The Damned | Chapter 4 of 7 - Part: 1 of 21

Author: L.A. Banks | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2176 Views | Add a Review

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During the drive over to the family house, Damali prayed out loud, and prayed hard. Her panic-laden entreaties ricocheted between the Almighty, any available guardian angel listening, and her Neteru Queen Council. She put out her quiet-hysteria all-points bulletin with tears brimming in her eyes while she clutched the steering wheel.

With portals open and demons running rampant, who knows what could have happened to her man? Was she crazy, not going after him and arguing that he stay until daylight? What had been on her mind! Marlene, AWOL? And that hadn't shaken her to her knees? The rest of the older team members hadn't responded to a significant crisis—and that hadn't jolted her brain to wake up from its self-indulgent haze? Oh, yeah, she was definitely infected. Carlos had to be, too. Just let him be alive and uninjured.

Damali jumped out of her vehicle, ran up the front steps, and barreled through the front door. Her heart was pounding so hard that she almost couldn't hear the sheriff and the tribal leader's quick footfalls behind her. Every member of the team was on their feet, and Damali almost fell from relief when she saw that Marlene, Shabazz, Berkfield, and Marjorie had returned.

"Chief Quiet Eagle had a vision," Damali said, out of breath as her gaze swept everyone in the living room of the family house. "He brought his grandson out to our road, and sure enough, the sheriff saw Carlos's Jeep totaled with a doe on the hood."

"We set up orange barriers and flare markers so no other vehicle will plow into the back of the wreckage. But it's pretty much in a ditch off the road anyway, so in the morning, the tow truck can come to flatbed it."

"Am I missing something?" Marlene said, her gaze locked with the sheriff's for a moment and then with Damali's. "Search party? Paramedics!" Marlene swept away from the sofa and went to stand by Damali.

The elderly man, who had been silent until now, shook his head no and began speaking slowly in Navajo so that his grandson could interpret.

"In the morning, like the Jeep wreck," the sheriff said with an apology in his eyes. "There was nobody in the vehicle, and I scanned the area with floodlights from my cruiser. He wasn't there. My grandfather advises—"

"Damn all that," Shabazz said, pounding Mike's and Dan's fists. "Our brother could have been injured, limped away from the crash, and passed out. We don't roll like that."

Rider and Jose looked at the old man and then the Sheriff.

"Wanna give our brother Shabazz the unedited version of what Pop said, Sheriff?" Rider walked over to the breakfront and gathered up ammunition. "I can't speak it, but I can pick up a few key words and phrases, even though I'm rusty, and that ain't all the old man said."

"We ride," Jose said bluntly. "Tonight."

The old man began speaking again; this time he withdrew a shaker and a small, leather medicine bag with an eagle feather attached to it, and began gesturing wildly with his hands.

Jose and Rider watched him intently, as did the rest of the group.

"The doe had two puncture wounds in its throat," Jose said in a quiet, defeated tone. "Local nearby ranchers outside the sacred barriers have been losing livestock recently. Carcasses drained, mutilated. People behaving strangely, too."

Knowing glances passed around the team.

"He says we should watch the news and read the papers, not just from this town, but from other cities as well. Crime is up, like people are possessed. Strange types of senseless acts of violence are taking place. There have been bizarre sightings of things that cannot be explained. Not just here, but in many areas, many cities." Jose rubbed his palms down his face and briefly closed his eyes.

The old shaman nodded and folded his arms with satisfaction in his unwavering stare.

Damali closed her eyes. It was spreading.

"Grandfather says there's a bad spirit afoot. Whatever's been making bad things happen in the world is trying to infiltrate sacred lands. He has called a meeting of the elders at the sweat lodge tonight. The elders are reconsidering your building permit, and will refund any monies you have given them." The sheriff looked away as though ashamed.

"That is bullshit!" Dan shouted. "Not to mention illegal! We've already poured the foundation, have construction crews out there, and contractors, not to mention the fees to the architects—"

The old man held up his hand and spoke in a calm, determined tone.

"Grandfather says that the nation is well aware of the expenses, and will reimburse you from the nation's casino funds, but there is not enough money in the world to pay for the devil to lodge here." The sheriff looked around with a pained expression. "The ways of my people are… different. Perhaps in the morning, when heads are cooled, we can thoroughly inspect the doe and come to a reasonable compromise." He glanced at his grandfather and the group, and then sighed.

Kristen and Bobby drew in close to their mother. Berkfield's arm went over Marjorie's shoulders. J.L. closed ranks with Dan and Jose, their chins held high and their eyes burning with determined intensity to defend the house, or die trying. Nobody cared who touched whom; they were one team and would go out as one. Jose nodded to Mike, and accepted Mike's handoff of Inez, as Jose's other hand pulled Juanita in closer to his side. Marlene picked up her stick and took a position in front of those who would undoubtedly remain at the house.

Damali looked at Marlene. "When we get back, I need to fill you in more. You and I have to talk."

"For sure," Marlene replied, her intense gaze boring into Damali's.


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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