Adam Quinn eventually reached his destination. Getting off the bus, he was careful to nod at the driver, who smiled in an absent-minded way.
He gripped the rod tightly in his pocket. This was no ordinary rod. This was what he used to channel his immense power. Adam knew… he felt power surging through his veins, burning and boiling. If he didn’t channel it through something, he would completely lose control.
It wasn’t a wand, he kept telling people. It was simply a means of channelling power. He wasn’t a cheap magician doing magic tricks.
Adam walked down a narrow street, past numerous council flats. He reached the one he wanted. It was where his friend Joe lived.
He rang the bell. No answer, but Adam knew he was there. He could sense it.
He let himself in, walked calmly up the stairs, and found his flat. He knocked on the door. Still no answer. He stood back and flicked his rod very sharply at the door. It burst apart, falling as splinters.
Joe was crouched behind the sofa, trembling in fear.
‘I’m back,’ Adam smiled, a dangerous tone in his voice.
Joe flinched as his friend approached.
‘Adam, please,’ he whimpered, ‘please leave me alone, let me go. I promise I had nothing to do with any of it, especially not her.’
‘Oh, I think you did,’ Adam said, circling the cowering figure before him. ‘You two always got on very, very well, didn’t you? You were very close, there’s no denying that.’
‘She was yours! I would never -’
Adam slammed forward, making Joe flinch again. ‘Don’t lie to me! I saw the whole thing!’
The rod was already out.
‘Please, no! Haven’t you punished us enough?’
Joe crawled back, right against the wall, but Adam followed, stepping closer, eyes burning with fury.
‘I’m just getting started. It’s all your fault, you know. I didn’t want to kill Sophie. You made me do that. You were the one that drove us apart. You were the one that really killed her.’
‘But still I’m not satisfied. How can I make you suffer?’
‘Adam, can we talk about this? Maybe there’s some way I can make it up to you… there must be something I can do…’
This made Adam pause. He lowered his rod, and Joe cried with relief.
‘I want you to admit…’ he said, ‘that you stole Sophie from me. You stole Sophie, you stole Sophie, YOU STOLE SOPHIE!’
‘Alright! Alright!’ Joe fell forward, sobbing, his nose running disgustingly. ‘I did! But we were in love, we loved each other. I didn’t mean to upset you like this, I’m sorry!’ He crawled forwards, gripping at the hem of Adam’s coat.
‘Please forgive me, Adam! Forgive me!’
Adam, eyes blazing, pointed the rod at Joe. It flashed blue, and he fell face down onto the carpet.
He walked from the room into his friend’s kitchen, and flicked the kettle on. He looked out the window while the water boiled. It was beginning to rain. Somewhere, a dog was barking, wanting to be let back inside.
The kettle was boiled. Adam Quinn poured himself a cup of tea. While he sipped it, he glanced over at Joe, who was beginning to stir and moan.
Eventually, Adam left his tea and crossed over to him, helped him up.
‘Where am I?’ Joe asked, staring at this odd-looking stranger with red hair.
‘This is your house,’ Adam said slowly, holding Joe by the shoulders. ‘Now listen to me. You’ve had a nasty fall. I’m just going to ask you a few questions, just to make sure you’re OK.’
Adam smiled. ‘Who is the prime minister?’ he asked.
Joe knew that one, easy peasy. ‘Mr Blobby.’
‘What colour is the sky, Joe?’
‘Well done. And what did you have for breakfast this morning?’
‘Green eggs and ham.’
‘Absolutely right. What are you going to do now?’
Joe had to really think about this one. This was tough.
‘I don’t know… do I have to take the duck for a walk? Does the cheeseburger need watering?’
Adam beamed at him. ‘Good idea! Why don’t you do that now?’
Joe got up, wobbling slightly, and immediately walked over to the window. He pressed his face against it and swayed from side to side.
Adam went back into the kitchen, watching Joe as he finished his tea. He occasionally chuckled to himself.
‘What woman would want you now?’ he grinned.