The amethyst necklace served as my anima gemstone – the one that proved the most powerful boost to my ability. It was a stone for healing, had a calming effect, and was good for meditation because it enhanced intuition and gave clarity and insight. Exactly what I needed to untangle my latest vision. Holding it soothed me.
I selected four additional gemstones, then went to my meditation corner in the front room. An oversized pillow on the floor cushioned my crossed ankles. The back of my hands rested on my knees. One slow, deep breath in. One long breath out. Muscles relaxed, heart rate steady and mind opened, I closed my eyes.
The vision waited like a predator in the shadow.
The abyss surrounded me, drowned me. I struggled to keep my eyes closed, to hold the vision, but lost the battle. My visions were usually so vivid, not void of light. I could do this. I drew another deep breath, and let the blackness swallow me this time. The loss of light terrified me. I wanted to run. I had to stay. It couldn’t hurt me. I was safe. The words became my mantra.
My fingertips glided over the smooth surface of the iridescent obsidian. I concentrated on that sensation to help ground me as I summoned the stone’s white magic for protection. Despite my best efforts, my heart raced and my breathing sped up.
The pitch black seeped into my skin, pulling me further down. I was in control. I was safe. An awful screech shattered the silence. Goosebumps raced across my flesh. I struggled not to plug my ears and to focus on the clue instead. It sounded like the scrape of a shovel against rocks. I’d encountered that cringe-causing clatter many times in my garden. Yet, this noise sounded more intense, like dozens of shovels dragging across boulders and sent shivers down my spine. It grew louder. The sound pummeled my ears. I refused to give up and squeezed the garnet to help increase my psychic sensitivity.
Where was this place?
A flash of light revealed a slanted rock surface. Too rough and large to be man made. A mountain, maybe? Not one I recognized.
What else was near?
Three strobe light flashes revealed a gnarled tree, a moss covered boulder, and a dark tunnel. A cave. Claustrophobia kicked in. I trembled, but I held on. I ran my thumb over the iolite gemstone to help me stay focused.
What did I need for the cure?
The darkness grew thicker. My nose crinkled at the scent of death. It was the same strange odor from the first vision. I’ve smelled my share of death – rodents, livestock, people. The unnatural smell of the not-quite-dead slicked my palms with sweat.
Evil resided here.
I squeezed the emerald, calling on its protection from demonic possession. A longer flash revealed cave walls with horizontal grooves carved into them. Then, blackness slammed down shutting me out. The suddenness disoriented me. The gemstones grew hot against my palms, almost burning me. I’d never experienced anything like it and doubled my grip, determined to hold on to my only line of defense. A low, deep rumble echoed off the walls.
Was it inside that cave, the thing I needed?
The growl intensified. Multiplied. I wished I had more emeralds to protect me from whatever lingered in the darkness. Too late now.
Why couldn’t I see it?
The snarls became louder. Closer. I cringed. My ears ached. I didn’t want to have to summon this vision again. Determination coursed through me.
Show me. Now!
Silence. Suffocating stillness.
I gulped for air. My whole body vibrated with fear as I staved off hyperventilation. They were tiny at first – the glowing red eyes – but grew larger as they flew toward me.
Hovering, the eyes stopped three yards away. I panted and struggled to maintain control.
Something wanted me gone, but I refused to leave without an answer.
By force of will, I summoned light, but wasn’t strong enough to hold it for more than three seconds at a time. The eerie strobe effect disoriented me, but I’d take whatever light I could get. Or so I thought until I saw him. Less than two feet away. Haunting eyes peered directly at me. Seeing me.
Visions didn’t work that way. Terror ripped through me. He grinned, wickedly. But there was something wrong with him. Something not quite… human.