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The 1000 Haunts of Truncheon Blue-Mean

Chapter 1: Nina

 City of Chronix Bay, Present Day

            Three hours and forty-five minutes into her arrival in the building, time seemed to move slowly for Nina Blake as she sat in the office waiting room of her attorney with her hands clasped together while looking down on the ground patting her feet impatiently. She felt the jitters that accompany too much coffee and shook her head waiving her dark hair around wildly as she wished she could just have a drink or smoke a joint but her probation officer runs regular drug tests and threatened to send her upstate for good unless she behaved and complied with her Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor’s terms. She pushes up the sleeves of her white cashmere sweater and looks around at the empty office feeling the loneliness accompanied with being a forty-year old convicted criminal forced into recovery and seeking employment in the construction field to avoid violating the terms of her probation and being locked away with the scum of society. Her wealthy parents always tried to warn her about the dangers of being too wild in the streets but she felt the rebellion call and sought it out wholeheartedly to her detriment. Now, she waits and prays that her suffering was not in vain and the ills of her troubled past would soon be at an end. A slender secretary in pearls and thin framed glasses walks out of the back room holding a manila case folder and calls her name. Nina looks up in shock as if suddenly disturbed from a daze and stands up stumbling forward like she was marching towards the guillotine in olden times.  She silently enters the office with her arms by her side and she quickly clasp her hands behind her back as she lowers her head forcing her long bangs to partially conceal her face as she begins feeling the imaginary ghostly presence of the prison jail guards by her side that will forever haunt her in the eternal walk of shame.

            Nina sits in a large office decorated with gold portraits, paintings of famous legal scholars and justices of the Supreme Court, along with framed degrees from Ivy League schools and awards for distinguished service to the community adorning the walls above rows of bookshelves with gold and red law books and case reporters. A plaque of gold rested in the center of the wall with symbols of the local Masonic club for those she knew who, like her parents, were the upper class and almost aristocratic nobler and wealthier members of society in the City of Chronix Bay. She looks up at the large oak desk with models of airplanes and boats from all eras of history as the well-dressed man in a three-piece suit smelling of fancy cologne reads a manila file folder in his hands and lifts his eyes only looking slightly up at her. The gold-plated nameplate on his desk read Marvel Bradbury, Esquire Attorney at Law. She sees him glance back down on the pages in the folder twiddling them with his index finger looking at them almost in tandem. She felt the urge to speak out to break the awkward silence.

 “I thought I was getting a court-appointed again... my folks aren’t going to shell out the big bucks for a top legal eagle like you unless there was something really serious, right?”  

“I was retained by your father, Mr. Warren Blake. And yes, it appears you are in serious trouble, young lady.” Marvel looks up with a stern look at Nina. “I guess young isn’t the necessary word. You are roughly the same age as me but you are definitely not winning points in the maturity at life department” he shakes his head and looks down at the file. Nina sulks as she lowers her head and nods.

 “I know I am not perfect but who is right? I just want a chance to go straight. I am doing well with my AA sponsor and I got a job interview lined up next week. I just need this violation to go away so I can get my life in order.”

 “Why did you violate, Miss Blake?” asks Marvel looking up and dropping the file on his desk and clasping his hands before her, “something about doing a favor for your boyfriend!”

 “Ex-boyfriend and it was a big mistake. I had no idea there would be drugs in that house. I swear” says Nina frantically and nervously.

 “I think you need to go home and pray for a miracle. I will do my best to appear in court on your behalf and negotiate with the District Attorney but it doesn’t look good for you. You were warned repeatedly not to frequent those strange houses and you knew your Ex-boyfriend had prior arrests for drug possession and dealing as well as yourself. Things do not look good. You can face the next thirty years of your life in prison for the violation of probation based on the robbery charges you previously had pled down. You are really in poor shape, Nina. Have a nice day!” He sits back and picks up a magazine entitled “wealth”.

 Nina sits back aghast and rises slowly and quietly. She slides to the door dragging her feet and turns looking at him in his magnanimous appearance in his office and wants to speak and explain further but simply turns and heads out straight out of the office and down the stairs beyond the waiting room and out of the building, a set of tears pours down her face as she hails a cab to take her home feeling the last taste of freedom being pulled from her as her court date was two days away.

            Sitting in her childhood bedroom alone in the huge lavishly decorated mansion and enormous gated estate on the outskirts of town, Nina cries herself to sleep feeling grateful she still had a home there despite her faults and crimes of the past. The halls of the large estate and her bedroom are filled with photos of her parents, professional spelunkers and world travelers. Her father, Warren Blake, was a native Chronix Bay son who inherited his fortune from a long line of wealthy industrialists originating from the various countries of the European continent. Her mother, Regina Blake, was a China-born daughter of wealthy merchants who immigrated and fell in love joining her partner on his world adventures. They did everything they could for their daughter who remained a troubled, lonely child in the midst of forgotten sorrows. But now Nina worried so much that it will not be her home for long soon to be swapped out by the state prison system and she knew that her parents were out of town on an expedition in the arctic as they were natural adventuring explorers and brought her back something from each trip. The servant staff was out for the night and Nina lays in bed alone as she cries fearing that they wouldn’t see her for the next thirty years outside of a prison institution.

 The dusk arrives and conceals the world with darkness, Nina’s eyes shut as she lay on her king-sized bed hugging her fluffy throw pillow and having neglected to change out of her street clothes.

Chapter 2: Truncheon Blue Mean

A strange blue light glow in the corner of her room growing brightly like starlight as a faint hum accompanies it. The light appears from her bedroom closet and grows brightly approaching her like a stalker in the night. Her face lights up with the blue light and she suddenly awakens screaming in horror at the sight of a golden-eyed wolf-faced man with hair all over his face and body and covered in blue light, transparent like a ghost, and huffing and howling slightly before her eagerly. He has long ears and a snout with fur all over his body and a bluish jumpsuit made of the aural glowing and smoking light.

 “Wait, wait a minute...” says the wolf –faced man.

 Nina stops screaming and backs away to the wall hugging her pillow and throwing it towards the man watching it pass through him and fall to the floor on the other side. “Who are you?” yells Nina.

 “I am Truncheon Blue-Mean! Who are you?”

 “You are in my freaking bedroom, get out!”

 “I would like to but I am as stuck here as you.”

 “What is that?” asks Nina.

 “I am a ghost after all” says Truncheon, “I died a long time ago. I was a bad person” he adds.

 “You are not exactly a person” says Nina.

 “I was a person but a deformed one born about five hundred years before you with what I know now is a rare genetic anomaly called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, lycanthropy, or were-wolf-ism!” He utters his last statement in a spooky hollow vernacular.

 “Were wolves being fake man” says Nina.

 “I was not but I was an outcast because of my appearance causing me to rebel and do bad things. I killed a lot of people and hurt a lot of families. I regret it now.” He lowers his head in shame. “I was born with the curse of the hair and now I am condemned in the afterlife to wander trying to find redemption to avoid eternal damnation.”

 “Sounds deep” says Nina.  

“You still didn’t tell me who you are” says Truncheon with his hands on his knee clasped together calmly.

 “Nina Blake... I am no saint either” she says.

 “So, we should be a team” says Truncheon licking his lips from his elongated snout. “You’re very pretty” he adds.

 “Thanks” replies Nina. “Where did you come from?” she asks calming down and looking at him oddly.  

“That is complicated” says Truncheon. “But if you got the time, it is one hell of a story!”

 “I am going to have lots of ... time” says Nina shrugging looking away sadly.

 “Why so glum, chum?” asks Truncheon looking at her as he vanishes a puff of blue light smoke and appears sitting beside her looking at her.

 “I have some legal problems” says Nina sighing heavily. “I am facing major prison time and I am clueless on how to get out of it. My parents are rich and can’t get me out of the trouble I am in now. I am probably going away for a long time and it scares me. I am probably going to hell too!”

“I see we have a lot in common and I need to haunt 1000 people to avoid going to hell by making up for the bad things I did in my lifetime!”

 “Haunt people... how does that help?” asks Nina.

 “They are 1000 bad people... help them go straight and become good, see the light if you will! We have only one life to prove ourselves and rarely get a second chance to repair the damage. I have been having trouble with that, see as I am stuck in the amulet of oculus.” Truncheon utters as he rises up floating through the air and heading to the closet where he waves his hand and it opens revealing a glowing blue light from a white and blue jewel encrusted in a gold amulet with a long chain.

 “That thing” says Nina jumping out of bed and looking at it while standing next to the glowing blue Truncheon. “My parents bought me that back from their expedition to Africa. They said it was a good luck charm from a native priest.”

 “That is the amulet of the oculus, the all-seeing and all-knowing power of the universe and where I have been sort of imprisoned for a long time.”

“Like a genie” says Nina, “when do I get my wishes?”

 “Doesn’t work like that” says Truncheon, “I thought I was invincible when I was alive and committed crimes with impunity but I was told when I died that I could avoid eternal damnation in hell if I did the 1000 haunts to turn evil hearts to the tide of good and I am limited in this amulet to avoid me doing too much harm if I chose to, it drains me sometimes but it also protects me from those who would take me to hell, the shadow ones, and so forth... It’s more of a ball and chain than a magic wand.”

 “Why didn't you come out before?” asks Nina.

 “It takes a while for the presence to warm up” replies Truncheon.

 “The what?” asks Nina.

 “The presence, an aural light that surrounded me and its glow empowers me.”

 “Wow” says Nina picking it up holding its glowing form before her new friend. She turned a metal swirling device covering the blue jewel and it stops glowing.

 “That is what I need to exist here” says Truncheon. “If something happens to it, I will cease on the astral realm and be taken to hell by the shadow ones. I need your help to make sure it stays safe.” He looks at her with genuine concern and almost fears in his eyes for the eternal punishment are a thought too grim to bear.

 “I promise” says Nina looking back into his eyes connecting with him in a deeper spiritual sense.

 “My story sucks, Truncheon” says Nina. “Like I said, I am facing thirty years in prison for a probation violation and I don’t know how to get out of it except flee to Panama but even then, I might get caught because I’m so stupid. My parents’ money paid for me to go the Ivy League but I messed it up in my first semester so I ain’t got none fancy book learning” she utters jokingly and chuckles dancingly with her hands on her hips.

 Truncheon laughs deeply. “I do like you, Nina Blake.”

 “Thanks” she responds, “same here. So how many haunts have you done so far?” asks Nina.

 “Oh, none so far ... it’s been very hard and deeply challenging changing the hearts of man.” He sulks sadly.

 “I have been there” says Nina. “Another thing, you sure sound modern for a sixteenth century wolf man.”

“I learned a lot on this astral plane watching the mortal coil change with time and the society and modern euphemisms of the humanity and the world changing with it. And you aren’t the first human I spoke to but definitely you are the most interesting and the only one who didn’t throw me out with the trash.” Truncheon gestures to the amulet in Nina’s hand.

 “Not yet” she crossed her arms coyly. “I can’t believe you couldn’t do one lousy haunt in over half a millennium. You must be the stupidest ghost wolf man I have ever met.”

 “Me, what about you dropping out of the Ivy League despite your parents’ fortune and the whole crime and poor judgment in relationships are patently obvious?” Truncheon vulgarly responds crossing his arms. “Try and stay off the drugs and the booze sweetheart.” He mimics drinking with his thumb.

 “I have been sober for over thirteen months” says Nina waving her hands in the air rubbing her hair wildly looking at him with intense perspiration.

 “Look” replies Truncheon. “We need each other. You can help me do the 1000 haunts and I will help you go straight and avoid jail time for thirty years. I know we can do it and you might save your own soul as well” says Truncheon.

 “I think that sounds like a date...I mean a deal” says Nina reaching out touching Truncheon’s extended ghostly hand and pretending to shake it as he moves it up and down too.

 They smile looking at one another with wide-eyed hope and enthusiasm feeling a strong joining.

 Truncheon and Nina look on in her bedroom as tOn Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 11:12 AM, Jeffrey Estrella <> wrote:The winds of time howl fiercely over the horizon. Green hills and rolling landscapes stretch out as far as the eye could see as the adventure of a lifetime waits for the lonely four searching for the unsearchable. Having become both physically stronger and mentally sharper than ever before, joined by equipment and weapons far more advanced than any they have seen, their patron militaristic police agency sent them to find the treasure of the ages and that which holds the key to humanity’s very survival, the oculus stone! “Some people call it the lunar emblem, going back to Indo-American and Asiatic-referenced mythology” says Tina walking with her hands in her pocket nervously trying to kill the awkward silence in the serene landscape under a blue sky horizon, white immaculate clouds, and idyllic sunlight setting. “The temperature is eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit in the shade” comments Mercedes holding a triple-clinometer scanning device openly reading from it. “We can rest after we covered forty more clicks northward” says Drax adjusting the straps on his backpack and leading the group down the grassy terrain. “So TACUM couldn’t spot us a vehicle or anything” wonders James looking around curiously like a schoolboy. “After damaging about half a dozen vehicles in our prior missions, we aren’t privy to many new favors and by the way the exercise will do us well and we can lay low for a while as we head to the chamber” says Drax. “We need to be incognito!” “Yeah, we’re blending” says Tina sarcastically as they walk towards the growing turbulent winds beyond the viewpoint ahead of them. he Amulet of Oculus glows blue, white, green, red, pink, and yellow in synchronistic rotation. VR goggles and TC meter Laser rifle Arm Cannon Power enhancing amulet Beautiful blonde haired vixen mirage summons the four to their “deaths” time is forsaken abandoned deserted

   “Very colorful” says Nina.

 “Be careful” warns Truncheon, “it’s very ancient and with the amulet I can suspend time and go to places and I can take you with me if you are of no fear to go!”

 “Let’s go!” Nina exclaims jovially and ominously.

 “Great” says Truncheon.

 “So where do we go from here to find these 1000 haunts?”

 “There are many places in history such as the knights of gothic old, the renaissance, the medieval periods, ancient prehistory, and periods in your past and future you cannot even begin to imagine exist but are there and visible to me as a spirit but not accessible” says Truncheon.

 “You are a walking talking encyclopedia.”

 “It is just what I learned throughout the last five centuries, which you would too if you existed as long as I have here on this astral plane. It is part of what is coming, the coming!” He looks up melancholy and frustrated at something.   

 “We may be fated to work together” says Nina.

“True data buddy” laughs Truncheon.

 Nina laughs to Truncheon in her bedroom as she then turns serious with an almost weeping tone, “I always had this vision of people that I called ‘the allies’ and they were meant to be a group of friends who fight ride and die together hanging out and doing all kinds of things together but they never came to fruition, it’s sort of history and destiny. I always knew since I was little in thought I would encounter them in my lifetime but never did and may never will ... but it’s ok, it was just a silly childhood fantasy, a pipe dream.”

 “You never know” utters Truncheon.

 Outside of the house near the garage, Nina sits in the driver seat of her limited-edition Aston Martin convertible with the motor running as she ties a sun hat down around her chin and adjusts her dark glasses in the middle of the day. She then ties the white shawl around her shoulders and looks around trying to remain inconspicuous in her empty surroundings on her parents’ grounds with not another soul in sight but the wolf-faced spirit besides her looking at her curiously.

 “What?” she asks rhetorically and shyly.

 “Are you sure you’re ready? You look like you are going to the beach or something or ready to drive over a cliff.”

 “I just can’t be too careful” replies Nina. “You are a spirit protected by an amulet” she holds up the open and glowing amulet of the oculus again from the center console and puts it on the dashboard closing the metal covering. “I am in the real world. If I get caught violating my probation, they will send my butt back up to prison.” she yells with a harsh tone.

 “Oh really” says Truncheon as he claps his hands and a puff of bluish smoke from his surrounding light aura fills the air and extends outward like a bubble surrounding them in the vehicle.

 “What was that?” wonders Nina perplexed.

 “Now, you are protected too by the power of the amulet of oculus. The presence has the ability to extend time to allow us to glide alongside it without being discovered or intervening in its affairs unless we choose to. Now we can use your ground vehicle to travel anywhere in time and space to find those that we need to find to do the thousand haunts and save both of our futures.”

 “That seems easy enough” says Nina.

 “You think so but it is not. I have been trying for over five of your centuries and had no luck with one” says Truncheon.

 “You never had a friend like me” says Nina staring into him deeply. “You think there is a real way to do this?” she asks calmly.

 “I think anything is possible as long as there is a noble spirit and strong sentiment of will and the heart to unlock the mystery to anything in the universe that it has to offer, especially the most good of all things, the power of love!” Truncheon blinks his large golden eyes in the blue aura.

 Nina nods with a smile. “let’s roll out” she says putting the car into drive and steering forward accelerating the car down and out of the grounds past the gated security area and Nina is shocked that the guards in the booth do not stop her but then she notices that they don’t see her. “Golly” she remarks as she sees Truncheon smiling beside her with his arms folded casually and she pushes the car forward and watches in awe as the car passes right through the gate and down the suburban street with a trail of blue aural smoking light in its wake. “Where do we go to find this witch first now, Truncheon blue mean?”

 “It’s where the wind takes us” he replies jovially.

 “That seems odd indeed” jokes Nina looking at the oculus amulet glowing as the metal piece opens on its own. “What the hell?”

 “I forgot to mention” says Truncheon, “sometimes it has a life of its very own!” the amulet glows a combination of blue, white, green, red, pink, and yellow. 

 “It’s not just for amateur décor you mean” says Nina.

 “With the amulet I can suspend time and go to places and I can take you with me if you are of no fear to go” Truncheon smiles at Nina.

 “Really, let’s go!” Nina exclaims.

 “Onward” shouts Truncheon.

 “So where do we go from here to find these 1000 haunts?” asks Nina.

 “Hmm...” says Truncheon looking up stroking his chin and crossing his arms. “I seem to recall that there was an old priestess witch in the woods of old that knows a lot of hauntings and I suggest we consult her. She was last alive in the year 1936.”

 “So, we are going back in time” says Nina.

 “We are going into time” says Truncheon, “below and behold” he waves his hands. A golden vortex appears on top of them roaring and swirling and they vanish with it instantaneously as the pair in the car pass through the vortex and through a golden tunnel of energy and electrified light zooming fast through it.

 “Where are we?” asks Nina shocked.

 “Inside time” says Truncheon. “It is nothing new to me but you will get used to it” he adds.

 “Wow” she remarks with her eyes and mouth wide open in disbelief as she grips the wheel before her trying to steer in a futile manner.

 “The currents of time will guide us where we need to be” says Truncheon.

 “So, the blue aura presence from the amulet suspends us outside of time and freezes it for us while the vortex of gold sends us…” says Nina.

 “Into time” finishes Truncheon “to our adventures!”


Chapter 3: The Great Calpurnia

England, March 17, 1896

“A journey into forsaken and forgotten places” says Mildred Fairchild, a young lavish woman in her prime staring into a glass divining bowl with a metal and glass rod in her hand.  She glares into the bowl of still water with her painted eyes of lapis lazuli and her red curly hair fluffed atop her head as her white gown with stars and planets painted down it swirled with her movements. She laughs seeing an image of a pair, a woman with long dark hair and expensive tastes with a blue aurally-lit spiritually ascended wolf man with large golden eyes riding strong in a strange looking carriage without animals attached to it. The calendar on the wall behind her reads March 17, 1896.


 Small Town of Windshire, England May 18, 1936

The golden light of the portal flourished throughout the crimson skies touching the cold desolate cobble stone streets below and a flash of energy emerges revealing the Aston Martin car appearing as if from nowhere and the gold light instantly vanishing behind it. Nina stumbled as she tried to drive her car down the rickety path and cursed under her breath briefly until she quickly regained control and moved slowly at an even pace and Truncheon nods beside her as the pair look out the windshield at the darkening skies in the horizon and the barely lit candled windows of the small cottages and Easter homes. the road extends until it touches a dirt path heading up a long narrow curvature up a hill side unwinding upward towards the zenith several miles up and a large cottage with turrets and towers like a castle rests there looking down with the ferocity of a great monolithic structure bearing the proverbial might of a biblical leviathan. Lights filled the windows of that structure brighter than any in the town homes below.

 “Whoa... this seems promising” says Nina calmly.

 “You should have seen the craziness I have been through before we met. This is nothing to sneeze at. We are fortunate it is dark and there are no people about but they couldn’t see us anyway” he laughs.

 “We should head to the top of the hill, which looks like an old witch’s cabin if I ever saw one, right?” asks Nina.

 “Right” replies Truncheon.

 The car slowly moves along the road until reaching the dirt patch and proceeding to the narrow unwinding hill road slowly ascending to the main castle-like cottage high above settling and parking on a dirt patch above and beside the castle.

 “Don’t forget to take the amulet as I must be close to it to help you” says Truncheon.

 “Got it, this is a marriage, remember?” says Nina questioning rhetorically.

 Thunder and lightning suddenly reign down upon the area surrounding the castle and Nina alights from her vehicle with the amulet in her pocket and begins looking around scared at the darkness and weather patterns violently emerging as the winds picked up and rain began to drop on her. Truncheon appeared vanishing in a puff of blue smoke from the car’s passenger seat to the top dirt patch before her floating in midair unaffected by the rain around him.

 “This blows very hard”, says Nina, “I am soaking wet…I thought the presence protected us from this” she adds.

 “It does, well mostly … anyway, let’s go inside where it is warm and dry” replies Truncheon.

 Nina runs as Truncheon vanishes in a puff of blue smoke again. approaching the castle, Nina bangs on the big wooden set of doors with large metal round knockers like a medieval fortress and she continues pounding on it with both fists hard while yelling at the top of her lungs, “let me in, please!” and she continues this as well as kicking at the door while the rain continues pouring harder and harder soaking her and the winds blow almost knocking her down. The doors suddenly open together and on their own and she runs inside the darkened atrium of the main centered interior as the doors close on their own behind her. Truncheon appears before her out of a puff of smoke and fills the room with a blue light. Suddenly, lights turn on throughout the main center and the pair looks around perplexed.

 “Who is it there?” asks Nina yelling furiously removing her hat, shawl, and glasses tossing them on the floor and trying to dry herself by squeezing her shirt out with a twist and rinse of the ends.

 “I think we are about to find out who our host is” says Truncheon looking at an old woman with a dark cloak and hood standing in the distance at the top of a long staircase made of wooden banisters and steps with red velvet carpeting descending downward, a large chandelier hangs above them and furniture covered in drapery rests bout, including sofas, seats, and a grand piano. “Don’t worry” says Truncheon as he sees fear on Nina’s face. “The presence will protect us” he crosses his arms magnanimously and proudly.

 “Who is that? Is she the old witch or priestess?” whispers Nina calmly.

 “That’s subtle” utters Truncheon sarcastically.

 “I am the guardian” the old woman speaks reverently and magnanimously for her age disappearing in a cloud of white and appearing instantly before Nina and Truncheon looking at both with curiously large round eyes bloodshot with a fever of an ancient void inside her wrinkled form with white straggly hair coming down from her cloak, a large nose, and perplexingly furrowed brow.

 “How can she see us?” utters Nina.

 “She must have powers penetrating the presence” says Truncheon. “She couldn’t do that the last time I saw her.”

 “When was the last time you saw her?” says Nina quick and panicked.

 “I have never seen anyone like you before” says the old woman.

 “He is a ghost wolf-man thing” says Nina confused as she looks at the old woman.

 “I was talking about you” says the old woman looking at Nina. “You are not from our town… you traveled from a great distance.”

 “Yes” says Nina, “we need your help!”

 “What she means is” says Truncheon, “is we are looking for the reason of 1000 haunts, a purpose” he continues holding his lapel almost gentlemanly with an artificially-imposed sophisticated vernacular to his tone.

 “That is for you to decide wolf man” says the old woman, “anyway, I know everything about you as I am a great clairvoyant” she adds turning and raising her arms in the air high above, “I am known throughout the realm as the Great Calpurnia, sorceress of wisdom!”

 “Great, Calpurnia… Julius Caesar’s wife” says Nina jokingly, “very cute… I am Nina ….”

 “I know who you are” turns Calpurnia with a sinister snarl and glare, “you do not think I would recognize time jumpers in my midst, it has been ages. Nina Blake and Truncheon Blue Mean of Oceanus and I know that you are time jumpers… but I am not inclined to help you one bit. You will pay for your trespasses and will not leave this place alive!” she laughs and vanishes in a white cloud of smoke again.

 “Oh no” says Nina looking at Truncheon who looks back at her nervously and vanishes in a puff of blue smoke.

 “Curses” utters Nina as she runs to the door and bangs on it to try to get out and tries to open it by pulling on it with all her strength but can’t budge it. She turns as the lights suddenly go out and darkness fills the main center. Frightened, she screams and runs finding herself to the stairwell and ascending the steps as fast as she could nearly be falling and tripping forward on herself as she feels someone chasing her and gaining upon her. She runs to the right and to a door that opens and she seals herself inside breathing heavily up against the door. A puff of blue smoke fills the room and Truncheon appears before her.

 “Hey” says Truncheon.

 “What the hell happened to you?” scolds Nina. “Don’t you ever leave me like that again!”

 “I am sorry but I panicked. I never met an old witch who threatened to do me in, she wasn’t that mean before” replies Truncheon.

 “You are already dead” yells Nina hitting the blue air before Truncheon striking through him repeatedly.

 “I don’t know what she is capable of… maybe she can send me directly to hell or something.”

 “Don’t worry… I’ll see you there first” Nina scolded looking out the door opening it slightly. She sees Calpurnia appear in a puff of white smoke approaching slowly like a stealthy jungle cat stalking its prey. She holds a wooden cane with curved edges like a scimitar and long tips of metal and glass. A bolt of lightning fires from it as she aims it towards the door. Nina closes the door and ducks away as the door blasts into pieces shattering about. Nina covers her head on the floor in the small bedroom. Truncheon stands before the blasted door unaffected smirking with fear. “Can’t you do something” yells Nina looking up from the floor as Calpurnia appears in the room in a puff of white smoke.

 “Alawishes lavishes…. total misses,” screams Truncheon as he holds out his hand facing Calpurnia’s wooden wand and a puff of whirling blue lit smoke emerges as another lightning bolt comes from Calpurnia’s wand. The two forces meet and Calpurnia vanishes in a puff of white smoke as Truncheon’s might overpowers that of the wand sending the lightning bolt back to the other side of the hall striking another door blasting it into pieces.

 Nina rises up. “Wow that was amazing. Why didn’t you say you could do that?”

 “I didn’t know” says Truncheon shrugging, “that was my first time!”

 “Well, that bitchy woman will be back so we better find a way out of here” says Nina looking at a desk near the small bed. She runs to the back and opens the top draws.

 “What are you doing?” asks Truncheon walking through the desk and looking beside her.  

“Trying to find something like a key maybe” says Nina.

 “Good idea” utters Truncheon looking out of the open door for possible return of the old witch Calpurnia.

 “Look” says Nina picking up a set of papers with a handwritten letter on top in old yellow-decaying paper.

 “What is it?” wonders Truncheon.

 “A set of love notes, dated in the late nineteenth century” says Nina looking through them and reading them to herself.

“Saucy” says Truncheon salivating.

 “The last one is a doozy” says Nina who then read it aloud, “my dearest Mildred Fairchild. We have not known each other for long but I feel strangely compelled to write to you that we can never be together again as we have different paths in life and I am destined for a far nobler calling. Please do not continue the dark path you have begun for I fear you have the gift to accomplish great things if you just focus your strengths outward. Best wishes, you’re beloved in the past lives and those yet to come, Mister Harbinger Drax.”

 “Who is Mildred Fairchild?” wonders Truncheon.

 “Wow, a sound like old Calpurnia was dumped” says Nina. “She changed her name and became the old bitch witch we just saw and vanquished.”

 “Better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all” says Truncheon closing his eyes and touching his chest where his heart would be if he was alive.

 “You ever lost love?” asks Nina looking up at him.

 “Of course, who hasn’t?” replies Truncheon, “and you?”

 “I have had a string of ex-boyfriends who were into stuff and booze but we never did anything and it was just jerking, smoking, drinking, and stealing stuff around town. I have never really been in love or in a real relationship, yet to meet someone to tug at my heartstrings, you could call me the true forty-year old virgin” says Nina.

 “Damn kid” replies Truncheon.

 “Well it is what it is” says Nina putting the letters away.

 “Darkness come and evil triumph, wisdom grows and those defiant die!” the magnanimous voice of the old witch Calpurnia sounds from below at the main center and a series of lightning bolts multiply simultaneously upward to the banister and begins to fill the rooms together.

 “Oh no” yells Nina seeing the lightning bolts approaching her.

 Truncheon looks on with a panic and hugs Nina tightly with both of his ghostly arms and a blue bubble of smoking blue light fills Nina surrounding her and the lightning bolts fill the room passing through her completely.

 “I got you kid” says Truncheon calmly as Nina tears while being embraced by the blue smoking light. The lightning passes and Truncheon lets Nina go looking at her with a sincere gaze of affection as he touches his transparent blue hand to her eye trying to catch a falling teardrop. “I won’t let anything happen to you, ever!”

 Nina sobs.

 “Are you alright?” he asks.

 Nina nods.

 “That is what I call crazy… my guess is she will recharge and try again” says Truncheon.

 “Am I going to die here?” asks Nina softly.

 “Not if I can help it” says Truncheon proudly.

 “How can we fight magic?” asks Nina.

 “Magic is magic” says Truncheon lifting his blue light smoking hand.

 “Science knowledge can defeat magic and deflect it with a giant metallic ring to conduct her electricity” says Nina. “We can find something to construct and maybe using my car’s catalytic converter engine as a source to reverse the particle flow stream of her wand … science trumps magic!” Nina yells.

 “Except one thing” says Truncheon.

 “What’s that?” asks Nina.

 “How can we do that if the car is outside and we are struck in here?” asks Truncheon rhetorically. “The presence is being blocked while in here. I can’t send us out. Look at the amulet” he adds.

 “Oh right…” says Nina taking it out of her pocket and opening it. “It is not glowing as brightly.”

 “That usually means something” says Truncheon looking about, “but I can’t remember what.”

 “What do we do?” asks Nina. “I don’t suppose you can make us vanish again?”

 Truncheon shakes his head and starts walking, “there is a peaceful good way to win here!”

 “How?” asks Nina.

 “Knowledge is power” says Truncheon.

The pair walks out of the room and down the stairs seeing Calpurnia standing holding her wand charging with lightning on its metal and glass tips and her snarling look feeling angrier.

 “What do I have to do to kill you?” screams Calpurnia.

 “We know everything your old witch … Mildred Fairchild!” Nina screams.

 “What?” asks Calpurnia shocked in rhetoric “how did you know that name? I am Calpurnia the great and nothing you say can stop me. I will destroy you!”

 “You lost your true love” says Truncheon, “his name was Mister Harbinger Drax… we don’t want to fight you anymore… just let us go and we won’t bother you. I know what it is like to lose someone. I was alive once and had a fiancée who was tragically killed because I couldn’t control myself. Now, I am paying for it and for all the other bad things I did to people and families. You can read my soul and know what I have been through and what I have had to live with for over five centuries and what pain I have caused and how I will do anything to make up for it.” Truncheon speaks adamantly and proud.

 Calpurnia nods in an almost somber recognition.

 “This one is here to help me” says Truncheon gesturing to Nina. “She doesn’t deserve to die. She has her own problems. We just want a second chance at forgiveness, redemption, and the capacity to do good, right. You know what that is like!”

 “Please” says Nina, “it is hard to live with the pain but from what I have seen” she looks at Truncheon crying as she clutches her chest, “it is even harder to die with it!”

 “I did love Harbinger” says Calpurnia walking lowering her wand and discharging it ceasing the glow of the lightning bolts sparking before and she uses it as a walking cane as she circles the pair. “But he deliberately chose another life, a job, a calling to service and protection of the innocent, he chose to do good over being with me… he chose the path of the soldier and to hide in the shadows in the name of good and evil countered… so anger, shame, bitterness, anguish, sorrow, sadness, and mental suffering along with a depression so great it is beyond time fill me till this day and fuel my rage and dark magic exploration and power to control everything and destroy everything … and that is why I continued my path and why I cannot let you leave alive” she looks up with even bloodier eyes and raising her wand charging it up with sparks of electrified lightning again as she stands at a distance of a half dozen meters from them during her walk.

 Nina looks on as she tries to run but fear paralyzes her and Truncheon lowers his head in a shameful defeat.

 “Please Calpurnia” says Truncheon fiercely determined, “trust me this is not the answer or you will regret it in the next life.”

 “I have no next life” says Calpurnia enraged.

 “He didn’t want this for you” says Nina.

 “He made his choice as do I” says Calpurnia aiming her wand and firing the bolts of lightning to the pair.

 Truncheon claps his hands and nothing happens. Then instantly, the golden vortex emerges before them and instantly, a puff of white smoke appears, and a woman stands before them with a similar wand blocking the lightning and absorbing into her wooden wand’s metal and glass tips. The woman was taller with a lavish gown, red curly hair, and excessive make up. She stood proudly and saw the older woman before her who looks back with shock and a dumbfounded grin.

 “You” says Calpurnia.

 “Me” says the younger woman proudly. “As it was meant to be again and again!”

 “Mildred Fairchild” says Nina, “you did it Truncheon!”

 “I didn’t do anything. The presence is still blocked. I think this was meant to happen one way or another” says Truncheon.

 “You met me once before, you know as I do that this meeting was ordained previously as history and destiny!” The younger woman speaks with a magnanimous appearance.

 “I never should have let it” says Calpurnia shaking her head. “I was a fool but I can end it now for all time” she adds raising her wand to her younger self. “You are not impervious from our own strength and I am far stronger than you” says Calpurnia.

 “That is not possible as it will circle around again as you remember when you were in my position” says Mildred Fairchild, “and then envisioned this moment forty years ago.” 

 “What are we witnessing?” whispers Nina.

 “I have heard of this phenomenon once before” says Truncheon, “it’s called a triple temporal reemergence when the pair, past and future, arrive and met.”

 “Wow” says Nina.

 “Leave these innocents be for their mission” says Mildred Fairchild.

 “They are not innocents as you know but criminals and trespassers both in time and on our dominion and they shall be destroyed!” Calpurnia growls loudly as she waves her electrified wand.

“You know very well what the fates have spoken of with in terms of redemption and hope for second chances and that these two have a fate far greater than any we can imagine. Look beyond your anger and hatred for the lost love in our lives and focus on that remembrance.” Mildred Fairchild speaks raising her wand.

 “No, I do see that future there is only danger of evil ways of a people destined to scratch their way throughout time forgotten with no legacy and no birth right” says Calpurnia waving her body and waving her wand down and up. “I see them in the quest but I cannot forget the pain…” she raises her wand towards the pair looking angrily and charges the lightning. The lightning bolt strikes outward in multiple directions as the younger Mildred Fairchild looks down in sorrow and raises her wand firing towards the older woman’s wand a bolt of lightning shorting out her charges but spreading it outward multiplying the damage sending the bolts in directions outside of the house crashing through glass windows above. The lightning obliterates homes and streets with people dying in a fiery abyss and the Aston Martin parked near the castle cottage blows up in the melee.

 Nina runs and takes cover as Truncheon vanishes in a puff of blue light smoke.

 The two witches lightning bolts continue spreading and shooting upward and outside towards the homes below vaporizing the town in total destruction of the combined might of the lightning from both wands. The glow of the lightning coupled with the natural lightning outside and rain with loud thunder fills the air. The younger Mildred Fairchild looks on and fires another bolt toward Calpurnia’s wand charging another bolt and sending the shocking bolt back knocking out the great Calpurnia to the floor unconscious but breathing.

 “Is she dead?” screams Nina coming out of hiding and Truncheon reappears in his puff of blue smoke.

 “No” says Mildred Fairchild “but history never changes when love is involved. We have been in this constant cycle for ages and it seems I am now destined to repeat it and fail to learn any more than she was ... the ultimate lesson that ….”

 “What?” asks Truncheon.

 “No matter how … how hard you try, you cannot fight the power of love and once its deprivation has led the soul to darkness there is no turning back” says Mildred Fairchild almost sobbing “from my thirties to her sixties.”

 “There must be some redemption” wonders Nina.

 “For you” says Mildred Fairchild. “In this year of our lord 1936 in the eastern European town of Windshire and Thunder Falls, we have been in cycle from my earlier late nineteenth century vantage point.”

 “So, you and she are the same” says Nina.

 Mildred Fairchild nods.

 “You don’t know about the letters and the breakup” says Nina.

 “I have always known… from my time I see into the future. But the cycle is destined to always continue as it will again when I become her” says Mildred Fairchild looking on at the unconscious Calpurnia.

 “Maybe not... we are here....” says Nina. “We are here” she repeats looking at Truncheon.  “Maybe that is different now and you have a chance to redeem you and not become her but learn from this and become better, to avoid falling into the darkness despite the loss of love and get back on the saddle and find your real mister right” says Nina.

 “That is why I chose you, kid” says Truncheon smiling, “I knew you got potential.”

 “And my parents found and gave me your amulet remember” says Nina.

 “Oh yeah” says Truncheon.

 “It won’t work” says Mildred Fairchild. “You both were here before.”

 “Huh?” asks Nina.

 “Time travel paradoxes, kid” says Truncheon.

 “Look” says Nina shaking her head “I don’t care what happened before. I believe in my heart people can change and do some good in the world. That is why I am here and that is why Truncheon Blue Mean is here!” And as the amulet opens again and starts glowing and Nina takes it out.

 “That is the Amulet of Oculus” says Mildred Fairchild looking at it desirably.

 “Yes” says Nina gesturing at Truncheon “but he is married to it and I am to him, it’s complicated. Try to remember that we can do anything we set our hearts and minds to. Don’t let your knowledge of the past or future change what you know you can and should be in your heart of hearts. It is the only thing we really have to cling to in times of despair.”

 Mildred Fairchild looks on while nodding, “young but so wise. You must go as destiny calls for our times to split forth once more, be well to one another and never forget what you have learned for good comes from understanding first and foremost” says Mildred Fairchild looking up and raising her wand vanishing in a puff of smoke.

 Truncheon nods and claps excitedly “I feel the presence is back.” Then the golden vortex begins to erupt and consume the cloud of smoke sending it back to where it came and simultaneously absorbing Nina and Truncheon with the amulet leaving the empty main center with the unconscious form of the great Calpurnia.

 The pair of Nina and Truncheon appears in the main center again fully lit and the golden vortex fades.

 “Where are we?” wonders Nina.

 “This looks like we haven’t moved at all” says Truncheon. “How odd we went through a time-space moving flexure and didn’t move in time and space?”

 “Maybe we just didn’t move in space” says Nina shrugging “but time….”

 “It is one year later, 1937 year of our lord” says the magnanimous voice of the great Calpurnia coming from the bedroom upstairs. Nina and Truncheon look at one another in stunned curiosity and Nina runs up the steps as Truncheon vanishes in his blue light smoke and as Nina turns right and runs to the door of the small bedroom and opens it, surprising to see the door was repaired form when they last were here. She sees Calpurnia in bed covered up and sweating with pain as Truncheon appears beside her in a puff of blue light smoke.

“You have returned one last time to see me perish from this Earth” says Calpurnia.

  “This must be the triple time in your temporal reemergence” says Nina.

 Truncheon nods.

 “I am no longer the great Calpurnia… plain Mildred Fairchild again am I, and on my deathbed now, I greatly and wholeheartedly apologize for everything that I have done. I pray that I have and will be forgiven in time by the great one above and have mercy on me” she looks at the pair and then to the heavens. She looks back at the pair.

“Thanks, but what happened to the town… the lightning that night that caused it to go Chernobyl style?” asks Nina.

“That was a year ago… I have sinned” says Mildred Fairchild’s older ailing form. “I have done what I can to restore the homes but the people will never return. Death caused and I will surely pay for it in the next life” she adds looking at Truncheon who nods in sorrow.

“Here, take this” she hands them the wooden wand and Nina grabs it.

“Your wand” she says looking at it holding it.

“I want to tell you” starts Mildred, “I was never a bad person.”

“No, you’re cool” says Truncheon sarcastically.

“You tried to kill us and vaporized a town” says Nina. “Not exactly girl scouts” she adds.

“We all make mistakes” says Mildred, “but you see, I always wanted to be good but was driven by an innate desire to treat others like dirt and seemed entitled to the ultimate power. Once you pursue the arts of stealing that energy, it becomes stronger and controlling, luring you and wanting you to come so it takes a hold and will not let go. I regret it now. I am a person who did bad things.”

“That’s what I call douche-ass-it is” says Nina.

“I do see your futures as did my other version who retreated to her old time… you two will have to go far and search long to gain what you seek” says Mildred.

“What can you tell us about it?” asks Nina.

“Please” beg Truncheon with his hands folded.

“Your quest will take you many places and times for sure” says Mildred, “I see too many to name but great understanding and understanding is….”

“The key to good” says Nina, “we got it! And you remember what we spoke of a year ago?”

Mildred nods smiling. “You are young and wise!”

“I hate to be a pest” says Truncheon “but we have travelled far already and me even longer. Is there a purpose to the haunts I or we are destined to do?”

“Ah, so you want my help” asks Mildred laughing with an old crinkled and coughing voice and pointing to the desk next to her bed and the divining bowl on it with water.

“It would be good” says Nina.

“We need your help to figure out what we should do next” says Truncheon.

“Oh, so you admit you both need and want some help from me eh, well it’s the least I can do after what happened” says Mildred. “Alright, one last spells psychic divining for the village” she waves her hands over the water from her bed and sees them. “I see you two going to the farthest places in space and time but many will not believe your ghostly ambitions so you must always work together and look out for one another as I see you will be with one another for a very long time. It’s like a marriage” Mildred adds laughing. “Anyway, use her to guide you amongst the living” says Mildred looking at Truncheon who nods sincerely “and use him to enable the spectral world to move the mortal coil in ways you cannot predict” says Mildred looking at Nina who nods in agreement emphatically.

“You both are gifted and need to work together to accomplish your goals … 1000 haunts aren’t easy …” she chuckles and coughs “however embrace the deceiving side and focus on each other’s strengths and endure the weaknesses to compensate and complement each other.”

  “We will” says Truncheon.

 “No problem” says Nina.

 “I can start you off that you are to travel to the far-off islands of the Caribbean, specifically old Dominican Republic on the Island of Hispaniola… an old order lurks and your journey will reveal great difficulty, hardship, and chaos ... but also thank you now again for your patience and vigilance to my past self who changed me somewhat, one additional more magic spell vision for the village” says Mildred, “what is left of it, anyway! Always remember, don’t let time pass you by!” She closes her eyes  and the water in the divining bowl moves showing her the vision and she spoke magnanimously with a deeper voice through it that “they are destined to meet their greatest challenge and the ones who will help them accomplish their mission to do the 1000 haunts, only together two living and dead female and male both troubled both burdened and both destined” she finishes and opens her eyes as she smirks saying “it felt good to help someone for once and do good” and then she closes her eyes and dies.

 “Oh, poor thing” says Nina holding the wand. “I wish she didn’t have to die.”

 “Everyone dies” says Truncheon trying to touch Nina’s shoulder consoling her as he sees a wisp of white smoking cloudy vapor emanate from Mildred into the great abyss encircled by the golden vortex. He nods in a silent prayer of mourning.

 “You saw her leave” says Nina.

 Truncheon nods.

 “It never gets easy huh?” asks Nina.

 Truncheon shakes his head in an almost weeping pose.

 “I realize that we did help her at the end of her life” says Nina.

 “So, you think we are successful” says Truncheon.

 “Not yet but look” says Nina holding the amulet she pulls from her pocket and it opens glowing wildly with the six colors and a single white line rises across it.

 “That never happened before” says Truncheon shocked.

 “Maybe that was our first successful haunt” says Nina raising her eyebrows.

 “So, we should feel content that one of the thousand haunts have been crossed out as evidenced by the amulet glowing and a line slicing through the six colors and the first of many to come” says Truncheon.

 “Shahrazad had a thousand tales and you have a thousand haunts as do we… I guess 999 haunts” says Nina winking.

 “She died right after she became good” says Truncheon. “It hardly seems fair to count this one.”

 “Every little bit helps” says Nina. “She is in a better place and she learned about being good and became good so that is all we need and she will learn in her afterlife how to use it for the better.” Nina finishes and Truncheon nods.

 “Indeed” says Truncheon.

 “Let’s go” says Nina, “we got to get to the Caribbean and hopefully my car is still outside.”

 “Let’s go” says Truncheon.

 They walk downstairs and use the wand to open the doors and it fades away leaving a gold coin in Nina’s hand, the tip of the wand. The pair reach the Aston Martin still waiting outside for a year and still running restored by Mildred’s magic spell that restored the town from the destruction of lightning that happened a year ago.

 “That Mildred wasn’t so bad. She just needed love” says Nina, “as we all do!”

 The pair entered the car and Truncheon claps his hands and the golden vortex appears over them.

 “Where to next my blue true friend... to Hispaniola of course” Nina speaks aloud looking at the creature beside her and he smiles, “on to our next adventure” as the entire car vanishes in a sparkling glow of electrical golden energy and then the golden light fades as the pair jump onward to their next adventure.  

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