Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.|
New Berwick, Illinois--a mystic place where witches rule under the watchful eyes of the Dominions.
ATTENTION! FanStory fans. This is my last post for a few weeks. I have to devote some time to marketing my book, The Glass Cat Eye, and work with my editor on rewriting The Animal Doctor to get it ready for publication in December. It’s been hard for me to concentrate on Dark Covenant. So, I have to lay it aside for now. But I will still be reading you. Thank you for your support. Bless you all.
(From last chapter) Poor Charlie found out about the werewolf blood and was tricked by Dr. Lorac into an ambush at Dead Man’s Creek. He was run off the road and forced to hide in a mystical dark wooded area where the werewolves frightened him with death unless he turned over the tube of blood. Left, without transportation, battered and soiled, he called best friend Ben to come (with fresh clothes) and pick him up. Angry and scared for his life, he turned in his resignation at the medical center and left town for good. The wolves were happy, Ben was sad, and Lorac dreaded her part in the whole incident.
New Berwick remained uneventful for many months. Then a heavy rain, unusual for the summer season, fell steadily for nearly two weeks. But it stopped as suddenly as it had begun. Strangely, no rainbow formed above the clouds—only darkness and a slight chill in the breeze. Mystery invaded the hours with birds disappearing, leaving their nest full of dead chicks. Dogs barked at the sky; cats developed unusual bad tempers, and people flooded the emergency center with injuries from squirrel attacks.
Wild animals were the first to notice the change, and it was not the time to be near any forest in the New Berwick region. People stayed indoors wrapped in their superstitions—only leaving when they had to, and even then they were extra cautious. Many people in Sheerfield County wore wooden crosses that were blessed and passed out to members after church services; others carried silver snuff boxes stuffed with smelly herbs to ward off evil. The witches had seen these nature changes before, though not for many decades; still they were worried.
Many nights came and went, but one night a young man lay dreaming. Alone in his bed, he tossed and turned—first mumbling something inaudible and then flipping his head from side to side. “No. No,” he said loudly with his closed eyelids fluttering.
Then the covers mysteriously scrolled from his chest to the foot of the bed, and his T-shirt rolled up, revealing his tan muscular frame. Small impressions were made on the soft spots of his abdomen, like invisible lips pressing in on him. A captive of his slumber, he smiled and moaned throughout the night.
Jessie Carter leaned over his laptop at work and yawned. On his desk was a computer, monitor, a phone and headset, family pictures, lamp, a business card holder and lots of pens and scratch pads. His large cup of coffee with lots of cream and sugar was lukewarm. A Luxury Retailer of the Year award hung on the wall above his desk. He had been a top real estate agent for Blue Hurst Realtors for more than six years.
Karl Bergess, a fellow employee walked up and rested his arms on the partition. “Hey, Jess—rough night?”
“Ah, man.” He yawned again. “I’m not sleeping well. I keep waking up in the middle of the night. Never had trouble before.”
“You look beat.” He grinned. “Okay, who is she?”
“No. Karl—I’m serious, man. It’s not that. I’m … I’m having these weird dreams.”
“What kind of dreams?” Karl turned his head quickly and looked over his shoulder. “Shoot. That’s my phone.” Backing away he said, “We’ll talk about those dreams later.”
By lunch time, Jessie’s tired look was very noticeable. His yawning was seen as embarrassing to customers. His superior took him aside and suggested he should go home and get some sleep. Jessie apologized and swore it would never happen again.
On the way home, he couldn’t stop thinking about his dreams that were in pieces and quite fuzzy in his head. He thought out loud, “Oh, no. I can’t go to sleep.” He had forgotten his girlfriend, Rebecca, was coming for dinner. He couldn’t postpone it. He could say he was sick. But her being a nurse, knowing her, she’d want to come anyway and take care of him—even spend the night. It was only one thing to do, take some No Doze.
As soon as Jessie got home, he washed down two pills, changed his clothes and started cleaning the apartment. He prepared the steaks and broke apart leaves of lettuce and spinach—added other ingredients; then carefully blended a family recipe for the dressing.
When the doorbell rang, the apartment was spotless. The table was set, including beautiful crystal-like candle holders and white candles. The aroma filled the air. He opened the door and as soon as she stepped in, she lifted her cheek and he kissed it.
“Um,” she said coming into the living room. She looked around—her eyes sparkling. As she talked of how wonderful the place looked, he handed her a glass of wine and told her to be seated while he finished preparing the sauce. The kitchen was separated from the living room and dining area with a wide picture-frame counter and bar stools. They could still see each other and talk.
“Sorry it took me so long to invite you over,” he said measuring a table spoon of butter, “but the place was a mess and things at work—well, it’s been really busy lately, which is a good thing, I’m not complaining. Busy means money.” He chuckled.
“This makes up for it, honey. Everything is lovely.” She took a sip of her wine and crossed her shapely legs; her six inch heels made them all the sexier. She smoothed her blonde hair away from her face and watched as Jessie busied himself in the kitchen.
“You know there’s something hot about a man up to his elbows in flour,” she teased.
He looked up and grinned. “All done.” He lifted the bowl, brought it to the table and set it down. “Come and get it,” he said.
“Hmm smells good,” she said sniffing the air. He pulled out her chair, but before he sat down, he said, “I forgot something.” He walked over to his CD collection, pulled out an Isaac Hayes love album, and loaded it in the player. He scurried back and sat facing her.
They ate and toasted each other—drank, talked and laughed. And Sir Isaac, as Jessie and Rebecca playfully called him, set the mood for what was to come next; shoes, heels, panties, shirt, briefs, bra and other articles of clothing made a trail from the dinner table to the master bedroom. Isaac’s deep baritone voice, an empty wine bottle, half-filled wine glasses marked the end of one part of the evening, but all had definitely contributed to the next phase taking place just a few feet away.
Rebecca, on her knees in the middle of the bed, struggled to see through the blur caused by the wine. But as her vision appeared to be clear, the color of her cheeks changed from rose to a pale lifeless hue.
“What the hell is that?” she snapped
“What?” he asked, lying comfortable on his back.
“That,” she said, pointing at his body. “And that?” she said again, pointing to his neck.
Jessie jumped up from the bed and with his back to her, checked his body in the mirror.
“What the hell?” he said, looking at hickeys and bite marks all over his abdomen and neck. “I don’t know where these came from.”
Rebecca hopped off the bed. “And I guess you don’t know how you got those scratch marks on your back either.”
He turned his back towards the mirror and his mouth swung open. “I … I don’t understand.”
“You don’t understand? You bastard." She walked around naked snatching up her clothes; first, putting on her panties, and then struggling to snap her bra. When she was fully dressed she snatched up her heels and walked to the door bare-feet.
Jessie, naked from the waist up, scurried after her. “Honey, I swear to God, I don’t know where these marks and scratches came from. It’s not what you think, I swear.”
Her face was fully flushed and her eyes filled. He tried to block her from going out the door, but she shoved him aside, swung the door open and stormed out.
He watched her stomp down the hall and turn the corner. Then he closed the door and went back to the bedroom to examine his body again. But when he looked, the hickeys, bite marks and scratches were gone. Where did they go? This is crazy. The phone ring made him jump. He picked up.
“Hello,” he said.
“Hey, Jess, sorry I was so busy at work today, I didn’t have time to get back to you. Now, you said something about some dreams?”
“Man, forget the dreams. Something’s weird is going on with me. I … I don’t know if I’m going crazy or what.”
He told Karl everything that had just happened between him and Rebecca and the marks on his body.
“Damn, that’s some dark shit.”
“I swear I haven’t been with another woman and that’s the truth.”
“Wow. You think this has anything to do with the dreams?”
“Man, I don’t know.”
Karl said, “I have an uncle who’s into a whole lot of paranormal stuff—dreams, nightmares, tarot card, Ouija board; you name it, he can tell you about it. He claims God told him over twenty years ago that he was to devote his life fighting evil. When I was little, I remember our family treating him like a leper. If you’re up to it, I’ll give him a call and we can go over there tonight.”
“I’m so desperate for answers. Your weird-ass uncle sounds good to me.”
“You want me to pick you up, or you want to meet me there.”
"Is it far?”
"It's on the other side of Midcalf."
"I'm not familiar with the area."
“Okay, I’ll be there in thirty.”
When Karl drove up, Jessie was pacing in front of his apartment building smoking a cigarette. He dropped and crushed it under his foot—then climbed in the front seat.
“You sure your uncle can help me?”
“Well, I told him as much as I could over the phone. He didn’t say he couldn’t.”
Jessie cracked the window and pulled a cigarette from the pack. He lit it and was careful to turn his head towards the window when he exhaled. It was nearly ten o’clock at night and the ride became bumpy as they crossed the railroad tracks leading to the outside of the city.
The longer Karl drove, fewer and fewer houses became visible from the roadside, until one house far away, sitting all alone with only a thick wooded area as part of its backyard appeared. It sat high, and it looked like a lighthouse all lit up and shining over a vast sea of dirt and gravel.
Karl drove up and parked. He got out and walked around to the side. But Jessie just sat and hesitated to exit the car. Karl threw him a puzzling glance, and Jessie opened the door and slid out. Jessie stood by the car examining the outside of the house.
Karl said, “You going to stand there with your thumb up your butt or are you coming?”
The men walked up to the door and Karl knocked lightly. The door opened and a slightly balding man about 5’8’’, fat and round stood grinning.
“Come in, come in,” he said, stepping aside. “Just have a seat anywhere you think is comfortable.”
He closed the door and followed Karl and Jessie into a little room that looked like a Gypsy palm-reading parlor. A round table sat in the middle of the floor. It was covered with a round beige table cloth—on the side was a porcelain lamp with a worn pink lamp shade. The two dark wood chairs had carvings of strange angel-like creatures. Different colored tall Bean bags were scattered throughout the room. Over in the far corner was a reader’s end table, and above it—a wall book shelf lined with tattered cloth-covered books.
“Uncle Ward, this is Jessie—Jessie, my Uncle Ward.”
“Glad to meet you, sir,” Jessie said extending his hand.
“My pleasure,” Ward said shaking it. “Karl told me of your problem. And I understand there are some dreams?” Ward said gesturing for them to sit.
Jessie told Ward about his strange dreams. After he’d finished, Ward pulled on his chin and paced a bit in front of the table. He stopped, glanced at Jessie, and then paced again. Finally, he stopped and spoke.
“This is more serious than I thought. Have you ever heard of a succubus?”
Jessie looked at Ward with a frown. “No, can’t say that I have.”
“It’s a female demon, traced back to medieval legend,” he said walking over to the book case and pulling a book from the shelf. “Up until now,” he said, “I didn’t think it really existed.”
Ward walked back to the table and placed the opened book before them. He turned it so Jessie and Karl could get a good look at a sketch by an artist who claimed he’d seen one—although Ward and other paranormal experts were skeptical.
“That’s really a Succubus?” Jessie asked pointing his finger at the page.
“No one truly knows what one looks like—only that it appears in dreams in the form of a beautiful, voluptuous woman in order to seduce men usually, but not limited through oral sex. The male counterpart is the incubus." Ward raised his eyebrows, then he said, "Sex with one of these things is said to be quite intense."
“Far fucking out,” Karl blurted and grinned.
His grin soon faded when he looked over at Jessie who had flopped back in the chair stone-faced with his mouth open.
Ward frowned at Karl. “For God’s sakes, this is not funny.”
“I’m sorry Uncle Ward, I didn’t mean anything. I just thought—”
“Why is this thing after me?”
“I don’t know, son. But that’s what we need to find out.”
New Berwick, Illinois is comprised of four regions: Falcon Haven, Northern and Southern Greyscott Falls, Sheerfield County and Ironforge.
Northern Greyscott Falls:
River Porter....... Main Character
Jewel Porter....... River's wife
Their daughters....Chelsey, Abby, Dria, and Becca
Southern Greyscott Falls:
Dex Porter.........River's brother
Matthew (Matt) Porter... Dex's son
Jan Porter ....Dex's wife and Jewel's cousin/sister-in-law
Raymond Carter.. Dex's neighbor
Debbie Carter... Raymond's mother
Beatrice ....... Jewel's best friend
Kayla Morrison.. Beatrice's niece
Wayne Tilbert....... Sheriff of Sheerfield County
Reece Tilbert....... Wayne's wife/Sheerfield Bank president
Veronica (Ronnie) Tilbert...Wayne daughter/Kayla's BFF
Christopher Tilbert.........Wayne and Reece's son
Christa......................Veronica and Kayla's BFF
Bob Wilson..................Sheerfield County Coroner
Hollie Brewer...............Corina's sister/Sorcerer
New Berwick residents
Art Work: Her Eyes by Diane Azdamar at dianae.cgsociety.org