An ancient evil desires to return to the mortal realm to resurrect The Unnamed. The only force standing between the Master of the Dark and his demonic horde are five teenagers unaware of the power they possess...
Tabitha followed close behind her brother as he ran towards the sound of fun, something she thought wasn’t possible so far from civilization, as he weaved his way through the woods that stood between them and something aside from the whole lot of nothing back at the old manor. She was a little nervous at the possibility of meeting new people; she had always been more of a loner, bookworm really, than Kellan, who took every opportunity he had to make a new friend. But with her new home so far from the small group she was close to, she thought it might be good for her to be sociable.
Soon she could hear splashing and, as she wondered who around there owned a pool, almost fell into Ellmore Lake. She staggered as she regained her balance before looking toward the middle of the lake and saw some kids splashing around. One was a dark-haired girl with bronze skin, her age, she guessed; one was a butterscotch-skinned boy with blond hair, about Kellan’s; and the last, a boy who looked just old enough to drive, with shirt reddish brown hair and red-tinged peach skin – she understood that fair skin problem all too well, unlike her brother who could went from ivory to the perfect golden brown in yen minutes.
She let her gaze settle on the slightly burnt boy; his smooth skin and slim, tight body made butterflies flutter low and inside. She couldn’t make out his features but just knew he was the kind of boy she’d snuggled against on a cold winter’s night. She allowed herself a brief, and naughty, fantasy before regaining her composure when Kellan’s voice echoed around her.
“Hi!” He screamed from the edge of the dock a few feet to her right. With an arm around a piling, he leaned forward, on foot dangling off the edge, waved wildly. She was surprised, happily, to see Kellan no longer weighed down by whatever had upset him earlier. She just wished he could’ve waited until she finished her wicked little thought before drawing the hottie’s attention toward them. “Hello!”
The boy who sent tingles to her most intimate parts looked over first and his smile brought a blush to her face. She looked away, tried to hide her face; she didn’t want him to see the effect he had on her before even introductions. When she finally chanced a glance back, he and the younger boy were swimming towards the dock. Kellan smiled, blissfully unaware that his big sister was afraid she’d royally screw it all up.
“Hey, I’m Kellan.” He sat down, let his feet dangle over the calm water. “Nice to meet someone not old enough to remember the last ice age.”
The older boy laughed; Tabitha found it hypnotic. She was suddenly drawn to him in more than just carnal ways, unusual as she normally fell for intelligence before anything else; for all she knew, he had a double digit IQ.
“Was like that for a long time, to tell the truth; this area was pretty much a retirement community.” His voice caressed her skin and she almost moaned. “When’d you arrive?”
“Today. Moved into my grandma’s house.”
“You mean Ms. Hatty’s place?”
“Yeah; you knew her?” Tabitha was surprised someone her age knew her grandmother; Hatty had become a recluse since her husband had died just before Kellan was born and, as far as she knew, only ever entertained family.
“She was teaching me about my family history. Turns out her family, well, yours, and mine go back to the founding of the town.” He smiled again and it took everything Tabitha had to keep from squealing.
“Cool.” Kellan loved history so she knew he’d just found his new best friend. “She never told us anything about our family.”
“Well, I’ll tell you everything I know, man.”
“What’s your name?” She stepped onto the dock, arms crossed, and stopped beside her brother.
“Jasper. Jasper Tynne. And this,” he threw his arm around the younger boy, “is Lucian Gould.”
“Hi, Lucian.” Kellan said, his voice a near whisper.
“Hi.” Lucian smiled and Tabitha saw something mischievous there. “Wanna come for a swim?”
“Yeah, but, um, my swim shorts are still packed.”
“That’s cool.” Lucian grabbed the edge of the dock and pulled himself up and sat beside her wide-eyed brother. “We don’t wear ‘em.”
“Oh, crap,” Tabitha said as she covered her eyes and turned away. “You’re naked.”
- - - -
The boy opened his eyes his eyes to see a blur of blue, green and brown; he was on something softer than the marble but still firm. Sounds he’d never heard before filled his ears and, for a moment, he thought it was finally over; the Dark Lord was risen and he was no longer among the living. But a dull ache in his shoulder and the feel of something thick and dry on his leg told him otherwise and he realized he was breathing in fresh air instead of the stales, moist air he’d known in the dark dungeon he’d called home since before he could remember. He was outdoors, for the first time ever, surrounded by unseen wildlife.
Am I… free? It was a frighteningly hopeful thought to have as he realized someone within the castle walls had taken him away from the acolyte’s but left him to fend for himself. Impossible. Only members of the demon-god’s cult were ever allowed inside. And none would dare betray their brethren. He feared it was some kind of trick, or maybe some part of the ritual. Whatever it was, he needed help before he was strapped back to the altar and offered up as the sacrificial lamb.
Distant laughter drew him away from his thoughts; hearing people so close filled him with something he’d never known before: hope. He pushed himself to his feet and stumbled towards the sounds he hoped meant he was saved from his cruel destiny. While he didn’t know why he’d been left alone in a strange place he was determined to make the best of it and fight back against what fate had forced upon him.
- - - -
Cernin was the first to wake. The sight of seeing his people unconscious, the altar shattered and the vessel gone brought fear into his dark heart; his Dark Lord and Master would not be pleased to learn that his only way into the mortal realm had been so easily stolen from the fortified castle they used for their sanctuary. He needed to find the boy unless he wished to be banished to the lowest levels of Helmagatton and eternally tormented by his own demons made flesh.
He looked over the congregation for a missing face; he knew the boy hadn’t escaped on his own and that someone he’d allowed inside their inner circle had betrayed them. He would figure out whom and would enjoy taking up his old hobby one last time.
“And of you don’t,” a deep, bone chilling voice echoed through the room, “I will show the what lies beyond a mortal’s threshold for pain.”
- TO BE CONTINUED -