KELPIEPUSSY AND THE LIVING HELL


***** The name is RUMANOS -- DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Supernatural Swashbuckler and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Although I have the physical appearance of an human being -- a tall, strongly-built gentleman with dark hair, strikingly-handsome Anglo-Semitic features, and oddly pale skin -- I am in reality far more than this. For I do carry within my blood the superior genes of the legendary Watchers of the Daemon-Star ALGOL; this extraterrestrial heritage granting me numerous powers and abilities that appear “magical” or “miraculous” to the people of planet Earth.

The vast majority of Algolites, Masters of all Space and Time, tend to live in isolation from the rest of the Universe, their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic. However, there does exist hidden deeply within the government of our people a secret service agency known as the KOSMIKOS or Cosmic Intervention Department. The purpose of the Kosmikos is to covertly intercede in cases that threaten the security of existence anywhere throughout the incalculable reaches of Creation. Plausible Deniability and all that. I am an operative of this organisation, stationed upon Earth where I work undercover as a stage magician/illusionist and writer of fantasy fiction.

I am greatly aided in my tasks by my breathtakingly beautiful and eternally-youthful wife, LADY KATRINA RUMANOS. Tall, slender, with gorgeous ginger hair and enchanting eyes that shine like pale sapphires. Originally a young, nobly-blooded Earth girl, Katrina had been especially gifted with amazing powers by the Kosmikos, in order to stand as my companion and helpmate in our many varied amazing and incredible adventures upon Earth and indeed throughout the unknowable vastness of Space and Time.

These are -- THE WEIRD ADVENTURES OF DR. DANIEL RUMANOS!!! *****

“From ghoulies and ghosties;
And long-leggettie beasties;
And things that go bump in the night;
Good Lord deliver us!”
(Old Scottish Invocation)

An odd moaning, gasping noise echoed across the quiet of the early country morning as an unusual object materialised into view. It appeared in the form of a tall stone column but was actually something quite different. For this machine was a DiTraS (pronounced “DYE-tress” and standing for Dimensional Transport Sphere), an incredibly advanced vessel facilitating travel through the vast reaches of Space and Time.

A round porthole-like doorway opened in the column and two individuals stepped forth from it; one a tall, exceedingly handsome gentleman with dark-grey hair and piercing blue-black eyes, wearing a long, leathern greatcoat under which, for this particular venture, he had donned an elegant kilt and all the accoutrements of a Caledonian nobleman. The other was a fantastically-beautiful young woman, tall and slender with gorgeous red hair and eyes the colour of opalescent azure. She was dressed in the proper, long-skirted and frilled clothing of an highborn lady of the same area and period, along with a matching cape and riding boots.

The man was myself, DR. DANIEL RUMANOS, Supernatural Swashbuckler and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Though I have the appearance of an human being, I am in actuality no mere mortal. I carry within my blood the genes of the powerful and mysterious Watchers of Algol, this extraterrestrial heritage granting me numerous abilities and powers that appear as “magical” and “miraculous” to the people of Earth. This includes the ability to control and pilot the aforementioned Time and Space ship.

The lovely lady is, of course, my beloved and eternally-youthful wife, LADY KATRINA OLIVIA RUMANOS. Originally an human, he was augmented in an highly secret laboratory from certain wondrous DNA material and therefore has the power to generate and control a certain mystical flame. Together, we use our preternatural abilities (as Agents of the KOSMIKOS, a secret service organisation hidden deeply within the government of the Watchers) to help and assist the innocent of this and other worlds against the forces of outer darkness and evil.

However, for now, we were on a holiday of sorts (much-deserved, I say, after our terrifying experiences with that terrifying interplanetary skirmish known to infamy as “The Horror of the Fat Black Women“). Hence our use of the older, mostly-retired Time-Sphere in stead of that far more advanced device known as the Chrono-Band, the latter being under the control of Master Emmos, Chief Operative of the Kosmikos.

“So we are really in Scotland, then!” exclaimed Katrina. “What is the year, my love?”

“Well, my little sweetie, we should be in about the middle of the Sixth Century -- Anno Domini,” I replied. “Near the area of what shall one day be the great city of Glasgow, though it will only be a small settlement at this time.”

We walked hand-in-hand across the Scottish countryside, enjoying the cool morning breeze and the scent of the numerous flowers on which sparkled the morning dew.

However, the peace of this idyllic scene was split suddenly by the sound of a woman’s screaming as if in total abject terror! Without a moment’s delay, my wife and I ran towards the commotion and beheld a strange scene.

It was at a large inland lake, or loch as the Scots call them. An helpless, fair-haired girl was being dragged into the water by an huge, long-necked reptilian beast that had her skirts in its hideous mouth. Two other figures were rushing towards this scene from the opposite direction. They were both men, one young, ruddy-complexioned, and dressed as a clan chieftain; the other pale and of middle years, wearing the grey habit of a monk. The young man had drawn his sword (which I fear would have had little affect on the hard, scaly hide of the monster) and was shouting:

“Curse that kelpie, the horrid beastie! I am coming to save you, my lady!”

As for the holy man, he was reading prayers against the supposedly-diabolical creature from his Breviary.

As we approached this fracas, Katrina sent forth a burst of her wonderful Mystical Flame at the kelpie. It was only a small blast, as she wanted to be careful not to hit the girl, but it was enough that the monster let go its grip on the young woman, who then fainted away on the ground beside the loch. The two men stopped short in marvel at this amazing display.

I then reached the shore of the loch and faced the kelpie. It turned and lunged directly towards me, letting forth a bellowing roar and snapping its monstrous jaws in terrible, seemingly demoniacal anger!

Of course, I recognised what this “kelpie” actually was immediately. It was a mutated plesiosaurus. The Lizard-Men of Lemuria and Atlantis had long before bred them as pets and guardians, even genetically altering the creatures, as they had also done to themselves, in order to enable them to tolerate the changing climate. After the destruction of the Reptilian civilisation, a small number of plesiosaurs had survived scattered throughout the islands of the Atlantic Ocean. This one had attacked the innocent girl in a misplaced attempt at defence, when it descried her approaching its place of refuge in the loch.

I stared down the kelpie/plesiosaur unflinchingly, faintly glowing with my orange and blue energies as I asserted my superior Algolitish will-power over the big, scaly beast. I managed to psychically pacify its reptile mind, and the creature sunk back down harmlessly into the water.

Katrina was comforting the other girl, who had by now recovered from her swoon but was weeping in pitiful fear. I thought it would be best to immediately introduce ourselves to the young chieftain and the monk.

“Greetings and salutations to you, my friends!” I proclaimed. ‘I am… the Laird Rumanos of Algol, and this is my goodwife, the Lady Katrina Rumanos.”

“My name is Father Columba,” replied the gravely-countenanced yet affable monkish fellow. “All over these isles have I been proclaiming the Gospel of Our Lord Christ Jesus, yet I have never yet heard of your estate. It must be exceedingly remote.”

“Quite remote it is, Reverend Father,” rejoined I. “Quite remote indeed.”

The others returned their own introductions. The young man was named Gillan, and he was master of the near by settlement and husband to the beautiful Sheila, the same young lady who had been attacked by the kelpie.

“The dear lass wished to bathe in the loch early so no one could overlook her,” explained Gillan with evident passionate anxiety for the safety of his beloved. “Quite worried I was for her though. Aye, but not about kelpies! More concerned I was of the damnable Picts! Those swart savages have so much harried our settlement, even killing our old clan chief. It was I who then avenged him in battle!”

By now, my wonderful Katrina had used a small spark of her mystical flame as emotional healing power, calming the fears of young Sheila.

“Aye, thank you both, Laird Rumano and Lady Katrine,” exclaimed the young woman, pronouncing our names as well as her charming Scots country accent would allow. “I will not forget your saving me from that horrid beastie.”

However, I knew something further had to be done right away about the monster if the settlement was to remain peacefully unbothered by it. I decided to lead it to another loch, situated some miles to the north; a loch with dark, deep waters which would be a far more welcome place for the grotesque creature.

I asked Kat to accompany Gillan and his wife back to their settlement. I did not want poor Sheila to have to again see the hideously eldritch kelpie. I then called the huge, scaly beast back out of the water and it walked upon its flippers on the land whilst I led it, accompanied by the priest, Father Columba, who continued his prayers and continually crossed himself the entire way.

“Here, Kelpie Kelpie Kelpie,” said I from time to time during our march, calling the scaly old saurian as one would an harmless little pussycat.

We arrived at the other loch, many kilometres to the north, and I sent the plesiosaurus kelpie into the dark waters of its new home there in what would one day be known as the Inverness Loch, where it would live for many centuries -- only occasionally being seen as it swam and caught fish.

But then, just as the worthy monk and I turned to begin the journey back to our friends, we saw numerous figures emerge from the surrounding forest. They were swarthy men, roughly clad in animal skins and carrying spears.

We were surrounded by a tribe of savage Picts!

Then, to the surprise, I dare say, of both myself and Father Columba, the Picts dropped their spears and knelt down before us! …

It was some hours later before I returned to the settlement of Gillan and his clan (an area which they had named “Gillan‘s-Glen-Now“, which would later be shortened to Glasgow). By now Sheila, thanks in large part to Katrina’s expert care, had recovered completely from her horror at having been attacked by the terrible kelpie.

“What happened, my love?” enquired Kat as she hugged me happily. “What happened to the monster and the monk?”

“The kelpie is settling well into its new home,” explained I, “where it should be no longer a problem. As for Father Columba, the worthy priest has stayed to preach the Gospel to a village of Picts near by the kelpie’s new loch. They saw us leading the creature whilst the monk said his prayers, and are now quite impressed by what they believe to be his holy powers! Seeing the halo-like nimbus of Algolitish energy about my head as I psychically controlled the monster, they think I must have been some heavenly spirit that the priest had conjured to assist him.

“The saintly Columba also says he will teach the Pictish tribe to read, establishing a church and school there, with the intention of giving them civilisation and an inclination towards peace with the Scots. A good man, that.”

Soon afterward, we said our goodbyes to Gillan and Sheila.

“Aye, Laird,” said Gillan, “we owe you more than we could ever repay.”

“You need do nothing for us, my friend Laird Gillan,” I rejoined. “For I know already that you shall be a fair and wise leader, and I am indeed quite certain that the Clan MacGillan will do many great things for the future of these mighty isles.”

“We will always remember you, Laird Rumano and Lady Katrine Rumano,” promised sweet Sheila with tears in her eyes. “We shall not forget you.” …

After Katrina and I had returned to our headquarters on Twenty-First Century Earth, we were at tea one afternoon in the capacious library of our home at the Temple of the Starry Wisdom, located in the Roland Park neighbourhood north of the city of Baltimore, and commenced discussing our Scottish adventure.

“So, love,” said my beautiful wife. “Do you think that your student, Sheena MacGillan, is a descendant of Gillan and Sheila?”

“Yes, that seems quite likely, sweetheart,” I answered. “It indeed does seem quite likely.”

“So, I just wondered, were we actually remembered in Scottish history?”

“Well, I think that you indeed made quite an impression on young Sheila anyway. She obviously really admired you.”

“Awwww!” exclaimed Kat joyously.

“As a matter of fact,” I continued with a smile, “have a look at this.”

I reached up to an high shelf and took down one of the volumes of A Comprehensive Gazetteer of the British Isles, then turning its pages to a map of the environs of modern Glasgow.

“The lake where we saved the girl from the kelpie,” I explained, whilst pointing to its name in the book. “It is called Loch Katrine.”

*****

It was quite recently that the Tampa Bay, Florida newspapers printed the tiny death-notice of a young woman named Devlin Price. I sincerely doubt if many people even noticed it. The girl had killed herself, though the media reports delicately ignored the details of this -- of how she had so perfectly slit her arms open with a razor-blade, thrice on each one, parallel cuts running from the wrists to the bend of the inner elbows.

But there is more, far more, to the story of the woman whose full name was Devlin Xandra Price. Her story is indeed among the strangest of that grotesquely odd collection of accounts contained in my private papers, that repository of paranormal weirdness known as The Rumanos Files (a part of the chronicles of my activities as an Operative of that secret service organisation known as the KOSMIKOS of Daemonia). It is a tale that has hitherto remained untold. But now, with the death of Miss Price, the bizarre facts can at last be released.

“Tell the story, love,” said my beloved wife, Katrina, when I showed her the news item concerning Devlin Xandra’s suicide. “It can’t hurt anyone now.” …

The tale began when Katrina and I had travelled to sunny Tampa, Florida to investigate reports of a supposed cult operating there. “Satanic” graffiti had been found in abundance at a local shopping mall, and two small children had mysteriously disappeared shortly before the 30th of April -- that ancient occult high-holiday known as Beltane or Walpurgis-Night, when human sacrifice is most often performed.

Now, reports like this are most often just hysteria or the bored populace taking coincidence much too seriously. However, I had indeed myself sensed a profound psychic disturbance coming from the Tampa Bay area, so it undeniably seemed to be worth investigating.

So there we were -- myself, Dr. Daniel Rumanos, the extraterrestrial Magician-Detective and Secret Agent known as Daemon-Star, along with my beautiful spouse Katrina, AKA Heaven’s Hell -- at the Hillsborough Mall attempting to look like a couple just out for a day of shopping whilst we searched out the whereabouts of criminal devil-worshippers. Do you understand?

I notice a group of young, long-haired chaps in black T-shirts lounging around the food court. They looked like typical metal-heads of the sort which have not really changed since the 1980s, as much as each new generation likes to pretend it is “rebellious” or bloody whatever. Seriously, try listening Wagner or Bach or Gounod sometime, all right kids? You just might find a hint to the occult power you are so desperately seeking.

Anyway, Kat and I continued browsing the various mall shops until we came to a place called Obscura Body Piercing and Jewellery. We were about  to enter this establishment when we noticed that the heavy-metal boys had followed us and were now surrounding us on all sides. My wife immediately activated her powers -- the magical flame which she had inherited due to having allegedly been created from the DNA of a deceased sorcerer. She kept it discrete, however, with only her flashing eyes and some lambent fire from her fingertips giving it away to close observers.

“Something we can do for you, umm, gentlemen?” said I, in an attempt at politeness that my excellent breeding dictates, even though the situation probably did not really call for it.

“We know of you,” said the most intelligent-looking (relatively speaking) of the chaps. “You are Daniel and Katrina Rumanos, and we have awaited your arrival. We are the Order of the Evil One.”

Bloody Hell. These sods were the blooming great Satanic Cult we had come all the way to 110 degrees in the shade, flying cockroach-infested Florida to investigate? Bollocks.

“It’s OK, guys,” said a sultry female voice from behind us. “I’ll take it from here.”

Kat and I turned then around and beheld a marvel. Slinking forth from the body-jewellery shop was a breathtakingly beautiful girl in her late teens, wearing a skin-tight cat-suit of shiny black spandex material. She was tall and slender, with striking red hair and big, azure-blue eyes. In fact, she looked exactly like my lovely Katrina!

“Hello, Dr. and Mrs. Rumanos,” she continued with an evil grin. “My name is Devlin Xandra.”

Then the girl activated a brilliant demonstration of flashing vermillion and violet flame around her luscious body and proclaimed: “I am THE REAL HEAVEN’S HELL!!”

Now, I knew that this Devlin Xandra person’s uncanny resemblance to Katrina had to be the result of some demonic glamour (so-called). Her precedents, which I later managed to piece together through diligent research along with several chats with my numerous contacts in the vast occult underground, were this:

Devlin Xandra Price was the daughter of a man named Lester Price, who had achieved some small fame for himself some years ago as lead vocalist and bass guitarist of a Tampa-based death-metal band called Charon. The band’s biggest claim to infamy was that they had gotten “Magus” Paul H. Gilmour, the (now thankfully deceased) leader of the Church of the Satanic Elite, to do a recording of some occultic invocations, which they then used on their album, Ceremony of the Black Mass. The release included an hideous track called “Baptism of Devlin Xandra”, in which Lester Price described with sickening pride the shamefully horrid and perverse ritual in which he had dedicated his infant child to Satanism.

Mr. Price also formed a group himself called the Order of the Evil One, ostensibly for fans of his music -- though he himself was often heard to refer to it as a “satanic youth group”. Oy gevalt.

However, the career of Mr. Lester Price, both as a rock musician and as a cult leader, ended when he left his wife and young daughter and ran off with a teenage groupie from Cleveland, Ohio named Polly Belknap (who preferred to be called by the ridiculous moniker “Sinn Satanna, Sweet Slave of Satan”. Seriously, try to say that one without spitting, or at least wanting to do so).

But even Polly had left Lester Price when she found that middle age, obesity, and alcoholism were leaving him both financially broke and sexually impotent. He had stayed in Cleveland alone, getting a job as a night-time security guard for a coat-hanger factory, and now spent his spare time doodling crude cartoons of nuns being raped by demons.

Devlin barely remembered her father, but found some old CDs of his music in her mother’s attic, along with promotional material for his OEO cult and a copy of Paul H. Gilmour’s self-published book, The Scriptures of Satan, which mixed diabolism and black magic with disgusting neo-Nazi rants. This had led her into further dealings with young, would-be devil worshippers, who were pleased to assist in the revival of the Order of the Evil One -- with Miss Devlin Xandra Price as its new High Priestess!

But the demonic forces of eldritch evil which Devlin Price had managed to contact in her insane bid for occult power were more devastatingly powerful than the lesser demons that her idiot father had dealt with in his own bygone heyday -- as I was about to find out that fateful afternoon, as Katrina and I faced Devlin and her group of metal-head disciples, there in the Hillsborough Mall in bloody sodding sunny Tampa, Florida.

“Yes, you heard right,” purred the insane girl known as Devlin Xandra. “I am the real Heaven’s Hell, and with the powers I and my devoted followers here have, we will wipe the Earth clean of your kind, Katrina and Daniel Rumanos!!”

Then, without further warning, Devlin hit Katrina with a powerful blast of Infernal Flame, sending my wife careening out of control across the mall floor!

Before I could move to assist her, I found myself stopped from doing so by the young male metal-heads who now made up the rank and file membership of what was called the Order of the Evil One. Their eyes were glowing crimson red, a sign of powerful demoniacal possession, and I indeed felt a force of palpably intense, tremendously hateful wickedness emanating from their bodies. There were seven of them.

“Holy Flapdoodle!” I heard my lovely Katrina exclaim as she recovered from Devlin Xandra’s attack and readied her defences.

Then the same one of the young men who had spoken before again apparently talked -- but it was not his human voice I heard this time, but instead a low-octave rumble of demonic sound that spoke through him: “We have long awaited the chance to face you, Rumanos. To avenge the many things you have done against our kind -- against our brothers in the realm of absolute darkness. We are the Seven. We are the MASKIM!”

I then knew what obscenely powerful horror with which I would have to contend. Those seven evil fiends known to the ancient Babylonians as the Maskim: The Ambushers; The Liers-In-Wait!!

They are Seven! They are Seven! (warn the ancient Babylonian texts against the Maskim) They are Seven in the Deepest Pit of Darkness!

They are Seven! They are Seven! They are Enemies of Our Master ENKI!

They are Seven! They are Seven! They are Seven Times Seven! …

The fiend-possessed boys surrounding me continued to advance forward, with their hideous eyes glowing balefully red as they ingenerated a sphere of the most abysmally dark energy -- trapping me inside with them. …

Mall security by now had turned off all the electricity in the large shopping centre, citing a power-outage as their excuse to evacuate all innocent bystanders from the building. It was now past the time of day when direct sunlight would shine through the mall’s skylight windows, and indeed the Stygian gloom was only penetrated by the flashing vermillion and violet flames as Katrina and Devlin continued to throw volleys of Mystical Flame at each other!

“Your envy has bred hatred, Devlin!” said Katrina. “I am the TRUE Heaven’s Hell, and you are a mere want-to-be!!”

“You really are such an idiot, Katrina!” countered the wicked Devlin Xandra Price. “Have you ever even questioned the odd secrets of your origin? Well, have you?! Has it ever occurred to you to wonder how, if you were supposedly created from the DNA of a Hasidic and Cabalistic Jewish Mystic, you are also from some noble Scottish family?! Hmmm? Also, exactly why did Howard Levi pretend to be a Satanic High Priest named ‘Zandor LeVay’ anyway?”

“It is in no way your concern!” Kat replied. “My Daniel and I will be able to deal with any mysteries about my past! You do not have all the facts!* You are just jealous of our powers… and of our love!!”

[*Indeed, many of these enigmas were revealed in the Weird Adventures story which is entitled “In Your Wildest Dreams”]

“Oh, right,” returned Devlin with increasingly bitter contempt tingeing her every word. “Dr. Daniel friggin’ Rumanos. Hahahaaa! The lies that deceitful old bastard has told you, girl! Really!! That utter bullshit about how he can only have sex with you or he will die! Haha! Do you really, really believe that? Oh, it’s true that he managed to set it up the other way around, manipulating your DNA so that if you were to have relations with anyone else you would sicken and perish. That serves his deep-down feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing very well, I’m sure. But him? He is so full of it to tell you that!!”

“Don’t you even dare talk about my beloved that way, you stupid little slattern whore!!”

With this, Katrina enveloped her body entirely in wonderfully flashing fire. Devlin Xandra did precisely the same thing, and the two gorgeous, paranormally-powered girls shot upward into the air as their battle continued. …

In the sphere of horrendously eldritch magical energy, I desperately struggled to remember the words of the Sumerian-Babylonian exorcism against the Liers-In-Wait, as the demoniacally possessed seven young men continued to effect me with despair by mind-invading applications of their chthonic, demoniacal powers of grotesquely and dangerously diabolical, Acherontic terror! Buggers.

Really, dear reader, can you begin to understand the shocking horror, the absolute demonic menace and ghastly, phantasmal terror of this hideous situation?!! …

At the same time, the dreadfully perilous occult battle between my beautiful wife, Mrs. Katrina Rumanos, and the lovely-but-nefarious bitch Miss Devlin Xandra Price continued, flying far above the mall floor, with blinding flashes of Infernal Flame as they whirled in circles of incredible, amazing agility and fantastically preternatural speed… HEAVEN’S HELL VS. HEAVEN’S HELL!!!

The fantastic battle continued unabated, with Katrina Rumanos and Devlin Price shooting volley after volley of fantastic mystical fire at each other while flying high above the mall sales-floor.

“Not exactly walking on sunshine, are you, Katrina?” mocked the evil Devlin Xandra Price as she shot my wife with another volley of dangerous paranormal energies. “I will destroy you!”

Amazingly, they seemed evenly-matched, the powers of the hideous Maskim and the myriads of associated attendant spirits having given Devlin an incredibly, frighteningly close approximation of the powers of Heaven’s Hell!

I have no doubt that my wife would have eventually prevailed -- after all, the original will always in the long run prevail over imitations, even in the world of magic and illusion. But how long would this perilous fight last in the meantime?

“I will annihilate you, Katrina Rumanos!” shouted the beautiful-but-deadly Devlin Xandra Price. “I will take your place in the occult world and be the ONLY Heaven’s Hell!!”

It was just then that I managed to burst forth from the dissipating sphere of dark paranormal energy generated by the seven demoniacally possessed blokes. I had completed the Babylonian Exorcism Against the Ambushers, the Liers-In-Wait -- therefore invoking into myself the power of the warrior-god Marduk, son of Enki, Master of Magicians -- and then the young men, now free from diabolical influence, had fled in terror from the shopping mall.

I quickly levitated upwards and sent a powerful blast of psychical energy at Devlin Xandra while repeating the concluding statement of the Exorcism:

“O Evil Demons! O Evil Fiends! O Demons! It is not I but the Lord MARDUK, Son of ENKI, who commands you! Be gone from this mortal being! The power of MARDUK compels you! The power of MARDUK compels you!!!”

With that, the demonic forces left the body of Devlin Xandra Price and returned to their own proper Perdition. Her powers gone, the young girl fell limply to the floor, the now-fading energies of her false Flame only serving to somewhat cushion the blow of landing.

I immediately alighted beside Devlin, and found the girl cowering in a corner of the lower mall hallway. She was stunned but not seriously injured. It was obvious that we had literally frightened The Living Hell out of her. With the devilish glamour lifted from the young woman, she only superficially resembled Katrina. Her hair was obviously dyed red, and her eyes, though blue, were duller and without much intelligence.

“No, no,” she sobbed. “Please don’t hurt me anymore. I… I’m sorry. I only wanted to be something special.”

I had generated an orb of Algolitish Magical Energy in my hand, and was preparing to blast the girl out of existence.

Then I heard another voice from behind me. It was Katrina: “Don’t do it, Daniel. She’s harmless now.”

“But, Kat,” I replied, “she tried to kill you! She made deals with horribly ancient demonic forces!”

“She’s just a kid. She didn’t know what she was doing. Come on, love. I’m all right. Let‘s just go home.”

Amazed as always by the sweetness of my wonderful wife, I turned away from Devlin Price and ignored her continued weeping as Katrina and I left Tampa, Florida, and returned to Baltimore. …

Later that night, as Kat and I lay in bed together back home at the Temple of the Starry Wisdom, I stroked her silky hair and said to her, “Sweetie, I want you to know that I have never lied to you. You are everything to me, and I will never do anything to hurt or betray you. I know that if I did, it would destroy me. I’m really not sure if it would literally ‘kill’ me, but I would truly be the same as dead.”

“Awww! It’s OK, love,” said my wonderful Katrina. “I know and understand. We will always be together, and I love you.”

“I love you too, my sweet little Kitty-Kat,” I replied as we embraced, finding the ultimate magic there in each other’s arms.

I am Dr. Daniel Rumanos, Supernatural Swashbuckler and Intergalactic Man of Mystery. Goodnight.

DANIEL RUMANOS SHALL RETURN