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Disclaimer and Little Warning: This part is a little darker than normal and has a few bad words in it, just so you know what you're getting into- we told you so! ; - )

Pretender Payback
PART 23: Blacklight
by Rebeckah

An inarticulate shriek of rage woke Lyle from a sound sleep. He realized, with a start of surprise, that he was no longer in his cozy apartment, but in the center of an all too familiar circle of bright light.

"THAT’S IT!!!" The female voice was filled with righteous fury. "I’VE HAD IT!! IF NO ONE ELSE WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS, THEN *I WILL*!"

Now Lyle realized, with dread this time, that he was all alone in the circle, no one else connected with the Centre was present. He sprang to his feet as a woman’s figure advanced on him. Somehow she remained in enveloping shadows, even when she entered the light.

"You have raped, attacked, beaten and molested your LAST female, you sick bastard!" The woman growled menacingly. "And your *own* sister, no less! I’m doing the world a favor by removing you." She added, pushing back her sleeves on her arms in preparation for some serious work.

"Uhhh, couldn’t we talk abo----ahhhh!" His shriek sounded remarkably feminine as he whirled up in the air abruptly.

"No talking!" She hissed. "Time to die---but slowly, I think."

Lyle heard the satisfaction in her voice with mounting unease. He was frightened even more when he was placed gently on his feet, especially since he had expected to be dashed to his death from his previous height.

"Now how shall I do it?" The woman mused. "I *could* tear of those parts a man treasures the most and let him bleed to death. Or, I could summon up some hulking sweeper to beat him to death---then he’d know how Mei Ling felt. No, no, I know! The death of a thousand cuts! No! Fire!! Yes, that’s it. He can have a taste of hell before he actually goes there!"

"Help!" Lyle croaked fearfully. His mouth was too dry with fear to actually get any volume, though. Around him a circle of fire appeared, the flames white hot and twice as tall as he was, and began slowly creeping inward.

"Help?" He tried again, ready to cry.

"Hey, Trisha! What do you think you’re doing?" The flames paused as a second female voice sounded. "Who said you could kill Lyle?"

Lyle felt a flicker of hope, which was immediately doused when the voice continued.

"Without inviting me to help?"

"Sorry, EmJae." Trisha responded, flushing with either embarrassment or the heat of the flames, it wasn’t clear which. "It’s just that he’s planning to do unnatural things with his *sister* again. AND he’s got Emily and you don’t want to know what he’s planned for her!"

"Well, I read about a little of what he *did* to her in that little story of Nicolette’s and Rebeckah’s." EmJae said darkly. "Are you sure burning is bad enough?"

"If it isn’t, we’ll bring him back to life and try a few other gruesome deaths!" Trisha suggested with more than a hint of bloodthirsty delight. Lyle moaned and curled up on the floor in a fetal position.

"EmJae, Trish!" Yet another voice sounded, and Lyle notice vaguely that the flames were starting to die down. Once again hope flickered in his breast.

"Oh no! It’s Sarah!" Trisha stomped her foot, knowing that Sarah would never let them finish their violent mission.

"Come on, Sarah!" EmJae pleaded with heartrending fervor. "You *know* he deserves it a hundred times over!"

Sarah simply stood, arms folded, her foot tapping impatiently. The flames faded a bit more and Lyle could just make out more shadowy figures standing just outside the circle of light.

"You know we can’t let you do it ladies." One of the others said from outside the circle.

"No matter how much we may sympathize with your desire to kill Lyle----" KB began reasonably.

"And no matter how much right you have to maim, mutilate, and kill him in your own stories---" Emily added sensibly.

"We simply cannot allow you to do it here." Nicolette finish firmly.

"I mean, who knows what might happen if we did?" Danielle Smiley face wondered aloud.

"What if he died on the show as a result?" Niceole speculated.

"Or just vanished?" Mandy added.

"And just *who* is going to take over as primary villian if you succeed in getting rid of Lyle?" Rebeckah questioned. "Especially since Raines is *supposed* to be living for God now."

The circle echoed with everything from sardonic snorts to out and out laughter and the belivability of that concept.

"Anyway." Sarah returned firmly to the topic at hand as soon as silence returned. "We simply can’t let you do it." The flames
vanished and she strode over to help the severely shaken Lyle back to his feet.

"Fine!" Trisha glared malevolently at Lyle, who shrank behind Sarah for protection. "Just *wait* until you see what’s about to happen to you now, Mr. Bad Guy!"

Another moan escaped Lyle’s lips, soothing Trisha’s anger just a little.

"I’ve got a thing or two planned too." EmJae gloated darkly.

Lyle swayed, looking like he was about to faint.

"Now girls." A voice never before heard in the circle spoke up. "Please take it easy on Lyle for Jamie’s sake. After all, Mr. Denton is a very nice man, so why should he suffer for Lyle’s sins?"

"Quite right!" KB said briskly. "Thank you so much, Lois, for pointing that out. After all, anything we write may just find its way into the hands of the show’s writers. So let’s all be reasonable, okay?"

"Can’t I burn him a little?" Trisha wheedled.

"Maybe we could conjure up a toilet and take turns holding his head under?" EmJae suggested hopefully.

"It’s not my fault!" Lyle squeaked frantically when he saw some of the others considering this request.

"Don’t tell us about your sad childhood, ‘cause we could care less." Danielle told him sternly.

"No, it isn’t that----it’s the writers! It’s you guys! You *do* it, not me. You write me bad, so I’m bad. I’ve tried to be good but everyone writes me bad all the time." He broke down and sobbed. "My own sister hates me because of you people."

The authors exchanged uneasy looks. He had a valid point.

"Okay." Trisha sighed at last. "You can go." She waved her hand and he vanished, much to Sarah’s irritation.

"Darn it!" EmJae mourned. "We were *so* close."

Slowly the dark figures faded away----until the next time

by Rebeckah

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