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Introducing Featured Authors: Kevin Michael & Valerianna Joy

cprightc2.gif (205 bytes)1998 Rights to all materials remain the property of the authors

About the authors:

The authors met on the Internet and have collaborated on several works, including this one.† They started roll playing with these characters† in a chat forum and have evolved into some very unique epic fantasy stories they have compiled to date.

You may contact them at: mymil@mailexcite.com

Into the Light † - a short story by Kevin Micheal & Valerianna Joy

The full moon shines brightly at the midnight hour, but its brilliance is dampened by a dark cloud of evil and the acrid smell of fear. A small, frightened figure retreats into the dark recesses of a deserted alley, followed by three large, lumbering creatures of the night. The human, a young woman shaking and paralyzed with pure horror, huddles against the unforgiving brick wall, all means of escape cut off by the evil ones.

The evil creatures close in on their prey, inching slowly forward, toying with the anguish of the human woman...like a cat toying with a mouse before the kill. In the next instant the evil ones shriek in a cry torn from the pit of hell, and they melt into the asphalt and to the pit from which they came. The woman blinks away the tears, clearing her vision. Two hooded beings with capes swirling around them, tall, imposing creatures, stand a short distance from her...one with hands raised to the heavens and the other one with a glowing medallion hanging from the neck. Even with their dark clothing and their hidden faces, the woman does not feel fear from these two. In a heartbeat, the cloud of evil dissipates and allows the pure moonlight to glow around them.

One of the hooded beings slowly walks toward the woman, and upon seeing the remnants of womanís distress removes the hood. A woman with long, dark hair and soft, blue eyes kneels in front of the human woman.

"My name is Valerianna. I mean you no harm...this I swear from the One Most Holy. Are you hurt?"

The woman shakes her head. "No, no, Iím fine. Why did those creatures run from you? And who is the bearded one?"

Valerianna looks up at her friend and companion and smiles. "The bearded one is called Frogbert. He is a brave child of Mother Earth and a seeker of goodness."

Frogbert offers the woman a warm, gentle smile. "You are safe with us, mílady, but I do suggest we return you safely to your home posthaste." He throws Valerianna a meaningful look, knowing that in the night when the sun is hidden, their powers are gravely diminished. Frogbert extends his hand to the woman to help her to her feet and throws his cloak around her still shivering body.

The threesome walk a short distance to a lovely old apartment building, and the woman invites them into her home. Valerianna accepts readily despite Frogbertís apprehension. "Thank you for saving my life! I owe you so much!"

"You owe us nothing", Valerianna assures her. "We are meant to protect good against evil."

"Will you tell me who you are?"

With a nod from Frogbert, Valerianna begins, "Frogbert is a Wizard Prince born many, many centuries ago. He lives his life dedicated to his Mother Earth and to those who are pure of heart. He has an enduring strength, a tender heart, and an uncompromising insight that has brought him unparalleled wisdom. Although his modesty prohibits him from admitting it, he is the single master of illusion. He learned from the best, in the days when the world was filled with animals who
breathed deadly fire and people who, in their darkness, begged for a vision of light."

"I am one of five Ancient Ones, created by The One Most High when the earth was still bubbling from its stormy birth. We are immortals set on the path of light and truth and the protection of the innocent. I was blessed to see the first
sunrise, and I will be present for the last s unset. From the Heavens we saw the creation of man and woman. We watched and learned of these unique creatures, their emotions and habits, the workings of their minds, their potential. As we grew in knowledge of those whom we were meant to protect, we were dispatched to different corners of the earth to begin our long journey. Frogbert and I met only a heartbeat ago, although we have been aware of each other from the beginning. We were meant to journey together until the end time, doing what we can to comfort and protect those we meet along the way."

The woman is awestruck, speechless.

Understanding the womanís confusion, Frogbert says, "You need to sleep, mílady. It has been a long and tiring night for you." Frogbert takes his cape from the womanís shoulders and with a touch to her forehead she falls into his arms. He gently lays her on the plush couch and carefully covers her with an afghan from the back of the couch.

"She will remember nothing. We must go now, Valerianna, before we have to fight a battle for our own safety."

And so, for the Wizard Prince and the Ancient One, the journey continues..

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