The Salem Mystique

High school is over and so is summer. It's
time for Billie and her friends to go to college.
As intended, Billie attends Salem Community
College with Riley and what secrets is Salem
hiding behind closed doors?
As Billie prepares for her first Samhain Ritual, she is
distracted by more than homework and family feuds. Two
mysterious German brothers show up in Salem, armed to the teeth.
Even with every faithful Witches eye upon them, she cannot rest
until she finds out their reason for being there.

A time for action is called as a small child is hurt and her
cousin, Rowanne, goes missing. Are the brothers to blame? And
why do these terrible things happen on and around the full moon?

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10. Long Lost

I forced myself to stay awake to avoid any more dreams that was just sure to send me around the bend.  Riona found me in the living room at three in the morning while Riley still slept in our room.

“What are you doing up so late?” she asked.

“I can’t take another one of those nightmares on top of the real nightmare in the waking world.”

“You need to sleep, Billie, you need your rest.”

“But they’ve not been very restful the last couple of nights.”

“Tell me all about the last dream you had.  What happened last night?” she asked.

“The hospital was cleaner, it seems to change with every dream.  I fought the demons again, alongside the wolf, which turns out to be Rowanne.”

“Do you think if you went to sleep again you could talk to Rowanne too?  May be find out where those men took her?”

“May be.  But we’re not talking about that just now.”

“Of course, tell me about the dream.”

“I got into her room the wolf grabbed the noose and the Reaper chased after her.  Inside the room was a broom that I used to swat the darkness away from Ruby then I knocked the clipboard with all her statistics off the bed and one sheet came loose.”

“What was on it?” Riona asked.

“A list of medicines.  Most were scribbled out but there was one still intact along with some initials.”

“What did it say?”

“Sodium Thiopental.  D.K.”

“What kind of medicine is that?  Whose initials are D.K?”

“I don’t know.  I thought I might Google it tomorrow morning.”

“Makes sense.  But you really should sleep, Billie.”

I scoffed.  “Is that ‘because you want me to make contact with Rowanne or because you want more of Ruby’s message?”

“Both.” she said before entering the kitchen.  “How did this come to you?” she asked holding up the noose.

“The Reaper came back with the noose, I grabbed it and the wolf and I ran out into the sunlight like the night before.”

“So you just woke up with the noose in your hand?”

“Yes.  I freaked out and came to see you but that was when I discovered the wolf from my dreams in your basement.”

“Interesting.” Riona said pensively.

 

***************************

 

Again I awoke in my hospital bed, just like in my other dreams, only this time the black wolf was waiting for me to wake up.  She trotted over to the open window where the dark dismal clouds hung in the sky.  Nimbly I climbed out of bed to join her as she gave one long piercing cry, she turned to me and our eyes met.  Closer I got to her, closer I looked into her eyes and there I could see Rowanne’s dirty brown eyes.

“Hello, Rowanne.” I said acknowledging that I knew she was there.  The wolf gave one happy bark before turning her head back to gaze into the skies expectantly.

 

Barely a minute later the dark clouds parted and the full moon in all her glory shone down upon us from the heavens above.  Rowanne howled once more before turning her back to the window and running out of the room.  Following her out I noticed she wasn’t heading in the direction of the coma ward but down to the main entrance.  She was faster than me, her padded paws barely touched the floor.  She got so far ahead of me at one point I only knew where she was because I could hear the clicking of her claws hitting the linoleum floors with every step she took.

 

I found her just outside the main doors, under the nearest light in the parking lot.  The tiny lit concrete field was lined with trees but I knew this was part of my dream ‘cause there was no trees in the real parking lot, all you could see was the buildings on either side of the hospital.  Rowanne stalked towards the trees where many animal eyes gleamed ever watchful of us.  After stepping through the space between two oak trees I turned to see the hospital still visible beyond the green thickets of leaves.  The scene around me was offsetting knowing I should have stepped out onto a small suburban street I instead found myself in an unknown forest.

 

Quickly I followed her into a dream that was not my own but my cousins.  Ruby was connected to me by dreams and now Rowanne was too, our minds were bleeding into each other’s these past few nights and god only knows the repercussions that would have on us.

 

Dozens of oak trees hinged a small clearing where the moonlight licked the treetops and emerald blades of grass, red and yellow tulips swayed in the warm evening breeze as the sound of ducks and the trickle of water from a nearby pool reached us.  It became clear to me that this was a werewolf haven as small rabbits hopped far away from the nearing wolves and the grazing dears roamed off to farther pastures.  There was plenty animals to prey on, a pool of water to drink from and soft warm grass to laze upon.

 

The wolves entered the forest from the west as we followed them to the shoreline from the south.  Many of them gathered to lap up the clear cool water, while others swam and chased the ducks or slept on the pool’s banks.  Rowanne squeezed between two large greying males to make room for us both by the waterside.  I got a shock when I looked into the water to see the reflection of the wolves wasn’t the animal reflection but that of the face of whom they really were.  Rowanne in wolf form stood to my left lapping up the water while her human face smiled up at me from the reflecting water.  The black-grey wolf to her left reflected her father’s, Ulric’s, face and the black wolf with just a few wisps of grey fur on my right was Ralph and the dark tanned wolf with a white fur collar was his wife, Daryna.

 

I looked all around me to the wolves near the water.  A wolf entirely grey stood on Ulric’s left, his reflection was of a man not much older than Ralph but with a head full of silver grey hair.  Further to his left was a reddish looking wolf slumbering in a bed of fallen autumn leaves, she was close enough to the water for me to see that she had long curly scarlet hair with a long nose and a prominent chin.  In the water three younger wolves chased the ducks, two were boys around my own age.  One in wolf form was a deep chocolate brown with short fur which matched his military style haircut and the other was black but not as dark as Rowanne with a round face and a cleft lip.  The third young wolf in the water with them was a girl, in wolf form her fur didn’t differ much from her hair either, it was long, shaggy and a dirty sort of blonde.  She didn’t look much older than fourteen and as far as I could see she was the youngest of the pack.  There many other wolves still in the forest chasing after their midnight meal or lazing around like the redhead.

“Why did you bring me hear?” I asked as Rowanne and some of the nearby wolves turned to listen curiously.

Rowanne grumbled indistinctly in her wolf throat before barking at something she saw in the water.  A sheet of paper floated along the waters’ surface from the west to the east, stretching my arm out I telekinetically changed the currents direction and the loan sheet flowed to the bank where we sat.

 

It was the front page of yesterday’s Salem Evening News with the picture of the small girl, Lydia Campbell, who was allegedly mauled by a black wolf.  Rowanne was the accused wolf and I knew I’d have to see the girl and find out what really happened to her.  May be she could help me find Rowanne in the waking world.

 

The crunch of leaves behind us and the wolves circled, snarling, on the alert for whomever was approaching.  A shock of red on white and I saw my pale cousin Ruby cowering behind a nearby tree.  She was ghostly pale and trembling as she struggled to keep on her bare feet.

“He’s coming.” she whispered, a cloud of breath escaping her mouth.

“Who is coming?” I asked.

“He’s going to put me back to sleep.”

“What are you talking about?  How did you get here, Ruby?”

“I crossed over the dreams, just like you did.” she hesitated.  “I waited for you to come to me just like you did before but when you didn’t I had to come find you.”

“I don’t know what you want me to do.  You send me all these cryptic dreams and clues but I don’t know what you want me to do with them.”

Her head snapped back round to the direction she’d come from before saying, “I have to go.  You should too, you don’t want anything else following you through here.”

“Wait!” I called to her as she moved to leave.  She quickly ducked down and rolled something towards me over the uneven ground before darting back to the hospital.  At my feet she had rolled a small syringe and needle with its cap on.  The syringe was full of a liquid that I was not familiar with and the small writing on the label read ‘Sodium Thiopental’.

 

I turned back to Rowanne just to see she was no longer there either.

“Where did she go?” I asked the circle of wolves.

They all looked around the forest like they hadn’t noticed she’d gone either.  Eventually the reddish one ran back to the shoreline and started barking at the short cliffs opposite us.  There Rowanne stood on her own watching us in the darkness, suddenly her head turned upwards and she howled.  Her cry was heartbreaking, twice more she cried before the darkness swallowed her whole.  The wolves cried out to her but she wasn’t heard again, after a failed struggle to get to her the wolves soon ran back to the west where they entered the forest before.

 

I tried to follow them but they were too fast for me and eventually I got more than a little lost looking for them.  After going round in another circle of dead ends I wound up at the clearing, behind a tree near the bank a figure stood holding something I couldn’t quite see.  Remembering what Ruby said I’d guessed this figure had followed us from one dream to this one.  Tentatively I stepped forward to get a better view of who stood behind the tree.

“Hello, whose there?” I called.

The head of the figure turned to look at me but its face was blocked by a low hanging tree branch.  It dropped the bundle in its arm and kicked it down the small slope where it rolled down just a few feet from me.  The bundle was a person a person I knew very well.  Matilda lay still on the ground her eyes frozen open in fear and blood flowing freely from a wound in her throat.  I ran to her, I tried to wake her but she stayed still.  The image of Eve in her coffin still and dead came back to me as Matilda’s body limply dangled in my arms.

“You did this!” I shouted to the figure behind the tree.  “You killed her!”

“And you killed us.” Desiree and Astrid Moon said stepping out on either side of the hidden figure.  “You owe him two lives so he’ll start with your friends and family.” Desiree said removing the tree branch to show her brother Christian standing there with blood smearing his mouth.  “Then he’ll come for you.”

Christian leapt off the slope and landed on me, pinning me to the ground.  His face changed from the handsome stuck up boy I’d first met to a monster.  Blood covered fangs shot forth and his eyes went dark as the sky before he struck like a snake and bit me.

 

Riley caught me in his arms as I launched out of my bed every nerve on fire as the dream came to an end.

“It’s okay, I’ve got you.  I’ve got you, you’re safe.” he said soothingly rubbing my back.

I clung onto him for dear life so tightly he would’ve choked if he had the need to breathe.  He cradled me in his lap and raised a glass of water to my mouth where I gratefully drank the cool water.  He held me till I was calm before letting me sit up in bed.

“What happened to you?” he said brushing my hair aside and kissing me.  “What did you see?”

“I saw the wolves, Ulric’s pack.”

“What else?”

“The Moon sisters and Christian.  He killed Matilda and then he attacked me.” I cried.

“Shh…” he soothed me.  “Did they say anything?”

“Desiree said I owed him two lives and that he’d start with my friends and my family, then he’d come for me.”

“Willem, call her grandmother make sure everyone’s alright.” Riley said to the open doorway where Willem and Riona stood.

“Thank you.”

“What about Ruby?  Did you see her?” Riley asked.

“Yes, but not in the hospital.  I crossed over from my dream to Rowanne’s and Ruby followed me there.  I need to find out what Sodium Thiopental is.”

“You said that last night, too.” Riona said.  “You said you were going to Google it.”

“I will, right now.  Riley, could you pass me my lap top, please?”

“Billie….”

“Please, Riley.  It might help me understand the reason behind these dreams.”

“Alright.” he said reaching into my bag for the computer.

“Your grandmother says everyone is well.” Willem said with the phone in his hand.

“Can I speak to Matilda?” I asked.

“I’ll ask.” Willem said returning to the phone.  “Hey, Mrs. Black, can you put Matilda on?  Billie wants a word with her.  Here.” he said passing the phone to me.

“Matilda?” I asked taking the phone.

“Bill?  What’s going on?  Why are you calling so early?” Matilda asked.

“Sorry, I had a bad dream.  I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“A bad dream about me?  Was it the prophetic kind of dream?” she asked worried.

“No.” I lied.  “I don’t know.  Just let me know if you see or hear from Christian.”

“Will do.  Bye, Bill.”

“Bye, Matilda.”

 

Handing the phone back to Willem, Riley passed me my laptop already loaded and on Google.  I typed in the word Sodium Thiopental and it came up with a long list of results, one at the top was for an Encyclopedia entry.  On the website was a contents table and the third on the list was written ‘Medically Induced Coma’.  My gasp alerted the others that I’d found something and gathered around my bed to get a better look at the screen.

“What does it say, Billie?” Riona asked.

“It says Sodium Thiopental can be used to medically induce comas.  Listen ‘Thiopental was historically used to induce medical comas.  It has now been superseded by drugs such as Propofol.’  Do you know what this means?”

“What?” they asked in unison.

“Someone’s been keeping Ruby in a coma.  Drugging her, the coma is not real.”

“Oh my god!” Riona cried.  “We need to find the person who did this to her.”

“D.K. were the initials I saw in my dream.  Who do we know with those initials?  Someone who knows medicine undoubtedly.”

 

A knock at the front door interrupted our new discovery as Riona and I went to see who could be visiting at three in the morning.  When Riona opened the door there stood Ulric with his brother and sister-in-law either side of him.

“Hello, Riona.” Ulric said in a gruff voice.

“Ulric.” My aunt said in a hushed voice before passing out.

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