Chapter 14-Dark Skies
We never did go on a hike with Crystal and Darren today. Will called his parents this morning and told them one of his friends passed away in a fire last night. The authorities blamed it on a gas leak in their basement, but the coven thinks it was the necromancer.
His friend wasn’t the only one who died. He lived in a townhouse and three other houses caught on fire. Ten people died, most of them were elderly except Will’s friend, Josiah. He was a human and worked at the same auto garage Will works at. They knew each other for a couple years and Josiah worked at the hayride too. Will even introduced me to him.
“Josiah Daley was a kind man, a free-spirited soul...” a man in a black suit says while speaking into a microphone from behind the podium.
Josiah’s light brown painted coffin rests to the right of the speaker. Four men, also dressed in black mourning clothes, lift his coffin up and slowly lower it into his grave. His parents stand in front of it, both crying. Josiah’s mother is on her knees weeping.
“May he rest in peace,” the speaker finishes and we stand up, walking away from Josiah’s gravesite. Warily, I glance up at where my empty grave is on the hill above us. I really hope he does rest in peace.
Crystal taps my shoulder and I follow her back to her family’s van.
“You should go with Will, he shouldn’t be alone right now,” Mrs. McCaster whispers to me before I step into their car.
“Okay,” I say uneasily, not knowing if he’ll want the company. I head over to his truck and he waves for me to come in.
Once we are both seated in the car, he pulls out onto the road.
His dark hair is neatly trimmed in a fancy sport’s cut and he wears a long-sleeved black dress shirt and black pants. He hasn’t looked at me since we got in his car, I figured he’d probably want to be alone.
“I know what it’s like to lose someone important to you-” I start to say, trying to give him emotional support.
“No, you don’t. Your family died together, none of ya’ll had to suffer afterward,” he snaps back and I cross my arms, looking out the window.
Yeah, how could I know anything about suffering? It’s not like my family’s dead and I’m left alone to question my existence.
“You don’t know what I’m going through. The coven made a laughing stock out of my family. Since the moment I crawled out of my grave I’ve been treated like a criminal. Maybe I didn’t want a second chance, maybe I don’t want to be a witch,” I rant in a quiet voice.
His brown eyes glance down at me, cold and distant.
“My family took you in. You may have been dead for ten years, but you haven’t matured at all. My best friend just died and you’re sitting in here complaining about yourself,” he scoffs and honks at a slow driver ahead of us.
I didn’t think I was complaining, just sharing what I’m going through. Maybe I was being a little harsh towards the coven, but I just want him to understand things from my view.
“I’m suffering too, Will. If you ever want to talk about anything, I’ll be here to listen. I really am sorry about your friend, it’s tragic. I shouldn’t have gone off about my own issues-”
Will’s hand rests on top of one of my mine and my heart lands in my throat, “No, it’s fine. I shouldn’t have said ‘nothin knowin’ what you went through. Don’t apologize...come with me to the Silvets’ tonight. We should do some investigatin’ of our own. I don’t like how fast the headmistress cleared their name,” he says briskly and I cringe hearing him call Patty that. Ever since last night, I feel like he’s been secretly mad at me.
Now, I think I just made everything worse.
We’ve been walking for over a half hour now, passing ancient pine trees and huge boulders. Dead maple leaves scatter the ground and crunch beneath our feet as we scale Slate Mountain.
Will even snuck our brooms out here. Maybe his friend’s death was the breaking point. He’s more determined now than ever before to find the necromancer. I hope he finally is seeing how the coven really is too.
“Watch your head,” he warns me in a whisper while pulling the dead hard branch of a thorn bush out of the way.
We’ve walked up this way before, I remember stepping over this small creek and walking down to a little ditch.
“Well, what do we have here?” he says with suspicion.
We walk down to the two brown colored cellar doors hidden in the rocks on the forest floor. It’s the portal to the other realm, but its doors are dented now and the chains looked charred. Someone was trying awfully hard to break it open. Since it’s getting dark out, I turn on my phone’s flashlight and aim it at the cellar doors while he fumbles around with the rocks covering them.
“The vamps did this. Tonight I will prove it,” Will grits out, heaving a large rock off one of the doors.
They even tried smashing into the doors too.
“Only my parents can open the portal. They are the ones who sealed it, at least they did that right,” I say defensively, patting down my black and white plaid dress seeing the bottom begin to wrinkle. “So how do you plan on exposing the Silvets?” I add, seeing him walk back to me.
“Hold on...” Will murmurs, before pulling me back behind a big pine tree. We turn our phone lights off, seeing someone come up one of the mountain trails down a ways from us. They break off the trail and start hiking up the mountain, in our direction.
Darren, luckily, is not a witch and will be unable to see Will’s aura. So when he passes the tree we hide behind, he doesn’t take notice of our presence. He picks up the rock Will pulled off the portal and begins smashing it into the doors of the portal. When that doesn’t work, he pours some gasoline out of the red can he holds onto the rusting doors.
After dropping a lit match, he steps back watching the fire blaze. Of course, none of his tricks end up opening the portal though. Only magic can. However, his fire leaves a strange spiral symbol with slashes through it on the doors of the portal. Maybe that wasn’t just gasoline he poured, what if he got his hands on some kind of black magic elixir?
I tremble and it’s not because of the cold. Darren’s face becomes pale as a sheet. He raises his hands to the sky in a dramatic motion. His camouflage hoodie falls back, revealing his midnight black hair.
“I beckon you, come, come! Great demon lord! Please accept me as your host, I give you my allegiance!” he yells loudly into the evening air. Thunderclouds rollover above us, coating the sky in gloom. To any passersby, it would look like some cheesy scene out of a horror film. Too bad for us, this is real and Darren doesn’t look like he’s fooling around.
Will makes a coo-coo sign with his hand and crosses his eyes. It is hard to take Darren seriously, knowing it’s impossible to summon a demon through this portal since it’s sealed by magic he can’t control. Whatever he is doing, Darren looks pretty confident in himself as he continues yelling into the sky for the return of some demon king.
Who knows. Maybe we just have walked in on some weird new trending vampire tradition, if only Crystal could see this.
The dead embers in the spiral shape suddenly glow on top of the old cellar doors. When the doors begin to rattle, Will grips my shoulders putting a ward around us. What is happening? Nothing should be able to break open the portal!
“I have already found my host, fool. We are already one and the same!” A sinister, deep voice wavers through the air dripping with pride and power. It’s purely demonic. I shudder wondering if it knows it has more than a one-person audience.
“Tell me, my great lord! For I will prove them undeserving! Let me be the one to truly free you and bring salvation!” Darren pleads, suddenly falling onto his knees with a grunt. What we’re seeing should be impossible, no supernatural should be able to summon a demon like this and hear what it’s saying unless it materializes. Could it really just be on the other side of the portal?
“If you wish, pathetic child,” the voice mocks and Darren’s head tilts back. His eyes roll into the back of his head.
A silent moment passes and he grips his head so tightly, his hands start to turn purple.
“No! Not him! Not my brother! Why him?” Darren screams as if surprised to be betrayed by a demon. His anger builds like a wave. He rises to his feet with his fangs out, hissing in random directions. It’s as if he’s looking for the body belonging to the condescending demon, but he can’t see anything with his eyes rolled back. It’s still a chilling sight.
“Do not question me, weakling. I am far wiser than your kind will ever comprehend. I am already an accepted member of your society. I’m walking the streets now, already comfortable in my new skin,” the demon voice boasts with a snicker and it makes me feel like I’m going to throw up. Even Will looks a little frightened.
“Why? Why have you done this?” Darren barks in anger. The voice growls, resounding all around us.
He’s made the demon mad if it wasn’t ticked off enough already by him summoning it.
A group of crows takes flight above our tree as lightning crackles above. The wind rushes through the woods violently, testing the mountain’s strength and ours.
“The prophecy!” the voice booms in response just as thunder roars.
“Oh, y-yes my lord. Soon the unification will be complete. The white witch walks again, as promised,” Darren trembles.
“Yes, I know. Next time if you seek favoritism, bring me offerings. For when we speak next, it will be in person,” the voice announces slyly. I envision the dark entity’s soulless smirk. Offerings? Just what kind of offerings could a demon want from a vampire?
“Yes my lord. I look forward to it,” Darren replies stoically. Then, his body seizes and he falls to the ground as if having a seizure. When his body goes still, his eyes roll back into their normal place and he stands up quietly as if nothing happened.
Will’s hand on my shoulder tightens and I lean back into him, afraid Darren will spot us.