Story by Dan Joslyn
Written by CN Winters, Dan Joslyn and Susan Carr
Produced by Susan Carr
Directed by CN Winters and Dan Joslyn
Editing by DragonWriter17
Sounds by CN Winters
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists – Robert Kidman, Zahir al Daoud, Isis, Mattxxx and CN Winters
Cover Art by Robert Kidman
Lenore's Chamber Occult Shop – Day
Cleveland, October 2007
The bell on the door jingled as Jody, the Bureau Nine guard, entered the magic shop. His clothes were wrinkled, and he looked as if he hadn't slept in days, with dark circles prominent under his eyes. A box resided in his hands; his knuckles were practically white with the force he used to grip the box.
A man in his mid-thirties walked out. "Can I help you?" he asked as he walked over.
"You buy stuff, right?" Jody asked, nervous yet hopeful. "You don't just sell things, but you buy them, too, right?"
The shopkeeper gingerly walked behind his register and pulled out the key, sliding it in his pocket, the gesture showing he was obviously unnerved by Jody's appearance and demeanor.
"Uhhh, yeah, sometimes," the shopkeeper replied.
"There's something here you gotta see," Jody said with a smile as he opened the box. "This," he said as he pulled the Loathestone out and held it in the air. "How much would you give me for it?" he asked impatiently.
The shopkeeper leaned a bit forward, but not too close. He appeared as if he still wanted to keep his distance.
"That's really not anything I'd be interested in," he replied. "It looks like a simple black onyx stone."
Jody smiled. "But it's not," he insisted. "It's magical. It talks to you."
The shopkeeper said nothing for a few beats. Finally he said, "Please leave my store now."
"No, no," Jody insisted. "You really need this. It's got plans – big plans."
"Sir, please go away," the shopkeeper repeated.
"I can't," Jody practically cried. "You-you need to take this. It's telling me that you need to take it."
"I'm gonna count to five, and if you don't leave my shop, I'm calling the cops. One, two…"
Jody looked nervous and then tossed the stone to the storeowner. In reaction to the projectile heading toward him, the shopkeeper caught it. After a few seconds of it residing in his hands, the owner had a look of amazement.
"See?" Jody's head bobbed toward the man with a nodding motion. "I told you. It's talking to you, isn't it? I wasn't lying…So…how much?"
The shopkeeper put the key back into the register and began to empty the bill compartments, putting the money on the counter between them.
"Here," the shopkeeper said, sounding almost hypnotized. "Your reward for a job well done."
Jody smiled as he collected the money from the counter and swiftly made his way out of the door. The shopkeeper didn't notice Jody leave since he continued to stare at the stone.
"Yes," he said. "Yes, I understand…This Tuesday. Usually a young girl from the Watchers Council does some shopping…" The shopkeeper began to grin maniacally. "I promise…I'll be sure you're somewhere she'll find you."
End of Teaser
To Act One