Captive: Demonic Games Series Book 3
Captive: Demonic Games Series Book 3
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When demons rise, the captives of Castle Vaduva will fall amongst the rubble…
For months, Mihail Vaduva has been battling the ghosts of his ancestral home to uncover the truth behind his family history. Every answer he’s encountered has left him reeling with deep wounds on his soul. But that pain has propelled him forward and he’s determined to know the truth, even if it destroys him.
With the help of Abe, Mihail peels back the layers of mystery and madness surrounding these sinister secrets. Each discovery makes him question his identity, his family, and everything he’s ever known. When he uncovers the final piece of the puzzle, Mihail’s life will never be the same.
As the war between his grandmother and the demonic forces rages on, Mihail finds himself trapped on the battlefield as his life rips apart at the seams. He’s about to discover that there are things worse than death. As darkness closes in, he must make one last desperate attempt for freedom, or remain a captive of Castle Vaduva…forever.
The ghostly noises had kept Mihail up for days now.
A combination of dull thuds and grinding cranks that echoed from the depths of Castle Vaduva. They had become an ever-present part of Mihail's daily life, one that set his teeth on edge and made something sour and bitter line the pit of his stomach. When he tried hard enough, he could forget about it for a while.
But he couldn't dismiss the screams.
They came sporadically. Each one, shrill and violent. A cry filled with so much agony that they barely sounded human anymore. His grandmother, the only other living person within the castle walls, was able to ignore it. Whatever event the ghosts were reliving down there, it wasn't something Mihail wanted to know, but he couldn't just pretend that he didn't hear their pain.
A priest had blessed the house over and over, but the screams, and clanks, and groans refused to be silent. Desperate for a moment of peace, he had broken and decided to do what the spirits wanted. He would investigate the sound. But, he wasn't going to be an idiot about it. He had with him a sturdy flashlight, a fully charged phone, and chalk to mark his way. Most importantly, he had brought Abe Claymont.
Abe was a loyal friend, but as a physical medium, he detested the castle. He could hear, see, and touch any ghost that ventured near, and very few of them were happy about that. Some even tried to claw their way under his skin. Abe had once told him it was like being allergic to the dead. All those natural defenses a living body was supposed to have to fight off possession just didn't work for him. So, a place as haunted as Mihail's ancestral home was a perilous place for him to be. He very rarely went beyond the courtyard, and Mihail had been prepared for some very undignified pleading to get him to agree. In the end, all it had taken was for Abe to hear the screams himself. After that, everything had been about ensuring the proper precautions were in place for their trip.
Mihail had been confident that Abe could get them in and out unharmed. But as they headed down yet another flight of damp stone steps, with the low roof forcing Abe to stoop and the narrow walls crowding against them, fear began to simmer through his veins anew.
"Why didn't the blessings work?" Mihail whispered.
For a long time, the only sounds around them had been their footsteps and the constant commotion that drew them ever deeper into the subterranean labyrinth. It didn't seem right to break it now.
Abe, apparently, didn't share that feeling. "They have nowhere to go."
"I'm sorry," Mihail said, speeding up a little to keep Abe's longer stride from leaving him behind. "I've been trying to read all of those books you gave me, but it's surprisingly complicated. Who even knows what 'echolalia' means, anyway?"
"It's when a ghost repeats back what you said."
Mihail ignored the comment. "And all those winter break assignments are proving to be time-consuming."
"Still can't believe you failed chemistry."
Mihail scowled. "This is my first time doing high school by correspondence. Not to mention that it's my senior year. It's a big workload."
"Do you know how hard it is to study in a haunted house?"
Abe paused. His flashlight beam remained on the sloping stairs while he looked over his shoulder to fix Mihail with a disbelieving look.
"Oh. Right," Mihail smiled weakly. "Sorry. You were saying?"
Snorting, Abe turned back around and started walking again.
"Cliff notes version; blessings force evil spirits out and appease the good ones so they can move on. The problem here is that someone put up a whole heap of boundaries to cage them in. There ain't nowhere for them to go."
"Who would do that?"
Mihail didn't need to see Abe's face to know the expression that was covering it. "Oh, gee, if only there were a witch we could blame this on."
"Just because Bunica Draciana can do a few spells doesn't mean that she'd do something like that."
"Ya kiddin', right? There has to be a limit to your ability to look the other way."
Mihail knew that there wasn't any use in pushing the point. His grandmother and Abe had despised each other since the moment they met. And nothing they uncovered about each other had eased the situation.
Still, Mihail felt compelled to say something. "It wasn't her fault the Coven came here. She didn't have a choice."
"So she says. That woman lies like she breathes."
A scream ripped down the narrow corridor. Mihail plastered himself against the wall, sure that some monstrosity was going to come crashing out of the darkness. While Abe winced, he didn't stop walking.
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