It took a few moments before Aarvid's eyes could adjust to the semi-darkness inside the windmill. Gradually, he
could make out some of the details. A narrow beam of light spilling through a hole in the cap of the old mill
clearly illuminated a large broken support beam slanting downward at an angle. Its fall had shattered the
millstones; pieces of rubble were strewn all over the floor. Dusty spider webs were hanging almost everywhere.
No living thing seemed to have disturbed the interior for a very long time. Stepping gingerly alongside of him,
Mona was the first to break the silence, "Wow, it's pretty gross in here!"
Anticipating what she was going to say next, and responding to an increased sense of urgency, Aarvid moved on.
Shuffling his feet carefully, wincing as sharp rock fragments stabbed his soles, and brushing aside cobwebs with
dried up insect bodies suspended in them, he advanced deeper into the darker reaches of the mill.
As his eyes adjusted to the half-light, he noticed that one corner of the large room remained cloaked in darkness.
It was there that he felt drawn to the most. He managed to reach that back area of the mill by climbing over
another slanting piece of support beam. Any further progress was blocked by a loose, partially fragmented,
slanting section of wall that must have fallen down. The eerie silence was broken only by their shallow breathing
and the rolling noise of the debris moved by their shuffling feet while they both checked out their surroundings
and contemplated what to do next.
Aarvid felt compelled to investigate what was hidden behind the broken wall section. He was about to pull it aside
by reaching through the cobwebs with his right hand, when Mona tugged hard on his left and whispered
pleadingly, "Aarvid, don't go in there! I want to go back! I am scared! This place is creepy!"
Her plea temporarily shook him out of his trance-like state. As he turned to face his little sister, she snuggled up
to him, firmly clutching his hand to her chest. It struck him how tiny and frail she looked framed by the spacious
interior and the dark outline of the huge gear-shaft descending from the high upper reaches. "Stay here sis," he
said reassuringly as he managed to retrieve his hand from her grasp. Sounding more distracted, and staring into
the dark interior, he continued, "I've just got to see what's back there now that we've gone this far."
Mona couldn't believe what had come over her gentle, careful brother. "This is so unlike him," she whispered to
herself. "Why is he doing this?"
The sun was settling on the western horizon when David, wrapped in his black cloak, and his lumbering partner,
wearing a scarlet mantle, arrived in the backroom of the old mill. It was immediately clear to David that the tome
was no longer there; he could sense its presence slowly moving away.
Mephistopheles was beside himself. "How could this have happened? It had been safe right here for over a
century. I feel like Job abandoned by his Lord and left to fend for himself."
David responded calmly, "Your Excellency, I do not think that things are quite that desperate for us. Nothing has
changed for you or for me, other than that events have begun that we did not anticipate nor initiate. I am not quite
sure what it is that is happening." After sighing deeply, he finished speaking solemnly, "May be the prophecy I
recited to you is being fulfilled."
"Bah … Prophecy? … Blasphemy! … The ramblings of some uneducated savage!" With clenched fists the
Scarlet clad figure stomped his booted feet in angry frustration. Then, raising his pointed finger skywards, he
continued, "God himself gave us the responsibility for it when we found the book in the consecrated library of
the Abbey of Palermo. That is why it has remained in our charge for more than 700 years." Full of righteous
indignation and anger, he towered over David in the semi-darkness of the backroom.
Bending to come eye to eye with David he growled, "I will make certain it will return to our charge, I swear to
Looking unblinking into the red, reptilian eyes of the Cardinal, the Black Mage shrugged in response to the
outburst. After giving his partner a moment to settle himself, he cautioned the still bristling Cardinal, "I do not
know if either you or I have the power to change things back to the way they were. Do what you feel you must
Guiseppi, but you'll be on your own. I'll be following after the boy."
Surprised by hearing the use of his birth name, Mephistopheles momentarily forgot his displeasure with the loss
of the magic tome. He quickly realized what it meant; there was to be a parting of the way.
I am Wouter Nunnink, the author, and I would like to welcome you to this "Ba El Shebub's Magic Awakens", Vol
I, 'The Sound of the Gong' web site. On this page, I would like to provide you with a glimpse of this story and how
it has been written, while at the same time giving you a feel for the characters. For this reason, these short
passages do not contain the most exciting moments nor are they the most dramatic episodes.
"Mom!" She could barely speak as the realization hit her, "There is somebody out there! He is going to throw
Fear close to panic gripped her. Mona felt as if her feet were nailed to the floor. She saw the creature's face
clearly when he brought the ball of fire to his face to inspect it. It was a grotesque human face; dark grey, with
pronounced ridges where eyebrows would be, and a heavy square jaw with jowls. It was the eyes that really
spooked her; they were slitted like those of a crocodile and glowed reddish in the yellow glow of the slowly
The creature outside stretched himself to his full height as he reared back with the hand containing the fireball. He
was huge! Mona had never seen anyone that size. Just as he brought the lumbering arm forward to release his
missile, Mona heard her mother behind her asking, "What is going on out … gasp!"
Gemma was brought up short by the sight of the fireball coming straight at them. She wanted to jump forward
and pull Mona down from in front of the large window, but her legs would not obey. Instead she raised both her
arms to shield her face and protect herself. She could not miss the silent form of her daughter standing in front
of the window, outlined against the light of the fiery projectile that was about to slam into her.