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Dangerous Slumber


Megan’s heart beat faster in her chest as she stood in the middle of the woods, listening to the disembodied voices that emanated from the shadows that surrounded her and swallowed past the lump that had formed in her throat. She could feel the fear growing in the pit of her stomach, threatening to take her captive in its iron grip, but she knew better than to give in and tried to push it away.

The trail wound through the trees and Megan was sure that she’d caught movement within the darkness, but it could have easily been her mind playing tricks. She paused momentarily, staring unblinkingly into the trees, and frowned when everything remained still.

Of course, that didn’t mean anything and the voices added some semblance of validation that she wasn’t alone. She stuck to the most obvious trail, not daring to venture into the undergrowth, and watched her footing as she walked.

There was no way of telling where she was, but she could say with a certain amount of confidence that it wasn’t anywhere in Little Barlon... at least, not the Little Barlon that she knew. She came to a sudden stop as something caught her attention, listening closely, and blocking out as many of the natural sounds as she could.

In the distance, she could hear the sound of chanting and, with her curiosity getting the better of her, she continued forward. She had no idea what lay ahead, but she needed answers and maybe those answers would become clearer if she allowed her nightmare to run its course.

With each step, the chanting seemed to increase in volume and Megan felt the indistinguishable words pull at her, causing anxiety to stir as she drew closer. The scenery surrounding her soon melted away and Megan watched as it rematerialized, finding herself stood in the middle of what she assumed was a study.

Scanning the unfamiliar room, her gaze landed upon a portrait hanging on the wall and she slowly approached it. Despite not knowing the room, Megan was sure that she’d seen the man in the picture somewhere before and felt a chill run down her spine as she read the name underneath.

B.L.Helkis was inscribed on the golden plaque, accompanied by a symbol and everything made just a little bit more sense. That was why she got bad vibes from Dan, it wasn’t that he was lying... it was because he was involved somehow.

From what Megan could make out, the symbol consisted of a triangle set inside a square with stars and numbers around the outside. She made a mental note of the symbol as, once again, her scenery changed and she found herself standing in some sort of spotlight.

Movement soon drew her attention to her left as the little boy and the man from her previous nightmares stepped out of the pitch-black darkness. This time, however, when they spoke Megan could hear them and listened carefully.

‘Help us... the bad men won’t let us be at peace... you are in mortal danger... they will lead you to your end... you must fulfill your destiny.’

Although they were talking, it was as though someone was tuning a radio and only pieces of what they were trying to tell her were coming through. The fear that she had been holding back finally flooded to the surface, gripping onto her tightly
and she woke up, once again in the old part of the cemetery.

It was still dark out and although it felt like she’d been in the nightmare for days, in reality, hardly any time had passed at all. The sound of footsteps nearby had Megan on her knees, peering over the top of a headstone and ducking as she realized that she wasn’t alone.

Spread out around the cemetery was at least seven other people, dressed in dark clothes and searching for something... or someone. Megan was just coming up with a plan, when a hand was placed over her mouth and she struggled as she was dragged into one of the old crypts that still stood.

“Megs, calm down, it’s just me,” came Rick’s voice, causing Megan to relax and Rick to remove his hand.

“How did you know that I was here?” Megan asked.

“I went to your room to check on you, but you were gone,” Rick explained quietly, “I was heading out to look for you when Dan turned up on the doorstep, muttering about men searching for you here and some plan to kill you. What the hell is going on?”

“I don’t know, but I need to go talk to Dan and Mrs. Laubrey together. If I have any chance of figuring all of this out, then I need to know everything they do because this whole thing is beginning to freak me out,” Megan rambled, “There are men trying to kill me, dead people talking to me and I keep waking up in this stupid cemetery... I just want to be normal.”

“First of all, you need to calm down... getting worked up is only going to get you hurt.”

“I know, I know, please tell me that you have a plan.”

“Sorry to disappoint, but I’m kind of just going along with things at the minute.”

“Well, we can’t stay here, that’s for sure,” Megan added as she leaned on a candle holder that hung on the wall.

Under her pressure, the middle holder pulled down like a lever and four of the concrete slabs on the floor slid open to reveal a hidden tunnel. With a quick glance at Rick, Megan shrugged her shoulders and carefully descended the stairs that took them deep underground. As they reached the final step, the trap door above their heads slid quietly shut as if aided smoothly by unseen hands.

The tunnel was dark, but torches lining both walls ignited of their own accord and lit the way. She felt warm as they followed the passageway, like they were safe from harm within the confines of those walls and the relaxed look on Rick’s face told her that he felt exactly the same.

They continued walking, until they reached a huge cavernous room with a large circular stone table in the center (just like in the Knights of the Round Table) and in front of one of the seats was a book. There were six chairs positioned evenly around the table and Megan took the one directly in front of the book, looking over as Rick sat beside her without hesitation.

The cover was coated in a thick layer of dust and Megan wiped it off before carefully opening it to the first page and frowned when she found it empty. She had just taken the corner between her fingers to turn the page when writing appeared as if out of nowhere and with a deep breath, she read it out loud.

“If you are reading from this book you have been recognized as a member of the Supreme Coven. We as a group are the soul keepers of the dead and their protection against who we call the Ororian, only we can stop what the prophecy says will come.”

“Okay, so that answers the question of what the Supreme Coven does,” Rick stated, “It also brings up the question of why is this table hidden in an underground cavern and who is supposed to be sitting in the other four seats.”

As if it heard, the pages of the book suddenly began to turn on their own and stopped on a page that revealed a map of the cavern
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This chapter feels off to me, but I can't figure out why!