Hugh closed his eyes in disbelief wondering if he’d truly seen that or was he hallucinating. The words the women still spoke were unusual, though Leona had explained earlier the spell was from a forgotten ancient language and they were quite comforting to his soul. He could feel his muscles relax as he listened to their melodious voices. Oddly enough he was having a feeling of déjà vu, as if he’d heard this before as a sensation of peacefulness he’d not experienced in many years washed over him. There was a glimmer of an image, possibly a memory began to stir in his mind, however before it completely surfaced for him, the room became painfully quiet and dark, all except for the light from the candles. He opened his eyes once more to see Leona standing before him as she was before with a soothing hand resting on the sleeping child. He stood up, knocking over his chair and looked around, but saw they were alone in the room.
Was he losing his mind or had there been someone else here with them?
Before he could ask for an explanation to what he’d witnessed, she lifted the now quiet box and handed it to him so he could examine her work. Once he was satisfied that the contents were secure and it was unable to be pried open, he gently passed it back to her gnarled hands, deciding to keep his question to himself, and watched as she placed it back into its bag then slid it into her cloak away from prying eyes. As she exited the room, her last words to him would haunt him for years to come, knowing in his heart this was the last time he would ever see her.
“My laird, please do not ask where I go from here, fore I cannot reveal my destination or all of this will have been for naught. Just know in your heart that on the morrow, when all looks bleak, on this night we did all that we could in order to prevent the danger that is manifesting against you. I ask for nothing in return except your word that you will speak of this to no one, not even your own flesh and blood or your closest ally. If so then it may keep those you care about safe for a bit longer.”
Moments later he stood peering out the window as he watched the old woman’s shadowy figure slip unnoticed into the trees carrying with her his last hope for a longer life and the safety of his clan from whomever or whatever it was that wished to seal their fates.
Unbeknownst to him, the evil that lurked and threatened to destroy them was already closing in.
Temple Terrace, Florida
December 9, 1986
James Danvers pulled the rickety old Isuzu truck into his driveway and got out slamming the door shut angrily as he wondered whether this day could get any worse than it already had. From the second he’d opened his eyes that morning, anything that could have possibly gone wrong for him had done just that.
The day started off on the wrong foot when he woke up on the couch and realized he’d overslept, which in turn meant he would once again be late for work this week after sitting up all night watching old home movies with a glass of whiskey in his hand and the bottle beside him for company as he reveled in his grief. He rushed to take a quick shower, brushed his teeth, and ran out the door feeling that he was forgetting something, but didn’t have the time to figure out what it was. Once he arrived at the University’s faculty parking lot, he looked at his watch and was surprised to see he’d made it in time for his first class. When he reached over to the passenger seat for his briefcase, he realized the seat was empty and it dawned on him that he must’ve left it on the kitchen table along with the copies of the midterm exams that were to be given out today.