Ravens Cove – Chapter 15

Ravens Cove, An Iconoclast Thriller (Book 1)
The Spiritual Battle for a Small Alaska Town
By Mary Ann Poll
America’s Lady of Supernatural Thrillers

Chapter 15

Anita burst through Atramentous and the door he covered. She felt a chill and took it for excitement over the man of her dreams. She rushed up to Plotno, fell in his arms, and sobbed.

“Did you hear?” she asked.

“Indeed, one of our brothers is gone. He has been taken from us and in such a horrible way. A martyr for our god.”

Anita wiped the forced tears, but lingered against his strong, firm chest. She pulled back and looked up into Plotno’s flint-colored eyes. “He will be missed. Even if he did run such an odd little business.”

“To each his own, Anita, to each his own. Our god uses all for his purpose. We are not to judge. Just to love.”

Anita’s heartbeat quickened from the adoration she felt for this accepting, wonderful man. “You’re right as always. I’ll be happy to plan the funeral. So many would want to say goodbye.”

“Under the circumstances, I believe a memorial service would be better. I don’t think there is much left to be viewed.”

“True. I’ll call Starr and Autumn to help.”

“You’re such an asset.” Plotno touched the curve of Anita’s cheek and smiled into her eyes. “Thank you.”

In a silent but clear dismissal, Plotno turned back to the sermon he had already written and been practicing for the memorial. This must be a pep talk for the congregation to see how special and right they are. One of their own sacrificed because of their goodness.

He smiled and took a moment to bask in his talent to both write and persuade. Important, he though, when a leader must whip up his followers to do an evil deed in the name of God.

Anita watched her beloved at work. He exuded strength and power. And he would be hers. She thanked her god Miggie died after her visit. She could never have gotten what she needed to cast her spell of love and bondage on this man.

She headed for the door and shot through Atramentous again.

Still stinging from losing his reward of Miggie, he lashed out and punched Anita between the shoulder blades.

“Oomph.” Anita lurched forward.

Her guardian, Venenose, distracted by the boring task of watching this creature, so happily and unsuspectingly going to her doom, snapped out of his mental haze. He shot forward and caught Anita before she tumbled, headfirst, down the concrete stairs.

Atramentous giggled the laugh of a small, mischievous child. Iconoclast had reminded Venenose of this woman’s import just minutes before.

“If you fail to protect this mortal, I will cast you into the abyss for eternity.”

Venenose glared into Atramentous’ dead, black pools, and bared his red carnivore’s teeth. “You’ll pay, you dumb lout. You almost cost me my freedom, and I won’t forget it.”

Atramentous hissed in reply but did nothing. He knew, but would never admit, Venenose’s strength to be superior to his own. He believed if Venenose ever got the chance, he would not hesitate to exact revenge.

Anita looked back to the church door. She felt a push right before she tripped. Just like when her little brother shoved her from behind, and she did not hear him coming. She shivered and took each step with care, gripping the railing until she reached bottom.

At the sidewalk, she made a hard right turn, almost running into Artie Thralling. She leveled disdainful and accusatory eyes on him.

“Excuse me,” Artie mumbled.

Anita broke eye contact and quickened her step toward her home and goal. I have two hours before I’m missed at work. She smiled. Plenty of time to begin the spell.

She unlocked the door of her small wood house. The white lace curtains in the windows, the blue-green door and the grey siding presented a beautiful, well-kept home which said, “warmth.” The exterior contradicted the dark arts practiced within.

Anita stepped through the front door, Venenose her shadow, and hurried to the basement to begin preparations. She thrilled to the thought of consummating her love, impatient to begin her new life with Martin Plotno.

“Soon, my love, soon. Your wife doesn’t stand a chance!”

Venenose sneered at her naiveté. “You’ll definitely end up in the same place as Plotno—after the demon feast.”

Like Atramentous, he awaited the day he could eat his fill of her fear and terror. The anticipation brought a malevolent smile to his lips, revealing sharp, bloodstained teeth.

It has been so long since the last banquet of flesh and bone and souls. Commander Iconoclast has already had his fill of two!

Venenose comforted himself knowing he would be first to eat, after Iconoclast, because of his rank. His blackness increased in size at the pride of his name, Fatal, given him by the great Evil Foe. He snatched many souls from the One who created these horrible mortals in the first place.

He shrank in fear at the idea he would one day face the One who died, yet lived. The One who had power over death and Hades. He could not say the name; it would destroy him.

Venenose knew the truth. He witnessed God’s glory before he joined the great rebellion to ultimately be thrown from heaven in shame.

Venenose’s focus snapped back to the present. This stupid mortal is getting ready to destroy the whole spell! I must do everything; thus, I deserve to eat this human soon. When I do, I will take my time and relish her pain and fear.

Anita worked at a fevered pace, impatient to begin her life with Plotno.

“Stop,” he roared into Anita’s mind.

She became a human statue.

“You are doing it all wrong. Read!” The hatred and loathing shot out before he could stop it. He fought for control. When he spoke again, he used a sickening-sweet tone which made him want to throw up—if he could throw up.

“Read the book; look at the spells, Anita; you are doing it all wrong. You want the man; you need the man; you can’t live without him. So slow down and take note.”

Anita relaxed. She didn’t recognize the first voice, but the second contained her guardian’s gentle whisper. She felt safe now. She stopped and reviewed the instructions and realized she almost made a terrible mistake. She would have murdered her beloved instead of capturing
his heart. These things are tricky.

“Thank you, Guardian,” she whispered.

Anita focused all her attention on the concoction, measuring and chanting the words with care. It must simmer for a while, twenty-four hours to be exact, untouched, in darkness.

She looked at her watch, sighed and snatched her purse off the rough-hewn table. She checked her hair in the brass mirror. She gave a sharp nod of approval to her reflection. Time to return to my character of librarian.

“How I long for the day I can reveal my true self, the powerful witch, so all will fear me!”

Anita glanced one last time at the small kettle, rounded at the bottom, a combination kettle and pressure cooker, beginning to simmer on the stove. She smiled.

“Tomorrow a new day and new love awaits!” She ran up the basement stairs, grabbed her coat and whisked out the door.

Venenose stayed behind to monitor the brew. If it burned, the deceit would not be complete, and the plan could fail.

“What a dolt! Believing this is a spell. So easy to fool most of these people.

“The truth is so much more logical. Iconoclast’s many minions are fanning the lust in Plotno to a point where he can’t resist this woman.

Profligacy just entered Plotno. And he is only one of the many who live inside the pastor and masquerade as his idea of God. Destruction is close now!” Venenose felt pleased with the plan’s progress, very pleased indeed.

Mary Ann Poll, America’s Lady of Supernatural Thrillers, is the award-winning author of the Iconoclast series. Mary Ann draws from her real-life experiences, as well as her imagination, to create supernatural thrillers