Would You Like Brains With That?

Currently re-writing.

Portal Keepers Book 1.
A job at a café for the Undead, a ghost best friend, and an annoying handsome vampire protector. Danira has it all.

Danira isn't your average girl. For generations her family has looked after the portal that links the Realm of the Undead to the Realm of the Living, by running a cafe for the Undead that are travelling through the portal. Then news reaches Danira and her parents that the Vampire Lords want to take over control of the portal and wreak havock amoung the Realm of the Living.
An adventure of hot vampires, zombies, ghosts, mummies, and life-threatening danger is thrust upon Danira, and she must try her best to protect the Realm of the Living, by preventing the Vampire Lords from obtaining the Infinity Blade, which has the power to change the portal. As well as saving her world can Danira resist the dashing vampires that cross her path? Some are more dangerous than others.

Cover by Zillah Designs.

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19. A Nightmare and a Trap

 

I held onto the edge of the saddle tightly when the terrain started getting rockier. The Four Peaks of Grief reared up before us, the tips disappearing into a bulk of grey clouds. I would be glad when I returned to the Realm of the Living where everything was colourful. It felt like I was seeing in black and white all the time in the Realm of the Undead.

“I didn’t know there was any weather in the Realm of the Undead.” I commented.

Ridge was sat in front of me, his hands grasping the reins. “There is, but only at high altitude.”

“I’m so sorry about all this.” I said suddenly, and rather randomly.

I could hear the smile in his voice as he replied. “What do you mean?”

“You know, this whole you having to be my bodyguard thing, helping me to save the Realm of the Living. I’m sure you’ve probably got more important stuff to do.”

“What could be more important than saving the Realm of the Living?” he laughed. “Anyway, I was the one that wanted to be your 'bodyguard'.”

“Do you think... my parents are ok? What if the Vampire Lords hurt them? I couldn’t stand it if they were hurt because of me.”

Ridge’s tone was hard. “They won’t need to sacrifice anyone if they don’t get the Infinity Blade, Danira.”

I nodded silently as I bounced up and down on the saddle. Scanning the rocky terrain I couldn’t help but feel despair. Where was the next clue?

 

Someone grabbed my arm and I opened my eyes with a gasp. I was on the horse, still riding towards the mountains.

“What is it?” I asked turning my head so that I could see Ridge.

Only it wasn’t Ridge it was Xavier. There was blood dripping from his mouth and lifting a hand to my neck I felt a sticky mess. Xavier was laughing manically and then he grabbed me and we were suddenly on the ground. Pinning me down Xavier crushed his bloodied lips onto mine. Then pulling away he bit his wrist and held it over my mouth. “Your turn,” he smiled. “Drink and you will become like me.” lowering his mouth to my ear he whispered. “Drink and then we can be together forever.”

“NO!” with a jolt I woke up sweating and filled with fear. A cold hand touched my arm and I screamed.

“Danira, what’s the matter?”

I breathed a sigh of relief. It was only Ridge. “I had a nightmare.”

Turning to look back so that he cold see me, his dark eyes were full of worry. “Are you alright? You nearly fell off the horse. I had to grab you to stop you from falling.”

My heart was slowing down to its normal pace and I answered. “I’ll be ok in a minute.”

“We are nearly at the mountains.”

I looked up at the gigantic mountains that towered over us imposingly. “Where should we start looking do you think?”

“I’m not sure, but Danira...” Ridge hesitated a moment. “We’re being followed.”

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up on end. “What did you say?”

“We’re being followed. There are three groups of zombies, around twenty in each group, that are being led by a vampire or two. They’re keeping their distance, but it’s obvious that they are herding us. They want us to take the path in between the two inner peaks, which would take us to the source of the River of Death.” he unconsciously pulled my arms tighter around him, as if to protect me.

I squinted to see where he was talking about and thought that I could see a narrow pass in between the two middle peaks, beside the river that flowed seemingly from the centre of the mountains. “Is that bad? Is there anything there?”

“I haven’t been there before, but there is rumoured to be a room that opens out to the spring. Thousands of years ago hundreds of the Undead lived in the caves inside the mountains.” Ridge said.

“Are there still some living there?” I wondered starting to get worried.

“Probably not.” he answered, not sounding entirely certain.

I gave a sigh and examined my ripped sleeves.

“Can I see the triangle?” Ridge asked.

“Of course,” I took my bag off and retrieved the triangular piece of metal. “Here you go.”

Ridge turned it over in his hands.

“Were you thinking that as we got nearer we got to the mountains that something might happen?” I asked, because that had been exactly what I had been thinking.

He nodded and handed it back to me. “I had hoped that it would somehow guide us to the location of the next clue.”

I stared down at the triangle, willing it to give us a sign. Ridge hissed and pulled at the horse’s reins causing it to snort in protest as we changed direction.

“What is it?” I asked looking around wildly.

“They’ve increased their pace. They are boxing us in, forcing us to go up the pass.” he growled. “I’m sorry Danira, but it looks like the only way we can go without encountering them is the way they want us to go.”

“It’s a trap isn’t it?” I whispered gripping the metal triangle in my hands.

“I believe so.”

 

The next hour and a half was a tense one as we made our way through the pass. On one side of us there was the river, and on the other there was the mountain side. There was nowhere for us to go but along the pass and I was convinced that at any moment we would be ambushed.

Ridge was wound tight like a spring and kept on asking me if I was ok. I wasn’t really, but I told myself that seeing as the Vampire Lords wanted to sacrifice me, or Mum or Dad instead, then the Undead that were working for the Vampire Lords wouldn’t want to kill me, hopefully. They could just want a taste of my blood I realised a moment later, causing a shudder to run down my spine. Having my blood taken against my will had to be the worst thing that had happened to me.

As we rounded a corner the dim light of the Realm of the Undead was suddenly cut off and we were plunged into darkness. I felt the horse stop and Ridge hop down silently from the saddle.

“Stay here.” he whispered.

I gathered the reins and gripped them tightly in my hands. Turning in the saddle, I looked behind me. The pass was out there, with the grey light and countless rocks. I could hear the river as well. So had we entered the caves?

There was a hand on my arm and I jumped.

“It’s all clear.” Ridge told me.

He helped me down from the horse and I grabbed his wrist so that I knew where he was.

“I can’t see where I’m going.” I told him quietly.

“There is a chamber not far from here with some lanterns in. Follow me and we will light one.”

“There are going to be Undead in here.” I muttered.

It wasn’t a question, but Ridge replied anyway. “Yes.”

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