Mirror, Mirror: Demon Castle
Gerry was deeply regretful that she’d decided to go hiking and that was before she got lost!
Lost, desperate for shelter, food, and water, when Gerry stumbles upon what looks like a creepy, ancient castle deep in the woods, she still doesn’t want to go in. Once she’s crossed the threshold, though, she discovers there is no escaping the creature that haunts it until and unless she pays the toll the ghost/demon demands.
Length: Short Story
Word Count: 10,286
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, October 2013
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Gerry cried out when she fell, but she was the last of the group. Nearing the limit of her endurance, she was straggling a little behind the others, so nobody heard her. It was just as she reached the crest of the ridge when she caught her toe in a root and fell sideways back down the hill she’d just climbed. As she rolled, she must have knocked her head on a rock or tree, because when she realized what had happened nobody was within hearing at all. She cried out for help until it was obvious that it was no use, and then she just cried.
She cursed the moment she’d decided to come on the stupid hike. It was all Bruce’s fault. If he hadn’t been such a hunk and she hadn’t been so horny after her break up with Doug, she wouldn’t have let him persuade her. She’d had a dream of Bruce and her relaxing in front of the fire at the trail’s end, drinking wine and gradually letting nature take its course. But of course, somehow, she hadn’t taken in that there’d be 10 other hikers along, all of them better and more experienced than she was and thus much more interesting to Bruce. She’d tried to keep up next to him, but there were at least five others doing the same thing, and it hadn’t been long before it took all her effort just to avoid being left behind, the fear of being left alone in the woods being all that kept her dragging one foot after the other, until finally a dragging foot had done her in, and here she was – alone in the woods.
Still she had to do something, and tentatively sitting up, she discovered that she hadn’t at least broken anything. Everything worked even if it hurt to work it, which, she decided was a distinct blessing. What she would have done if she’d broken something she couldn’t imagine. Except that she could imagine, and the thought of slowly dying of thirst or exposure or both terrified her. Especially as she’d heard that there were still bears in the area.
A city girl, pavements were her natural habitat and the woods frightened her. In the city, she had what she thought was a good sense of direction, but out here, she wasn’t even sure which way the path was, let along which direction she should walk if she found it.
Then she thought of the compass that Bruce had urged her to put in her pack. She got the pack off her back, discovering a couple of bruises in the process, and took it out. Opening it, she found that it still worked and she soon knew which direction was north. Of course that was about as much use as knowing which way was up, since she couldn’t remember which way they’d been travelling. She had a map with her – something else Bruce had insisted on - but since all she’d had to do was follow the leader, she hadn’t looked at it and now, when she’d spectacularly failed to follow the leader, it was just a big piece of paper useful only for lighting a fire maybe.
Figuring that anything was better than just sitting there, she heaved herself up onto her feet and started to walk. She figured she’d have to come upon the path they’d been on before she’d gone very far, and when she came upon a path she gave a great sigh of relief and started down it. The trouble was that the further she went, the less sure she was that the path she’d found was the path they’d been on. Nothing looked right. But, of course, she reasoned, that must mean that she had chosen the right direction because if things did look familiar it had to mean that she was going back to the start of the trail, where there was nothing but their cars, and not towards the trail end where friends, food and a fire awaited. So she carried on…. and on. The thought of friends, food and the fire set her to thinking. She had nothing to eat but two trail bars with her. And where were her friends, anyway? Surely they must have noticed before too long that she wasn’t with them and would have sent someone back to find out what had happened to her. The thought gave her new hope and she called out once or twice, but soon gave that up when the only response was silence. Then there was the matter of a fire. Bruce had told her to put some matches in her pack, but she’d been hurrying and at the last minute had left them on the kitchen counter. So though she had the map to get a fire going, she hadn’t anything to light the map with, and she had no idea how it was that boy scouts could start one without matches, though she’d heard it was one of the things they learned.