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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18. The Guardian's of Mourner's Lake

 

Something cold and tangy was flowing down my throat. There was pressure on my lips and I tried to pull away.

“Hush, just a bit more.”

As the strange liquid made its way through me the horrendous pain that was everywhere slowly faded to a dull ache, until it was gone completely. I forced my eyes open and blinked several times.

Ridge was kneeling beside me holding his wrist. Seeing that I was awake he leaned forwards concerned. “How are you feeling?” he asked, placing a cold hand on my cheek.

Glancing at his wrist and finding nothing there, I answered. “I feel pretty great actually, like I can do anything. What happened? The last thing I remember is...”

Ridge immediately looked guilty and helped me to sit up even though I didn’t need his aid. “I... I drank some of your blood. I’m sorry, Danira. I couldn’t stop myself.” seeing me flinch he quickly continued. “Only from the wound, I didn’t drink any directly from your veins.”

I raised a hand to my neck but found nothing. No gaping hole in my neck, just unmarked skin. “Where has it gone?” examining my arms I found no trace of the numerous cuts and bruises I had no doubt obtained from rolling down the hill.

“I gave you some of my blood. It healed everything.”

Not everything. I thought silently, my thoughts going to Xavier and his betrayal.

“Ridge I'm so sorry about the things that I said.”

He gave me a sad smile. “That's ok.”

I felt a bit ill at the idea of vampire blood residing in my veins. “I’m not going to become a vampire am I?” I asked, trying to conceal my fear.

Ridge shook his head. “No. You only become a vampire if you are killed with vampire blood in your system, or drink too much at once. I didn’t give you much, only enough to save you. You were dying Danira. You’d lost so much blood.” he looked away, his face unreadable.

“Thank you.” reaching out a hand I squeezed Ridge’s shoulder. “If it wasn’t for you I’d be dead. Thank you for the blood and for saving me from Xavier.”

His dark eyes seemed limitless as I gazed into them. “You’re welcome.”

“Where are we?” I dragged my gaze away from him, turning it instead to our surroundings. There was a huge mass of murky looking water beside us. “Is this Mourner’s Lake?”

“Yes it is. Somewhere nearby is the next clue.”

I tilted my head. “Why is it called Mourner’s Lake?”

Ridge drew his knees up and rested an arm on them. “The legend goes that the Realm of the Undead was created by a widow who had recently lost her husband. When her work was finished, she starting crying for her husband and her tears formed a lake.”

“Mourner’s Lake.” I nodded.

“Yes and she also made the Four Peaks of Grief.” Ridge explained, gesturing to the mountain range that was in the distance to the right.

There was another mountain range on the right hand side but Ridge didn’t say what they were named. Directly behind us was the steep slope that I had fallen down. No wonder it had been so painful, there were hundreds of stones, and the odd tree stump scattered across it.

I faced the lake again. “Do we have to search all of this?” I asked gesturing to the huge expanse of water.

Ridge nodded. “It looks like it.” he pulled the metal triangle from his pocket and handed it to me. Then he stood up and walked away around the outside of the lake.

My eyes fell on the surface of the lake and an idea formed in my head. Would something happen if I dipped the metal into the water? I knelt down at the lip of the lake. Gripping the metal triangle in one hand I lowered it into the lake. Nothing happened. Disappointed I pulled my hand from the cold water but something darted out of the lake and grabbed my wrist.

“Ridge!”

I tried to pull my hand away but whatever it was that had a grip on me wasn’t letting go. Then with a scream I was pulled under the surface of the lake. Something was dragging me down deeper and deeper. I thrashed around trying to break free but now it felt like hundreds of hands were grabbing at me, clawing at my dress and hair. I looked up through the dark water and could see the dim light dancing off the surface of the lake quickly disappearing. My lungs were screaming for oxygen and my eyesight started to go fuzzy. Then I gave a gasp and water flooded into my lungs.

 

I couldn’t swim. I should have learned when I was younger but Mum and Dad had always been too busy. Now I was regretting not having been more insistent. It seemed that I must be swimming now though, because I felt like I was floating. I opened my eyes widely to see that I was resting on a stone floor. I squinted up at the strange sky. It was shimmering and seemed to be made of dark liquid... I was underwater! But how was I alive? I was breathing. I could feel my lungs filling and emptying. I had to be in the lake that was the only explanation. Around me I could see great stone columns rising up. Then I sat up and saw that I wasn’t alone.

Surrounding me were reanimated corpses. Some had little skin remaining, others looked like normal humans, but all of them were staring at me. They were revenants I realised. Revenants were animated corpses that were brought back from the grave to terrorise the living. I recalled grimly that they drank blood.

I turned to look behind me and saw a high backed throne made from gold. Sat on which was a strangely dressed revenant that only had some chunks of skin missing. Standing up I faced the revenant on the throne. I could see now that I was in what looked like ruins of an ancient city. The revenants around me all turned toward the throne.

“You will kneel before me.” the voice was reedy and sent shivers down my spine. It was when none of the revenants moved that I realised the throne revenant had been speaking to me.

“Not until you tell me why you brought me here.” I demanded my head tingling as my hair floated upwards in the surrounding water.

The throne revenant cackled and a low laughter sprung up among the other revenants.

“You will do as I command.” he held out a bony hand and I felt my knees grow weak. I fought against him as best I could, but I wasn’t strong enough and fell to my knees. I stared at him in horror. I didn’t know that revenants had powers. Something glinted at the bottom of my vision and I looked down to see the metal triangle that had led Ridge and me here to Mourner’s Lake. I hoped that the revenants hadn’t got him too.

“What do you want with me?” I asked, a slight tremor betraying my calm exterior.

“What does my kind usually want?” the throne revenant asked with a smirk that revealed rotting teeth.

I blanched. “Why haven’t you already killed me then?”

“We do not get many visitors down here in the depths of Mourner’s Lake.”

“You can’t kill me,” I told him, gripping the triangle hard in my hand. “I have to find the clue to the Infinity Blade.”

An eerie silence fell and the throne revenant eyed me harshly. “What do you want with the Infinity Blade?”

“I have to stop the Vampire Lords from getting it. They want to take over the Realm of the Living.” I answered, feeling my neck for gills. Maybe that was how I was breathing, but I didn’t feel any.

The throne revenant leaned forwards and narrowed his eyes at me. “A likely story, you are lying. You want the power for yourself and I cannot allow that.” he reached a hand out towards me.

“Wait!” I cried. “Please, I am telling the truth. Isn’t there a way I can prove it to you?”

Lowering his hand the throne revenant regarded me calmly. “Very well, I will be able to know whether or not you are telling the truth by reading your thoughts.” there was a loud creaking as he stood up and I could hear bones clicking together as the throne revenant walked towards me. Stopping in front of me he touched two wrinkled fingers to my forehead. “I hope for your sake that you are not lying.”

I felt my breath sucked from my lungs as an electric shock ran through my body and flashes of my memories flittered before my eyes. After what seemed like an eternity the throne revenant moved away and I crumpled to the ground feeling as if I had run a marathon.

The throne revenant was silent until he had sat back down on the gold throne. “You spoke the truth. This threat created by the Vampire Lords is real, and if you do not stop it then chaos will fall and the Living will be no more.”

I gave a sigh of relief that he had taken the time to learn the truth. “Yes, so will you tell me where the next clue is?” I asked, dragging myself up so that I was sitting.

The throne revenant gazed at the revenants that had been silently watching us. “My people the time has come. Our purpose has been served.” he cried standing up.

I frowned in confusion. “Wait, what do you mean?”

He looked down at me. “We are the Guardians of Mourner’s Lake. It is our duty to guard one of the clues of the Infinity Blade. Now that you have come to claim the clue it is time for us to go.”

“But where is the clue?” I asked desperately.

The throne revenant smiled surprisingly serenely and raised his hands in the air. There was a bright flash and through the piercing light the revenants seemed to suddenly become human.

Then the light and the revenants were gone and I was on the ground coughing and spluttering as I breathed air again.

“Danira!”

I groaned as water poured out of my nose and I moved onto my back to see Ridge grinning ear to ear.

He helped me to sit up. “What happened?” Ridge asked me, wrapping his cloak around me.

“There were revenants.” I told him through chattering teeth. I felt soaked through to the bone in cold lake water. “They were guarding the next clue. It was like that riddle said, they were waiting for someone to come and collect it. Now they are free.”

Ridge took one of my freezing hands in his and rubbed it to warm it up. “I tried to go in the water after you, but I couldn’t get through the surface. It was like it had turned to ice.”

I smiled at him. “Thank you. The leader thought that I was lying, but then he read my thoughts.”

“What is the next clue?” Ridge asked.

I looked down at the metal triangle in my hand, the same three words on it as before. “He didn’t give me anything, he just smiled.”

I turned the triangle over and gasped. There was a new clue.

The depths of my grief are four fold but know no end. Death is born within me.

“What does that mean?” I asked looking up at Ridge in confusion.

He let go of my hand and grabbed the map Tiberius had put in with our supplies, pulling it from a pocket. Laying the map flat on the ground he scanned it with his dark eyes. “Here,” he said pointing at The Four Peaks of Grief. “It must be here. No one knows how high the peaks are, and the spring that later becomes the River of Death originates from deep within the mountains.”

“The next clue could be anywhere in the mountain range.” I sighed, pulling Ridge’s cloak tighter around me as I stumbled to my feet, my legs numb.

He folded the map back up. “I know but we have to try. We should leave immediately before anyone else arrives.” there was something in Ridge’s voice that made me look up. “I fear that we will not be alone for much longer.” he elaborated his dark eyes troubled.

 

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