Novel Excerpt - The Calling
STATUS: Published 06/06/06


Prologue IV

Boyne City
June 18, 1955 • Saturday

Sylvia Woulfe was dying. The first bullet had struck her in the shoulder; the second had grazed her left side and broken a rib; the third had gone directly into her chest. Her black robe, soaked with blood, clung to her like some groping thing. She felt cold, as if the air was devouring the heat from her body, sucking the warmth from her like a vampire.

She finally reached the hidden tunnel entrance and managed to slip inside unnoticed. The tunnel resembled a black tomb . . . until she saw the light. It was a blue light and she knew its source and let it guide her. Each time she faltered, the light came closer, warming and beckoning.

She walked for what seemed hours before arriving at a small, dead-end cavern perhaps fifteen or twenty feet in diameter. When the last of her strength had drained, she fell to the dirt floor and closed her eyes. On the ground, she smelled musky dirt and blood and something else--like the odor of an animal long dead. Breathing heavily, she pulled herself into a fetal position for warmth, keeping her eyes closed, even as she sensed the approach of the light. The light's caress upon the exposed skin of her face and arms was colder than anything she had ever felt before and she wanted to cry out; yet the overpowering cold had paralyzed her muscles. She tried to move her legs but the robe, now frozen stiff like a steel suit, restrained her. For a moment her skin burned with the severity of the coldness and then she felt nothing. Still, the intensity of the cold increased as the light grew nearer and brighter, now only able to be sensed through her permanently-frozen eyelids. There was a sudden, intense pain again but only for a moment; then it was gone, replaced by an excruciating feeling of exhaustion.

She felt herself slipping away--from the light, out of the tunnel, down into a bottomless darkness.

It was a darkness however that welcomed her, comforted her, warmed her. And . . . in time . . . it became her.


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