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Taken from Deadmarsh Fey, Chapter 2

 

“What happened?” Lockie whispered, as shakily as if he didn’t trust his own voice.

“You tell me,” said Roger. He kept his arms wrapped around himself, afraid he’d fall apart if he broke his hold.

“What did I say?”

It wasn’t so much what you said as what you did, Roger thought, but didn’t have the courage to speak this aloud to Lockie. “I haven’t the foggiest,” he said instead. Let’s get that ironed out first, and then we can talk about the other person inside of you. “It was gibberish. Something about hearts and bone and someone called Blood Wood. Where’d you get all that, Lockie? What have you been filling your head with?”

“Must have been a nightmare.”

“When you’re awake?”

“It’s happened before.”

That was troubling. And it made Roger’s mind up for him. This was life and death now. He knew what had to be done, and he didn’t give a fig if Coffyn had an aneurism when he found out. “That’s it. I don’t care what your parents say, or anyone else, for that matter. That place is poison, and I’m getting you out of it. You’re being ruined in more ways than one, and if those nightmares began back there…”

“This didn’t start at Nethermarrow.”

Roger’s arms uncrossed and fell to his sides. “Then where did it start? Not…here?”

“I knew you wouldn’t understand. You’re too in love with this place to see its flaws.”

“Flaws? Deadmarsh? Rubbish.”

“Not flaws,” Lockie said, his brows furrowing so dramatically that they almost formed a solid, pale line across his forehead. “That’s the wrong word.” He was silent for a moment, eyes narrowing to slits. “Malevolence.”

“Don’t tell me you’re going to trot out the old ‘this house was built on an ancient burial ground’ sham again, are you? Which evil is it this time? Celts? Druids? Take your Pict.” Roger’s lips ticked up slightly at the edges. He’d used that dreadful pun before, but it was folly to expect his cousin to laugh at it now.

Lockie turned on him a look that froze Roger’s blood. “I’ve seen its other side. I know what lives here, what’s been slumbering for so long.”

A hollow pit opened up where Roger’s heart was supposed to be. “How would you know that?”

“I woke it up.”

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(C) 2017, 2018 Melika Dannese Lux

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