BNN: Hyde and Seek

October 23, 2009

Jared let out a heavy sigh as he looked at Isham’s body in helpless frustration. The latest concoction he applied on him had yet again failed. He could not stand Isham’s angry, accusatory stare, but now was not the time to dwell on moral dilemmas or guilt. There was much work to be done and too little time left.

The sudden muffled sound of a feminine voice emanating from behind the laboratory’s doors startled them both. Jared stared at the door in shock, his mind racing, trying to identify the woman. No one knew of this place, not even his wife Eliza. He glanced back at Isham whose eyes suddenly widened in joyous recognition, quickly replaced by horror. He whimpered and looked at Jared with pleading eyes.

“Lydia”, whispered Jared with sudden understanding.

She would come inside the room any minute now and see what had transpired here. He couldn’t allow that. He gave Isham a stern warning look as he ordered in a whisper: “Be quiet!”

He gestured towards Isham as he chanted An Lor Xen. The spell fizzled. He cussed at his cold hands still numb from touching Isham despite the protective gloves. He re-casted the spell and this time was thankfully successful. As soon as Isham vanished, Jared propped himself against the cave wall and donned his invisibility cloak. Seconds later, Lydia materialized inside the room.

She took a few hesitant steps and shyly called out Isham’s name. Getting no response, she walked further into the room. There was no one… The only sound she could hear was the slow simmer of a foul smelling mixture in a cauldron. Her heart sank. She could not believe he stood her up again… not after last night’s talk… not after all the promises…

She made for the desk at the back of the room in the unlikely hope that he would have left her another note. As she passed the alchemist table, the air suddenly became freezing cold and painful blisters erupted on her exposed right arm. She jumped back a few steps, yelping in pain.

The room suddenly felt ominous, as if inhabited by a dark, evil force. She dared not turn her back to run to the door so she clumsily walked backwards, her eyes darting in every direction, expecting to see some spawn of evil lunge at her at any moment.

His own heart pounding was deafening to Jared as he watched Lydia’s hasty retreat. She kept chanting In Mani though all the blisters on her arms had faded, as if to ward against some daemon. And then she was gone. Relieved, he removed his cloak. His mage skills had always been somewhat limited and he had feared the Invisibility spell on Isham would have worn off before she left.

“This is all your doing” said Isham, becoming visible again, his voice broken and barely recognizable…

Tears welled in his eyes, but turned to ice as they rolled down his cheeks. The frozen tears fell, shattering in countless diamond-like pebbles bouncing on the floor.

* * * Eliza entered the imposing Yew Courthouse and walked up to Inspector Jasper. For some reason, law enforcers always made her nervous.

“Excuse me, Sir” she said timidly. “I would like to file a Missing Person report.”

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