Fear's Touch(The Darkworld Series)

By: Emma L. Adams

A Darkworld Novella




saw my first demon at a Halloween party. To be honest, I don’t even remember whose party it was—possibly Lola’s. Someone who lived in the rich part of the neighborhood—I remember there being a freaking balcony. I remember falling off that balcony and almost breaking my arm.

I remember laughter, followed by screaming.

It took me weeks to put together what happened before, and it began, would you believe, with an Ouija board.

Yeah, such a horror-story cliché. Not like I believed in that kind of crap then, anyway. All I wanted was a good dance, a drink or two, and maybe kiss one of the cute guys who were checking me out in the ridiculously short dress I’d worn as part of my witch costume. Technically, it was a kid’s Halloween costume, but no one had to know that. I’m short and skinny, and it showed off my legs, which was the plan. Alcohol, loud music, and unruly dancing were the recipe for a perfect night out.

Except the power cut had to ruin everything. Ten minutes in, all the lights blew out, and the music blaring from the iPod speakers died out with an ominous sparking sound. Hell, that was a horror-story cliché, too.

When the lights went out, the living room was full of noise and people running about, knocking over paper cups of cheap wine and bumping into each other, when Lola yelled at us to shut the hell up. She was holding something in her hands.

“We’ve got an idea!” she said, holding a light up to her face so it looked ghostly. “How about we try and contact someone from the other side?”

She shone the light over an old-looking wooden board with the alphabet on it, along with a few words. At the bottom, it read “Good-Bye”, which struck me as kind of ominous, though I didn’t know why.

I groaned, turning to Bethany, my best friend, who’d been the one to drag me to the party in the first place. I didn’t even really know Lola that well.

“Seriously?”

“Hell, yeah,” she said. “I always wanted to try one of these.”

Everyone else seemed to be in the same sentiment. I suppose there really wasn’t much else to do but wait for the lights to come back on. In the meantime, make contact with the Other Side.

Ha.

“There’s more room upstairs!” Lola called, and the rest of us—thirty-odd half-inebriated teens—stumbled upstairs after her, following the torch-light into her bedroom.

Even with the lights out, I was still impressed by the size of her room—she had a four-poster bed, for God’s sake, and what looked like the entire window display at TopShop. The curtains were open over the glass doors to the balcony outside, allowing the moonlight to shine on the wooden board as she set it up on the ridiculously plush carpet. We all gathered around her, eager whispers and drunken laughter filling the air.

Lola moved the cursor over several letters, spelling out something like, “Is there anyone there?”

Yeah, like dead people were just hanging about waiting to have a conversation. But hell, what do I know? This whole mess has taught me nothing about life after death—just that life’s too short to worry about it. Of course, back then, I had no idea. I was actually entertaining the idea that it would be kind of cool to have a conversation with my dead granddad again. Not that I thought he’d actually show.

I sure as hell wasn’t expecting the demon.

As Lola’s hands moved over the letters, a chill began to creep up my arms, like from an open window. I rubbed the goose-bumps, feeling the chill slowly work its way over my skin, like dipping toes into ice-cold water. And—I don’t know why—but I lifted my head to look out at the balcony.

Darkness obscured everything, but it wasn’t regular darkness. Somehow, I knew that, even though at the time my mind was more focused on coming up with an excuse to leave this lame-ass party and get my dad to come and pick me up. The chill settled somewhere at the base of my spine, and my vision wavered as I stared unblinkingly at the darkness spreading across the balcony. My eyelids flickered, and when I opened them again, I found myself looking into a pair of cat-like eyes, suspended in the darkness.

My hand jumped to my mouth, my heartbeat loud in my ears. I glanced from side to side to see if anyone else had noticed, but everyone else was fixated on the Ouija board. Like anything that said could be as scary as what I was looking at.

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