3 - Malchus: Present Day

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Malchus opened his eyes. He was in a dark room. People were standing around him.

He sat up and surveyed his surroundings. There was a single light in the room held by one of two young women with them. "Where am I?" he asked.

"You're okay, Hal," the boy, the only other person in the room, said as he crouched beside him. "Look, we gotta go. The lights, the noise...someone may have called the cops."

Malchus set a hand on the boy's shoulder. "You have not answered my question. Where am I?"

The girl, formerly kneeling beside him, stood and said, "We're in the basement, remember? Of that old house." She was pretty enough, he supposed. Her sandy hair curled around her heart-shaped face as a halo, rendering her high, pointed cheekbones and cherubim nose angelic.

"That is not sufficient information. Where in the world am I?"

"Are you okay, Hal?" the cherub asked.

"Answer me, boy," Malchus said. He focused his mind on the boy still crouching in front of him, willing him to answer, strengthening his hold on the boy's shoulder as he did.

The boy shrunk a little under his grasp, but said, "Toronto...Canada...North America," in a near robotic voice, eyes widening, pupils growing.

Malchus turned to the cherub and said, "What do they call you, my pretty one?"

"Hal, are you sure you're okay?" Sheila asked.

Malchus traced the arch of her cheek with the knuckle of his forefinger. Once more he focused his will and repeated, "What do they call you?"

"Sh...Sheila," Shelia answered apprehensively.

"Sheila," Malchus repeated. Not his choice of a pretty name to be sure, but it would do. "Come with me, Sheila. There is work to be done."

The others in the room set out to follow, but Malchus focused his will once more and instructed them to wait no less than thirty minutes before leaving.

"My pretty," Malchus said. He took Sheila's hand and led her up the stairs, through the house, and out the front door.

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