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   Chapter 5 Odd Creatures

The Clandestine Saga By ID Johnson Characters: 6235

Updated: 2021-04-25 14:25


As they poured out of the vehicle, Cadence paused for a moment to look up at the sky. A soft haze illuminated the night around the festivities, but the rest of the firmament was nothing but ebony, crowned by a full moon sliding below the horizon, its pale orange hue lending an air of foreboding. Cadence knew this scene looked familiar, and she braced herself for what she felt may come.As they approached what seemed to be an entrance, the entire party tensed up. They had no idea if they would be charged a monetary fee, required to show an invitation, or sign over their first-born child. There was no gate, however. No ticket taker. Only a ring of tents, haphazardly thrown up to create some sort of perimeter and several more temporary dwellings within the outer circle. It was difficult to ascertain exactly how large the area was. Several bonfires were strewn amongst the structures, and the smoke created a permanent fog that hovered around them. There was also a thin layer of fog that sat right on top of them, lending itself nicely to the eerie setting. As if reading her mind, Jack leaned over to Cadence and said quietly, “All we need now is a creepy castle, and we’ll be all set.”Perhaps what was more disturbing than the setting were the partygoers themselves. Many of them were wearing costumes, much to Drew’s delight. Many more needed no costumes; they were even more frightening than those in masks and capes. Everywhere she looked, Cadence saw complicated facial piercings, brightly colored hair, and any skin that was showing (and there was a lot, despite the cooler temperatures), was tattooed. These were not your typical, “Mom” tattoos either. Rather, the majority of them depicted horror scenes and fantastic creatures hell-bent on ripping one’s lungs straight from one’s chest.If anyone noticed they did not belong, they said nothing. There were a handful of other lost souls wandering around, eyes wide open, mouths ajar. But the majority of the attendees had clearly known what to expect, and they were there to revel in their own unique world of horror.“Let’s go home,” Cadence pleaded, turning to Jack and placing her hand on his arm.It was loud and difficult to hear. “What’s that?” he asked, leaning toward her.Cadence glanced around again. She was accidentally making eye contact with many of the revelers now, and their piercing stares seemed almost mesmerizing, not in a way that made Cadence feel comfortable or safe. “I said, I think we should go home,” she repeated more urgently.Jack had heard her this time, and he was nodding his head. Drew was still walking ahead of them, giggling with delight like a small child at her birthday party. Kash was close behind her, though his expression was not quite as chipper as his ex-girlfriend’s. Taylor and Sydney were both cowering behind Jon, only peering out from around his shoulders from time to time to make sure no boogeymen were about to pounce on them. Taylor was still crying, and it actually seemed to be working against her because it was drawing stares from the fiends around them.“I’m not sure we are going to be a

ble to get Drew to come with us just yet,” Jack explained.Cadence knew he was correct. The only way they were going to get Drew back into that vehicle was if they picked her up and carried her. “Maybe we can convince her,” she said, letting go of Jack’s arm and walking toward Drew, who was bouncing up and down to the beat of the drums.Out of the corner of her eye, Cadence saw a flash of black, perhaps a human form, but moving much more quickly than any human ever could. She turned to see what it was, but by the time she was able to whip her head around, it was gone. She didn’t feel frightened, for some reason, however, just surprised. She made a mental note and continued to attempt to catch up with Drew.Placing her hand on Drew’s shoulder, she pulled her back gently in an effort to get her attention. Drew didn’t seem to notice as she was enthralled by the music. Ahead of them, some belly dancers were entertaining a crowd near a small bonfire, and Drew pulled away from Cadence, headed in that direction. In the speechless environment, they had to rely on expression and gestures, so Cadence and Kash locked glances and followed.As they approached the small group of belly dancers, Cadence could see a sizeable group of musicians off in the distance. There was a crowd congregated nearby, and every dancer was a portal unto him or herself, moving and gyrating however the music moved them. There were only a few couples dancing together, and they seemed to be performing some sort of mating ritual, or perhaps a few of them were mating, though Cadence did not wish to stare hard enough to find out. She did notice that a few couples slithered into the forest near the dance area, and she could only assume they must be consummating their relationships.Drew seemed so fascinated by the belly dancers that she didn’t notice the other dancing going on behind her. Cadence was hopeful it would stay this way. She wasn’t exactly sure where the rhythm might take Drew, but she was afraid it wouldn’t be anywhere closer to home.As her petite friend swung around in circles, swaying to and fro with the beat, attempting to move her hips similarly to the more accomplished dancers, Cadence turned to check on her friends. They were all still there, all still together. That, at least, was something to be grateful for. She turned back to Drew in time to see some sort of an Egyptian hand-flare, like something out of a Bangles video, and shook her head in disbelief. Kash began to dance along with Drew, an indicator to Cadence that, from his perspective, this whole thing may have been his attempt to re-hookup with his ex-flame, and Cadence had to look away in disgust.She noticed the outline of a figure dressed in black just against the trees near where the band was entertaining the crowd. She peered more closely, and the person, what appeared to be a muscular man, faded back into the darkness of the trees and disappeared. She almost rubbed her eyes, attempting to determine whether or not they had been playing tricks on her. Why was she seeing these odd creatures? Were they real or imagined?

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