“Where are we going?” she whispered and brushed the dust and dirt off the knees of her dark flair jeans.
“Dunno,” Shannon whispered back and tossed his head contemptuously, sending his tawny curls bouncing careless around his face. “But we’re gonna find out.”
Sherrie shook her head incredulously. “I mean—trespassing on the premises?”
Shannon didn’t answer. He moved past her, keeping low into the thorny clusters of hedging beneath the living room windows of the abandoned house, his flashlight tipped down towards the crumbly soil beneath his sneakers. With an irritable sigh, Sherrie dropped into a crouch behind him and moved slowly, keeping her face ducked into the collar of her denim jacket and eyes squinted against the sharp thorns that struck out at her.
The moon was high and full against the featureless black night sky. Its light was pale and seemed to shimmer with a silvery afterthought as it cast down and washed all things below in ivory bliss. On a normal night, Sherrie may have enjoyed such a beautiful sight. But this was no normal night. Not when a possible apparition was on the loose and kidnapping the children of the neighborhood. And little Sheldon was among them.
She swallowed audibly and pushed a tuft of dirty blonde hair behind an ear and continued, swatting away the jutting branches and sharp leaves from her path, hissing in pain when a new cut was etched into her skin and drew blood in thin, stringy lines. She sighed as they rounded the corner of the massive property—and nearly collided with Shannon’s backside.
Sherrie growled in annoyance. “Why are you stopping?” she demanded in a harsh whisper. “We’ll lose them! Keep going!”
Shannon held up a hand to silence her, his face twisted into an aberrantly stern expression. Her heart skipped a beat. His eyes narrowed, and he dropped to the ground slowly onto his stomach, peeking through the bushes without a word. Sherrie mimicked his actions and lowered herself onto the ground, curling her nails into the soft soil, and ignoring the unsettling churns of her stomach.
“What do you see?” she whispered and tapped her brother on the shoulder.
“It’s really bad, sis,” Shannon responded and with a deep frown. “We found what we were looking for.”
Sherrie’s breath hitched in her throat. We found what we were looking for. Her mind spun suddenly as it struggled to wrap itself around her brother’s words. Her body trembled, and her skin was speckled with a layer of fresh goosebumps. They were about to confront their brother’s kidnapper and rescue the captives. Alone. No parents. No police. Nobody to help them. An abrupt squeeze on her wrist brought her out of her thoughts to back to the present, hiding in the bushes of an abandoned property with her brother beaming at her.
“You ready sis?” he whispered and slowly dragged himself onto the balls of his feet. His eyes flashed with excitement.
Sherrie shook her head wildly, her curls whipping sloppily across her face. “N-no. Shannon, we should call the police.”
Shannon rolled his eyes. “And tell them what? That a monster from the World of Supernaturals kidnapped our baby brother and plans to drag him into the Underworld?”
Sherrie glowered at him. Shannon dismissed the look with a jaded flap of his hand. “It’s now or never, Sher. Either we save them ourselves or we don’t. We’re on our own.”
I hate it when he’s right. Sherrie sighed in defeat, her shoulders sagging downward like a deflated balloon.
Grinning in triumph, Shannon pumped his hands in a ‘raise the roof’ motion, chest heaving and shoulders rolling in time to a rhythm Sherrie couldn’t hear.
“Focus Shannon!” she snapped. “What do we do?”
The dancing ceased immediately. “We charge in, beat the bad guy to a bloody pulp, grab the kids, get them home, and slide into bed in time for the parents to come home.”
Sherrie flipped her phone open. 11: 06 PM. Less than an hour before midnight.
“That’s a stupid plan,” she concluded. “But we don’t have any other way.”
“Exactly.” Shannon shot her a thumbs up sign. “So, quit talking and move your big butt!”
With a faltering battle cry, Shannon broke through the bushes, flashlight held up in the air like a deadly baton. Cursing their bad luck under her breath, Sherrie also broke through the bushes—and into a sudden implosion of brilliantly blue-white light. She let out a final bloodcurdling scream before the world seemed to spin around her and everything went black.