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The thoughts are churning in my mind as I walk to the door and open it, careless of any danger. And then my heart stops beating because he is standing in front of me, the man from my nightmare. It’s the first time I’ve seen his face clearly, but I know it’s him. His eyes which were gleaming points of light in my dreams, are the golden yellowish eyes of a cat – or a wolf. The wolf-boy. I start trembling as cold fear rushes through my body. The man I was so afraid of in my dreams, is Eamon. I bite my lower lip, trying to get a grip. The temptation to ubilocate to some safe place is overwhelming, but I have to resist, I have to find out where my mother is.

“Could I please have some food?” he asks in a hoarse voice. I gulp in a deep breath, relief flooding through my body. He obviously has no idea who I am! He doesn’t know that I’m an Arash and am looking for him. If I act cautiously now, I might even be able to enter his thoughts and rescue Rebecca. Right, I have to summon all my acting skills and then I might succeed. The others will be in for a surprise when they return from their stupid ball.

“Food? Yes, there’s enough, I’ve been shopping today,” I reply. Careful, Livia! Don’t be too friendly to a stranger knocking on your door late at night, that’s suspicious. “Wait here, I’ll get you something,” I mutter in


an attempt to act my part properly. I’m aware that my voice is forced and high. I’m neither a natural actress like Sophie, nor a good liar. Trying to calm my breath I run into the kitchen and grab one of the bread sticks from the table.

“I need all three,” his voice orders directly behind me. I jump in fright, clutching the baguette, whirl around, clumsily spilling the bag of flour beside the bread. He is just a few inches away from me and I can smell his slightly bitter scent, like almonds. His glowing eyes bore into mine. “Don’t be afraid, I won’t harm you,” he whispers.

“I’m not afraid,” I breathe, instinctively thrusting the bread stick into his hands and turning to the fridge. With shaking hands I take out butter, ham, cheeses, fruit and eggs, piling everything on the table. I take a deep breath to stabilise my voice. “Wine? Do you want some wine too?” I ask calmly, pointing to the five bottles on the sideboard.  

“No,” he shakes his head. “But I’ll take all the bread.” I can feel him standing close behind me while I reach for the baguettes. Keep calm, Livia! I’m going to pack everything into a plastic bag, and when I hand it to him I’ll try to enter his mind. Please, let there be some meteor shower around! My breath quickens again at the thought, my heart beating frantically. I have to pull myself together! After all, I survived in space and called Raytara which is certainly much more dangerous. Eamon is just an ordinary Arash, not even a Dark one. He can’t harm me. Or can he? I try to push the thought of his lethal substances to the back of my mind, but I can’t get rid of them. Eamon could in fact kill me. I reach down into a cupboard, rummaging for a bag, and try to focus my powers. This is the crucial moment. I have to enter his thoughts and get rid of him quickly afterwards without arousing his suspicions. Clumsily I pack the food into the bag and hand it to him. Reaching for the bag he looks at me with his glowing golden eyes and I sink into their depths, entering his mind, seeing…

“What the hell are you doing?” His hands grab my shoulders, hard, shaking me until I drop the bag. His furious face is very close to mine. His teeth are very white and straight, I think irrationally before the danger of the situation hits me. If only I could wrest myself free I would ubilocate. I’ve seen what I wanted. But his arms are wrapped around me like a vice. “Who are you?” he hisses. “You’re an Arash, aren’t you? What did you try to do to me just then?”

He is suffocating me and I can’t utter a word, but maybe it’s the fear that renders me speechless. “I saw the blue flames in your eyes and felt you invading me!” he gasps. “You have to be a Dark Arash – scum!” Painfully I shake my head. Black spots are dancing in front of my eyes, soon I will lose consciousness.

“I’m an Arash but not a Dark one,” I croak with a huge effort. His grip loosens a bit and I take a deep breath. The air burns in my lungs. It’s now or never! I brace my hands against his chest and push him away from me with a vengeance. His grip slips, but he won’t let go and we crash into the sideboard. A wine bottle falls to the floor, shards of glass scattering everywhere. Eamon presses me to the sideboard, leaning heavily on me with his whole body. The chance to ubilocate is gone.

“I didn’t intend to kill you, but now you’ve made it necessary,” he pants. “I usually only sedate humans but no Arash may know of my existence.” I could promise not to tell anyone, like they always do in films, but it would be ridiculous. Even in films nobody believed it and they were killed anyway, so I save my breath.  No, my last chance lies in my powers and not in begging for mercy which this guy wouldn’t grant me anyway. My heart is racing, but I try to focus my powers with all my might. Our faces are only a few inches apart and he’s looking me in the eyes. It simply has to work, it worked before, didn’t it? But then I just entered his thoughts and didn’t try to remove them. With a last huge effort I concentrate, sinking into his wolf’s eyes. Yes, I can do it! I have entered his thoughts, now I must find the ones about me, erase his intention to kill me. My thoughts reach out to him, engulf his thoughts, trying to isolate the evil, but there’s a wall I cannot break down.

Suddenly he cries out like a cornered animal, heart-piercingly, and in the next instant I’m lying on the floor beneath him. “No, you won’t!” he mutters, pinning me down, and reaches into his pocket. My thoughts are racing. Why the hell couldn’t I get through? If I can see his thoughts I should be able to remove them as well. He lies heavily on me, I can hardly breathe, and then I notice the vial in his hand. My heart skips a beat. Black, the liquid in the vial is black. It’s a lethal potion, I’ve seen it once before, in Fergus‘ hands. Desperately I try to throw him off but my struggle is in vain, he’s too strong. The vial glints in his left hand. This is the end. I will die. Before I’ve seen my mother. Before I could get Cassius back. Randolph promised me immortality when he persuaded me to become an Arash, yet I’ve already nearly died in space. But I made it, just to be killed now by a lunatic.

He is holding my hands with his right hand, so he pulls out the cork of the vial with his teeth. I can’t help wailing. I don’t want to end up with the souls of the other dead Arash in a black hole! I hate it out there in space! Eamon holds the vial to my lips and I try to avert my face. Black liquid runs down my chin and drips onto my jumper. It is ice cold, just as cold as the fear which paralyses me. Eamon’s fingers force my lips apart and I feel the liquid trickling into my mouth although I clench my teeth. I look into his yellow eyes which are full of hate and feel the poison entering my body, the pain which consumes me. I start screaming and the last thing I see is the look of surprise on Eamon’s face.


© Elke Stevens