The Dark Angel
Johnny’s head ached as he tried to wipe the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. Each movement, however slight, sent his temperature even higher, punishing him for daring to move.
Through half closed eyes he tried to make out his surroundings but the room was spinning so fast it was difficult for him to identify anything
A wave of dark swept over him, trying to lure him, pulling him deeper into the blackness. Deep within that darkness he could hear someone; someone was softly calling his name.
Johnny gasped as a wave of pain shot up his spine, returning him to consciousness. The gunshot wound he had received from Day Pardee seemed more painful now than it had ever been.
Trying hard not to cry out he grabbed the side of the bed to steady himself.
“Please try and keep still, Johnny.”
It was a voice, a woman’s voice. He shivered with the fever.
“It’s me, it’s Teresa,” the voice came again, but this time louder.
If only he could stop his world from spinning, even for a brief moment, maybe he could identify where the voice was coming from. He reached out with his left hand hoping to touch her; it was too late – he could feel himself falling into unconsciousness.
How long he had been out he did not know, but the feel of the cold air against his body suggested to him it was nightfall. Yet the cool breeze, although refreshing and welcome, had an icy, eerie feel to it – something or someone was watching him. He cautiously opened his eyes.
What he saw startled him.
For it was a woman, a beautiful young woman, staring at him from the end of his bed. Her silken black dress caught the icy breeze that came drifting in the room, momentarily revealing her slender white legs. Johnny marvelled at her beauty; she looked like an angel, but her soulless black eyes betrayed her.
“I’ve come for you, Johnny,” she said softly. Her breath left an icy trail.
He sat upright and noticed the pain in his back had mysteriously disappeared.
“Come for me?” he stammered.
His right hand, hidden from her view, began to search for the gun concealed beneath the pillow.
“Who are you?”
She calmly flicked her long black hair as she slowly started to move towards him. Johnny trembled momentarily; he could feel the temperature drop the closer she came.
She stared deep into his blue eyes “I am whoever you want me to be, Johnny Madrid.”
“The name’s Lancer now,” he dared to correct her.
“Lancer? Madrid? It makes no difference to me what you call yourself,” she stretched her long marble arms out to embrace him.
“For you’re mine now, Johnny!” she threw her head back and laughed.
Johnny backed as far away as he could to escape her deadly touch while he drew his gun out from its hiding place and aimed it straight at her. Never in his life had he shot a woman before, but this was no ordinary woman.
Quicker than he could blink, she stretched out with her arm and with her long black finger nail and touched the end of his pistol. The steel instantly went cold against his right hand, leaving his hand numb. Johnny’s jaw dropped, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The gun was turning into ice!
The cold was turning his hand shades of blue as his skin began to freeze against the metal. Johnny desperately tried to move his fingers, to counter the numbness and discomfort that was rapidly setting in. If only he could move his finger to pull back the trigger – it was the only way he was going to end this dreadful nightmare.
He was finding it difficult to move, to think straight, as the coldness started to engulf him. Even the bed linen did not escape the deadly advancement as the sheets turned stiff with the ice. But what concerned Johnny the most was his heartbeat – he could feel it getting slower and slower.
He had to escape; he had to get away, before it was too late. The thought of being permanently cold in his grave made him shudder.
Out of the corner of his eye he glimpsed the dark angel slowly making her approach.
“Go to sleep now,” she said in a hypnotic voice.
Johnny watched her freezing breath dance in the night air as the coldness encircled him. He could feel the ice particles beginning to form on his eyelids making it difficult for them to keep open.
Many times in his life he had faced death alone; yet it couldn’t end, not like this he thought.
With all his strength Johnny tried to stretch out his frozen arm searching for help he so desperately needed.
Yet nothing moved.
Through gritted teeth he tried again. If only he could force his mind even just to operate his fingers perhaps he had a slim chance of saving himself from the clutches of the dark angel.
For a brief moment Johnny was sure something warm touched his hand. He must be imagining it; there, he felt it again. He was sure it was a hand, a small hand.
“Wake up, Johnny please wake up.”
Johnny stirred from deep within the darkness at the calling of his name. He must be hallucinating? He was certain he heard a voice.
“It’s me, Teresa, do you remember?” the voice came again, this time louder.
She was close to him as he could feel her warm breath gently brush against his face. The sweet smell of her perfume drifted over him giving him renewed hope. He felt a friendly gentle squeeze on his hand.
Johnny tried to open his eyes but the bright sunlight streaming through the window momentarily blinded him. He tried to move position to avoid the glare and noticed the sun’s warmth against his flesh. The coldness had gone and the dark angel along with it.
But in her wake she left behind another angel. This time Johnny saw the warm, smiling face of Teresa looking down on him.
“You’re home at Lancer, you’re safe now.” She said softly.
Yes, it was true. He was home.
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