The eyes blinked back, one at a time, and the sound came again, more insistent. Definitely a question, but the sound was still not recognizable as a language. It wasn’t even recognizable as a voice.
The darkness between the eyes had a form to it, he could feel it slipping by him, through him, pulling at his mind, trying to convince him of something.
“We’re here,” Oscar said.
Cal opened his eyes and saw Oscar looking at him over the seat backs.
“What’s the plan?” Oscar said.
A plan. Cal rubbed his eyes. Angel moved off of him, sitting forward.
“We’ve got four heavy bags of Chloro Shock and one shovel,” Cal said, hoping Angel and Cal could put a plan together out of those details.
“And a bat,” Oscar said pointing down at the floor.
Cal looked down and saw an aluminum bat.
“And a bat,” he echoed, picking it up and handing it to Oscar.
They looked at each other for a moment.
“So we need to get the chlorine to the lake,” Cal said. “And kill whatever tries to stop us.”
“All of the agents are dead,” Oscar said. “Aren’t they?”
“I’ve seen three coins,” Cal said looking at Angel.
“But according to Jason, somebody summoned the agents, right?” Cal asked. “Who knows what else they’ve brought through to defend the lake.”
“There were some really weird things at my house,” Angel said.
“Though those went away as soon as the agent died,” he said.
“True,” Angel said. “You think they were just the agent’s doing.”
“Okay,” Oscar said. “Then we get the bags and the weapons and head for the ditch.”
“What about the fence?” Angel asked.
“What about it?” Oscar replied.
“The fear spell?” she said. “Remember how hard it was to get through last time?”
“Oh, right,” Oscar said.
“Let’s get out of the car and check it out,” Cal said, growing tired of sitting around playing guessing games.
They got out of the car and walked down to the ditch.
“I don’t feel anything weird,” Cal said.
“Yeah, I don’t either,” he said looking at Angel.
“Okay, let’s get the stuff then,” Cal said climbing back up out of the ditch.
Oscar popped the trunk open and took two bags. Cal grabbed the other two bags. Angel looked at them, then picked up the shovel and closed the trunk. She walked around to the side of the car and pulled Oscar’s bat out as well.
“I guess I’m the weapon girl,” she said, putting the shovel over one shoulder and the bat over the other.
“You’re the one with the merit badge in kicking butt,” Oscar replied.
They laughed nervously as they climbed down into the ditch and ducked under the fence.
* * *
The hike up to the lake was difficult. They kept to the trees as much as they could and had to ducking into the underbrush when they saw security patrols coming.
“Looks like they’ve upped their security,” Angel said as they were crouching behind a tree for the second time.
“I guess it’s easier than summoning more demons,” Cal whispered.
The golf card whirred by, searchlight flashing across the trees.
Cal’s sense of unease grew as they crested the hill and looked down on the lake. It looked perfectly normal, but Cal could feel that it wasn’t. He could almost hear the deep, rumbling non-language from his dream. He remembered the pulling from the dream and imagined it pulling him toward the water.
“Okay, what now?” Oscar asked, shaking Cal from his trance.
“You hear anything?” Cal asked.
Both Angel and Oscar shook their heads.
“Do you hear anything?” Oscar asked.
Cal could hear the beginnings of fear in Oscar’s voice.
“No,” Cal said. “Just curious.”
Cal looked back down at the lake. He wished they would’ve grabbed Angel’s backpack before leaving her house. It’d be nice to know if anything weird was going on down there.
“Cut around to the left and circle back to the maintenance shed again?” Angel suggested.
“Yeah,” Cal said. “Keep an eye out for the security guards.” He pointed across the lake at a little beam of light bouncing in the distance.
* * *
They made it to the shed without incident. Cal was starting to get really worried. Angel kept an eye on the clubhouse to see if she could see anybody inside or anybody heading their way.
Cal heard the shuffling noise and froze. He looked out towards the sounds, but saw only darkness
“What?” Oscar asked in a shocked voice.
“Nothing,” Cal said, trying to keep Oscar calm.
“Why’d you say that?” Oscar asked.
Cal looked at Oscar. Oscar and Angel were both looking at him, frightened. Cal was confused.
“What are you talking about?” Cal asked.
“You just said that we’re all going to die,” Oscar said. “Why did you say that?”
A chill ran down Cal’s back.
“I didn’t say that,” Cal said. “I didn’t say anything.”
“Yes you did,” Oscar said. “It was very clear.”
Angel was looking at them with a concerned look.
“Did you hear him, Angel?” Oscar asked.
“Yeah,” she answered.
“Guys,” Cal said holding his hands up. “I promise you I didn’t say anything.”
“Then who-”, Oscar started.
Cal saw Oscar wince and stagger. Angel fell to her knees.
The imagery was different this time for Cal. He saw the eyes, and felt the energy pulsing out of the lake like riding a wave in the ocean. It pushed him up on his toes, then pulled him back, retreating toward the lake. He stumbled and caught himself against the building.
Green light painted the backside of the shed in darkness.
Cal felt the pull and stepped around the shed, into the light. He heard Angel yelling his name and a warmth spread up his right arm. The green tentacles were swirling under the water, creating a whirlpool. Where the tentacles broke the surface, they became black shadow.
He felt pulled in two directions, the lake pulling him down, and another force resisting it, pulling on his right arm. The second force won out and he fell back behind the shed and into Angel and Oscar. He knocked them down, landing in Angel’s lap.
“What are you doing?” Oscar yelled.
“I don’t know,” Cal said. “I just wanted to see what was going on.”
“Well, don’t,” Oscar said. “We need to get the chlorine-”
Angel screamed, eyes wide.
Cal followed her line of sight and saw the shadow of a man standing over them.
The pressure again pulled on Cal. He scrambled up to his feet, looking for the shovel.
A hand gripped Cal’s shoulder and yanked him into the wall of the shed, knocking him senseless. He stumbled backward and fell, landing on top of the shovel.
Oscar yelled something.
Cal rolled to his side and picked up his shovel. He pushed himself up in time to see the shadowy man knock Oscar back.
Cal growled and swung his shovel through the air. The shadow from vanished as the shovel touched it.
He helped Angel to her feet.
A screeching sound filled the air around them, grating on Cal’s nerves. Cal picked up one of the bags of Chloro Shock.
“We have to get the chlorine into the lake,” Cal shouted as Oscar stood up.
Cal saw a shadow flicker to his left, then felt something wrap around his torso. He coughed as it squeezed the air out of him, then it dragged him away from the shed. The plastic bag in his hand tore spilling the Chloro Shock kits on the ground. Angel screamed his name and ran towards him.
“Chlorine,” Cal wheezed pointing at the ground as he was dragged towards the lake.
Angel stopped and picked up a kit, anguish on her face.
The green light pulsed and Angel dropped to a knee.
Cal looked down and saw the thing around him was a black tentacle, coming from the lake. He was being squeezed so hard that he could feel his heart pounding in his brain. He stabbed at the inky blackness with his shovel. The tentacle vanished and Cal dropped to the ground.
He gasped a few breaths in and started to stand up.
“Get the chlorine,” he shouted towards Angel and Oscar.
Oscar came around the corner of the shed with an open Chloro Shock kit in each hand. He slowed when he looked past Cal.
Cal turned and saw dozens of black tentacles in the air, all reaching down for him. He pulled back the shovel to take a swing, but the tentacles lashed out, grabbing his wrists and arms. He was yanked up in the air and into the water.