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This is proof that I have, in fact, been working hard on getting this monster out to all my readers. 

** Warning– if you are offended by the idea of demons and summonings- this is not for you. If, however, the idea of summoning a demon sounds cool- then check this out. BUT<– do not attempt this at home. Just sayin’. **

Time Thief

by Nella Warrent

Prologue

Her bare feet slid across the coolness of the wood floor, as she made her way to the center of the sizable room above her multi-car garage. She settled onto a pile of soft overly stuffed pillows and placed the candle on the floor in front of her. She struck a single match, laid it to the wick and watched as the fire danced higher and higher. She leaned to her left and switched off the lamp on the small table. The room fell into darkness except for the circle of yellow swaying light cast out by the small flame hugging the candle. Shadows danced on every surface, some familiar, some unknown, some seen and unseen. But she didn’t see because she wasn’t looking. Her focus was on the wrong place.

She attempted to calm her mind and settle into an aura of respect and adoration as was written in the instruction she’d printed off. But who was she kidding? Respect and adoration were two concepts she had no knowledge of. She had a goal, a purpose and this was the only way she knew to achieve it. Shaking out the pages of instructions, she skimmed the details necessary to begin the summoning. She mumbled as she read and followed along with her finger as she ticked off the items needed and where to set up and blah, blah, blah. She stopped when she reached step one.

She refolded the pages and tucked them under one of the pillows below her. She smoothed her hair, arranged the small, silk robe around her form, and attempted to focus on Lilith and the request she would ask. She pulled a handwritten, heavily inked page from the pocket of her robe, her personal request laden with her desire. She licked her enhanced lips, took a deep breath, and let the words fall.

 

Great Lilith,

I seek your blessing and favor. I ask of you to, please, grant me my greatest desire, which is to have your son, Horacio Rucker, visit me. I ask that he come to me willingly and with haste.

Thank you, Great Lilith, for your gifts and privileges, and for considering my greatest of requests.

All these words are my deepest desire. I mean them truthfully and swear upon them in name and blood.

Leona Lou Wadlough James

 

She skimmed her bandaged thumb over the now dried drop of blood next to her signature she had offered as her required blood payment. After releasing her words and deepest desire out into the ether, she laid the page on the floor in front of the candle and fantasized. She drew pictures in her mind of Horacio Rucker kneeling to her bidding. A smile slid across her lips as she allowed her fantasy to play out in full within her selfish mind.

Once the final scenes flickered out behind her eyelids, she held the handwritten page over the candle and allowed the flames to lick away her request to the heavens. “May the light of this candle burn brightly and guide your son to me,” she whispered as a thin stream of smoke swirled about the room.

Once the words were consumed, she sat quietly in her mind and imagined all she hoped from the visit of the much awaited, son of Lilith. She waited and fantasized. She waited and dreamt. She waited and waited…the longer she waited the angrier she became. She felt no gusts of air caressing her skin. There was no tingling of body parts or signs of arousal as she had read would occur when her requested visitor entered. She waited until the early signs of morning crept in through the curtains, until the darkness was gone, and another day had been ushered in. Over six hours she waited until her anger ate at her.

“I will have you at my beck and call. I will have you on your knees before this is over. You will give me what I want,” she spat as she extinguished the remaining flicker of the candle. She stood and kicked the candle across the room leaving veins of melted wax in its wake. She growled at the quickly cooling evidence of her need then stormed from the room slamming the door. The room fell silent. Still. Until it wasn’t.

The curtains shimmied with a gust of air from a closed window. The candle rocked in its resting place on the floor. Ash from the words she burned swirled and smudged a ring on the floor. Yet the recipient of this visitor was no more. Unsatisfied desires were left unanswered for the summoner as the visitor departed without its promised payment.

Never leave a demon hanging.

 

Chapter 1

I am not human. I am of this Earth, but not born of man. I am a golem. Not some ring hoarding, cave dwelling fool, I am a golem of old. A creature of lore. The real deal.

My master carved me from clay and mud. He wetted me with water and then molded me with his own hands. He anointed clays with holy oils and formed me into the creature I am today.

I am a soldier. A protector. A slave. I am to do as I am told without question. But questioning is not possible without the ability to speak. He withheld speech from me. I am, as is written in Psalm 139: 16 – Unfinished human being before God. I am to protect my Master at all costs. No one is above him, even me.

That was how it was in the beginning, seventy-eight years ago. But today is a different story. As it was written on the day of my creation, I will protect my Master and will do so until he wipes me away like the dust I am. But I want to live. I want to know what it is to be free to do as I choose. I want to learn, love, and be loved in return. I want to be free from the shackles he holds the key too. And I know what to do to get it.

 

*****

 

Adam Dreck stared at the old tattered wooden sign as it swung in contrast over the modern steel and glass door. The words Beyond Skin Deep were sun bleached and cracked, but still clear enough to draw the eye. Of course, it could have been the extensively tattooed female who was leaning in the doorway smoking a cigarette that burned Adam’s nose. The shop was not noted for being the best, but he wasn’t searching for art. He was searching for quick.

“You gonna stand there all-day staring or are you gonna come in,” she hissed as smoke billowed from her nostrils.

The woman field dressed her cigarette then crushed its cherry under-foot before stepping into the shop. Adam followed her into the cool and surprisingly well-lit room.

“You got an appointment big man, or do you think we don’t have enough clients to stay busy? We don’t do walk-ins,” she snipped as she pointed to a tattered sign on the customer service counter. She rounded the desk and looked up into his amber eyes.

Adam looked around at the empty room and cocked his head to the side in annoyance as he shoved his hand into his jean pocket and pulled out a neatly folded sheet of paper. He slid it across the counter and waited.

“Jesus fucking Christ, what? Can’t you fucking speak?”

She unfolded the paper and smoothed it out to read.

 

My name is Adam Dreck and I have an appointment with Wes at 2:00. I am unable to speak but am NOT deaf. I can communicate using sign language or in writing.

 

“Well fuck,” she whispered when she read, he in fact, could not speak.

The snarly woman became less snarly as she looked up into Adam’s eyes and gave him a sympathetic smile. “Okay, well, I am going to go get Wes from the back room. Have a seat,” she stated with perfect enunciation as she waved Adam’s note around like it was a flag of surrender.

‘I’m mute not stupid,’ he smirked to himself then took a seat in a chair that looked like a prize from a day of dumpster diving. Adam waited and listened while Wes and the tatted bitch argued about his lack of sound. “Here, read it for yourself. The dude’s like deaf or dumb or somethin’.” Wes rounded the corner holding the now crumpled sheet of paper and was greeted by Adam’s pissed face. Adam handed the wiry, tattooed fuck his phone where he had typed out a simple text.

Once again, I AM NOT DEAF, I am mute. Not Stupid.

“Sorry, dude, I had no idea you was disabled and shit.”

Adam snatched his phone back and texted further.

Not disabled, but I am getting pissed. I am here for a tatt. Are you going to do it, or do I need to find someone else?!

Adam held the phone in front of Wes’s pinched face and waited for him to mouth the words as he read.

“Nah, man, I got you. Step into my office,” Wes stammered as he walked over to a station and swept sketches and magazines from the seat Adam was assigned.

Adam pulled another neatly folded piece of paper from his back pocket and handed it to Wes.

“That’s it?” he asked with an exaggerated disbelieving arch to his eyebrow. “Did you want me to like give it some style or create a banner or border or, fuck, anything to go with it?”

Adam shook his head and tapped the paper.

“Okay, so where do you want it?”

Adam slid a finger across his ribs on his left side.

Wes handed the paper back, “Show me.”

Adam folded the paper into a small rectangle then placed the paper in the position he wanted and looked at Wes for understanding.

Wes held out his hand for the paper. “Alright, man, I’m gonna go make a copy of this so I can transfer it to your skin. Take off your shirt and have a seat,” Wes moved to leave, but halted and spun back to where Adam stood preparing to remove his shirt. “Don’t think I’m being a dick, cuz I really don’t care, but do you want this in black or white? I ask because, well, dude, you are pretty dark, and I don’t know if black would even show on your skin.” Adam’s skin was the color of freshly turned soil, rich and dark.

He knew the ink wouldn’t be easily seen which was his intent. He nodded and gave a wide smile then mouthed, very clearly, “Black.”

“It’s your money, man,” Wes sniffed then ducked into the back room, leaving Adam to his thoughts. His mind drifted to the word that he would wear on his skin. The word that was scratched into the small medallion he wore around his neck like a dog tag.

 

emeth

 

It was five letters that meant life or death to Adam, five letters which kept him walking, breathing, and living. It meant “truth” and “life.” His Master would have to remove his skin to kill him now and Adam had no intention of telling his Master the word had been etched into his flesh. He would let it be a surprise when his Master decided it was Adam’s time to die.

Perfect. The darker the better. He will be less likely to see it. Adam relaxed and waited for Wes to return.

He pulled off his shirt, folded it neatly and set it on the counter where Wes would be working. He sat on the padded table and waited. “I printed it off in white so that I…shit!” Wes’ steps stuttered. “Dude, were you in the war? Shit,” he hissed.

Adam shook his head and pulled his phone from his pocket. “They are just scars. Will there be a problem?”

He handed the phone to Wes.

“Let me see where you want this again.”

Adam raised his massive arm and ran a finger down his side reminding Wes of where he wanted the tattoo hidden.

“Well, there aren’t as many thick scars there, I guess I could work in this area here,” he said circling a small four-inch area. “Cool?”

Adam nodded.

Wes smeared a gel based deodorant stick along the area to help the image stick and placed the stencil over the target. He pressed and rubbed the paper so the image would transfer onto Adam’s skin. When it was pulled away a bright white image was left in its wake.

“It touches this scar here, but it shouldn’t make a difference,” explained Wes as he examined the area where he was going to work. “We good to go?”

Adam saw the reflection of the glowing symbol of freedom in a mirror propped on the counter and doubted his intentions for only a moment before he gave a solid jerk of his head. He lay down on the table and looked forward to the journey ahead.

“This is gonna hurt like a bitch, man. The ribs are sensitive so brace yourself.”

Adam wouldn’t feel it. He never did. Wounds were fixed with clay and water. He could be completely scar free if he wanted, but he chose to be reminded of the battles he fought, of the wars his Master waged on man, and on him. This tattoo would be nothing in comparison.

He watched Wes work through the mirror. He watched the letters form. He marveled at the simplicity of it. In a matter of minutes Adam’s world would forever be changed. That must be how humans felt on a day-to-day basis. One small act could change so much.

“Annnd…done. You were the easiest rib tatt I’ve ever done, man. Most squirm and shit and I don’t think you even bled,” rambled Wes as he cleaned up the leftover ink and gel. He smeared a layer of A & D ointment over the irritated surface and grabbed the mirror that Adam had been using to watch him work, “Take a look. When it heals it won’t stand out like now? It will actually be a lot closer to your own skin tone.”

Adam took the mirror and admired the image that would forever be engraved on his skin. He smiled and reached out to fist bump Wes, who stood leaning against his workstation with his arms crossed over his birdcage of a chest, with a satisfied grin on his face. Wes unfolded himself and returned the enthusiasm.

“Ya know, normally I would ask a bunch of questions about why you wanted that tatt and how you decided where to put it, but I get the feeling you wouldn’t tell me if you could,” Wes jerked his hands forward and put them up in surrender, “No offense, man. But ya know if you could talk would you have told me?”

Adam handed Wes the mirror, grabbed his phone, and texted. He smiled brightly at Wes as he held up the screen.

You’ll never know.

Wes snorted and nodded at the words on the screen and then began to cover Adam’s side. Handshakes were exchanged along with a wad of cash. Wes gave him a sheet of aftercare instructions and walked him to the door.

Freedom was bought cheap that day. A hundred dollars bought Adam a piece of mind most would never understand. When a single word stood between life and death, you do what you can to ensure life.

Published by Ticia Rani

I am...interesting. I am a writer, dreamer, mom, wife, veteran, friend, villain, and the wearer of many hats, but I don't look good in hats- go figure. I LOVE TO WRITE. I want to tell stories. I want to make you laugh, cry, and scare the crap out of you, and make you ask "why the hell did you do that?" I want to make you cheer my characters on or want to shake the crap out of them for things they say and/or do. I want to bring you along for the ride. Ready? Set?...READ!!!