(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Samson was written by Valerie Seimas.)
Samson watched the guards retreat with wicked satisfaction. He’d resisted the urge to play with them, plant dark thoughts and see what would happen, but only because fresh meat was soon arriving. He didn’t know why they were letting anyone else in—only the strongest minds had been chosen as his babysitters, bolstered with any slightly magical enhancement the Intuit council could give them—but he was happy to have someone else to entertain. He was growing weary of pretending to be crazy.
He leaned his arms through the bars and felt silly, like he was at a charity fundraiser waiting for someone to pay his bail. Like the bars could hold him if he decided otherwise. He was there because he hadn’t planned his next move. Maybe his visitor would help him with that. He stared at the steel bars of the converted warehouse and wondered who it would be, someone who would know that he wasn’t in the maximum security prison the papers said he was. So not a groupie come to fawn over the Savior and how far he had fallen. They’d never let an admirer in; they would be an ally before they left.
He grumbled loudly, staring at the dreary gray walls and gnashing his teeth to break the silence. It was the silence that bothered him the most, the weight of it hanging heavy in the air. Well, that wasn’t entirely true—what bothered him the most was that they’d stripped him of his necklace. He felt incomplete without the jet black opal around his neck. They’d all pay when he got out of here. Every last one of them.
Samson smiled and licked his lips. Someone had entered the building. He closed his eyes and reached out for their mind but he couldn’t grasp it. His power had weakened considerably after Delilah cut him, but he’d discovered he could still seep into minds and listen or twist. Without his necklace they thought he was no better than a human; they thought wrong. But he couldn’t infiltrate the stranger. Hmm, this meeting just got a whole lot more interesting.
Kelly came to stand before this man as he leaned with his arms through the bars. She caught hints of his facade but saw a man who liked to play games. To him, she was nothing more than a pawn, and she would let him think that if he desired.
She tilted her head to a side. “You look positively bored. Shall I conjure a game of chess for you? I’m sure you play the game well.”
Samson smiled, showing all of his teeth. “How can I be bored now when I have such beautiful company?” It had been awhile since he had cause to be charming. “I am afraid they won’t let me be within ten yards of anything that moves. They’re afraid of me though I can’t imagine why.” His hardened for a moment. “Which makes the fact that you’re here all the more intriguing.”
Kelly smiled but had no intention of saying anything about herself since that was never what the interviews were about. Instead, she focused on him as she regarded him closely. “So tell me, how did you end up here?” She gestured to their surroundings.
Samson’s eyes turned black as his anger increased. He pulled himself together with visible effort. “My daughter put me here. How ungrateful is that? Just because I wanted to enslave everyone and breed a better race of Intuits. She’s misguided, believing that we should uphold the traditions and protect the human race.” He sneered. “I am no one’s handmaiden—we were made with the power to rule.”
“Ah—world domination.” Kelly nodded as she began to pace a bit before him. She shot him a look..”You do realize that’s a very cliche motive, right? And everyone who has tried has always failed.” She paused before him and stared at him. Then a slight smile tugged at the corner of her lips. “Yet you think you’ll be the exception, and that it would work for you. Well, that’s what everyone else thought as well who has tried to accomplish the same thing and failed.” She paused to give him the chance to respond. She wondered how he might react to her words.
“You think I’m some puny dictator like Napoleon or Hitler?” He rolled his eyes at her, a shot of envy shooting through him – when his daughter rolled her eyes, the world shook. “Intuits are the consorts of gods—we have powers you can’t even begin to fathom. I ruled the criminals of the city for decades and my names was only spoken in whispers. I was adored by my people, an Intuit Indiana Jones, uncovering just enough history to be invited to every table, to every discussion, for my name to be screamed in adoration.” His eyes turned black again, his voice harsh. “I didn’t fail.”
Kelly merely arched a brow. She had heard enough of this same talk of those people thinking they were so unique and the most powerful people in the world, not to be questioned or understood. The problem was, they always thought they were unique, but from Kelly’s experience with such interviews, she knew better, but she wasn’t going to tell Samson that…yet. Instead, she resumed her slow pacing before him as she pondered her next question then voiced it, “Let me ask you this, do you crave more power, more control? Or do you merely wish to…make the world a better place—especially for you Intuits?”
“I don’t crave more power. I crave MY power.” Samson’s hand strayed to his neck and was met with nothing but skin, no stone. “Power to throw off the chains of convention that bind us. Power and emotion flock to us like scents on the wind. And you know what we do with it? We learn to master it, all of it, and then fall on the sword of servitude and put an end to it. We cut out hair to show acceptance. Well I don’t accept it. Humans, humans are the ones that force us to hide, that could not bear the brunt of our powers and spelled destruction. They think the answer is to curb our skills—the answer is to breed strength from the vast history and call into being the one that can hold them all.”
“Just curious, you said the scent of emotion is part of your power. Is it the emotion of humans you can smell? Or can you smell the emotions of fellow Intuits? And does that give you the same power?” Kelly shot him a quizzical look. She wasn’t going to get sidetracked in his whole ‘bring humans into submission’ scheme but preferred to steer the conversation another way.
Samson stepped away from the bars and waved that question away as trivial. “We can smell emotions, it doesn’t matter where they come from. Intuits themselves can mask, control it so that their emotions are their own.” He smiled a devilish grin. “Except my daughter that is. Her hapless tutor Marjoree didn’t teach her that I suppose. The look on her face when she realized I could read every one of her lies on the air was…” His voice was almost wistful as he added, “so much like her mother.”
“You don’t seem to be the family guy. Did you truly love her mother, or did you just use her?” Kelly then looked around for someplace to sit, but there were no chairs nearby, so she just conjured a chair out of the air and sat down to listen and observe Samson as he spoke.
Samson looked at the woman in front of him and wondered how she could have happened upon his most closely guarded secret. Love made him weak. Love made him vulnerable. Love made him no better than those humans that smelled of roses. Yet hadn’t he wondered if he’d spared Delilah because she had his smile. “Intuits are bad liars by trade,” he murmured. “Except me of course, I crafted the art of deception from the moment I heard the stories that set me on my path. But for some reason I can’t lie to you. Genevieve…I loved her. Until she took her last breath she loved me too, I could smell it. But I am the darkness and she was the light. And she did everything she could to keep me from fulfilling my destiny, including forsaking her gifts, her community, her necklace, everything.”
He reached a hand up to his hair, haphazardly chopped by his daughter, not reaching for his own strands but the ones of Genevieve’s he’d braided with his own. “Finding out that the hair of another can hide a multitude of sins had been a side effect—the purpose had been to keep her memory close.”
Kelly scooted to the edge of her seat and leaned forward, clasping her hands together. “What happened to her?”
Samson started to pace the cell, his hand reaching up to the necklace that wasn’t there. Damn it all to hell, if he had it then he could see her face again. “After she had the baby, she took off her necklace and went into hiding, knowing that without it I couldn’t find her. But I was patient, I waited, knowing that when Delilah turned sixteen and put on her own necklace I would feel the shared bond calling to me. But Genevieve was tricky and had sixteen years of practice at protecting. She asked to meet me, told me the vision she’d had of the future, and then plunged a dagger through her heart. So Delilah wouldn’t ever have to know about Intuits or the smell of danger. Almost ten years passed before she finally put the necklace on.”
So many questions swirled around Kelly’s mind that she wanted to ask, but she stayed on task. “What exactly is the necklace? I’m assuming Delilah took yours because you keep reaching for it.”
Samson’s eyes turned black with anger and his voice shook with power. “The council took my necklace from me—for which they will pay!“ he screamed, the weight of his words heavy in the air. If the guards saw him do that, they’d know he wasn’t has broken as they thought; he took some steadying breaths to bring his temper back under control. “Every Intuit has a necklace, a power stone that activates the abilities insides of them. It its where our power comes from. You should never take it off—it binds and protects us. It also records our lives. You should never pass down a necklace, they aren’t family heirlooms like sets of china, because they bear witness to all the secrets of a life. Genevieve did though—Delilah wears her necklace. It was a formidable weapon I hadn’t been expecting—no one passes down the necklaces so how could I know that all the knowledge and events of two lifetimes were with her the whole time.”
Kelly regarded him. The Intuits didn’t seem altogether powerful if they were bound by a necklace–although she doubted their power was limited to the necklace once it was activated. It probably enhanced their power, if she were to guess. However, she decided to take the conversation a different direction. “Did you grow up knowing you were an Intuit?”
“I knew—from the moment I understood what an Intuit was, I knew,” he murmured. He dropped down on the floor, his back against the wall and as far away from the lady with the emotional questions as he could get. “Male Intuits are rarer than female. Females with at least one Intuit parent are always gifted. The same can’t be said for males. Guess we lack the protective maternal instinct. Not everyone thought I’d be blessed but I always knew. I could swipe minds by seven years old.”
Kelly nodded as she understood this. “Is there a moment from your childhood that really set you on the path you are on? Your abhorrence for humans?” She tilted her head as she watched him—noting how he had retreated to the back of his cell as if to get away from her, but unfortunately for him, she still had some time left to continue questioning him.
“When I heard the story of the Sacred Dias, the birthplace of the Intuits. They called me the Savior because of all of my archaeological discoveries of merit but no one knew about the most important one, the one Genevieve and I discovered, the one that ultimately led to my downfall.” His hand reached out at his shoulder, for his hair, but there was nothing there. “The birthplace of the Intuits, a place of great power, foretold to me around a campfire one night to be the ultimate beginning. Said to have directions to the spring of power, the guiding force of all the stones, all the gifts, all of our destinies. So much more possibilities than just empathetic nurses and reporters. We could be anything— we could be everything.”
Kelly noted how he kept reaching for his hair, and if she got the chance, she’d ask about it, but she wanted to stay focused. “But us humans…” She sat back, crossing her arms. “You loathe us. Is there something specific that one of us did to you that now the rest of humanity must pay for?”
Samson smiled, attempting at the charming facade he never used to be without. His disdain couldn’t be hidden. “My whole childhood everyone kept telling me I might not be an Intuit, I might be just a human. There’s nothing wrong with being human, they said. Humans get to receive the help of Intuits, they sacred gift to be protected.” He spit on the ground t those words. “Once they knew, once my eyes started telling stories and my bruises the future, all I heard about was how lucky I was as a boy to be allowed to protect. These are my gifts, not yours, not theirs. I was not chosen to serve – I was chosen to lead! To show a better way.”
“Do you know who the best leader is?” Kelly raised her brows as she leaned forward. “The best leader is the one who serves his people and does not demand they serve him.” Seeing him glare at her, Kelly nodded and decided to change the topic. “So, your hair—you keep reaching up to it as though it’s a habit to twist, but you can’t, and you’re always disappointed and frustrated when you realize that.” She furrowed her brows. “Why is that?”
“Once you put on the necklace, your hair starts to grow. Intuits in training are marked by their long hair. It calls to the emotions, the smells. Every Intuit makes the choice to cut their hair when they are ready to take up their purpose to protect.” His lips curved up dangerously. “Obviously that wasn’t me. What I didn’t know, what neither of us knew, when we stepped onto the Dais, Genevieve and I, was that to make sure only the worthy accessed the knowledge there, the minute we stepped on it our power were imprinted on our hair.” He shook his head. “Brilliant if it had been me who thought of it. perfect way to bend fledgling Intuits to our will.”
Samson’s hand went up to the hair still left on the top of his head and ran his hand through it. “Genevieve cut her hair that same day and I found it in the forest, full of magic. I used it to hide mine, never having to cut it while everyone thought I had. That’s how Delilah defeated me—she cut my hair.” He barked a sinister laugh. “How very biblical.”
“I was about to say.” Kelly made the connections with Samson and Delilah from the Bible. “So, despite everything Delilah has done to you, do you still love her? She is your daughter after all.”
“I don’t know if I can answer that question,” he said, running a thumb over his lips and feeling the cut that his daughter had put there. “The only person I ever loved was Genevieve. I can see her mother in her and that makes me…sad. I see myself in her, in parts she hasn’t reconciled yet, and that makes me delighted.” He stared at her, his eyes a stormy gray. “I can’t decide if I want to kill her or keep her.”
Knowing their time was coming to a close, Kelly rose to her feet and allowed the chair to vanish into nothing from whence it came, and she drew near to the bars of the cell.
Her eyes were no longer warm or kind but rather hardened but as if with a shield. “You are a very shallow man—shallow and selfish. You think yourself the Savior, think you are to lead the world down a new path, but…as I said, to be a true leader, you must serve others, but I don’t see that in you at all.” She shook her head. “I don’t expect you to understand, but rather I expect you to laugh me to scorn and to mock me, but when I leave, you will be left alone with nothing but the memories of my words, and what comes from that…well,” she shrugged as she stepped back—this time with a coy smile on her face. “That is for you to find out. However, for now, I must go. Thank you for your time.” And with that, Kelly vanished in the blink of an eye.
Samson looked at the spot where she had been, no longer feeling her presence in the room. “When did I say I wanted to be a good leader.”
Valerie’s story ‘Let’s Get Intuit’ has no release date set yet, but you can follow her on social media for more updates!