The moment I finished writing both Barriers and Merchant, I turned my attention to my patron’s final story for the month, a thriller. Whenever I think about thrillers, one of the first ones I think of is Phone Booth. It’s a wonderful psychological thriller that leverages a mysterious antagonist, who manipulates and controls the protagonist, Stuart Shepard. Every scene leans into the anonymous phone call to drive every aspect of the plot.
With Phone Booth in one corner of my mind and Darren’s fights with the Hunters in the other, an idea blossomed in the depths of my mind. Typically, I’ve never named the Hunters who appear in my stories. However, this time it made sense, since I wanted to highlight the aftereffects of their battle.
Come grab a chair and join me as we explore Darren’s message to the council.
After fighting with Darren, Tristan appears in the council chambers suffering from a mental breakdown…
When two cloaked figures sauntered into a small chamber, a steady collection of moans, howls, and screams serenaded them. Without faltering, the pair marched toward the source, a wriggling and writhing man lashed upon a slightly undersized table in the center of the room. As they neared, the bound figure’s fingernails dug into the ropes securing him. With every twitch of his body, the restrained fellow added fresh notes to his chorus of pain and anguish.
As the eerie ballad filled the space, the smaller individual grabbed his companion and guided him past the confined figure, racing away from the chilling tones. Upon reaching the far wall, he waved his hand as if washing the cries from existence, and a pale barrier of energy appeared, plunging them into a muffled silence. With a huff, he threw back his hood as his chest fell. “I thought you tasked Tristan with collecting a rogue.”
The taller individual slid the covering off his head, revealing a wrinkled face and tired eyes. He turned toward the bound man and shoved his hands into his robe’s sleeves. As the pair stood there, cut off from the agonizing sounds, the elderly figure rose to his full height as his gaze swept over Tristan. “That was his most recent assignment.”
The smaller one thrust his finger at Tristan while his nostrils flared and his brow furrowed. “No rogue is capable of doing that to him!”
“You’re missing the most significant point.”
“Are you saying that Tristan’s mind being broken isn’t paramount?” The shorter figure said, as his whitening fists dangled beside his hips.
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