Chapter 10 (4)
“What gave me away?” she asked.
“Well, apart from your fear of the water. Someone had to call the dogs. I doubt they respond well to the Angels.”
“Angels?” Jess said and sneered. “Now that you know, how about you quit the games and come over. We have some unfinished business, you and I” she said, the sneer still on her face.
Sam’s hand went to the knife but he stopped himself midway.
“Come on Hunter. What have you got to lose? If you die they bring you back and wipe your memory so you can have your happy family. But if you live…well, then you get demon blood to make you stronger. As far as I can see, its win-win for you.”
“I’m tempted! But I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass. If you like you can swim over and we can chat here.”
The sneer on Jess’ face disappeared and the familiar mask of hate-filled it. It was strange seeing the demon’s visage on Jess’ face and it made him mad to think that filthy thing was inside of her.
The demon must have sensed it because the sneer returned.
“The longer I stay in this body, Hunter, the more damage that’s going to be caused to your girl.”
Sam knew he was right. Everything inside of him screamed him to go fight the demon. But then he couldn’t risk fighting the demon and hurting Jess. Then again, he wasn’t so sure whether this was, in fact, his Jess.
Sam closed his eyes for a few seconds.
Then when he opened his eyes he stretched out his hand and started the Latin prayer.
He tried to remember every single word.
However, he had not gone halfway through the exorcism when he heard Jess’ laughter. But this was not the beautiful thing he remembered but a perverse version. Sam turned to find the demon in Jess’ body laughing, throwing her head back.
“Oh please don’t stop,” the demon said. “I’m quite enjoying watching you try.”
“Exorcism, darling hubby, is to exorcise demons who have escaped hell. Not ones who are here on invite. You can’t exorcise me. I am meant to be here, in this world and in this body. Its mine until I choose to leave or you kill me. So what will it be darling? You’re going to stand there and watch this pretty body rot from the inside or you going to come and do something more than sing a few fairy tunes.”
Sam listened with horror and despair and then made his decision.
He leaned over and leapt into the water.
Sam didn’t know what the demon did next.
He just swam as hard as he could away from the shore and towards the waterfall. The closer he got the stronger the current got. As if the waterfall itself was trying to keep him away.
His arms and legs started to tire but he pushed on.
When he reached the other bank he let himself fall down on the soft grass and just lay there.
How long he was like that he didn’t know but when he got back to his feet he looked back the way he had come.
The demon was gone as far as he could see and the other bank was empty. Probably gone to warn the others.
He remembered seeing this side of the sea when he had been with Alice. It had been something that had not caught his attention then. But its memory had stuck with him. Fortunately, as it turned out.
He had acted on impulse, on an untested theory that, for whatever reasons, the demon was not going to follow him.
Fortunately, it worked.
He looked around him. Again, he found a forest a few feet away from him. But it was smaller than its cousin across the waters. The forest extended a few meters inland and then came to a stop at a sheer cliff that ran parallel to the waters until it reached the falls themselves.
Sam considered scaling the cliff. But even from this distance, he could tell that it would be quite the feat. The face of the cliff was nearly as smooth as it can be, and it rose forever towards the sky.
So instead he stuck to his initial plan and started to follow the bank, in the hopes that the waters would take him somewhere away from all this.
Sam didn’t know how long he had been walking. But then he had not had any concept of time since he came here.
All he knew was that he seemed to be walking forever.
Already the sun was starting to set away from the falls; throwing its light against him and the forest beyond.
He was still following the river which was showing no sign of stopping or reaching its destination. He had hoped it would take him out of this place but now he was not sure it even had an eventual end.
‘Maybe just like everything else this too went on forever.’
He soon came to a forest.
Sam froze at the sight of it.
It looked exactly like the forest on the other bank. Same trees, same thickness and the same sinister feel.
‘Had he somehow walked in a full circle?’
He stood at the edge staring at it for a while with fear. He thought he heard the hounds barking from somewhere deep inside.
Then finally he decided he had no choice and he stepped in.
There were so many things he should be afraid of, but getting lost was not one of them. The trees grew thick all around him but like the trusty companion, it has been so far the river flowed by next to him; clear as day.
He continued to walk, his eyes darting glances all around him. Watching every shadow; every movement of a branch. Listening to every sound he thought he heard.
Finally, though he reached the other end, and there, he could see a whole world stretching away. A world not so perfect.
He ran towards it.
Ran with relief in his heart and hope; the weariness and tiredness forgotten.
And then when he reached a point he stopped.
Something was wrong.
The image ahead of him was blurred.
He stretched a hand out slowly and carefully. Inching further away from his body until he felt something cool.
Then the image beyond broke, like the reflection in the water shattering because of a ripple caused on its surface.
Sam took a step back in disbelief.
“It’s to keep the unwanted out,” said Anna behind him.
Sam turned to come face to face with her.