ForNevermore Part 42


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Dante and William arrived at the house that served as Noella’s prison. The windows were all dark, except for the blue glow of a television illuminating the curtains of the living room windows.

“You sure this is it?” William asked.

Dante was certain the entire trip. He could feel Noella’s soul like a lighthouse calling him to shore from a turbulent sea. Yet her signal had suddenly faded to a distant echo.

“She’s gone,” Dante said, fear icing his veins.

Am I too late? Is she dead?

Dante jumped from William’s car, then raced toward the front door of the house at full speed, never stopping, and plowing right through it.

The door burst inward and he spun around, searching for Noella.

She was gone, but he could feel her having been there. Recently. He could sense it and see faint trails of her distinct bright purple aurora on the ground leading toward a door in the kitchen. He followed, hands ready to end anything that got in his way. He had no weapon, but didn’t need one, confident in the power of the rage fueling him forward.

He opened the door leading down to the basement below. On the ground was a young man with the faint glow that comes when life’s final breath is ready to leave the body. He could sense Noella on him.

What did you do to her?

Dante raced down the stairs and was ready to lay hands on the man to absorb his life and memories. But before he reached him, he heard a woman’s plea.

“Help!” she cried. “Please help us.”


Dante looked through the hole in the door and saw the woman, recognizing her immediately as Josie Snow, Noella’s aunt.

“What happened?” he asked.

“My boyfriend, he kidnapped us. He’s holding us here. He took my niece, and I don’t know where they went! Please, help us!”

“She’s gone?” Dante said, mostly to himself.

“Huh?” Josie asked, crying on the other side of the door.

“Nothing,” Dante said, looking at the door. There was no knob, only a lock. And he had no keys. Though he could kick the door down, he decided it was best to keep Josie safe behind the door for now, at least until he could find out what was going on.

“I don’t have keys to open your door. Hold on, I’ll get help,” he said, checking the other rooms for Noella, then heading up the stairs.

Before he was halfway to the top of the stairs, he felt it — a stain left on the world where Noella had crossed over. He had to cross over immediately so he could find her.

Dante had no idea where this part of Earth led to in his world, but she could have crossed right into the Queen’s realm. Or worse . . . the Dark Territories, a place not even the Queen’s soldiers usually dared to go.

As he ascended the stairs, Josie cried, “Wait! Don’t leave us!”

“I’ll send someone right away. Someone who can help. He’s a doctor,” Dante said, then he went back upstairs. He went outside, met William, then updated him on the situation and how there was a boy at the edge of death downstairs.

“I don’t know who he is, but I think he’s close to Noella,” Dante said. “Help them. And don’t go wiping them! I’m going to find Noella and bring her home.”

“Wait!” William said. “Do you know where we are? You’re gonna cross from here? This will lead you straight into the Dark Territories!”

“Well, all the more reason I need to go now. Noella already crossed.”

William’s face drained of color. “Oh my Gods.”

“Indeed,” Dante said, as he went to the trunk and grabbed his black leather gloves and long black jacket. Also in the trunk, his belt, sheathe, and ebony sword. Dante smiled grimly as he slipped them on and crossed over, hoping he wasn’t too late.

It never took long for death to find you in the Dark Territories.


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About David Wright

Dave is the co-founder of Collective Inkwell, in which he and Sean Platt re-invented serial fiction. Hailing from the quaint town of [REDACTED], Dave's renown for putting children in jeopardy (in his fiction, anyway) has made him world famous.

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