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   Chapter 12 Sate His Veins At Her Font

The Silverskin By Rian Torr Characters: 13922

Updated: 2018-03-07 15:18

Nearing home, Seven remembered his promise to Doug to stop in at the Alterman's, to warn them about the bear in the area. He figured he would leave out the 'Hellbear' moniker. No need alarming.

"Looks like their lights are on upstairs—should we knock?" Eva said.

"I hate to just drop in on them unannounced, but I guess it is important."

"Will they be mad? Do you know?"

"No. They are both very laid-back.

"He's a train engineer from the city—and she's a retired world-class horse-trainer. They are probably still up now."

"Is that their old barn over there?"

"Yea—they have a stallion and mare in there. Well, Summer was just a filly when I knew her. Have you ever ridden?"

"You used to come over here a lot?"

"Ya … I took Darkhoof out a few times … He was always good with me—but the Altermans thought he was possessed. There was something to him."

"Possessed? In what way? How?"

"They lost their boy Red. They let him ride for the first time on his own one day. He took Darkhoof up the trails of Miramar—and what happened on the summit that day … Well—only that horse will ever know—since the horse alone came back alive. Red stayed behind."

"Oh my God, that is so terrible!"

"They never stopped blaming themselves … Now when the coyotes howl at night—Darkhoof neighs and kicks up his stable―until the whole Forest is awake.

"One time he even broke loose and hoofed the life out of the Alterman's dog Banjo. Darkhoof can be an unholy terror."

"My God … Did they find a body?"

"They only found Red's ball-cap ...

"They always suspected Darkhoof was responsible—particularly because he became unstable and violent in ensuing years―like he were an entirely different horse―but they never had the heart to put him down ... They never quite could.

"Then after Banjo died―Mrs. Alterman decided Darkhoof must have in fact been possessed by Red—because the boy and the dog never got along in life. Red always avoided I, all costs available."

"Oh my ... That is such a twisted story. What an end to a strange beginning. Do you believe any of it?"

"I kind of do. They said some nights―when Darkhoof was left out to graze—that he would seem to grow in stature—and that his spine would become hunched and spiky … He would howl at the full moon like a wild demon coyote."

"Whaaat? Okay now you got me."

Seven nodded. "His eyes would bleed—and Mr. Alterman swears that one time, while he was closing up the stables for the night—Darkhoof grew increasingly disturbed, working himself up into a frenzied madness. The stalls shook fierce.

He said that once again the horse transformed into this great big black hulking beast—this time with nine tails aflame. He claims it broke free of the barn—where it galloped about the fields, spreading concentric circles of fire around.

"That is incredibly creepy. Really?"

Seven shrugged. "You can ask them about it yourself if you want. Mrs. Alterman loves talking about Red absolutely any chance that she ever gets."

Eva shivered now so uncontrollably.

Seven nodded darkly—grimly in suit.

He rapped on the door now twice in.

It opened out in on its own for them.

Eva rubbed her eyes—and while she did so―the lights inside all now flickered.

"What the Hell? Did you see that?"

Seven went to pull the door shut again—wanting nothing to do with a haunted house. But Eva opened her eyes again—and the lights remained on.

"What?" she said, seeing his hesitation. "Did you see that? Did you?"

"It's nothing … I think the power went out for a second. They must have left the door open. I didn't notice when I knocked. But let's be sure they're here."

He rang the doorbell twice in a row.

"Should we just leave a note now?" "I don't want to walk in on them … They might be sleeping … or otherwise occupied." They stood there uncertain.

Through the front hall, they could see into the kitchen, where the lights were also on. Everything about this was all iffy.

Seven suspected someone must still be around, when without apparent cause, the dining chairs started stomping on the floor in an eerie, rhy


So instead of burdening Aly with the true account of events, he decided to lie in a way that would still keep her alert to the possibility of danger inside, for her safety.

"Somebody might have been in your house, " he said. "We found the door ajar." He pointed to the front entrance.

"Oh my god, " Aly exclaimed aghast.

"Did you go in?" Olin inquired last.

"I did. I think it is all clear now."

Olin went in first to double-check.

"We were at the drive-in, " Aly said. "Then we stopped by Bane House. Olin was acting strange the whole time. I wonder if he sensed something wrong."

"Where are your folks tonight?"

"Way down South for the winter."

Olin came back out slowly shaking his head. He looked about the woods.

"I checked every room. If anybody was here, they didn't stay long enough to leave a trace behind." He ruffled his hair.

"Should we call the Sheriff?" Aly asked. She cast her gaze about them all. She acted edgy about the whole ordeal.

"Tony's got his hands full with a black bear in the woods, so maybe hang tight ..." Seven offered, gently dismissive.

Olin noticed Seven was acting strange and pulled him aside—out of hearing distance. He poked him straight.

"What is going on?" he said sharply.

"Nothing—I'll fill you in later Olin."

"You saw Her didn't you brother?"

Seven put one finger to pursed lips.

"Come on now ... What happened?"

"Drop it for now, okay? Not now."

"Listen―you know I have to know. Besides—this is about Aly's safety now, not just your precious Eva. Cough it up."

"Know what?" Aly interjected, having sharper ears than they realized.

"Nothing ..." they said in unison.

"Well I guess we should be getting back, " Seven said, taking the window to exit. "Eva needs to rest, " he said—helping Eva back away from the house.

"No!" Aly said. "I mean ... Please don't ... I would feel much better if you stayed longer ... You can't leave so soon."

"We really should get going now. We've already delayed our return to Bane House too long, as the night draws down."

"Nonsense—we can stay for a bit, " Eva said. "It's the least we can do—don't you think?" She walked over to hug Aly.

Seven glared at Olin ultra-intensely.

Olin smirked and shirked it off now.

The four of them headed back into the gates of Hell with little more than the hope that whatever had come was gone.

Eva squeezed Seven's hand so tight it hurt and he had to pull away to break it.

But then he held it again as symbolized their relationship's tug-of-war.

One day they would be on again, one day off, with only history to witness.

Which one of them died first in the end seemed to matter not, for the other would be soon not far behind to attend.

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