Shadoe Rose: Part Twenty-FiveMature

this is it?” Andrew asked as he ducked under a few branches. “This is where
Shadoe’s dark deeds were done and where she found her companions?”

            “This is it,” Selena said. “This is where I…she found
them,” she added, a small note of pride and reverence in her voice.

            Andrew looked at the ground, not wanting to fall into any
graves. They were still open, dark, rotting mouths that gaped coldly toward the
light. Moss, vines, and other debris wrapped around the bones.

            “This is weird,” Andrew said, trying to hide the sudden
sense of fear trickling through his mind.

            Selena ignored him and walked toward the slab in the
middle of the clearing. “This is where it happened,” she said, almost lovingly,
as slender fingers traced the worn edges of the rock.

            “This is where what happened?” Andrew asked as he turned
toward her.

            “This is where I died,” she replied softly.

            “Selena?” he asked as he reached out to her. “You feeling

            She blinked and turned to him. “Fine. Why?” she snapped.
“Why wouldn’t I be?”

            He took a step back, hands up in surrender. “Sorry,
stupid question,” he said quickly. “So you ready to do some investigating or
whatever out here?”

            Selena blinked again, her eyes flashing icy blue for a
moment before she nodded. “Yeah. You look more over there, I want to look at
something over here.”

            Andrew nodded and crossed to the other side of the
clearing. “So I wanted to talk to you about something,” he said after clearing
his throat.

            “’Kay,” she said as she knelt down by the slab.

            “So yesterday when you were talking about that religion
stuff, I want to know more about it,” he began, inspecting the ground around
one of the graves. “Ever since we had that talk yesterday, I’ve been hearing
this soft voice in my head. It’s what told me to get the bible to save you last

            Selena tensed. “Religion is a lie,” she said. “A lie from
fat priests who line their pockets with the money and blood of sinners. And
there’s no voice. I just got sick last night, that’s all. There was no need for
that stupid bible to ‘save’ me. I would’ve been just fine on my own.”

            “But the way you were talking about it last night, it was
like you’d found something amazing. I didn’t think you’d change your mind so
quickly on this, it seemed like you were really stuck on it,” he said.

            The clearing was quiet.

            “Selena?” he asked. “Don’t be mad at me, just trying to
get some answers here,” he said with a small laugh, suddenly feeling very
uncomfortable. When she didn’t answer, he finally turned around. “Hey, just
forget I said anything,” he added, then quickly stopped.

            Selena was towering over him, her hands on her hips, skin
tight over her face and dark hair blowing in the wind. “Don’t ever bring any of
that up ever again,” she hissed angrily. “You want to know what religion is?
It’s a huge con, a scam. I just got pulled in momentarily.”

            Don’t listen to
her, the voice whispered softly in Andrew’s head. Selena loves Me too much to say this, even you know that. Look to her

            Andrew looked up at her eyes. Instead of their usual
green, like her father’s, they were a bright, blazing blue.

            “Are you done with your stupid questions?” Selena asked
in a clipped tone.

            “Almost,” Andrew replied. “Are you wearing colored

            Selena laughed, the sickly sound running over him like a
rockslide. “Is that what He told you to ask?” she inquired mockingly. “Don’t
look so shocked, I can tell you two are talking.”

            She grabbed his head. “God, do you hear me? This girl is
mine now! And you will never get her back! And for the boy,” she added as she
ran her eyes over him. “Well, he’ll be mine soon enough.”

            She threw Andrew down, where he fell into one of the
graves. It was empty.

            “Charlotte won’t like you in there, Andrew,” Selena
scolded. “Come out and play with me. Will you be a friend to me as well?” she
asked with a sinister smile.

            Call on Me and I
will protect you, the voice said softly.

            “What do I call you by?” Andrew asked out loud.

            Selena’s face hardened. “Liar! Deceiver!” she screamed

            Call for help, Andrew,
the voice replied, struggling to be heard over Selena’s screaming.

            “Help!” Andrew yelled as loud as he could. “Someone,

            Selena began screaming her chant louder, her voice
becoming harsh and unnatural. “Deceiver! Only darkness gives true life!”

            “Do not fill this boy’s head with your filthy lies,” said
a stern but calm voice.

            Andrew looked up again to see a tall blonde woman dressed
in white armor standing in front of him.

            Selena hissed, her eyes darting between the woman and
Andrew. “I will spare the boy,” she said in her harsh voice. “But your God will
not help him now.” She laughed.

            “Spirit of darkness, you have no right to him. He has
called for the Lord’s help and is under the protection of the Lord’s Anointed.
You have no right to him, servant of darkness.”

boy will fall out from His protection,” Selena growled. “And when he does,” she
said menacingly as her gaze slid to Andrew. “And when you do, I will take you.
And no one will be able to hear your screams for help where we will go.”

            Andrew shuddered and cowered behind the newcomer. His
skin crawled and stomach rolled with the change in Selena. He felt sick.

            “Andrew, you must go,” said the woman. “There are more
like me guarding you where you walk, but you will not always be able to see
them. Just know that we are there.”

            His feet started running out of the clearing with her
command. He broke the tree line in front of Rose Manor just as the screaming
started. Andrew began to turn around, wanting to make sure Selena was still okay.

            “Run, boy! Do not stop, it is not safe!” said a man that
suddenly appeared next to him. Like the woman in the clearing, he was also
dressed in pure white armor. “There are others with us, but you must keep
running. More like what has taken the girl will come after you,” he warned.

            “Is Selena going to be okay?” Andrew asked, feet glued to
the ground.

            “She will be okay, as soon as Shadoe lets go. I’ve never
seen a possession happen that fast, they usually take years, unless the
darkness is already so deeply embedded in her soul,” the man replied quickly as
he jerked Andrew forward.

            “But she’s a Christian. Doesn’t that count for anything?
Isn’t her God going to save her?” Andrew panted as the man pushed him to a
quicker pace.

            “Who do you think sent me?” the man asked with a quick
smile as he vanished in between steps.

            Keep running,
Andrew. Find Reverend Pierce at the church in the Old Square. He can help.

            Another scream cut through the air like steel wires
across skin. Andrew ran.

The End

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