Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central. Popularity Popularity Featured Price: Low to High Price: High to Low Avg. Available for download now. Get it by Friday, Nov Provide feedback about this page. There's a problem loading this menu right now. For Elton, Sam Maidstone had a psychic stink worse that that of Annie—or maybe not worse, only it was more saturated with an ingredient that Elton found particularly bothersome.
There was a serious disappointment, yet decisions were made, and curses were laid. One further result of the meeting—a side issue—was greatly upsetting to Elton. The other warlocks in this meeting, with their concentrated power, and with some of them being much higher than Elton in the power structure, became aware that Elton had not given up his wild daydream of becoming Death personified.
But they showed considerable mercy and patience. They laid a conditional curse on him. If he would not give up the dream but would instead actually begin to accomplish it, he would die—in a sudden and spectacular manner. They dealt in a different way with Cary. During the meeting it was discovered that in order to get the results they wanted, a human sacrifice—one of their own—was needed.
When the big meeting was over, and all the souls of witches and warlocks had returned to their bodies and countries, Elton Krondorf decided that Cartin no longer held anything of interest to him.
He had a great longing to go back to the ranch, so he packed his books and magic powders and a few other things into an old Ford that he had bought from a neighbor and headed back north. Elton would have liked to kill Charlie and Harold with the special big scythe he had made and that still hung in the blacksmith shop, but he knew that to do so would have brought the curse down on him.
However he was pleased with himself because by now he had developed his mind shield so well that he felt confident he could always fool any telepathic tentacles that the powerful masters of the dark arts sent out to check on him. Whenever the tentacles moved in, his subconscious would trigger a fit in him.
One such fit came on the day he arrived back home. His dad and brother had decided to give him a chance, half believing his story of repentance and of turning over a new leaf. Charlie was more frail now and his beard was whiter. Harold looked much as he had and still picked his nose. Poisons of many kinds were available in nature.
One only needed to mix things in the right combinations; this way poisons with a great variety of different effects could be created. Elton would have liked to kill them with a poison that painfully ate out their guts, but he had to think of what to do with the bodies. The painless poison he had used would allow him to get rid of them very nicely. But they soon did. Although they continued to stand upright and even walk, they became aware that their skin and muscles were going numb.
Elton, all done with his fit, obligingly told the other two that he had poisoned them.
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They fled the house, as best they could, probably hoping to get to the car or truck so they could race off to find medical help; but when Elton followed them outside they panicked and headed for the bush. They took a little trail that led along the river banks in the general direction of the nearest town that had a hospital. Obviously the numbness was beginning to progress into their brains. Elton followed them at a leisurely pace. He wanted the fun of watching them slowing down until they coagulated into motionlessness, but he also had a more practical reason for staying on their heels.
Just a little ways beyond the yard, the trail came to an old wooden bridge that was wide enough to permit the passage of moderate sized farm machinery such as a grass-mower or small tractor, but was never used for that anymore because it was half rotten and unsafe. It was good only for crossing on foot, and even at that one had to be careful where one stepped. The bridge, about thirty feet long and railed, crossed over a steep-banked gully with a shallow creek at the bottom.
Charlie, who looked like he was wading through molasses, nobly turned back to help his son. Elton walked about halfway onto the bridge, checked the side rail which seemed fairly solid at this point, and sat on it so he could be reasonably comfortable while he watched this segment of the show. He was pleasantly amazed when he saw that Charlie was actually managing to pull Harold up somewhat; and Harold, desperate but encouraged, struggled hard, and in a few seconds got his leg out of the hole.
Charlie helped him to his feet, but then he himself looked to be in worse trouble, for it appeared that he might be experiencing the onset of a heart attack. He was gasping for air and holding his chest. The two of them could see Elton sitting there, smiling, and no doubt they would both have preferred to carry on with their slow flight; but they had no choice but to wait until they got their breath back.
Charlie seemed to recover from his chest problem, and then he and his son went back into their nightmare-like, slow-motion attempt to run. Elton made a mental note that if he ever again used this particular poison on anyone he would double the dose. Although Charlie and Harold were trying to run, and sometimes actually looking as though they were, Elton had no difficulty keeping up to them by strolling leisurely.
About five minutes later Charlie and Harold reached the swamp. Elton sort of wished this was happening during the night instead of under the bright sun. Not only was nighttime traditionally more appropriate to deeds of evil, but after dark the swamp was often active with spooky moving lights caused by the natural combustion of marsh gases. These rolling fireballs were often three feet in diameter and once he had seen one a good six feet high.
Whether or not they appeared, and how prolific they were when they did appear, seemed to have something to do with atmospheric conditions; but Elton had not yet learned how to predict these displays nor how to utilize them for purposes of magic, if that could be done.
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And yet a quarter of a mile beyond the swamp, Charlie and Harold were still moving, although ever more slowly. They no longer looked as though they were trying to run. The grassy trail here led along the side of the riverbank and in places big stones stuck up out of the ground. Elton wondered if his victims would trip over them. He knew that at a point not much farther the trail climbed the bank to the top and led into a pasture—one that had from time to time held twenty-five riding horses.
There were probably still a few left. Would Charlie and Harold make it to the pasture? Elton amused himself by imagining his dad and brother actually getting to the horses, where, wheezing and farting, they would each catch one, hop on their backs, and gallop off to safety. The thought was so ludicrous that it actually made him laugh out loud a little. The trail came to a very rocky area; in fact, it more or less disappeared among the stones but carried on clearly about thirty feet farther on. At this same place the high right side of the riverbank became a cliff, only about thirty feet high but spectacular in that in one protruding place it looked almost like a high stack of giant pancakes partly sticking out of the bank.
The pancakes were great slabs of rock outcropping, quite unusual for the area. Many years ago some trespassers had discovered it, and, shortly thereafter, a newspaper photographer and writer had shown up to take pictures and do a story on it. A deer trail led away from the main trail and up to the top of this pancake stack. Harold, apparently going by the rule that altitude is an advantage in warfare, took the deer trail.
Charlie tried to call after him, but his vocal cords were half numb with the poison and all he could do was produce a pathetic croak. Apparently his brain was still working well enough to realize that the deer trail was a dead end, and it also seemed that his sentimental father-looking-after-son instinct was still working. He followed Harold up the deer path, apparently hoping to bring him back so they could stay on the main trail. Harold kept climbing, slowly, and Charlie kept following him up, slowly.
But he restrained himself and was rewarded by seeing, from the bottom where he stood, both father and son reaching the top of the pancake pile where they could go no farther. In any case, he was not about to let his father guide him back down the deer trail. The two old bearded men wrestled about on their feet, wobbling about from side to side, looking like a couple of gays doing a slow waltz.
Then, just as Elton had hoped, they waltzed over the edge of the cliff and fell to the rocks thirty feet below. Elton walked up to the jumbled forms. There was no movement. Well, the fun was over; from here on it would be more like work. Elton needed to get the bodies back to the yard. There were two horses in the barn in box stalls.
Elton put a halter on one of them—an old gray mare that Harold, for some unknowable reason, had named Moona— and, carrying a coiled lasso rope in one hand, led the animal out to the cliff. Fortunately Moona was so old she was more or less brain dead and showed no fear of the bodies as many horses would have.
She also had no fear of crossing the half rotten bridge where Elton had to be extremely careful to lead her over the most solid looking parts of it. He put Moona back in her stall in the barn. Then he went to the house and returned with a tray full of stuff plus a three-foot gnarled stick carved flat on one end.
He took all this into the corral and set the tray down across one corner of the large, long, corrugated metal trough. At one end of the trough was a well topped by an old-fashioned type of hand pump. The trough was about a quarter full of water which was enough so that Elton could get started. The tray held six containers—four of them being canning jars and the other two plastic jars that had once held instant coffee.
All the containers had lids for they contained valuable concoctions. So far, Mitchell High's football team is defying the odds without the services of all-everything at Boston-area friends Louie Iacuzzi, James Amaral and Three schools remain unbeaten, led by UCF, which moved up to No.
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USF beat a Power Five opponent for the second week in a row and Cincinnati is off to its best start since The biggest jump this week comes from Te If the Smokey and the Bandit paraphrase doesn't work for you, then let's try another theatrical reference There is nothing normal about the situation East Carolina's football team finds itself in after Hurricane Florence. The Pirates' last scheduled game against Virginia Tech was canceled. After evacuating campus a week ago, they remain sequestered in o The Lightning did not fare much better in its second preseason crack at the Hurricanes.
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