The Barrier: Case Four- Chapter Twelve

Back at the lodge, Ethan felt like pulling out his hair. He knew he had made the right call with focusing on the shade first, but everything about this felt so wrong to him. He wanted to find Riley and Mike now.

Daniel was drawing an ornate circle on the floor with a few Latin phrases around it while Gabrielle followed behind, adding French. When they were done with that, each of them, Josh, Daniel, and Gabrielle, drew their own protection circles around themselves. They slowly began chanting. Andy in Korean this time, Josh in Navajo, and Mary in French. Miller even joined in coaxing the other spirits in the lodge to rise up and help them.

A black blob started to form and rise from the center circle with only eyes and fangs distinct in it. Its shape constantly moving and stretching, never forming entirely. “You cannot exorcise me, you fools. You should be trying to save them. The boy does not have long.”

Ethan quickly grabbed onto Emily, who let out a sob at that. He did not know if the shade was telling the truth or not, but knew their reacting to it would not help.

“We have no intention of exorcising you.”

“Oh, banishment?” The shade began to laugh and started to counter their attempts with his own chanting in Latin. They could feel his power shifting to protect him from it.

“Now!” Daniel yelled.

Before the shade could respond, Daniel threw a blank totem in. The shade started to laugh, believing they were attempting to force him into it. The laughter stopped when all three threw in various prayer slips, and he realized what was happening. They weren’t trapping him; they were trapping his power.

Their chants and prayer grew louder, and Ethan could even see the blue orbs of the little spirits finally heading Miller’s calls to come and help. The shade screamed and yelled until he collapsed. Only a black pool remained on the floor.

Daniel moved forward, holding out his rosary and his own totem. “Begone from this place! Begone from all places where humans or spirits have touched! Ego te amo!”

A mouth formed in the pool. “You will never get back what I have already taken, and you will never stop me from finding my way to her.”

“Begone!” Daniel yelled

There was a burst of energy and light, and everybody stumbled back, but when they were able to open their eyes, the blob was gone. The feeling of oppression seemed to no longer linger in the lodge. Daniel let out a sigh of relief.

“What about that last part he said?” Emily asked quietly.

“We will worry about that later. Right now we need to find Riley and Mike,” Ethan said, turning to Miller.

“You must be Grace,” Miller said before Ethan had a chance to open his mouth.

“Yes,” Grace said sadly. “He put a barrier between her and us. She has been pushing on it this whole time. She is very drained and in a great deal of trouble. I am sending one of the little spirits to convince her to stop, but they are so desperate to pass worried that he will come back.”

“He will not, I assure them. Please, if you could all just hold on a little longer,” Miller called out desperately.

“I am trying, but we must be quick.”

“Grab what we need to do this, and someone stay here to call the EMTs,” Miller said, turning to the group.

Gabrielle agreed to stay behind with Emily and quickly dialed the phone while the group grabbed all of their rescue gear from the vans.

As they were grabbing things, Miller grabbed Ethan’s arm. “We need to be prepared. She has pushed even further, and is about to be disconnected from all of them. This will not be good Ethan.”

“I assumed,” Ethan said quickly and then followed behind as Miller led the team, following Grace.

As they trekked through the woods, the realization of just how lost the two were started to grow on the team.

“No wonder he was so confident they would die,” Daniel said, trying to keep it under his breath, but the others still heard.

They were struck by how right he was. It also weighed on them that the shade had said specifically that Mike would die, and that Riley clearly felt desperate if she was pushing after such a short time missing.

Even though they knew Grace intended to lead them right to the two, they took turns calling out. Finally, they could see a large tree with an empty space in front of it. A pit, Ethan realized as he hurried over.

“Riley!” he called down.

Riley smiled up at him weakly. “You found us,” she said, slightly delirious.

“Everybody get to work!” Ethan called out.

Miller got on the walkie to get an ETA for the EMTs while Josh began to secure some ropes to get down to them. When he dropped in, he hissed looking at Mike’s leg and realizing he was passed out.

“You did a good job packing it, but it’s bad,” Josh said as he moved over to Riley. “I need to get you out first.”

“Mike is in more trouble,” Riley protested.

“Which is why he will be harder to get out,” Josh said and helped her to get on his back.

“The EMTs are at the lodge,” they finally heard Miller call out. Ethan shot a flare into the air to alert them.

When Josh climbed out with Riley, she slumped off his back and tried to calm her breathing. It had set off her dizziness again, and they had knocked her arm a few times, but she knew the worst was coming.

“Grace?” She called.

“I am here,” the spirit said, showing herself a little this time.

“Is it time?”

“Yes,” Grace said sadly.

“This is gonna be bad,” Riley choked out.

“Yes,” Grace agreed again.

“Okay. Do you need help?”

“A few prayers for the little ones.”

“Miller, can you help me pray for them while they get Mike?” Riley asked, seeing all three men struggling with a plan to get Mike out.

“Yes,” Caroline agreed, gripping Riley’s hand.

“Please guide them and allow them to pass in peace. Please allow them to know the next life,” Riley whispered over and over. A stream of light seemed to surround Riley, and they saw several orbs brighten then disappear.

When it was over, Caroline looked at Riley carefully, expecting a reaction like they were used to from her in the past. Riley just blinked a few times before she began to convulse again.

“Oh no!” Ethan yelled as they finally managed to get Mike out. “Daniel!” he cried out as Daniel dropped over her body and started to pray over as he had done in the lodge, but it seemed to have no effect on her. Her head wound was bleeding worse, and a few drops started to come out of her nose and mouth as they all panicked over the two members of the team.

“We’re losing Mike!” Josh called out.

It felt like a lifetime, two lifetimes, before the EMTs arrived. They made quick work of basic care, then loaded the two on ATVs and drove them out with the group on foot running behind. When they made it back to the lodge, Gabrielle was holding a crying Emily, and the ambulances were gone.

Ethan wasn’t sure he would see either again.

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