The afternoon following his phone call to Baker, Lansard received a call from the man. He was willing to discuss a deal and wanted to know what time he should come to his office. Lansard replied that he preferred not to speak in the office and asked Baker to meet him at a location on Queen’s Road at 6:00 pm. Baker agreed, if he was curious about the secrecy he didn’t reveal it. As far as he was concerned, anything that saved him some money was worth the effort. He didn’t mention anything to his wife and partner, he could still claim that Lansard wanted the full amount and pocket the balance.
Lansard was happy, everything was falling into place. He would probably have to close his law firm after this but that didn’t matter. His father had provided him with ample funds and he was bored with dealing with the likes of Baker anyway. He would pay off his secretary cum assistant handsomely and she would be equally as happy.
He sat back in his chair and looked at the portrait of his father. If all went according to plan he would be free of the old man as well.
He remembered his father’s account of how he had gained virtual immortality word for word. He closed his eyes and he almost could hear the old man speaking.
Just before nightfall Lansard, who was clean from his wash, watched as Wibawa’s men built up a fire. Wibawa himself sat near to it facing outwards and motioned Lansard to sit in front of him. Then the night settled around them and all that was to be heard was the crackling of the flames. Wibawa started intoning something. It was monotonous and Lansard had to keep his concentration in order to not to nod off.
Then he heard the rustling behind him and turned to see what had caused it. His heart leapt into his mouth as three enormous Komodo Dragons entered the clearing. He made to rise but felt Wibawa’s hand on his forearm.
The man spoke and miraculously Lansard could understand him.
“If you run they will eat you!” The old man smiled and in the flickering firelight, Lansard saw his teeth. Why had he not noticed them before? The canines were elongated and overhung his lower lip.
“Are you ready?” Wibawa asked. His heart pounding in his chest Lansard could only nod. And before he realised what was happening Wibawa sank his teeth into Lansard’s upturned forearm. He tried to struggle but the old man held him fiercely tight as he drank his blood in great stomach heaving gulps. Lansard felt his strength deserting him and just when he thought he would swoon Wibawa released him and sat back, grinning a wide, bloody grin.
“It is almost done.” He said. “Now there is just the sacrifice.”
“What sacrifice…..” Lansard started to ask but before he could finish his question, Wibawa’s three assistants dragged his servant into the firelight. Subaya was bound at the wrists and ankles and they threw him to the ground just before the dragons.
He could see the raw terror in the man’s eyes as the dragons approached. They took their time, knowing that their prey could not escape them. Lansard shifted around and found himself sitting beside Wibawa. His assistants were standing on the opposite side of the fire.
Wibawa grinned and clapped his hands with child-like glee when the dragons set on the helpless man. Mercifully they made short work of him and his cries were cut off as one of the monsters crushed his skull in its monstrous jaws as the others ravaged his body.
The horror of what he was watching appalled Lansard. He felt numbed by the shock of what he had seen and experienced. It was not until Wibawa placed a gentle hand on his shoulder that he remembered the gaping wound in his forearm. He looked down at it and to his amazement found that it had already closed. It was still weeping blood but it had almost healed by itself.
The ceremony had been completed.
In the comfort of his air-conditioned office, Roger Lansard could almost feel the grass and earth beneath him, hear the grunts of the dragons and snapping of their jaws. And the screams of Subaya!
It was almost time to meet Baker, Lansard checked his watch, then his fingernails again and counted down the minutes.
(c) Copyright John Stewart Sloan – 2017 – Not for Distribution
The Featured photo is by Mark Dumont – Flickr: There Be Dragons, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25935468