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The Charismatic One - A Saint or a Devil?

[] The Charismatic One

 

A Saint or a Devil?

 

By

 

The Abbotts

 

 

A Beacon of Light Book

 

e-Edition

 

Copyright 2017, The Abbotts

 

All rights reserved. This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act. No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form, by any means electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, copying, or any other information storage or retrieval system currently in use or yet to be devised without the prior written permission of the copyright owners.

Thank you for respecting the hard work of the authors.

 

ISBN: 9781370336975

 

Table of Contents

Title

Chapter One – Middletown

Chapter Two – Lucien

Chapter Three – Conspiracies

Chapter Four – Deeper

Chapter Five – Fears

Chapter Six – The Runaway

Chapter Seven – The Ranch

Chapter Eight – Joe

Appendix

Other book titles by The Abbotts

Over 245 titles available including -

2016 to 2028 – The Hope Years! – Preparing for Cosmic Changes!

Omni – The Path of Unity – A Philosophy for Life

The Authors, The Abbotts, Tony Abbott, Robyn Abbott

Other book categories by The Abbotts

Categories include -

End

 

*******

 

[]Chapter One

 

Middletown

 

Sarah ran down the street whooping and holding her electronic tablet in her hand. She was a small, chubby girl of seventeen with fuzzy brown hair and large, dark eyes. She opened the front gate of a well-kept, but modest house, ran down the concrete path and knocked loudly, on the freshly painted, red front door.

The door was opened, by a slim woman in her late thirties with shoulder-length, dark hair and large, friendly grey eyes.

“Hi. Sarah; what’s up with you?” she asked the excited teenager with a smile.

“Oh, Mrs. Thomas, I’ve just got to speak to Ashley, is she in?” The girl almost did a jig, on the doormat.

“Sure!” laughed Kate Thomas with a reminiscent gleam in her grey eyes; she remembered what it was like to be seventeen and so excited about every new thing that happened. “She’s in her bedroom.”

Sarah nodded and rushed up the stairs to her best friend’s room, her plain face flushed with her unusual exertions. She knocked on the bedroom door, waited impatiently for a few seconds and then hurried inside.

A tall, blonde girl dressed in jeans and a blue tee shirt lay on her bed surrounded by her schoolbooks, while loud rock music blared out from a music system in one corner of the small room.

She looked up with surprised grey-blue eyes and then she suddenly exclaimed, “No! Tell me it’s happening, Sarah?”

Sarah hugged her and they danced around the room laughing. “Look, look!” the chubby girl showed her the news article on her tablet and Ashley read the story with wide, excited eyes.

“Wow! He’s really coming to Middletown! He really is! I can’t believe it… Lucien, in this dead-end town!” The two girls screamed at the mention of his name and then collapsed on the bed.

As one, they turned to look at a large, coloured poster on Ashley’s bedroom wall that showed a slim, dark-haired young man with an almost androgynous look smiling out of the picture. He was startlingly handsome and his large green eyes seemed to look at each girl with a special sympathetic look, of inner knowing.

“He’s so handsome!” sighed Sarah, her pink face aglow with teenage love.

“He’s awesome!” added Ashley with a devoted look and she stood up and changed the disc in the music system for one of Lucien’s own creations.

The two girls sat rapt for the next half hour, as they listened to his high-pitched melodious voice ring out, accompanied by a rock band. He seemed to represent all the teenage angst that they could possibly feel, at their age.

When the last loud note faded away, Ashley sat up and said determinedly. “We have to get tickets to his concert, before they’re all sold out! You know that everyone will want to be there and they’ll all come from all the small towns, around. He only has a few concerts, in our state. If we missed seeing him, well, I’d just die!” she said with a wail.

Sarah agreed with a nod. “But the tickets are pretty expensive, Ashley. I don’t know if my folks can afford a hundred bucks, for a ticket?” Her worried face fell.

“We’ve got to go, both of us, Sarah!” said Ashley determinedly. Her eyes flashed. “I’ve got a birthday next month… I’ll ask Mom to give me two tickets, instead of something big and then we can both go!”

Sarah looked at her best friend adoringly. “Oh, Ash, you are so kind! Do you think, she will say yes?”

The blonde girl nodded and said confidently, “Just leave it to me, Sarah!”

“I better go.” answered Sarah with a sigh, glancing at the schoolbooks resignedly. “I haven’t even started revising my history lesson. Let me know, when she says that we can go and book the tickets fast, Ash. Oh, it’s going to be so good!”

She wandered down the stairs and out into the street, in a daze. This was the most exciting day in her young life!

Ashley approached her mother with what she assumed was subtlety but what Kate quickly recognized, as teenage manipulation. She helped prepare their simple meal of pasta and sauce and set the dining table without being asked to, by her tired mother.

Kate was a single parent and worked long hours at a local electronics store, as its assistant manager and earned just enough to keep herself and Ashley safe and secure. In her late thirties, she often day-dreamed about what life would have been like for them both, if her husband, Joseph had not been killed in a motor cycle accident, after just four short years of a happy marriage.

All their dreams had been upturned and Kate had returned to needed employment, placing Ashley into the care of a reputable pre-school while she worked mondays to fridays, in the business centre of Middletown. Their life was happy and secure, but at times, necessarily frugal and money was rarely, wasted on unnecessary frivolities.

Over dinner, Ashley began her campaign, reminding her mother about her up-coming eighteenth birthday. Kate listened with an amused light in her fine grey eyes.

“Oh, yes, I was thinking of having a barbecue party for you here with your friends and maybe, a clothing voucher for you to spend at the local mall. Would that suit you, Ashley?”

Ashley tried to smile, but said with a frown, “Mom, I’d much prefer to buy two tickets for me and Sarah to go the Lucien concert, in a fortnight. It would be much less hassle for you and its something I really, really want!”

Her blue/grey eyes pleaded eloquently.

“How much are the tickets?” asked her Mom, trying to look serious and practical.

“Two hundred dollars!” replied Ashley gloomily. “But it’s well worth it Mom, he’s so radical! I’ve just got to go and I can’t leave Sarah behind. Her parents are much poorer than we are! Oh, please, Mom!”

Kate remembered how much she had once wanted to go to a Wham concert, long ago and how her parents who were quite strict, had banned her from going. It had quite broken her teenage heart and she had thought at the time, she would never recover!

She sighed to herself and then said. “Okay, I’ll pay for the tickets, but it will have to be that and nothing else for your birthday and definitely, no extra treats!”

Ashley stood up delighted and hugged her mother excitedly and then ran to her cell phone and rang Sarah, shouting all the time, “We’re going, we’re really going!”

 

***

 

Kate worked at the electronics store the next day and after a few hours work, took a morning coffee break with two other workmates, while a part-time worker, Elaine minded the store. Oscar was a small, rotund man with a goatee and a gold earring in his left ear. He was an odd man who believed in world conspiracies and alien abductions which highly amused Kate at times, although she always listened to him with a respectful face, even if she sometimes strained to stop herself from giggling.

Kate no longer believed in a God or anything spiritual; her husband’s sudden death had quashed any religious feelings that she might have, once had.

The other workmate was her boss Dan Frost, a tall, pleasant-looking man of forty-five who loved the outdoors and somehow, seemed to be a rather incongruous owner of the small electronic store. She could best imagine him on a ship at sea or as a park ranger, rather than as a computer nerd!

Both men were bachelors and took an interest in Kate and Ashley’s life. They had followed Kate and Ashley’s struggles to set up a home; find employment and make a secure lifestyle for themselves, in the small town of Middletown. Ashley had often played in the store when she was little, while her mother worked and she had soon become a favourite of the two bachelors.

She told them of Ashley and Sarah’s wiles, to get her to pay for the two tickets to the Lucien concert and while Dan laughed, Oscar looked quite upset.

“I’m very suspicious of that Lucien fellow!” he said in a conspiratorial voice. “No one seems to know where he came from and what he talks about to those kids, at his concerts! You know that adults are banned from them, Kate?

An online contact, ‘Bigmommamullans’ told me that her daughter changed, once she had gone to one of them and became quite defiant! I wouldn’t let a child of mine go to one of his concerts!” he added emphatically, unaware of the obvious irony of being a bachelor with no children.

“Ah, but my parents felt the same about WHAM! And look how innocuous they turned out to be!” laughed Kate and drank the last sip of her coffee.

Dan merely smiled and answered in his serious way, “You’re a good mother, Kate and Ashley’s a smart girl. You know what to do.”

“Still, I’d investigate him myself, if I was you, Kate. Ashley’s a pretty precious cargo!” Oscar added defiantly.

Kate thought about his comment all day and that night, while Ashley did her homework, she looked up his details on Google. Oscar had been quite right; although there was lots of praise for Lucien’s singing abilities and his looks, there was very little about his origins.

She read that he had been born in the mid-west to farming people, orphaned young and moved to Los Angeles in his late teens, where his career seemed to flourish. He then went on to win a talent show on television and soon released several number one albums of his unique music.

His band, The Mist, half a dozen young men were much more commonly quoted or speculated upon, than he, Lucien was. However, they were rarely in trouble and it seemed that they advocated a ‘drug-free’ philosophy that relieved some of Kate’s anxieties.

She studied several publicity shots of Lucien, as he posed with a large friendly dog and sat contemplatively under a willow tree. Lucien’s slim body and almost feminine face with his trademark luminous green eyes were highlighted and she wondered, what thoughts went through his mind.

Was he lapping up all the acclaim and girlish worship knowing that like all music fads, he would one day be relegated to the ‘has-been’ pile? Or was he super-arrogant and believed that his success would go on forever?

He had charmed the press and all the television daytime hosts with his quick wit and good looks and had seemed to portray a clean image. Surely, he was just a passing celebrity fad?

She clicked the laptop shut and nodded; she was satisfied that he was just a current celebrity who could do no harm and she was quite justified in letting Ashley go to his concert. After all, she was unlikely to ever meet him and just sitting in the huge audience, surely couldn’t harm her. It was probably the worst mistake that Kate was ever to make, in her life!

 

[]Chapter Two

 

Lucien

 

Lucien slapped his current girlfriend, Alexis’ beautiful face with a resounding whack. She was a tall, statuesque model with long blonde hair and usually dreamy blue eyes; but not at the moment!

She gazed at him with astonishment and then burst into tears, holding her reddening cheek, in her carefully manicured hands. “What the hell, was that for!” she screeched in a very loud tone.

Lucien pointed at the lit marijuana joint, in the ashtray. “No drugs, whatsoever, I won’t say it, again!”

“But I’ve seen you take…” began the angry girl, but he cut her off with a fierce gleam of his cold, green eyes.

“Not now, not when we’re so close to victory!” he answered her. “Obey me or get out!”

The girl, Alexis nodded meekly and rose to stare at her face, in a gold-rimmed mirror on the wall. They were in the best suite of a local hotel and she had grown used to the luxury that Lucien and his manager, Zack Hobbs supplied and despite her boyfriend’s trigger temper, she was not going to let one violent action finish her luxurious life.

“Sorry darling, I won’t do it again!” she purred and sent him a sultry look. She was never just quite sure what it was that Lucien wanted from her, as he rarely visited her bed and seemed to dislike physical hugs and kisses, but she was used to being a trophy companion to older men and at least, he was young, attractive and very rich.

He had forgotten her in a few minutes and joined his manager Zack, a small, grey-haired man in the sitting room. He fidgeted and walked to and fro, as he said, “Is everything set up for the next town. Where is it, again?”

Zack spoke with a strong Brooklyn accent, while a lit cigar hung from his lips. “Middletown, a reasonably large and prosperous town. Lots of teenagers and very naïve parents! We should make a killing, there! The mayor even wants to give you the keys of the town! What a laugh, but we’ll go along with it! Won’t he regret that, some day! Ha ha!” he laughed nastily.

Lucien nodded; the plan was coming along nicely. Soon he could give up the singing star title and become something much more! His green eyes glowed at the thought.

 

***

 

Ashley and Sarah were examining each other critically, on the evening of the concert. Sarah wore a very short skirt of red stripes and a white low-cut top that Ashley privately thought made her look like a short, stumpy barber’s pole, but of course, she didn’t say so, as it would have hurt her best friend’s feelings.

They had been friends since kindergarten, at the local school and now in their last year at college, the bonds of friendship were still as strong, as ever. Sarah wanted to go on to complete a beautician’s course when she left school, but Ashley was still undecided. She had enjoyed writing essays and had written several pieces, for the monthly school newsletter; maybe she would do a journalism course, but then maybe something more exciting would come up.

She let Sarah admire her new shorts set in an aqua blue colour and she displayed her long, tanned body and shapely legs with a mock model’s pose.

“You look great, Ashley!” remarked Sarah with a sigh. “I wish I had your figure and height! I hate being short!”

Ashley tried hard to think of an asset of Sarah’s that she could admire and then, she smiled and said, “I wish I had your boobs, Sarah. You know how the boys love your cleavage!” This sent them both off into peals of girlish laughter.

For the truth was that the girls were quite old-fashioned in their own way and had only been on casual dates with boys from their school. And when any of those gawky and pimply youth had become too ‘hot and heavy,’ they had quickly ended the relationship.

“I wonder if we’ll ever meet real men who’ll take us seriously and treat us, as princesses?” asked Ashley with a sigh, for she was tired of her male classmates who she had known for years and seemed so bland and uninteresting.

“Maybe it will be different when we’re both working, Ash!” answered Sarah with a brighter look. “Surely then, we will meet some more sophisticated men, not just the usual boys!”

She looked at a silver watch on her plump wrist. “We’d better go! Is your Mom going to drive us?” Ashley nodded and called out to her mother that they were ready to go.

Kate was dressed in a smart trouser suit and ushered the excited girls out to the waiting car with an amused look. They talked about the concert and what they expected from it, for the ten minutes it took Kate to make their way, into the centre of town.

“Did you see on television, Lucien getting the keys of Middletown, Mrs. Thomas?” asked Sarah politely. Both girls had sat watching transfixed, as the mayoral ceremony proceeded.

“Yes, he seemed quite humbled, by the occasion” remarked Kate.

“Oh, he’s just so incredible! I can’t wait to hear him perform!” sighed the young girl in adoration, her brown eyes aglow.

“Just drop us down the street, a little, Mom!” instructed Ashley, as they drew up to the concert hall, where a large throng was gathered.

Kate smiled to herself; obviously, the girls didn’t want to be embarrassed by being seen chauffeured, by their mother. She remembered how she had once done the same thing to her long-suffering parents. She let them out and they scurried away.

“I’ll pick you up here, after the concert! Have a good time!” she called after them, before they disappeared into the crowd of teenagers.

Then she went shopping in the local mall for groceries and other household items, finishing with a coffee at a small café opposite the concert hall.

She saw several parents that she knew from school functions, also biding their time, waiting for their children to exit from the concert hall. One woman, Hilda Bryant, who worked on the local newspaper came and shared a small table with her.

“Are you waiting for a Lucien-crazed teen like I am, Hilda?” she asked with a smile at the wild, red-haired woman of fifty.

Hilda shook her wild mane. “No, no husband and no kids, thank God! However, as they wouldn’t allow any press over eighteen in the hall, I’ve sent a junior reporter in to cover the show. I hope he doesn’t get too distracted by it all and actually records, something newsworthy!”

She drank her coffee with a frown on her plain and world-weary face.

“What do you think of this Lucien phenomenon?” asked Kate.

“The usual teenage idol crap, I guess!” replied Hilda who had absently taken out a cigarette from her purse but now realized that she couldn’t light it, in this cigarette-free café. “I’ve seen it all before, from Elvis to Michael Jackson; girls love unobtainable but beautiful young men, but eventually it always passes on to some new discovery!”

Kate nodded. “I guess that you are right, Hilda.”

Just then, a huge crowd of young men and women began to exit from the concert hall. A young man crossed the street, entered the café and walked up to Hilda.

“Well, Barry, did you get the low-down on this Lucien fellow?” asked the gruff woman.

The junior reporter sighed and answered in an almost mechanical voice, “Lucien is a fine, upstanding member of the community. He sings well and his advice to the teens is kind and well-meant.”

Hilda raised a shaggy eyebrow. “Yes, but what else? That’s just like his publicity handouts! Didn’t you record his talk, like I asked you, Barry?”

Barry looked stumped for a moment. “The machine wouldn’t work. I guess the battery was dead. There’s nothing to write about, except that he discourages drug taking and wants us all to be good citizens!”

Hilda sighed. “Go home and get a good night’s sleep!”

The tall boy nodded and obediently went away.

“They don’t make junior reporters, like they used to!” exclaimed Hilda grabbing her bag and making for the exit, where she obviously wanted a cigarette!

Kate frowned. What a strange encounter that had been. The boy had almost seemed hypnotized! Then she paid for her coffee at the service desk and went out into the fresh night air. She saw Ashley and Sarah with a strange boy standing waiting, up the street.

She had expected the girls to be overcome with excitement and was surprised to see them quietly talking in whispers with the boy.

Ashley spoke up. “This is Jason; he’s in our class at school. He lives in Darby Street near us. Can we give him a lift home, Mom?”

Kate smiled at the tall, ginger-haired boy. “Of course! Did you all enjoy the concert?” The three teenagers nodded silently. Then, they filed into the car.

“What was Lucien like?” asked Kate surprised at their unusually subdued manner. Had they been disappointed in the costly show?

The girls looked at her blankly for a moment and then Sarah said in a strange voice, “Lucien is a fine, upstanding member of the community. He sings well and his advice to us teenagers is kind, practical and well meant.”

Kate looked a little shocked. These were almost the same strangely intoned words that the young reporter, Barry had spoken.

“Is this a joke, kids?” she asked in a light manner.

The boy, Jason looked at her censoriously. “Life is not a joke, Mrs. Thomas. We teenagers have a responsibility to change the things that are unjust.”

“And Lucien will show us how!” said Ashley in a very odd voice and Kate had a shiver run down her body. Something was not right!

She was happy to drop Jason and Sarah off at their respective homes and saw a look pass between the three teenagers. She heard the boy whisper “Tomorrow!” and then he and Sarah were gone.

“Now tell me what it was really like, Ashley?” she asked in a pleasant manner, but her daughter just gave her a steely look.

“I’m tired, Mom! It was awesome, just leave it at that!” And she went up to her bedroom, as soon as they reached home.

Kate thought about the teens’ odd reactions after the concert, but in the end, she just sighed and fell asleep, vowing that “she would never understand this new millennium generation!”

 

***

 

“Wow!” said Zack Hobbs sucking on a fat cigar, “That really went well, Lucien!”

“Just like all the other towns and cities, Zack!” the young man sat back in a comfortable armchair, in his luxury suite. His green eyes glowed and his lively face smiled with pleasure. “It’s coming together, just like I intended; another year or so and it will be complete!”

Zack looked at his young protégée with mixed feelings. He was pleased with all the success and money that they had made over the last year, but he was never quite sure of Lucien himself. The boy had come to his notice last year, when he had won a television singing show and he had quickly snapped him up as a client. However, he had never imagined the quick success that they would have, around the world.

He had tried to discourage Lucien from shows in hick towns such as this one, Middletown, as a waste of time when they could pack the Palladium, in London or the Disney Theatre, in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, Lucien had adamantly refused to give up touring the smaller towns and cities, saying that, “he wanted everyone to feel his energy and see his genius!”

Zack had further been surprised, when he insisted on holding concerts in the strangest and remotest places. Lucien had held a concert for only a few hundred people at Uluru, the giant red rock in Central Australia and then later, a free concert near Stonehenge, in England.

Other even peculiar sites had been chosen, to display Lucien’s talents, but Zack ever eager for money and publicity had gone along with his client’s decisions, even if he personally disagreed with them. Yet, it was not only the strange places that they visited for concerts that worried Zack, but also rather the way that Lucien spoke to the young men and women who attended them.

All adults were banned from these talks and most of the show, but Zack had overheard some of Lucien’s speeches and he had been seriously puzzled, by them. He spoke of adult conspiracies to keep the young people’s talents and rights suppressed and that one day – Unity of the Youth would prevail! Zack was not quite sure what he meant by this, but somehow it continued to worry him.

Of even of more concern was that he had found out that the free water coolers and plastic cups that they dispersed around the concert hall, were laced with a carefully diluted solution of the Colombian drug, Devil’s Breath. However, when questioned, Lucien merely murmured that it made them more amenable to his music and suggestions and would not harm them, in the long run.

Zack sighed and sucked on his fine Havana cigar, he muted his conscience with the old adage, “Let the future come what will, just as long as his pockets were full of coin!”

“I want more interaction with the really committed boys and girls in my audiences, Zack!” said Lucien with a smile. “Lets start to invite the serious ones who come to see me at least twice, to meet me behind the scenes; particularly the personable ones. You know the prettiest girls and the alpha males at the colleges! The ones who can influence others, to love me!”

Zack looked concerned. “Hey, we’ve got to be careful, Lucien! We don’t want to get the parents outraged or we may get bad publicity!”

“I can manage it! And I’ve got a few other ideas, as well! Just let me plan them and you carry them out, right? Or I can find another manager who will!”

Zack nodded glumly, oh for the old days of singers who got drunk and threw television sets out of hotel windows!

 

[]Chapter Three

 

Conspiracies

 

The next day, Ashley seemed to be back to her old self and spoke of the concert with more enthusiasm.

“He was awesome, Mom, really awesome! I’ve just got to go to another of his concerts! There is one at Reinier, tomorrow night. Please let me go!”

Kate looked surprised. “Ashley, you’ve already had two hundred dollars worth of tickets! I’m certainly, not going to pay for any more! I’m not made of money!”

Ashley’s pretty face grew sullen. “You’re always unfair! All grown-ups are. You’ll see what happens when the youth become unified!”

“I think this Lucien has been a bad influence on you teens!” said Kate in a shocked voice. “You are definitely not going to Reinier or buying, any more tickets!”

Ashley glared, thumped away and grabbed her schoolbooks, then headed for the bus stop. Here she met Sarah and the tall, ginger-haired boy, Jason.

“Let’s skip school and plan what we’re going to do next!” he said and the two girls nodded and followed him to the backyard of a deserted house.

Sarah was feeling a little guilty for she had never skipped school before, but she looked at Ashley’s determined face and went along with her and the tall boy.

They sat on old outdoor chairs that were flaking paint and rusty, but reveled in their rebellion.

“I saw on Lucien’s blog page that he is inviting teens like us to meet him backstage, if they attend his concerts more than once! Wouldn’t that be amaze-balls!” Jason said in an awed voice.

Sarah sighed and Ashley looked gloomy. “I’ve already asked my Mom and she definitely said no! And I’ve got no money of my own, except my college account and Mom has the bank book!”

“You remember what Lucien said last night – we have to become resourceful and get what we want from life and not worry about what our parents and other authority figures want!” said Jason soberly.

The two girls nodded. “But how?” they said in unison.

Then they sat and discussed the practicalities.

 

***

 

“How did Ashley go, at the Lucien concert?” Dan asked Kate over their coffee break. Oscar listened for her reply with barely contained excitement.

“Not good! She and Sarah and a new friend Jason all behaved most oddly!” remarked Kate with a frown. “They quoted some odd things he said and then she had the nerve to ask me for more money for tickets, to his next concert in Reinier. Can you beat that?”

Dan nodded. “Oh, well, you can’t blame her for trying. I remember when I would have done anything, to see Cher perform. I thought she was really smoking hot!”

“I don’t think that the Lucien concert tours are as innocuous, as most other shows!” remarked Oscar eagerly. “I’ve been studying him online and the places he holds his concerts, are all very strange!

He’s been to Uluru in Australia, the Great Pyramid at Giza, Glastonbury in the U.K., Machu Picchu in Peru, Mount Cook in New Zealand, The Gobi desert and Mount Shasta. You know what those places are, don’t you?” The two co-workers shook their heads.

“They’re the seven major chakra centres of the Earth. The most powerful places where natural energy builds-up. This Lucien guy is planning to tap these energies and I bet you, it ain’t for something good!” he ended with a grimace.

Kate would have usually exchanged amused glances with Dan who also found Oscar’s conspiracy theories improbable, but today, she just shook her head.

“Why would Lucien do that? And couldn’t it just be a coincidence?”

Oscar snorted. “What, he just happened to visit the seven major chakra centres in the world, by chance? No, Kate, he’s up to something!”

Kate shrugged her slim shoulders and looked perturbed.

“Maybe, now he’s gone from Middletown, it will all die down and Ashley will get back to her normal self, again!”

That afternoon, to her surprise, Ashley and Sarah came into the store and the girls apologized for their odd behavior. They explained that they had just been over-excited and tired and Kate, pleased to have the problem resolved, kissed them both and easily forgave them.

“Dan, we’d like to help out in the store, to help Mom and you all. Go and have a coffee and we will serve the customers!” Ashley sounded so sincere that Dan smiled and took her up on her offer.

He, Oscar and Kate made a pot of coffee in the back room and sat down for a rest. Their part-time worker, Elaine had the afternoon off, so the break was truly appreciated. Kate was rather proud of the young girls’ generous offer.

When they were gone, the girls served two customers and then nodded to each other. Jason sidled into the store and bought a cheap memory stick and Ashley opened the cash register and handed him two hundred dollars in change, for his proffered ten-dollar note. Then he quietly left the store.

When Dan and Kate returned from their break, pleased with the young girls’ efforts, Ashley asked if she could spend the night at Sarah’s home, so that they could study together and Kate smiled and nodded her agreement. She knew that she could trust them both and Sarah’s rather strict parents would keep an eagle eye, on them both.

The girls then said goodbye and left the store giggling to themselves and went to meet Jason in a local park.

“Wow! You are so cool, Ashley! We can now all go to the concert in Reinier, tonight with the money you stole and with the money, I got from my Dad! He’s flown out’a town on business, so I can drive his BMW there, as well. We’ll go in style! Did they believe your story about staying at Sarah’s?”

Ashley nodded and Sarah agreed to tell her parents that she was staying at Ashley home. They could then stay out as late, as they wanted. Then the girls went home to eat and change for the evening concert. Jason was eager to borrow his dad’s car, to take them the forty miles to Reinier. Hopefully, his busy father would not notice the miles used, when he next drove the car.

“This is going to be so A1!” laughed Ashley free of guilt and full of excitement. She would do anything for Lucien!

The girls had arranged to meet Jason on the corner, a little away from the house, but he was late in coming. He had just pulled up to the curb, when Ashley spied her mother’s blue sedan turning the corner. She pushed Sarah quickly into the car and then she bobbed down, as her mother drove by.

Kate had seen the movement out of the corner of her eye, but quickly dismissed the tall, blonde figure as being Ashley. She didn’t know anyone with a BMW and surely, she was safely spending the night, at the Wilkins’ home.

She had a long, scented bath and then made herself a simple salad and went and sat outside on the patio. It was lovely not to hear Ashley’s music system blaring away with strident rock music. For a moment, she felt a stab of loneliness. How she would love to share such peaceful moments with a compatible male companion!

Kate had never quite got over the death of her beloved husband Joseph, fourteen years ago and she tended to judge every male she later met, against his caring nature and humorous wit. Somehow any men she met, never quite came up to her deceased husband’s level. She sadly wondered, if she was meant to be a widow, all her life.

There came a knock on the front door and she hurried to open it. She wore a blue and silver striped kaftan that highlighted her large grey eyes. She was surprised to see her employer Dan standing there, but she ushered him inside with a welcoming smile. She had always admired the reserved, but caring man and was grateful for the job that he had given her, when she was grieving and moneyless, after Joseph’s death.

Dan looked very uncomfortable and for a second, she wondered if he had come to sack her and her heart skipped a frightened beat. How would she and Ashley manage without her weekly pay packet?

“What’s the matter, Dan?” she asked him in a soft voice.

Dan sighed. “I don’t know how to tell you this, Kate. I know things can still be tough for you, bringing up Ashley and all”. He stopped for a moment and his pleasant face grew red. “But the thing is, er, when I tallied up the takings, at the end of the day; I found two-hundred dollars was missing!”

Kate looked surprised. “Perhaps, you totaled it wrong or something got misplaced?”

“I checked it half a dozen times, Kate. I’m sorry to say it, but someone stole two-hundred dollars from the till!”

Dan looked quite anguished.

“Well, call the police, Dan! It must have been a sneak thief!” Then she suddenly stopped. “You’re not suggesting that it was me or Oscar?”

“No, of course, not!” he blustered. “I think it was Sarah and Ashley!”

Kate felt her anger rise. “Never! You are saying that my daughter and sweet Sarah are thieves! I’ll never believe that, Dan!” and she glared at him, her grey eyes fierce.

“It probably is a mistake, Kate or just a silly trick the girls are playing. Let me talk to Ashley and we’ll get it all sorted!” Dan tried to sound reasonable, but Kate was still mad.

Kate explained that Ashley was at Sarah’s home and she offered to accompany him there, to speak to the girls. She went upstairs and changed into a pair of dark slacks and a grey linen tunic. She knew that Sarah’s parents were quite old-fashioned and she wanted to present a more conservative image.

They drove in silence to the Wilkins’ home, a large, well-kept timber house with a neat garden. Kate walked to the front door and rang the bell. In a few minutes, Mrs. Wilkins opened the door and smiled tiredly at Kate. She had six children and the thin, older woman seemed constantly strained and exhausted by the fact.

“I’d like to speak to Ashley, please Marjorie”. She said in a determined manner.

“But she and Sarah are spending the night, at your place!” replied the harassed woman. “That’s what Sarah told me, anyway! Are you telling me, they’re not there?”

Kate sighed. “Any idea, where they could have gone, Marjorie? The mall or the movies?”

“Sarah’s got no money; she spent it all on that Lucien concert!” she sniffed derisively. “Tried to get her father to take her to Reinier, to see him perform, again. As if, we could afford to do that! They’re all mad about that boy!”

Kate assured her that she would search for the girls and let Mrs. Wilkins know, when they were both found. Then, she walked gloomily back to Dan and the car.

“My apologies, Dan! It seems that you were right. The girls have disappeared!” Her face was filled with remorse. “Hey, I just remembered that I thought I saw Ashley getting into a BMW this afternoon, on the way home from work. I thought it was just a trick of my imagination, but it must have been right!

I can’t believe that she and Sarah would steal money from you and then, have someone drive them to the concert. What can we do?” She sounded close to tears.

“I can drive us to the concert and see if we can find the girls and then sort out the whole mess. Don’t worry, Kate, it will be okay!” He tried to sound assured, but he was concerned about this uncharacteristic act by the two girls, who he had thought of, as young friends.

It was a long ninety-minute drive to the large town of Reinier and Kate spent most of the time, wondering where she had gone wrong with Ashley. Had she spoilt the girl or been too restrictive with her? Raising a teenage girl alone was not an easy job!

Dan glanced occasionally, at his companion’s serious face. He admired Kate, very much and would have liked to give her a caring hug, but he worried that she would take it the wrong way. He despised men who sexually harassed their work staff and he didn’t want their future working relationship, to be strained.

“You don’t have to return the money, Kate. I’ll write it off as a tax loss.” He explained in a croaky voice. He didn’t want that additional burden, on her.

However, Kate glared at him fiercely. “Of course, I’ll return it, Dan. Its a matter of honour!” and after that, she grew silent.

Finally, the bright lights of the town came into view and Kate drew a sigh of relief. Now, they would find the two culprits, read them the “riot act” and take them home to their own safe beds. However, things were not to be so simple.

 

[]Chapter Four

 

Deeper

 

Ashley, Sarah and Jason made good time and arrived at the concert hall, just as the main doors opened. They parked the car behind the town hall, in a large car park and walked down a brightly lit flight of stairs, to the entrance. Thousands of excited fans milled around the front of the concert hall.

They presented their tickets to a young usherette and made sure that she knew that this was their second concert performance that they had attended. Both girls hoped that they would be soon invited to a private audience with Lucien, after the show!

They were all hot and flustered by the time, they found their seats and drank copious amounts of the free water provided. They were soon giggly and a little disoriented.

When Lucien made his dramatic entrance dressed entirely in black, they screamed and called out his name in unison with thousands of other excited teens.

He and his band, The Mist played several loud rock instrumentals and then when the screaming stopped, he sat on a stool and sang a compilation of haunting melodies. You could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium, as the young crowd swayed silently, absorbing his rebellious message.

He sang of old desires and young yearnings and for their souls to be free from the bondage of older parents and teachers. He sang of unity and how, as one combined power, they could rule the world and make it, in their own free-spirited image. The young men and women hung on to every word that he spoke.

Then he stopped singing and with his natural charm and wit, he made them laugh at the absurdities of current life. Of the strict rules and regulations that deep down, they all hated. He spoke of their natural talents and psychic gifts and how this conservative culture kept them bound to the earth, rather than soaring to the stars! They lapped up each word, as if it was manna from heaven!

Then, as their natural rebelliousness grew and they hankered to go out into the cold world and pull down all that their parents had worked for, he calmed them down and explained that their time was near, but not quite yet. They gave a collective sigh of frustration.

“We shall rise as one synergetic power and overturn the archaic laws of the past and you will be princes and princesses, on earth!” he told them in a rising voice full of promise. “But for now, you must enlist others to our cause. You must act stealthily, so that those in power do not suspect! You must act like good children, while you gnaw away at the legs of society and then quash its dark heart! And I shall be your leader!”

He stood triumphantly. The crowd began to chant “Lucien, Lucien, Lucien, our leader!” and he beamed on them, as a wise father.

Several of his group members raised their arms and showed a tattoo on their wrists. It was displayed on an electronic monitor board behind them. It showed an inverted cross in a circle, but Lucien explained it in a very different way.

He ran his finger along the enlarged image and he traced the L and explained that this represented his name Lucien. The reversed L stood for Love and the circle for the entire youth of the world. The eyes of the young men and women lit up. They would each get this tattoo and wear it proudly, for Lucien!

He left them chanting, “Unity is power! Youth Unity is Ultimate power!” and the auditorium erupted in excited cheering and clapping.

Ashley and Sarah held each other’s hands excitedly, while Jason’s eyes glowed. “I’m gonna’ get that tattoo, tomorrow!” he said determinedly.

Then the girls made their way, to where a young usher stood. He looked up their names on an Ipad and then nodded; they could go through to the smaller conference room, to meet Lucien. The girls suppressed squeals and hurried into the large room. To their disappointment, they found another one-hundred, star-struck teenagers, all who had seen the show before.

“I thought that we would be the only ones!” complained Sarah with a cross look.

Just then, Lucien entered the room accompanied by a short man smoking a cigar. He went around the room greeting each guest and speaking a few words of encouragement. His fans were almost mute, in his presence.

When he came up to the three teens, Sarah shrunk back in shyness and Jason looked star-struck. However, from somewhere, Ashley got a burst of confidence and she smiled at him widely and looked deep into his green eyes.

“I’m Ashley Thomas and I’m proud to welcome you to Reinier! You are our future!” she said and her blue/grey eyes beamed at him.

He looked her up and down and liked what he saw – a beautiful, young girl with golden hair and an open, confident nature. His intuition told him that she was a virgin and just, what he would need for his plans, in the future.

He took her hand in his and ignoring the others, he walked from the room with her beside him. He led her into a smaller, but ornately decorated room and sat beside her on a red velvet lounge.

His green eyes glowed in his handsome face, “Now, Ashley Thomas, let us get to know one another better!”

 

***

 

Meanwhile Kate and Dan had arrived at the theatre and watched, as the young people exited. They received many frosty looks, as they tried to make their way into the lobby. They could not see the trio anywhere. For a while they separated, but eventually came back together; it seemed their desperate search was over.

“Are there any other rooms, where they could have gone?” Kate sternly asked a young usherette who backed away from her. “I must find my daughter and her friends!”

The young girl stammered that they could be with the special group who were meeting Lucien and she showed the two adults the door, to the room.

“But you mustn’t go in! Lucien wouldn’t like it!” she squealed in horror.

“Tough luck, for Lucien!” Kate stated in a determined voice and pushed the door open.

Dan and she surveyed a room full of surprised young people, but Ashley was not there. However, Kate did spy Sarah, trying to hide behind a sofa. She bound across the room and demanded of her young friend, “Where’s Ashley?”

Sarah turned a deep crimson and Jason looked quite uncomfortable. Kate recognized him as the boy that they had given a lift to, the previous night. “Where is she, Jason?”

Jason sighed. “Lucien took her in there!” he pointed to a far door.

Dan and Kate shared a worried look and then she stormed across the room and swung the door open wide. Her heart was in her mouth; what would she find?

 

[]Chapter Five

 

Fears

 

Ashley lay fast asleep on a red couch, her fair head resting on a golden cushion. There was no one else in the small room. If Lucien had been here, he had fled at their arrival.

She shook Ashley awake and her daughter merely smiled as she complained to her of her rebellious actions, stealing Dan’s money and sneaking away to the forbidden concert.

“Oh, Mom, be cool!” she murmured and Kate furious by now, dragged her up off the couch and shook her.

“I’ll be cool, alright!” she shouted, “So cool, that I’m going to get the police to charge your Lucien with abduction and rape!”

That brought Ashley quickly to her senses. “He didn’t abduct or rape me, Mom. And I’ll tell the police, so! He just talked to me and oh, he’s so great! I’m going to have a special place, in his movement!” her grey/blue eyes glowed at the thought.

“You’re coming home and you’re never going out again, until you’re an old woman!” screamed Kate, losing all her patience. “Now, get Sarah and we’re going home!”

Ashley did as she was told, but with an air of suppressed amusement. Sarah and she were placed in the back seat of Dan’s car and Jason told to drive home, alone. The drive home was chilly and silent.

Kate escorted Sarah to her front door and spoke with Marjorie Wilkins, as she handed the sobbing girl over.

“Don’t worry Kate, she won’t ever have anything to do with that Lucien fellow, again; her father will make sure of that!” And the sobbing Sarah was sternly rushed inside.

When Dan drew up at her own home, Kate turned to him and thanked him in a choked voice. “I couldn’t have done it without you!” she said with tears in her grey eyes, but Dan brushed her thanks aside.

Then she turned to Ashley and said, “Apologise to Dan for stealing that money and boy, are you ever going to repay it!”

Ashley hung her head and whispered an apology, but both adults knew that she didn’t really mean it. They exchanged sad glances and then Kate escorted her into the house and followed her upstairs, to her bedroom. She sank on her bed as if exhausted, but Kate was not finished with her.

“You are grounded miss, for six months. No pocket money and no outings! You go to school and then straight home and you are barred from seeing Sarah and speaking about that loathsome Lucien!”

However, Ashley just peered at her under her fringe of blonde hair. “I’ll be eighteen next month, Mom! And then you can’t stop me, doing what I want!” and she put her face close to her mother’s sad face. “And what I want is to be with Lucien!”

After that argument, a silent war raged between the two. Ashley was confined to home after school and her weekly pocket money was suspended, until the debt to Dan was paid off.

Ashley however, was determined to get a tattoo like The Mist members and she thought about how she could get one, without money. At school, she spoke about Lucien to her classmates and talked a dozen students into booking for a tattoo, at a local parlour. Then she approached the tattoo artist and promised him the twelve clients, if he did her a tattoo for free.

A thin man covered in tattoos and piercings, he admired her entrepreneurial spirit and agreed. Soon she was sporting a small blue inverted cross in a circle, on her upper arm. The other students, who admired Lucien, soon followed suit.

Kate spied the small blue tattoo one morning, when Ashley’s tee-shirt rode up on her arm and she grew white with anger.

“How could you Ashley! You know we agreed no tattoos or piercings; they’ll harm your job prospects!”

“I don’t care! And don’t worry Mother, I didn’t steal the money to get it done!” she snorted and swished her long, blonde hair in derision. “It shows, I now belong to Lucien and I do!”

Kate shook her dark head and went upstairs and sadly stared at a framed photograph of her dead husband, Joseph. “Where did I go wrong?’ she asked him with her grey eyes full of tears, but the blonde man with the solid looks, frozen in time, did not answer.

Soon it was the eve of Ashley’s eighteenth birthday and Kate relented a little. “If you would like to have Sarah over tomorrow night, we could get some pizza in, to celebrate the day!” she offered tentatively.

But Ashley shook her head. “No, thanks, that’s for kids!” and she stalked away.

Kate had repaid the money to Dan who had been reluctant to take it. “All teenagers make mistakes!” he said in a kind voice.

At a coffee break, she reluctantly told them about Ashley’s new tattoo and when she described it to the two men, Oscar’s dark eyes lit up.

“You know what that symbol is, Kate?” he said with a worried look. “It’s sometimes called Saint Peter’s cross cause it is inverted and he died as a martyr upside down on a cross, but it is also the sign of the Antichrist!”

Kate looked shocked. “Surely not! Well, half the kids in Ashley’s class are wearing it, now!”

“Isn’t the devil’s sign supposed to be 666?” asked Dan bewildered by the whole subject.

“Nah,” answered Oscar “that’s a bit of a red-herring; it’s actually the symbol of humankind. I think if this Lucien is taking that other symbol for his own, then he’s a pretty nasty guy!”

“He’s certainly got Ashley mesmerized!” sighed Kate with a deep frown line between her eyes.

“Don’t worry, Kate. I’m sure this is just a rebellious stage, she’s going through and she will soon be our old Ashley, again!” Dan didn’t like to see Kate, so worried.

Kate tried to smile and she nodded and stood up and went back to work, but despite Dan’s encouragement, she was deeply disturbed about her daughter’s future.

 

***

 

“One more concert at Pierre and then, I want to go back to the ranch!” Lucien told his manager Zack. “I need to gather my energy and plan for the future.”

Zack nodded, whatever the ‘cash-cow’ wanted was okay with him, but he wondered how long they would be successful before the kids infatuation with Lucien waned and their financial bubble burst.

He had never seen the thousand-acre property that Lucien had bought outside Belle Fourche in Butte County, South Dakota and wondered how many of his admiring acolytes would accompany him there. Obviously, Alexis, the tall blonde would join him, although he suspected that Lucien was beginning to tire of her.

She had been an international model who had visions of starring in Hollywood, until she fell for his charisma and joined him on tour, but would she last? Zack didn’t think so, but maybe he could sign her up as a client and manage her future career, while she was still news-worthy. He sucked on his cigar with a satisfied air.

‘Oh, and if that blonde girl, Ashley from Middletown shows up, bring her to me backstage! I have plans for her!” The young man’s green eyes gleamed. Oh, yes, she was central to his ambitions!

 

[]Chapter Six

 

The Runaway

 

“Happy Birthday, Ash!” Kate said and kissed her daughter on her soft cheek, but she turned away. “Oh, Ash don’t spoil your birthday, you’re only eighteen once! Besides, your curfew is over; I’ve repaid Dan and we can get back to normal!”

Ashley sighed. “Don’t make a fuss, Mom. I’m an adult now and not a kid!”

“Well, after you sit your final exams, we can discuss if you’re going on to university or want to get a job locally. Its just a few months, Ashley and then, you can leave school behind and be more grown-up!” Kate was trying to be fair.

Ashley opened her mouth as if to argue, but merely got up saying, “I’ve got to catch the school bus!” But, she did kiss her mother on her cheek, which pleased Kate. Maybe they could get through this painful phase and back to their old loving relationship!

She walked towards the bus stop and then quickly ducked into the backyard of the abandoned house. Here Sarah and Jason were waiting.

“Happy Birthday, Ash!” squealed Sarah, her dark eyes large. “Are you really, going to do it?”

Ashley nodded and looked at Jason, “Have you got your father’s car?”

He nodded. “All gassed up and ready to go! Do you know where Lucien is, now?”

“At Pierre.” answered Ashley taking clothes out of her school bag and changing into them, behind a hedge of laurel. “By the time Mom finds out I’m gone, it will be too late. I’ll be with him and she can’t get me to come home, as I’m eighteen now!”

“What about your final exams?” asked Sarah

“I don’t care about them. I’ll be with Lucien that’s all that matters!” she assured her friend.

Soon they were driving along the highway to Pierre, playing loud rock music interspersed by Lucien’s haunting melodies. They stopped for hamburgers and cokes halfway and then, proceeded to their destination. At last, they pulled-up in front of the concert hall.

“How are you going to get in to see him?” asked Jason as he saw a guard at the entrance.

“Something will happen!” murmured Ashley with confidence. A few minutes later, she spied Lucien’s manager come outside and light-up a cigar and she hurried over to him.

“Do you remember me, Mr. Hobbs? I’m Ashley, Lucien invited me to come to Pierre and be with him!”

The small man looked her up and down and nodded. “Sure kid, come inside! But not the others; Lucien’s rehearsing!”

Sarah and Jason looked crest-fallen; they had hoped to meet the great idol.

“Maybe, I can get him to invite you to his ranch, one day when he’s not working.” She offered kindly and they nodded agreement.

She hugged them both and saw them walk away towards the car. For a brief second, she wondered if she had done the right thing, severing all her chords with home and then, she thought of Lucien and knew that all would be right!

Lucien smiled knowingly, when he saw her standing beside Zack in the wings of the theatre and he strolled over and kissed her. “I knew that you would come!” he said in an exalted voice. She looked so fresh and young in a yellow dress that accentuated her fair beauty.

Then he returned to his rehearsal. Suddenly a heavy weight fell from the ceiling and just missed him by inches. His green eyes flashed heavenward and the next moment, a teenage boy fell heavily with a scream to the floor. Everybody stood stunned.

Ashley ran over and knelt beside the prone boy. His leg was at an odd angle and she realized that it was broken.

“We must get an ambulance quick!” she said staring up at Lucien who looked undisturbed. Then he relented and walked towards the kneeling girl and prone boy.

“No need! I will heal him!” he said softly and knelt and put his two hands on the boy’s hip and leg. A glow came around Lucien and everyone present held their collective breath. Then the boy’s leg snapped back into place and looked whole again.

“Hey, it’s okay now!” said the boy who stood up and walked around a little. “I’m sorry about the weight falling, Lucien. I’m such a clumsy devil!”

Lucien nodded and strode away with Ashley running behind him. She caught up to him and took his hand, but she saw him flinch and she dropped it.

“You have incredible healing powers, Lucien! You should show the world! Why you could heal people on stage and attract even more followers!” her eyes were bright with ideas.

“And sap my own powers! I think not!” he muttered and she looked surprised. “Perhaps, I will do some special cases, just for you, sweet Ashley!” He did not want to lose her adulation.

“Maybe, you could choose them for me and I will heal several on stage each show. Can you do that?” he smiled at her and she nodded eagerly.

“Yes, you’re just like a saint or Jesus or something!” she said looking at him adoringly. But instead, he looked affronted and walked away and she had to hurry after him again. It was difficult being with a genius, but she would try to please him, if she could!

Later, she was given a room in his luxury hotel suite. It was small, but well appointed and she was happy merely to be near him and his entourage. Later, she sat alone with him, as he talked of going to his ranch in Butte County after the concert. He played with her golden hair and seemed bemused by her adulation. He inspected her new tattoo and laughed.

“Do you want to see the original?” he asked her and pulled up his shirtsleeve. There, she saw a small but distinct birthmark with the familiar inverted cross and circle in white against his bronze skin.

“Does it really mean Lucien and Love, as you spoke about, on stage?’ she asked him shyly, as she traced the strange pattern.

“It means, what you want it to mean!” he laughed coldly.

Just then, the tall, blonde model Alexis strode into the room and saw the two sitting on the sofa. Her blue eyes gleamed with anger.

“Who is this slut!” she screamed and went to strike Ashley.

“Leave her alone! She is my new lover, my future bride!” Lucien answered coldly. “Pack your things, Alexis and leave! Your time is over!”

The older woman looked shocked, but she drew herself up haughtily and said, “You will regret this Lucien. I know more about you then you believe! I will drag your name through the mud with the press and everyone will know your nasty, little secrets!” And she strode from the room. They heard her sobs, as she packed he clothes and swept through the rooms, to the exit.

“Leave me!” he said moodily to Ashley and she quietly stole away, feeling a little guilty. She hadn’t wanted to hurt the blonde, but she just knew that she was meant to be with Lucien. Wasn’t all fair, in love and war?

Alexis got into her car and began to drive away, tears still running down her cheeks. After a few miles, the motor suddenly accelerated and she found the car speeding through the streets. She tried the brakes, but they didn’t work and she looked very frightened.

Suddenly the car veered towards a stone-wall and the steering wheel seemed frozen. She pulled on the handbrake and crossed her arms over her beautiful face. There was a resounding crash and as the car’s air bags inflated, she lost consciousness.

 

***

 

Meanwhile, Kate had come home, to spend a celebratory meal with Ashley. She had bought a pizza and a sponge cake and set the table with the best crockery. She was surprised to find the house empty, but reasoned that after the curfew of the last six weeks, Ashley would probably be celebrated her regained freedom with Sarah and her friends.

However, by nine o’clock, she became worried and rang the Wilkins’ home. Sarah answered and sounded quite flustered and refused to say where Ashley was, which upset Kate. She demanded to speak to Sarah’s mother and the tired woman listened, put down the receiver, went away for a few minutes to question Sarah and then she returned.

“I’m sorry Kate, she told me that Ashley’s run away to be with that Lucien fellow. They drove her to Pierre and he’s staying at a hotel, there. I can’t believe Sarah would do that! She’s always been such a good girl!” lamented Mrs. Wilkins.

“They’ve all had their heads turned by that Lucien!” groaned Kate. Then she hastily thanked her and hung up.

Just then, the phone rang and she picked it up tentatively, perhaps it was Ashley ringing to say that she wanted to come home, but instead it was her boss, Dan. She told him what had happened and he instantly offered to drive her to Pierre, an hour and a half away.

She sighed with relief. “I can’t always be depending on you to help, Dan” she said with a sob “but I’m oh, so grateful that you can help!”

He soon turned up in his car and she ran outside and joined him. They discussed the matter, as they drove along and Kate noticed how she had come to depend on Dan’s good common sense and caring manner. At one point, he leant over and took her hand in his and squeezed them reassuringly and she was surprised how comfortable and right, it felt.

Dan had been in love with Kate, since he had first hired her as a sales woman, not long after she was newly widowed and he had watched her deal with her problems and raising Ashley, with admiring eyes.

He had not wanted to frighten the young, grieving widow by making romantic overtures and then somehow, he had left it too late and they had just become friendly workmates. Perhaps, now she was finally over Joseph’s death, she could consider a future with him? If only they could solve this immediate problem with Ashley, maybe then, he would have a chance!

By the time they reached Pierre, the concert Hall was dark and empty and they sat in the car discussing their next move. They decided to call all of the larger hotels and see, if Lucien’s entourage was staying there. It took some time, but at last, they found a hotel night-staff member who reluctantly confirmed that Lucien was staying there. But the same man refused to forward any phone calls to his luxury suite.

“We’ll have to go there and book in and try to find Ashley ourselves!” Kate reasoned and Dan agreed. So they proceeded to the large hotel and registered, as Mr. and Mrs. Frost which made Kate blush slightly.

They freshened up in the hotel room and then began to prowl the hotel corridors. They heard loud music coming from the rooms above and found that it was the presidential suite and that it was only accessible, from a private locked elevator.

“Let’s go back and have a nap in our room and then, be ready to confront Ashley, when she leaves in the morning!” advised Dan, while Kate who would have sat stubbornly by the exit all night, reluctantly agreed.

They set the alarm for six o’clock and then each lay down on the soft twin beds, fully clothed and drifted off to sleep. Dan sighed; he had often dreamed of sharing a bedroom with his beautiful Kate, but not quite like this!

In the morning, the alarm woke them and they took turns to watch the elevator door, while the other showered and had breakfast. There were no stirrings from the presidential suite until ten o’clock, when several band members exited carrying their hand luggage and their guitars.

Kate heard one of them say that Lucien would be down in a few minutes and she and Dan waited expectantly. Finally, they heard loud voices, one of which sounded like Ashley and the two adults stood ready to spring.

Kate saw Ashley holding on to the arm of the infamous Lucien with an adoring smile on her face. He looked a little bored and surly. He frowned when he saw them standing there and mistakenly took them for older fans.

However, Ashley turned white and exclaimed, “Mom!” before hiding behind Lucien’s back.

“Ashley, you must come home with me now!” pleaded her mother with tears in her grey eyes.

But Ashley merely groaned and asked Lucien to help her. Suddenly his green eyes gleamed and a strange white mist began to fill the room. It enveloped them all and it was soon impossible to see, anything more than six inches away. Kate and Dan felt as if they were both suffocating and sank to the floor. The strange mist seemed to sap their strength.

They heard running footsteps and then silence. The mist gradually dispersed and they found themselves alone, lying on the carpeted floor.

“Oh my god, what was that?” exclaimed Kate. “And where’s Ashley?” She and Lucien had made their escape and when the worried adults later searched the hotel car park, they found that the entire entourage had left, ten minutes ago to an unknown destination.

They went back to their hotel room and Kate cried hopelessly, for a few minutes. Dan held her in his strong arms. They discussed the strange mist and how time seemed to be suspended for a while, but they could not make any sense of it.

“I’ve heard that he is supposed to have strong psychic powers, but I thought that it was just publicity hype!” murmured Kate despairing. “How will we ever get Ashley back from him? He must have enchanted her, somehow!”

“Don’t give up too soon, Kate; we’ll try another way!” said Dan holding her tight, but he wasn’t sure, just what.

 

***

 

Ashley felt very guilty about leaving her mother and Dan behind, in the hotel corridor. She had been amazed to see Lucien manifest the strange mist, in the hallway and see it surround the two adults. However, it had allowed them to make their escape and now they were heading along the highway towards Lucien’s ranch. He had assured her that the strange mist would not hurt them and that it would merely disorient them, for a time.

Ashley was so happy to be in his presence that she soon forgot about her mother and Dan. She thought back to the previous night, when he had allowed her to sleep beside him in his huge king bed, but he had not tried to make love to her, which had disappointed her, a little.

“Let’s wait for the right time!” he had reassured her with icy cold kisses and she had then fallen asleep in his arms.

In the morning, dressed in their bathrobes, they had heard of Alexis’ car crash and severe injuries and she had expected him to be upset, but he had merely watched the television newscast with an expressionless face. “She was going to betray me, she deserves this!” he said coldly and walked from the room.

His manager Zack Hobbs sitting in the corner sucking on his ubiquitous cigar pointed to Ashley with his index finger, “Take note, young lady, betray him or if he gets bored with you, then you will be pole-axed, just as quickly as poor Alexis!”

She looked startled at this comment and quickly left the room to shower and dress. She hadn’t considered that Lucien would ever tire of her; wasn’t he talking about making her his bride? Her heart fluttered at the thought.

And last night, hadn’t she handpicked two young people from the audience, to be healed by Lucien? It had been a great success and the audience had cheered wildly and left praising his psychic abilities, when he helped a young girl stand from her wheelchair and a young man had a large, red birthmark removed from his face.

Lucien had smiled and nodded to her, after his healing work and she felt that he had realized that her bright idea had worked. Surely, she was of more value to him than the vain and spoilt Alexis? She dressed in a low cut white blouse and tight jeans and placed four-inch heels on her dainty feet.

Lucien smiled when he saw her and unusually held her tight in his arms. “Oh, you’ll make a lovely bride!” he whispered into her ear. However, Ashley felt a cold shiver run through her young body that she couldn’t account for; surely she should be ecstatic!

 

[]Chapter Seven

 

The Ranch

 

They drove for hours, until they reached Butte County South Dakota and the entrance to Lucien’s ranch came into view. One of the roadies in the band opened the large steel gates and they drove down a red winding dirt road to a large complex of white buildings. The surrounding countryside was flat with dried yellow grass and odd shaped distant mountains.

Ashley saw a Mexican-style hacienda with wide verandahs and a large blue pool attached. Lucien proudly showed her the lavishly appointed home and their own suite of rooms. His entourage soon made themselves at home and rock music blared out, as they danced, made cocktails and jumped into the pool. They were more animated than she had ever seen them.

Ashley was surprised to see four tall pillars of clear, crystal quartz at each corner of the house, but when she asked Lucien about them, he merely shrugged and whispered cryptically, “You’ll see!”

A few hours later, many trucks and cars pulled up. They were full of young men and women, locals who wanted to join in the fun. The roadies and band members welcomed them noisily and a large party was soon in full swing. Ashley was excited by the noise, heat and raucous sounds of the young men and women playing and having fun.

“Everyone can come,” Lucien remarked his face aglow, at the sight of so many healthy young men and women “As long, as they’re under twenty-five!”

“Why twenty-five. Lucien?” asked Ashley.

“The mind is still pliable until then and later, it often becomes fixed!” he answered lightly. “I like my acolytes to be easily mastered!” And he laughed coldly.

“And why did you buy this particular ranch, far out here?” asked Ashley waving her hand towards the deserted hills in the distance. She thought it was a strange place to make his camp.

Lucien’s eyes lit up. “Here, we are at 44 degrees north and at the very central beating heart of the good, old USA!”

“Is that important?”

“Absolutely! From here, I can gather energy from all the places that I have performed, including your own little Middletown. In fact, I can also draw energy from Europe, Asia and even, Australia. I visited all the chakra centres of the Earth and now, they are all linked to here and me!” He gave a cold laugh. “Even these kids here, are feeding me energy! Do you want to see it, Ashley?”

She nodded and he touched her forehead with an icy finger. Suddenly she saw vivid streaks of light coming from all the young men and women around them. The strangely coloured chords were all directed at Lucien’s abdomen and he seemed to absorb them and it helped feed his own aura that was now blazing with a deep red light.

She noticed that she had a deep pink chord of light emitting from her heart and that it was directly focused towards his chest and as he purposely inhaled and accumulated this energy, she felt weakened.

“Is it right, to do this?” she asked in a frightened whisper and his eyes flashed looking at her critically, for once.

“You are all here, to give me strength for my mission, so do not question me, Ashley!”

“What mission is that?” she asked quietly with her head bowed.

He relented and stroked her long, blonde hair absently.

“You’ve heard me talk about unifying all the youth of the world. Youth Power! It is time that we ruled the world, not the oldies! With enough power, I can make this happen and I will be the New Order’s ruler. I will rule for a thousand years!” His voice grew excited at the thought.

“And I will rule beside you, as your queen!” laughed Ashley joining in his fantasy. How imaginative he was; a thousand years, indeed!

“Perhaps!” he muttered and then he moved away from her, to join the young people in the pool.

 

***

 

Kate and Dan had contacted Oscar, who seemed pleased to hear from them. He listened to their tale of woe with wide eyes and then told them that he would ring them back, in half an hour. They waited impatiently and Dan grabbed the cell phone when it finally rang.

“Listen up.” said Oscar. “I’ve found out through one of the anti-Lucien websites that he has a ranch outside Belle Fourche and that’s where he goes, to unwind. I bet ten-to-one that is where Ashley is now, as he has no more show performances listed on his website.” He gave them directions and added, “Good Luck!”

They booked out of the hotel and drove towards the address that Oscar had given them. It was a good hundred miles away. At last, they found the right unmarked road and in a cloud of red dust, came to the huge steel gates.

They rang the bell and a young man came to the gates holding a rifle. He spoke through an intercom. Despite Kate’s pleas to let them in, he shook his head and walked away, taking up a guard’s stance with his rifle half raised. They got the message and moved back around the next bend, in the road.

“I’ve got to get in there!” cried Kate. “She’s not answering her texts and who knows what he’s doing to her, in there!”

They sat watching the fence for an hour and then saw several cars pull up and older men and women talk to the stubborn guard, but they were not allowed entry, either. Kate waved to them, as they drove by and they stopped and came and spoke to her. One was a grizzled man in a stetson hat.

“Your kids in there, too?” he asked in a drawl.

“Yes. My daughter is in there with that Lucien!” she answered in an angry voice. “Have you got children, in there?”

He nodded. “A boy and a girl, both Lucien mad! Think the sun shines out of his, um, sorry Mam.”

Kate smiled despite the seriousness of the matter. “Do you think the local sheriff would do something, if we complained?” she asked him.

“Nope, tried last time, this happened. He just said that as they were over eighteen, they were adults in the eyes of the law. Unless there’s an actual crime going on, they won’t intervene!” he looked defeated. “They’re good kids usually, just kind’a hypnotized by that devil!”

She spoke to a couple in the other car, who also wanted their daughter to come home, but again the local sheriff was powerless to act.

They sat in the car, while other cars and trucks began to congregate outside the steel fence, as they were denied admittance by the young guard with the rifle. Then a familiar van came into view.

“Hey, it’s Oscar!” cried Dan and he went over to his friend. “What are you doing here?”

He hugged Kate and motioned to his van. “I’ve got all my electronics gear, in there. I’ve been gaining as much information about Lucien and his crowd, as I can. Other moms and dads who have had this problem, are talking to each other and if you like, I can contact them for you!” he offered generously. “I want to help Ashley, too!” His eyes glowed.

They soon put their heads together and decided to post the location of Lucien’s ranch online and ask all the parents to take action, by driving to the spot and demanding that the local sheriff take action. They hoped by sheer numbers, they could influence the local authorities to act.

By the evening, dozens of cars and trucks were congregated outside the fence and the number of perimeter guards had been reinforced to six.

The sheriff’s car drew up and a middle-aged, grey-haired man emerged and asked, what was the fuss all about? The parents all forcefully told him. Several of the young men and women inside, were under eighteen and this could allow him to enter and check on their welfare. He was a fair man who privately disliked Lucien and his antics and nodded agreement, if they all behaved.

He made this request to one of the young guards who disappeared for a time, and then came back and said resoundingly – “No!” This did not please the sheriff who then called for reinforcements.

Three police cars drew up and the men held a lengthy conversation. The sheriff then approached the gate again, but the answer was the same. He then declared that the guards were under arrest, but they just laughed at him, from behind the fence.

Then the sheriff made another call and half an hour later, a huge yellow backhoe loader appeared around the bend, to the cheers of the grouped parents. It headed towards the steel gates and drove straight through them!

The young guards took several wild shots and then ran towards the main house. The police cars took after them followed by a cavalcade of the parents’ assorted vehicles. Kate, Dan and Oscar cheered, as the hacienda came into view. It seemed as if there were teenagers everywhere in the pool and verandahs and they all scattered, as the police cars with their sirens blaring, came screeching up to the house.

 

***

 

Lucien had found the siege rather amusing at first, although Ashley seemed alarmed. She didn’t want to see anyone hurt, especially Kate and Dan!

Now he felt, as if his authority had been insulted and as his people thronged around him, his green eyes blazed.

“Give me your strength!” he commanded and he deliberately drained them all of power. Many of them sank to the floor, fainting. Only Ashley and Hobbs remained strong and non-violated.

“Please don’t hurt my parents, Lucien!” pleaded Ashley with frightened eyes. “Think of your own folks!”

But he just laughed nastily. “I got rid of them long ago, Ashley; they were an unnecessary encumbrance!”

Zack Hobbs flinched. He had heard rumours that Lucien’s parents had died in a suspicious fire, when he was a child. Could he really have been the cause of their deaths?

Then Lucien walked from the house and confronted the police and the irate parents.

‘This is my property, get out!” he shouted in anger. He raised his hands and the earth rocked beneath their feet!

Many of them fell to the ground. Parents screamed and found it difficult to rise again. The police officers then, took out their guns and with a twitch of Lucien’s hands the guns flew out of their grasps and into the air. Then he created a thrusting wind that pushed them all back several yards. Frightened, many of them ran away.

He then reentered the house and an invisible barrier seemed to enclose it. No one could gain entry, even though they tried, with crowbars and hammers.

Ashley through the window could see her mother, Dan and Oscar outside looking worried and covered in the red soil of the dusty courtyard. She felt bad for them, but she couldn’t desert Lucien. She hoped that they would just give up and go away.

Lucien paced the rooms nervously his face filled with anger. “They have ruined everything! I’ll kill them all!” he screamed with rage.

Ashley had been trying to help the young men and women who were still weak and depleted of energy. She helped them to the sofas and others to lie on the floor.

One dark-haired girl was crying, “I want to go home!” She only looked around fifteen years of age and Ashley’s heart went out to her.

She thought for a moment. “Lucien, why don’t you let them go out to their parents? If they all exited at once, it would create chaos and the police might even, go away!”

“You’re right; they’re no use to me anymore. Let’s get them outside!” and he walked up to one fallen boy and pushed him roughly to the front door. Others staggered after him, in a confused manner. Ashley helped the young girl to the door, followed by many others who blinked in the strong sunlight and then walked unsteadily towards their waiting parents.

She hurried back inside, when she saw her mother and Dan approaching the front entrance, she locked the door with two big bolts. There were only half a dozen members of the band, Zack Hobbs, Lucien and herself now in the house.

“They’re all outside; maybe we’ll be left alone, now!” she said sitting close to Lucien on the sofa.

“But they’ve spoilt my plans and I will get even! I’ll kill them all, while they’re outside! They’ll be sorry that they messed with me!” his voice was hard and cold and his face seemed sinister and ugly, for once.

“How, you gonna’ do that Luc?” asked one of the band members with a sour laugh. Ashley found the young man repulsive and arrogant.

“I’ll use the power from the crystal pylons. They’re energy conduits from many of my followers, throughout the country and with them, I will create a deadly mist that will poison everyone around, for a hundred miles! Goodbye oldies and non-believers, alike!” Lucien laughed loudly and his band members joined him, in a raucous noise.

Only Ashley sat shocked; she didn’t want anyone to die, especially her mother and Dan. This was not what she thought Lucien was all about; she had thought he was here to help the young ones, not kill the oldies! But what could she do? If she tried to stop him, he would most probably turn on her! Her heart beat loudly in her ears and her mind seemed full of confusing thoughts!

She went to her room and found her cell phone, which she had hidden in her underwear drawer. She turned it on and saw many messages from her mother and friends, but she ignored them all.

She quickly sent a text message to her mother saying – “Get away. He is planning to kill you all.” Then she had an additional thought and sent – “Smash the crystal pylons. His energy source” Then she shut down the phone and slid it to the back of the drawer, just as he entered the bedroom.

“It’s earlier than I ever planned to start my Great Conquest, but that doesn’t matter!” he chortled. “I’ll use all the stored energy to kill our enemies and then, gradually take over the country, state by state, until, they declare me ruler! No one will be able to stop us, babe!” he laughed and his green eyes glowed dangerously. His plan was about to start!

Ashley feigned delight, but secretly she hoped that her mother understood her message, before it was too late!

 

***

 

Kate felt her cell phone vibrate in her pocket and almost dismissed it, in the chaos outside, as the exhausted young men and women were reunited with their worried parents. However, something, made her take it out and look at the text message.

She quickly showed it to Dan and Oscar and they tried to decipher its meaning. Dan hurried to the police chief and warned him that Lucien might release poisonous gas on the crowd and the police swiftly ushered the crowd to their cars and trucks and ordered them away.

Oscar meanwhile, was walking slowly around the hacienda and examining the four crystal pylons at each end of the house. They were around fifteen foot tall and giving off a low hum. His dark eyes suddenly filled with light.

“We gotta’ break these up!” he pointed to the nearest pylon. “They’re supplying him with psychic energy! Get hammers or anything, to knock them down!”

“I know something better!” shouted Dan and he ran for the backhoe loader that had knocked down the front steel gates, so easily. He started it up and drove it up to the first crystal pylon and crashed into it, with a loud thump. It shattered into a thousand tiny pieces.

Then he lined the huge machine up again and began work on demolishing the other three crystal pillars. Kate and Oscar watched him, jumping up and down with excitement!

Inside the house, Lucien suddenly slumped onto the bed. Ashley watched him worriedly; what was happening, now. She heard the crashing sounds outside and saw through the window, Dan in the backhoe’s cabin looking determined, as he crashed the crystal pylons to the ground. Her plan had worked!

Lucien suddenly looked at her in shock. “You planned this! How else could they have known! You traitorous bitch!” he had read her thoughts!

He stood shakily and grabbed her and thrust her on the bed. “Now, you will become my bride!”

Ashley thought that he was going to rape her, but instead, he disappeared for a few seconds, but returned before she could scramble off the bed. In his shaking hands, he held a long carving knife!

Her bluish-grey eyes grew large and she bucked and thrust on the bed, her long legs kicking out. Lucien had to use his psychic energy, to keep her immobile on the bed.

“This is not how I planned it! You were meant, to give up your life voluntarily for me! You’ve ruined it all, Ashley, but I will still gain strength from your death!”

Ashley found that she couldn’t move at all; her body was frozen, She closed her eyes with her heart beating wildly in her chest and prayed for help!

 

[]Chapter Eight

 

Joe

 

Outside the house, the sheriff stood scratching his head; he didn’t know if he should arrest the man in the backhoe for vandalism or if his actions were justified, in the current situation.

Suddenly, the smaller man Oscar called out, “Hey, the force field around the house is down! We can now, get in!”

They tried the front door, but it was bolted shut. The sheriff tried hailing the people inside, but no one came.

“Break it down!” he instructed his men, when they heard Ashley’s frightened screams.

When the door had fallen, they all rushed inside through the main living room where several of the band members sat listlessly and Zack Hobbs sat grimly smoking his cigar.

They rushed to the main bedroom, where the shocked group saw Lucien, his face filled with anger, raise a large carving knife, above Ashley’s prone body. He was reciting a garbled mantra in a strange tongue and in his fury, did not see them.

He was about to strike, when the sheriff took out his gun and shot him in the arm. He turned with menace and sneered, when he saw them standing in the doorway.

“She is mine; you will not have her!” he screamed and turned back to his task.

Dan rushed across the room and tried to hold the young man who seemed to have gained super-human powers, for he thrust him off, as if he were a child. He fell heavily against the wall.

Kate and the police officers began to rush towards Lucien, but he snapped his fingers and they all fell to the floor. He turned again to Ashley and his once handsome face, was now contorted, into an evil mask. The once charismatic young man suddenly looked ancient and wizen!

Then to their amazement, a golden image suddenly materialized and the male figure strode towards Lucien and thrust the knife from his hands. He scooped Ashley from the bed and threw her lightly to Kate. That was when she recognized him.

“Its Joe, Ashley’s father!” she cried in wonderment, cuddling Ashley to her. Ashley’s eyes opened wide and she softly murmured, “Dad!”

“Let’s get out of here!” yelled Dan and they all staggered from the room and out of the house. The befuddled band members and Zack followed them.

They stood well back from the house and saw flashes of light, as the battle between the forces of good and evil took place. The earth shook beneath their feet.

“Send your energy to Dad!” muttered Ashley, who was finally coming around. Everyone exchanged shocked looks, but did as she said and they all focused positive thoughts to the golden angel.

Suddenly the roof burst open and a huge, ugly shape that was Lucien in his real form emerged. It was a cloud of red ominous light with an ugly, distorted figure within it. Yet a golden figure appeared and drew him down.

Meanwhile a storm had appeared from nowhere and black clouds and thunder shook the area. The watchers ran for their cars and finding shelter from the blinding rain, watched the conflict with round eyes.

The house began to explode and the walls fell away, scattering debris everywhere. Then as the two figures wrestled for domination, a lightning bolt flashed downwards, momentarily blinding the spectators.

It struck them both, but only the golden angel arose from the ruins of the mansion. Lucien’s body now reduced in size lay blackened and burnt. Then it turned to ashes and was blown-away, on a strong wind!

The golden angel looked once in Kate’s direction and waved and then it rose in the sky, on golden wings, which caught the glint of the sun and was gone, in an instant!

Everyone looked stunned, dirty and disheveled. The sheriff scratched his head; how was he ever going to write this one up?

“Are you okay, Ash?” asked her mother, who was holding her tight.

Ashley nodded. She had so much to explain and apologise for, but now was not the time.

“In the future” began Oscar who was quite oblivious to the delicate situation, “when you scrutinize someone like Lucien who seems charismatic and lovable, instead watch him or her for a time and then, judge their true character through the head and heart, not the eyes and ears. Then you won’t be deceived again, Ash! He preyed on your generation’s need for unity, but he abused it!” he said solemnly.

And for once, they all agreed with him.

“I want to go home to Middletown, Mom!” sighed Ashley and they all smiled in relief and in a small cavalcade, headed out of the ranch and towards a more hopeful and peaceful future.

 

***

 

A year later, Zack Hobbs was not a happy man. He had lost everything he had owned in the debacle over Lucien’s estate that had been later, confiscated by the courts and used as monetary retribution, for his victims.

His protégée was now considered a charismatic, but flawed charlatan who had abused young men and women, rather than as a potential conqueror of the world.

Zack had almost gone to prison himself, as a co-conspirator and only his smart lawyers’ advice had got him off, penniless but free.

Now, he was slowly regaining his old clients and making a meager living. He was on the way to see an old client who had been offered a small role, in an advertisement on television, for a beauty cream. He rubbed his hands in anticipation of a good rewarding future.

He walked up three flights of stairs, which made him puff badly and then he rapped on a faded door. A beautiful blonde woman opened the door and beamed at him, “Zack come in; good to see you again!”

“You’re looking good, Alexis! That plastic surgeon fixed you up real fine!” he sucked on his cigar and a puff of blue smoke enveloped them both, for a moment.

“I got a great commercial for you – a skin cream ad for a medium sized company! Stick with me kid and we’ll make it big!” he chortled, as he took a seat on a faded sofa. “You look like you could do with the dough!”

Alexis nodded, “It’s been hard. But if you can get me work, I’ll be able to manage”. Her hard blue eyes stared at him.

A strange gurgling noise rang out, in the small apartment.

“What the hell is that?” remarked Zack with surprise, “A dog or something?”

Alexis smiled and hurried to a corner of the room and picked up a bundle and carried it proudly to Zack.

“It’s my son, Loki!” she held the baby, so that Zack could see him. He was indeed a beautiful child with golden hair and handsome features.

“Cute Kid! Hey, what’s that?” asked Zack with surprise and he pointed to a small red birthmark, on his upper right arm. His dark eyes grew large. “This is Lucien’s son, right?”

Alexis nodded. “Yes, he’s Lucien’s and mine! The one and only good thing that I got, from him!” She sounded exalted.

Just then, the baby opened his eyelids and regarded Zack with cold, green eyes. He thrust out his chubby hands and grabbed the lighted cigar and laughed, when it touched his skin, but no burn mark appeared.

“Yeah, he’s Lucien’s alright!” sighed Zack. But whether it was regret, fear or joy, Alexis was not sure!

 

The End

 

[]Appendix

 

You may wonder why we have written about this particular topic, a future prophet of evil rather than good, when our books are primarily concerned with spreading tales and topics of love and Light.

However, we have been told in many spiritual messages that we have received over the decades that a charismatic young person is coming to Earth, who could lead the young people into a time of great darkness. We want to warn you about such a devious person.

This current generation has incarnated with a strong sense of unity. Many of them also have advanced psychic abilities, yet to be unleashed!

What is unity? It is an urgent need for Oneness; for everyone to be linked mentally and emotionally. This can be seen through such inventions as the Internet, computers, cell phones and social media etc. While this can lead to peace throughout the world, understanding and empathy between all races, religions and cultures, it can also lead to a single mind that tolerates only, its own needs.

This is what this novel is trying to show, that one charismatic, demanding person can influence many receptive people to follow their lead, without undue thought or consideration. And as many people erroneously believe that – ‘Beauty is truth, truth is beauty’ the more handsome or beautiful the leader, the more naïve acolytes, they will collect.

Could such an evil leader arise? Unfortunately, YES! Many young, disaffected men and women are now spurning and resenting the power and wisdom of the elders in our society and instead, looking for pleasure and rich rewards without effort or hard work. The future is rife for a young, charismatic ‘Lucien’ to appear and hold sway over the gullible young men and women, like Ashley.

 

We have channelled the following message from Spirit concerning this possibility. Please take notice.

“Behold, a false prophet, young and charismatic will come and lead the young astray with promises of power, lust and riches and being naïve they will call him/her Master and follow blindly. All could be destroyed and souls lost to evil, so take heed and be not influenced by tricks of psychic power, but look to their heart, is it pure?”

Can he or she be overcome? Yes! Using Oscar’s simple exercise given to us by Mother Mary, you can easily decide if someone is truly good or just manipulating you for their own, selfish ends. Sift their words, thoughts and actions through your heart and mind. Eyes and ears can often be deceived, but not the heart and mind working together.

A true prophet would love everyone with a higher love – agape and never single out age groups, races or religions to hate. This is not God-like!

And what do other sources tell us about false prophets, like Lucien? Here are some theories that have been written about by scholars, over many thousands of years.

 

Christians believe that Jesus, the Christ will one day return to Earth to battle with the Antichrist, a charismatic but false prophet, who wants to rule the world. See John 1 and John 2 in the New Testament.

The apostles Mark and Matthew also speak of this false prophet. “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect”. –  Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13:22

 

In Islamic writings, Masih ad-Dajjal is an anti-messiah figure, similar to the second coming of “Isa”.

 

In some schools of medieval Jewish theology, a comparable anti-Messiah figure who is the son of a virgin, is called Armilus, “A king who will arise at the end of time against the Messiah and will be conquered by him, after having brought much distress upon Israel”.

 

Hippolytus of Rome (AD circa 170 to 236) held that the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Danand and he would rebuild the Jewish temple, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in order to reign from it. He identified the Antichrist with the Beast out of the Earth, from the book of Revelations.

 

The inverted cross of St Peter, once a Christian symbol, is now an antichrist symbol of evil.

 

 

Hinduism believes in four great ages and we are currently in that of the demon Kali. Puranas go on to write that “Kings in the fourth age will be godless, wanting in tranquillity, quick to anger and dishonest. They will inflict death on women and children and will rise and fall to power quickly. Undisciplined barbarians will receive the support of rulers.

From the four pillars of dharma – penance, charity, truthfulness and compassion – charity will be all that remains, although it too will decrease daily. People will commit sin in mind, speech and action. Plague, famine, pestilence and natural calamities, will appear.

People will not believe one another, falsehoods will win disputes and brothers will become avaricious. As the each age progresses, the human life span decreases, starting from thousands of years in the Krutha Yuga to 100 years, in the current Kali Yuga.

There will be many false religions and many will profess false knowledge, to earn their livelihood. Life will be short and miserable. Marriage will be for pleasure alone.

Being dry of water will be the only definition of land and any hard to reach water will define a pilgrimage destination. People will hide in valleys between mountains and suffering from cold and exposure, people will wear clothes of tree bark and leaves. People will live less than twenty-three years and the pretence of greatness will be the proof of it. Ultimately, humankind will be destroyed!”

 

The Buddhist believe that “Buddha described his teachings as disappearing five-thousand years from his passing, corresponding approximately to the year 4600 CE. At this time, knowledge of dharma will be lost, as well.

The last of his relics will then, be gathered in Bodh Gaya and cremated. There will be a new era, in which the next Buddha Maitreya will appear, but it will be preceded by the degeneration of human society. This will be a period of greed, lust, poverty, ill will, violence, murder, impiety, physical weakness, sexual depravity and societal collapse and even the Buddha himself, will be forgotten. Perhaps, this is a ripe time for the False Prophet to appear?

 

Is the false prophet, Satan himself? Lucifer, who as an archangel was supposedly exiled from Heaven, when he wanted more power? This has been debated, by many famous scholars since time immemorial, but it seems that he or she will be inspired by negativity, power and lust and that evil rather than goodness and compassion, will be part of his nature.

 

Let us end with a quote from Mother Mary concerning defeating this evil prophet.

“No one should control your thoughts or your soul, for these are inviolably your own! Yes, heed those who are wiser and more experienced for this is often how the young learn, but also be observant. Listen and watch those who would be your leaders, your prophets and see if their words and doctrine match their actions. For often, they are at odds!

Study all religions and take from them, those aspects that seem right and God-like to you! Not God-like in an imposing, frightening way, but a loving, kind God who loves everyone, sinners and saints and allows – freewill. For this is one of the greatest gifts of humanity – that each person, male or female, may decide for themselves, who to follow, who to love and to whom to give their allegiance. And a true, loving God would never punish you for doing so!

Create your own spiritual lore and live in compassion, honesty and love and you cannot go wrong.

Moreover, if a False Prophet does arise, as may well occur. Close your eyes, cover your ears and feel, if he or she resonates with Unconditional Love and if they do not, turn away. Use your mind and heart to sieve their words and actions and if they do not ring true, depart and search for the prophet within yourself! Love and Light, Mary”

 

We hope this book, above all else will make you think and choose a higher path.

 

Blessings to you all, on your Life’s journey

 

Love, Light and Hope,

 

The Abbotts,

 

Tony Abbott & Robyn Abbott

 

Copyright 2017

 

This ebook is available as a low-cost print book from http://www.divinepublishingaustralia.com

 

###

 

[]Other book titles by The Abbotts

 

[] Over 245 titles available including -

 

[]2016 to 2028

 

The Hope Years!

 

Preparing for Cosmic Changes!

 

 

The years from 2016 to 2028 are important in humankind’s development, as they lead us into new stages of personal and psychic development.

The Abbotts, paranormal experts will show you what these coming years will bring in inventions, relationships and your own psychic awakenings!

With special channelled messages from the Ascended Masters and practical ideas on how you can prepare for the future, you will also increase your spiritual and psychic skills, ready for this new age!

A not-to-be-missed book for all students of the paranormal! Illustrated and in 14 pt for easy reading. A Beacon of Light Book.

 

[]Omni

 

The Path of Unity

 

A Philosophy for Life

 

 

Omni is a unique book wholly channelled by The Abbotts from the inspiring messages of The Master. Omni introduces us to the Ten Principles of Life, which govern everything we do in our daily life.

Inspiring, illuminating and sensitive, yet bravely looking at controversial issues such as euthanasia, sexuality, marriage and war, it is a revolutionary philosophical book that can bring peace, harmony and joy into all aspects of your life. A Beacon of Light Book.

 

[]The Authors

 

[]The Abbotts

 

The Abbotts have published over 245 books on many different psychic subjects, the paranormal and personal development. All of their books and courses are available through Divine Publishing Australia at http://www.divinepublishingaustralia.com

 

 

[]Tony Abbott

 

Tony Abbott has been a professional clairvoyant, hypnotherapist, healer and self-development teacher. He is now a writer and the Managing Director of Divine Publishing Australia an independent electronic publisher & promoter of paranormal & New Age material.

 

 

[]Robyn Abbott

 

Robyn Abbott is a former spiritualist minister, clairvoyant and social welfare worker who now devotes her time to writing and publishing spiritual, psychic and self-help books.

 

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Please visit our website today!

 

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The Charismatic One - A Saint or a Devil?

  • ISBN: 9781370336975
  • Author: The Abbotts
  • Published: 2017-06-05 01:05:13
  • Words: 17734
The Charismatic One - A Saint or a Devil? The Charismatic One - A Saint or a Devil?