Chapter 35 - Death and Beyond

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I met the boy. I loved the boy. I killed the boy.

But then—I heard it. A soft whisper floated toward me from across the room.

"I'm here. I'll never leave you."

* * *

The cemetery didn't look any less spooky in the daytime. I was on a hill close by, watching the proceedings from behind a tree. Fifty people were gathered in a semicircle, all dressed in black. I'd watched six strong men carry Luke's casket through the cemetery from afar. It now rested near an open grave.

Storm clouds filled the sky. It hadn't started raining yet, but a cold wind whipped through the trees.

"Thank you," whispered across my ears, and a cold chill ran across my fingers.

I looked up into the face of Sarah's ghost. Her spirit stood before me. She seemed almost solid.

"Because of you, I'm finally free. I wanted to thank you before I go."

"Were you the one guiding me, helping me find Darla?"

Sarah nodded, and her image started to go translucent.

A light, bright like the sun, appeared only a few feet away. Like before, there were forms, shapes at the other end of the light. An incredible feeling of love and joy radiated out from within the light, and voices began calling out Sarah's name.

Sarah turned toward the light, but then looked back to me. "My family is calling. Because of you, I can finally go to them." She looked down at the funeral procession. "I've a message to pass on to you before I go."

"A message from who?" Is it my mother? Can spirits communicate with each other on the other side? I hadn't seen or heard from my mother since the night we worked the Ouija board spell.

"Don't forget who you are," Sarah whispered as the light reached out and engulfed her. She disappeared.

"Don't forget who you are." Those were the same words the gypsy healer had told me when she gave me the protection pouch. But I had forgotten who I was. I was no longer the gentle healer. I was no longer on a path of light. I walked in darkness now, and death and destruction shadowed my every step.

I set the demon free. It was out there, running loose in the world disguised as a little girl.

And Luke. He was still here with me in spirit, but I desperately wanted to feel his arms wrapped around me. The image of his lifeless body flashed before my eyes.

I gave myself a mental shake. I wouldn't think about that now. I would lock those images into the deepest, darkest corner of my mind. Maybe one day I would deal with them...but not today.

It was then that I felt another presence, but it wasn't a spirit this time. It was a person. I said her name but didn't turn around. "Darla."

"I knew you'd be here." She waited for me to say something, but when I remained silent, she continued. "Macaven's coven is broken. My guild is hunting down those members responsible for the killings. There'll be a reckoning for what they did, for the lives they took. They hid their actions by blaming the deaths on the Redeemers, but everyone knows the truth now. Word has spread about what happened. Rumors have started about my kind. People are blaming us for those creatures at the hospital and for the massacre at the hotel.

"My family is in danger because of what you did. I know that you can raise the dead. Freddy told me what you did at the hospital and I told my family. They had to clean up what you did at the hotel. That thing you left...all those people dead..."

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