There was a bight flash of light and one of the seven disappeared. It wasn't the brightness of the full moon that cast the eerie shadows across the face of the missing man. It was the character that had appeared in the middle of Four Corners, laughing evilly.
"You're in the wrong place, you miscreant!" Ezra howled.
"Oh, I'm right where I need to be," he hissed, stroking Ezra's face with hands that burned with cold fire.
"You belong over with those musicians from the future! Not here!"
"I'm bored," he hissed. "It's time to branch out."
"Why did you take me!"
"You will be my agent."
"I most certainly will not!"
"Yes, you will."
There was another flash of light, and the gambler found himself gasping for air on a street corner. He climbed to his feet and looked around himself. Nothing was familiar, everything looked strangely futuristic.
He stumbled to a paperboy and grabbed a paper, gaping at the headline.
July 4, 1968.
"Aw, hell!" he roared, throwing the paper down and grabbing the paperboy. "Where's 1334 Beechwood?"
The frightened boy pointed, and Ezra set off as fast as he could run. He tried very hard not to notice the long black hair and an ebony goatee reflected at him in passing shops, or that his wrists pulsed with fire.
He just prayed that the Four would do as the Six had -- look beyond appearances to his heart.
"Ezra!" came a bellow and he was lifted by his arms. "Are you all right?"
He turned and looked at the man with long hair and blue eyes and smiled, remembering to broaden his own drawl to a deeper one than his natural Texan one. "I'm quite well. Now if you'll excuse me..."
"Excuse you?" the blue-eyed man gasped out. "Ez, you vanished!"
"Yes, but I'm back now." He smiled and pulled himself free, heading toward the saloon. He knew Standish roomed over there, and he had to plan.
His eyes went wide in alarm as he found he couldn't flame. Only the tiniest fraction of power had made the transfer.
Ah, well, no matter. The gold tooth flashed as he smiled.
Jason Nesmith would take over this world, and with the Monkees not even born yet, nobody would stop him!
And he laughed to himself in pure evil glee.
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