This is an attempted beginning of a novel to come, about two families, both different, who begin to see strange shadowy beings around their homes. As the plot unfolds, the characters will be drawn together by forces within themselves to face the things that are emerging from the interdimentional portal that has just opened up near their home.
Stepheni Cromson sat in the study, her eyes on an easel, holding a fine-tipped paintbrush in her dainty, long-fingered hands.
she had suddenly risen from bed at the crack of dawn, struck by a weird inspiration from a dream she could barely recall, and compelled to come into the study and paint.
her brush moving in quick, deliberate strokes, her mind concentrated on the painting so much that she did not even bother to glance at the clock, Stepheni's emerald-green eyes were tired and dry, but her mind was clear and entirely, inexplicably focused on finishing this painting.
it was of a landscape, a strange unrecognizable landscape, with snow, an inky black sea, and a dark starless sky.
black, silver, green, blue and gold, she weaved different colors together like a well quilted blanket, relishing in the creative bliss only an artist can feel.
she had never been struck with inspiration this strong, because after all, she wanted to be a journalist, not an artist.
the clock said 5:01 in the morning, but she didn't care. the only thing that mattered was finishing this painting before she went to school at eight o clock.
as she drew, she was being guided by thoughts that she at first, thought were hers.
"mountains. make them silver. they are overlooking the sea. below there are mounds of snow flecked with gold."
these thoughts surprised, if not frightened her, for they were strong, commanding, irresistible, and not her own.
she could not remember the dream she had been summoned from, but the forgotten details were pouring from her subconscious like a relentless river, desperate to make it to the ocean.
she dipped her brush in a nearby glass of water, shook off the access moisture, and dabbed at the silver paint on her palette.
in the painting now, there was something of a forest, although it was nothing a forest should look like. it was blue, crystalline, but did not shed light into the abyss between it.
"there is someone standing on the mountains overlooking the sea. they are staring at the land below. make sure the mountains can be seen against the horizon."
Stepheni was frightened. what she was painting scared her, but at the same time in excited her, because it was beginning to represent a coming revelation, a hidden truth, that was trying to let itself be known. her father Ned Cromson, was sleeping on the couch in the living room, as he always did. he was snoring, but Stepheni did not hear him. she did not hear anything but her own frantic thoughts, did not see anything but the mysterious art she was creating, of that strange world on her canvas.
Stepheni could not believe how detailed, how real looking, this painting was turning out to be. she had never made anything close to this before. as the brush kept moving, and her thoughts kept racing, she was becoming aware that something was behind her, that a presence was watching her. she had not heard footsteps enter the study, but she could feel someone there.
suddenly, on the far wall, near her mother's drawing table to her left, Stepheni saw something out of the corner of her eye.
a shadow, something dark, tall, looming, menacing, the vague shape of a man standing against the wall.
Stepheni gasped, turned in the chair she was sitting in, and looked at the wall.
to her surprise, and relief, nothing was there.
this strange thing in her periphery had pulled her away from the almost hypnotic urge to finish the painting.
when she looked at it, she saw that it was already finished.
the landscape was filled with almost luminous snow, and in the distance were mountains, in which a figure could be seen looking down from them. on the other side there was a forest of large blue crystals, and standing in the snow, was a humanoid shadow. just like the one she had just glimpsed on the wall to her left.
Stepheni almost screamed. she had not painted this. sure, she had been in such weird state of mind when making it, but she was so focused that there was no doubt in her mind that she did not remember painting that shadow.
for almost half a minute she sat there, staring at that shadow thing, and was abruptly filled with a sense of revulsion. she had to put away this painting. her parents should not see it.
hastily, warily, she picked up the painting and took it to her room. there was enough room in her closet for it to sit there without getting smeared.
after that was done, she dared to look at her bedroom clock.
it was 7:39! Stepheni was seventeen, a year older than her brother, Dan, who was smart enough to have already left for school a long time ago. she tried to be a straight A student, so that she might one day become a journalist. she had just aquired a job at Payton's Outdoor And Hunting Store, as a clerk. Stepheni could not afford to be late for school, so she would really have to hurry.
Stepheni went over to her vanity mirror, and pulled her long blonde hair into a ponytail, as she often did, and for a moment studied her reflection.
she looked tired, her normally vibrant green eyes had dark circles under them. her almost too thin figure was still wearing a Mickey Mouse nightgown.
for the first time today she noticed the sun was peeking in her bedroom window. the sun relieved her. the prospect of a new day relieved her, because it always promised something new. today was different. she could sense it with every fiber of her being. something was about to change, though she didn't know what.
for the past few days it had been nothing but rainy downpours, and now the sun drove away the clouds and made everything warm like spring weather should be.
turning away from the window, Stepheni noticed her shadow on the wall, which reminded her of what she had seen in the study only moments before.
"what was that thing?" she wondered to no avail. "no one died in this house. it was built recently, we are the only ones who have been here. there is no ghost here, if ghosts exist."
the Cromsons were just an ordinary, hardworking family, with no more interest in the supernatural than a scientist who studies plants. nothing like this had happened before. Stepheni blamed this on her imagination immediately, and hoped that if she ignored it, it would go away.
and even if she did tell her family, they would never believe her, she knew that.