Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Magic Circle
Patricia Shannon

James had waited twenty years to return. After all these years, the house still looked quite ominous. It was empty and showed signs of decay. On the roof, a bunch of black crows pecked loudly. He touched the magic circle around his neck and hoped for the best. “All my efforts and studies better be worth it!” he thought.
Hesitantly, he opened the front door. It made a terrible squeaking sound when he pushed it inwards. Slowly and carefully, he entered the enormous hallway, now covered in cobwebs. He shivered. It all came back to him, the screams, the blood, the mist. If only he'd never discovered the secret of the house, the strange hidden room in the attic with remnants of an ancient past. At first he'd been excited about the find. He desperately needed cash at the time and it was as if the house granted him his wish. Nothing was further from the truth, it was the beginning of a sequence of frightening events, the thought of which still made him nauseous today.
He stopped at the bottom of the large staircase, leading to the rooms above. He stared at the stair's landing, seemingly waiting for someone or something to appear. It remained silent, eerie, foreboding.
What are you waiting for?” he shouted agitated. “I'm back! Surely that means something to you!” It remained silent. He took the amulet from his neck and held it firmly in his right hand. Step by step, he began to ascend the stairs. All of a sudden, he was briskly pushed backwards and he nearly lost his balance. Immediately, the air became cold and damp.
Coward!” he yelled, “show yourself! Let's settle this face to face, once and for all!”
With brute force, a sword landed point down in between his two feet, followed by the apparition of a fierce looking, red-bearded man, dressed in full medieval armor. “Do you really think you can defeat me this time?” the phantom mocked him. “You must be out of your mind!” He laughed frightfully.
Even though he came prepared, James was still taken aback by the renewed acquaintance with the guardian of the sabre. He knew what it was capable of. He had to remain calm and calculating to finish what he came for.
He hastily murmured the words and he felt the magic circle glow in his hand. He grabbed the relic, which in its turn began to glow and immediately threshed it right through the image of the furious poltergeist. Raw laughter filled the hall and then he was gone, the guardian of the sword.
Still trembling, James hung the magic circle back around his neck. His research and determination indeed had paid off. He felt a great sense of relief.
Surely an antique dealer would pay him handsomely for the ancient artefact and his house would soon be a wonderful new home again.

The End

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