeless man before he left London Victoria.

            The door opened before Jamie could put the keys to the door and his older stepbrother, Luke, stood before him. His dark eyes flashed with surprise, his brows raised high.

            “Jamie? Where have you been? You’re in some deep shit, man.” His dishevelled dark hair stood up at random angles, and so he patted it down distractedly.

            “I know,” Jamie said. They stared at each other for a while.

            “I have to get to work but the parental units are here. They’ve been waiting for you in case you come back.”

            “Bye.”

            Luke and Jamie had a tenuous relationship. His stepbrother was better than Charlie any day, but only because they usually liked to keep a safe distance. Luke was still trying to get over the incident that had caused Jamie to accidently wreck his motorbike, and Jamie was still trying to get a job to pay him back. Damn chimaera. It hadn’t been the first time that Yolanda had sent a creature to retrieve him, and it hadn’t been the last.

            When Jamie walked into the living room, he knew it was the moment of truth. His parents stared at him for a moment, but it was not long until he was in his mother’s embrace.            “James!” she gasped. “Where have you been? We’ve been so worried.”

            Jamie leaned into her hug and held her tightly. He didn’t mean for the waterworks to appear, but after all he had been through, it just came out of its own accord.

            “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I was… out.”

            “You’ve been missing for over twenty four hours, and that’s all you can say?” Charlie fumed. “We called the police this morning.”

            Jamie flinched from his mother’s arms. “I’m sorry. I was out. I found my dad.”

            That was not a lie. But telling them the whole truth was not an option. They were mortal, and Gary didn’t know a think about Terrahgonia. The land of Terrahgonia and the magic Jamie was capable of were the things that separated him from his family.

            “You did?” His mum, Patricia, asked. “Well, why didn’t you tell us?”

            “Because you didn’t want me to have anything to do with him.”

            “I was protecting you, Jamie. You know that.”

            “I’ll notify the police,” Charlie said. His clenched jaw and whitened knuckles made it clear that he was on a short fuse.

            “Where’s Melanie?” Jamie asked. At ten years old, she was a bundle of sarcastic wit, and the only one Jamie had an affinity with.

            Patricia took a seat on the leather sofa, and patted the seat next to hers. Her blue eyes glistened with worry. Her usual orderly blonde bob was uncombed and matt, deprived of its usual vibrancy and sheen.

            “You were over There, weren’t you?” she whispered. As if she even had to ask. She was referring to Terrahgonia, of course. Jamie nodded, knowing that lying was pointless.

            “He was there the whole time,” he said.

            “Hiding from his responsibilities, no doubt.”

            “It wasn’t like that.”

            “He left me,” Patricia said. That sadness that she only ever seemed to gaze at Jamie with revealed itself again. It was as if no matter what Jamie did, he was a constant reminder of his father. “He left us.” She took his hand then and the exasperation in Jamie diminished.

            Just as he was about to explain the reality of the entire situation, there was a knock at the door.”

            “Can you get that please?” Patricia asked. “I’m not exactly presentable.” Jamie was about to argue but when he saw the tear fall from his mother’s face, he stood to get the door.

            When Jamie opened the door, cold eyes pierced through him.

            “Stefan?” Jamie was both disgusted and surprised. “What are you doing here?” And how do you know where I live?”

            The prince was dressed unconsciously in black jeans, a plain green shirt and leather jacket. Shame the white hair made him look like Jack Frost, or something.

            “I’ve been watching you for a while,” Stefan said. Outrage burned through Jamie but before he could get a word out, the Dark Guardian held his hand up to silence him. “I am not particularly concerned about your privacy, and I believe we have more pressing issues to address at present.”

            “And what might those be?”

            “Jamie, who is it?” Patricia called out. Jamie was loath to describe the cruel Terrahgonian prince as a friend.

            “Just a Jehovah’s Witness,” he replied. “You know how they are.”

            Stefan raised a brow, in question. “James, I have to bring you back to Terrahgonia. You stand accused of stealing from the queen.”

            “What?”

            “The phoenix feather. Don’t you recall the events of the ritual?”     

            “I wish I could forget,” Jamie sighed. “I’m not coming with you though. Not without a fight.”

            “I understand, but you don’t have to do this.”

            “Yes I do.” Jamie pushed him further outside his house and closed the door behind him. “You want to Tango?”

            Stefan inclined his head curiously.

             Probably contemplating how mad I am.

            “I am not very competent at this dance,” Stefan said.

            “I’ll teach you.”

            Jamie knew that this was a very serious matter, but he hoped to would unbalance the prince. He grabbed Stefan’s right hand, and held on to his left shoulder. Forcing the prince to spin a few times, Jamie quickly began to lead the dance, if he could even call it that. It helped that he was a couple heads taller than Stefan.

            “What are you doing?” Stefan asked.

            “Teaching you how to Tango. Now, I’m a little rusty, so bear with me, but I do believe that this”— Jamie unceremoniously kneed the prince in the groin “is one way of sorting out awful dance partners.” Stefan had not seen that coming, and grunted in pain. Jamie punched him in the stomach with all the force he could muster. Stefan crumpled to the ground.

            “That was an underhanded move,” Stefan groaned. “I’ll give you one last chance, Jamie.” He rarely addressed him by his preferred name so that certainly caught his attention. “Come with me and I’ll not allow her to kill you.”

            Jamie grabbed Stefan’s throat and allowed himself to summon magic from his weakened ka. As pain circulated Stefan’s body, he convulsed rapidly; his usually cold eyes bright with shock.

            “You and the queen tortured me once,” Jamie said. “Why should I trust a single thing you say to me after your attempts at enslaving me?”

            A smiled curled on Jamie’s face as he watched Stefan writhe in pain. It was not enough to appease him though.

            When Stefan closed his eyes, Jamie thought he was about to pass out, or worse. It was what he deserved, but he was not sure he could do it. This sort of thing was meant to separate him from them. He was not a cold-blooded killer.

            Letting go, he kept a good distance from Stefan’s prone body. The prince gasped awake, and seemed to choke on him own saliva, momentarily. When he calmed down, he stayed like that, lying outside Jamie’s house in the middle of the pavement.

            “Why didn’t you finish me?” Stefan asked.

            “I don’t need to add assassination to the list of my crimes.” Jamie said. “Also, I’m not like you.”

            “You are weak.” In a blink of an eye, Stefan was behind him, with a dagger at his throat. “But I am not. I have orders to bring you back alive, so you should be thankful.”

            “You wouldn’t kill me anyway. You need me.”

            “Perhaps, for now,” Stefan said. “Now if I remove this dagger, will you come without anymore force?”

            “I will fight you until I have no more fight in me.”

            Jamie forced himself not to flinch as he felt the cold steel cut lightly into the flesh near his neck.

            “I shall keep that in mind. But I don’t suppose your mother, Patricia, would have much fight in her.” A cold shiver went down Jamie’s spine. “Or sweet little Melanie. Surely you care enough for Charlie to not wish for his death.”

            “Leave them out of it!”

            “Then come with me.”

            Jamie rigid body slackened in defeat. When the house door opened, Charlie stood there, frozen.

            “Charlie, stay back!” Jamie warned.

            “Just put the gun down, son,” Charlie said. Jamie wanted to laugh. Charlie practically despised Jamie, and here he was attempting to save him.

            Wait. Did he say gun?

            “I’m afraid not, sir,” Stefan said. “I have some business with this one.” Stefan let go of him though.

            “Tell my mum that this is a Terrahgonian affair,” Jamie said. “Do not involve the police.”

            “Like hell I…”

            “Do as he says,” Stefan ordered. He pointed the dagger— or gun— towards his stepdad. Gary nodded, and turned to leave him.

            “Be safe, Jamie,” Charlie said.

            Then he was alone with the Dark Prince. Stefan, Prince of Darkness. The title suited him.

            Stefan grasped his hand, and together they transported back to the palace, where Jamie would await a trial, and undoubtedly, his execution.

           

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