The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 34

the man who wasnt thereChase’s mother is very ill and needs a pace maker. To help with the strength of the Circle, Dr. Meru, his wife and son all arrive.

“From what we can tell, his ancestors were given the task of warding and protecting the land. They built their home there and maintained the wards,” Heath said. “But something went wrong. We don’t know what, yet.”

“Fortunately, the sheriff is his cousin and is well aware of the situation. She’s put it down as a build up of methane from the swamp.”

“Does she also know there may be trouble at the Harvest Ball?” Willa asked.

“Yes. We’ve made the families aware of the problem. Just because they aren’t the ones with power, they’re not without skills and resources. This could go bad quickly,” Miles answered.

Willa covered a yawn, but Jackie’s sharp eyes didn’t miss it.

“We’ve kept everyone up long enough. Time for bed.”

Brian showed Dwight downstairs. Meru and Willa went upstairs with Miles. Jordan was waiting for Brian when he’d gotten Dwight settled.

“Mom’s waiting, so I can’t linger.” She pointed over her shoulder. “You did great today.” She took a step closer, smiling shyly at him. “I can’t get over how you just rushed in and took charge. Thank you.” She gave him a quick kiss.

Brian pulled her close, his long arms wrapped around her. “Thank you, too. I couldn’t have held up that wall much longer on my own.”

She tried to say something else, but he kissed her. Soon, she pulled away. “I’d better go.”

“Yeah. I love you, Jordan.”

“I love you, too.” Biting her lip, eyes sparkling, she ran upstairs.

Dwight cleared his throat quietly. “Sorry to bother,” he said. “Loo?”

Brian chuckled. “No problem. She had to go anyway. This way.” He showed Dwight the bathroom.

“Been together long?”

“About a year. Well, I’ve known her a year. Dating about three months.”

“Early days, then.” He nodded. “Good job. You’ll do all right,” he said with a smirk. “Already saving her life.” He winked and went in the bathroom.

Brian laughed as he walked upstairs. He took a quick shower and lay down. Something made him turn on the sound activated recorder. He’d tried for several nights to get something coherent, but his dreams were such a muddle, the recordings were too. Tonight, he had a feeling something more would present itself. He hoped it would be something that would give them an edge in the coming fight.

The sky was gray, troubled—a swirling mass of clouds and debris whirled tumultuously around him. Brian stood by the witches’ grave, alone. The ground beneath him shivered and shook. Pebbles skittered crazily as the earth growled. Ghostly apparitions joined the swirling fury around him, rising from beneath his feet. Bony fingers clawed at him, chilling his flesh. Bits of clothing and jewelry wrapped around the bones. Stretching and growing, the bones became skeletons. Soon, ragged flesh covered them, then hair and finally clothing. Sickly pale, with blisters and oozing boils, they whirled around him before settling on the ground one by one. Cold hands groped at him. Wicked smiles grimaced from the gloom as they moved closer. Reaching, tugging, jabbing….

With a yell of distress, Brian woke. It took a moment to realize that he was awake. The dream didn’t fade away, as so many had in the past. He picked up the tape player and saw that it had been running. Doing his best to describe what he’d seen, he talked until the tape ran out. Turning it to a new side, he lay back down and closed his eyes once more.

Sleep refused to come. He was still too jazzed by his dream. Suddenly thirsty, he wandered down to the kitchen. There was a light on, visible under the swinging door that separated it from the rest of the house. Although he didn’t get a bad vibe from it, he approached the door warily.

Dr. Meru sat at the table. He smiled at Brian. “I made tea. I had a feeling you’d be up soon. Tell me about the dream.”

“How did you know?”

“I could be enigmatic and say that it was strong vibrations, but the truth is that you talk in your sleep, rather loudly.” He chuckled. “It was a bad one.”

“Yes.” Brian told him what he remembered of the dream. It was beginning to fade, but he was still left with a disquieting impression.

“And what do you glean from this dream?”

Brian played with his teacup. “I think that witch grave is trouble. I think we need to figure out a way to contain it. That’s potential power for the dark side.”

“Agreed.”

“I think Cliff was working on that idea and they killed him. I think the answer lies in that stuff we took from the historical society and that’s why they tried to destroy it.” He met Meru’s dark eyed stare. “I think we’re in real danger.”

“I believe you. Now, what will we do about it?”

Brian shrugged. “You’re the holy man. What would you do?”

“I know what I would do,” Meru replied with a smirk. “I want to know what you think should be done—that I can help you with.”

“First of all, it’s going to take everyone. This isn’t a thing that one or two of us can handle.”

Meru nodded, taking a sip of his tea.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes 

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