Excerpt: Kendra’s Point of View
“Thank you for
your assistance,” Derek acknowledged the man who guided us to the morgue.
“Now, I’d like
this entire room cleared for at least an hour. Your morgue director can verify
that order.” Derek nodded, and as he turned toward me, our guide moved away to
the two working coroners, escorting them out of the room.
place reminds me of places in the dark plane.” Jenna stood in the center of the
room and spun a slow circle. “It’s almost like I can feel Bertellia’s presence,
even though I know that woman is gone forever.”
cleared the room, I went to work crushing and mixing up the concoction of herbs
in a small burning pot. “I can see the film that cocoons the body you mentioned.”
I lit the herbs, allowing a quick flame. Then I blew out the little fire and
left the blended ingredients smoldering. As I waved the pot over the body, I
said the ritual words. Jenna and Derek joined in the mantra, repeating it with
me two more times to break the bond holding Mr. Mead’s soul.
A massive pop,
deep enough to shake the floor, startled me. Jenna screamed. Derek jumped in
front of me, pushing my body back. “Grab your blades. Mine’s vibrating as if it
wants to act on its own.” He grabbed his dagger (the one that NaNa Rosa had
given to everyone on our team for protection and guidance against evil spirits
from the dark plane) out of the sheath tucked into the back of his pants.
hers from the sheath strapped to her thigh.
The film surrounding
Mr. Mead had disappeared, and the oozing, dark entity that rose out of him
charged the air with a distinct acrid odor that immediately gagged me.
I grabbed a
wastebasket and threw up.
actually tossed your cookies, Sparky.” Jenna stared at me. “Are you sick?” She
stood next to me, dagger in her hand. “Come on, woman, we need you now.”
Kendra. Do you have your dagger in your hand?” Derek’s full attention remained
on the grizzly form of leaking pustule bumps and dripping saliva.
I puked again,
and my stomach continued to buck and roll. My protection sigil burned, telling
me this guy came from the dark plane and would love to feed off our energy. I
had tucked the blade in my bag with the herbs. Right now, that satchel lay on the
floor about three feet to my right. Gagging and swallowing, I inched toward the
bag to hold off the inevitable next wave of nausea.
pulled itself entirely out of Mead’s body, red eyes gawking at us. It caught my
movement, and a wretched toothy smile spread across its disgusting thick, slimy
lips. The horrendous monster stood on the opposite side of Mead and stepped
toward me through the gurney and Mead’s body as if wading through water.
your dagger!” Jenna readied to throw.
“You look tasty,
you’re first,” it rasped and stretched a claw at me, snapping its sharp nails.
Derek and Jenna
threw their blades, hitting the evil creeper in the heart and slowing its
progress toward me.
I dove for my
bag, and the hilt of my dagger snugged into my hand. I yanked it out and flung
it with a snap of my wrist. The blade found its mark and sunk into the entity’s
heart beside the other two daggers. A vicious scream howled out, dropping Derek
and me to our knees with hands covering our ears. I watched as it burned from
the inside out and turned into white ash that disappeared, leaving Mr. Mead’s
spirit staring at us.
“Where the hell
am I?” He looked from Derek to me to Jenna and back at Derek. Then his gaze
wandered around the room. “Am I inside a morgue?” His mouth dropped open when
he saw his body on the gurney. “Am I dead?”
“I’m so sorry to
tell you this, but yes, you died. We don’t know how. Can you remember anything
that happened?” I didn’t want to force him, but his anxious shaking took a
drastic turn as he stared at our daggers lying beside his feet.
“Did you guys
kill me?” His image faltered into momentary static, but then he restabilized
into a vivid body, appearing alive. “I want answers.” His lips pinched
together, and then his eyes wandered to his dead body on the gurney. He slumped
and looked at Derek. “What will my husband do?”
I glanced at Derek
and watched his eyes widen.
“Let us know who
your significant other is, and we’ll inform him of your passing.” Jenna stepped
closer to him.
Mr. Mead huffed.
“What would you say? Even I don’t know how I died.”
“We believe it
had something to do with Sassy Blaze.” Derek moved beside Jenna, and I
“All I remember
is heading to the prison wing to check on the prisoners there. I noticed one guard
sleeping beside the door, totally against protocol, so I kicked his foot to
awaken him. Then I noticed a green powdery substance around his nose and
wondered if he was on drugs. That’s all I recall, other than getting slammed
against the wall and hearing the iron door slide open. That normally happened
for my prisoner check, but I don’t remember anything after that. I blacked
out.” His eyes went wide. “Did anyone look at surveillance?”
recorded static in that cell block. That’s why I’m asking you.” Derek took a
couple steps to stand directly in front of Mr. Mead. “Sassy Blaze hung herself
in her cell. That got caught on surveillance and then her body disappeared. Do
you know anything about that?”
“Sassy is dead?”
His spine went erect, and he shook his head. “No, that can’t be right. That
lunatic wants to murder the FBI Task Force team that imprisoned her. There’s no
way she would kill herself.” He glared at Derek, and Derek stared back at him.
“Wait a minute. You think I had something to do with Sassy hanging herself?”
“Did you?” Derek’s body went rigid.