Sunday, September 2, 2012

Homecoming Queen :Chapter 1

Travis Kincaid should have been tired.  Typically, a person would be after running barely a mile at a full sprint through a dodgy forest in the dead of night.  Still, despite gasping for air, he kept the pace.  The adrenalin pumping through his system as well as the cold stark terror raging through his mind kept him going.  He was focused solely on running, and the fact that he had entered those woods with two dear friends was not even registering with him anymore.  The October night air was crisp and cold, and that cold was radiating through him as he greedily gasped it in.  The moonlight overhead gave him enough light to make his way through the woods without running into too many trees.
Travis nearly smiled when he caught sight of the edge of the woods.  Beyond that was a modest field where his friend's car was parked.  It did not matter that he did not have a key to the car; he was just desperate to get there, as if somehow reaching the car would mean he would be safe.  He was hoping to get in the car and lock himself in, if anything to give him enough time to use his cell phone to call for help.  He needed only a few more strides to clear the woods.
He did not make it.

* * * * *
In the weeks that had followed CC Tucker's trying incident in her dorm room a lot had changed for her.  On the surface everything seemed the same.  Her roommate, Tonya, was blissfully pledging to Kappa Theta Kappa and had dismissed the entire incident to the gas leak explanation offered.  CC continued attending her classes, but now paid extra attention in Doctor Rodgers' Anthropology course.  She enjoyed hanging out with her friends around campus, even though she had not joined any social clubs.
Instead she had joined a secret society of sorts.
Doctor Carson Rodgers and Doctor Dante Amethyst maintained a very extensive library in the basement of the Ellis Building.  While this was known to the senior faulty, the majority of the student body, and much of the staff were oblivious to it.  The library was packed with books, many of them in languages CC couldn't read and some older than the university itself.  The library was a single room, and it smelled of old books, which CC disliked at first but had quickly gotten used to.  The table and chairs where oak and while still sturdy hadn't been maintained very well with nick and scratches marring their former beauty. 
The society itself was a small one.  Doctors Rodgers and Amethyst were experts in parapsychology and what they referred to simply as "lore".  The incident that had happened in CC's dorm room was ugly, but not an isolated thing.  In fact it seemed there were much worse things, and the two doctors were experts in understanding them.  They were experts in dealing with them as well.  Both men were well into their forties, but kept themselves up quite well.  Rodgers was quite warm and friendly outside of the classroom and did his best to make CC feel safe and welcome within the group.  Amethyst, while not unfriendly, was a bit more reserved.  He obviously had many questions about what CC had endured, but Rodgers kept him from being too pressing with his questions.
CC herself was there for one reason only: she refused to be a victim.  While she had a basic understanding of what happened, the weird things that happened in the room and the possession, she needed to know more.  She knew now that there was more to her world that she previously assumed, and was determined to know whatever she could to make sure nothing could attempt to take advantage of her again.  She had compounded her new studies with some extra time in the fitness center.  The young hazel-eyed blonde seemed the same as when she arrived on campus, but there was new strength in her.
She had gotten to know the other's in the group a bit better.  Chad Armstrong was a graduate student studying mainly under Doctor Rodgers.  He was bright, personable, and seemed quite knowledgeable as to the various supernatural goings-on that the group was keenly interested in.  CC had also recently learned that Chad studied Wing Chun Kung-Fu, and was hoping that he’d show her a few moves.  Gabe Gunther was quite different, at least as far as CC was concerned.  He was a little younger than the doctors, but not an academic.  Gunther was previously in the Army and had been a Ranger.  He seemed to be more of a bodyguard to the Doctors than anything else.  While, he seemed nice enough to the others he still looked upon CC as the new girl and seemed a bit dismissive of her.
The Ellison brothers were still a bit of a mystery.  While Tommy hung around the group quite a bit and was nice, in a goofy kind of way; James had only stopped in maybe twice since she met him and seemed determined to keep his distance.  It was obvious to her that there was something going on with them that the others were keeping from her, but she did not ask. While, she was considered part of the group now it was clear that everyone wanted to make sure things were going to work out before she got full disclosure on everything.
So when she walked into the library and the doctors, Chad, and Gabe were in a heated discussion she hesitated a bit before she asked what was going on.
“I don’t like this, Doc.  Sending one person to checkout a ley line flux is never a good idea.” Gabe leaned against the table and had his thickly muscled arms crossed.  CC was not sure if he was scowling since he always seemed to look mean when she was around. 
“Ley line.”  CC recalled.  “Those are the invisible line of psychic energy that crisscross around the planet, and when they flux that means something big and supernatural happened… right?”
“Just about.” Rodgers smiled and shot a glance at the others letting them know that he was a bit impressed with how CC remembered that.  “A flux could mean “something big and supernatural” but this was not a huge flux.  So, it could possibly be nothing.”
“Still, I don’t like the idea of just one person checking into this.” Gabe countered.  “Amethyst needs one person to go with him to New Mexico.  You have to stay here to make sure nothing else pops up.  That leaves one of us to go to Nicholstown.”
“Nicholstown?  I live right by there.” CC chimed in again.  The men looked at here, and then at each other.  Chad was smiling a bit.
“Define ‘right by there’.” Gabe looked at her.
“I grew up in the next town over, Genesse, and spent a lot of time in Nicholstown.”
“That will definitely help in investigating since she knows the area.” Chad said with a shrug and a smile.  “Should be fine for her first ‘field trip’.”
“I’m fine with it as well.”  Offered Rodgers.  “Feel like taking a little trip home?”
“Sure, but who’s going with me?”

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