The Sugar Quill
Author: Madaline Fabray  Story: Thoughts in Darkness  Chapter: Default
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The sun was beginning to go down, its dying rays creating streaks of pink, red and gold across the sky

Thoughts in Darkness

The sun was beginning to go down, its dying rays creating streaks of pink, red and gold across the sky. The first stars were beginning to make their brilliant appearance, and the crickets had begun their evening symphony.

 

He noticed all of this, but no longer saw the beauty of the sunset and the stars, could not enjoy the music of the crickets and other creatures of the night in the small, winding neighborhood. It was with complete disinterest … no, dispassion … that he watched as the occupants of the neat rows of homes below him begun to turn on porch  and lamps against the encroaching darkness.

 

Even with the coming darkness, there was too much light, more than he cared for. He did not fit with this place -- he, a shadow of darkness, of chaos, of need -- within this nest of warmth and life. But he and his older companion had been sent by her. The short woman, who radiated darkness and power. She was powerful, and that was good.

 

He and his companion soared through the air, the light breeze rippling through their black, tattered cloaks. Every once in a while, he could feel thin ribbons of gaiety, wispy memories of recent happiness, but these were small, faint. Light fingerprints through the shifting air. The living creatures, they were inside now, shut against the dark … but wait!

 

Ahhhh. Living creatures. Outside, just below them. He could sense them. They were moving. He and his companion flew down softly, and he felt a quiver of anticipation. There were high emotions from the two beings. The energy, the feeding, would be good.

 

His excitement intensified as he and his companion landed, and he scanned the two creatures. One of them was plain, ordinary. There was no sense of power with this being, a boy, he deduced. The other … it was the one she had wanted them to get. This one, another boy, was powerful, like the woman. Possibly dangerous. But this boy’s emotions were strong. His tattered, graying  robes fluttered in anticipation.

 

I will take care of him, he heard in his mind.

 

He was disappointed. His companion would go after the powerful one, while he would go after the weaker creature. But he would do as he was told, for his companion was older. It never occurred to him to disobey.

 

Softly, he touched down and approached the ordinary boy. The boy was larger than the powerful one, he noted dispassionately.

 

Fear. A great wave of horror struck him in warm, welcoming waves, and he inhaled it greedily, his deep breath rattling in the very bones of his chest. He heard their voices….

 

“W-what are you d-doing? Stop it!”

 

“I’m not doing anything! Shut up and don’t move!”

 

“I c-can’t see! I’ve g-gone blind! I-”

 

He started to reach out a hand to the ordinary boy, feeling the boy’s blinding fear, his terror. He could see this boy’s thoughts take shape, coming at him at first in swirling, incoherent patterns, then beginning to solidify….

 

-----

 

There is a street, lined with tall buildings covered in steel, brick and glass. Many structures are so tall, they nearly blot out the sky. Cars crowd the roads and hundreds of people mill about the sidewalks and the streets….

 

Hello, little boy … have you lost your mummy and daddy?

 

Sniffles. Yes. They are with my … my cuzzin. In one of these stores.

 

Come with me, son. I can help you find them. My car is right over here….

 

No! Can’t … let go! Let go of me! Mommy! Daddy!

 

A loud slap, then crying.

 

Stop crying!

 

Help! Let go! Let me go! Mummy! Daddy! Where are you? Mommeeeee….

 

Hands drag the boy towards a green car. Two people suddenly come running out of a store, a thin woman dragging a four-year-old boy with shaggy black hair, and a larger, beefy man. Both are screaming….

 

Then brilliant red light … the man’s grip loosened. The black-haired four-year-old stood there, looking both angry and frightened … Then the beefy man started screaming at the four-year-old, while the woman ran over to the other boy in terror….

 

Trembling in pleasure, he grasped the boy’s wrists in his hands, delighting in the new surge of terror. Emotions. Feelings. He had only been changed about a month ago by his older companion, but he was already forgetting what it was like to have feelings. Could he recapture what it was like to feel fear? Joy? Hate? What it was like to feel … human?

 

Eagerly, he bent his hooded head over the boy’s face. The fear was radiating from the creature’s prone form like the sun, which was by now completely below the horizon. So intoxicated he was by this surge of emotions, he was unaware of the impending danger … until too late….

 

“GET IT!”

 

Pain, white hot pain coursed through him as he was tossed into the air. Agony. Fire. Energy, light energy … white energy. No no no nononono, it was too much emotion. Toomuchtoomuchtoomuchtoomuchtoomuch….

 

With an effort, he wrenched himself free of the powerful force’s loosening grip, but by this time, he was far from the neighborhood, far from the living things they had been sent to attack. He felt his companion a short distance away, and sensed that the older one also had been attacked by the powerful white light. Together, silently, they soared through the welcoming, cool night, their figures casting shadows across nearly full moon and winking stars as they flew through the sky.

 

****

 

We have failed in our attack against the boy. Do you wish us to go back?

 

The short woman was sitting in a high-backed wooden chair, her hands clasped in front of her. Dark power radiated from her like a malignant star.

 

“No,” she finally said. “No. This has already attracted the wrong sort of attention. It would have been best if you would have brought the boy down, but ….” And here the woman smiled, and her aura intensified. “But … I think we could still come out ahead. Indeed, this might work even better than my original plan.” The short woman laughed loudly, a high, cold cackle. “Harry Potter will not be a threat to us for much longer. Mark my words.”

 

-Finis-

 

Note: The dialogue in italics is from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  Ch. 1 “Dudley Demented.”

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