(The story begins here.)
At the gunshot, everyone froze. At first it had no other effect: no bullet hole appeared between the large, dark eyes. Then everything and everyone changed.
The eyes became tinged with fire, and Dr. Fleming could feel himself melting, burning before them. The werewolves leapt from the prominence, only to meet more effective fire on the way down: Darren’s shots sent them tumbling to the ground, where they writhed.
Dr. Fleming glanced at Darren and saw something somehow worse than the werewolves: Lassiter had gone from passive to aggressive, and while he wasn’t changing into a werewolf, he was changing into something. His face twisted with rage, his eyes seemed scarcely human, and if he didn’t quite achieve a bestial form, it wasn’t for want of desire or effort.
Darren’s attempt at an exorcism got nowhere, and he barely ducked a ferocious swipe. “Time for some practical theology,” he said as he dropped the man with an unexpected left. “Paul said to lay hands on no man suddenly, but I suppose a single fist is different.”
“Finally some theology I can believe in,” Dr. Fleming commented as he ran to join him. They would be safer if they were closer together. Then he paused. There was something different…
“They’re gone! The woman and the creatures and…and everything!”
“Can’t say I’m surprised,” Darren grunted as he lifted Lassiter’s feet and began dragging him to the car again.
“Have you encountered something like this before?”
“Not personally—not at this level. But I’ve heard of such things. It’s an irruption of evil.”
“I hope this annoys you, but I happen to know what ‘irruption’ means,” the doctor replied, taking the heavier end of their companion and helping Darren load him in the car.
“I’m sure it will annoy you to find it doesn’t annoy me a bit. This is an in-breaking of evil, as though another, darker world connected briefly with ours.”
“Then why didn’t it happen at the other spot? They did push the other tree down, didn’t they?” Dr. Fleming took a moment to handcuff Lassiter, and Darren nodded approval.
“Probably. Will you entertain an irrational, supernatural conjecture?”
“Of course. I asked you, didn’t I?”
“I suspect their time is limited. Lassiter’s encounters were apparently brief, for example, so perhaps they pushed over both trees, withdrew, and somehow waited for us. It may be that the first tree we found had just been pushed over, and they couldn’t return immediately.”
“Thank you. That was irrational and supernatural, and I feel sane by comparison.”
They were back in the car by now, and Darren asked the obvious question. “Now what?”
“We continue our journey to Dvorak Manor.”
Next installment: To the Manor Borne
1 year ago