The Phantom of California

Part One: The Haunted Family

By: Charles Mento


From the pillow of her bed, a middle aged mother began to realize how dark and dank it looked toward the foot of the wide bed. The door just beyond it was wide open as she listened for any sounds. Her youngest daughter still lived with her in the large, creaking two floor house, built around 1935. This daughter, preferring privacy, slept in a room at the far end of the hall. Both bedrooms were upstairs. Slowly building on the mother's chest was a feeling of being pushed down. She could not move yet she could feel a presence rising from the floor just infront of the bed. The figure in black was surround by a wind blown, swirling cape. His face, completely covered by a helmet, was emanating cold heartlessness.

John sat at his desk, trying to write a letter to Carol about the events of the past few days. How does one explain an alliance between the US President and the annelid Sorsons? Carol had jaunted to a far off planet to try to get help for him while he had been locked up on the Galactic Trig and that help she sought was also for the planet Earth. John felt a need to let Carol know how it all came out, even before the woman returned. Of course, TIM would telepathically send it to her. John looked up from his task, feeling a filling of space. In front of him stood a tall man with distinctive black boots, the boots coming up just below the knee, a helmet, and cape. John noticed a large broadsword in the figure's hand. The Black Knight moved toward him.

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