Shit!” The strange man yelled. “They have me tapped! You need to get out of here!”
Nick didn’t hesitate, but backed his car into a driveway and squealed out at full speed. As he looked in the rearview mirror, he watched the man attempt to get in the car. Nick saw what appeared to be a hand with something in it, stick out of the oncoming car. It was a gun. The gun fired hitting the strange man who had spoken to Nick.
Fortunately, that was all they intended to do, as they did not pursue Nick. He called the police and told them what happened. They arrived on the scene, and Nick had to fill out a report. After that he headed home.
As he was driving, he thought about the whole incident. He wondered more and more exactly whom he was dealing with. By the sound of it, it seemed like a powerful group of people. It almost seemed like it was the Mafia or something, which only increased his anxiety. It all seemed so scary.
He arrived home, and before he could get his shoes off, the phone rang.
“Hey Nick! This is David, is everything alright?”
Nick was thrown off by the number on the caller ID, and wasn’t expecting David to be the caller. “Things aren’t looking too good here, why are you at the Watersburg Port Inn?”
“You mean to tell me that you didn’t hear what happened to us?” David didn’t attempt to hide the surprise in his voice.
Nick was perplexed, but he had been so focused on what he was doing that he hadn’t had his mind on anything else. However, he now remembered what Derek had told him.
David gave Nick the run down regarding the intruder. Nick needed to be reassured a few times that both David and Allisa were safe. It was beginning to feel like no place was safe any longer. Nick wanted to go pay them a visit but was afraid of being followed and putting them in danger. Whoever was involved seemed to have arms that reached everywhere.
He decided to stay home that night after paying a quick visit with the children. Nick was thankful that Jane was understanding about watching the children for such an extended period. He didn’t want to put them in danger, and knew that the police were keeping a sharp eye on her house. There were no phone calls except a couple of bill collectors that Nick avoided. He knew that if he picked up the phone, he would probably lay into the bill collector. In fact, he was getting quite sick of them. They would call everyday of the week including the weekend. Nick had bigger problems to worry about, and he didn’t have the money to pay them. They were all million-dollar companies. Why couldn’t they wait instead of charging me these outrageous fees for late payments and being over the limit? Sometimes he considered going bankrupt, but when he looked into it, it would at least cost a little over a thousand dollars; money he didn’t have.
He was losing hope in ever seeing Lisal again. Tonight was different though. No ghost of Lisal appeared to him. He thought maybe he had finally come to terms with the disappearance, and therefore he wouldn’t see the ghost anymore. He was beginning to believe that the supposed ghost was just an illusion created by his sadness. However, deep down inside he knew that he hadn’t come to terms. The pain had grown worse. Alcohol was not taking his pain; in fact, it barely eased his thoughts anymore. Suicide was beginning to look like a pleasant option. He kept convincing himself that he needed to remain alive for the children’s sake.
After a while, sleep took him, and with sleep came more dreams.
The first dream was not good. He was swimming in the river. The current was strong, and he immediately recognized the river to be the same river that his brother drowned in. He knew it was a dream, being that his body could not feel the sensations of the coldness of the water. As he was struggling to stay afloat, his arm banged into something. He looked to see what he had hit and gasped.
Floating next to him, deathly pale, was Lisal. Nick went to get a closer look but the dream changed.
Suddenly, Nick found himself in the middle of the Assembly of God church. The congregation was full, and he was standing in the middle of an aisle. Pastor James was preaching to the congregation, but Nick could not hear what he was saying. Looking around he saw a whole host of hideous creatures, similar to what he saw in other dreams, surrounding the congregation. It appeared that the creatures were attached to some of the people’s backs and whispering in their ears. Some were flying, circling above, and relaying messages to the ones on people’s backs. Nick felt the hair on his arms stand on end. So horrid were these creatures that Nick just wanted to run out the back of the church. He knew there was some meaning to all this, but he couldn’t pinpoint it.
However, his attention didn’t last long on the creatures. There was a sight much more magnificent. At the front of the church, hovering over Pastor James’ head, was what appeared to be a spiritual being, possibly an angel. This angel was one of the most beautiful sights Nick had ever seen. The site enamored Nick, and he had to struggle to break loose from his trance. The angel was large; at least twenty feet in height. Nick could feel his pupil’s shrink to the brilliant white light.
It appeared that the angel was speaking to Pastor James; almost giving him the message to relay to the congregation. Something was troubling Nick, and finally he realized what it was. The angel did nothing to battle the hideous creatures surrounding the congregation. Nick yelled out to the angel, but the angel ignored him. At least it appeared that he was being ignored. Maybe the angel couldn’t hear him, yet Nick continued to feel troubled.
Nick yelled to the people at the top of his lungs, but he was ignored. Only a few of the creatures glanced over, and then went back to their business. In the midst of all the people, Nick felt alone.
The scenery changed suddenly, and the church was empty. Nick was very relieved, for it was tormenting watching those strange creatures. He heard the front door open, and Lisal walked through. She was wearing the same clothes as he saw her in last, yet looked more beautiful to him than ever before. Her long dark hair flowed like a creek in the night, emphasizing the beauty of her face. Her eyes were like sparkling stars on a winter night.
He called her name, and she paused as if to hesitate for a second. He walked over to grab her, but they didn’t connect. Something unexpected happened. She suddenly turned around and gazed at Nick. She appeared stunned, maybe even a little spooked. That’s when Nick said, “I’m here for you honey.” She appeared no longer afraid and gave a slight smile, as she turned and continued in her original direction. He could smell her perfume, like the cool spring air carries the scent of lilies. He longed to rub his hands down her smooth back and give her a massage.
Nick decided to follow her. She went through a door at the front of the church and entered a room that appeared to be an office. A look of frustration came over her face when she found the filing cabinet locked.
She sat down at a desk that appeared to be made of some expensive wood. She looked around on the desk and became excited when she found a file and peered into it.
Nick looked over her shoulder to see what she was looking at. It was a file on Deacon Boomhower. He saw that something grabbed her attention and got a closer look himself.
All he saw was a symbol. It appeared to be the symbol used by the Enlightened Dawn; a table with a feather on it and half a sun peering over the top. Nick thought back to his conversation with Doug and even wondered more if the eccentric man was onto something. Lisal continued to go through the papers and found be a newspaper article, but Nick was not able to read what it said. He could sense her shock and frustration, as she glared at the article.
Just behind him, Nick heard the door open, and Deacon Boomhower entered. There was also a creature following him almost attached to him. This creature was the most hideous one he had seen yet. Saliva was drooling out of his huge rotting teeth. He had muscles at least twice the size of any body builder Nick ever had seen. His body was soaked in oozing green slime that gave off such a stench that Nick almost had to hold his breath.
He saw a sudden look of fear in the creature’s eyes, so he turned around to see what the creature was looking at. Above Lisal hovered an angelic being with a sword. This being also was quite powerful in appearance. Nick wasn’t sure if the angelic being made him feel safe or made him even more afraid.
The hideous creature and the angel met in midair. The creature pulled out a sword, more jagged than the Rocky Mountains. At first, the swords hitting each other jarred Nick so hard that he had a hard time focusing on Lisal and Deacon Boomhower. When Nick finally looked back over, he saw that Deacon Boomhower had put a cloth over Lisal’s mouth, and she was out cold. Nick felt a rage inside of him and went to punch Deacon Boomhower, but the scenery suddenly changed.
He found himself in a candlelit room. The light cast eerie shadows all along the wall. It was not a room he recognized. In front of him there was a chalkboard with writing on it. As he came closer, he read a strange poem:
Starving in this solitude,
Every move brings pain.
Crows circle above
Revealing the trap door.
Enter the circle’s center,
There you will find the key.
Isolated hidden door
2 remain cloaked.
7 stones acquire
Amber, summon her now.
Nick stared at the poem, trying to capture it to memory. As he was doing this, everything around him began to fade, and he found himself staring at his bedroom ceiling.
He continued to hold the image of the writing in his head so he could write it down. He laid as still as possible knowing that any movement may shroud the dreams he just had. He got up and opened the drawer on his bedside table.
He pulled out his notepad and flipped through to find a blank sheet. As he made his way there, he found a page that jolted his attention.
On the page, with handwriting he didn’t recognize, was written the poem that he saw in his dream!