Phoebe glanced from her to the tunnel ahead of them. It was still full daylight, but her sight could not penetrate the shadows within. She had expected more overgrowth—vines snaking up from the sides of the tunnel’s arch, weeds bursting from cracks in the crumbling concrete of the road that once led into the tunnel. She had expected rotting wooden boards blocking the tunnel.
I gripped the steering wheel at ten and two, and glanced at the rearview mirror, as I eased my foot off the accelerator. My car began to slow.
Legend says that the draugamunninn were once human. They were a practical but severe people who after suffering one terrible winter too many, and after failing to feed themselves with their own hands and their own labor, began to pray to their old gods for relief. But their prayer was not answered by a god.
It was answered by a demon.
Naomi clicked on her recorder, took a deep breath, and asked her grand-aunty Z about the one thing that her mother and grandmother told her to never, ever, never, never, ever ask her about.
“Aunty, what did you see when you went into Mausefalle Manor? And how is it that you got out when so many other people never did?”
In those days, there were doctors of teeth already, just as there are now. And in those days, the doctors of teeth were avoided by most, just as they are now. The doctors did their best, just as they do now, the good ones that is. One such doctor of teeth did his best, but failed to root out the deep infection that had taken hold in his patient’s mouth, an infection that had seeped from the teeth to the gums to other teeth, and then began creeping to the patient’s brain and his heart. The man—the patient—was past middle age but not yet old. He died of that infection. A painful and bloody death.
This week’s story will be posted soon. This is the anniversary post for Storyfeather’s sixth year!
The Year of Definitions is done! That was the theme for Storyfeather Year Six.
What have I done? I asked myself. And the question sparked excitement. And the question sparked fear.
“There’s no need for this,” Morgan said, glancing over to his right shoulder, where a heavy hand lay on him, holding him in place. “I came willingly.”
He was in the living room of the woman who had introduced herself as A.J. The woman whom he suspected was responsible for the “resurrections.” Morgan hadn’t quite figured out what term he would use for it in his story.
Five people got on that elevator with me. A woman with a shy little kid hiding behind her coat. A business guy with a cool three-D holographic tie. A teenage girl with a portfolio and a couple of poster tubes strapped to her back. And the older man in the back with a bag of delicious-smelling takeout.
When the young woman appeared, garbed in robes of green and a wide belt of scarlet, the two treasure-seekers understood at once that she was the temple guardian. And they did not hesitate to approach her.
“Greetings, travelers,” the temple guardian said. “Give me your names.”
The two treasure-seekers gave her their names freely.
She did not return their offer of names, nor did she return their smiles.
“Turn back, travelers,” the temple guardian said, her voice calm and measured. “Go no further than the spot where I now stand.”