While I continue to watch the land slowly being bathed by the morning’s rays, the leading edge of the light begins to touch the edge of the dairy farm and halts. Well, not exactly. The light continues to stretch across the land, but it does so by going AROUND a portion of the farm, in particular the barn. It’s almost as if that area has a barrier around it, which is repelling the dawn’s rays.
At first I shake my head, wondering if my eyes are playing tricks on me. Perhaps some trees are casting a shadow over that spot, but no. What I’m seeing is not a shadow, it’s something else, something sinister.
As I continue to watch, the edge of sunlight slowly closes around the dark area around the barn and continues to spread across the land. That is of course when my mind starts thinking about Timothy Spratt and what my father had told me. At this point I’ve usually woken up. But last night the dream kept going.
Tearing my gaze away from the ‘shadowed’ barn I begin to study the rest of the town, to see if the effect is repeated anywhere else. To my horror, it does. Here and there, I notice a few other ‘blemishes’ appear in other parts of the town. But the pattern is so sporadic, there does not appear to be any rhyme or reason to their locations. It’s as if all that lay before me was a painting and someone had flicked a brush covered in some dark translucent stain across a canvas, marring the beauty of the scene.
None of it seems to make any sense… that is until the light reaches the grounds of the church. It’s there that I see a much more heavy concentration of dark spots, mostly around a number of headstones in the newer sections of the graveyard. Immediately I remember the Professor, I mean Otto, telling me and Marisa that the Ghoul-Slime... or Funus Sobrere (which is latin Corpse Absorber… see I’m already learning from him) preferred bodies of the recently deceased.
This of course reinforces my first impression that Tim Spratt may have been one of the creature’s earliest victims, having seen the darkness around the barn. But at the same time it doesn’t explain why I’m being shown this ‘overview’ of the town. Are all these blemishes places where the Funus Sobrere had been? And if so, why was there no other reports of people/animals dying or disappearing?
Then, as if in answer to my unspoken question my eyes drift, seemingly of their own volition, away from the church grounds to one of the other larger buildings in shadows. It’s one of the medical buildings over on Clearwater Street. Specifically, it’s the one that contains the local diagnostic lab. I’ve had bloodwork done there and so has pretty much everyone in town. There have been no deaths there that I can recall… then I remember the place had a break in and samples stolen…
Including ones that belonged to Marisa’s dad, which would explain how “Ghoul-Boy”… I mean the Funus Sorbrere knew about her father’s condition when it confronted us. A chill runs through my body at the realization that the creature had actively been seeking out who would make a nice fresh corpse in the near future for it to absorb.
‘But the thing is dead,’ I tell myself in the dream. ‘Tony… Pastor Gregory’s brother, who it had taken over, had destroyed himself and it in fire. It’s gone, we’re all safe… right?’
By then a feeling of doom has taken hold and I look back to the rest of the town which has now been completely revealed, blemishes and all, by the morning sun. All is quiet… almost too quiet.
Then I see the edges of each dark patch begin to move. It’s a slow but steady movement. Those closest to each other meet and become a larger patch and continue to spread, seemingly more rapidly because of their greater size. In the churchyard this happens more quickly, since so many of the graves had been violated and tainted by the Funus Sorbrere.
I’m rooted to the spot, helpless to stop the progression as the blight spreads darkening more and more of my hometown. Then I notice the farthest edge of the encroaching shadow begins begins to reach the outer edge of Nathan’s family estate and stops.
"Of course, Nathan was able to beat it to a standstill back in the cemetery when he came to save me and Marisa," I breathe with the first rays of hope. Then I remember he's gone to ground... "Which means he's not here to protect us," I murmur sadly.
And that's when the nightmare really begins.
It's almost as if the blight heard my words, because suddenly the darkness spreads like a wildfire. It crashes past whatever was holding it back from my godfather's estate, sweeping over it cause plants to die and trees to wither. The manor itself begins to darken and age just before collapsing in on itself, while my hometown is swept in shadow and I hear the first screams of terror arise...
That's when I finally woke up to find the screams were coming from my own mouth. Naturally my parents came rushing into my room to find out what had happened, and then spent the next hour comforting me. Both kept reassuring me that there had been no new reports of graves being violated or disappearances of people or animals. Still, I can't help shaking the feeling that something is coming and I'm certain Nathan will be our only chance of stopping it.
I can't tell Marisa about the dream because I know she's been anxious about her dad. She and her Mom are waiting for the latest lab results to come back and I don't want to burden her with my worries. I'd talk to Otto but he's out of town. I could e-mail him, but first I want to go to Nathan's place and check on Isabella's grave, where he went to ground with her ghost, to see if there's any change. If I don't see anything, then I'll contact Otto for sure and ask what I should do next.
Damn, almost time for school. I'll wrap things up here and report back once I've been to Nathan's place this evening. I pray this is all just my imagination but if it isn't and there's no sign of him coming back, I don't know what we'll do.