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ETERNAL HAPPINESS: ARE WE THE PRICE?

The door of the study slowly creaked open, and the master wizard looked up from his reading. Through the door came two people that he had not been expecting; two humans, one of which Ozino had hoped he would never see again.

"So thoust hast returned." Ozino said, addressing the woman standing in front of him.

"Yes we have." Announced Blue.

Slowly, almost innocently, Adena raised the sword that she held in her hands. She brought it over to Ozino, and prepared to kill him.

"Please, huntress, no! You know not what you are doing. Only thou can save me from this fate."

"I no longer care about you, nor anyone else. I only love and care for my husband Blue." With that she drove the sword into his old and tiring body; and though he was the most powerful wizard, his unprepared body folded into a dying corpse.

"Remember..." He said as he felt the last inch of life drain from him.

The entire House of the Wizards was in horror when Phumos found the dead body of their leader. They all knew that without his power their's could not last...

**T. G. Taft**

Taft was very startled as the image appeared in front of him. It radiated from his Tiara and appeared sitting next to him.

"Taft, I am Phumos. I must tell you this truth quickly before I die; listen now and you shall know. Surely you have heard about the wizards. Four of us: Excho, Ranet, Ozino and I lived together in what we called the House of the Wizards. Wisdym and Aven lived alone in somewhere that we did not care to mention..." She stopped for a moment, as she felt her power drain.

"The two of them lived together, alone, until Adena and Blue Ledic decided to join them. I know not why they did..." she stopped, "but because they did Wisdym and Aven decided to kill the only thing that could ever separate the four of them... the other four wizards. By killing Ozino she has dictated all of the deaths that surround him."

"You see, unknowing to Ozino's spirit, which is already dead, his body has a built in resistance to death. And so it draws the lifebreath from his best friends... that is, the three of us... in a valient attempt to stay alive. Oooooooh!"

Phumos looked up at Taft in a final manner, and told him, "All of the world's Powers are now dead, but you: You are now the ruler of this planet."

Taft felt a feeling of power as he realized that he had finally won. Then he felt it all melt away. Was it all worth it? The death of all the others? For only one cause--that cause being self-pity perhaps--to cause pain to others? Does not the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one? Taft consoled himself when he remembered it was not he that had answered these questions, but Adena.

Suddenly Phumos felt her last breath. "I am now the last wizard left...but finally my time is also come...." With that she gave a last sigh and fell to the floor. Taft tried to catch her, but as he touched her he felt the confusion of time that arose as the Queen of the Fourth Dimension died.

Taft found himself as if he was there, at the scene of the accident that killed his wife. He saw Amanda's pain. He saw that perfect body smash onto the ground. "No!" He screamed as the vision came again.

This time he tried to stop Amanda's fall. But no, he could not: He was not fast enough. Again her beautiful head split open on the ground. "No!"

Again the image came, and Taft made his decision to join Amanda in death. He jumped onto Enad's car as it raced pace. The hit occurred, and he was thrown off the car just as he had hoped. But just as he was about to hit the ground, with his wife, time withered again. Instead of dying, he landed alive on the ground next to a dried up skull. The scream that resulted was enough to drain all air from his lungs; he gasped to take another breath. The skull became cracked and wrinkled: And again the scream came; only to drain the air out again. At last he passed out from hyperventilation. Images floated in his brain; images of Adena's cruelty to their world. Had the Enchantress found happiness? Had she found a utopia? He wondered. And again the images came, and they became more and more vivid; more and more close; more and more cruel. Finally he had an image of Adena stabbing Jonathan; and then her best friend Campuria; then the twins themselves; She skewered Enad the Great; and finally she came to Taft himself. Just as she placed the sword into his heart; he felt his own life pass away; he felt himself as a twisted member in the annals of time; but more he felt as though he had been rejected by life itself. His last words, as he passed into the obsidian, were simply, "Well, Adena, are ya' happy now?"

THE END


 © 1984, 

L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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