Ravens Cove – Chapter 31 – Readers and Writers Book Club

Ravens Cove – Chapter 31

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 31

Kat opened her eyes and caught a glint of something at the top of the path. Maybe it’s evidence and would help reveal the killer’s identity.

She snuck away from the group. She knelt and admired a glowing purple and black arrowhead. The glimmering colors enraptured her.

“How do you make the colors so beautiful?” she murmured.

The speed of the changing lights quickened in response to her question. And a soft, melancholy tune emanated from the little treasure.

Kat smiled. “How pretty you are!”

Something niggled in the back of Kat’s mind, something trying to remind her of danger.

The rock’s enchanting hum clouded her thoughts. The fear of danger melted in the beautiful, sad tune. The multicolored hues quivered to its beat.

The hag tree rustled. Kat looked up, attention diverted from the beautiful colors and music. The tree swayed, invisible leaves tinkling in rhythm with the melody from the arrowhead.

Kat glanced at the downward path. She hesitated. Not a good idea to go down there alone.

She peered further into the murky darkness. More hag trees flanked the narrow walkway, each an exact replica of the one at the entrance.

“They’re shining!”

The cloned hag trees sparkled and swayed in time with the music. They created glittering specks of purple and yellow.

She stood, entranced by the strange and wondrous sights. They look so beautiful and yet so ugly.

She took a step forward to get a closer look.

The rustling grew louder.

Pet, who longed to cut her and take her, instead throbbed a calming beat in her hand.

The throb sent vibrations up Kat’s arms and down her legs. She could feel the tune as well as hear it. Kat swayed, then danced to the music.

She looked back. The others were still deep in prayer, oblivious to this amazing phenomenon. She returned her focus to the ravine opening. The hag trees illuminated a once invisible doorway. Yellow strings dripped down its sides, reminding her of icicle lights decorating houses at Christmas.

I have to touch them! Kat took another step onto the ravine path.

Pet quickened the thrumming in approval, and his music grew louder.

Kat looked at the beautiful arrowhead.

An ochre aura surrounded her hand. Yet under Pet’s spell, she observed it as a bright gold and emerald-green.

“I have never known anything so beautiful.”

The trees and archway at the bottom of the ravine path alternated their hues to match the changing tints on Pet. The colors brightened each time Kat advanced on the trail.

The angel Uriel shouted “Josiah!” into his mind.

Josiah jumped to his feet and peered through the darkness. He saw nothing out of the ordinary. He searched again.

There. Josiah noticed a dim, mustard beam, laced with a sickening purple, glowing in the ravine. He watched the light grow in intensity.

The two pulsed and swirled, moving faster and faster, until they collided in a macabre swirl. The ochre and purple funnel filled the ravine and blocked the night sky.

“No, Lord, no!” he cried.

Bowed heads jerked up and turned to Josiah.

He pointed toward the pulsing funnel cloud above the ravine. “The fifth victim is close.”

“Not possible! We would have heard or seen anyone coming,” Ken answered.

Grandma Bricken looked to her right. Fear filled her heart. She grabbed Ken’s hand and squeezed.

Ken followed her gaze. He saw the empty space where Kat once stood.

Alarm shot through the small group like a clap of thunder.

“Kat!” Bart yelled.

“Kat! Please answer!” Paul hollered.

“Oh, my Lord! Kat! Kat! Kat!” Grandma yelled.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit Grandma Bricken dropped her cane and ran like a young deer toward the ravine.

Josiah, Bart, Ken and Paul ran up beside her.

“Jesus, help us and Jesus, please help Kat!” Paul Lucas pleaded.

Halfway down the path, Kat hummed and picked imaginary leaves from the hag trees. A bright orb dropped in front of her.

“Ouch!” Kat shielded her eyes.

Raphael, the same angel who so long ago warned Sweeney of his imminent destruction in this very ravine, stood between Kat and the opening to the pit.

“Stop, Katrina Agnes Tovslosky!”

Kat came to a standstill. “I don’t want to stop! See how pretty my treasure is?” she held Pet up to Raphael.

“It is not beautiful. What you mistake for beauty, Katrina, is a being bent on your eternal destruction.”

Kat craned her neck to the right, then left. “Rats! I can’t see around this THING surrounding you!”

She stomped her foot and tried again to peek around the wall of light. She let out a heavy sigh and sat down, confused.

Raphael waited. Unless this lost but beloved child of the Most High ordered him to leave, he would stay.

Kat looked up at the angel. “You are tall,” she observed.

Raphael towered above the hag trees, which stood more than
eight feet high.

“Really tall,” she said.

Pet went silent, hiding from the warrior of God.

As Kat’s confusion grew, he became bolder.

“Go away, Raphael!” Pet hummed loudly in hopes of breaking the being of light’s tentative hold.

The angel scrutinized the purple and black arrowhead in Kat’s hand. “Katrina, you should drop the stone. It has confused your thinking, your emotions.”

Kat looked down at the small, beautiful jewel. She stroked its rough surface… then tightened her grip like a vise.

“No! I found it; it is mine!” She said, staring with defiance into the angel’s eyes.

“It makes me feel better—you do not! In fact, now I feel sad. You are the bad one here, go away!”

Raphael looked upon Kat in sorrow.

“So be it.” He shot up like a rising star in the darkness.

Kat stood. “What if he is right?”

“He isn’t,” a resonant, warm voice answered from inside the ravine. The archway glittered, and the hag trees swayed.

“No, he isn’t right,” Kat agreed.

Kat resumed singing the melancholy melody which served as her death march. She took another step forward.

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