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A full chapter this time! Still slaving away at my revisions/editing.

EPS: The Standing Stone
by Natalie McKay
Act 2 – Chapter 25

Running into her room, Madison locked the door behind and began to tear through her books, looking for one in particular. The book that the spirit had left behind that one night had not been a library book, Madison had checked for a tag, or something that would say where the book belonged, but had found nothing. Since then she had buried it away in the wooden chest at the foot of her bed, keeping it out of sight. She should have thrown it away, Madison almost had but she could never throw a book away without reading it first. Now she pulled books, clothes and blankets out of the chest to find it.

Finding the red leather bound book, Madison began to flip through it, trying to find anything that could resemble the creature she had seen. Page after page she scanned the stories, the images where there were some, to no immediate success but she wasn’t giving up. With the volume open before her, she sat at her desk and brought out her macbook, continuing to search for native american spirits. Maybe it was paranoia to think that whatever was in the stone was after her, but Madison knew from experience that things usually flocked to her, she was like some magnet for them.

The longer Madison researched the faster the fear grew inside of her. She had no idea what to do once she does find what she was looking for. What good would knowing a name to the spirit do? Just give her more nightmares most likely. Coming out with another dead end from a list of links, Madison let out a frustrated scream and slammed her head on the desk.

“Bad day?”

Madison jumped at the voice, turning quickly at the voice. She saw Ellie stand by the door, which was still closed. She gave her roommate a puzzled look and glanced at the time.

“Ellie… it’s just after four, shouldn’t you be in your lab?”

“It was canceled.”

Madison looked closely at Ellie, she didn’t seem herself, maybe she was sick? She was pale enough, her hair looked wild and dirty, her eyes big black orbs of darkness. Then there was the sneaking up part, Ellie didn’t know the meaning of subtlety, even if she was sick. A wave of goosebumps ran down her arm, a pit formed in her stomach, this wasn’t right, something wasn’t right.

“I’m sorry to hear that.” Madison wavered, maybe it was just her imagination. Ellie could really be sick she thought to herself. The missing stone news had really done a number on her nerves. “Are you going out then?”

“I thought I’d stay in.” Ellie said, though she didn’t seem to move from her spot, not even an inch. Again Madison felt that there was something off with her roommate. “Spend some time with my… roommate.”

“Who are you?” Madison asked, finding some courage. “You’re… your not Ellie.”

“How very observant. Did I not get this form right?” The figure appearing as Ellie questioned, the voice grew deeper and shriller though still had the high ring of Ellie’s that gave Madison a shiver. “Or did you sense me?” It stared at Madison, tilting it’s head to one side then another. “It’s been a while since I changed form like this… you humans have certainly changed things around here. I’ll have to fix that.” It said, looking down at the hands moving them over as if everything it saw was new to it.

“Who are you?” Madison repeated, trying to keep the fear out of her voice.

“Why, I’m the one you rescued. I’ve been looking for you, I wanted to thank you for all that you’ve done.” The lips on Ellie’s face began to move up into a smile, though it grew wider and distorted. “If it hadn’t been for your energy that night when you touched my prison walls… I wouldn’t be standing here now.”

“Leave me alone.” Madison ordered, or tried to, what came out was more of plea.

“But you see I can’t.” Ellie stepped towards Madison’s corner. “You have so much power inside, and it’s been so long and I feel so weak… this form will no last long before I need to feed, again.”

“I… I don’t understand.” Madison gulped.

“It’s easy… I need energy. In the past it used to be just negative energy, hate, jealousy, fear. But there’s not enough of that here to sustain me, so I’ll have to settle for next best thing… you’re energy.” The smile widened beyond what any normal mouth could reach, sharp teeth emerged from the gum lines, the eyes turned yellow and the arms grew along with the hands and fingers. Nails became claws, the head became the beast from her dreams. It wasn’t Ellie’s body it was mimicking anymore, like he said, the form couldn’t last he quickly transformed back into his original shape. A look of desperation shot through its eyes before it launched itself at Madison, flying over the bed. Madison quickly ducked under the flying form and it’s outstretched long arms causing him to instead collide into her desk.

Scrambling to her feet, Madison jump over the bed. Her eyes on the door when she felt a clawed hand snatch her down. Her head hit the floor with a loud thud as long bony fingers slid around her throat. She screamed as loud as she could, but the hand quickly contracted around her trachea, snuffing the air and sound from her voice. Her hands clenched into fists as she tried to push the demon off.

The creature laughed, it had the upper hand and knew it, pinning Madison to the ground it seemed to enjoy watching the fear and terror sweep through her body as she clung to life. Madison swung her arms wildly, trying to snatch anything in sight to help her stay alive. Her fingers found a cord and she yanked on it. A lamp from the shelf above fell to the ground, it wasn’t much but it was the only weapon Madison could reach. Grabbing the lamp’s shaft she swung it to the side of the creature’s head.

Caught by surprise the demon fell to the ground, his girp on Madison’s throat loosened enough for her to scramble away, kicking the creature in the chest for good measure as she sprinted to the door.

She turned the knob but the door wouldn’t open, it too her another second to realize it was still lock. She looked behind her, the creature was staggering back to it’s feet. Her hands trembled for the lock, continuously turning the door knob in the process until finally it sprang open and Madison fled the room.

She ran down the stairs, and without thinking out into the blustering cold November day. She had no coat, no hat or mitts, she didn’t even feel the cold or the snow as it fell gently around her. Her only thought was to run.

Run where, she didn’t know nor cared, only as long as she was out of the room and the creature was not behind her. She took a look back over her shoulder, just as her foot left the curb and onto the street. A blaring horn of a truck caught her attention as it scratched to a stop, swerving at the same time to attempt to miss her, but everything happened too quickly and she crashed into the side of the stopping vehicle. Bouncing off she landed hard on the sidewalk, her head making a heavy thud sound as it struck the cement. Her vision blurred, then everything went dark.

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