When Selena finally woke up, she was lying in her own bed, with soft sunlight filtering through her bright green curtains. Her room was black, white, green, and silver, and decorating it had been one of the last things that she and her mom had done together.
Soft footsteps sounded outside her door, then the door opened slowly.
“You’re finally awake,” her dad said, visibly relieved when he saw her.
She nodded. “What happened?” she asked, her voice raspy from thirst.
“Honestly, I’m not sure. You and Andrew were downstairs, and then I heard you screaming and when I ran into the living room, you were on the floor screaming and thrashing around like something was attacking you,” her dad answered. “You want to tell me what you and Andrew were doing down there?”
Selena looked away. “We were just reading a book, and then I saw what killed mom,” she said softly.
She felt her dad stiffen and could envision the look of anger that would be dancing across his face now.
“Selena Rayne, Annika died of cancer, not because of whatever demonic force you think killed her,” he said, his voice dangerously soft. “Can you let her spirit rest in peace instead of trying to bring her back to life?”
“I’m not trying to bring her back to life, dad. I’m just trying to tell you what really killed her. And maybe if you’d come to church with me sometime, you’d see what killed her and how I’m at peace now. I know where I’m going when I die, do you?”
“That’s not what we were talking about, Selena. I’ll come back and talk to you again when you won’t change the subject to things that don’t matter.” Shaine stood and walked back out of her room.
Selena bit her lip, tears welling up in her eyes. Lord, please soften his heart, she silently prayed.
She sat up grabbed the picture frame from her nightstand, her hand brushing against a small book with a leather cover. Curious, she looked at the book. Instead of her bible being there, it was Charlotte’s book.
Selena quickly drew her hand back and stared at the book as if it were a poisonous snake. As she watched the book, the clasp lazily slid open and dropped off the side of the book, and the cover flipped open. One by one, the pages began to turn, slowly picking up speed. As the pages began turning faster and faster, Selena could hear her name being whispered by thousands of voices crying out in torment. Charlotte’s book and the chorus of the damned were calling her name.
Selena continued to watch in fear as the chorus calling her name grew louder and louder.
When she thought she couldn’t take it anymore, the pages stopped, and a single voice called her name out in a mourning voice that made Selena’s heart ache. The voice sounded familiar as it called her name again and again. It was her mother’s voice.
Unable to resist her mother’s call, Selena finally picked up Charlotte’s book and looked at the page it had stopped on. The page the book had opened to was the spell that Annika and Shadoe Rose had used to see the man they thought they would marry. Selena read the page silently, her lips moving along to the words. How bad would it be just to try the spell once? And if she wasn’t going to marry Andrew, she could at least go ahead and let him go if he wasn’t the one for her.
Selena shook her head. No, that wasn’t right. If God wanted her to know who her husband was going to be, He would let her know on His own time.
She looked down at the page again. It was so tempting, and so easy to do to see who she’d marry. As Selena was contemplating doing the spell again, the book was torn out of her hands and thrown across the room. She heard a deep growl roll across the air like thunder as the book hit the ground, and for a second, she could see the demon that had tried to kill her in her dream. Selena froze in fear as he picked up the book and took a step toward her. The next second he was gone, replaced with a blonde woman in white armor with a flaming sword.
Selena heard a sound that could only be described as a scream as the woman brought her sword down on the place where the demon had been standing. The woman turned and quickly walked to Selena.
“Do not be afraid, Selena, for I am an angel of the Lord.”
“What’s your name?” Selena asked, her fear overcome by awe.
The woman smiled and gently pushed Selena back down on her bed. “Abigail,” she answered as she disappeared in a flash of white light.