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
INTO THE RAVINE
Alese Bricken walked onto the ravine path.
“Whoa!” Kenneth grabbed her arm, just as she lost her footing.
“Thank you, young man.”
The rest of the group stood in a semicircle around her. The smell of decaying corpses assaulted their senses.
Kenneth looked into the ravine and saw a black void.
Josiah looked into the ravine and saw a crystalline plume streaking toward the heavens. In the waning brilliance, Josiah was sure he saw the silhouette of a woman,
“She’s down there!”
Bart stared at Josiah. “You’re seeing things, old man. It’s black as midnight down there.”
Ken nodded agreement with Bart.
“I know what I saw!” Josiah shouted.
Alese laid a hand on Josiah’s forearm. “I believe you.”
“We must go, or she is lost!” Josiah said and headed to the ravine opening.
Alese released a determined breath and took a step forward.
Again, Ken grabbed her arm. “Too steep.”
“I must go.” She pulled her arm loose.
“Not by yourself.” Ken offered the crook of his arm.
“Look at me, Kenneth Melbourne. Am I holding my cane? Do I look like I need your help to stand? No! I’m going after my niece!
“As for you, this is the greatest danger you have ever faced. Are you willing to lose your life to save Kat? Are you willing to lose your soul? Because that is what we are facing. Life and death. And eternity. So, are you?”
Ken never thought about dying. He liked living. In fact, he thrived on the thrill of each day. So, am I willing to die tonight? He looked into Alese’s challenging eyes.
The answer surprised even him. If Kat’s in danger, yes, I’m going to save her or die trying. She’s gotten under my skin in a way no woman ever has. She is a puzzle I want to solve. It makes no sense, but I could be—no, I am— in love with her.
“I’m going with you.”
“We’re all going,” Alese stated. “Remember, safety in numbers.”
“We can’t all go,” Bart said. “The path is too small. And it is no place for you.”
“I’m going, Bart. That’s my Katrina, and I need to get to her.”
Bart sighed. “Auntie, I would give you the world, but I want you to stay here.” He lifted her arm, and placed it on Paul’s.
“Don’t let her go down there!” Bart instructed Paul.
“Go get your cousin!” Paul squeezed Alese’s shoulder.
Bart pulled his flashlight from his belt. The shaft of light illuminated a few inches at a time. The darkness absorbed the rest.
He wiggled a thin, dead willow trunk free from beside the path to use as a walking stick.
Bart and Ken started down the path, single file, slipping on rocks, ripping clothing on trees and shrubs cloaked by the dark.
The humming ceased. The ravine fell dead silent.
“Kat,” Bart yelled, “Kat, are you down there?”
Deep-socketed, hollow eyes stared out from behind the hag trees and brush on the left of the path.
Hundreds of eyes joined in and watched every move Bart and Ken made.
Ken looked back over his left shoulder. He could not see where the path began.
“I can’t shake the feeling we are being watched.”
“Me either. Hoping it’s just nerves,” Bart answered.
Heavy air filled the ravine. Only the men’s labored breaths disturbed the eerie silence.
Alese watched Bart and Ken disappear into the darkness.
“I will not stand here and do nothing!”
Josiah squeezed her arm. He knew what awaited Ken and Bart. “We can pray. Be of good cheer, as the Lord says, and believe. He has overcome the world.’”
Alese nodded and knelt.
Josiah and Paul followed her lead.
Alese prayed. “We are but a small, spiritual army, Lord. But we are Your army. Please send Your mighty angels to help us in this battle. Make us as strong as any the earth has seen by fighting this battle for us. The world is one person away from being destroyed. PLEASE help us. In Jesus’ name.”
Kat stopped advancing to the archway and listened.
“Kat, where are you?” Ken yelled.
“KittyKat, answer me, please!” Bart hollered.
Kat opened her mouth to answer.
Pet hummed louder, to drown out the voices.
She swung away from the dark opening.
“No, turn back, you will find rest, once you go into the cavern. Go to your destiny!”
Kat hesitated, then turned back to the doorway.