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  • Writer's pictureMark Meier

The Brotherhood #12

By Mark W. Meier

Part 12

Act II

Prophet of Death

Chapter Four

After posting the advice for Gaming you checked your subscription numbers. They were skyrocketing. But your bank account, while higher than usual, still didn’t satisfy you. Only if your subscribers numbered in the hundreds of thousands could you afford an apartment without infestations.

You considered writing a book on the art of effective prediction. You smiled, imagining the title: “Fatal Fortunes.” Below that the author’s name: “The Prophet of Death.”

I sensed trouble only a moment before a tentative knock on your door.

Your daydream dissolved as you thought of another interview with Marshal Woods. The door nearly ripped free from its hinges as you violently yanked it open. Instead of a badge you saw a young lady dressed in a classy top and jeans. She looked nothing like Marshal Woods, and you calmed in an instant.

You smiled, then cleared your throat to stall for a moment to think. “Yes, what can I do for you?”

I tried to alter her image in your mind, but you found her too attractive. The wart I tried to project never made it through your instant infatuation. My discomfort grew with the failure.

“Well, um, I think your television committed suicide on my car.” She gave you a shy, but somehow sad, smile. “I don’t think it suffered. Not with that cement block stuck through it.”

You laughed. “The suicide was inevitable. It’s been depressed and complaining for months.” After sticking a finger in your mouth you imitated the POP your TV had been emitting.

Suddenly you were embarrassed about the condition of your apartment.

The woman gave a self-conscious laugh. “Well, uh, about my car.”

“I have to apologize about that. I didn’t mean for it to land there.” You looked down at your feet. “I expected the wind to carry it to my car.”

The woman seemed to relax a bit. I hated her already. She could ruin my plans for you if I didn’t keep the two of you apart.

She feigned thoughtfulness. “I see. That’s a bit of a problem when you don’t allow for windage. You’ve never golfed, have you?”

Your smile made me want to slap you silly. But you were already as silly as a drunken teenager.

“No, I can’t afford the fees. Besides, I already spend too much money on racquetball.”

A man in jeans and a denim shirt topped the stairs at the end of the hall and walked past, giving the two of you an indulgent smile.

Amy nodded a greeting, but kept talking to you. “Racquetball is an inside sport. That explains why you misjudged the wind.”

Your witless grin widened. “I’ll take care of any damages to your car.”

I tried screaming into your mind, “Get away from her!” No luck. With her right there you weren’t very receptive to my influence.

“In fact,” you started to say.

I pushed harder, made your toaster pop, enough of an interruption that it halted the conversation, broke the brewing chemistry between you two. But only for a moment.


I was at a loss. Certainly I wouldn’t – couldn’t – touch her.

“My name is Andy. I know we just met, but would you like to have dinner tonight?”

“I’m Amy.” Her smile blossomed wider. “Yes, I would. What time should we meet, and where?”

“Uh, where? How about here?” You flushed at the condition of your apartment. However, she hadn’t given any indication she’d noticed the smell of your overflowing trash receptacle.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Amy’s expression shifted to downcast. “I couldn’t be alone with a man.” Her necklace of a cross suddenly caught some light.

That should put you off. You didn’t like . . . those people . . . any more than most in America, and getting alone with her was the only reason you’d asked.

But you surprised me.

“Sure. I get that,” you lied. “How about Newton’s at seven?”

You made arrangements and she finally turned away. As you watched her make her way to the stairwell, I could tell she was already praying for you. Something had to be done.

You closed the door and I followed Amy. She’d never see or hear me, but she knew I was there. I could tell, because she grabbed her pendant and whispered . . . His . . . name.

On the second floor she entered her apartment and closed the door. I couldn’t go in, whether through the door, walls, floor, or ceiling. I was locked out.

I couldn’t even touch her car. She belonged to . . . Him . . . through and through. So I’d have to do something to you in order to keep the two of you apart.

Meanwhile, you went back to work, sifting through the deluge of emails. One looked promising. A man near Bristol, Wisconsin wanted to know if magic was real. He’d been working with what he thought of as magick – something more real than magic – for years. But he’d grown suspicious, as if other forces were at work. He signed his email Wondering Wizard.

The question wasn’t exactly related to astrology. You almost clicked delete, but I gave you the idea to expand your horizons beyond the usual. After some digging into your charts and graphs, you came up with a response to be posted on Monday.

Dear Wondering:

I don’t normally field this kind of question, but something prompted me to take it on.

For most people I’d say magic doesn’t exist. However, Scorpios are most likely to have some kind of real magic, which you’ve correctly dubbed “magick.” With Pluto in such an auspicious position at your birth, I don’t doubt you have some real magick.

The main problem with magick is that you have to believe and totally commit to being a wizard. Most people have no ability whatsoever, and most of those who do have the gift don’t really accept the power’s existence. In short, they like the idea but can’t consider it a real power.

For those who start down the path, even a shred of doubt will be fatal.

The Prophet.

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