Another Death

Raindrops pelted the tumultuous tossing waters. Steam rose up from the boiling surface, forming an eerie white ceiling of fog over the river.

Corky's body floated to the top, bobbing like a small rubber raft.

Watching from the depths, the evil spirit uttered its own death cry, an unending wail of despair.

Its power boiled the water, pushed the river over its banks, sent high waves crashing against the cliff beside it.

The thunder of the crashing waves drowned out the thunder in the sky. The anguished howl of the ancient evil weakened and began to fade. The waters still bubbled Another Death and steamed.

"You can't die!" the spirit wailed, tossing Corky's body over the surface.

"You cannot die. You cannot betray me! I am you, and you are me! You cannot die!"

Weaker.

The waters began to cool. The eerie white steam drifted apart in the heavy rain.

Weaker.

"I won't let you die!" the ancient force declared. Gathering its strength, it pushed the waters beneath Corky, pushed her up, up—until she rose above the water, suspended in the white mist.

"I won't let you die! You are free now! You are Another Death out of the water! You are free!"

Hovering over the water like a sagging helium balloon, Corky's body slumped lifelessly, her head back, her eyes staring blindly up at the storm clouds.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" The evil spirit's wail of defeat rose like a siren, then faded to silence.

Corky's body dropped back into the water without making a splash.

"You are dead," the spirit admitted. "And in dying, you have killed me."

Now the thunder in the sky roared louder than the crash of the ebbing waves. In that crash, the spirit was thrown from her body Another Death.

The river flowed quietly again.

The water quickly cooled.

The evil faded, then disappeared. Washed away forever in the rain-stirred brown river current.

Chapter 25


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