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Castle Darkest Night


In the Tarot the purpose of the Hierophant is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. The Rider-Waite-Smith deck explicitly connects the Hierophant with the Ten of Swords. A dead man lies face down on a beach and is penetrated by ten swords. He has his hand in the same position of blessing as the Hierophant. Perhaps the artist believed that the path of the Hierophant ultimately leads to death; a sanctified death, but death nonetheless.


The Tower


At the end of the hallway was the entrance to the tower. Amy led the way up a narrow spiral staircase. They climbed what Kraus estimated was five stories. Near the top Kraus looked out an arrow slit. Because the full moon lit up the countryside, he could see for miles around. Beyond the hills, meadows and farmland glistened the snow covered peaks of the Alps and a star studded night sky. After they climbed a few more steps, they came upon an oaken door which would not open.

"Oh damn," Kraus said. "We've worn ourselves out for nothing. The door is locked."

"I wonder who has a key."

"Probably Herman." He glanced at his watch. It was near midnight. The butler would be in bed.

"Tomorrow you must get it from him." Amy's eyes reflected a great eagerness to see what was in that room. Kraus wondered why.

As they turned to head back downstairs, Kraus heard footstep behind the door. He put his ear to the door, sure that someone was in the room beyond. He rapped loudly. The sounds from within stopped. He called out, "Whoever is in there, I hear you walking about. This is Doctor Joseph Kraus, owner of this property. Let me in, or I'll call the police." He repeated this in Austrian in case the person within did not speak English. He listened again. There was no sound. He cursed.

While he wondered what to do next, there was a click. He tried the doorknob. It turned, and the door creaked open. Whatever lie beyond was in total darkness. Kraus fumbled for a light switch. Overhead fluorescent lights came on, revealing a large room that was part library, part laboratory and part medical examining room.

He peered around for the person who had made the noise. The room was empty of human presence. There did not seem anywhere for an intruder to hide. He scratched his head. Someone had been walking about and had unlocked the door. Where could he or she have gone? There had to be another exit. He and Amy stepped into the room.

"Apparently Uncle Johann was doing scientific work. I wonder why he was so secretive about it."

While he searched for another way out of the room, Amy opened cabinets. After a while, he heard her talking. When he turned to look at her, in her hands was a large glass container. She was whispering to it. He walked over to see what she had. To his horror, it contained a dead infant preserved in alcohol. It must have died at birth, because it was completely formed and full size.

Amy turned toward him. "Look Joe, a baby. I've named him Adolph, a proper Austrian name don't you think."

"Please put that back where you got it, Amy. It's dead, like Edmund."

"But he's talking to me through telepathy. He wants to live."

He snatched the jar from her hands, put it back in the open cabinet and slammed the doors shut. "C'mon, we must get out of here. Your delusions are returning."

"But what about Adolph?" She turned toward the cabinet and gazed through the glass with longing.

"We'll come back tomorrow. You'll see things clearer in the daylight." He pulled her toward the exit. She came reluctantly. Before they left, he had a queer feeling on the back of his neck as though they were being watched.

To purchase this ebook go to Page Turner Editions. It is also available at most online E-book sellers.



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