Terror At The Desmond Caves 
by Debby Graham

Part 1. Philip and the witches coven
Chapters: One | Two | Three | Four

Part 2. Philip's disappearance
Chapters: One | Two | Three


Part 1. Philip and the witches coven

Chapter 1

Philip Desmond is seated in the Desmondton restaurant when Irene Hatter and Laslo Thaxton enter. They take a seat across from him not noticing him.

"Is it all set for tonight?" Laslo asks Irene.

"Everybody will be there by midnight. But we are still one member short."

"I wouldn't worry you are always provided for." Laslo tells her.

"I do worry Laslo, our group needs that last person."

The waitress arrives to take their order. Laslo glances around and sees Philip. "Philip Desmond is sitting across from us. We will continue this discussion back at your cottage."

Philip stands and walks to their table. "Irene, Laslo it's interesting meeting you here."

"We are old friends. Irene says to Philip. "Laslo invited me for lunch and to catch up on some gossip about old acquaintances."

"Why don't I believe that?" Philip says to her.

"What ever do you mean?"

"Ever since Laslo came to town there have been many odd things happening around Desmondton and especially Desmond Hall. Strange meetings at night with some of the prominent people in the town. Other people that leave town and nobody knows where they went or why."

"What does that have to do with me?" Laslo asks.

"Before my cousin married you she was a strong woman that helped in the family business. Now she seems afraid of her own shadow and want nothing to do with the family."

"Well you surely cannot blame me. My wife seems very unstable and needs someone to take care of her." Laslo tells him. "I will have to look into a quiet sanatorium and of course I will take over guardianship of my stepson Cort."

"I wouldn't try it if I were you. There is nothing wrong with Ada. I think there is more going on than you are letting on. Now if you will excuse me." Philip walks away.

Irene looks at Laslo. "He knows."

"Philip Desmond is no threat to us. If he causes too much trouble I will deal with him." Laslo says to her.

After leaving the restaurant Philip pauses next to his car. He had heard enough of Irene and Laslos discussion that it started him thinking. He had heard rumors of a witches coven practicing at Desmondton he now has a good idea of two of the people involved. Deciding to find out more about the coven and the other members Philip decides to wait until midnight to watch Irene Hatter's cottage.

Arriving early Philip hides in the shrubs next to the cottage. First Waldo Travers arrives. then the Pruetts, finally Laslo Thaxton. He watches as they dim the lights, then keeping low he walks up to the window and looks over the window sill.

Philip watches as they each light a candle, then Irene builds a house of cards in a circular bowl.

"This house of fire we pledge to dwell in it forever." Irene says as she sets the cards on fire. "Let us join hands." The members of the coven stand and do as she Irene bids them to do. "Spirits of the night hear us. Those that dwell in the darkness hear us. Send us a sign."

The windows blow open. Philip drops to the ground.

"You have heard us. You are with us in this room." Looking at the other members Irene tells them to take their seats.

"We need one more member to complete our circle. We call upon you to send us your disciple to join us. Irene says

Philip is sneaking around the side doors to get a better view when he falls through the doors landing on his hands and feet next to Irene.

"It looks like our newest member has arrived." Waldo says.

"Philip Desmond? I told you Laslo he knows about us!" Irene says.

"Let's see what he has to say for himself." Laslo says as he looks at Philip.

Philip stands and looks at the members of the coven. "I have come to ask you to allow me to join."

"By spying on us?" Laslo asks him.

"I didn't know how to approach you and your group." Philip says to him.

"He did come when we asked our Master." Irene says.

"I still don't trust him." Laslo tells her.

"We will let our Master decide. Philip take that seat." Irene tells him.

Philip sits in the empty seat. The candles have blown out. Laslo lights the first candle then one by one they all take their turn.

Irene hands a candle to Philip. "Light this candle and add it to the rest." she instructs him.

Philip does as he is told. Next a gold chalice is passed to each member as they add a drop of their blood to the wine that is in the cup.

Irene stands and holds a candle as she stands on the side of Philip's chair. "Philip stand and step forward." Irene tell him.

Philip does as he is told.

"Look into this flame and repeat what I say. I will join with the powers of darkness. I will close and complete the circle of fire. Except me and claim me through eternity."

Philip repeats after Irene.

Irene picks up the chalice with the blood and wine. "Now drink this and drain it."

Again Philip does as he is told.

"Spirits of Darkness our blood is now mingled with this man. Let us know if you accept him. Spirits of the damned let us hear your voices."

The fireplace logs explodes and bursts into flames and the moaning of people in agony is heard in the room.

"We have heard you. Now give us a sign that the ceremony is over."

A strong wind blows through the room as the candles are blown out

"It is done. He is one of us now." Irene tells the others.

Chapter 2

Standing the members of coven starts to leave talking like this was a normal social gathering. "Philip please wait." Irene says to him.

Philip, Irene and Laslo are the only ones in the cottage.

"Now that you are one of us I give you this pendant as part of your commitment." Irene says as she places it around his neck. Philip turns and walks out of the door.

"I don't know why he came here but I still don't trust him. Laslo says to Irene.

"With that pendant he is in our control." Irene tells him.

"We shall see." Laslo tells her as he puts on his jacket and walks out the door.

Arriving back at Desmond Hall Philip rushes up the staircase and pounds on his cousin Ada's bedroom door.

"Ada I must speak to you."

"Philip what is it?" Ada asks as she opens the door.

"I don't know how to tell you this but your husband is involved with a witches coven. He wants to gain control of your money and have you committed."

"What are you talking about. Philip have you been drinking?"

"No, you must listen to me. Ada your husband is dangerous."

Laslo opens the mansion door and quietly walks up the staircase, stopping at the top of the landing he listens to Philip talking with his wife. He stares at Philip and calls to him. "Philip Desmond Hear my voice. From your commitment to us you will obey me." 

Philip stiffens.

"You will go to your room and wait for me." Laslo says to him.

Philip turns and starts to walk to his bedroom.

"Philip, Philip what's wrong?" Ada calls out to him as she grabs his arm.

Philip pulls away and enters his bedroom

He doesn't answer her as Laslo walks over to Irene.

"Laslo something is wrong with Philip. First he accuses you of terrible things then acts like he can't hear me."

"Don't worry, I'll take care of Philip. He isn't feeling very well. Go back to bed my dear." He opens the bedroom door as Ada walks in then closes it behind her, turning he walks to Philip's open door. Entering he sees Philip standing in the middle of the room.

"Well I see I was right, I did warn Irene about you. But I think you can still be useful to us." Walking up to Philip he takes a matching pendant that Philip has around his neck from his pocket and swings it in front of Philip's eyes.

"You will remember nothing of this night. You went out had a few drinks became ill and went home. Now go to bed and in the morning you will tell Ada you do not know why you told her such a ludicrous story." He lowers the pendant.

Philip turns and lays on his bed closing his eyes. Laslo walks out of the room.

In the morning as Philip awakens he notices that he is still fully dressed. `That's odd.' he thinks to himself. "Why would I go to bed like this?" he says out loud as he changes his cloths. He leaves his room and walks down the staircase. But instead of going in for breakfast he turns around and walks back up the staircase. Passing a window he notices it is gloomy and rainy. He feels cold and unsettled, he can't remember anything from the night and day before. He has a strong urge to go to his secret room.

Entering he lights a candle. Against the wall is a full size human skeleton chained to the wall. Bookcases are next to the skeleton . In front of Philip is a worktable with a skull and different size jars and bowls with books that Philip had been studying. Philip uses the room to write and study on witchcraft, necromancy, demonology ,voodoo and his ancestors involvement.

Taking a seat next to the table he closes his eyes. Something is stopping him from concentrating, he feels a heavy weight against his chest. Feeling around his neck he discovers a chain and pulling it over his head he sees a black stone attached. Visions start flashing from the event of the previous day and night. He places the pendant into a bowl that is sitting on the table, with a flare up of flame the necklace is gone.

"So Laslo thinks he has control over me. When I get through with him and Irene they will wish they had never started the witch's coven." he says out loud.

Blowing out the candle Philip leaves the room. Walking down the staircase he goes to the kitchen for breakfast. Cort is the only one at the table.

"Have you seen your mother or stepfather?"

"I'm not their keeper, they don't check in with me." Cort answers him.

"Cort I just asked a simple question."

"No Philip I have not seen my mother nor the man she married." Cort says as he stands. "Now if you don't have any more questions for me I will take my leave of you." Cort walks out of the room.

"Cort! Cort come back here!" Philip stands as he shouts.

"Philip why are you shouting?" Ada asks as she walks into the room.

"Good morning Ada." Philip says as he takes his seat.

"From the look on your face I would say my son was here."

With a small smile Philip nods his head.

"Philip how are you feeling?"

"I'm fine Ada. Please forgive me for last night. I don't know what came over me."

"You are forgiven. Laslo said you weren't feeling well."

At the mention of Laslo name Philip gets an angry look upon his face. Ada doesn't see it, her back is to Philip as she serves herself breakfast.

"Where is Laslo?" Philip asks.

"He went to town." Ada says as she walks to the table with her plate.

"Excuse me I think I will go and catch up with him." Philip says as he stands and walks to the doorway.

"Philip you haven't eaten."

"I'll grab something in town."

In her cottage Irene pours two cups of tea. Her black cat brushes up against her. Irene picks him up and settles him on her lap. "I think a visitor is about to arrive." Irene says to the cat.

There is a knock at her door. "See I was right." She sets the cat down and answers the door.

Philip Desmond stands in the doorway.

"Philip it's nice of you to stop by and visit."

"Where is Laslo Thaxton?"

"Laslo? Why would Laslo be here?" Irene asks.

"He left Desmond Hall to come to town. I know he comes here quite often."

"My dear boy Laslo and I are just friends."

"I don't care what you call each other. You and he will leave my family alone."

"What are you talking about?" Irene asks as she walks to the fireplace mantel. She picks up a black stone pendant.

Philip follows her and as she turns Philip grabs it and tosses it into the blazing fireplace. He then walks to the table tipping it over sending the candles and the altar crashing to the floor.

Irene stands in stunned disbelief, then she starts walking towards Philip. "Philip Desmond hear my voice. From your commitment to our circle I command you to obey me."
words. Philip starts chanting quietly. His voice becomes louder and stronger until they echo around the room. "Burn witch burn. I call upon the powers of my ancestors to bring damnation upon you and the coven. Burn witch burn."

Flames surround Irene as she starts to scream . In the circle of fire appears the other members of the coven. The flames spread across the town engulfing everything in sight, the only thing not touched by fire is the Desmond Family Mansion.

The flames die away. "Now when Laslo gets here give him the message I gave you or next tome the flames will completely consume you."

Irene looks at the floor. Her floor has a charred circle with her standing in the center of it.

Philip walks out of the cottage.

A hour later Irene is sitting at her table with a glass of wine, her hands are still shaking. There is a knock at the door.

"Come in." Irene calls out.

Laslo enters and seeing the look on her face he asks. "What's wrong? Why are you shaking" He sees the burned circle on the floor. "what happened?"

Irene tells him.

"I warned you. Philip Desmond is dangerous. He seems to have powers of his own. Now he will have to die."

"Laslo I'm scared. You were not here. I don't think you can harm him." Irene says to him.

"He's still a man and accidents happen all the time."

Chapter 3

Rushing down the staircase at Desmond Hall Philip trips. He falls a few steps and grabs the banister.

Cort stands at the bottom of the stairs watching him. "Well cousin, are you joining the circus with a balancing act or as a clown?"

Philip turns and walks back up the staircase. He kneels down to inspect the stairs. He sees a few carpet threads stretched across a couple of steps. "Cort did you do this?"

"Do what?"

Stretch these threads on the stairs." Philip says as he pulls them free."

"It looks like the carpet is becoming frayed. We will have to get it repaired." Cort tells Philip as he stands next to him looking at the stairs. He walks past Philip walking up the staircase. 

Philip pockets the threads and walks outside.

"It's a cool evening, the moon is starting to shine with a silvery white light. Starting up his sports car Philip pulls out onto the road and starts accelerating. As he comes upon the curves he taps the brakes and starts to slow down but there is a problem with the steering column, it turns helplessly in his hand. Philip slams on the brakes. He sees something reflecting among the trees. He hears a pop and the car slides off the road heading towards the cliffs.. Shoving open the door he jumps and rolls away from the car. The car goes over the edge rolling and tumbling to the bottom. A powerful explosion rocks the ground. Philip stands and walks shakily to the edge and looks down at his car. At the bottom of the ravine his car is a mangled and blazing mess. Metal and glass scatter the hill towards the wreckage.

Glancing towards the trees he doesn't see anything. Deciding to check out the area he stumbles towards the trees and brush. Noticing fresh footprints Philip kneels and finds a partially buried shell casing. Picking it up he glances at the spot his car had skidded off the road. Hearing sirens coming from town coming his way he places the casing in his pocket and walks back to the road as emergency vehicles pull up.

A fire truck pulls over to the side of the road near the edge. The men start pulling hoses and a portable fire extinguisher from the truck and descend to contain the fire so it doesn't spread. 

An ambulance pulls up next to Philip with a police car following. The paramedics walk over to Philip. "Are you hurt? Do you need us to check you out?"

"No I'm fine." Philip says to them.

"Was there anyone else in the car?" The Sheriff asks as he walks up to Philip.

"No only me."

"Mr. Desmond could you tell me what happened." The sheriff asks as he takes out a notebook.

"I was driving towards town when my tire blew out coming around the first curve. As the car skidded I jumped before the car went over the edge."

"Are you sure you are all right?" The sheriff asks.

"Yes I'm fine."

"I'll give you a ride back to Desmond Hall."

Philip walks to the cruiser and climbs into the front seat. Sitting silently Philip stares straight ahead as the sheriff gets in and turns the car around. He glances at Philip. "Are you sure you don't want me to take you to town, you really should be checked out by a doctor."

"No I need to get home. I'm fine really. Sheriff how did you find out about the accident so quickly?"

"Someone called the station. they reported a car going off the road."

"Did they give their name?"

"No, but it was a woman's voice."

Arriving back at Desmond Hall Philip thanks the sheriff for the ride. He enters the mansion and walks up the staircase to his room. He takes the empty cartridge and carpet fibers from his pocket and puts them in his dresser drawer. After changing his cloths and getting cleaned up he heads down the staircase.

Ada is rushing up the staircase. She clutches his arm stopping him on the stairs. "Philip are you alright? We just heard about your car."

"I'm fine Ada. Is Laslo back?"

"Yes he came in about an hour ago."

"I need to speak to him." Philip says as he pulls his arm away and walks down the staircase. Ada follows him.

"He's in the Drawing Room." Ada says to him.

Walking to the doors he turns and faces Ada. "I need to speak to him alone. He shuts the door in her face.

"Philip?" Ada calls to the closed doors. She shakes her head and turns walking up the staircase.

Philip walks up to Laslo. "Laslo I want to speak to you!"

Laslo sits on the couch with a glass of wine in his hand. "Why Philip my dear boy, I heard about your accident. You must be more careful in the future."

"You know it wasn't an accident."

"I don't know what you are talking about."

"If anything else happens to me a letter will be sent to my brother Jean Paul Desmond. It tells of your involvement with the witch's coven and your plans to gain control of Cort's inheritance. This letter is already in the hands of a friend to be mailed at my death."

"I'm afraid you are too late. I have legal guardianship of my dear stepson should anything happen to his mother."

"I won't let you get away with this Laslo."

"There is nothing you can do. Ada, Cort and I will be leaving for a vacation in a few days."

"Cort won't go with you!"

"I think he will just to make his mother happy." Laslo tells Philip.

"We shall see." Philip tells him as he leaves the room.

He meets Ada in the foyer. "Oh Philip dinner is ready." She says as she walks past him to inform Laslo.

Sitting at the Dining Room table Philip is very quiet as he stares at Laslo.

"Philip are you sure you're all right? You are so quiet tonight." Ada says to him.

"Yes I'm fine Ada, Please excuse me I don't have much of an appetite tonight." he says looking at Laslo.

He stands and starts to walk out of the Dining Room. He looks back at Ada. "Is Cort in his room?"

"Yes he came back from town, he said he had already eaten in town."

"Goodnight Ada." He stares at Laslo then walks from the room.

Philip walks up the staircase to Cort's room and knocks. "Cort it's me Philip. I need to speak to you."

"Come in." Cort says to him.

Entering the room Philip finds Cort standing next to the window. "How would you like to get away from Desmond Hall for a while?"


"I will be leaving for Paris in the morning. I thought you might like to accompany me."


"We will go to Paris you and I and we could go to Deville to the races."

"You would really take me with you?"

"Yes, I'm asking you." Philip says to him.

"Great, how long would we be gone?"

"A few weeks. Meet me downstairs around six tomorrow morning. Oh and Cort don't mention this to your mother or Laslo."

"Why not?"

"Ada may not want you to go. You are old enough to make your own decisions. We will contact them from Paris." Philip says as he looks at his watch. "It will give your mother and Laslo time together. Get packed now and get some sleep, I will see you in the morning." Philip says then leaves the room.

Walking down the hallway Philip heads to his secret room.

Chapter 4

Arriving in his room Philip starts collecting his notes and the books on Desmond Hall's history. Picking up his diary he sits and writes about the witch's coven. Before he can name the members a book falls from the self behind him. Standing he picks it up from the floor. "The River Caves Of Desmondton." he reads aloud. He lays it on the table, the book opens and pages start flipping. A drawing that shows a secret entrance under the staircase in Desmond Hall appears on the page. He turns the page, more drawing showing the way to a door is on the next few pages. The door has a lock and a key. `That's strange I never noticed that before.' he thinks silently to himself. Flipping back he notices words under the secret passage. "HERE IN LIES THE TREASURE OF LIFE, TO ENTER IS TO RELEASE A GREAT FORTUNE." Philip reads out loud.

"Philip!" a deep voice calls out to him. It echoes through the room.

Philip slowly stands and turns looking around the room. He stares at the skeleton as it takes a human form "Who are you?"

"An ancestor of yours, Jacques Eloi Des Mondes."

Philip stares at him. He looks like his brother Jean Paul. "I've read about you. You were a pirate who settled on Maljardin."

"My life was greatly exaggerated." Jacques tells him.

"What are you doing here? What do you want?"

"I don't know how to tell you this but your brother Jean Paul and his wife Erica are dead."


"Yes there was a fire on Maljardin, they didn't make it out alive."

"My God!" Philip exclaims.

Jacques winces at the words.. "But there is a way to save him."

"Save him?" Philip says as he slumps against the stool.

"Philip you must go to the caves, find the doorway and you will find the Key Of Life. Only then can you save him. Go now!" Jacques pulls Philip to his feet and pushes him towards the doorway.

Philip stumbles out of the door in shock.

Jacques stands with a grin upon his face. "It's too bad Jean Paul Desmond that when you arrive at Desmond Hall your brother won't be here to greet you. After all he may be able to help you and we can't have that now can we." He fades away, his laughter echoes through the room.

Rushing down the staircase Philip quickly walks to the side of the staircase and kneels next to the panels. He starts pushing on the panels. When nothing happens he starts hitting it with his fist.. Slowly one of the panels swings out. Looking inside he sees only darkness. He stands and rushes into the kitchen to find a flashlight in the closet. He rushes back to the open panel and crawls through. It is cold and damp and dark, he turns on the flashlight. He stands and walks down into a cavern. The panel on the side of the staircase closes.

Cort's alarm clock goes off at 5:00 A.M.. He gets dressed takes his suitcase and walks out of his room. Walking down the hallway he knocks on Philip's door. Not receiving an answer he opens the door. Looking inside he doesn't see Philip and thinking he is downstairs Cort leaves the room to go looking for him. Not finding him he goes
back to his room. He'll wait a couple of hours then go to town.

Cort walks down the staircase and walks into the kitchen. His mother and Laslo are seated at the table eating breakfast. "Have you seen Philip?" Cort asks them.

"No but I have a letter from him, it says he went to Maljardin to visit his brother. Laslo says as he reads the letter, he shows it to Cort..

Grabbing the letter Cort angrily rushes from the room. He runs up the staircase to his room slamming his door. Throwing the letter on his dresser he lays on his bed.

The letter shimmers and disappears.


Part 2. Philip's disappearance

Chapter 1

Philip walks through the twisting tunnels until he comes to the end of the single path, it splits into two different directions. Sensing something behind him Philip spins around. A young blond woman's ghostly form materializes behind him. She signals to him to go back.

"I will show you the right path to save your brother." Jacques voice echoes around the cavern.

"Philip, don't listen to him." The girl tell him as her body becomes more solid. "He lies, don't trust him. Turn back he is leading you to your death."

"Who are you?"

"My name is Susanna. I am trapped in time, don't let that demon do the same to you."

"Philip Desmond, turn around. Is this the fate you will leave for your brother!" Jacques voice calls to Philip.

Philip spins around . He sees Jean Paul at Maljardin, the mansion is ablaze. Jean Paul holds a torch to a portrait. The man in the portrait is the same one that had come to him in his secret room. "Farewell Jacques Eloi Des Mondes. An eternity in hell is not good enough for you!" Jean Paul says to the portrait. Jacques laughter seems to be coming from the portrait. Philip watches as his brother falls to the floor and flames engulf him..

"You can save him if you do as I tell you." Jacques voice seems to be coming from the portrait. The vision fades. "Follow the path to your right!" Jacques voice echoes around him.

Philip looks back at Susanna. "I'm sorry but I must help my brother."

Tears stream down her face as she fades away.

Philip follows the path until he comes to a large cavern. He sees human skulls and bones covering the floor. Attached to the walls are skeletons in chains and shackles. It looks like a scene from hell. Philip walks around the room shining the flashlight. Walking across the room he sees a large black granite table, upon it lies a strange looking key. It's shaped like a cross but rounded at the top. 

"Take it, this may be the only thing that can save you." Susanna's voice says to him.

Philip picks it up. A rumbling starts as the passageway that Philip had used to enter is sealed. Everything in the room disappears leaving Philip standing in an empty cavern. He walks around touching the walls, they are solid. Walking deeper into the room he discovers another path leading out of the cavern.

Chapter 2

As Philip steps into the passageway a wall of fire appears in front of him.

"Do you want to join your brother?" Jacques voice asks him.

Philip backs away. Susanna appears next to Philip. "Take my hand and envision the flames diminishing."

Philip takes her hand and closes his eyes. The flames drop then vanish.

"Down this passageway is a door. Use the key to open the door. By doing so you will release a spirit that can save your brother Jean Paul Desmond from your family curse." Susanna tells him.

"Curse, what curse?" Philip asks.

"He is cursed by the evil one. But I warn you once you enter through the doorway you can never return to your world." Susanna says as she fades away.

"Susanna wait! Susanna!" Philip shouts.

"It's the only way." Susanna's voice echoes quietly then is silent.

Following the passageway Philip walks deeper underground until he comes to a wooden door. Inserting the key he opens the door, the room beyond is large, dark and colder than the passageway Philip stands in. He shines the light inside but it won't cut through the darkness.

A white light starts pooling in the center of the room. Philip watches as a form of an older man appears in the room.. Philip takes a step forward.

"Do not enter." the man tells him.

"I was told to come here to save my brother.""

"Who is your brother?"

"Jean Paul Desmond, I was told my brother is cursed and you can save him."

"So his evil has been released again.."

"Please I have seen my brother collapse and die. Help him!" Philip shouts.

"Your brother will not die. Jacques Eloi Des Mondes needs him. Your brother will need your help to stop the evil. Even if I am released I can not do it alone. Events have to play out before I can help."

"I still don't understand what is happening. What is this curse I was told about?"

"It started with Jacques Eloi des Mondes. In every generation of the Desmond family one male is cursed to follow that demon's bidding with the Mark of Death. He must kill or take his own life."

"Are you saying my brother will be a murderer?"

"I can't ell you what I do not know. If he is cursed he will need your help. I sense a great power in you." 

"I can't help him. I'm trapped in this cavern by Jacques Eloi Des Mondes."

"If you enter you will set me free but you cannot leave by the doorway. You can enter but cannot exit. But there may be another way out for you. Only a person pure in heart and spirit can release you. But there is a time limit you must find this person before the light that surrounds you when you enter extinguishes and puts you in eternal darkness."

"How long will I have?" Philip asks.

"That I cannot say. Each person who has entered is different. Now you must decide."

Philip steps through the doorway.

"I will try to save your brother and end this curse as soon as I am allowed." With a flash of light the spirit is gone.

Philip spins around as the door closes. He rushes to it and finds no knob, no hinges. The door seems to have become part of the room. Looking at his hand he notices a white light coming from it. He glances at his body and the light seems to be surrounding him.

Chapter 3

In the Drawing Room Laslo tells Ada. "My dear I have to run to the office."

"All right Laslo. Will you be late tonight?" Ada asks.

"No I should be back in a few hours." He says as he kisses her cheek and walks from the room.

Laslo knocks on Irene Hatter's cottage door. Irene bids him to come in.

"Irene I think our troubles with Philip Desmond are over."

"Why do you say that?"

"Philip has disappeared and a message arrived telling us he went to Maljardin. But I don't believe it, the handwriting wasn't his."

"What do you think happened?" Irene asks.

"I don't know. Can you use your powers to find him?"

"Laslo I don't think that's a good idea. Philip frightens me."

"Irene something is going on and I need to find out what Philip is up to."

"Very well Laslo." Irene says to him. She picks up the crystal ball and places it on the table. They sit down and Irene concentrates on the crystal. "Spirits of Darkness hear me. I ask that you show me Philip Desmonds whereabouts."

The darkness of the crystal clears. It shows Philip Desmond standing in the center of a large dark room. He is surrounded by a white light..

"Laslo what does it mean?" Irene asks as the crystal darkens.

"I think Philip is in a cave." Laslo tells her.

"What cave? And what is that light that is surrounding him?"

"I would guess the Desmond Caves. I wander how he got in? His father boarded the entrance years ago."

"Why would he go there?" Irene asks.

"I don't know but I think we can trap him with your powers. With Philip out of the way I will be able to gain control of the Desmond money.

Laslo lights the candles. Irene stands. "Before I can do anything I must have a possession of Philips."

"Very well Irene. Laslo grabs his coat and walks out of the door.

Arriving at the mansion Laslo runs into Cort in the foyer. Cort carries a suitcase.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"To join up with Philip. He went to Maljardin."

"I think if he wanted you to join him he would have invited you." Laslo says to him.

"I was invited!" Cort shouts.

"Then why did Philip leave you here?"

"I don't know but I am going to find him."

"I forbid you to go! Besides Philip did not go to Maljardin."

"How do you know?" Cort asks him.

Laslo walks past him and up the staircase.

"Laslo answer me. How do you know he didn't go? Did you do something to him?" Cort rushes after him grabbing Laslo's arm.

"No Cort but if you stay no harm might come to him."

"Where is he?"

"He might still be in the area but I don't know where." Laslo says. Cort releases his arm and Laslo continues to walk up the stairs. Cort follows him, Laslo walks into his room closing the door in Cort's face. Laslo opens his door looking down the hallway, seeing no one he walks quietly to Philip's bedroom. He enters and picks up Philip's jacket. Walking quietly from the room he walks down the staircase and out the front door.

Laslo knock on Irene's door and hands her the jacket when Irene opens the door. He follows Irene into the cottage.

"Laslo close the curtains while I prepare the altar." Irene says as she lights the candles. She folds the jacket and places it in the center of the table. Laslo walks to the table and they take their seats.

"Spirits of Darkness hear our plea. I your servant call upon you."

Laslo places a goblet of white wine next to the candles.

"Take our offering as our pledge of obedience. One of our members
has turned against you. We call upon you for his punishment."

The wine turns to blood. Irene picks up the glass and pours it over the jacket. "The betrayer is Philip Desmond. Our Lord and Master we offer you our pledge of obedience" Irene says as she picks up a candle and sets the jacket on fire. "We leave him in your hands." The flames flare up as they see Philip's image.

In the cave Philip watches as fire surrounds him but doesn't touch him. The white light is keeping the flames from burning him. The fire starts swirling around him drawing the white light into the flames.

Dizziness hits Philip as the air leaves the cavern. Philip clutches his throat as he falls to his knees.

"Help me." he whispers. "Someone help me."

The flames die out from Philip's jacket. Irene looks at Laslo. "It is done." she tells him as she blows out the candles.

"Very well done my dear. Now I must get back to Desmond Hall." Laslo says as he leaves the cottage.

Irene picks up the jacket and throws it into the fireplace. "Goodbye Philip Desmond. For your betrayal of us may your soul burn in hell for all eternity." Irene says to the flames.

Philip falls upon the ground. In front of him a shimmering white form of a young blonde woman appears. "Philip your life is almost over, I give you part of my life force. It will give you the power to help your brother. He is arriving and needs your help. Without your help he will die. He brings with him your salvation." Susanna says as she touches his hand.

Philip feels his strength returning and stands. "What do you mean my salvation?"

But he is talking to himself she is gone.

At Desmond Hall Jean Paul is laying in a bedroom stirring in his sleep restlessly. "Maljardin." he calls out in his sleep.

"Where ever you go on earth Jean Paul Desmond your curse awaits you." A voice calls out to him in his dreams.

"No, no!" Jean Paul cries out.

"You bear from this day onward the Mark of Death. No fire can destroy it ever."

"Fire, fire! Erica, Erica!" Jean Paul cries out. Jean Paul shows sign of a fever "Death, death! I want death!" Jean Paul says as he tosses his head restlessly.

The End

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