He looked at the bent spoon and pondered for a while. Then as he heard footsteps, he looked at the spoon fiercely and set it down onto the table. The spoon looked like any other ordinary spoon- polished silver and completely straight.

"Forgive me, Kevin," the new comer said. "I am running late, I assume. But I promise you, today we shall talk. And you will have all your questions answered."

Kevin's gray eyes took in the man's appearance. He appeared younger than he actually was. Blue veins spread out on the back of his palms and heavy wrinkles strained against his skin. But his hair was unusually black. He had a French beard that looked recently trimmed and he had an understanding look in his faded blue eyes. Kevin felt no fear. In fact, something changed inside him. He suddenly felt that he could let out his worries and glide free like a careless robin.

"What is wrong with me?" he asked the man. The man's lips lifted in a small smile. He drew up a chair in front of him and sat down.

"Nothing's wrong with you," he said, all business-like. "You are absolutely fine."

"This doesn't explain the past few days, and yesterday. Especially yesterday," Kevin said in an agitated tone.

"Do you realise that you've been summoned?" the man asked, avoiding the boy's question.

"No," he replied, fixing him with a dead serious look.

"Because you willed us to see you," he said. Kevin's expression changed to one of confusion.

"What the heck does that mean?" he asked firmly. "And who else is with you?"

"Patience, Kevin. Right now, I can only assure you that your ignorance is far better than what you are willing to know," the main said.

"Is this a test? Are you…are you playing mind games with me?" Kevin asked. The man smiled.

"Kevin Delfino, this is no game. Believe it, and I'll tell you more," he said.

"Alright. I believe you. Tell me," he said, curiosity gnawing at him.

"I'm Ralph Maurice. Everyone else calls me Maurice. You can too." Kevin nodded impatiently.

"Give me your hand," Maurice said. Kevin held up both his hands.

"Your left hand," he said. Kevin thrust his left hand forward and Maurice pushed his sleeve up to reveal a mark. It was two inches above his wrist and it looked like it was burnt in place. It was a small diamond, more like a rhombus, with a single dot in the centre. Kevin had always wondered what it was. Now-he thought-he'll finally know. Maurice placed an index finger on the mark and for a second, Kevin just felt his cool touch on his skin. And then all of a sudden, the region of his tattoo started burning as if an anvil held in fire had been pressed onto it. AS searing pain shot up the length of his arm, he screamed till he was out of breath. His vision blurred and the man's face seemed to be lost behind a haze.

"Let. Me. Go!" he screamed out and felt the mark burn even more intensely. And then, as if nothing unusual had happened, his arm went limp and a sudden chill overcame his senses.

Before he could react to this change, he crashed onto the floor and his eyes clamped shut.