Excerpt from Book 2

Tom sat up in the big field and rubbed his eyes. The sky was grey but the sun behind the clouds made it bright enough to hurt his eyes. “I wish these fucking demons would stop dropping me wherever they wanted,” he muttered.

On the gentle breeze he heard Satan’s gentle whisper, ‘You’re welcome, Tom….”

Tom grimaced as he rose and rolled his eyes. Distant and muffled, he heard a boy’s soft voice ask, “Where are we?”

“I have no idea!” a deeper, more masculine voice replied.

Tom tried to discern the origins of the words and could just perceive figures standing nearby, as ephemeral as a mirage. A shorter, muscular figure replied, “It doesn’t matter. We’re alive, and it’s over.”

“Is it?” a man asked, limping over. “We’ve got to get these checked on,” he added as he examined the muscular one.

“Let’s get everybody home first,” David replied, and Tom recognized with certainty that the ghostly figure was David. “And it is over….”

The man, Alasdair, Tom now realized, called, “Tom? Has anybody seen Tom?”

“I’m right here!” Tom shouted, running up to the transparent and nearly invisible form. “I’m here!” Tom began to cry in frustration as his hands passed ineffectually through Alasdair.

“Oh God,” David wailed, and it pierced Tom to the core that he could not comfort the boy.

“What is it, dear boy?” Judah asked, grabbing David’s shoulder.

“At the end, Salpsan was dragging me down, but I knew I couldn’t let go,” David began. “I heard someone chanting beside me, and then I fell – I was pushed – and then it was all over….”

Tom remembered it all suddenly, up until the moment when he followed Salpsan into the earth. Where he was was still as mystery to him. He also had no idea how he’d come to be wherever he was. Though he felt relatively certain there was only one being who could give him the complete answer to both questions. Satan’s laughter punctuated the feeling of dread that washed over him….