Simon Says

This is written for Brook who has helped me so much, and dedicated to my dear friends Delia and Shawne and Nelleke. There were too many gaps in this excellent episode so I hope I've managed to fill some of them in. Starting with how they arrested Simon Marcus. I've never done an epiode related story before, so please bear with me and if I make a mess, no disrespect is intended to the original script writers!


The scenes of the black mass are taken from an early 18th century text which describes the osculum infame - or infamous kiss. - Honest, I'm not sick enough to make it up!

Disclaimer - I don't own 'em, but I like to play!

Chapter 1

‘D’ya see anything yet?’

‘Dunno, the window’s dirty and whatever they’re doing in there, they’ve steamed it up’.

‘Hutch, it’s a barn, not some car parked at Lovers Point. You’ll be tellin’ me next its rocking from side to side’.

‘Well there’s something pretty hot going on here too. I can just make out some black robes. There’s about 12 of them. They’re in a circle, but I can’t make out what they’re doing’.

‘Here lemme see’. Starsky pulled his blond partner out of the way and took Hutch’s place at the small dirty window, rubbing it hard with the side of his hand in an attempt to get a better view. He drew a blank and sighed heavily.

‘We need to see for sure. Can’t have half the PD coming up here tomorrow and charging in on the wrong outfit. Dobey would definitely be pissed’.

‘You think? The last time that happened we were busted down to traffic for two weeks. And those black caps don’t do it for me anymore’.

‘Hmm dunno. I kinda like ya in black’.

‘Starsk will you shudup and just case the joint?’

‘Well I can’t see anything through this crummy window. We need to get inside and see what they’re really all about. How’s about a little trip into the lion's den huh?’

Hutch shrugged. ‘Whatever you say, What’s the plan?’

The brunet grinned. ‘When did we ever need a plan? Where’s your sense of adventure? That’s just it with you Blondie. Always playing it safe. Always looking for the easy way. No imagination, that’s your trouble. C’mon’ he got himself into a crouch, drawing his Smith and Wesson Model 59 and ran for the barn door.

Hutch drew his own long barrelled Colt Magnum Python and followed muttering darkly under his breath. ‘Follow your partner. Watch his back. How’m I supposed to watch his back when he doesn’t tell me what his back is gonna go next? Jeez Starsk! No imagination!’

He skidded to a halt next to his partner and Starsky cocked his head. ‘What did ya say? No what?’

Hutch snickered. ‘Just thinking I admire a man with imagination. That’s your plan? Go through the front door and hope they don’t see you?’

‘Ya got a better one?’

‘Back door?’

‘is there a back door in a barn?’

‘Starsk there’s always a back door. C’mon, follow the guy with no imagination’. He set off in a crouching run down the long length of the barn, ducking under the various windows as he went and hearing the soft footfall of the brunet’s blue Addidas behind him.

The night was warm and starlit, the moon low on the horizon as they crouched down together at the corner of the big building. Moths danced before them as they disturbed the sandy earth at the edges of the deserted farmyard, the main farmhouse having long since been left to rot. Fencing lay on the ground and weeds sprouting through the hard packed dirt. It was a godforsaken place, way out in the hills behind Bay City, the only other signs of life, apart from the group in the barn being a large black bull who walked around a bare fenced paddock disconsolately looking for food and a nice young heifer to while away its time.

Sweat beaded on the foreheads of the two cops and not for the first time, they cursed the necessity of having to wear overshirts to hide their weapons. At that moment, on that hot, sticky night, they wanted nothing more than a shower, a cold beer and the company of two pretty girls.

Instead they were sitting in a forgotten farmyard, squatting by the side of a dimly lit barn in the middle of the night, Just another average shift for the BCPD.

Hutch ducked around the corner of the barn.

‘See’ he said with satisfaction. ‘A back door. told ya’.

‘Gee the wealth of knowledge you get from living in the country huh?’

‘I wouldn’t call Duluth the country, but I had my share of working on my Granddad’s farm’ Hutch grunted.

‘And did he have mad religious types in his barn too’.

‘Nah, just the usual tractors, baling machines, hay’.

‘OK well, d’ya see any way in that will keep us hidden from them?’ Starsky asked softly.

‘Uh huh. there’s a stack of hay bales against the back wall. If we open the door slowly we can get in under their cover’. Hutch sat back on his heels. ‘God, I hope they don’t have one of the kids there’.

Starsky’s face hardened. ‘If they do, I’m not gonna be responsible for my actions. If they’ve got a kid in there, there’s no way I’m gonna wait till tomorrow night’.

‘I know buddy. I feel the same. Lets just get in and see huh?’

They squatted down by the side of the barn door and Hutch pushed his hands into the opening, edging the big heavy door open a crack. They both ducked inside and rolled over until their backs were pressed against the hay bales. Now that they were inside the barn they could hear the sounds of the cult members more clearly.

Starsky peeped around the wall of hay. He saw the circle of men dressed in flowing black robes, their heads swathed in black hoods as they stood swaying from side to side. Each cloak had an inverted red cross on the back and a rope belt cinching it in at the waist. Their feet were sandaled.

They stood around a rough wooden altar affair at the centre of their circle. On the flat top was a black chalice, an inverted cross and two spluttering candles. By the side of the altar stood a man dressed in the same attire as his followers. His hood was cast back, showing long straggly black hair and a pointed, rat-like face, his eyes hooded and dark. His hands were held in the air and out wide as if blessing the congregation, but his words were muffled by the chanting around him although Starsky could see his lips moving as if he was chanting a verse or blessing. His congregation uttered their liturgy over and again.

Si-mon Si-mon Si-mon as their flickering shadows danced around the sides of the barn.

The candlelight gave the scene a vaguely demonic air and as the two men watched, the chanting became louder and Marcus pointed his finger. A young women peeled off from the crowd and went to stand with the man in the centre of the circle, her head downcast in supplication. The man that stood by her side, the leader of the cult, Starsky and Hutch had discovered was called Simon Marcus.

The woman faced the rest of the crowd, her face serious and focussed as though she were hypnotised and slowly she opened her robe revealing her pale naked body to the man and women around her. She showed no embarrassment and there was no reaction from the congregation as it fell in a puddle to the ground. She turned and knelt obediently in front of Marcus. She was a pretty young girl with a sweet heart shaped face and long pale brown hair and she looked incongruous at the side of the older, weasley looking man. Beauty and the beast. He placed his hand on her head as if blessing her, before parting the front of his robes with his hands. Apparently, he too wore nothing beneath and she leaned forward slightly, kissing at the centre of his body before kneeling upright again and looking up adoringly at the cult leader with eyes as big as soup plates.

Marcus let his black robe slip from his shoulders and the crowd hushed as he walked to the altar, draping his naked, scrawny form across it and sticking his butt out so that it could clearly be seen by his congregation. The girl followed him seeming to know what she was to do, and knelt again behind him, arranging herself so that her legs were splayed apart, her hands held loosely on her thighs as she looked down at the ground.

Voice muffled by distance and by his position, the two detectives still heard Marcus utter his next commend from his position bent forward over the altar.

‘Donum me osculum infame’. He said the Latin words loudly and without hesitation, the girl leaned forward again.

She placed her hands on Marcus’ thin hips to balance herself and as Hutch shivered in disgust, she used her thumbs to part the leader’s cheeks and delicately planted a kiss on his puckered opening, lingering just long enough for the act to descend from obscene to lewd. Marcus made no movement, gave no reaction and she sat upright again, her eyes once again fixed firmly on the ground.

Marcus stood, turned and held out his hand to the girl. She looked up at him, adoration in her eyes and her breathing becoming rapid and shallow. She took it and stood, daintily following him to the side of the altar and without comment, climbed up onto it. She arranged her body until she was laying on her back, her legs dangling over the edge of the table and put her hands above her head. Displayed thus, she waited, eyes closed and chest heaving. Marcus stood between her splayed legs looking up along her slim body, it being quite obvious that he was ready to defile her. He paused, looking at the congregation.

‘Hic es diabolo’ he intoned.

‘Salve diabolo’ the congregation chanted in response.

He moved his body up against hers and the woman turned her head to face the congregation, her face happy and rapt as Marcus began his violation of her body. She showed no signs of distress or in fact enjoyment as he rammed into her time and again, he body moving in time to his. Neither made a noise until the final moment when, with a disgusting grunt, he collapsed briefly against her still form, panting hard before pushing himself away from her.

Without any embarrassment or any word to her, he held out his hand and she took it, pulling herself up and shuffling off the altar. As Marcus stood stock still, the pretty girl picked up her robe and put it back on, tying the rope around her slim waist as Marcus waited. Then, she took a cloth from the side of the altar, dipping it into the chalice and knelt in front of her leader, gently cleaning his body of the residue of their sex. Marcus stared straight ahead, hardly acknowledging that she was there and when she was finished, she stood, took his robe and draped it over his shoulders. He raised his hands again above the quiet congregation, palms out.

‘Salve Diabolo’ he said loudly and the crowd, who had remained quiet as the devil worshipping leader completed his black mass, started their chanting once more, this time more loudly, as they swayed from side to side, driving themselves into a hypnotic stupor. One by one, they started to pair off, men and women together as they started to disrobe, the scene soon dissolving into one of a mass orgy, the seven couples all lost in their own hormone driven urges across the floor of the barn, the big building echoing to the sounds of their rutting. As Marcus surveyed the scene with satisfaction, he suddenly looked at the wall of hay at the back of the room. Starsky stared for a fraction of a second into the eyes of the leader before pulling away. Had Marcus seen him? The cult leader made no reaction, but the brunet still felt as though he himself had been violated in some way.

The two detectives ducked back behind their wall of hay, their eyes holding sick disgust at what they’d just witnessed.

‘My God, this guys once sick puppy!’ Hutch ground out. ‘When Sutton told us his daughter was caught up in some sort of Satanic cult, I had no idea it was so….’

‘Basic?’ Starsky said, trying to cut out the sounds of sex coming form the cult members. ‘C’mon. For some reason, I don’t think they’re gonna notice if we sneak out now. D’you?’

They made their quiet way back out of the barn and ran for their car which Starsky had parked a long way down the hill. When they got there, they sat inside the Torino, gasping and attempting to get their breath.

‘I thought I’d seen it all’ Starsky said wonderingly. ‘But Jeez, that was something else!’

‘Well we definitely got enough to go back in tomorrow night. And at least there were no kids there tonight. I need a beer, or possibly something stronger’.

The brunet switched on the engine. ‘Know what ya mean buddy. What time is it? 11:45? Just time to get to the Pits’.

Chapter 2

Both men were jumpy the next morning and had sore heads to go with the anxiety. They’d been at the Pits until 3:00am, drinking with the proprietor to drown their sorrows and although they couldn’t give Huggy the details, he was perceptive enough to know that the two detectives were most definitely hurting about their new case. Eventually Huggy had shoehorned them out and packed them off home and Starsky had dropped Hutch off at his apartment before heading back to his own.

The sights he witnessed that evening stuck with him despite the several whiskeys and beers he’d consumed and as he let himself into his dark apartment, he suppressed a shiver. The girl’s eyes haunted him. It would have been easier for him to understand if they’d held panic and fear. But the calm acceptance of her violation as she lay, unrestrained on that altar was something his mind wouldn’t process.

But what he couldn’t get out of his head most of all was Marcus’ eyes, looking at him across the room. Had he been seen? The cop shook his head as if to clear it. Of course not. If Marcus had thought his group had been spied upon, he’d have sent up the alert immediately! Starsky put the feeling down to having got the heeby jeebies from watching the black mass and took himself off for a quick shower before getting into bed. He was just settling down, his eyes drooping closed when the telephone rang.

He reached for it, expecting to hear Hutch’s voice at the other end.

‘What did you forget this time, Einstein?’ he said sleepily.

There was no answer.


The brunet put the phone back on the cradle and snuggled back into his pillow. Damned wrong number!


Starsky sat at the desk with the pencil jammed between his teeth as he pounded away at the old typewriter. He’d been thus employed for the past 45 minutes as Hutch sat by the side of him, adding comments, correcting spelling and generally getting in the way. Finally the brunet’s patience snapped.

‘Look, do you wanna do this?’

‘No. I was just helping’ Hutch said mildly, backing away a little from the pencil that had bounced from the desk after being flung down.

‘Well you’re not. I’ve typed the same paragraph twice and “accomplice” definitely has two Cs. I know. I’ve typed it enough times. For Gods sake, go an’ get some coffee huh?’

‘Hey, you ok buddy? I know how ya love typing reports, but it doesn’t usually get to you so much’.

Starsky sighed and sat back in his chair. ‘M’sorry. Jeez, that got to me more ‘n’ I realised last night’. He looked around the desk at the photographs surrounding his typewriter and dry wiped his hand over his face.

‘Just look at this Hutch. The sooner we nail this sucker the better’. He picked up one of the glossy Polaroid’s and stared at it. It showed the body of a girl of perhaps 14, her body bloody and mutilated and his mind went back to the previous week.

Starsky, Hutchinson, can I see you in my office now?’ Dobey made his way back behind his desk as the two detectives followed obediently. As they walked in they saw a man in a dark coloured suit sitting on a chair by the desk, a look of worry on his face.

Gentlemen, this is Evan Sutton. His girl has been abducted and he needs our help’. Dobey said quickly.

Hutch held out his hand to the other man. ‘Mr Sutton. How’re you?’

Sutton took the blonde’s hand and shook it distractedly. ‘Not good, thanks’ he replied, tightly.

The partners sat down on the only other vacant chair, Hutch on the seat and Starsky as usual perched on the arm. They waited expectantly for the Captain to explain.

Dobey sat back. ‘Mr Sutton here came to see me because his daughter, Gail Sutton went missing a few months ago’.

Months?’ Starsky asked.

Uh huh. He had a PI trace her to place up in the hills behind the city. There’s a commune or something up there and the PI said that they seemed to be a religious type of organisation. One of these cult type set ups. He had the PI keep an eye on her and three days ago he reported back that there were signs that there was devil worship within the cult. He’d seen kids being kept at the group’s compound. They’d be there one night, then gone the next day. So he did some digging around, literally, and came up with this’. Dobey handed the detectives some Polaroids.

Hutch took them and both men looked at the hellish pictures showing two or three children, all female, all around 14 years of age, naked and with what looked like Satanic symbols carved into the skin of their chests and abdomens. Two of the girls appeared to have been dead for some time, their corpses bloated and beginning to decompose, the third being fresher, the blood still red and slick.

The PI gave those to Mr Sutton. He said he should take them to the police as soon as possible, and that he would make some more investigations. He hasn’t been in contact with Sutton since because he’s gotten himself dead’ Dobey handed them a final photograph showing a naked, bound man with seemingly thousands of knife wounds and bruises across his body. His hands were bound together and there was evidence that he’d been strung up and had struggled with his captors.

Who took this, and where?’ Starsky asked, handing the photo back to the black man.

Who knows? It was posted through the PI’s office door when Mr Sutton went there this morning to try and see what progress had been made. He brought it right here. Now its your turn’.

How old your daughter, Mr Sutton?’ Hutch asked

She’s only 17. She’s never done anything like this before. She’s always been a bit of a Daddy’s girl. Never went out with boys before this. I thought she’d been abducted, but the PI said that she seemed to be happy to be at the commune. She wasn’t restrained, didn’t seem to be being coerced’.

Can you give us a description of her?’

I can do better than that. I’ve got a photo’. Sutton handed them a Polaroid of a sweet looking girl with soft dark blond hair, a heart shaped face and large blue eyes. She was dressed in a red blouse, black sweater and blue jeans and was holding on to Sutton’s arm, laughing into the camera as though she hadn’t a care in the world. Hutch looked at the picture and sighed. He’d seen it too many times – a cosseted daughter deciding enough was enough and running off to the circus, or some commune.

Where’s the commune based?’ he asked. Sutton gave him the address and Starsky walked out into the squad room to locate it on their large map. Entering Dobey’s office he rubbed his finger over his lower lip.

Have we had any reports of missing kids? Why weren’t they reported before?’ he asked.

Dobey furrowed his brow. ‘Good point! Why haven’t we heard about any children missing? Lemme check’. He reached for the telephone and punched in a number.

Bernie? Can you pull me any records of young girls, maybe 12 to 15 year olds who have been reported missing in the area in the past, say…..6 months. If we have nothing, can you check with the neighbouring precincts?’

Dobey replaced the receiver and they continued to discuss the case. Within half an hour, R&I telephoned back to Dobey and Hutch watched as he saw the consternation run across his Captain’s face. When he put the phone down, he ran a white handkerchief over his face.

Bernie says there have been no reports of girls or boys of that age group going missing either here or elsewhere over the past 6 months. Things have been pretty quiet on the abduction front of late, mercifully’.

Starsky took hold of one of the photos of the dead girls again and waved it under Dobey’s nose. ‘Well what’s this then Cap.? It aint exactly pretty seein’. If there aren’t any reports of missing girls, where did they come from? They don’t just fall from the sky!’

‘If I knew that Starsky, I wouldn’t need to have you two investigate, now would I?’ Dobey growled. ‘I want you to go up to that commune tonight and I want you to get as much information as you can. If it’s a small outfit, and if you can get to Gail, do it. If its not possible, get as much information as you can, find out about the children and try to find Gail and then we can put more men on it’.

‘Hey, we’re getting closer buddy. We only need go back there tonight with the rest of the guys and we can set about arresting Simon Marcus and the members of his cult will all be able to go their own sweet ways. We can get Gail out and Sutton will be happy and we can get the three kids they’ve still got up there to safety’.

‘I know. This guy just gives me the creeps. Its like he’s taunting us, like he wants us to go in there and arrest him. I can’t put my finger on it, but this is one case I’ll be happy to nail once and for all’.

That first night, Starsky and Hutch made their way up to the farmstead, dousing the car’s lights and turning off the engine long before they actually got to the buildings, going in quiet and dark. They left the car and hid behind an abandoned tractor where they could watch the various members of the cult coming and going. There were men, women and some children, all dressed in black robes with an inverted red cross n the backs. Ominously, the only children the detectives saw were female, perhaps 14 or 15 years old.

They saw them all go into the barn and heard the beginnings of the black mass, but had been disturbed when a dog started barking and they had to run back to the car to avoid being detected.

As the drove away to a safe distance, Starsky looked more than a little troubled. He stopped the car when it was safe to do so and ran his hands through his curls.

Hutch that’s some kind of Satanic cult. The black robes and the inverted crosses. They give me the creeps’.

I know buddy, but we didn’t see shit tonight. There’s no way we can go in with all guns blazing tonight. We need to get at least some first had evidence’.

Yeah, but there’s just something that keeps leaving me cold. It was the kids Hutch. They were all girls and all young teenagers. What if….’

Oh no! Don’t say it buddy. Its not possible is it? I might be niaive, but surely not in this day and age?’

Dark indigo eyes turned on him. ‘It adds up Blintz. Think about it. The bodies were all girls, all teenagers. And yet there were no reports of any missing persons. And yet here we have men and women and teenage girls all in a cult. I hate to think about it Hutch, but what if they’re murdering their own kids?’

Chapter 3

‘Day and Ellens, I want you to take point here, Striker and Boxman, you’ll be here’ the podgy black hand pointed at the rough map of the area around the farmhouse that Hutch had drawn for their meeting this morning. Starsky and Hutchinson will go in through the door here and I want Williams and Marsh at the front here to cover any escapees. We go in low and quiet and with as little shooting as possible. Remember, there are women and children in the compound. We don’t know where they’re kept, but we do know that they congregate on this barn for their weird ceremonies. I’ll hand the rest of the briefing over to Hutch’ Dobey said, sitting back in his chair.

The blond looked at the map then at the rest of the crowd of detectives in the small office.

‘Starsky and me went up there last night to case the area. What we found we didn’t like much. After a week of going to the farmhouse and knowing something was going on, but not being able to see it clearly, last night we got a grandstand view’. He paused to get his thoughts in order.

‘We saw the girl Gail. She was with a bunch of other guys and women attending a Satanic ceremony. All the usual kinky stuff you’d expect. Marcus is one sick son of a bitch and dangerous too. He seems to have some sort of hold over his followers. There’s no sign of them being kept there against their will, but they seem a raggedy bunch. They’re all thin, kinda like they don’t have enough to eat and they all stare fixedly at him. I’m not saying they’ll become violent, but I do think we may have a tough job persuading them that Marcus is evil and that they should go home’.

‘So be careful guys. We don’t want any casualties tonight and we do need to get Gail on her own and away from them. Her Dad’s expecting her home’.

Starsky stood up as the group were preparing to go out of the room. He’d had his sleepless night and the feeling of Marcus’ eyes on him had chilled him to the bone. He wanted to nail the sucker, although he had no idea why he felt different about him than all the other flakes they’d dealt with over the years. He cleared his throat.

‘Just one last thing people. When we do get to Marcus, he’s mine, clear?’

There were nods from around the room and Hutch’s head whipped around. Something about the intensity of Starsky’s voice set his nerves jangling. As the rest of the detectives filed out of the room, he crossed over as the brunet picked up his battered leather jacket.

‘What was that all about?’ he asked.

Starsky looked up surprised. ‘What’s what all about?’ he echoed

‘Marcus is mine! Where’d the “Dirty Harry Callaghan” bit come from? Just a touch dramatic buddy!’

The curly haired cop smiled self consciously. ‘A bit over the top huh? Dunno. I just feel like I want to nail this flake personally. He gives me the creeps and I want to make sure he’s put away for a helluva long time’.

‘We’ve had perps like him before Starsk. And you’ve never come across all possessive. What’s he done at you?’

Starsky started to try to answer, then gave up. How could he tell his partner that he thought the man had seen him across the barn and now he felt like Marcus had some sort of hold over him? Was that irrational or what? So Marcus was a sick puppy. So he raped women and bled children to death. All horror movie stuff, but not something he hadn’t seen before, in his six years as a cop. He thought he should probably have gotten used to it by now. But would anyone ever get used to the inhumanity they saw on the street? He mentally shrugged. Its amazing what you can get used to!

‘Would you believe I just don’t like him?’ he grinned

‘Hmmm, like I believe you don’t like beef burritos with everything. Ok. Well, when you want to tell me, I’m all ears’.

Starsky followed the blond out of the office and into the squad room where the team were getting themselves ready for the night’s work. He tried to quell the feeling blossoming in his gut. Why should he be getting so wound up about this guy? What was it about him? He stuffed his gun into his holster, shouldered angrily into his jacket and followed the rest of the crowd out into the night.


The girl sat in the big chair looking directly ahead.

Gail had been at the commune now for four months, ever since a friend had said that she’d met a charismatic man called Simon Marcus, who everyone called Teacher. The friend had taken her along to a meeting and at the end of the somewhat unusual service, had taken Gail to meet the leader. He’d smiled down at her and told her he was happy that she was finally here and that he’d always known that she would join them one day.

She’d giggled at first, asking why he’d thought that. She didn’t know him and he’d never met her. But Marcus had been cryptic in his reply, stating only that he’d dreamed her joining the cult and his dreams always came true.

And the more she listened to that soft, hypnotic voice, the more she’d fallen under Marcus’ spell until, by the end of that evening she’d begged him to take her in and teach her in his ways. He’d smiled warmly at her and had asked one of the women to find her some suitable clothes, stating that the women of his order would not debase themselves by wearing anything so tight or provocative as the clothes she was then wearing.

She’d looked down at her jeans and the V necked sweater she had on, and suddenly felt dirty, as though she was some kind of exhibitionist. She’d gladly scurried away with the women Marcus introduced as Laia and had been brought back into the meeting room later, washed, and changed into a long flowing nightgown type dress of the lightest muslin.

Once there, she was left alone with the one she came to know as Teacher. He’d asked her to sit at his feet while he perched on a large thronelike chair and she’d cuddled up close to his legs. He’d rested his hand on her silky hair and told her that he knew she was special and that she would one day perform a special task for him.

At that, she’d felt her heart leap. Her own Daddy had loved her but had treated her as some sort of pretty doll with no brain to speak of. But this Teacher, this Simon Marcus had told her she was special and that she was useful.

It was the first step on her way down into debasement and the giving up of any free will.

By the end of the second month, she was leading some of the chanting during their masses. ‘Si-mon, Si-mon’ she would repeat like some magical mantra as she felt herself sinking lower into submissiveness. Whatever hold Marcus had over her, she couldn’t break it, nor did she want to. Within his protection she felt loved and special and….although she didn’t fully admit this to herself, powerful.

Now, she’d been invited once more to the Teacher’s room and she sat in the big chair, arranging herself properly so as not to show too much flesh. She’d been here before, when Marcus wanted to tell her something important, or when he wanted to give her one of his “special lessons”.

The first time it had happened, only two weeks before, she’d shivered as his hand had perched on her shoulder.

‘I dreamed you would be my Aphrodite’ he’d started. ’I dreamed of metal and petal softness, or red and white combined with indigo blue. And I dreamed you were there’.

She’d shivered at his words, his voice low and hypnotic and his hand had dipped lower until it was cupping her breast. ‘Are you ready to serve me fully?’ he asked.

‘Oh yes’ she breathed, so excited that she felt dizzy and faint. ‘Tell me Teacher. Show me how I can serve you’.

‘I dreamed of a bed of chamomile and juniper and the two of us joined as one. Will you fulfil your destiny? Will you bring life to my dream little one?’

He pulled her to her feet and she stood trembling before him as he took the soft muslin dress from her shoulders and led her to his bedroom. She’d lain down, looking up at him with trust in her eyes as he’d continued his rambling. He’d laid down at the side of her and she’d shivered as his hands started to explore her body, culminating in his lying on top of her and claiming her fully as his own.

After that, he took her to his bed twice a week, and tonight he’d asked for her to come to him again. She sat in the big chair, her legs dangling towards the floor as Marcus stood behind her, stroking her hair.

‘Look ahead, my little one. Don’t deviate from looking straight ahead’ he cooed as he forced her to watch the black and white pattern flowing across the white wall from the cine camera behind him. As she allowed herself to be lost in the never ending patters and Marcus continued to caress her hair, he felt her body relax until he walked around and saw the slack, blank look on her face.

‘Can you hear me Gail?’

She nodded once, her eyes never leaving the hypnotic patterns.

‘Tell me your name’

‘Gail Sutton’ she said dreamily.

‘And to whom do you belong?’

‘To you Teacher, body and mind’.

‘And who do you serve?’

‘You and only you’.

‘And what will you do for me’.

‘Anything my Teacher asks’.

Marcus grinned to himself. His hard work brainwashing this newest recruit was complete. He lowered himself until his mouth was inches from her ear’.

‘I dreamed of Heavenly Polaris, moving though our house and bringing devastation. When he has taken me, the prophecy will lie with you. Do you understand?’

‘Prophecy…..with me. Yes’ she said slowly.

‘Polaris will have blue eyes. And you will eclipse those eyes. My dream sees a knife. You will be weak, but you will deliver the first of thousands'’ Do you understand?'

‘No’ she whimpered. ‘not weak….anything for you Teacher…..not weak’.

‘Then remember your knife my little one. To slice away Polaris from his white knight. And remember I will always see you, no matter where I am’.

She nodded, her eyes drooping and as the pattern on the wall opposite faded she began to chant again under her breath. ‘Si-mon, Si-mon’.

Chapter 4

It was dark when they got to the bottom of the hill where the farmhouse lay. The three cars containing the detectives pulled up behind the protection of a stand of trees and the group got out, checking their guns and pushing them into waistbands, ready for whatever they might find.

There being no moon that night due to heavy cloud, they set of up the hill cautiously, careful not to turn an ankle and jeopardise the mission. It was warm work, the cloud cover making the night hot and sticky and the hill being steep and they stopped half way up to regroup and catch their breath. It wouldn’t be seemly for the rescuers to arrive with no breath to shout the ubiquitous “Police Freeze”.

A minute later, they set off again and crested the rise a few moments later. Hugging the ground, they watched as some more of the cult members entered the barn, these appearing to be adult males and as the last one closed the door behind them, the group surged forward to take up their respective positions. With Marsh keeping a look out for Starsky’s signal to go in, the blond looked in through the window again.

He saw the familiar semicircle of men and women around the rough wooden altar, and Marcus standing self importantly at the centre. He had his hands raised as he saluted the congregation and Hutch could hear the hypnotic litany as the group of cultists swayed from side to side, mumbling under their breath . Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon.

From one side of the circle, Gail appeared clothed only in her thin white dress looking almost virginal in comparison to the black cloaks around her. She had her eyes fastened onto Marcus as though there were no other people in the barn and she walked daintily towards him, her hand outstretched to meet his.

Marcus grasped her hand and lead her to the altar where she paused and turned. Marcus opened his cloak as she kneeled and once again kissed the centre of his body before casting her eyes downwards. Marcus’ expression never changed at what would have been an erotic touch. He stared straight ahead, but as Gail sat back, he placed his hand once again on her head and she looked up with an expression of adoration on her face.

The Teacher pointed to the door and Hutch followed the direction with his eyes as once of the cult members went to the corner of the barn and picked up from the straw there the body of an unconscious girl. The thin, limp body was carried to the centre of the congregation and laid ceremoniously on top of the altar as the chanting increased in volume. Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon.

As the man stepped back, Marcus and Gail stood one each side of the altar and from the wooden top, the leader took a long wicked looking thin blade with a twisted wooden handle. Gail picked up the black chalice the detectives had seen on their previous visit and came to stand next to her teacher. He made several signs with his hand in the air above the girls naked body and Hutch thought he heard him say some sort of incantation, but the blond had had enough.

‘Shit Starsk, they’ve got a kid. Move in. Move in’ he yelled as Starsky signalled Marsh.

In a burst of speed and sound, the detectives all cannoned into the barn, guns drawn and yelling at the tops of their voices in order to create a distraction. Marcus looked up from the girls body, his knife mere inches away from the pale flesh, his face a calm and empty canvass. At his side, Gail screamed and took hold of her Teacher, hiding behind his black robed body.

The rest of the cultists scattered in all directions, their semi hypnosis being shattered by the loud noise and sudden motion in the barn. Day, Ellen, Marsh and Williams all herded them into a corner as Starsky and Hutch approached the altar. A third man came over to join his leader and stood behind the wooden table, shoulder to shoulder with Marcus.

‘Its OK Saul. I dreamed this would happen. It must play out as my dreams decreed. We can do nothing to change our destinies. Do nothing. Don’t fight’ the man’s voice sounded low and husky in the big barn.

‘But Teacher! They have guns and they want to harm you. I can’t let that happen. Let me help you. They’re destroying the commune’.

‘Be still Saul. Its all as I forsaw. What I dream, so shall it be’.

‘Yeah, that’s right. Listen to your boss Saul. He’s just crazy enough to tell you the truth some day’ Hutch said pointing his big gun at the three clustered around the altar.

Saul stared back at the two cops, hate shining in his eyes. Hutch caught the movement as Saul’s arm started to dip down towards the big table.

‘Don’t do it’ he yelled as the second in command darted his hand down, retrieving another knife. Expertly flipping it over until he held the blade he took a quick aim at the blond cop and threw. The knife cartwheeled through the air, its blade catching the dim light in the barn and at the last moment, Hutch ducked out of the way and it clattered to the floor behind him. Hutch lunged for the smaller man and Saul ran around the other side of the altar table, grabbing a hold of Gail and dragging her with him. Hutch darted sideways, but Saul held Gail in front of him as a human shield and the flaxen hared cop’s hand wavered as he tried to get himself a clear shot. Realising that he’d not be able to shoot the man, Hutch launched himself over the altar, still with the young girls body on it and hit Saul in the ribs with his head. Gail flew sideways and hit the ground a little way away as Hutch and Saul rolled over on the straw covered floor, each struggling for the best position. Eventually, Hutch’s extra inches told and he managed to straddle the cult member, sitting on the man’s butt as Saul wriggled beneath him.

‘For Gods sake, cut it out’ Hutch ground out as he took a hold of Saul’s left wrist and bent his arm behind his back. As the man felt the cold metal snick around his wrist, it was as though someone had thrown a switch and his body became supple and pliable. His head rested on the floor and he no longer struggled as Hutch caught hold of the right wrist and clipped it to its twin. Panting heavily. He rested a moment on his perch, sweat dripping from his golden bangs into his eyes.

‘Someone come and take this fucking pervert away?’ he called to the other detectives and got unsteadily to his feet as Day peeled off from the group and hauled Saul to his feet, pushing him along in front of him as he propelled him down the hill and back to the car. Hutch looked back at his partner who had apparently got his wish of having Marcus to himself. Hutch picked Gail up from the floor and brushed her down gently. ‘Are you ok?’ he asked, seeing her glassy eyes and vacant ecxpression.

‘Teacher?’ she asked tremulously.

‘He’s gone honey. You’re safe now’ the blond said gently. ‘C’mon lets get a blanket for you. You’re shivering’.

While Hutch had been busy with Gail and Saul, Starsky had taken on Marcus. The cult leader stood stock still as Starsky moved in on him, a panther stalking it’s prey. As he passed the altar table, the brunet cast a quick look at the unconscious body of the young teenage girl.

‘You’re a sick son of a bitch Marcus, ya know that don’t ya? He grunted.

Marcus said nothing. Instead he fixed his eyes on the approaching curly haired man. And for a split second, Starsky stopped. He felt the eyes boring into him, not just looking at him, but seemingly boring into his very soul. He shook himself and took one more step forward. Eyes on the leader as his fingers searched the young girl’s neck for a pulse. Relieved when he found one, he placed all his concentration on Marcus.

‘D’ya get off on murdering kids? Does it make you hard when ya think about taking one of these women? What sort of drug d’ya give ‘em huh?’

Marcus continued to gaze at him, a slight ingratiating smile on his face and a look of pity in his eyes. The silence unnerved the cop who was expecting some sort of reaction. In fact he was almost counting on it. The photographs were still fresh in his mind, the mutilated bodies of the girls engraved into his memory, just as the Satanic symbols were engraved into the victims flesh. All he wanted to do was to find some reason to punch this guy, to land out and give a little bit of the pain that Marcus had inflicted on others.

‘What’s up? Cat got your tongue?’

The eyes never flickered. They bored into the core of his being. He felt them invade his body as though they had a physical presence.

‘C’mon Marcus. We saw ya. Raping that girl. Did it feel good? Did it make you feel powerful? Can’t you get normal women without having to drug ‘em or brainwash ‘em?’ Starsky taunted, wanting a rise from the man. But none came.

Instead Marcus held out his wrists to the brunet. ‘I dreamed you would come’ he said, waiting for the snick of the cuffs.

As the brunet reached for his cuffs and started to take hold of one of the proffered wrists, Marcus reached up with lightening speed and ran his fingers through the mahogany coloured curls on Starsky’s head. The cop yanked his head back, his skin crawling from the unwarranted touch and he glared at the leader. Marcus was once again calm and co-operative, again holding out his hands and this time Starsky slapped the cuffs on quickly, squeezing the metal closed tight so that the skin around Marcus’ wrists puckered. He wanted a reaction. He wanted Marcus to whine and plead. He wanted to hurt him.

There was still no reaction and Starsky whipped the man round, slamming him into the barn wall and driving the breath from the thin body with an audible wheeze. He leaned his weight into the cult leader. ‘

‘Ya have a lot of dreams do ya, punk? Well you’ll get plenty of time for dreams in jail. So long as ya can duck the perps in there who love child molesters like you. Maybe give you a taste of your own med’cine huh?’

Starsky ground his captive into the rough barn wall, expecting finally some reaction, but still Marcus remained calm.

‘You have a destiny. The stars are yours and the second kingdom awaits you. Your destiny awaits you’ he said cryptically.

‘Shut the fuck up’ Starsky growled. The voice was getting to him almost as much as the eyes had. What was it with this guy? What was it about him that could give a street toughened cop the creeps with only a few sentences? Starsky didn’t know, but as he put his hands on Marcus’s body to spin him round again, he felt almost as though an electric shock had passed through his hand. He gasped, but kept hold of his prisoner until Hutch joined them.

‘What’cha got there buddy? You managed to get your piece of him?’ he grinned.

‘Just get him outa here’ Starsky grunted, almost throwing the cult leader at the blond as he walked away. He felt dirty, shaky and confused. He’d thought that after the photos and the grandstand view of the black mass they’d had the other night, he’d have revelled in the arrest. But instead of Starsky intimidating Marcus, it had almost been the other way around and now the brunet felt as though he were being set up; as if he’d had the worst argument of his life with his closest friend and walked away – sick to his stomach. And yet he’d exchanged no more the a handful of words with Marcus and had had little physical contact.

He felt all in, exhausted, and as Hutch walked out in front of his, holding onto a handful of Marcus’ robes he rubbed at his head, feeling as though the Teacher had pulled a handful of hair from his head.

And as Marcus was pushed towards one of the waiting cars, he cherished the two curly chocolate coloured hairs he'd managed to obtain.

Chapter 5

The brunet was quiet as he trudged back to his Torino behind Hutch. The night had, on the whole gone well with no shots being fired in anger and no-one getting hurt. The only casualty in the whole affair seemed to be the bull who they’d seen in the field. His body had been found by the fence, a bloody wound on his neck and his blood draining away into the hard packed earth.

The rest of the cultists – the women and men who had been at the back of the inner circle, the ones who had not taken part in the black mass but had merely watched had been told to disperse and go back to their homes. There were many blank stares and mutterings, but slowly the group had started to wander off into the night, leaving the group of detectives with Marcus, Gail, Saul and perhaps six others, who were at that moment being bundled into black and whites to be taken to the Metro for questioning.

Hutch walked with the cult leader towards the red Torino parked along with the other cars at the bottom of the hill and had just put his hand on the door handle when a feeling of complete irrationality came over Starsky.

‘He can go in one of the black and whites’ he said loudly – a little too loudly, causing Hutch to look up surprised.

‘He’s ours Starsk. Unless you got a good reason, he should come with us’.

‘I know, just humour me huh?’ the brunet replied tightly. ‘Its been a long night an….’he cut himself short. There was a half smile and a look in Marcus’ eyes which made him not want to voice his feelings out loud. ‘Just get one of the other guys to take him. Wanna be fresh for his interview tomorrow. Its gonna be a doozy!’ he finished

Hutch worried over his partner’s sudden change of attitude, but was used to Starsky’s sometimes strange ways and said nothing more. He pulled the mad leader away from the car and went to negotiate his prisoner’s ride down town with one of the other guys. Minutes later he came back empty handed and got into the car to join his partner. Starsky was sitting playing with a piece of thread on the steering wheel and didn’t look up as Hutch got in. He switched on the engine and set off, tires screeching on the blacktop as he gunned the V8 to make his way back home. He’d seen Hutch walk towards the car, but the very thought of Marcus in his beloved Torino sent shivers down his spine as if that would be a violation of a whole new type. But why should he feel that way? He kicked himself.

He’s a guy, just like any other guy. Get your act together Davey boy! This aint no Bella Lugosi movie. Just a freakin’ weirdo out to mess up a whole bunch of lives!

He rubbed absently at his head, still feeling as though he had a bald spot where Marcus had touched him, gave a final shudder and settled into driving the dark road down from the hills.

‘Care to tell me what that was all about?’ Hutch asked mildly.

‘All what?’

The blond turned sideways in his seat.

‘Starsk you’ve been acting strange all night, in fact all day and night, since we went to the barn. Spill. Tell me what’s got you guts all knotted’.


‘Who, Marcus?’

‘Yeah Marcus, who else d’ya know bleeds kids to death?’

‘This one’s really got to ya hasn’t it buddy?’

Starsky eased his foot from the gas pedal, slowing the car marginally. ‘I don’t know. There’s just sumthin about the guy. I can’t put my finger on it, but when he looks at me it’s like he knows me. Like he has plans. He creeps me out’.

‘He’s just a guy’ Hutch said softly, but he saw the fear in his partner’s eyes and although he thought it to be irrational, he knew that the brunet would have to be pretty rattled by the whole thing to get so bent ove about it. ‘Hey, its 3:30. We’ve gotta be back at the Metro by 8:00. What say we both go back to my place, have a drink and kip there? No sense in wasting time dropping me off and then coming back for me four hours later’.

The subterfuge worked….a little easier than Hutch would have thought possible. He saw the white disappear from the knuckles around the steering wheel as Starsky visibly relaxed.

‘Ok, makes sense’ the brunet replied.

No sarcasm, no wisecracks. Nothing of the usual Starsky banter or humour.

Starsky knew what Hutch’s game was, but for once he didn’t want to argue that he was too big a boy to need nursemaiding. Just at that particular time, he wanted company and the thought of going back to his own apartment, with his stupid phone that rang at all hours of the night was too much.

Fifteen minutes later they pulled up outside Venice Place and got out. Starsky followed Hutch up the steps to the front door of his apartment and as he put the key in the door, a cat in the alley at the back knocked the lid off of a trash can, making an unearthly clatter. The brunet jumped so hard that Hutch thought he’d find empty Adidas on his front doorstep. He felt a hand clutch at his arm for the briefest moment and then Starsky self consciously withdrew it.

‘Sorry’ the brunet mumbled shakily, then forced a grin onto his face, running his fingers through his curls. ‘Damned cats’.

Hutch said nothing, but let them into his apartment and went to his kitchen. He fumbled around in his cupboard and came up with two mismatched glasses and a bottle of bourbon. He poured two inches of the fiery brown liquid into each glass and handed one to his partner.

‘To a job well done’ he said quietly, holding up the glass.

‘Don’t ever take a job as a psychiatrist’ Starsky smiled shyly.


‘Your “lets calm the curly one down” technique stinks’ but Starsky downed the drink in two gulps and put the glass on the worktop.

‘Hey, you just looked like you needed a drink. And I wanted one too’ Hutch offered.

‘Bullshit! Hutch I’ve never been scared of one man before! Why should I be affected like this by one Simon Marcus?’

‘Well, he’s a weirdo!’

Starsky snorted. ‘Yeah, ya think? But we’ve dealt with flakes before and I know the score - don’t let ‘em rattle ya. But this guy! Hutch he either is who he says he is and he has a message from the devil, or he really knows how to push all my buttons’. He sat down heavily on the sofa, his shoulders hunched in dejection.

‘He’s no devil, Starsk and you know it. Truth is I felt weird out there too. Anyone who watches that crap and doesn’t feel something deserves to be one of his followers. But that’s all it is buddy. Just too many candles, crosses and…..’

‘It was his eyes’. Starsky turned his own troubled eyes on his partner. ‘There’s something about his eyes’.

‘Ok well, tomorrow we blindfold him before we interview. Now just shuddup, have a refill and bunk down. We got less then four hours now before Mad Marcus calls again’.

The brunet stood and headed for the bathroom. ‘Right. You’re right. He’s just gotten to me. Let me at him tomorrow….erm….today, and it’ll be him having the sleepless night’ he grinned.

Moments later, he reappeared dressed in his boxers and with a pillow and blanket from Hutch’s linen cupboard and as Hutch went to take a quick shower, he made his bed up on the sofa, cursing the annoying spring that always seemed to catch him right in the ribs. As Hutch turned off the light in his bedroom, Starsky snuggled his curly head onto the pillow and closed his eyes. There was dark silence for a while and then the phone rang.

Starsky jumped, instantly awake and because he was closest, got up of the sofa to answer it.


No-one spoke at the other end, but he thought he heard breathing and he tried again.

‘Hey, I don’t get off on the heavy breathing routine. Who is this?’

He heard another breath and then the line went dead at the same time as he felt a cold finger of fear stabbing at his head, where Marcus had touched him. He rubbed at the spot again, cursing himself for letting one man get to him so much and padded back to the sofa. Hutch opened the bedroom door and peeped out.

‘Who was it?’

Starsky sighed. ‘Dunno. Wrong number. Night’.

‘Night Gordo’.


Six hours later, both men were washed, dressed and ensconced in a small white walled interview room at the Metro waiting for Simon Marcus to be brought up from the cells. Hutch sat passively in one of the hard wooden chairs, his elbow resting on the plain wooden table while his partner paced the interview room like a caged tiger waiting for it’s next chunk of meat.

‘Will ya sit down aleady!’ Hutch eased the crick in his neck. ‘Its like watching a game of ping pong. Pacing isn’t gonna make him get here any quicker’.

Starsky cast him a look, came up against the wall and doubled back, ignoring the advice. He jumped slightly as the door to the room opened and Marcus walked in, still cuffed, and accompanied by a uniformed officer.

‘Thanks Knight’ Hutch smiled at the young man who idolised the two detectives.

Marcus was dressed in a set of blue, standard issue coveralls now, his long black robe of last night having been taken off him when he got to the Metro. Hutch thought he looked ordinary. The type of guy you wouldn’t give a second look to if you met him in the street. Sure his hair was long, but a lot of guys grew their hair these days. His face was long and lean and had a pale, pasty quality.

But Starsky was refusing to look. As the man was brought in, he felt again the eyes boring into him. Deciding that action was better than procrastination, he rounded on the cult leader the minute he sat down.

‘What gives you the right to mess up ordinary people’s lives?’ he ground out, hands on the table and his face mere inches from Marcus’ face, but refusing to look into those dark beady eyes.

‘I mess up nothing’ he said calmly, his eyelids not even flickering at the angry brunet who would have intimidated most others.

The curly haired cop slammed his hand down on the table, making it rattle. ‘What about all those men and women? What about that poor girl, Gail? What about the three kids you bled to death? What about them huh?’

Still the same calm smile met him.

‘I dreamed your death, detective’.

‘We aint here to talk about me. Tell me about how you murdered those kids’.

Marcus smiled implacably. ‘I laid no hand upon them. I dreamed their sacrifice and it was duly made’.

‘Shut the fuck up about dreams an’ tell me the damned truth. How many girls did ya kill?’

‘I dreamed your sacrifice too. Of body and of issue. Si-mon sees all sacrifices. What I dream becomes reality. And reality becomes my dreams’.

‘Your reality, Pal, is gonna be in San Quentin along with the other flakes who think they’re God. But before we deliver you there, you’re gonna tell me how many fuckin’ girls lives you cut short’. Starsky was red in the face, his hands trembling on the top of the table as he bent over the calm prisoner.

As Simon smiled up at him again, the brunet lost it, the memories of those photos still fresh in his mind. He lifted his hand and was about to strike Marcus when his fist was caught by his partner’s strong hand.

Hutch pulled him away. ‘We’ll be right back’ he smiled at their prisoner and pushed Starsky out the door.

Making his way over to the water machine, he poured a paper cupful and handed it to his sweating partner.

‘I take it you’re playing bad cop today’ he said mildly.

The brunet took the water and downed it in one, screwing the paper up and throwing it full force at the bin. It missed and landed on the floor where he kicked out at it, cannoning it off of the wall.

Hutch blew out his cheeks. ‘That’s it buddy. Take it out on the big bad cup. You tell it!’

Starsky stopped, panting hard and leaned back against the wall, eyes closed. His head ached and the spot where Marcus touched him still felt cold and somehow naked. He’d battled all morning to stop himself from reaching up to touch it, angry that one man could have such an effect on him.

‘I just want to nail the sucker’ he said low and intense.

‘I know, we all do. But hammering him to a pulp isn’t your usual M.O. I know he’s a crazy son of a bitch, but I’ve never seen anyone get to you like he has. What aren’t ya telling me buddy?’

‘Nuthin. He just creeps me out’ Starsky sighed. ‘You take over the questions huh? I’ll just sit at the back an’ be the backup’.

‘Whatever you want Gordo. You finished beating up the water machine? Are the paper cups safe to live another day?’

‘Oh yeah. I’ve given that last little sucker a reprieve. I’m set to go’.

The two walked back into the interview room and Hutch noticed for the first time that Marcus barely registered the blond presence, instead keeping his eyes on the brunet. Starsky brought up a chair and sat at the back of the room out of Marcus’ eyeline while his partner continued the questioning in a calmer but still persistent manner.

But even though Starsky was sitting at the back, he could almost feel Marcus’ thoughts drilling into him.

The leader answered no more questions, merely smiling that irritating, ingratiating smile. At the end of the interview, with Hutch hot under the collar and not a jot further forward, he called for Knight to take Marcus back to the cells. As the young uniformed officer took a hold of him, he turned back to the brunet.

‘I dreamed you’d help us. You still can. I dreamed a dream of star and sky combining to die beneath the feathered heavens’.

Starsky bounced out of his seat, thoroughly pissed off by the Teacher’s behaviours. He walked steadily over and stood almost nose to nose with Marcus.

‘Lets make this clear huh? I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. And the only sky and stars you’re gonna see is through the bars of your prison cell, coz I’m gonna lock you away if it’s the last thing I do’.

Marcus smiled back. ‘Be careful what you wish for. Some wishes do come true’.

Chapter 6

2 months later

Starsky passed his hand over his eyes as he rolled over onto his back in his bed. He’d always been the sort to relish his sleep. Proud of himself that he could usually nap anywhere, be it in his apartment, his car, the squad room if needs be or the jungle of Vietnam. Obtusely, the only place he could never sleep was hospital with all the comings and goings, but he wasn’t in hospital now thank goodness.

But these past few weeks had taken their toll on the brunet and his usual ebullient mood had dissipated over that time as night after night he’d had the persistent phone calls with the two or three breaths, then the receiver going down. He’d phoned the phone company and reported it. He’d even had his number changed and went to bed on that particular night feeling that finally he’d get in a full, uninterrupted 8 hours. But at precisely 3:00am the phone had rung and jarred him from his sleep. He’d reached uncertainly for the phone and had gone through his routine of a brief ‘lo, then two or three breaths from the other end before the phone went down.

That instance shook him to the core, and he hadn’t slept for the rest of the night. No-one threatened him. No-one had hurt him, but in a way this was worse. It was like creeping death as each night his body shook him awake just in time for the jangling bell and each night the call would leave him with a feeling of panic and powerlessness while the spot on his head where Marcus had touched him tingled anew.

And it didn’t stop at his apartment. On the odd night he’d stayed at Hutch’s or at a girlfriends the same had happened there too, and his nerves were now a jangling mess, each bell he heard, day or night, making him jumpy and on edge. "Bell happy" they caled it from the old days of brainwashing movies. He snapped at Hutch, made mistakes on reports that a rookie would never do, and secretly he was worried that he would end up putting one or both their lives in jeopardy. But the phone calls continued.

Last night had been no exception and he’d managed to fall back into a restless slumber just as dawn was breaking. Not a scant 90 minutes later, he forced himself wearily from his bed, untangling his legs from the sheets and headed for the shower. Today was a big day. Today was the day when the jury were likely to return their verdict on Simon Marcus. And not a minute too soon. Starsky was of the firm opinion that some way Marcus was behind the phone calls, but he couldn’t prove anything and he’d once tried to voice his fear to Hutch, but the blond had told him he was being paranoid.

But Starsky was the superstitious kind. He believed in ghosts and ghouls and mojo and the idea of Simon Marcus having some kind of supernatural hold on him was something he took seriously, but kept prudently to himself. During daylight hours he could almost forget that anything was wrong, but the minute he closed the door of his apartment at night and pulled the drapes closed, he felt his world closing in on him and as he answered the damned phone night after night he could almost fancy he could hear that voice ‘…..I dreamed your death’.

He and Hutch had been at the courthouse for the whole 10 day trial as day after day they’d listened to evidence from men, women and even a girl of 14 saying how wonderful Marcus was and how they felt he was being victimised. And yet the jury had heard of the squalid goings on in the barn, the rapes, the sex and the killings of at least three innocent children and they’d seen the pictures of the mutilated corpses. When the Judge finally sent them out to consider their verdict, they’d filed past the cult leader and he’d had the gall to call out to them and bless them in some weird Latin type language. The12 men and women had been visibly shaken and had been in seclusion for three days, making their decision.

Late last night the foreman had sent out a note to the Judge to say that they would probably be ready in the morning to give their verdict, and the Judge had asked for the full court to be once again assembled.

Starsky showered, cleaned his teeth and combed his unruly curls into some sort of order before dressing in his customary court outfit. He had a brown corduroy jacket, mid blue shirt and dark blue tie which he habitually wore to court hearings, but he never varied from wearing his jeans also. As a special concession, he pulled out his best new ones. They would have to do, but there was no way he bow to tradition and wear a suit!

At precisely 9:00am, Hutch pushed the door of his apartment open and walked in. He saw the washed and brushed man, but his eyes lingered on the dark shadows beneath the indigo eyes and the drained expression on Starsky’s face.

‘Another bad one?’ he asked.

‘Are there any other types? I’m beginning to think I may as well apply for permanent nights’ he yawned long and loud and stretched his arms above his head, trying to get his brain in gear. ‘Ready?’

‘Yeah, sure. Shall I carry you out or send for the coroner’s wagon now?’

Starsky stared at him balefully. ‘I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that. I can go without sleep, just not for three months straight. When this is over I’m gonna get a vacation on a desert island, somewhere where there are no phones, flakes or Satanists’.

‘Starsk, knowing your luck, there’s be a whole bunch of blood sucking pygmies cueing up on the airport runway to attack ya’.

The brunet snorted, shouldered into his holster and jacket and headed for the door.


‘The court will rise’

Everyone stood as the jury filed back into the courtroom and the Judge asked the foreman to stand and delver his verdict.

‘Your Honour on the nine counts of murder, we find the defendant Simon Marcus guilty’.

The Judge nodded. ‘You find him guilty on all 9 counts and those are the verdicts of you all?’

‘They are, Your Honour’.

He thanked the 7 men and five women for their time and dedication and discharged them, leaving only the court officials, Starsky, Dobey, Hutch and Simon Marcus in the courtroom, the Judge looked long and hard at the cult leader.

‘if I could, I’d send your to the very ends of the earth, to the deepest, darkest hole I could find and I’d throw you in and throw away the key. But I can’t do that. I’ll ask for the usual court reports and sentence two weeks from today. Bailiff take him away’.

Marcus turned as the court bailiff took hold of his arm and stared directly at Starsky. ‘Remember my dreams’ he said softly. ‘The star and sky will combine and deliver the body and the seed’.

The man at his side tugged at his arm and Marcus walked calmly away as Starsky stared after him, suppressing the shiver that ran through his body.

Hutch breathed a sigh of relief. ‘That’s it Starsk. No more Simon Marcus. He’s not gonna be seeing the light of day for a long long time. No more threats of dreams’.

The brunet snorted. ‘No, no more dreams. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. C’mon, just being in the same room as him gives me the shudders.


A way up in the hills, at the remote farmhouse, a group of men and one woman gathered around the dusty altar in the barn. They were careful. They knew the police made random passes on the place to make sure it wasn’t still being used by the cult. And of course it wasn’t. They may be different but they weren’t stupid. As soon as Marcus was taken away, they’d decamped and had found another hideout which was a far better disguise. They came back to the farmhouse only to collect the remains of their belongings.

When the police had come last night, they’d disbanded briefly, not wanting to cause more trouble for their Teacher and had walked quietly away into the night. But as soon as the furore had died down, they had regrouped and now their new base at the old city zoo was well populated with the stalwarts of the cult. They were able to once again disseminate their evil information and the court steps on each day of the trial had been full of their followers, all chanting Marcus’ name and making their presence felt, as they put it, through peaceful means.

Now Abe who had been Marcus’ third in command was holding forth at the centre of their circle.

‘The Teacher has been found guilty, as he dreamed he would. It remains now to put the rest of his plan into operation. He dreamed that the curly headed cop would be our salvation, that through his pain and suffering he would continue the group and you Gail, are to be his chosen one’.

The fresh faced girl stiffened at the sound of her own name and a shiver ran through her body.

‘I can’t . The Teacher can’t ask this of me. Please no’.

‘He dreamed you would be weak. He asked me to take you into his room and to try to convince you that it is through you and this Starsky that the group will survive and that the next generation of Simon Marcus will be born’.

‘I don’t want to go to the Teacher’s room without him. It sc..scares me’ she stammered, her heart racing.

But Abe had taken her arm and as the others started to sway and chant he lead her through into the room that Marcus had used. He sat her down in the chair and switched on the projector, forcing the girl to watch the hypnotic black and white patter as it danced slowly across the wall.

‘Watch carefully’ he said softly, seeing Gail’s eyelids beginning to droop. ‘Are you watching?’

‘Yes’ she sighed.

‘Who do you serve?’

‘Simon Marcus. The Teacher’.

‘And how do you serve him?’

‘In any way I can’ she mumbled with no tone or inflection in her voice.

‘The Teacher has a job for you to do’

‘I serve the Teacher. I serve Si-mon. Si-mon. Si-mon

‘Si-mon told me what you must do. On the day when he is to be sentenced, we will find a way to take Starsky. Si-mon dreamed we would find him in a washroom at the courthouse. We will take him to our hideout and you will care for him’.

The girl became restless and Abe stroked her hair slowly, forcing her to watch the black and white patterns until she quietened.

‘Who do you serve?’


‘You will care for Starsky and you will get him ready for the ceremony. You and only you can do this Gail’.

‘Only me’ she murmured.

‘And once we have him, and he is properly prepared, he will share his body with you and you will take from him a son. And he will be called Simon too. You are our saviour Gail’.

She turned to him with a thin smile on her face, her eyes blank.

‘I’ll have his baby’ she whispered.

Chapter 7

Two weeks later

The two detectives walked up the crowded steps to the courthouse, dodging the reporters on the steps and looking in amazement at the crowd of Marcus’ followers who had made their way back down town to witness their Teacher’s sentencing. The young people stood or sat on the steps of the big building, chanting softly and touching, caressing each other’s faces and hair in a watered down version of the sex orgy which the two detectives had seen back at the old farmhouse. They had the same red inverted cross on their foreheads, but theirs were either tattooed or painted on rather than the scarified cross Marcus himself sported on his head. Placards waved gently in the breeze, the only sign that they were protesting for a particular reason. Other than that, they’d be taken for any other bunch of new age travellers. The sight sickened the two men and they hastened to get inside and ready for the hearing that would seal the sick cultists fate.

‘Who’d have thought we disbanded them just a few short weeks ago’ Hutch mused as they pushed open the doors to the courtroom. It was hushed inside the courthouse after the hubbub of the steps and Hutch relaxed marginally. As they met Dobey inside the courtroom, Starsky bolted for the door.

‘Hey, be right back’ he called as he backed out of the room again and rushed down the corridor.

Five years ago they’d had a run of arrests and sentences which were either unsatisfactory or were overturned on appeal. And then one day the brunet had had to rush to the bathroom just before the Judge had entered. He’d rushed to the washrooms and had returned to hear that the murderer they’d been hunting down for the past five months had just been sent down for 17 years. He and Hutch had celebrated that night and it had started a routine with the superstitious cop. Each time they attended a sentencing hearing, he’s charge off to the washrooms, even if he didn’t need to “go”, appearing uncannily just as the Judge was about to get to the end of his sentencing remarks. Even the regular Judges on the circuit had noticed and one or two had been known to slow down their delivery just to give the brunet an extra second or two to get back to his place.

With Marcus, it was more important then ever for the curly haired cop to see the cultist sent down for as long as he could be. Not only had the evil man killed three young girls, cutting their lives abruptly short, but Starsky was also of the firm belief that the madman was also the force behind his middle of the night phone calls and the feeling of tiredness and lassitude he’d had these past weeks. He’d tried to explain his feelings to his level headed partner, but Hutch had dismissed the idea out of hand, telling him that his garlic toting and voodoo believing days were behind him and he should just go get himself checked out at the doctors. Hutch had relied on the brunet’s loathing of all things medical to shut him up and after the initial explanation of his feelings, Starsky had remained stoically tight lipped, never again mentioning the feelings that someone was watching him and spying on his every move.

Starsky rushed down the corridor towards the men’s room, nodding once or twice at the uniformed officers who lined the doorways, the courthouse being on high alert for this high profile case. He pushed the door of the washroom open and stood in front of the mirror, straightening his dark navy tie and running his finger around his tight collar. He hated wearing a more formal shirt but knew the hearing demanded it, so he endured for the sake of propriety.


The window of the black Power Wagon van rolled back up and the three men regarded the two detectives as they rushed up the steps. They’d spent the previous evening honing their plans and that moment were getting ready to put them into operation. A young girl at the top of the steps nodded slightly, indicating she’d seen the curly haired cop go into the washroom.

The big black van gunned it’s engine and headed around to the back of the building as the crowd outside started to become more heated. The two cops on the door watched as the chanting and swayin started to get louder and more animated.

The hair stroking and caressing had gone and now the crowd of followers were becoming more agitated until the uniforms began to suspect that if they didn’t step in soon they would soon have a full scale riot on their hands, Stepping back, they signalled for the cops who’d lined the corridor to join them and stepped out into the melee, batons drawn as they prepared to quell the uprising.

As the group started to get unruly, the van drove around the back of the courthouse and one of the men got out, running up to the back door and peeping inside. That corridor too was clear as all available men had been called through to the front to hep out.

Brad signalled to the two in the van, Sonny and Deek and they quickly joined Brad as he forced open the door and headed down the shiny walkway to the men’s room. Out of an abundance of caution they checked once again to make sure the coast was clear, then ducked inside the washroom, walking round the tiled half wall and seeing the brunet cop bending over the sink to get a handful of water.

Not suspecting trouble, Starsky didn’t look up as the men entered. Why would he? This was a public room when all was said and done.

Deek and Sonny took up positions one each side of the curly haired man and Brad stood behind him, surrounding Starsky so that when he looked up he saw the young blond man’s face in the mirror. For a moment, questioning indigo eyes stared back at the reflection and then the here made their move.

Deek tried to take hold of Starsky’s right arm but the cop’s honed senses saw it coming and he wrenched it out of the cult member’s grasp. At the same time Sonny took hold of the collar of the brown jacket and immediately, Starsky pulled his left arm free, revealing his gun and holster. Brad saw it too and quick as a flash, he hooked his arms around Starsky’s body pinning the brunet’s arms to his side as Sonny took the gun from him and pushed it into the waistband of is pants.

‘What the fuck ‘re ya doin’?’ Starsky yelled at the three. ‘HEY, SOME HELP IN HERE’ he shouted to the uniforms he thought were outside.

Brad came around the front and smacked Starsky across the face, leaving white finger marks on the olive toned skin. The brunet’s head flew sideways and Brad’s ring caught him high of on the right temple. Starsky felt it begin to bleed.

Brad grinned. ‘Shuddup. Your friends are a little distracted right now. You can yell as much as you like, you aint got no help coming any time soon’.

Starsky kicked out with his legs, trying to wrench his arms away from the two men at the side of him, but they held fast as Brad drove his fist into the taut abdomen. The brunet bent over wheezing, and another fist caught him on the side of his head, right where Brad’s ring had cut him moments earlier. He grunted and wheezed trying to get breath back into his body and straightened, looking at Brad through bleary eyes.

‘What d’ya want punk?’ he gasped, knowing full well by the crosses on their foreheads who they were.

‘We want you’ Brad said simply.

‘Not gonna happen’ Starsky replied cockily as he braced himself for the next blow. As Brad wound up, the two at the side of him let go his arms and as Brad fist connected once again with the right hand side of his head, he was knocked sideways, hitting his head on the porcelain wash basin and seeing stars.

Starsky struggled to his knees, leaning forward and propping himself on his arms. Blood dripped in small ruby droplets down onto the white tiles and he looked at them dazedly before realising they were his own blood spots. He tried to raise his hand to his head to stem the flow of blood, but it felt heavy and disconnected. The whole right hand side of his head felt as though it was on fire, throbbing in time with the staccato beat of his heart.

He groaned and the men around him laughed. Sonny bent down and picked him up roughly so that he stood between the men, swaying. The room swam and he swallowed hard. No way would he lose his breakfast in front of these suckers!

‘Leave me ‘lone’ he said drunkenly, the words catching in his throat. ‘Cops’ll find ya. Don’t do it. Fuck. Hutch’ll kill ya. I’ll kill ya’ he panted.

Brad took hold of a handful of curly hair and jerked Starskys head back until the brunet could see Brad’s face.

‘Si-mon dreamed your death, and that of the white knight. It doesn’t matter what you threaten pig, you’re gonna die regardless’.

‘Yeah, well lets get it over with then. I aint gonna go without a fight’.

Brad chuckled. ‘Looks to me like you’ve got no fight left in ya’.

‘Try me’.

‘Is that an invitation?’ Brad grinned and as Starsky swayed between Sonny and Deek, he landed out one final time, aiming still for the right hand side of Starsky’s head and the lights of the world blinked out.

‘Lets get him outside. Deek d’ya have the blood?’

Deek pointed at the pail he’d carried into the washroom. ‘Oh yeah. Leave it with me. I’ll be out in 30 seconds’.

As Brad and Sonny carried Starsky’s limp body out of the washroom and hurried down the corridor back to the truck, Deek began to paint in large trickly letters on the big mirror. S.T A R S K Y. He stood back to admire his artwork and giggled.

‘Not gonna see him again alive’ he muttered as he took the pail and brush and hurried out to the truck to join his friends. When he got back, he saw Starsky’s unconscious from laid in the back of the truck, hands bound behind him and blood trickling down the right hand side of his face. He looked pale and his eyes were closed, thick black lashes standing out dark against the cheekbones.

At the side of him Brad grinned.

‘Just as Si-mon dreamed. Make the call’.

As Sonny drove, Deek punched in numbers and within moments the worried voice of the blond detective sounded loud in the truck.

Something of the familiar voice tore at the core of Starsky’s being and infiltrated his numbed senses. Was Hutch here? Was he going to be saved? His eyes refused to open, but he tried to make a sound, to let his partner know he was there. He shouted as loud as he could, but it came out as nothing but a croaking groan.

Brad looked down at him with a satisfied smile. Carefully he took hold of a handful of chocolate curls, picking the head up from the floor of the truck and as Starsky groaned again, he slammed it down, silencing the cop for the rest of the journey.

Chapter 8

‘Wow, he’s heavy. Wouldn’t think so to look at the scrawny runt would’ya?’ Deek grunted as he reached into the back of the black truck and took hold of the curly haired cop. He pulled and grunted and pulled again as Starsky’s head bounced along the cold metal of the interior of the truck, wakening the cop unceremoniously and painfully. Eventually, Deek got him to the edge of the doorway and took hold of him around his body, tossing the bound brunet over his shoulder like a side of beef.

With his head dangling lower than his waist, Starsky started to come around. His head, on the right hand side felt as though it would explode at any moment, the pains stabbing into his temple like knives and he wretched, the rest of the meagre contents of his stomach finally deciding that they too would like to see the light of day. Deek yelled as he felt the warmth on the back of his jeans and as soon as he got Starsky into the largest of the cave-like pens, he dumped the body down onto the ground, knocking the wind form the cop and kicked out at him.

Starsky yelped at the unseen kick and curled himself into a ball to fend off further blows, but Sonny pulled Deek away before he had time to exact more revenge.

The cultist snickered at the damp patch on the back of his friend’s jeans. ‘Jeez, Deek, he sure showed what he thought of you!’.

‘Crummy low life piece o’ shit cop. Just let me at him’ the tall man ground out, but Brad stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.

‘Si-mon didn’t dream you kicking him to death. We must follow the Teacher’s dreams. Go get yourself ready. I’ll take care of him’.

As Deek and Sonny went to wash and change, Brad knelt next to Starsky who had rolled over onto his side on the ground. He was struggling with the bonds around his wrists and defiant indigo eyes met Brad’s.

‘Lemme go. You don’t know what you’re doin’. Kidnapping a cop’s a federal offence. You’ll get 8 to 10 for this. Just let me go now huh?’

‘Si-mon didn’t dream your escape’ Brad started the by now familiar litany.

‘I don’t care what the fuck Marcus dreams about. He’s already inside and there ain’t a whole lot you can do about that now. They aren’t gonna let him go. He’s a mass murderer. He killed those 9 kids in cold blood. Why d’ya defend him?’.

‘They were legitimate sacrifices. They went to their deaths knowing they served a higher purpose. You live until Si-mon is sentenced. They won’t sentence the Teacher until you are free, and we won’t set you free until the Teacher is released’ Brad explained calmly.

The brunet snorted, the pain in his head making it difficult for him to think straight, but he tried to put his feelings into words. ‘Look kid. I don’t now who you think I am, but you’re putting way too much importance on one street cop. My freedom aint worth shit compared to getting Marcus off of the streets and into jail where he belongs’. The sentence was long and the breath forcing it’s way out redoubled the lancing pains in his right temple. Starsky felt sick, but ground his teeth together in an attempt to keep his stomach under control.

Brad smiled sympathetically. ‘You underestimate yourself. Si-mon dreamed the White Night would come for you’.

‘White Kni…who the hell is the White Knight? This is real life kid, not some Alice in Wonderland fairy tale. C’mon, just let me go’. He started to struggle again against the rope holding his wrists behind his back. It dug into the flesh of his wrists and he felt the harsh hemp rope draw the first blood

‘Struggle all you like, but you’ll need to save some strength for later’ Brad said cryptically as he stood up. He took a black bandana from his pocket and triangled it, rolling it over until he had the requisite shape. Then he stood behind the struggling cop and dropped the blindfold over Starsky’s eyes.

The move brought panic washing up in waves from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Starsky started to struggle more strongly now, hating the claustrophobic feeling of the material cutting off his sight. He hated to be bound but always felt more secure if he could at least see what was going on around him – as though he could some way prepare for any mistreatment that might be handed out. Now with his world plunged into darkness, he felt weaker and even more helpless.

Eventually he stopped his struggling, senses questing left and right, trying to discover whether he was alone or not. He heard no sound on the big cave and thought that he was probably alone. He tried to relax his body, remembering the words the cultist had used. What was that all about? Save his strength for later? What were they going to do? Beat him? Torture him? For what? Judge Jaeger was not the sort of guy to give in to demands. He’d go ahead with the sentencing no matter what. But the fact that he was still here and they hadn’t yet killed him, lead him to think that the Judge had given some sort of reprieve.

Starsky tried to think of the other things Brad had said. White Knight. White Knight? Who was the Whi….Oh my God! Did White Knight mean Hutch? Was Hutch really going to save him?

Ok buddy, well I really do need ya, but for Gods sake be careful. These guys are whacko! I have no idea how to read ‘em and no idea what they’re gonna do next. Just get here quick Blondie and with all the back up you can get huh?

Starsky heard a noise and tensed. Not being able to see the approach of Deek and Sonny, he flinched as he felt their rough hands on his body, but made no further noise, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of seeing how spooked he really was. He tried to go along with them quietly, conserving his energy for….who knew? But the two men propelled him too quickly and Starsky lost his footing so that he was dragged between the two of them into another room. It felt dank and damp and had a musty, almost animal smell to it, as though it were a cross between a barnyard and a veterinary surgery. He felt other presences in the room, but his senses were quickly on overload as Deek and Sonny pushed him one final time.

Starsky fell forward, unable to stop himself from falling because his hands were secured behind his back. He felt the dirt beneath his body, spitting out a mouthful of the grit and getting some leverage with his shoulder to push himself upright. As he struggled on the ground, he heard the start of the familiar chant and fear gripped his guts, churning them into knots.

Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon.

He managed to get himself into a kneeling position, his head a blaze of pain. He felt dizzy and nauseous, fear vying with panic to grab a hold of his precarious clutch on reality and he knew the only way to preserve his dignity and to give himself some courage was to let go of his steely hold on the famous Starsky temper. He gathered it to him, feeling it well up inside his chest as he knelt unsteadily on the ground. He could feel people around him, their voices coming from all directions and he yelled out at them

‘SHUDDUP! I know you’re out there, I can smell ya’ the sound of his own angry voice gave him a measure of comfort and he tried again, louder above the chanting.

Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon

‘You’re wasting your time, d’ya hear me?’

Si-mon, si-mon, Si-mon

‘Quit the chantin’. That ain’t gonna save Marcus either. I know you’re out there, I can smell ya. I can smell every one of ya’ he yelled into the blackness of the blindfold.

But still the chanting continued, closer now. He could feel the waft of material near his head and body. He ducked his head down, losing his balance so that once more he fell onto his side, curling himself into a ball. He could feel the pressure of countless bodies now, coming ever closer to him, their chanting becoming louder and more insistent so that it began to blot out all his other thoughts. He was alone. He was bound and alone. He was bound, blindfold and alone! He hitched a ragged breath, it sounding more like a sob to his own ears and clamped his lips tight shut.

The feet were so close to him now that he could feel the slight vibrations in the earth as the circled him and he had a vivid memory of a documentary he’d watched on TV – a wildebeest, alone and separated from the herd, circled by hunting dogs. It watched them, knowing its fate was sealed, but refusing to go down without a fight, but at the same time shaking in fear and anticipation.

Starsky yelped as the first foot connected with his shin and tried to jerk himself out of the way. With the blindfold in place he had no way to tell where the next blow would come from and he experimented with dragging his face along the ground, trying to dislodge the cloying material, but to no avail. All he got for his trouble was a new graze down his face and another kick to his back. He jumped. The kick was not full force, but it was a bruising blow and soon that foot was joined by another and another, all directed at his body, arms and legs, so that his world became a blossom of pain.

From the side of the cave, Gail looked on, tears coursing down her cheeks as she watched the handsome man her Teacher had told her about being kicked into submission. She knew Si-mon had dreamed this and so it had to happen, but the way the man endured with hardly a sound coming from him pulled at her heart strings and she clung to the side of the wall for fear that if she let go, she’d run to his aid.

The chanting continued as Starsky’s universe dissolved into a miasma of pain, blows and more pain, the chanting ringing in his ears until he could think of nothing else and was repeating the leader’s name over and over in his own mind too. If he concentrated on Si-mon’s name, he could breathe through another blow and endure.

But as swiftly as it had started, the chanting and the kicking stopped, leaving the brunet moaning on the ground, pitifully grateful for the smallest of halts. He felt the bodies around him melt away until there seemed to be only one. His body throbbed in pain echoing that in his head and he struggled to listen to what Brad was saying.

‘You called his name’.

‘Wha…..no…..never…..get ‘way from me’ Starsky moaned into the darkness

‘But you did. In your head you called his name. Si-mon Your first step to realising your destiny, as Si-mon dreamed it. Now rest and wait for the ceremony to begin’.

‘Ceremony…..no…What d’ya mean?...go t’hell’ Starsky groaned as he felt the hand on him again. He stiffened for the final blow, but it never came and he was left feeling confused, sore and tired.

His body shook from fear, adrenaline and weariness and slowly his mind closed down as his body took over the task of starting to deal with his injuries. As Gail continued to watch quietly, she saw the brunet’s body relax and wept for what she knew was to happen as Starsky slept.

Chapter 9

Starsky woke a while later to a nagging and persistent ache in his head and throughout the rest of his body. The cultists had kicked him and punched him, but none of the blows were designed to cause severe injury. It seemed as though they’d wanted to make him uncomfortable and nothing more. And he had to agree they sure succeeded on that score.

He was upright, his legs folded beneath him as he leaned heavily on his left arm against the hard rock wall. His head rested on a knobbly outcrop of the rock and now as he started to come around, it seemed to stick like a knife into his skulls.

Starsky mentally explored his body. Although he ached and knew he had bruises across most of his arms, legs and torso, he didn’t think anything was broken. His head, on the right hand side felt sticky and stiff where the cut had bled more while he was unconscious. He tried to move his hand to wipe at it, but realised is arms were still held secure behind his back, although at least now he could see, the blindfold having been taken off.

The brunet groaned low in his throat and opened his eyes, squeezing them together to help him focus, then opened them again. The first thing he saw, which chilled him, was a set of police issue handcuffs dangling from a rope from the wall, realising belatedly that they were, in fact his own cuffs. What more had they taken, he wondered? He’d worry later. He breathed through the nausea and as he looked around a little further, his eyes rested on the figure of a young girl dressed in a white muslin dress. She knelt a little way from him, hugging the cold stone wall of the cave. He looked up at the towering walls of his prison. No, it wasn’t a cave, but it had that feel, towering rocks and vegetation loomed over him and he felt dizzy as he looked up. Deciding that was too difficult, instead he focussed on the altogether more pleasing aspect of the girl again. Starsky recognised her immediately from her father’s picture of her and from the night in the barn. Gail Sutton. He focussed on her to stop the rest of the place from swimming around and his breath quickened as he saw her looking earnestly back at him. She looked frail, lost almost, and Starsky wondered what had made her come back to the cult, even after the uniforms said they’d delivered her back to her father’s house. They’d never said she’d gone missing again. Curious!

‘I didn’t think you’d wake up ….. but you did – I’m Gail’ She smiled at him a little, seeming almost shy of him. But there again, who wouldn’t be shy of having a bound and bloody cop at their feet? He tried for comforting, but managed only confused.

‘Yeah….. Gail’ he said, his voice low and rasping. ‘I hope you forgive me if I don’t rise – it’s tough to be a gentleman when you’re trussed up like this... I’m sure you’ll understand’ He fixed her with troubled indigo eyes, willing her to let him go, but she merely smiled her shy smile back at him and kneeled up.

He took his gaze from her hand instead looked around at the rocks rising above him, bushes and other vegetation clinging to their cold, dank walls. No sun entered the cavern, although he could see that it was still daytime. Idly he wondered how much time had passed since the court hearing. Without seeing the length of the shadows he couldn’t tell. Instead, he looked around the interior of his prison, at the inescapable walls and earth floor.

C’mon Starsky. Use your police training. Keep her talking. Let her know you’re a human being….a cop. Not just some nameless hostage. Make yourself real to her. Establish a connection.

‘Its very nice. I always wanted to be held prisoner in a good neighbourhood’. He paused. Talking hurt his bruised chest, but he still needed to keep going. He sighed. ‘I don’t suppose you want to tell me where I am?’

Gail moved over towards him. She was thin and pale, her eyes large as soup plates in her sweet face. Starsky knew she wasn’t evil, but he also knew she was just the sort who would fall easily under a charismatic man’s spell. And whatever he thought of Marcus, he was surely charismatic. He watched the girl as she took a large and wickedly sharp looking knife from beneath royal blue towel and caressed it, like a lover caressing a man’s skin, admiring the shine on the blade and her distorted reflection in the white metal. Starsky swallowed, his eyes never leaving the weapon as she inched towards him. Slowly, Gail leaned forward and reached for his shirt. He backed away, hugging the wall behind him and pushing his back into it as far as it would go.

‘You better be good with that honey – I aint gonna go easy’ he challenged quietly, trying to establish a connection with her eyes.

Hey honey, don’t do this. You don’t want to take this any further. Not now and not with a cop.

Gail’s eyes widened further in surprise. ‘I won’t cut you. Si-mon didn’t dream that’ she said, as if that was the most logical explanation in the world. She reached for his dark blue tie and started to take it off. The small tug on his neck jolted the bruises on his back and Starsky winced, his eyes still on the knife that Gail was now inserting into the front of his shirt

‘What’re ya doin’?’

‘Taking your clothes off’


‘Gonna give you a bath’ Gail giggled and continued to work on her task.

Oh shit. Oh shit Oh shit Oh shit. Ok tell her something. Anything. Make sure she knows you’re a cop. Anything to make her realise what she’s doing. Anything to break her conditioning! C’mon Davey boy, think!

‘Well actually I prefer showers. They got great showers at police academy gym’

Ok maybe not the best chat up line in the world, but it’s gotten her attention for a second

‘You must have a bath to purify you before the ceremony’.

Fuck! Well ya had to ask didn’t ya? Now what?

Gail slit down the front of Starsky’s shirt, the white buttons giving easily beneath the murderously sharp blade, and she continued down towards his jeans, but they were too tight and she couldn’t get to the denim without cutting him. And Si-mon hadn’t dreamed that. She stood slowly and started to walk away.

‘Hey, where’re ya goin’?’ Starsky called, fearing worse would happen if others came.

She turned and gave him her nebulous smile. ‘I need help. I mustn’t hurt you. Si-mon dreamed you wouldn’t be hurt yet. Not till…..’ she looked sad and started to walk away again.

‘Not till what? Hey honey, ya can’t lave a guy with a line like that?’ Starsky called after her, struggling with the tight rope around his wrists. He didn’t like the sound of the hurting part and desperately wanted her to come back. Nice non-threatening Gail, not the other thugs he’d seen so far. But she ignored him and left, returning a moment later with two of the cultists that Starsky had not so far met.

They approached him and without a word, lifted him to his feet, while Gail continued the process of cutting his clothes from him until he stood naked and cold, and still within their clutch.

Again without a word, they pushed the brunet towards a large half water barrel and while he struggled and kicked out against him, they manhandled him until he was pushed inside, the lukewarm water which reached to his waist making him hiss in surprise. the watwr bit at his wounds but brought more clarity to his mind. As quickly as they’d appeared, the two men left, still wordless, as Gail stood behind the barrel and started to pour fresh water over his head. Although not warm, the water felt good against Starsky’s bare skin and it washed away a lot of the caked blood from his face, instantly making it more comfortable. The sting of the water on his wounds sharpened his senses and he looked around.

Suddenly his body stiffened as hands started to rub at his chest and back. Gail seemed to be stood on a stool or some other device so that she could reach into the barrel. She’d soaped a large sponge and was now washing Starsky’s body slowly and thoroughly. With his hands till tied behind his back, he had no way to bat away her hands and so he closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, not wanting to enjoy the experience.

But Gail’s hands were dipping lower under the water and eventually they found the centre of his body. His traitorous cock sprung to life at her touch and she giggled again as she soaped him thoroughly, her slim fingers running over his the family jewels and between his legs and he shivered, the sensations running through his body. Although he know it was wrong, and although he was still in danger, the pleasure shocks still caused tremors to course through his body.

‘Honey, ya gotta stop that’ he said hoarsely.

‘Si-mon dreamed you should be clean for the ceremony’.

‘Well there's clean and there’s…..oh God……clean. Gail, honey don’t, please….mmmmm. Shit STOP’ he yelled, angry at his own body for the strength of his reaction.

Gail moved her hands away a look of confusion on her face. ‘Don’t you like me?’

Starsky sighed. ‘I don’t know ya. I’m sure you’re a great girl, but this is…..its……well maybe somewhere else and some time else I’d….ya know. But not here like this huh?’

‘But Si-mon dreamed you would enjoy the ceremony’.

Starsky fixed her with a stare. ‘Just what exactly is this ceremony?’ he asked carefully.

‘You’ll see. You’ll enjoy, eventually. But first…..’she looked down sadly. ‘…..just get through the first part, then I’ll make sure you don’t hurt any more’ she said cryptically.

Before Starsky had time to reply or question her further, she stood up and took hold of a pail of water and poured it over him. The shock of the colder water left him breathless and took away any residual sexual feelings he might have harboured. As another pail followed the first, he shook his head and opened his right eye looking around.

‘I think I’m through with showers Gail. I really like being in deep water. Loosens everything up – especially the ropes’.

Swiftly, he spun around in the barrel to grab the girl, but amazingly she was gone. With another check around Starsky got out of barrel, reaching above him for a dark blue towel which he tied around his hips with some of the rope that had tied his hands. He looked around for some sort of clothes, seeing his own street clothes in shreds. He picked up a course black robe from Gail’s basket at the side of barrel and ran to his left through stone archway past flaming torch on wall, trying to find his way out.

Water cascaded from his chocolate curls as he ran through stone passageways. Starsky found himself in another chamber, an opening leading through to another. Hoping to find some sort of escape route, he climbed through the tight passageway, hating the feeling of robe against his bare skin. It was voluminous and too long and he tripped over it’s hem, the rope still hanging from his left wrist snagging at a tree branch en route.

As he entered the smaller chamber, he smelled an animal, feral smell, the air rank with ammonia and raw meat. Before his rapidly widening eyes, a huge brown bear appeared and Starsky’s breath caught in his throat. Rapidly looking around he saw a movement above him and looked up to see Deek, standing above him holding a spear in one hand.

‘Welcome pilgrim. Welcome to Si-mon’s dream’. Deek intoned, satisfied at the look of fear in Starsky’s eyes. The cop’s gaze flitted between the cultist and the huge bear and slowly he reached down and picked up a rock. It was small and puny and would hardly be felt by the huge animal if he threw it, but it gave the curly haired cop a measure of comfort.

As the bear reared up, pawing the air, Starsky looked at what he felt was certain death. One blow from those huge claws would send him to oblivion and he tried to prepare himself. The bear took a step towards him and Starsky raised the rock, preparing to fight for his life.

‘Don’t get him angry, he bites’ Deek said carefully, enjoying the spectacle of man versus bear from his lofty perch.

Starsky hefted his rock. ‘So do I’ he ground out, his eyes never leaving the huge animal.

This was it. Not the way he thought he’d end his life, but unusual, to say the least.

Chapter 10

Starsky stared at the rearing animal, smelling the warm furry body in the proximity of the small cavern. He said a quick prayer to any God who decided to listen and took a firmer hold on the small rock in his left hand, readying himself to throw it at the animal’s head. Just as his nerve was beginning to wear thin and his arm began to waver, he heard an incongruous sound. In the distance a tiny bell tinkled into the silence and without a second look at the curly haired cop, the bear dropped down onto all four paws and obediently padded away.

Starsky’s legs turned to rubber as he watched in disbelief the departing fat, furry rump and without waiting for the huge bear to change it’s mind, he insinuated himself through the narrow opening again and slipped into the narrow stone passageway. He looked left and right, making a snap decision and turning to his right. Up ahead, he saw another larger cave. What was this place? He felt like he’d been transported into the Neanderthal age with all the rocks, flaming torches and sandy floors, and then in struck him. He remembered where he’d seen this place before. Visions of Grorge Prudholm and threats to kill a carful of kids flew through his mind. A car ride and a deserted place. The zoo! He was at the old civic zoo.

He sent out what he hoped was a telepathic message to his blond partner, hoping it would somehow filter it’s way into the flaxen head. The zoo Hutch, the zoo. Come get me buddy, coz I really don’t like the idea of this ceremony!’

Starsky pushed himself forward, through the narrow walkway and between the rocky walls and saw another smaller chamber with a sandy floor. He walked quickly towards it expecting to maybe see an escape route, his concentration focussed on getting out and back to his partner.

He had no idea what was around the corner waiting for him.

The man took him completely by surprise. He had no chance to protect himself from the flaming torch which was thrust at him, catching him on the right hand side of face by the side of, and underneath his eye. He screamed and flung himself backwards, gasping at the pain and clawing at his face, terrified that the fire had caught his eye. He squinted through the tears and saw the cave, blurry and indistinct, but there nevertheless. Starsky gasped and leaned the raw red, burning flesh against the cool rock, panting heavily through the shock and pain.

‘How do you feel now Starsky? This more like it?’ Deek taunted him, the sharp featured cultist standing on a rocky ledge around the corner from the injured cop. ‘I am the keeper of the flame and Si-mon dreamed we’d get together’.

‘You ain’t nuthin. You’re a bunch of losers an’ freaks’ the angry brunet yelled back. Eyes closed, he reached down blindly for a handful of dirt.‘But you’ll never make it d’ya hear? You’ll never make it’.

Whipping himself around the corner, Starsky flung the dirt blindly into Deek’s face, squinting at the fire brandishing man as he dived into the cave, rolling his body forward onto the sandy ground. Deek cried out in shock, trying to clear the grit from his eyes. He jumped down and followed the cop’s movements, stabbing at the ground with the flaming torch as Starsky rolled this way and that trying to keep his body away from the flaming brand. Deek stood above him, all ideas of Marcus’ dreams gone from his head as he tried to skewer the curly haired man with his spear, flames whooshing through the air as he brandished the brand from side to side. Starsky flung himself around on the sandy floor and finally saw his chance. He grabbed hold of shaft of Deek’s torch with both hands and used it as a lever to kick out at the tall man. Deek gasped and let go, collapsing to the ground. He rolled away, all breath knocked from his body. He looked up at the fleeing brunet, taking his time to recover as Starsky ran from the cave and slowly a grin appeared across the weasley features.

He knew Starsky had nowhere to go.

The fleeing cop looked left and right, desperate now to get away from these madmen. Added to the aches that the lukewarm bath had marginally eased, his face now throbbed in time to his heartbeat, the skin still feeling as though the flames of Deek’s torch were still dancing upon it. Starsky ran forward through countless small caves hearing in his mind the men coming for him in the background and eventually felt the rush of cold air on his face. He surged forward following the trail of coolness and saw ahead a set of steps. Cautiously he approached them looking up at the stone flight leading up through a barred roof to an open doorway.

The brunet pulled up the robe gathering it round his knees and set off slowly up the steps, unable to believe that he wasn’t being followed. He paused at the top, leaning heavily on the lintel of the doorway and looked out at freedom. He heaved a sigh, knowing another few steps would get him away and back on the road to Bay City.

Thanking whatever God was looking down on him, he was about to start the precarious climb down from the open doorway. He took one step and was brought up short. As he moved forward, he felt a strong hand grab a handful of hair and pull him backwards so that he overbalanced and leaned against the door lintel, his neck stretched uncomfortably backwards. Straining his eyes upwards to see his assailant, he realised once again that one of the guys from the truck had him.

‘You’ll never make it sucker. We’re not nothing man. We’re your executioners’ Sonny spat into his face, seeing the fleeting fear that flowed across the brunet’s face.

‘You’re no good losers who can’t cut it in the real world. So ya hide behind crosses and masses’ Starsky ground out, anger overwhelming the fear he felt at having come this far and then being stopped from his final step o freedom.

Sonny yanked back on the curls until the brunet thought he’d lose a handful of hair, and stared into the stormy indigo eyes.

‘You’re gonna regret you said that. You’re gonna regret ever having laid eyes on Si-mon and the rest of us. We’re gonna cut you up so bad your Momma wouldn’t recognise ya. But first you have a little job to do for us’.

‘Ain’t no way I’d do anything for you punk’.

‘No? I don’t think you’re gonna have a whole lotta choice in the matter’ Sonny grinned evilly at him as he pulled him down from the edge of the doorway. Swiftly, Sonny and Deek spun Starsky around, taking a length of rope and securing his arms behind him. The held his arms as though they were folded, but at the back, so that his left hand gripped his right elbow and vice versa before roping them together tightly. The position put strain on Starsky’s arms, shoulders and chest and as he walked he felt off balance and nauseous. The two men pushed him in front of them back through the sandy corridors until he was once again in the largest of the stone halls.

Here, they forced him to his knees while Sonny went to get Brad and the rest of the group.

Starsky looked around. This cave had a roof on it, the area fully enclosed. The rock walls towered above him and the ground was sandy beneath his knees. The cave was illuminated by flickering, spluttering torches dotted around the walls and held by wrought iron sconces. They gave the place a spooky, devilish feel which perfectly complimented the Satanist’s black robed and blood red markings. Ominously, there was a large stone table at one side of the space which looked too much like an altar table for it to be a coincidence.

The anger had left Starsky now and as he looked around him it was replaced by fear, although he refused to let them see just how shit scared he was.

He heard movements and looked over his shoulder as the rest of the group came filing into the space, lead by Brad and Gail, hand in hand like a King and Queen. Gail’s face was pale and she seemed to stumble slightly, but in the dim, flickering light the cop couldn’t see any marks on her, her flimsy white dress standing out in marked contrast to the black gowns the others wore. Brad lead Gail past the kneeling detective and towards the altar, pausing in front of it and turning to face the assembled congregation.

Deek and Sonny took hold of Starsky and pulled him roughly to his feet, standing either side of him. Brad signalled for them to come forward and they started to push the rattled cop in the direction of the altar. Starsky dug his bare heels into the soft sand, leaning back against their strong arms and trying to pull away from them.

‘Lemme go. What the fuck d’ya think you’re doin’?’ he growled trying to shrug his arms away from their restraining hands.

Brad held his hand out to him. ‘The children of Marcus are fulfilling Si-mon’s dream. Come. Si-mon dreamed this’.

Deek pushed Starsky forward and forced him to kneel before Brad and the terrified Gail. Sonny and Deek positioned themselves behind the bound cop and put hands on his shoulders, pinning him down.

Starsky eyed the young blond man as he picked up a black chalice from the otherwise empty altar table and walked towards him. He backed away as far as he could do from the approaching man, but was stopped by Sonny and Deek’s legs at his back.

‘Stand him up’ he commanded and once again, Starsky was lifted to his feet.

Brad brought up the chalice, showing it to the congregation. ‘The essence of Si-mon’s dreams’ he intoned as the rest set to their chanting once again.

Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon.

One of the men at his back took hold of a fistful of hair and pulled his head back harshly as Brad pushed the chalice against his lips. The brunet clamped them shut and tried to twist his head away, but the hands on his hair and head forced him to remain still.

He closed his eyes in concentration and felt the chalice once again trying to force his lips open. He grunted through closed lips and someone pinched his nose, effectively cutting off his breath. Starsky struggled with all his might to free himself from the hands holding him steady, but with his arms bound behind him and the hands on his head, he was at a severe disadvantage.

The cultists held on and eventually the cop’s breath gave out. Desperately he tried to take a quick breath, but Brad was quicker and pushed the chalice against his lips, the metal rattling against his teeth, pouring the foul contents into his mouth. Starsky spat them out immediately, drenching the young man and panting, his head down, chin on chest.

Brad held the chalice in one hand and nodded as Sonny swung his fist into Starsky’s stomach. The brunet gasped and bent double, gasping for breath as the fist ploughed into him again, knocking the breath from him until he saw stars. He groaned and Deek pulled him back up until he was standing straight, holding onto his shoulders.

Brad looked into his face. ‘Don’t fight it Starsky. Si-mon dreamed it and whatever you do, his dream will come true. Just drink, and his dream will be fulfilled’.

‘Go to hell’ the brunet panted around the pains flashing through his bruised stomach muscles.

He felt Deek tighten his hold on his arms and tried to brace himself, but Sonny’s fist came in high and fast and he felt something give in his chest with a red flash of pain. Instantly, Brad had his hand in his curls again and as Starsky fought to breathe past the agony, he tipped the cop’s head back and poured the contents of the chalice down his throat.

Starsky spluttered, choking on the noxious fluid, but Brad’s hand was over his mouth, stopping him from spitting again. He swallowed the noxious fluid, feeling it burn his throat and finally Deek allowed him to fall to the ground where he curled onto his side, bringing his knees up to his chest to alleviate some of the knifing pains that threatened to rob him of consciousness.


Chapter 11

Starsky lay on the ground panting, his knees curled up as he tried to staunch the flow of pains which coursed through his chest and abdomen. But something was happening. His lips and mouth seemed to be numb, an annoying pins and needles feeling spreading through his hands and feet. His body felt spacey and as though it didn’t belong to him and as he opened his eyes, the room seemed to be slumped to one side, drunkenly. He groaned again, not knowing what hurt most. The pains in his head, from the original blows Brad had delivered had settled down into a bone crushing ache with flashes of fire each time he tried to move his eyes. Those pains set up stiff competition with those from the bruises over his arms, legs, chest and back and were the background accompaniments to the fire raging on the side of his face. He didn’t think the skin had blistered, but his eyes felt dry and scratchy and when he opened them his vision was blurry and dim. The cracked rib set up a another miasma of pain to accompany the others. Whatever Brad had forced down his throat was beginning to take effect. It had been some sort of fiery liquor, maybe laced with some drug. Starsky had no idea what he’d been forced to imbibe, but now, his body started to display certain signs which he found odd and most definitely disconcerting.

His arms, although still bound uncomfortably behind his back felt as though they were at least 5 feet long, thin and rubbery and his legs refused to work any more, even though he tried to kick out at the cult members who swarmed around him. His stomach felt warm and full and his head as though it was a million miles from his body. But more disturbing by far was the fact that beneath the black robe his cock was leaping to attention, hard and persistent as though it had a life of its own.

Moments later, he saw the distorted face of the young blond man, kneeling beside him and looking into Starsky’s drug dimmed eyes. The brunet tried to twist his head away, but the room swum around him and closed his eyes, dipping his chin to his chest to try to hide from all around him.

‘What’ve you done t’me?’ he tried to say, but the words came out slurred and indistinct.

‘We’ve prepared you for your destiny. Si-mon dreamed this and so it will come to pass’. Brad looked up at Deek and Sonny. ‘Bring him’.

The two Satanists reached down for the bound cop and Starsky tried to shuffle away.

‘No….lemme go. Filthy punks! Take your hands off of me’ he ground out, but still Deek and his partner lifted him roughly to his feet and propelled him over to the altar where they turned him to face the congregation.

The girls and men around them stopped their chanting and were standing motionless as they prepared to start the ceremony. At the back of the room Gail trembled against the wall, troubled eyes regarding her target. As Deek and Sonny kept hold of Starsky’s arms, Brad signalled for the young girl to approach. She stiffened, but pushed herself from the wall hesitantly and walked very slowly through the crowd to stand in front of the bound brunet. She looked shyly at Brad and he nodded.

‘Your time has come Gail. Just as Si-mon dreamed. Now you know what you must do. To preserve the group and to give us new life’.

‘Si-mon’ she whispered, her voice trembling as she slowly knelt in front of the dazed cop. Without looking at Starsky, Deek and Sonny took hold of the robe he wore and pulled aside the fabric, revealing his nakedness and his cock, protruding forward, ready for action.

Starsky tried to pull away, horror in his eyes.

‘Oh my God, leave me alone. God you’re sick little puppies! Gail no…..oh God no’ he yelled drunkenly as the young girl knelt before him.

Carefully, she put her hands on the brunet’s slim hips and bent forward until she could flick the tip of his cock with her pink tongue. Electric shocks flashed through the centre of his body and he tried to concentrate on something else. Anything to stop his body responding. But the drug he’d been given was a powerful narcotic and his sense of free will was eroding away as Gail took him fully into her mouth and sucked, her face now a picture of rapt attention. Starsky howled, angry at himself for being too weak to resist her ministrations and disgusted that three men watched the procedure and the rest of the congregation remained in the background.

As Gail pulled away, a silvery string of saliva stringing from her delicate lips, Starsky’s body shook, his legs refusing to hold him up any more. Deek and Sonny took a hold of him and lifted him bodily up and carried him over to the altar. Starsky’s drugged mind couldn’t process what was happening to him. He felt himself set down on the cold hard rock and something happened behind him. Deek and Sonny untied the ropes from around his arms and he gasped as the blood returned to his limbs, yelping as the two men took hold of an arm each.

The Satanists pushed Starsky back until he was laid on his back on the altar and spread his arms out to his sides, offered, like a crucified being as he stared, semi conscious at the rocky roof above him. He felt another movement at his feet and watched in sick fascination as the young girl stood between his splayed legs, he tried to close them, but Brad and another man held them apart as Gail climbed up onto the stone table and paused, looking down at the handsome man beneath her.

This is what Si-mon had dreamed. This is what the Teacher had prepared her for. She was to be the receptacle for the new Teacher when he’d been conceived from the brunet’s seed. She looked down into the unfocussed indigo eyes. The seed of a cop offering divine protection to the cult. He was so beautiful, so handsome and so completely vulnerable, splayed before her, the gown open to reveal his toned, muscled body decorated with short brown curls across his broad chest and leading in a furry line down the centre of his body to her target, nestling amongst the dark, wiry curls.

She bent down and kissed his cock once more and the phallus sprang to attention beneath her.

Starsky was now living in a twilight world, between sleeping and waking. He knew everything that was happening to him but had neither the strength nor the inclination to do anything about it. Gail was 17. Too young. He knew what she was doing was wrong, but to his body it felt so right. His hard on throbbed mercilessly and despite the lucid part of his mind telling him that this was a crime, his primeval being told him that this is what men and women did. Not wrong. Just natural.

He groaned as she kissed him again and the chanting began in the background as Gail prepared herself. She straddled his body now, knees either side of his hips as she pulled up the hem of her dress and gently lowered herself onto him. He hissed as he felt himself slide into her.

‘No…..No…nnnnnmmmm……..’ he groaned, rolling his had from side to side and trying to pull his arms from the two men either side of him. But they ignored him and Gail was now transfixed by her Marcus-given mission. She slipped lower onto the cop and he groaned again as she closed her eyes and started to move the centre of her body back and forth, feeling his small hairs tickling her thighs. She flung her head back, eyes closed as she concentrated on the sensations pulsing through her body and beneath her, Starsky’s body responded, thrusting up into her despite his best efforts to stop himself.

Her rhythm increased, hands clawing at her breasts now as she became lost in her sexual delirium and as Starsky glanced sideways, he could see that the cult members had mostly paired off and were now replicating the act Gail was engaged in, creating an orgy of sex on the sandy ground of the cave.

The brunet closed his eyes, squeezing them tight together as he tried to control his traitorous body. He groaned again as Gail ground her hips into him and again he thrust up into her, feeling her body accept him, as thought they were meant to be together.

A tiny part of him wanted to reach up and caress her, to wipe the damp hair from her sweat beaded forehead and kiss her tiny lips. He wanted to whisper in her ear that it was ok and that he’d look after her and protect her, but he couldn’t. And deep down her knew that it was wrong, that he was committing a crime simply by lying there and allowing her to ride him like this. That the whole thing was wrong and that he shouldn’t be enjoying this at all.

But he could feel the all too familiar tightening in his balls now and he squeezed his eyes shut, desperate to stop the natural process from happening. He cried out, his body shuddering but his chances from holding back were nil and as he groaned again he realised that nature had the upper hand and he was powerless to himself from taking that final blissful, unlawful and degrading step

Inside her, Gail felt Starsky climax as he yelled out into the chanting, echoing cavern, a raw, animal sound as he discharged himself into her, shuddering down the length of his body until he was completely spent.

As soon as the act had played out and Gail had collapsed down onto the muscular body beneath her, two women came forward from the crowd. The gently took hold of the young girl and helped her down from the stone altar. The scene had cost Gail her strength and she needed help to walk away, her legs rubbery and weak and she leaned heavily on her two companions. They led her from the cave and Starsky watched her go through fuzzy, unfocussed eyes as he tried to make sense of what had just happened.

Deek and Sonny were still holding his arms out to his sides, but Brad and the other guy had let go his legs and now Brad was walking up the altar, a wicked looking blade in his hands. He looked down at the spent cop and smiled a wicked smile.

The front of Starsky’s robe was still open and Brad ran his hand up the brunet’s body from just above his pubic bone to his shoulder, his fingers ruffling the surly fur. Starsky shuddered at the touch and twisted his head away, trying to shut out the touch and get his head into some kind of order again. The drug was beginning to dissipate from his body and his memory of the past hour was dimming. He wondered why he was still semi naked on the cold stone of the altar and now he looked up at Brad as the young blond man swivelled the blade in his hand, making the blade gleam in the flickering torchlight.

‘Get ‘way’ Starsky mumbled as clearly as he could although he still felt as though his mouth and lips didn’t belong to him.

‘Hold him’ Brad told Deek and Sonny, ignoring his target altogether.

‘No….no, lemme up’ the brunet started to struggle, trying to pull his arms from the two men’s grip.

‘I said hold him steady’ Brad said sharply as the two Satanists took a firmer hold of their captive’s wrists.

The young blond man raised his knife high above is head, offering it to the inverted cross painted on the wall behind the altar table.

‘Si-mon, we sanctify the offering’ he intoned as the crowd behind hi started to chant and sway again.

‘Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon.

Brad took the knife in his right hand and lowered it slowly, keeping his aim true. As Starsky continued to try to escape the harsh bands of fingers around his wrists, Brad touched the cold metal to the brunet’s sweat beaded skin just below the hollow of his throat. He dug the tip in, seeing the small ruby red droplet of blood that trickled down from the tip.

Starsky stiffened at the touch. ‘What’re ya doin’?’ he growled, but the growl turned to a groan and then a hiss of pain as Brad drew the knife down between the brunet’s nipples, ending his stroke just shy of the navel. He lifted the blade high as Starsky grunted through the pain and lowered it again making a smaller incision crossways low down on the abdomen, completing the inverted cross carved into the living flesh. The curly haired cop gave a final groan, his eyes rolling up into his head as Brad finished the ceremony by licking the blood from the blade of the knife.

Chapter 12

Deek, Sonny and Brad carried the unconscious cop from the ceremonial cave into the smaller adjoining one. Starsky’s head lolled forward, his chin on his chest as Deek and Sonny sat him down, holding him upright as Brad tied his wrists behind his back with a wicked thin leather thong. Letting the brunet go, his limp body fell back against the rock and he slept a dreamless sleep as the blood from the incisions on his chest soaked into the front of his robe.

He dreamed he was floating above the old civic zoo, looking down on his body as Gail stood by his side, weeping. And his dreams were painful, the pull on the incisions and the bruises he’d accumulated pulling at his consciousness, stopping him from resting fully.

An hour later, while Deek kept watch over the cop who was showing signs of life again, Gail came back into the small cave. She crossed to the bound man and knelt by his side, her hand resting protectively on his hip as she felt the involuntary shivers running through his body. Her presence seemed to rouse him more from his stupor and slowly his eyes fluttered open to focus on her. The previous drug had left his system now and although he felt tired and sticky and dirty he had no recollection of the past few hours. The last thing he could fully remember was being in the cave with Deek trying to spear him with the flaming torch. As to the orgy, the drugs and the mad blond man cutting into his chest, he had no recollection, although he wondered why he felt so sore down the front of his body. He looked down at the delicate young girl and tried to smile to reassure her that everything would be ok, although he wasn’t sure it would be.

His lips were white and cracked, and as he smiled he felt them split, licking at the salty fluid as it trickled down the side of his mouth. The burn on his face stood out lividly against the paler skin of his normally tanned features, all colour now being leached away by the exhaustion and pain of the previous 18 hours. Slowly the girl knelt up and held out a tin cup filled with cool water, placing it t his lips.

Starsky coughed, a hacking, dry cough, the pains rattling through his stomach and chest muscles from the beating and from the lacerations on his stomach. He tried to bring his knees up to his chest to ease the pressure, but in his weakened state he couldn’t manage and instead allowed the girl to feed the water to him, drinking noisily from the cup. She took it away from him, scared he’d become sick if he drank too much all at once. Exhausted by the simple effort of drinking, his chin rested on his chest, eyes downcast as he contemplated the end of his life. Because at that moment that was how the brunet felt – as though his 29 short years would be ended in this airless, musty cave.

The water felt cool on his parched tongue and left a trail of liquid heaven down his dry, raw throat and for a moment he savoured the tiny luxury. Gail sat in front of him, looking adoringly into his face.

‘Better?’ she asked solicitously.

He had no strength to look at her, his breath whistling through his teeth.

‘Oh yeah’ he managed to pant, his voice a raw parody of its usual self. ‘T’riffic, lets send out…..for pizza’

Just as he began to relax, letting the water revive him a little, he felt the first tendrils of pain snake through his gut. He leaned forward, protectively, feeling the cuts on his chest pull as he managed to bring his knees up to his chest. He pulled wildly at the thongs of leather holding his wrists behind his back as the pains took hold of him and shook him like a dog.

Gail looked up in alarm, questioning Deek with her eyes. ‘What’s the matter?’ she asked the tall man, who stared down at the couple impassively. She turned her attention back to the panting cop.

‘Please……tell me what’s wrong’.

Starsky fought down the panic. Was this it? Was this his last breath? It sure felt that way, the pains in his stomach like lightening bolts through his gut as he tried to find the strength to pant the words

‘I …..dunno’ he gasped around another bolt of pain. ‘M..maybe the water?’ He tried to curl himself into a ball, but the pains were persistent and he closed his eyes to shut out the world and concentrate on breathing and enduring.

Gal looked at the cup in disbelief, throwing it away as though it would bite her. Kneeling up she challenged the Satanist.

‘You put something in the water and didn’t tell me. Why must it always be so cruel?’

Deek stared at the girl, jealous that she was so protective of the cop and feeling as though, by her feelings and her attraction, she was somehow being disloyal to Si-mon. He drew back his hand and struck her across the face, flinging her back so that she landed across Starsky’s lap.

The brunet seemed hardly to notice, the flames entwining his gut now taking all his attention. It took every ounce of strength to remain conscious but he was afraid to pass out for fear of what they may do to him next. The girl sobbed into his lap as Deek knelt beside her, reaching out to stroke her hair, the tenderness in stark contrast to the blow he’d just delivered.

‘Si-mon dreamed you would stay with us. He dreamed it could be the way it was, when we first took you’.

‘No, no…..no….no more dr dreaming’ Gail moaned softly, her big eyes slowly closing as she clung to Starsky’s knee, trembling and submitted to the caresses of Deek’s hand on her long, pale brown hair.

‘Dream that all over again’ Deek said softly as she relaxed against his touch. ‘Dream….’

‘Si-mon….Si-mon’ Gail mumbled softly under her breath.

The hand continued to stroke her hair rhythmically and tenderly as her trembling subsided. ‘Dream…..’ Deek said again, low and tender and she moaned Si-mon’s name one more time.

As the girl started to descend into her hypnotic state, Deek reached up and grasped a handful of the brunet’s curls, jerking Starsky’s head violently up so that he could stare into the drugged, pained indigo eyes.

‘And you dream too pig’ he hissed. ‘Dream and make it good, for at sunrise, the dream is ending, and so is your life. You’re going to die’

And at that point Starsky almost wanted to follow the Satanist’s invitation. His body ached, the whole of his chest and back seemingly on fire. His arms and legs felt cramped and he felt weary beyond words. And yet there was still the primeval drive to continue, to battle the pains and live.

Starsky wondered where Hutch was. Had he gotten any clue as to where he was being held? Had he set about searching for him? Hutch wouldn’t let this go until he’d found his partner, but time was running out. What time was it now? Deek had said he had until sunrise, but in the dark confines of the cave he had no idea what time it was or how long he still had before they killed him.

Deek stood, letting Starsky’s hair go and slamming his head back against the rocky wall behind him. The brunet felt his teeth rattle in his head and groaned at the added pain. He looked down at the young girl still curled up in his lap and as he watched Deek leave the two of them alone, he set to work on the girl.


She stopped her low chanting, but didn’t move.

‘Gail, look at me, honey’ he panted through the pains.

Slowly she raised herself up and wiped the tears from her eyes.

‘I’m sorry’ she whispered. ‘I didn’t know. Si-mon didn’t dream this. He didn’t want you to hurt afterwards. Not til….’

The brunet’s mind didn’t take in what she was saying fully. ‘After what? Till what? Gail…..help me’.

She reached up and touched his face gently. ‘I can’t’.

‘Gail….ungh…..I can…..get us outa here…..just untie me’.

‘Sssh’ she laid her fingers on his cracked lips. ‘Don’t say more. Just rest’.

Starsky’s patience snapped. He’d been beaten, burned, poisoned and he was pissed. ‘GAIL’ he spat. ‘Enough with Simon. He’s a no good piece o’ low life. He don’t care about ya. He don’t care about anyone ‘cept himself. Just untie me an’ I’ll get us both outa here huh?’ he pleaded.

But Gail shrank back from him, shocked at his angry tone. ‘Si-mon dreamed you’d die before the White Knight came’ she said softly.

‘White knight? Who’s the…..wait. Ya mean Hutch! Hutch is here? Or is he coming here? Gail, tell me, it’s important’.

‘Si-mon dreamed the White Knight would die too, but he’d find you first………too late. I’m sorry. Too late’ she sighed.

‘No, Gail, its never too late. C’mon honey, listen to me’. The brunet tried again, wishing he could get through the programming to the young girl. He was about to try again when Deek and Brad appeared at the entrance to the cave.

‘You won’t win. She belongs to Si-mon’. Deek grinned.

‘She’s a human being. She don’t belong to no-one’ Starsky ground out, looking hard at Gail, silently willing her to stand up to the two men and cut him free. ‘Gail, honey’ he started.

But Brad had had enough and he rushed across the small cave, his fist raised as Starsky pushed himself back against the rocky wall. He braced himself for the punch, but it was still hard when it came, adding to the fire in his belly and he wretched, unable to stop the meagre contents of his stomach making a re-appearance. Brad wrenched his head back as he gasped for breath and jammed a cloth into his mouth, fastening it in place with a piece of rope.

The material threatened to cut off the brunet’s airway and he tried desperately to breathe through his nose, slow and steady as his eyes teared. He stared defiantly at the young blond man who looked contemptuously back.

‘I told ya to shuddup’ the Satanist spat. ‘Now be quiet and wait. Not long now then we can shut you up for good. Then we can take that gag out and we can hear ya scream your last moments away’ he grinned.

Turning he took hold of Gail by her arm and yanked her to her feet. ‘You may be the chosen one, but it don’t stop Si-mon punishing you. What did ya think you were doin’ talking to him? We got what we needed from him, now leave him alone huh?’

Gail glanced back at the weary cop, apology in her eyes as Brad dragged her away, leaving Starsky alone in the cave.

For the first time since this had started he was alone and he allowed himself a moment to gather his breath and his thoughts. He felt dirty and sticky and vulnerable and the gag leached all moisture from his mouth. He still felt sick to his stomach, but concentrated on breathing past it. With the gag in place he was more than likely to choke if he was to vomit now.

Starsky leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes, weariness overtaking him. He sent another silent message out to Hutch to come find him, although Marcus’ “dreams” seemed to have all come true so far. Would this one come true too?

Chapter 13

They came for Starsky an hour later, rough hands prizing him out of his painful sleep. He jumped as he felt their touch and flinched away, which seemed to provide the two men a certain amount of enjoyment and they pulled him roughly to his feet.

Being in the vertical was more painful than ever, the pull of all his injuries now greater when he was standing. He tried his best to pull away from them, but his strength was virtually gone and Deek and Sonny had the zeal of those who know the end is in sight. They pulled him between them through the maze of tunnels and out into the cold light of dawn.

The air felt cold against the brunet’s damp skin and he shivered uncontrollably with the combination of cold, tiredness and lack of sleep. Starsky was almost past caring what they did with him anymore. He wanted an end to this sooner rather than later, and whilst he wanted Hutch to find him, he was also afraid that if the blond did come to his rescue, that he too would become a pawn in Marcus’ sick little game.

The two Satanists pulled their captive between them through the maze of empty cages at the old zoo, their exhibits having long since gone to better homes, leaving the old, tired barred cages to the wild rats, mice and feral cats. They pulled Starsky on up the hill, his breathing still hampered by the gag stuffed roughly into his mouth. He found it difficult to breathe and almost passed out again with the exertion of trying to walk, breathe and deal with the pains in his body. Eventually, however, that part of his ordeal was over and they arrived at the old aviary, perched high on a rocky outcrop above the entrance to the old zoo. The enormous birdcage had long since been deserted, but the bars and the framework of the place were still in tact and cemented into the bedrock providing a stable and immovable place to hang the brunet.

Despite his best efforts to resist, it was the work only of minutes to free Starsky’s hands from behind his back, re-tie them to the front and haul his arms high above his head, leaving his bare feet just touching the ground. With a final flourish, Deek untied the gag and pulled it from Starsky’s mouth, leaving the cop licking at his dry lips and coughing through a throat that felt as though it was lined with sandpaper.

Starsky took a moment to gather his thoughts and look around him weakly. There were seven or eight robed cult members arranged in a semi circle around him now. Ominously they all held various implements in their hands, ranging from chains and cleavers to vicious looking bats. All designed to hurt. All designed to hurt him. Gail was brought into the circle, her face even paler in the early morning light and her thin frame shivering in the cold morning air. She looked tired and scared and she refused to look Starsky in the eyes.

As the two men at her side let her go and departed, she sunk to her knees in front of the bound man, bent almost double as her hands splayed out on the ground in front of her. The brunet looked around at the other men, up at his bound hands, silhouetted against the bright shafts of sunlight falling through the leaves of a nearby tree and then down at the girl grovelling by the bare feet. He licked his dry lips again.

‘What’s going on?’ he asked as he watched the girl on the ground take the same knife he’d seen her with before. She seemed to be drawing symbols with it on the hard earth at his feet, leaning first to one side, then the other before taking the knife’s blade and holding it to her lips, kissing it and running her cheek tenderly against it.

Like a cat rubbing itself against a favourite chair.

Starsky watched her. The light of recognition was virtually extinguished from her eyes and as he watched she stood in front of him, her enormous eyes focussed on his chest.

He eyed the wicked looking knife. ‘We’ve been this way before’ he muttered, trying to get her to look at his face so that he could establish some sort of contact. She glanced up at him, sadness in her eyes.

‘They’re all watching’ she whispered. ‘Si-mon dreamed they would watch’

Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon

‘You’re gonna kill me’ Starsky tried to shock her out of her reverie. ‘Yes you are…..you’re gonna kill me’. he said low and as levelly as he could. But he knew this was it. This was the moment the cultists had been preparing for. They’d told him 24 hours was all he had, and this time yesterday he was showering and getting ready to go to court.

Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon

‘And your friends are gonna watch’

‘No, I’m not goin’ to kill you’ Gail said timorously

Yesterday. Just an ordinary day. Washing, shaving, dressing, taking the Blintz to Merle’s to have his car tuned. Just another day. The start of his last 24 hours on earth. Would he have done things differently if he’d known what was going to happen to him? Too late to think of that now. Too late to think of anything except the remote possibility that he could talk Gail out of her programming. He looked back at her again and she returned his gaze.

‘Thou shalt not k kill…. shalt not….. they’re all watching’. She looked at the men surrounding them. They’d set up their chant again, an insistent sound pounding at Starsky’s consciousness and taking away Gail’s free will.


Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon

Starsky tried harder, desperate now that the time had come. He twisted in his bonds, his arms rapidly numbing from his suspension.


She looked scared now, gazing uncertainly about her as she clutched the knife in front of her body.

‘Only make the first stroke’ she whimpered

‘Gail…..’ His voice insistent. C’mon honey, look at me, listen to me.

But she was lost in her own scary world of Marcus’ dreams. The first of hundreds…. ‘

Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon

‘Thousands…. ‘

Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon


She took the blade and kissed it again, looking up into his face.

‘Listen to me……Gail you don’t have to do this’

Si-mon, Si-mon, Si-mon.

Shuddup! Just shudup and lemme talk to her. She’s scared. Shut up ya fuckin’ freaks!

‘This is Si-mon….its not you…..’


‘Please……..Gail………at’s a girl, put it away……put it away’ the brunet pleaded, hating the look of fear and utter confusion in the big brown eyes. He saw the indecision in her eyes and worked on it, putting everything he had into his voice and the expression on his face. If only the suckers around him would stop that infernal chanting for a minute. But instead of shutting up, as they too saw the hesitation in the girl with the blade, they redoubled their efforts, the sounds coming thick and fast now.

Gail’s face was a study of indecision, the man in front of her pleading for his life and the group members around her chanting and egging her on to draw the first blood as Si-mon had dreamed she would do. She closed her eyes, trying to blot everything out so that she could think more clearly about what she should do.

But finally she made her decision and as Starsky watched in sick fascination she raised the bade high above her head.

The brunet knew this was it. His final moment on earth before the rest of the group members descended on him to beat his body into final submission with their chains and bats and cleavers. He closed his eyes and waited for it, hoping that when this was all over, Gail wouldn’t blame herself for his death. This wasn’t the girls doing. This was just one more example of Simon Marcus’ cold blooded killing spree.

His body tensed in anticipation.


Oh God Hutch. If ya find me buddy, look away, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

And then the world went into overdrive. Starsky saw the downward swing of Gail’s knife and braced himself for the metal to plunge into his already bleeding chest, but instead of feeling cold metal on warm flesh, he felt his hands suddenly freed from the position high above his head.

Unprepared for freedom, Starsky’s body fell heavily to the ground as he heard cars screeching to a halt and sirens wailing. He curled himself into a ball and ducked a blow from one of the other group members and then saw Deek coming at him with the cleaver. He rolled onto his back just in time to catch the huge knife in it’s downwards stroke between his hands. He braced his arms and struggled with Deek as the Satanist tried his best to free the knife and complete Gail’s task.

From the corner of his eye, Starsky saw a blond whirlwind fly past him, fists a blur as Hutch fended off the other men from his partner. Deek continued to fight with the brunet who rolled this way and that trying to escape the flying cleaver and fists. In his desperation the dirty robe he still wore caught around his legs, hobbling him and he kicked out. But eventually, the other cops having subdued the others, Hutch took the man from Starsky’s back and dealt with him, leaving the brunet panting on the ground. Gail crawled to him and wrapped her arms around his legs as Starsky lay panting and allowing his brain to catch up with the whirlwind of events.

He hurt.

He hurt so much he almost didn’t hurt any more. Every part of him ached or stung or throbbed with a vengeance and he felt nauseous, the pains still roiling in his stomach from the drugged water. He was dizzy and his vision blurred, but above him he saw the most comforting sight in the world.

Hutch’s tanned blond face was in front of him, kneeling and reaching to pull him into a sitting position. As Starsky sat up he felt the world about to disappear beneath him, relief flooding every cell of his being.

‘Hutch……What kept ya?’ he asked, trying for humour to cover the fact that he was shaken to the core by his close escape.

Hutch’s strong arms held him for a moment, the emotion too much fro the blond to trust his own voice. Finally he got himself under control.

‘Nice nightgown ya got there buddy’ he muttered into the chocolate curls, thankful he’d gotten there just in the nick of time. He pushed Starsky away gently so that he could see his partner.

Grime and dust covered the familiar handsome face, but he saw also the burn down the side of the cheek and the slight tremor in Starsky’s hand.

‘C’mon buddy, lets get you to the hospital’ he said gently.

‘Need t’see to her first’ Starsky said, reaching down to stroke Gail’s hair. ‘She saved my life’.

Gail looked at him, her eyes full of love and also fear.

‘Si-mon didn’t dream this. Si-mon dreamed I’d be weak….and I was. Si-mon will be angry. I don’t like it when he’s angry. It hurts so much’ she whispered.

‘S’ok honey. He’s in jail now. he can’t reach you any more’ the brunet said gently, trying to allay her fears.

But she looked at him as though he was an idiot. ‘Si-mon can reach me anywhere. He has the power. He has my life force……he has yours too’ she whispered. ‘Help me?’

One of the uniformed officers walked over and Hutch motioned for them to take Gail away.

‘Take her down to Memorial and have her checked out and then take her home. We’ll be along later to take a statement’ he said.

But Gail clung to Starsky as though he were her lifeline.

‘No….please….don’t make me go. Si-mon will come for me. He’ll know where I am…..nooooo’.

Starsky held her face, raising her chin until he could see into her eyes. ‘Gail, listen to me. Marcus is in jail. He can’t touch you any more’.

‘Yes, he can…..and he will. And now he’ll punish you too’ she whimpered as she stood and prepared to go with the uniformed man. ‘Be careful’ she said, tears in her eyes.


In Bay City jail, the Teacher paced his cell. In one hand he held a tiny doll made of matchsticks and scraps of cloth. Around its head was wound several long pale brown hairs. In the other, a similar doll was adorned with three curly chocolate brown hairs. And as he paced, Marcus looked at each one and grinned and evil grin.

Chapter 14

Starsky sat in the car looking out through the windscreen with eyes that saw nothing of the passing scenery.

Once Gail had been taken away, Hutch had managed to pull his partner to his feet, clutching at the smaller man as Starsky groaned and bent double, more pains lancing through his stomach. He staggered to the side of the aviary and was quietly sick in the undergrowth, his stomach feeling raw and sore. He saw blood, but decided not to mention that just yet and made his wavering way back to the waiting blond.

Starsk, are you ok? C’mon lets get ya down to the hospital huh?’ Hutch said, taking hold of the brunet’s shoulder and holding him steady.

‘Don’t wanna go t’the hospital’ the brunet said petulantly. ‘They stick me with needles at the hospital an’ it hurts’.

‘You sound like a spoiled kid Starsk. You need to get checked out. Just look at yourself’.

‘I’d rather not’.

‘I bet. C’mon, just get in the car’ Hutch helped him down the rocky slope and it was a measure of just how much Starsky was hurting that he didn’t immediately go around to the driver’s side of the Torino. He leaned heavily against the side of his baby as Hutch opened the door and then groaned as he bent his body to get into the passenger side seat. As he held onto the door frame, the gown fell back from his arms, and Hutch saw the bruises extending upwards into the folds of the material. He bit back the curses, knowing his partner was in no fit state to hear him ranting at the world and instead, got himself into the car and concentrated on driving.

Starsky sat quietly, his mind a pleasant void as they drove. All strength had departed and now he slumped, head hanging and chin resting on his chest. The inside of his car wrapped him in a cocoon of safety and for a few precious moments he enjoyed being safe, back in the company of his partner and in his own car. Hutch hated his partner being so quiet. A quiet Starsky was never a good sign and he reached out a hand to rest on the brunet’s knee. Starsky jumped at the contact, a small grunt escaping him and he took a deep breath.

‘You ok Gordo. You wanna talk about it?’

‘It wouldn’t be my first choice, no’.

‘OK well let me make it simpler for you. You’re gonna have to give your statement to someone, so why not practice on me?’

‘Coz ya can’t write ‘n’ drive?’

‘Clever….cute. C’mon Starsk. I need to know. What happened?’

‘Just the usual’.

‘What’s that s’posed to mean?’

‘I got kidnapped an’ beaten up. Just the usual’.

‘Why do I get the feeling that you’re not telling me everything?’

‘Coz ya know me so well. Just leave it Blintz’.

‘Oh wait. This is the part I like best. This is where you tell me you’re fine and I say “Oh ok” and sit back to watch you shudder your way through the next set of pains. C’mon Starsky, throw me a line here’.

‘Yeah, ok I hurt!’ Starsky said loudly, it seeming like a shout in the confines of the car. ‘I was stupid, I got sloppy and they took me. And after that they had some fun and they were gonna kill me. The blond cavalry came over the hill, and now my too loud partner is forcing me to go to the hospital’. He panted and another pain coiled around his guts and bent him over as he clutched at his belly. Hutch used his free hand to rub at his partner’s back, accelerating to get to the hospital all the quicker as he heard the pained breaths at his side. Finally Starsky sat straighter.

‘M’sorry Hutch. It hurts ‘n’ I’m scared’.

‘Hey, its over now buddy. What’s to be scared of? You’ll be fine now. I gotcha’. Hutch smiled reassuringly.

But Starsky wouldn’t be placated. ‘You didn’t see ‘em Hutch. He has such a hold over ‘em and Gail said he had a hold on me too. I can feel it Blondie. I can feel it like he’s watchin’ me, and I know ya think that sounds wacky. Maybe I am losing it, but this ain’t over yet’.

‘Aww, buddy. How can he do anything? His group members are all going to jail an’ he’s there already. Should’a been sentenced by now. You’re just spooked, an’ I would be too. Lets get ya cleaned up and a good nights sleep an’ you’ll feel better huh?’

They pulled up outside the hospital and Hutch helped Starsky out of the car. His body was beginning to stiffen up and it took him a while to walk into the ER, conscious that people around him were staring at the black robe. He hated it, but he was naked underneath and he preferred the robe to going without.

One of the nurses approached the two men and after a whispered conversation, she showed them into a curtained cubicle, handing Starsky a pair of dark blue scrubs. ‘You’ll be more comfortable in those’ she said. ‘Just get undressed, but on the pants and the doctor will be with you in a moment. Do you want your friend to stay?’

Starsky nodded, too tired to reply properly and as the young nurse swished her way through the curtain, he started to try to take off the robe. But his hands were still purple and swollen from the ropes that had suspended him from the aviary and his arms were shaking so much from pain and fatigue that he couldn’t untie the rope around his waist.

‘Here, let me’ Hutch said, reaching for the dirty rope.

Starsky tried to bat his hand away. ‘No, don’t….I….’

But he was too late and as Hutch started to try to open the course, heavy material, the brunet hissed. It was welded to his chest by the blood from the wounds Brad had inflicted earlier. Hutch stopped as Starsky grasped his wrist.

‘What the hell did they do t’ya buddy’ he whispered.

‘Don’t. Just….don’t wanna talk about it. Just lemme get cleaned up an’ outa here’.

Hutch put his hand gently under Starsky’s chin and pulled his face up until he could see the pain filled indigo eyes. ‘Tell me buddy. Now?’

‘They hurt me Hutch. They burned me and they beat me, an’ I think they poisoned me. There was something in the water. And there was one whole chunk of the night where I lost it. No idea what happened. They freaked me out an’ I just wanna forget’.

‘D’ya want me to stay?’

‘Oh God yeah. Don’t leave. M’ok Just need some time huh?’ he managed a weak chuckle. ‘Did I tell ya about the bear?’


‘Uh huh. A real life kosher bear. It was….’ He didn’t finish as the nurse returned with a rather earnest looking young doctor who held his hand out.

‘I’m Doctor Milne. And you are?’

‘Starsky. Dave, Starsky’ at that moment another coil of pain hit him and he staggered backwards, leaning heavily against Hutch and the gurney in the small cubicle. The spasm lasted longer than the others and the brunet cried out at the severity of it, clawing at his guts as his knees gave out and he sank to the floor. He gasped one last time and passed out, collapsing into a heap against Hutch’s legs as the blond reached down for him a look of horror and question on his face.


In a different part of Bay City, a man with long dark hair, a beard and beady black eyes sat cross legged on the floor of his cell. In one hand he held the small doll with the chocolate coloured curls. With the other hand he pushed his index finger deep into the dolls abdomen, grinding it around with evident satisfaction on his face.


Starsky awoke a little while later to the feel of water on his chest. As he opened his eyes a crack, he realised that the pretty nurse had a wet sponge and was soaking the front of the dirty robe. She looked up at his face and smiled.

‘Welcome back’ she said, as Hutch’s face also hove into view.

‘Didn’t know I’d gone anywhere’ Starsky said thickly.

‘Well ya weren’t examining my shoes’ Hutch grinned.

‘No. What’s with the bath?’ the brunet asked.

‘Just helping to ease this off of you’ she smiled.

The nurse put down the sponge and started to peel away the wet material from the front of his body. Starsky hissed softly and closed his eyes. He hadn’t seen what they’d done to him, he’d been tied and the robe had covered him completely, obscuring his view. He just knew his chest and stomach hurt and that they’d bled. Now, as the blood caked material was eased away he heard his partner curse.

‘Shit Starsk. What the hell did they do to ya buddy?’

He looked down the line of his body and saw the blood welling afresh from the incisions down his belly in the shape of an inverted cross. Seeing it brought even more pain now that the cold air and the water had got to his wounds and he let his head fall back against the pillow.

‘The bastards’ he growled through clenched teeth as he rode the crests of pain. ‘Dunno when they did that. Maybe when I lost it, when I couldn’t remember what had happened. Shit that hurts’ he said as the nurse swabbed away the oozing blood with a white gauze pad.

‘I’m sorry, I know’ she said soothingly. It going to need stitching in places where its deeper. Dr Milne will be back in a moment. He’ll let you know what he’s going to do’. She stepped outside for fresh supplies and left the two men alone.

‘I’m gonna nail that sucker!’ Hutch ground out. ‘I’m gonna make sure he never sees the light of day again. Him an’ his other flakes. Jeez, look at ya’.

‘Hutch, don’t go doin’ anything stupid huh? He’s dangerous and he’s….ungh…..’Starsky’s words were cut off as another spasm of pain wound around his intestines. This time, he couldn’t hold back the cry of pain and sweat beaded on his brow as he panted through the red crest, riding the wave down towards comfort. But just as he started to recover from that, another bolt took him and shook him so that he doubled over on the gurney, the incisions on his chest gaping and beginning to bleed afresh. He let out one final gasp, grasping Hutch’s hand in his and squeezing until his knuckles stood out white, and then, with a final groan, he collapsed back against the pillow, limp and unconscious.

The doctor returned immediately and started to check over the boneless form. In a way it was easier for the brunet now that he was unconscious. The doctor probed and pulled at the cuts on his chest, and as the robe was stripped from him, Hutch gasped at the myriad of cuts and bruises covering his partner’s body, arms and legs. As the doctor got to work, stitching and cleaning, he stood back, fuming and watched.

Two hours later, Starsky had been moved up to a small side room. His chest and abdomen had been stitched and now fresh white dressings were taped in place along their length. Another white dressing was taped to the right side of his face from hairline to below his right eye, protecting the burn there and various other deeper cuts across his body had been dressed in similar fashion. Xrays revealed a cracked rib and that too was bound.

He had his stomach pumped, although fortunately he remained unconscious throughout that horrible procedure and blood samples had been taken. The results said that Starsky had ingested some kind of narcotic mixed with cocaine, and also an irritant, dilute enough not to cause permanent damage, but still enough to have caused some damage to the lining of his stomach.

Now he lay quietly in the bed, a naso-gastric tube taped to his left cheek and drips feeding much needed liquid into the back of each hand.

The room was dim, the blinds having been drawn and Hutch sat quietly by the side of the bed waiting for his friend to come around. In is mind, the blond ran scenarios where he could get retribution against the cult leader, each scene more lurid and violent than the last.

Eventually, Starsky started to stir, his hands moving feebly against the sheet as his eyes cracked open a little. He looked around, confused and tried to swallow past the tube in his throat. Hutch stood and bent over the bed.

‘Hi buddy. How’re ya feelin’?’


‘I bet. Can I get you anything?’


‘Uh huh. doc says nothing till they can find out what other poisons they gave ya’.


‘Yeah buddy’.

‘It hur….’ Again the cop doubled over in the bed, a blood curdling cry wrenched from his lips as the pains redoubled their efforts to rip his guts in two.

Hutch pressed the nurse call button immediately and within moments nurses and the doctor swarmed into the room. Taking one look at his patient, Milne’s forehead creased. He inserted a needle into the port of the drip and depressed the plunger as the brunet’s body continued to buck on the bed, trying to rid himself of the terrible fire in his belly.

‘Hold him, he’s going to tear the stitches….hold him’ Milne directed the orderlies, but Hutch pushed passed them. Taking hold of Starsky’s shoulders he pushed his partner back down onto the bed.

‘Easy buddy, easy. Hang on there. I’m here, easy….try ‘n’ relax’ he crooned.

‘Oh Utch…..hurts…..like last time…..worse….oh shit’ Starsky groaned as another pain coiled around him. He grasped Hutch’s arm and held on as the blond continued to hold him and rub his shoulders trying to take the pain himself and save the brunet from more agony. Within minutes the powerful sedative was beginning to take effect and the brunet relaxed back onto the bed, his eyes closed. He managed a weak smile as his eyelids started to dip.

‘M’ok now’ he whispered.

But even in sleep he couldn’t rest and the pains haunted his dreams.

Hutch looked away from the sight of his partner whimpering in his sleep, his head rolling from side to side on the pillow.

‘I don’t understand it’ Milne was muttering. ‘We pumped his stomach and he’s had pain killers that’d knock a rhino out. He shouldn’t feel any pain at all’.

‘I think I understand it Doc. I think I understand it all now. How long will he be out?’

Milne blew out his lips. ‘At least six hours. He’s had the maximum dose of almost everything we’ve got. And yet he’s still behaving as though he’s in agony’.

Hutch looked at his sweating partner. ‘If he wakes up, tell him I’ve gone hunting’.

‘What’re you going to do?’ Milne asked.

‘Gonna put an end to this once and for all’.

Chapter 15

Hutch strode purposefully down the corridor of the Metro and was just about to push the door to Dobey’s office open when he heard his captain’s voice from the down the corridor.

‘Hutchinson. Where’ve you been?’

Hutch stopped and looked around. ‘At the hospital with Starsky. Cap'n I’ve got to…’

‘Never mind that. I’ve been trying to find you. The young girl, Gail?’

‘Yeah, she was with Starsky at the zoo’.

‘Hmm. The uniforms brought her back here. One of the women went to get her a drink. When she came back into the interview room, she’s on the floor having convulsions’.

‘Oh my God. Is she OK? Is she in the hospital? Where is she?’ Hutch asked.

‘She’s dead’ Dobey said bluntly. 'The police surgeon was called but he couldn’t find a cause of death. Helena, the police woman who was with her said she was clawing at her stomach, moaning about pains there, but the doctor couldn’t find anything immediately. No appendicitis or the like. She just died’.

Hutch’s blood ran cold, visions of his partner writhing in agony at the hospital swimming through his head. ‘Cap, I’ve got to get to the jail to see Marcus. I want him isolated and strip searched, no warnings. I don’t want him prepared for this. If my hunch is right, he’s behind Gail’s death and I think he’s got my partner’s life on the line too’.

‘Starsky’s? How?’

Hutch was bolting down the corridor. ‘No time to explain Cap. Just make the call to the jail huh? No warnings. Just take him and strip search him. And tell ‘em to keep hold of anything they find’.

The blond ran from the Metro and back out to the big red car. Sliding into the front seat, he gunned the engine and performed a tire squealing start that his partner would have been proud of. Turning the vehicle in a big U turn, he headed off up the road and out of town towards the county jail.

Bay City penitentiary stood isolated from the rest of the city by a row of low hills. It was a grey stone building guarded by rows of high stone walls topped by razor wire coils. Set amidst one wall, Hutch waited at the sentry box till his name was checked off of a list and he was directed to another electronic gateway. Again his credentials were checked as he drummed his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel. As the grey uniformed officer waived him through, he lurched the car to a halt in a parking space and darted out to the reception desk.

A bored looking women looked up at him and her day brightened at the sight of the handsome blond.

‘Can I help you sir?’

‘Detective Hutchinson to see Simon Marcus’.

‘Please wait’. She picked up the telephone and punched in numbers as Hutch paced the small tiled reception area. The place smelled of disinfectant and school lunches and was like every other jail waiting area that Hutch had had the privilege to visit.

Eventually an older man came into the waiting area. ‘You here to see Marcus?’

‘Uh huh’.

‘OK, come with me. We have him in maximum security. One bad ass flake, that one’.

‘Are you one of his guards?’ Hutch asked


‘Did you strip search him before I got here?’


Great. I’ve got the only prison guard in the world who doesn’t want to talk!

‘Did you find anything?’

The guard turned his attention to Hutch finally.

‘Yup. Damnedest thing! Here’. He showed the blond into a small interview room and laid out on the small table was the sum total of Marcus’ belongings. They consisted of a blue denim shirt, blue denim jeans, socks, sneakers…………and two small insignificant looking dolls made of scraps of material and matchsticks for arms and legs.

One of the had long pale brown hairs wrapped around it’s head. It also had red crayon on its stomach area and a woman’s hair grip skewered through its body. Hutch picked it up and stared at it.

Oh my god. Gail!

The other doll had red painted on its stomach, but as yet nothing more had been done to it, the chocolate coloured curls still entwined around its head proclaiming it to be an effigy of Starsky.

Rage simmered inside Hutch’s chest. He put the small dolls down gently. ‘Don’t touch them’ he told the guard although he felt almost foolish for saying it. The man raised his eyebrows but said nothing.

‘Is he in there?’

‘Yeah. You want in?’

‘Uh huh. And then can you leave us alone for a while. Police business’ Hutch said.

‘Sure thing. There’s a bell on the wall. Just ring it when you’re ready’ the guard showed him into the interview room and left as Hutch faced off to Marcus.

The cult leader was dressed in a set of yellow paper coveralls, his hands chained to a belt around his waist and as Hutch walked in he had his back to the blond.

‘Detective Hutchinson. The White Knight has returns’ Marcus’ silky smooth voice said without the leader turning. The voice grated on Hutch’s nerves and he balled his fists at the side of his body.

‘What did you do to my partner?’

The cult leader turned slowly. ‘I didn’t do anything. His faith did it all’.

‘And what about Gail? What about that young girl huh?’

‘Yes, her faith was particularly strong’ the leader mused.

Hutch reached for Marcus’ collar and pushed him back, slamming him into the wall of the room. ‘You cold hearted bastard! “Her faith was strong” Is that all you can say? She’s dead! And you killed her’.

Simon’s face was implacable. ‘But I was here all the time Detective. How could I have killed anyone?’

‘You know what I mean. With your dolls and your voodoo crap’ he pushed harder and there was just the tiniest bit of fear in Marcus’ eyes.

‘Don’t push Si-mon. Mustn’t push Si-mon’.

‘Go to hell Marcus. I’m through with the “Don’t touch” routine. I’m telling ya now, if I had the power to, I’d rip your sanctimonious head from your scrawny shoulders and feed it piece by piece to the animals that used to live in that zoo. But unlike you, I have rules I have to follow. So I’m warning ya, don’t even think about my partner, ya got it?’

‘Si-mon is in everyone’s thoughts. I think of everyone. I thought of heavenly polaris and he came to me’.

Hutch took a tighter hold on Marcus’ collar. ‘Well here’s something for you to be thinking about’

He brought his knee up between the leader’s legs, feeling his leg connect with the soft tissues there. Marcus grunted in pain and his legs folded under him as Hutch ground his fist into the man’s face. Stepping away, he looked in satisfaction at the groaning heap on the floor.

‘Think on that a while and don’t ever come near me or my partner again. Hear?’

Hutch turned and without a backwards glance rang the bell. A moment later the door opened and he walked out leaving the panting man behind him. The guard looked at his least favourite of prisoners and grinned.

‘Something rattled his cage?’ he asked.

‘Yeah, his dreams caught up with him’ Hutch mumbled as he walked out, gathering the two little dolls on his way.


‘What did Huggy’s aunt say?’ Starsky said from his hospital bed. Even though he was healing well and his bruises were fading, the doctors had wanted to keep him in the hospital for a while, just to check that his stomach pains wouldn’t return. They’d carried out every test imaginable and even though the brunet had tried to explain that he knew he’d be fine from now on, they’d still poked, prodded and stuck him with a variety of needles both large and small. But even though he hated hospitals, for a while the curly haired cop enjoyed the rest and the feeling of safety and security after his 24 hours of being brutalised. The whole experience had shaken him more than he let on even to his partner and he hugged the security of the bed and the hospital to him, cherishing the feelings of safety.

Hutch watched as the brunet prodded at the livid red scar on his stomach disconsolately. Even those large scars on his chest and stomach were healing well and the doctor had assured him that once they’d fully healed, they would be hardly noticeable. But Starsky regarded them dismally, the fine red line edged by tramlines of stitch marks.

‘They look like X marks the spot. It’s an open invitation for every flake in Bay City to take a pot shot. “Hey look at Starsky, he’s gotten a target carved into his chest. ain't that great that he makes it easy for us?” the brunet had pouted.

Hutch had pointed out that they'd be hidden by his clothes, but it hadn't succeeded in molifying the injured man and he'd continued to remain troubled.

When Hutch had brought the two voodoo dolls back to the hospital room almost a week ago, he’d been happy to see that his partner was once again sleeping peacefully, the convulsions and tremors having finally disspiated. Hutch didn’t believe in voodoo and all that mumbo jumbo, but on the other hand couldn’t ignore what had happened to both Gail and the smaller man, so he’d carefully taken the dolls home and locked them in a drawer to protect them. Discussing what he should do with them with Starsky once he was well enough, the brunet had pointed out that the only person they knew and trusted who knew anything about voodoo was Huggy and so the barman had duly been questioned about how they could get rid of the dolls safely and without causing further pain to the curly haired cop. Huggy had mentioned his Aunt, the woman that the two cops had met on their first trip to Playboy Island, and so Huggy had written to her, out in the islands and she had now sent back her reply. Hutch opened the letter and read from the spidery writing.

‘Well according to her, we need to take the hairs from the doll and wait till midnight at the next full moon. Then we, or rather you, have to burn the hairs and the doll separately whilst reciting the Lords Prayer and walking around the fire three times’.

‘Hey, Jewish here!’

Hutch gave him a withering look. ‘I’ll write it down for ya, gordo, I don't think it matters that you don't know it by heart’.

‘Seems a helluva long way round to get rid of it’ Starsky said glumly. 'An’ I don’t think they’ll take kindly to me setting fire to anything in here. The sprinklers’d go off and soak all the dressings an' the nurses'll get mad. Have ya seen the one with the squint? Man she's one ugly chick!’

‘Sheesh, you're so brave! Ok, well, leave it to me huh? I’ll do it for the both of us’.

‘Yeah? You'd do that? When’s the next full moon?’

Hutch sighed. ‘Just leave it to me huh? I told ya. I’ll do it’.

Starsky held up his hands. ‘OK Ok, fine. Just... don’t do anything weird….’

‘Weird? Like what?’

‘Well, don’t do anything to the doll to make me act strange. I don’t wanna be dancing naked outside the metro at 3:00am while you play crazy man with it. It'd be just like the guys at the precinct to pay ya to...ya know’ the brunet whined.

‘Shuddup mushbrain. Everything you do is strange, why should a doll make a difference?’ But he said it with love in his voice and Starsky grinned back at him, happy that if the voodoo charm was in anyone's hands it was his partners.

That night, Hutch locked his front door and took the doll from the locked drawer. He’d been to the store and bought a small lockable box and now he made his final preparations, lining it with some soft velvet material until it was comfortable and cushioned. There was no way he could bring himself to burn the effigy, not least because although he didn't believe in it, he hated to think he might cause his partner more pain. Instead, he very carefully he placed the small doll into the box, closing down the lid gently and quietly for fear he could somehow shock the curly haired cop. He took a last look.

‘Rest easy buddy’ he whispered to the box as he put it down at the bottom of his wardrobe, close to the medals he’d won and the award for bravery that he and Starsky had shared.

‘Just stay there, Gordo, an’ I promise I’ll keep you safe. Like always. I’ll watch your back, and you watch mine. Just coz Simon says, it don’t have to happen.



Back to Index of Stories