Moon Island (Chapter Thirty-five)

As I hiked back from the dome, still reeling from yet another encounter with God – or, perhaps more accurately, the Source – I sent a text message to Tara Thurman: We need to talk.

Her reply came a few minutes later, as I slid and skated down the muddy trail.

I know.

Meet me at my bungalow in twenty minutes.

Where are you?

Nature walk, I texted and shoved my phone in my hip pocket before the rain could short-circuit something. I might be able to do a lot of things, but magically fix my iPhone wasn't one of them.

Back at the bungalow, I let Allison know we were expecting a guest. Allison read my mind, shook her head, and went immediately into the kitchen and took out a big carving knife.

"She's one of them, Sammie," she said, slipping it inside her waistband, and then yelping loudly when the point bit her.

I snickered and reminded her that the entity, as far as we knew, could only jump from one body at a time.

"Well, we don't know that for sure, Sam. In fact, we know very little about it."

"Which is why I want to talk to Tara."

Allison still didn't like it, except this time she gingerly slipped the knife inside her waistband. I chuckled and took a shower. Showers were still one of my few great pleasures in this new life of mine, and I reveled in the warmth it provided, always reluctant to leave. Even after the shower was long off, I stood there briefly in the stall, the heat and steam, and watched the water drip down my still-pale skin. Pale and flawless, granted.

No, I thought. Pale and dead.

I threw on my last pair of dry jeans, then tossed my sopping-wet clothes in the bungalow's washer. I'd just turned it on and was toweling my hair when a gentle rap came on the front door.

As of someone gently rapping, I thought, thinking of the Edgar Allan Poe poem, rapping at my chamber door.

*  *  *

As I reached for the door, I mentally reminded Allison to guard her thoughts.

She understood…and reached down and adjusted the knife at her hip. I might have detected a small spot of blood appearing through her jeans where the point had poked her.

I next remembered the words of the Source: They operate out of fear, Sam.

Fear of moving on, fear of giving up power, fear of retribution. They are, quite simply, misinformed.

Misinformed or not, the being that possessed the Thurmans was, I suspected, desperate and powerful. A hell of a dangerous combination. But I would not fear it, whatever it was.

The smallest match can illuminate the darkest room.

I opened the door, stepped aside, and let the Devil in.