My boys and I looked steadily ahead as we walked through the main gate into the courtyard of the monastery. I asked Lukas to melt the snow and Markus to clear the slush away. My boys dumped the melted pile in a ravine not far from here and touched down at the entrance using Mark’s tornado to lift them. Unlike their parents, my boys cannot hover. But, they make up for it and have a much cooler entrance.
With the snow washed away, the deep burns in the courtyard tile revealed the fiery dance Belle performed when she fought off the demon monk and his smoky skeleton infantry. Her tunnel, singed into the mountain face after blasting through the main building led to a deep dark hole with a murky sort of light at the very bottom.
Lukas and Markus looked at each other then at me. None of us wanted to go in. But, we could hear the subtle changes in the air around us, and the piercing whistle like an electronic just about to blow a fuse. We were not alone.
The sound of wings flapping and the pounding headache that started just behind my eyes. I knew. They knew. Unless we were ready to be put on the menu for dinner we had to act quickly.
“Put up a wall boys.” I managed weakly.
Markus was already on his knees with his hands over his ears. Being able to control the wind makes him more sensitive to the sound waves pouring through it. He was in agony, but he heard me and lifted one arm above his head.
A Silver Banshee dove from the dozens circling above us. I wondered how long they had been there and why with so many they had elected to kill us all slowly. Is being partly angelic giving us an edge that humans just don’t have? Does it really take that much more effort to kill a Nephilim?
Before the banshee could reach his extended arm, Lukas shot flames at it as he lowered to his knees and drops of blood emerged from his ears. I bat my eyelashes at the five or so I could get eye contact with and as they fell from the sky, stunned, Lukas incinerated them.
They screamed all the more loudly. So, I ran to my boys and clouded us into the cave. Although the tunnel amplified the screeches from the bats above it also bottle nosed their way in to us. Markus used the water from the pool we landed in to fuel the wall of water he pushed out into the entrance of the cavern.
The water drowned out the sound waves. Our headaches cleared immediately. The water seemed tainted by someone’s blood, but I could feel it. This water had been blessed. The bats outside walked into the tunnel and screamed as loudly as they could. It hurt a little, but the water changed the pitch to where it was more like noise than a supersonic pitch. The only problem being, were there more in this side of the wall?
Were they sending a signal? Several of them shrank to piles of smoldering ash as they touched the wall of water, testing our barrier. This would not be helpful if we had just locked ourselves in.
“As gross as this sounds, because I know there is blood in the water. Drench yourselves. If they get a hand on any one of us, as long as we’re wet, we will be safe.” I instructed them.
Lukas and I covered Markus in the cold water so he could hold up our barrier undisturbed, then dunked ourselves. Looking around I could see that part of the hall in front of us had been set on fire. Deacon had mentioned a fire before they left. I only wonder why Genevieve elected to leave Linus here.
“Are you okay here?” I asked Markus.
“Yeah mom. You two should go ahead.” he said, sounding stronger.
“I don’t like the idea of leaving you here alone. Something could sneak up behind you. Lukas, take my flank. You’re going to stay about halfway down that hall up ahead so if I either of us needs help you won’t have too far to run in either direction. When you hear me yelling the code word come running so we can get out of here.” I told them as I walked towards the hall.
“Sure thing.” Markus said as he tried to use one hand to maintain the wall and the other to twirl two water spouts behind him. He splashed us to make sure we were wet enough.
“Thanks.” Lukas said sarcastically. I heard Mark laughing. “Mom, maybe I should go in front this time.”
“Nope. Age before beauty. I’ll meet you back here in a few.” I told him and pointed ahead to the charred remains of three rooms.
We inspected the rooms for signs of Linus and found nothing. Lukas held his post and nodded his head at me to assure me that he’d be listening for my signal.
I hovered until I was more or less laying flat on my back on the ceiling. I twisted until I was on my belly and crawled ahead quickly. I heard breathing. Lots of breathing up ahead. Looking down I could see that I was dripping on the ground. So much for the total element of surprise. But, I wasn’t going to drop down either.
I hear a man shout “Stop.” in a ragged voice.
Crawling ahead there had to have been at least three hundred bats stuffed into a tiny room. A man with dark curly hair was curled into a ball on the floor with his hands over his ears. I didn’t hear the sound or feel the headache that I had earlier. They must be torturing him some other way.
I stayed on the ceiling. All eyes were on him anyway. Until… Drip. Drip. Drip.
And just like that, three bats gasped and before they could scream they were piles of smoldering ash. The banshees around them looked down stupefied as to how three could spontaneously combust like that. I kept moving. By the time any of them thought to look up I had filled the room with mist.
I originally thought I’d just cloud us out, but… wouldn’t it be easier to get rid of the bats?
I dropped down just over Linus and grabbed him, towing him from the ceiling back down the hallway to Lukas. Linus was okay enough to run so we didn’t wind up carrying him back to the pool. Markus still had the wall up and had his two little water spouts circling.
“I want to try something.” I told them.
“I knew you would.” Markus said smirking.
“It would be unlike you if you didn’t mom.” Luke said smiling and happy to have avoided another ear bleeding headache.
“Everyone, get completely wet one last time.” I told them.
“Linus. I’m Gwen, and these are my boys Markus and Lukas. Deacon made it with the rest of your company to our city and we were instructed to come and get you.” I told him.
“Thanks. Really, thank you guys. It’s been hell.” Linus told us. He was exhausted.
“It’s what we do.” Markus replied cheerfully.
“So mom…” Luke began.
“I need all of this to be steam and then send the steam… made of Holy water… to the bats down the hall.” I motioned with my hands.
“What about the ones out there?” Mark asked.
“I’ll handle that. Right now, make steam and blow it that way. They are coming and will only refrain from screaming for so long.” I told them as I walked to the wall of water.
“Mom? What are you…” Markus began worried.
“Trust me.” I said and walked through the wall.
I clouded immediately and took the banshees with me. We landed in the hall Linus was being held in. Everything that touched me immediately turned to ash. I jumped through the charring disintegrating bodies to hover to the ceiling and as they began to shriek at me I clouded back to the pool. Nearly all of the water was gone.
“Do it!” I shouted at them.
The wall of water fell, rinsing me off and the screeching turned to screams down the hall.
“Everybody hold hands.” I said as I stood up.
I heard footsteps behind us in the tunnel and screams growing closer. We joined hands and as I surrounded us with mist I saw bats running towards us, falling apart and gasping angrily as the steam clung to their bodies. The headache from the screeches behind us left as quickly as they came and we were safely standing in front of the jade gate.
There we stood. Soaking wet… in the snow… I forgot it was cold.
I want a day off.
1. From the FEATURED BLOG below: FlatlinerBooks RECALLs – “Thank god it was that and not my phone.”
2. From the FEATURED BLOG below: FlatlinerBooks RECALLs – “I was walking with my feet ten feet off” the street. For those of you who don’t recognize this, it’s from a Cher song entitled Walking in Memphis.”
(Photo courtesy of: badcontrol.net)
Music for this episode – Forgotten by Linkin Park