Grace was pissed...or upset. Confused angry, hurt... There were so many things going on in her head that when her mother asked her
how she was dealing with everything, she froze. She’d done everything she could
think to do but get down on her hands and knees and beg, but her boyfriend
didn’t listen and now he was gone, and she was left alone. Again. Well…not
alone. She had her family, but it wasn't exactly
the same. No late-night cuddles or clandestine meetups for midnight picnics.
Not without Mark. Mark was always up for a little adrenaline rush. She never
thought he was crazy enough to do something that would get him killed.
again, he never really thought going to the barn would kill him. Which was
stupid because she told him places were abandoned for a reason. They were
generally dangerous, and she knew the barn was particularly dangerous because
her grandfather owned it. Not that her grandfather was even slightly concerned
Mark was dead or he died on the property. Her entire family pretty much
shrugged it off and said she'd told him to stay
away, and they were right. She had, but a little compassion would’ve been nice
- even if it was just for show. They never really cared much for Mark. Her
grandfather said Mark didn’t appreciate boundaries.
night Mark died, he'd tried to convince her to go with
him. A ghost hunt in the abandoned barn. It was a stupid idea, and she flat out
told him so. She also told him there were no ghosts in the barn, but he was an
amateur ghost hunter and all he could do was parrot the local newspaper. Over
the last hundred years, according to the paper, seven people died there. Not
that there was proof. There was never a body found on the property. No body, no
witnesses, no one to tell the tale. Instead, some backwards ass-hat
journalist’s girlfriend disappeared after going with some friends on a ghost
hunt. Like, disappeared entirely. No note, no phone call, nothing, and instead
of taking it as a sign that maybe she just wasn’t into him, he blamed her
grandfather. He even took him to court, but her grandfather hired a bunch of
forensic whatevers, and no one found a single piece of evidence the girl had
even been on the property, much less inside the decaying barn.
grandfather believed that would be the end of it, but the journalist wouldn't
shut up about it. On a dark, rainy night, the guy decided he was going to do
investigation. Unfortunately, he disappeared
as well, which spawned a new round of battles with the rumor mill. The
journalist's disappearance caused a slew of
other investigations, and no matter how many warnings and trespassing signs her
grandfather put up, it didn’t stop people from going in…or disappearing. These
newer disappearances were the reason Mark became interested in investigating
the building in the first place.
spent two weeks putting the investigation together, and she spent two weeks
desperately trying to talk him out of it. She was able to talk two members of
the group out of going by explaining to them her grandfather was litigious and
got great enjoyment in tying things up in court. The tech nerd, Des, and Mark
were unwavering in their decision to go because Kira, the psychic said there
was no way they would get caught if they went on Halloween night. Unfortunately
for Mark and Des, Kira wasn't a real psychic.
Grace knew this because Kira died first and never saw it coming. Des died about
five minutes after he’d spent two hours setting up the equipment.
watched Mark almost twenty minutes from her perch in the rafters. He was
talking to himself, concerning himself about the flock of large black birds
circling overhead to notice her. She unfurled her wings and gracefully went to
the floor behind him.
“The Sluagh,” she said, tucking her
wings in so Mark wouldn’t see them.
was startled, but he smiled in relief when he saw her.
“I live here. I did tell you not to
nodded, looking back to the patches of sky he could see through the roof of the
“What did you call them?”
“Sluagh. They're the souls of the
damned. Humans who died unforgiven. They feed on souls of the living. They’re
most active this time of year.”
looked back at her and raised his eyebrow in the most adorable way.
birds. Big birds, but just birds.”
“No, Mark. They’re family.”
grandfather swooped down with his massive wings and huge talons, and lifted
Mark, taking him high in the sky. He grabbed him by the head, slicing through
his vocal cords, disabling Mark
’s ability to scream,
but careful to not allow a single drop of blood to fall. This was key. Spilled
blood caused questions and more investigations. Her grandfather was tired of
all the questions.
Grace watched as they disappeared in the midnight sky just as all
the rest had. She was going to miss Mark more than she’d missed the others. She was pretty sure she cared about
him, if the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach was any indication. She
had told him not to come. She’d told him abandoned buildings were abandoned for
a reason. She was going to miss Mark. Probably.