Have a Teaser

(This is an excerpt from a book I’m writing, possibly coming soon to a bookstore near you. About the picture…I like Lambos. Leave me alone.)


Dr. Gavin Milton had certainly never been drunk during his career, or for that matter, his entire life. He’d tasted a bit of alcohol now and then, but never in large doses. Only on social occasions. 

But now seemed a reasonable time to start.

The worldwide famous Dr. Milton sat in a shabby, two-star apartment in the crummier parts of Nevada, with two and a half empty beer bottles and a few more on the way, along with a growing headache and the fading thought of a hangover the next morning. He had only chosen this room because it had access to cable TV, where he’d be able to witness the President’s finest hour.

“Hmph.” He muttered, only half-lucid. He took another swig. “I don’t envy him.”

In fact, the president was giving his speech just now. It had been two hours since the start, and he planned to go on for another two. Milton didn’t believe he was going to be able to go on for that long, given the tough news it was his duty to break. The partially-inebriated professor muttered something. He could feel his clothes getting shabbier, as if entropy was having an immediate and profound affect on him. He could hardly see, but that was owing to the poor lighting of the room, as well as his own partial inebriation. 

He slumped farther into the chair. Nothing made sense, and that wasn’t because of the alcohol. Already, the president had broken the news, and before he was done with his speech, there were news reports across the globe confirming the president’s words. You couldn’t log on to social media or the internet without seeing at least ten stories on the subject. It was only a matter of time before the country erupted into open panic and the national guard deployed. Then there would probably be emergency powers, martial law, and the whole shabang.

And they still wouldn’t be able to stop the coming darkness. 

An idea suggested itself in Milton’s mind: What about the black knight? He laughed out loud. That was absurd. It was probably a hallucination. Perhaps the whole bloody mess was a dream, and some time in the near future he’d wake up. 

Some dream.

He took another swig and noticed that the bottle was empty. He stooped down and picked up another. He felt a faint despair. 


When Milton woke up in the morning, he surely did have a hangover. However, he felt much more clear-headed. That didn’t stop the despair that befell him once more when he realized his situation. He groaned.

The TV was still on, so he decided to take a look at the news: what he saw was not promising. The reports had been squared: riots had broken out across the country, and the national guard had been called in to quell the rioters. The screen was alive with running and screaming people.

Milton rubbed his chin. He realized that he had three days’ worth of messy beard that needed shaving. He decided to leave it alone for the time being. His mind, freshly lucid, began to work. Even though he felt despair, he also felt the faintest stirrings of hope. There had to be something he could do. He couldn’t return to Manhattan, at least not on his own. Seeking the government’s help was extremely risky.

Then, something clicked in his memory. He smiled. He knew just who to call.


“Dr. Argus Macfee is…indisposed.” Said Dr. Macfee’s pretty receptionist. “Perhaps you might consider calling on him the week after the next?”

“No, you don’t understand!” Said a scraggly-bearded Dr. Milton, complete with sunglasses and disheveled attitude. “I have to speak with him immediately.”

The receptionist shook her head. “I’m afraid that’s not possible.” She said, “He gave me strict instructions not to allow anyone into his office.”

Milton growled. “I’ll be back.” He mumbled.

Five minutes later, he was on the street corner sipping a pot of coffee. The sun was just cresting over the hilltops, marking the beginning of another day. Milton took his sunglasses off and rubbed his eyes. It had been a full thirty-eight hours since he had last slept, and he had gone on two separate plane rides to land him in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All international travel had been suspended, but a generous donation, subtly, given, could take a body a long way. Already, Milton had blown one hundred thousand dollars out of his savings to get where he was between coffee, tips, “donations”, and airplane tickets. All to find out that his old friend, Dr. Macfee was “indisposed”. Yet, Milton felt he was the only person who could help him.

He sapped the last of his coffee with disgust. He rubbed his chin and felt the fledgling beard there. He kind of liked it: It was a disguise. The American government would probably want to know his whereabouts, but he was half-certain he had lost his tail. They had their own problems without worrying about him. 

Soon, the waiter came to get his cup. “Is there anything else I can get you?” He asked in Spanish.

Milton wanted to mumble, an audience with the world’s foremost master in hieroglyphs, but said only, “Nah, I’m good.” not caring that the man couldn’t understand him. The waiter looked at him with an odd look, then gave him the receipt. Milton had all but converted his ready American money that he had on his person into currency that would be more useful to him here. His money in his bank, his savings, however, were all in dollars. He forced himself to spend his new paper money sparingly. 

“Thanks.” He mumbled. He took a look at the receipt. To his surprise, it wasn’t a receipt: it was a piece of dirty lined paper. Some words were scrawled on it. Milton looked more closely. 


Milton blinked. It was not signed, but doubtless it was from Macfee. Immediately, he stood up and stashed the paper in his coat. He headed out into the streets. 


It was twelve minutes after midnight. Milton was standing just under the window of his professor friend. He had bought, not surprisingly, another coffee and was drinking it to keep awake. He hardly could, even with the caffeine. He felt he was going mad. What was he expecting, anyway?

He sleepily sat up and leaned against the brick wall. Suddenly, he heard the window above open, and he looked up. In the dim light, he saw something fly out of it and land in the garbage below. He darted over and saw that the fallen object was a soda can.

He squinted. Peering inside, he saw a loosely crumpled paper. He pulled it out and read the words on it.

USE THE ELEVATOR, YOU IDIOT, it read. Milton grew slightly angry. Use the window, then use the elevator? He crumpled the message into a ball and threw it back into the trash as he went around the building again. 


The lobby was unlit and devoid of people. Milton took the elevator to the top floor, wherein was located the abode of Dr. Macfee, longtime friend and associate of Dr. Milton. Milton braced himself for the sight of his friend’s office.

When the doors opened, Miton beheld an extraordinarily messy office. Papers with scientific drawings, mathematical graphs, and coffee stains littered the floors. Green-and-brown splotches of vomit colored the expensive-looking carpets. Milton winced. 

“Dr. Macfee?” Called Milton, uncertainly. “Dr. Macfee? I got your message. I’m here to discuss–”

He was interrupted by a dull thud that came from the belly of a desk in the left-hand corner of the room. Muffled words came from behind it, and a bald, bespectacled figure popped his head out.

“Eh? What’s that?” Said the man. “Go away. Haven’t I already told you I don’t like reporters? What’s your bloody problem, anyway?”

“Uh, it’s me, Dr. Macfee,” said the younger academic. “I wanted to see you.”

“Ah…yes…” Said the man at the desk. He crawled out, revealing a moderately heavy bald man in his early fifties. “Ah…Milton, my boy…”

Milton ignored the patronizing comment. “You wanted to see me?” He asked. 

“You wanted to see me.” Said Macfee. “Now quite blithering and tell me why you’ve come. I’ve become very preoccupied with my work, you know. The world is going to shreds.”

“That’s what I’ve come to see you about, doctor.” Said Milton. “Through a string of recent, ah, events, I think I’ve gotten close to the mind behind the madness. I think I have a better idea than anyone of what’s going on with this strange invasion.”

“Do you, eh?” Said the professor. He squinted and sidled closer to Milton. “I must have a word with ye, then. You’ve come to the right place, my lad. Have a seat,” He said, gesturing to a spare office chair. “And we’ll have more coffee.”

The idea of coffee and a nice, warm office chair seemed very enticing to Milton’s caffeine-induced consciousness. So he settled down in the chair, and Macfee stumped out to make coffee. He returned quickly carrying a sizable pot, and, as soon as he poured himself and Milton a cup, he sat comfortably in his chair. 

“Now, then.” He said. “Let’s proceed. Tell me the complete record of your experiences. Spare no detail, however odd.”
Milton then went on to describe his entire affair, from his vacation to his escape and ultimate liberation. He half-expected Dr. Macfee to interrupt at one point or another, but he just sat, wrapped in thought. Milton would stop now and then to reassure himself that Macfee was still listening, and when he did, he got an impatient “Go on, will you!”. Finally, Milton finished his story and sat back. 

“My.” Said the professor. He blinked twice and rubbed his nose. “This is most interesting. The Black Knight you told me of, especially.”

“Yeah. I had a feeling you might take a particular interest in him.” Said Milton. “Now, don’t get psychic or religious with me…What’s he got to do with any of it?”

“Everything, or else very little.” Said Argus Macfee. “It has direct connotations with my recent hieroglyphics research. A strange coincidence.” 

“Strange.” Said Milton, finding nothing else to say.

So strange,” Continued Macfee, “That it can’t be a coincidence!” 

“What do you mean?” Asked Milton.

“Don’t you see?” Said the professor. “Oh wait, you don’t. Do listen: I had recently uncovered a fragment of an Norse temple from Trondheim before this whole bloody mess started. I had it shipped here about three months ago, and had read it before you arrived. That, and your account, trouble me greatly.”

“How so?” Asked Milton. 

“Well,” Continued the professor, “They do contain a sort of prophetic prediction. Not exactly a prophecy, but it does tell of a coming doom. It says that, when the forces of hell are ready to depart, they will invade Midgard.”

“Midgard?” Asked Milton. “You mean the Norse mythological word for ‘earth’?”

“Afraid so.” Said Macfee. “However, there is a bit of history behind this message. There’s an old folk legend that I discovered in my twenty years in Norway. The locals believe that Odin wanted to keep Midgard safe from the evil antics of Loki and the Frost Giants. To do this, he chose the greatest warriors in all of Midgard and put them to a test. Legend has it that four such heroes passed the test and ascended to godhood. Now, they were never truly given dominion over the earth or the gods’ sacred drink, which would have made them immortal. However, they managed to keep off the frost giants’ conquest of earth for the longest time. The frost giants eventually backed off, and the Champions of Gaea were cast into a deep slumber, waiting to be awakened again when Midgard needed them again.”

“But time went by and still there was no sign of Loki or his evil minions. Humanity grew and flourished. Technology was developed. There was no sign of the Champions ever again, so history became legend.” Macfee leaned back in his chair and sipped another sip of his coffee.

Milton was beginning to believe he’d come to the wrong place. “What does this have to do with anything?” He asked. “Professor, there’s no need to conjecture. Fairy tales are not the answer–”

“Fairy tales!” Snapped Macfee, eyes sparking. “Boy, these are anything but fairy tales. If you’re so motivated by facts, Milton, then tell me your way of interpreting the facts.” Then, without waiting for an answer, he went on: “The world is in ruin and chaos. I speak for myself: there is no mathematical equation that can equal our escape from this madness. But, if all we have is an outdated old legend to cling to, I shan’t bloody well give it up for smug ignorance. Don’t be a fool.”

“But we can’t just base a resistance against who-knows-what’s-out-there on a legend and a few stone tablets! I saw those things tear into people’s flesh and defy bullets. How do we beat that?”

“Don’t you see?” The professor cried. “We can’t! There’s no way that we can beat this menace! It’s spreading throughout the globe, consuming all in its path! Except, as the prophecies say, we have allies who can aid us! Remember the Black Knight? He must be one of the awoken champions!”

Milton was stunned. “But…There’s more?” 

Three more, lad!” Said the professor. “And by your words, I’ll wager they’re already on the move!”

“But what’s humanity got to do in this crisis?” Asked Milton wildly, half-believing the professor’s mad words. By now, Macfee was pacing and muttering to himself. 

“I do not yet know the role mankind has to play in this unfolding calamity,” Said Macfee, “But the stone shards hint at it. I have a feeling mankind will play a crucial role in the acts to come on the stage of Migdard. To find it out, we have to visit the archaeological dig site of the original temple. Only there will we be able to find out what we can do about this apocalypse.”

Milton slumped in his chair, weakly and with resignation. “You’re out of your mind…” He gasped feebly. “I…I’ll go with you.”


Published by Van Ghalta

A cold, dark, mysterious character who purposefully wrote a story so that he could fit into it...A story where he himself WRITES stories, practices martial arts, blogs, plays airsoft, collects MTG trading cards, plays outdated video games, and writes weird, third-person bios for himself...

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