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Nephilim: Genesis Of Evil Part 26

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Clinton raised a hand, then let it fall to his side. He didn't say anything in reply, because he couldn't. He had no explanation.

CHAPTER 52.

It was past dinnertime, but no one felt like eating. They were in Anna's kitchen, only this time Nicholas and Clinton were there. And Jimmy was not. Clinton hadn't yet reported the dead deputy or the man in the woods. Rory knew Clinton was breaking the law in not reporting it, but Clinton had said he would at least hear everything before he did anything. Rory took that as a good omen. He didn't disbelieve them. Not yet, anyway.

"Nephilim?" Clinton asked in a skeptical voice, scowling at Rory and puzzling over all the recent events. Earlier Nicholas had described what he'd seen and heard when his father tried to get Jimmy. Rory could tell Clinton was having a hard time a.s.similating Nicholas' story with what Clinton had seen in the woods, and with what Myrtle had told him moments before about Joan and Samuel. And now Rory had finished relating what he knew, including seeing the ceremony with Lillian earlier that day.

"Nephilim?" Clinton said again.



"That's what I thought," Rory said. It was difficult explaining everything to Clinton. "But after what happened " He let the sentence hang in the air.

No one said a word, as if they were waiting on the silence to provide an answer. Rory wiped a hand over his shirt. It rubbed stiffly against his skin, the dried blood mingled with his own sweat. He had washed the hiker's blood off his hands and arms, but not out of his clothing, or his memory.

"You don't know what it was out there," Clinton said.

Rory gazed at him. "You saw the body of that man. You tell me how he got that way."

Clinton lifted his shoulders in a faint shrug. "This is crazy." He chewed on his lip thoughtfully. "How can a body mummify like that? And so fast?"

"I don't know."

"It's easy to dismiss," Myrtle said, "until you start putting it all together. I saw Joan get taken, Rory saw that ceremony, and then what happened when they ran into the man in the woods. And then that spirit talked to him." She shivered and Rory saw goose b.u.mps dot her arms.

"I don't understand why the water made him mad," Anna put in. "Why was that?"

Rory thought hard. "I don't know. He wasn't fazed by the gun, but the water freaked him out."

"Tell me again what happened," Clinton said.

Rory complied, starting with Myrtle coming to visit him yesterday, telling him about Joan being hypnotized and led away by Samuel, and ending with his fight with the stranger in the woods. Anna and Myrtle interjected periodically, adding details that he left out, and when he finished, he could tell by the look on Clinton's face that he still wasn't sure about this. But he didn't think they were crazy, either.

"You know something strange is going on," Rory said. "How else can you explain all the people disappearing, your deputy being killed, Nicholas being in shock about something he saw, and the decomposed state of that body out in the woods?"

"I don't know," Clinton said.

Rory snapped his fingers. "I just thought of something. I saw other people in that clearing this afternoon that I didn't recognize. Maybe they were from the posse."

"They were taken," Anna whispered. "Or they're dead."

"Why didn't you tell me that earlier?" Clinton asked.

"As it was, I was afraid you were going to arrest me. Why give you more reason to?" Rory replied.

"A bunch of killings doesn't mean there are evil spirits at work," Clinton said.

"What about the town rumors?" Myrtle asked.

"You've said yourself that's just nonsense," Clinton responded.

"It's not. What did that spirit, or whatever it was, say to you?" Myrtle focused on Rory. "When you, uh, killed the hiker?"

The image of the man on the ground in a pool of blood flashed through Rory's mind. He fought down a sudden nausea before replying. "It said 'You are called.' and 'It is time.'"

"What does that mean?" Clinton asked.

"I wish I knew."

"It's stalking us," Nicholas whispered. He'd been silent throughout the conversation, and his soft voice surprised them. He sat scrunched down in his chair, trying to remain inconspicuous.

"You saw something the other night, didn't you?" Rory asked calmly, hoping his voice wouldn't shove Nicholas back into his sh.e.l.l.

Clinton shifted in his chair so that he faced Nicholas directly. "What do you know, son?"

Nicholas' gaze darted around the room. "I saw that fisherman take him."

"Mick?" Clinton leaned in.

"Uh huh. They were doing a ceremony." He described what he'd seen. "The sky got real dark, and it came out of the sky."

Rory broke out in a sweat. Nicholas' description was too familiar. "It?"

Nicholas bobbed his head. "Like evil, you know. It was sort of like a mist, but not really." He tried to show them with his hands, then gave up. "Whatever it was, you could see it go into the guy who works at the cafe. He screamed, like it hurt him."

"Samuel," Myrtle hissed. Anna m.u.f.fled a gasp.

"Then what happened?" Clinton kept his voice even.

"I..." Nicholas hesitated. His fingers played with the frayed edge of the tablecloth. "I made some noise, and they heard me. But they came after Mick. That fisherman took him and must've done the same thing that he did to Samuel." He hung his head. "It's my fault he's gone."

"Don't you say that," Myrtle said. "You couldn't help what happened. None of us could. Whatever that was out there is mighty powerful, and there was nothing you could do."

Nicholas looked up at her. Tears threatened to tumble out of his eyes. "I didn't mean to make noise, but I was scared."

"We all are," Anna said wearily.

"What was the mist like?" Rory asked. "Like a tornado, and yet not really. Just a presence that you can't adequately describe?"

Nicholas squinted at Rory, his eyebrows joining in one thoughtful line. "Yeah, kinda. It's like you said, it's hard to describe."

"But you knew it was evil."

Nicholas nodded.

"Did it seem to talk to you?"

"Yeah." Nicholas seemed surprised that Rory would know the mist spoke to him.

"Did you understand it?"

"No, but it still seemed like it was talking."

He'd seen it, too, Rory thought. But what did it mean?

"What's all this?" Clinton interrupted.

"I saw it, too," Rory said. "Both up at the clearing, and something similar, a mist, in New York, right before I was. .h.i.t by the car." He explained about his accident.

"You think your experience in New York is connected to this?" Clinton asked.

Rory stared past him, thinking. "Probably. Strange things have been happening to me since then." Like having such vivid and pointed dreams and hearing voices when he was alone. "Is it connected to what Nicholas saw? And why the misty thing in New York and the vortex here? Who knows?"

They mulled this over as shadows stole their way into the kitchen.

"But ancient spirits?" Clinton said to know one in particular.

"Jimmy knew something." Nicholas was as talkative as they'd ever seen him.

"What was he going after?" Anna sat up straighter. Rory noticed the sad turn of her lips, but she had a determined energy about her.

"My father asked Jimmy if he was the preacher." Nicholas shrunk a little under Anna's intense focus on him. His vacillation between speaking up and then shriveling when he was noticed reminded Rory of an abused dog that craves attention but is afraid of his owner at the same time. Rory wondered what Nicholas' family life had been like. Probably not pleasant. "Why would your dad ask Jimmy that?" he asked.

"Dad was a preacher a long time ago," Anna said, then added, "He ran the store on the side," to answer Rory's questioning look.

"How would your father have known that Jimmy was once a preacher?" Myrtle asked Nicholas. The boy lifted his shoulders helplessly.

"It wasn't his father," Rory said, frowning sympathetically at Nicholas. "He's been taken over."

Nicholas sniffled.

"I'm sorry," Myrtle whispered.

Nicholas wiped a tear off his cheek. "It's okay. He was a jerk, anyway." He reddened, looking around to see if anyone would judge him by his words.

"What else did you hear?" Rory asked him, sensing the stress would soon get to him. They'd better get out what he knew now.

"Jimmy said he needed to get the minor chronicle."

"Did he say anything else?" Clinton turned to Nicholas, concern on his face.

"He was mumbling about going across the lake. The answer was there. In the minor chronicle, or something like that." Nicholas flashed his eyes at Anna, then looked away uncomfortably. "I'm sorry. That's all I heard. I should've tried to stop him, but I didn't."

Anna reached across the table and grasped his hand. "It's okay. You did what you could."

"What chronicle?" Clinton posed the question to them all.

"Chronicles. They're two books in the Old Testament, but neither one of them is considered minor. That term is used with the prophets, the major and minor prophets. But I've never heard of Chronicles referred to as a minor book," Anna said. "And why would Dad think there's something in those books?"

"What're they about?" This from Myrtle.

"They're mostly a history of the Jewish kingdom under David and Solomon." Anna got up and went to the other room, returning with a well-worn Bible. "I don't know why they would've been important to Dad." She sat back down and started thumbing through the book. "There's so much in them, I wouldn't know where to start."

Rory suddenly pushed away from the table and stood up. "Wait a minute! Not Chronicles from the Bible." They all looked at him in surprise. "A chronicle, like a diary or a journal. And not minor, but m-i-n-e-r. The miner's journal. The cabin originally belonged to that miner, Burgess Barton, right? What if he left a diary about what happened in the town when he lived here? A miner's chronicle."

"Yes! That makes sense," Myrtle said.

Anna nodded. "I can't believe I never thought of that."

"Whoa, hold on. You're just speculating," Clinton said.

"No I'm not."

"Why not?"

Rory leaned on the back of his chair. "Because I dreamt about it."

"You're kidding," Anna said.

"It's true. Since I've been staying out there, I've had a couple of weird dreams, and in them, there's an old miner, and he's trying to warn me. And there's a book, or journal, somewhere in a mine."

"The infamous Barton mine," Myrtle said incredulously. "Maybe it really does exist."

"Jimmy must've known about a diary or journal," Rory replied, "and he was going out there to look for it."

"But how did he know?" Anna asked.

Rory wrinkled his brow. "Maybe he dreamed about it, too. He had to have known there was something out there, or he wouldn't have risked his life crossing the lake to get to it."

A look of sadness pa.s.sed across Anna's face. "He tried to tell us about it, about how a voice talked to him about it. And we didn't listen."

A hush fell over them, filled with sudden loss and regret.

"Even if we do find a journal, will that answer our questions?" Clinton asked.

Rory sat down heavily. "I don't know. But do you have any other suggestions?"

Clinton waited a long time before he shook his head.

"I have to go back to the cabin," Rory said. "I have to find out whatever it was that Jimmy should've found." Both women turned to stare at him.

"Now?" Myrtle finally asked.

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Nephilim: Genesis Of Evil Part 26 summary

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