Authors: Karina Novak
Somewhere in the northern mountains
The moon rose over the darkening tops of the snowy mountains. The flame was slowly dying in the ashes of the fireplace in the small wooden hut.
The old man stood, his body shaking as if possessed over his creations. At last! He has finally done it! He has finished the task appointed to him by the stars. At last, maybe now, finally, at the eve of his
years, he will have some peace.
“I've done it.” He murmured, looking over his creation, shining in the dying light of the fireplace. “I've finally done it! It’s finished!” He clapped his hands together, almost collapsing into the leather covered chair that stood behind him,
exhausted but finally relieved.
A young man by the name of William, no older than twenty, dressed in an old fashioned peasant clothing had carefully stepped into the dimly lit room.
The teen’s gaze caught the light from the dying fire, and settled on his old father, half lying there, s
prawled over the leather chair.
“Are you all right?” William asked, silently stepping into the room, afraid to disturb the old man that sat in it. For years now the teen had learned to stay away from his father when he entered that chamber. His mission, whatever it was, had consumed him and not once did the young man beg the stars to rid his father from that b
urden of what he had to create.
“Oh…” The old man coughed. “Yes, I’m fine.” He said, groggily pulling himself up fr
om the chair he was sitting on.
“Here, let me help you father.” William offered, landing the old man his hand to lean on. “Um…” He glanced out the cabinet’s dark window. “Look father, that’s a weird light to see during the night…The sun, had come down hours ago…” He mumbled, almost uninterested in the sight he was seeing but the old man’s reaction to his words was violent. He snapped his head towards the win
dow, his eyes widening in fear.
“No… no…” He stuttered.
“Father?” William looked at him, confused.
“No!” The old man shook away his son’s hand and pushed him into the wall, down to the cu
pboard that stood there.
“What are you doing?!” William looked at his father, astonished as the old man opened a secret passageway in the cupboard. Carved into the stone behind the cabinet was a tunnel that the old man had dug out years ago just for this moment, a moment he prayed would never come.
What’s going on!?” William demanded but the old man ignored him. He quickly turned to the table he was working at and gathered the pile of hand written pages that was laying there, hurriedly thrusting them into his son’s hands.
“Guard it with your life!”
“Just stay there!” The old man ordered, pushing his son further into the hidden opening. “Whatever you do…whatever you hear, don't come out!” He said rapidly, his words practically toping one another.
“Run.” The old man whispered as he closed the door to the secret passage way in the face of his astonished son, knowing that he will
not see him again in this life.
Seconds later, just as the old man got up from his crouched position the door to his small chamber was broken and his greatest enemy, the one that he was working so hard all these years to help defeat, stood before him, smiling brightly
as his savage guard walked in.
“I have been waiting for you.” William heard his father say with a hard cold voice
that he had never heard before.
“Good, then we will not waste our time in small talk. Hand it over old man.”
Another voice answered, smug and filled with confidence, one that William didn
't know and never heard before.
“You will never wield
it's power.” The old man warned.
“Well, it’s a good thing that I don’t need to.” The other man answered. Then, William heard a terrible noise, like the naked howl of a starved bloodhound, more terrible then any horrible terror filled banshee shrie
k that you might hear at night.
William's blood froze in his veins as he heard his father screaming. Then nothing, dead silence, as if everything and anything had died in the small hous
e because of that awful shriek.
William held his breath. Perhaps, he hoped, th
e intruders had left the cabin.
He was just about to lean forward and press himself against the barrier of the secret door when that smug voic
e returned, closer than before.
“Search the place,” He ordered, “Kill anyone that you find, and then
burn it down.”
William gasped. Surely, he did not mean what he said
. He wanted to kill his father.
Then, before he could wallow further in his thoughts the smell of smoke and burned flesh filled his
nostrils. His father was dead.
William held tightly to the pages entrusted to him by his father. He pushed himself away from the now singed doorway and down the tunnel, run
ning away from the burning hut.
He ran until his feet had given out from underneath him. He fell on the hilltop, crying out into the night. He will never go back to that place again, never bury his father. He watched from the top of that dark mountain how everything he knew and l
oved burned down to the ground.
Miles away on the bank of a large lake, in a house too modern for the time it was built at, the smug gentlemen returned to the monsters that sent him. He was bearing the loot he had stolen from the man he watched killed by the beast that accompanied him.
“Do you have it?” The blood freezing voice asked as he entered the da
rk chamber of the foul monster.
“Yes, everything is here.” The well-dressed man shivered as he laid the three ruby set boxes
in front of the monsters feet.
“Open it.” It ordered.
“I…” The smug man gulped. “I cannot…”
He screamed in pain as the monster’s angry shrie
k nearly knocked him senseless.
“It’s the child!” The man yelled through his pain. “Pleas
e! It is meant for the child!”
The monster shrieked again. “Then find him!” It ordered
“Yes…”The not so long ago smug gentleman scrambled to his feet and bowed. “Yes…the first children will be arriving by m
orning. We will find him soon!”
He left in a hurry. He couldn't stand being alone in the same room with that being for more than a couple of minutes, and even though it had promised him everything that he wanted he did not know what horrible price he was going to pay for his riches. He didn't know that
he was gambling away his soul.
The loud scream echoed through the narrow hallway.
Lilith, a tall, redheaded woman in her twenties raised her head from the salad she was making to look at the stairs, half visible in her sight from where she was standing at the kitchen counter. She giggled and smiled to herself.
“The triplets are at it again.” She said to her husband, Greg, who sat across from her in the kitchen, looking as amused as she was from the sounds of the three little kids.
It was a normal morning at the Tepes residence.
The three blond seven-year-old siblings; Casey, Morgan and Jon
Tepes, were fighting again over, well, whatever they could find to fight over at that particular time.
This time, for all intense and purposes it was because of a broken toy. Casey, the youngest of the trio, broke it but she blamed it on her five-minutes-older brother Jon, and he in turn blamed it on Morgan who was the oldest of the bunch. The screams were getting louder by the second, reaching all the way from the second floor downstairs.
Jon stumbled down the stairs, followed closely by his two eager siblings.
Morgan broke fluffy!!!” Jon screamed, jumping behind the counter to hide next to his smiling mother, clinging to her dress.
Morgan howled, making a failed attempt to claw at his brother. “Casey did it!” He pointed at the young girl beside him and then later gasped in horror.
“Why are you blaming me all of a sudden?!”
Casey screamed in a high pitched voice as her eyes had quickly filled out with big, shiny tears.
“Oh! Casey! Please don’t!” Jon and Morgan immanently stopped their bickering and all of the attention in the room shifted on to Casey who was sniffing very loudly by now.
They all knew from past experience that once Casey started crying in the morning she would keep whining all day long and won’t give any of them any peace.
its okay! I did it! Really!” Jon ran out from behind the counter, taking his sister’s hand in his and stroking it gently, trying desperately to calm her down.
“No! I did it!” Morgan screamed, forgetting their early fight and grabbing Casey’s other arm to pull her towards himself, sticking his tongue
out at Jon who pulled her back.
"No! It was me!” Jon howled as Morgan pulled Casey back and Jon tugged her again. Casey’s sobs got even louder than they were a second before.
At this point Lilith had decided to end the little fiasco.
Boys! Please stop it! You are going to rip poor Casey apart!” She laid one hand on Casey's shoulder and smiled at her sweetly as the others let her go. Lilith patted Casey’s little head, turned and opened the drawer that was in the counter behind her. She got out her secret weapon which she reserved especially for these kinds of events.
“How about a cookie?”
She asked the triplets as she placed the cookie jar on the table, studying the suddenly intrigued, almost hypnotized, faces of the three little kids. The room went silent immediately as all of the blond kids’ eyes glittered in anticipation at the thought of the wonderful treat in their mouths.
"I knew that would work." Lilith winked at Greg who laughe
d as she handed out the treats.
Once each one of the triplets got their cookie (Casey got two because she was still sniffing and fake crying. She knew exactly how to milk the situation for all it was worth ), the siblings thanked their mother and had completely forgotten the reason they were down in the kitchen in the first place, went back upstairs to finish playing, not even thinking anymore about their broken toy.
“Don’t forget one of you goes to visit grandma today!” Lilith called out to them from downstairs as they ran up, their little feet pattering on the carpet.
“Oh no…”Casey frowned as she entered their bedroom
. “Who's turn is it this time?”
She asked, sitting down on the floor and watching her siblings as they took their place beside her on the fluffy carpet. Jon moan
ed and made a grossed-out face.
“Mine.” He said, hanging his head low as if preparing to watch his own death sentence being carried out.
Morgan grinned, triumphant. He knew it was actually his turn but he was happy for his brother’s short memory and wasn’t about to give himself up for the same 'Death sentence' as Jon had.
“Good luck buddy, you’re going to need it. Enjoy grandmas’ pinching.” He said, smiling widely, doing a little dance in his head for evading yet another horrible night at his grandma’s. It was the second time he tricked Jon into going in his place.
Jon didn't respond but only huffed in surrender, flinching at the thought of his cheeks being pinched by the ‘loving’ grandma, the woman that he would prefer to call 'The old hag'.
None of them actually liked her and their mother insisted at least one of them go visit her once a month. The triplets had devised some sort of a schedule for this chosen torture and each time someone else went. Well, at times when Morgan didn't cheat and m
ade the other’s go in his turn.
“Did you have fun at grandma’s today, honey?”
Greg asked his stepson later that night as the two left Jon’s grandma’s house and went down to the car that waited in the driveway. Jon climbed inside with a grim expression; he
was defiantly ready to go home.
The boy was already waiting at the door when Greg had driven up the driveway and practically hugged the seat and tied himself up with the seatbelt as soon as Greg had opened the car door for him.
“Sure…best time ever…can’t wait to go again…”
Greg laughed at his son’s enthusiastic demeanor or rather the lack of it. He may have been only seven years old but the kid knew very well how to express and project his opinions and thoughts to others. In fact, all the siblings could do that,
it was really amazing to watch.