The Return of the Beast Sequel to The Haunting of Hillcrest Manor

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Chapter 5

It was early morning when the three of them woke up and met downstairs for breakfast. They were all so happy to actually be able to sleep in a bed and not have to sleep another night on the cold, hard ground. The innkeeper’s wife came over instantly the moment they sat down with a pot of hot coffee in one hand and a plate of sweet rolls in the other. She placed the sweet rolls on the table and then she turned each of their cups right side up as they all nodded their heads in approval as she poured them all a nice hot cup of coffee. "I will return shortly with the rest of your breakfast," she said and then disappeared back into the kitchen.

After spending so many nights in the woods it was nice to be able to just sit at a table Elizabeth thought as she took a sip of her hot coffee and couldn't believe how good it tasted. She looked up over at Nicholas and she knew he was thinking the same thing. They both were so unaccustomed to traveling in the matter that they had been. But they were getting better at it.

The innkeeper’s wife returned with a huge tray of assorted eggs, meats and cheeses and the other with a huge stack of biscuits. Once she placed them down on the table, she said, "I hope you will enjoy your breakfast," and then turned and went back into the kitchen again.

They all couldn't believe how fantastic the food smelled and each of them quickly picked up their forks and helped themselves to the wide variety of foods that had been put in front of them. It didn't take them long to finish every bit of food that the innkeepers wife had brought them. They now all sat back in their chairs to relax and let this huge breakfast they had just devoured settle in their stomachs.

All of a sudden they all heard a loud commotion going on outside. Instantly, they jumped up from the table and ran to the window. They could see men, women and children running for their lives in all directions. Something definitely was attacking the village. One man was picked up by the claws of a flying creature and was carried off to who knows where. Another was struck down by another killing him instantly.

Nicholas ran upstairs and retrieved his pistol and came running back downstairs again as fast as he could.

"We must help these people!" Elizabeth yelled. But all she had to fight with was her amulet. Fortunately, Nadia had a small dagger which she pulled out from its sheath the moment the commotion started. As soon as Nicholas returned they all three ran outside to help anyway they could.

There were all of these terrifying creatures, everywhere. Some were flying and others were on the ground. One flew down and tried to pick up Nadia but she sliced at it with her dagger, cutting off one of its claws. Sending it screaming back up into the air with blood pouring out of its leg, dripping on those who were below it. Nicholas shot one with his pistol just as it was attacking a small child and then instantly reloaded his pistol. Elizabeth pulled out her amulet which protected her from these creatures. But it didn't help anyone else.

Nicholas and Nadia took out as many of these horrific creatures as they could. But Nicholas ran out of ammunition for his pistol, leaving him now totally defenseless. It was as if one of these creatures knew he had nothing left to fight with as it swooped down on him, digging its claws into his shoulders. It lifted him off the ground and carried him away. Elizabeth saw him attacked instantly and tried to ward off this creature but it happened so fast. Nicholas was standing there and then he was gone.

She let out a blood-cuddling scream so loud it drew the attention of all the creatures as well as the villagers causing them all to pause for a moment. She closed her eyes and was grasping the amulet with all her might, demanding these creatures to go away, immediately. It worked. When she opened her eyes again the creatures were gone. But the damage had already been done. There were men and women as well as children either wounded, dead or missing. Elizabeth broke down and started to cry. How can this be happening! None of these people deserved this! And what of Nicholas, her beloved? Why would they take him?

The village was now in complete turmoil. People were running in all directions frantically gathering what they could carry and hastily fleeing with their families out of the village. The wounded were placed quickly into wagons but the poor souls who lost their lives were left where they had fallen.

The innkeeper himself came rushing back into the end and threw what belongings he had as him and his wife fled out the front door again, completely ignoring Elizabeth and Nadia who were standing there staring at all the dead and severely injured people that were everywhere they looked. Neither one of them had ever seen so much blood as they saw on the people as well as everywhere on the ground. They could see vultures circling overhead already, just waiting for the commotion to settle down before they could swoop down and feast off of all the dead bodies that were there.

It didn't take long before the entire village was completely empty of people. Not a soul remained. The two women looked at each other trying to figure out what they should do next. "First, we must give these poor people a proper Christian burial. They deserve that at least. If we don't, scavengers will pick them down to their bones." With that they went about this tedious task that took the two of them the rest of the day and actually into the night to complete.

Once they were finally finished, they both came back into the inn, exhausted from their ordeal. They were completely covered in blood and dirt from digging all the graves and placing the bodies down into them as gently as possible. Their clothes reeked horribly of death and they couldn't stand to remain in them another minute. They headed upstairs to one, get out of their clothes and two, get all the mud, blood and guts off their face and hands and any other part of their body. All either one of them wanted to do right now was to be clean. When that was done they headed back downstairs. Once they were there, they looked out the window to see if they could see anyone. But there was no one in site. So they both decided to go back outside and check one more time and make sure that they had done all they could do and hopefully not see any more creatures sculling around. They already knew that none of the villagers were still here for if they were they would have found them already. Now that they were completely satisfied they were totally alone, they went back into the inn.

"I guess we really are the only ones left in the village, now." Elizabeth said, just above a whisper.

"It does look that way, doesn't it?" Nadia replied back. There was an eerie calm outside now which gave both the girls a real creepy feeling. They knew the beasts that had attacked the village could return at any time. They had to be ready for them. As tired as they were they started moving some of the furniture up against the doors, front and back. Then they found more furniture to block the windows so the beasts hopefully would think everyone in the village was either captured, dead or had fled for their lives. They wanted it to look like a ghost town. To make the beasts truly believe they had already destroyed everyone and wouldn't need to come back again.

"I don't know about you but I'm starving. Maybe we should look in the inn's kitchen and see what we can find to eat." Elizabeth said. "All we've had today was just our breakfast this morning." She said, thinking back to earlier that day and how they all were sitting at the table relaxing for a little while before they were going to try and come up with a plan to get into the manor house without being seen. But then, they were interrupted by the total chaos that was happening outside.

"Good idea," Nadia answered her as they both went into the kitchen to see what they could find.

There was some bread that had been made that morning as well as a variety of meats, they were happy to sit down and eat their fill of what they'd found. "I can't believe Nicholas is gone," Elizabeth blurted out all of a sudden. Tears were running down her face. I feel so responsible for this. This is my fault! If I hadn't come into his life than he would still be alive and living at Hillcrest Manor with his daughter, Sarah and none of this would have ever happened."

"No! You're not responsible for this!" Nadia snapped back at her. Then she just shook her head. "Elizabeth, I know you don't mean that! Even if he hadn't met you, he would be living with a ghost! He would have never known that his daughter had died after that horrendous accident. That poor child would still be trapped on this earthbound plane. Not really being here or not being able to crossover to heaven where she was meant to be. That would be a horrible existence for anyone to deal with. To be trapped between two worlds! Really! And besides that you didn't make this happen, it would have happened anyways! Maybe not today or maybe not tomorrow but it was in our destiny. This was meant to happen! She reached over the table and took both of Elizabeth's hands in hers, "You are the special one, the only one, who can save our world! You were chosen by the heavenly beings from above for a reason."

"Well, I don't feel very special at the moment. I know what you're saying is true but I just feel like I got the love of my life killed, or even worse...."

***

Nicholas couldn't believe what was happening to him. He was flying well above the trees by this strange, horrific creature. It all happened so fast. He had shot as many of these creatures as he could but then, he ran out of ammunition. This creature came from above as if it knew he was defenseless. Their eyes had just met for a moment before he felt its claws digging into his shoulders. The next thing he knew he was being carried off well above the tree line. This just had to be a dream. Things like this just don't happen. But it was happening. He never dreamed in his wildest of dreams that this was the way he was to die. Alone, eaten by one of these horrific creatures. Or maybe dropped from this height. That would indeed be a merciful death. But to be eaten alive by this creature was unfathomable.

It didn't take long for this creature to cross the distance between the village and Hillcrest Manor. Nicholas couldn't believe how different his home looked. If he didn't know better he wouldn't believe this was his home at all.

Once inside the manor house the creature released him to one of the gargoyles he had seen the night before guarding his home with Elizabeth and Nadia. He was herded along with the other villagers who had been taken that day and put into cages.

"Lord Blackwood, what's happening? What are these creatures? Where are our families?" One of the townspeople asked, hysterically.

"I don't know."

"What are they going to do to us?"

"Again, I don't know." Nicholas tried to calm the villagers down. "We'll just have to wait and see." He could see multiple gargoyles and other more hideous creatures moving around the residence. The air was hard to breathe and he found himself coughing from the horrible stench in this place. There seemed to be a large pit which use to be the lower floor of his home. He could see flashes of fire and smoke bellowing out of the pit.

Suddenly one of the gargoyles opened up the cage and grabbed out one of the younger villagers and then turned her over to the two other creatures that were standing there. They dragged her to the center of the room and tied her to a post. This caused all the other beasts to start shouting in anticipation. The first beast approached the young girl, licking its mouth before it ripped off one of her arms, the girl was now screaming uncontrollably. Then one by one the other beasts followed. Ripping the poor girl apart piece by piece until there was nothing left of her except a pool of blood at the base of the pole?

After witnessing this horrible scene the other villagers started screaming and then cowered down in the cages. Now knowing what their fate would be. They were to be used as food for these hideous creatures.

It wasn't long before another gargoyle opened up the cage and pulled Nicholas out roughly. He knew what his fate was to be. He just hoped he could at least try and show some dignity as his body was to be ripped apart. But he wasn't taken to the post the young girl had been taken to. Instead he was taken along a corridor until he reached an area where there was what he would call a throne room. And sitting on the throne it was the most hideous creature he had seen yet. Then the gargoyles pushed him down on his knees in front of him. The beast stood up from his throne. He resembled somewhat of a man but had two horns protruding from his forehead. And when he spoke, fire shot out of his mouth like a dragon.

"I am Bael, ruler of the earth and you will worship me or die, human!"

Nicholas remained on his knees quietly. He didn't know what to say in response to this creature.

Bael stared at Nicholas for quite some time before he spoke again. "I am very surprised you do not recognize me." He said, shooting flames out his mouth as he spoke.

Nicholas just stared at him, where in the world would he have ever met such a creature as this one speaking to him now. "I do not know you, sir." Was his response. Hoping that if maybe he showed some sort of respect maybe this beast would let him and the other villagers go.

Bael just shook his head. "You have a very short memory, human. I do not believe you do not recognize me." Then he threw back his head and roared with such a sinister laughter it made the hairs on the back of Nicholas's head stand straight up. "Well, since you say you do not remember me than I will have to enlighten you." Again he threw back his head with laughter and then became very serious again and glared at Nicholas.

"You and your lady sent me to hell many months ago, you thought you could be rid of me. But now I am much more powerful and I intend on remaining here on earth to rule, forever! It is my destiny!" Flames shot out of his mouth singeing the hairs on Nicholas's head again.

His mind was whirling, trying to remember back to months ago. Could this beast really be the same one that had been residing in his home, terrorizing everyone it came into contact with? Could this really be his very own grandfather? He thought, wildly.

As if the beast could read his mind, he answered for him. "Yes, Nicholas. I am your grandfather!"


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