The Endless Night: Cult of the Endless Night Series Book 6
The Endless Night: Cult of the Endless Night Series Book 6
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The ultimate evil lurks below…
Ghost hunter and retired Marine, Shane Ryan, is on a mission. One by one, he has faced the ringleaders of the Endless Night. Now, the trail of carnage has led to Devil Rock… A hidden vault, buried deep within the bowels of the earth.
A terrible secret lurks within the dark shadows of this abandoned facility. But to reveal the depth of the cult’s evil machinations, Shane must face an army of deadly spirits, each more powerful than the last. And to fight these diabolical wraiths, even Shane Ryan will need a little help.
Calling on a trusted ally, Shane soon discovers that the underground base is home to the cult’s founder, a paranormal entity who is far more than meets the eye. And unless Shane can solve the riddle of Devil Rock, a terrifying destructive force will be unleashed.
But the worst part is, Shane himself may be the one who triggers humanity’s annihilation…
Chapter 3: Hunting Grounds
refill. Shane felt his jaw tighten as he mulled over the man’s words.
“It said it was the Endless Night?” Shane asked.
The second man nodded.
“He tells it to all the newbies from the plant when they come out for beers on Fridays. It’s practically a ritual now.”
“He ever say what it means?”
The men glanced at each other, sharing a confused expression.
“What what means?” the first one asked.
“Endless Night. Not a normal name, don’t you think?”
“Hell, I dunno,” the man replied as the bartender replaced his beer. “Figured it was just some spooky stuff Ollie made up. Endless Night. Burning Blade. Darkest Shadow. Ghost story stuff.”
“Has anyone gone up the mountain looking for them?”
The second man rubbed the back of his head and shrugged.
“Most folks don’t go up there, you know? Aside from it being hell’s half-acre away from anything, it really is spooky.”
“It’s not spooky, it’s just an abandoned military base. There’s just nothing to see; it’s boring,” the other man corrected. He turned to Shane.
“I headed up this morning; told Megan I’d drag him home. But there’s nothing, no one there. Tire tracks looked fresh enough to have been the night before, but it’s just tracks, no truck. So if they went there, they left, too.”
“You never told me that,” the second man said.
“I don’t tell you when I go to the bathroom, either. You want updates on that now, huh?”
The second man’s expression soured, and he finished his beer.
“Appreciate the info, guys,” Shane said, turning his back before they could question him more about who he was and why he wanted to know about their friend. He headed for the door and went out into the cool, evening air.
A handful of smokers huddled together a short distance from the tavern door, and some pedestrians had filled the streets as well. Shane leaned against his car, lighting a cigarette, and looking down the main street toward the mountain.
That four men had gone to the mountain the day before he arrived seemed too suspicious to be a coincidence. This facility that the Endless Night seemed to not know about was suddenly up and active enough to do something to four locals? It felt like a stretch of the imagination.
Shane wanted to talk to the man named Dutch, see if he had been inside before and knew anything about what the Endless Night had done up there. But if four men were already trapped, then he didn’t know if he had the time to waste.
He got into his car and headed up Main Street, in the direction Maddie had given him. He could talk to Dutch later. He needed to check out Devil Rock for himself right away.
It wasn’t a long drive to the turnoff Maddie had told him about, but it was difficult to find. The sign for Wellspring Road was thin and barely noticeable, partly obscured by untrimmed branches. The road was one you’d never notice unless you were looking for it, a hidden drive in the treeline that would be a blink-and-miss-it event if you were traveling down the road at normal speeds and not expecting it.
Shane turned down the tree-lined road and headed into the thick woods. Maddie had not given specific directions from there, just to follow the road until it ended. The trees overhead obscured the sky, making Shane’s path dark and potentially dangerous. He drove slowly, keeping an eye for the handful of curves in the road that came with little warning, and also a few potholes that had been festering over years of unuse.
The trees thinned slowly, but they were still dense enough that he couldn’t see much of the surrounding countryside when he reached the end of the road, which was blocked by a large fence topped with razor wire.
The chain link showed signs of rust, and despite clear signage warning trespassers to stay out, several sizeable gaps were visible in the fence where people had cut their way through.
Shane parked his car to the left of the gate and got out, taking a flashlight from the glove box with him. He shone the light on the ground by the gate, scanning the soft earth for tracks. There were tread marks like the man at the bar had said, from more than one vehicle, that still looked fresh.
He shone the light into the woods, looking down both lengths of the fence. There was no path large enough to take a vehicle offroad and no spot that looked readily available in which to hide a vehicle. Maybe the man had been right, that the four had arrived, seen what they needed to see, and left. Shane didn’t believe it, though.
That four men who sounded like otherwise normal guys, who all seemed to work at the same factory near town, just wandered off, and not one of them called home? Maybe thirty years ago when no one had cell phones, but not now.
Shane turned to the fence and headed toward the nearest gap. The ground was not as soft, but he could see distinct ridges in a patch of dirt, a partial impression from a shoe.
The dirt surrounding the shoeprint was dark and still moist, showing it was recent. Still, no proof it was Ollie Lerner’s or his buddies’. Or that anything bad had happened to them. Only a sign someone had recently gone beyond the fence.
Shane ventured through the opening and headed down the unused road beyond, seeing the odd half-footprint here and there as he went. The deeper he traveled, the more the trees and undergrowth thinned out. Soon, the trees were more stunted, some bearing only partial leaves while other branches stood out like skeletal fingers, dry and gray and lifeless.
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