Buried: Demonic Games Series Book 2
Buried: Demonic Games Series Book 2
Buried: Demonic Games Series Book 2

Buried: Demonic Games Series Book 2

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For generations, the truth has been left to fester while evil flourished within Castle Vaduva’s blood-stained stones. But nothing stays hidden forever...

Mihail Vaduva didn’t know that returning to his ancestral home would throw him into a battleground between the living and the dead. His only defense against the madness was his friend and medium, Abe Claymont. Together they bought themselves a few months of peace. And yet, the combined rage of hundreds of lost souls cannot be contained for long.

Racing against an unknown clock, Abe and Mihail search for a way to appease the spirits. But salvation won’t come easy. Lost souls invade Mihail’s dreams, stalk him from the walls, and lure him into dungeons. Every attempt Mihail makes to protect himself dredges up past demons.

Drawn deeper into the twisted web of revenge and murder, Mihail is confronted with unstoppable evils. Demonic forces are staking their claim. Murderous secrets are clawing their way out of graves. Vengeful spirits are following him beyond the castle walls. It’s only a matter of time before decades of horror are unleashed onto the unprepared world.

There’s only one way to stop the looming apocalypse. A tribute of blood and sanity. But the price may be too high for Mihail to bear...

165 pages

Chapter 2

"Why are we here?"

Abe snorted. "Right. Like this town would have a tattoo artist on hand."

"So you brought one in and arranged for the doctor to let you do it here?"

"Well, I ain't going to have it done in some dark alley. Infections are a thing, ya know. It will cost a fortune, but it'll be worth it."

It was only a few moments' wait before they were allowed to go into one of the back rooms. Mihail tried to stay close to the wall and out of the way as Abe warmly welcomed the heavily tattooed woman they found inside. They chatted for a moment in Romanian, allowing Mihail to pick up on every fifth word or so. Soon enough, Abe was shaking off his layers of clothing.

Somehow, Abe managed to look even larger without the bulky jackets. The wide expanse of skin was covered with twisting Celtic knots, the black ink stark against his pale skin. Thin white streaks of scar tissue divided the pattern and Mihail winced at the proof of what he had endured to protect Mihail and Bunica. But there weren't only scars from that single encounter. A life time of fights were written across his skin. Over time, he had come to understand why Abe's parents hadn't minded him moving away from Jewish tradition to cover himself with tattoos. Because without the interweaving loops of ink to disguise them, Abe would have to see every mark made upon his body. Every encounter with dead and demonic beings had left a mark. They had clawed and gouged through his flesh, leaving his skin littered with scars. His body was a battlefield. The tattoos let them all pretend that it was not.

"Ya okay?" Abe asked as he positioned himself on the table.

"Of course," Mihail was quick to smile, wanting to hide his thoughts. The past few months had been torture for Abe and he didn't need any reminders. "Needles just make me queasy."

"Ya know there's going to be blood, right?"

"Blood? Why would there be blood?"

"Because a shaft of metal is being repeatedly inserted into my skin about a thousand times a second?"

Mihail swallowed thickly. "Oh."

"I've seen you cook and eat sheep's brains without flinching. But this gets to you?"

"I'm fine," he said as his stomach lurched. "I'm fine."

"Ya know it's not going to be ya own blood, right?"

"I know." Placing his hands on his hips, he pulled in a deep breath. "But you're my friend and-."

"Your only friend," Abe smirked under his breath.

Mihail glared at him. "I want to flip you off right now."

"But ya won't. Have too much of that proper breedin' to do something so crass."

The woman turned the needle on, the low drone making Mihail's stomach cramp. He smiled tensely to suppress his gag reflex as he looked anywhere but at the two people in the room. Abe had taught him the trick when they first met. Living in the castle, he used it a lot.

"How ya doin'?" He didn't need to look at Abe to know that he was a moment away from laughing.

"Oh, I'm perfectly fine. Not a single problem."

The sound changed as it hit skin. Abe took in a sharp breath and Mihail groaned. He tried to smother it, but it came out anyway.

"Let's talk. Keep ya distracted."

Mihail nodded quickly and agreed. Perhaps it would have been better if he looked. Now, it was too much like all the times Abe had been sealed away in his room. Some ghosts needed to tell their story before they could move on. They came to people like Abe and talked about things that no one should ever have to hear. Others just needed to hurt someone. With his broken ribs, Abe had been an easy target. His parents had tried to keep all the spirits out, to give him space, but some always slipped through. The worst ones.

"Come on," Abe probed. "There has to be something you want to talk about."

"The nesting doll." It was the first thing that had popped into his mind.

He had stumbled across the Russian nesting doll while being tormented by the small demonic monsters that filled the castle. Mihail had never seen them, but he had felt them and their influence. They worked to disorient people within the castle. Mostly keep them lost within the maze. But that one night, they hadn't kept him from going somewhere; they instead lured him to the hidden room. To the doll that had kept Sarina's soul imprisoned. His curiosity had made him open it. There were few things he regretted as much as that decision. When all was said and done, Abe had taken the doll with him.

"Is it in the vault yet?"

"I always like how ya say 'vault'," Abe said, trying his best to sound at ease even as a pained grunt began to filter in around the edges. "Like ya don't really believe we have anything in there."

"I know you have Frank." He whipped around to face Abe, a spike of fear making him brave. "Frank is still there, right?"

"Yes. Didn't I promise I'd tell ya if he ever got out? Ya can stop asking."

"He's a gigantic spider demon that tried to eat my head. I'm a little concerned about him."

Catching what he had just said, Mihail flicked his eyes to the woman, waiting to see her expression change. It didn't. Apparently, she didn't speak any English, just like everyone else in Rupt Teren. It had given Mihail the luxury of being able to talk to Abe about anything in public without concern of being overheard. He was starting to take that level of privacy for granted.

"He's there," Abe assured. "And no, I haven't put the doll in yet."

"Shouldn't it be?"

"We've gone over this," Abe groaned.

"Yes, I know. But I'm a little concerned." Mihail shifted slightly before adding, "So is Bunica. She asked me about it this morning."

That got Abe's attention. "Now, why would she go and do somethin' like that?"

"After everything that happened, wouldn't it be weirder if she didn't?"

Abe scoffed, but rolled his eyes. "If it makes ya feel better, ya can help me put it in there tonight."

"Help? As in go near the vault?"

"Watch," Abe corrected. "Deep calming breaths, baby boy."

Sometimes, it really annoyed him when Abe did that. He was obviously breathing. But he could never call him on it. Mostly because the reminder really did help to settle his nerves.

"How 'bout we try a different topic? Something a little more positive. How's your button collection going? Got that delivery off Amazon yet?"

"Why do you say it like that? People order shirt buttons off the internet all the time."

"They really don't."

Mihail scoffed. "Not according to the reviews."

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