Miriam was troubled by the news Samuel had given her. Demons in the river. That hadn't happened since, well, even Miriam could not remember the year. But she could remember the fear and terror. It would be catastrophic, she knew that much. But she couldn't be sure. So after Demrin had left, she called out to one of the ghouls.
"Bring me my bonnet." The creature looked at her, its blank eyes and drooping lip betraying its lack of intelligence. It loped off to her room and came back with a black bonnet. She took it and, after making sure it was secure, stepped outside and began to walk towards the river. As she walked she saw Terrance snatch an apple out of midair, wiping it hurriedly.
"Terrance," she called out when she was close enough, "Do you want me to give you a potion to help with that?" She always asked that question, but she already knew the answer.
"No, Ms. Parson, but thanks anyway." She shook her head sadly and walked away. Ever since the night his mother had died, Terrance had shunned all kinds of magic. Even she wasn't entirely sure what had happened. But she could feel him getting more powerful, and Miriam knew he wouldn't be able to contain it any longer. She remembered when he had been a young boy. He had always been so cheerful, but now...
She reached the river and looked around, wandering up and down the riverbank. At last, she spotted a stooped figure squatted over a burlap sack in the shadow of a building. As she went closer, she realized that the bag contained someone's lunch. It had had a lot more luck in finding food than Terrance had. She pressed a finger into the creature's shoulder, sending a spark of electricity through its body.
"Hello, Bones," she said as it yelped and turned around. Its face was fierce at first, but when it realized who it was, it fell groveling to the ground.
"Oh no! I sorry! I was only hungry, yes. Don't punish!" Miriam pursed her lips at his theatrics. Anyone with any experience with goblins would know that Bones really felt nothing but contempt for her. Behind his leathery green skin and beady eyes was a sharp cunning that was carefully searching for a way to rid itself of its adversary. But she wasn't afraid of him. Besides, she needed information, and Bones was the only creature who regularly visited their side of the river.
"Bones, what do you know about demons in the river?"
There was a flash of fear in his eyes. "I don't know."
"I am quite sure that you do." She took a step closer. He took one back and shook his head.
"Can't tell, can't tell!"
"Bones, what aren't you telling me?"
Instead of answering, he held his head in his hands and began babbling to himself.
"No, no, no. They is coming! They is coming! No! Death in the river!"
"Who?" Miriam grabbed his arm. "Who is coming?"
"They come in the darkness!" He screamed and ran off, disappearing into the woods on the edge of the river. Miriam stood there in shock. If this was what she thought it was, then the village she loved so much was in grave danger.