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Marc Olden

Poe must die

History and legend, scripture and fable have all ranked Solomon as the wisest and wealthiest of kings. But it is within the occult lore of both east and west that one finds mention of the darker side of Solomon, for he is said to have commanded spirits, demons and evil forces to obey his every wish.

Of all his treasures, none was the equal of his throne, a marvel surpassing any treasure owned by all of the world’s monarchs. There are varying accounts of the throne’s appearance, for marvels are created by writers more often than they are by kings or even gods.

One scroll describes the throne as made of ivory, with a golden lion by each arm and twelve golden lions on its six steps. Giant eagles covered the golden lions on the stairs and when Solomon mounted his throne, the eagles spread their wings to shade him from the sun.

Another account says the throne was made of more gold and silver than the mind can dream of.

The throne is also described as being made entirely of precious stones and is the size of a mountain. Over this throne hovers a large crown of more jewels and because of the throne’s size, one must enter it by one of seven doors.

Someone else tells of a gigantic throne supported by large columns of rubies and diamonds and each time Solomon mounted it, the twelve golden lions roared, shaking the earth around them.

In keeping with Solomon’s power over the world of darkness, which authors of black magic have written of for hundreds of years, it is said that books showing the evocation and control of devils are buried beneath the throne and he who possesses the throne possesses more than all of the riches of the greatest sovereign who ever lived. He possesses power equal to that of Satan and rivalling that of God.

Marc Olden

ONE

London, January 9, 1848

Jonathan’s eyes were bright, alert. He stared across the cluttered table at Arthur Lecky, whom he had just hypnotized and would soon kill.

“Tell me about the Throne of Solomon,” Jonathan said.

“I know of no throne, sir.” Lecky frowned at the sound of his own voice. “The American never mentioned a throne to me.”

Jonathan inched forward in his chair, palms down on the table. The little fingers were missing from both hands. “The American sought your services. I know this to be true.”

“To steal books for him, sir. Only books.”

“Tell me about those books.”

Arthur Lecky shivered. “Works of darkness I would say, sir. Books on demons and devils. Books for them what loves Lucifer and the anti-Christ.”

Jonathan thought: This fool reeks of onions, tu’penny gin and bread piled high with lard, and the opium pipe in front of him means as much in his useless life as do the small boys who warm his bed at night. Yet he presumes, dares to speak of Lucifer, whom I serve.

But when Solomon’s Throne is mine never again shall I have to serve Lucifer, for he and all demons will be at my feet and even Asmodeus, king of all demons, will be forced to bow to me.

Asmodeus, whom Solomon the master magician forced to build the Temple of Jerusalem, who later took his revenge on Solomon, sending him into exile and ruling in his place.

Asmodeus, the fiend of Persian and Hebrew scriptures, who filled men’s hearts with anger, lust, with the desire for revenge.

Asmodeus, whom Jonathan had twice attempted to conjure from the world below, failing to do so each time and who Jonathan knew wanted revenge for those attempts to force him into submission.

Which is why Jonathan desperately needed Solomon’s Throne; without it, he was doomed to a horrible death for having dared to enslave the king of demons. The throne was survival and it was more. It was immortality and power equal to that of Lucifer, power surpassing that of all demons including the dreaded Asmodeus.

Jonathan.

Spiritualist, psychic, devil worshipper, hypnotist, doctor, murderer.

Jonathan.

Conjurer of demons and a witch, a master black magician who exalted evil above all good, a man with an obsession for dominance and supreme power.

But even his powers could not long resist those of Asmodeus, who would never stop seeking vengeance on Jonathan for trying to subjugate him. To get Asmodeus to bow as he had once bowed to Solomon, Jonathan had to possess the throne and the books of magic hidden beneath it.

Solomon’s Throne. Hidden for thousands of years, its untold wealth and power eluding all. But it wouldn’t elude Jonathan, who now knew how to obtain it, who now knew how to bring it from the other world into this. He knew.

But first, he needed those books that Arthur Lecky had stolen and passed on to the American. Lecky was a kidsman, the manager of a band of child thieves whom he forced to climb down narrow chimneys where panic meant being trapped and suffocating to death. Ugly little Arthur Lecky, with his toothy, squirrel-like face pitted by smallpox and framed by a shoulder-length red wig.

A wooden leg was attached to Lecky’s right stump by a thick, brown strap, whose brass buckle was polished daily by one of his tiny thieves. Tonight, his unwashed bony body was wrapped in a filthy, lice ridden brocaded robe of yellow silk and like others living in Victorian slums and eating the poisonous foods of those harsh times, Lecky looked much older than he was. He was thirty and looked sixty.

Some of his child thieves were purchased from parents too poor to raise them or from other kidsmen; the rest were street orphans willing to steal in exchange for food and a place to sleep. Tonight, only two were in the dirty, cluttered room used by Lecky as living quarters and storeroom for his stolen goods. Barefoot and in rags, the pair slept on the floor in front of the dying fire, drugged into sleep by “Godfrey’s Cordial,” a combination of molasses and opium used to quiet children.

To the right of the fire and half in darkness, a gray rat, its eyes pinpricks of light, silently watched the sleeping children and waited.

Jonathan and Lecky were on the second floor of a decaying tenement in The Holy Land, London’s worst criminal slum. Stretching from west London’s Great Russell Street to St. Giles High Street, The Holy Land was a dangerous and disease-ridden congestion of passages, lanes, courtyards and vile housing all overcrowded with thousands of starving, unemployed poor. Sharing the slum with them was the nation’s largest collection of thieves, whores, beggars, gamblers and murderers, who only left The Holy Land to prey on the city surrounding them. Having struck, the predators quickly retreated back to the sanctuary and asylum of the infamous area, knowing its reputation would discourage all pursuit.

“Books belonged to Sir Norris Davy, sir,” said Arthur Lecky. “The American come to his house and he seen ’em and he requests that I pinch ‘em for ‘im, me and me little ones. The American told me where they was, the books, and he told me when Sir Davy and the missus would be gone and where the servants slept. Sent in one of me little ones, I did, and she come down the chimney, opens a door and the others they come inside.”

Damn the American. Like Jonathan, the American had spent long months pursuing the throne and like Jonathan, the American had a strong reason for risking everything to get it. Justin Coltman of

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