Voler!” shouted Marie, and Sir John shot back several feet down the aisle. The masonry crashed on the floor where he had been. She heard Pook snigger and glanced up and saw another chunk of masonry head for her. Before it hit her something else barreled into her from the side, knocking her to the ground and pinning her down.

“Sorry we’re a wee bit late,” said Morag standing on top of her.

“Apology accepted,” said Marie.

Clackprattle had reached Frater Princeps and grabbed the Stone from the cushion.

“What are you doing man, that’s mine!” said Frater Princeps, but Clackprattle didn’t hear him. He was clutching the Stone in his hand and screaming. His hand was turning the same dark green colour as the stone, spreading from his palm.

“You’re taking the power from it!” said Frater Princeps. “Stop it! Give it to me!”

The dark green colour had covered Clackprattle’s hand and was starting to spread over his wrist. Frater Princeps grabbed Clackprattle’s arm and tried to shake it, but Clackprattle hung on and continued screaming.

aa-ch-14“Stop It!”

Sir John stood up from where he had been knocked down. He glanced down the church and saw Miss Henderson, a large staff, some fleeing order members, and a grateful looking vampire. He looked at the altar and saw Clackprattle and Frater Princeps.

“Clackprattle, I have my gun,” shouted Sir John. Instantly Clackprattle dropped the Stone and covered his crotch with his hands.

“Stay away from me!” he shouted. Frater Princeps grabbed the green stone and held it up in his gloved hand.

“The Summum Malorum is mine now,” he said manically. “It is mine!”

“Sir John,” said Diarmuid Mac Dubh, who had just appeared beside him. “May I ask you a wee favour? Will you promise me you’ll look after Morag?”

“Yes, of course, but what do you mean,” said Sir John to his retreating back.

“Anglestone!” roared Mac Dubh as he approached the altar. “You are surely one massive arse!”

Mac Dubh opened his hand to reveal a bright red stone. He clasped his hand with the red stone over Princeps’ with his green stone. The two met and matched. There was a bright light between the men’s hands that grew brighter and stronger. Princeps shouted in dismay as both men were engulfed by light. A sound like thunder cracked and the light retreated. Both men, both stones were gone.

“Father!” shouted Morag, but Marie held onto her.

“It may not be safe,” said Marie gently.

Sir John came over to where they both were.

“Where’s Clackprattle?” he said.

“Gone. Again,” said Marie, “Along with Pook.”

“That little weasel?” said Sir John. “Still leaching off his boss?”

“We need to talk about those two sometime soon,” said Marie.

Miss Henderson wandered over with a shaken-looking Phlebotomous.

“Those people are crazy!” he said. “Who would want to be a vampire! It’s a terrible life! You can’t even get the early dining discount!”

“Did we win?” said Miss Henderson.

Sir John looked down at Morag.

“More or less,” he said. “More or less.”

The Auld Alchemist: Epilogue

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