Magic Spawn: Prologue

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An October wind whistled through the maple trees, sending a new flurry of burnt orange leaves to the ground. Dark clouds glowered on the horizon as the sun slipped down behind the mountains as Lauretta Bross hurried down the front steps of their Victorian farmhouse. 

"Corey!" she called. 

A cold breeze tickled her skin, blowing her sandy blond hair. She shivered and hurried over the lawn to the back of the house. She avoided a pile of toy cars left by her seven year old son, Rian. The smell of sour apples from the orchard reminded her that she'd meant to pick and can more this year but just hadn't been able to find the time. Now the season was getting too late.

There were a lot of things she hadn't found time for.

"Corey?" she yelled towards the barn, but it was dark.

No sign of her husband back here. She headed to the front yard. Down the long driveway that connected their little farm to Springville Lane, Lauretta thought she saw a figure. The sun was setting fast and it was hard to see.

She could see his leather hat, a long wool cloak that looked the right shade of dark green in this light. An outline of his favorite heirloom sword could be seen at his side. It was Halloween night, but sometimes Corey wore this outfit for other occasions. He was a bit eccentric.

"Is that you, Corey?" she called, but the wind swallowed up her words. The figure kept walking away from the house. Who else could it be? Their house was isolated. Just at the end of Darktree Cemetery. Not a lot of housing developments out this way.

Where was he going? Lauretta glanced back at the house where her first grade son played in his bedroom, already in his pajamas. Lauretta turned back to the driveway and ran after the dark figure who had already disappeared behind a set of trees as the lane curved out of sight.

Running to catch up with him, Lauretta sprinted until she could see him again. The coat and hat were definitely the outline of her husband. "Corey!" she yelled again, trying to be heard above the insolent autumn wind. It stirred the rotting leaves and strew them across the dirt driveway. Why didn't he hear her?

Twilight hung in the evening sky almost as though frozen there. Nothing moved. The clouds clung to the mountains, covering up most of the last slivers of light. Chasing after her husband, Lauretta felt almost as if time were suspended. No amount of calling got through to her husband, Corey. It was like an invisible barrier separated them.

But Corey didn't stop. He reached the Lane and walked down it, oblivious that she followed him. Lauretta stopped and glanced back down the driveway. She shouldn't leave her son alone. Not that there was any real danger. This small town was a very safe area. There was no fears about the neighborhood. Still, he was a little young to be left alone.

Lauretta turned and bounded after her husband, determined to catch up with him. Rian would be all right for a few more minutes.

The distance between them seemed to get longer and longer no matter how quickly she went. Corey must be walking fast. Curse those long legs of his!

Where could he be going? Or was he just out for a walk? It was unusual for him to leave the house this late without even telling her where he was going.

With a shock, she realized they had come as far as the entrance to Darktree Cemetery. Suddenly, the dark figured turned and walked into the graveyard. Baffled, Lauretta stopped.

Was she wrong? Was the man she followed not her husband? What would he be doing at the old graveyard this time of night?

It was as if time resumed. All but a vestige of sunlight vanished. The shadows deepened and her eyes fought to adjust to the dark. I'm gonna kill him, she thought, running after him.

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