What’s that you say? You haven’t heard of my short story? You’re not familiar with the cult-busting, demon battling antics of Zoltan the Hungarian? Well you’re in luck.
If you haven’t been following along please take a moment to catch up:
If you’re all caught up, please enjoy what comes next:
Jefferies turned to face his enemy at the edge of the passage. Zoltan stopped his pursuit, leaving a few feet between and raised his sword. Jefferies threw off his pallid white mask and put on his thick glasses. He was smiling; his face was red and sweaty. Crouching down, he slowly drew his index finger across the flagstones from one end of the passway to the other.
Jefferies’ finger left a glowing line of electric blue in the stone floor. He flashed a wicked smile then turned and fled through the passage. As he went, the line erupted into blue flame. It barred any hopes of pursuing Jefferies. In fact, the blue flames appeared to be consuming the stone of the Altar room. The unnatural fire was licking at the walls and spreading. Though it produced no smoke, it crackled audibly.
“We must leave this place!” Zoltan bellowed. “This fire will destroy us all!”
Winslow, Alisha, and Frankel followed Zoltan to the far exit. In the commotion, the surviving cultists appeared to have fled the scene. They knew the power of the blue flame. Winslow could feel the fire’s unnatural heat at his back as they jogged through the subterranean maze.
Finally, they reached a winding stairway and began their climb toward safety. The little party was breathing heavy. The men took turns supporting Alisha as they ascended. The stairway narrowed as they went, and soon they were marching single file. The unnatural heat was growing.
The steps ended at a small doorway. Zoltan grasped the handle, but the wooden door wouldn’t open. Winslow looked back down the stairwell and saw the pale blue glow of the flames growing and he could hear the blazing crackle as whole stone was steadily burnt up.
“Hey Zoltan,” Winslow shouted. “We’ve gotta get moving! That blue fire is coming up fast!”
Without a word, Frankel lined up next to Zoltan and the two men began hammering the door with their shoulders. There was no room for Winslow to help; all he could do was to stand with Alisha and watch the blue glow steadily rise from the curving depths of the dark staircase. The heat was infernal. Everyone was sweating profusely.
As Zoltan and Frankel threw their collective weight into the door, Winslow could hear a near inaudible stream of prayers flow out of Alisha. Then, he saw that which he had feared. A few tiny fingers of blue flame licking at the walls of the stairwell. He felt Alisha grab his hand. She sees it too, he thought.
“We don’t have much longer!” Winslow raised his voice.
Zoltan and Frankel redoubled their efforts, but it was no use. Winslow hoped the blue flames would consume them quicker than earthly fire.
Then a figure came into view. Running and stumbling up the stairs, it was smoking and haggard. Alisha’s grip on Winslow’s hand tightened; her other hand clenched into a fist. Beneath the mop of burnt hair, a pair of bright eyes stared out at them from behind thick glasses. By some miracle or through some supernatural art of her own, Charlotte had survived the blue inferno below.
Next week. The final installment.