The chain scorched Laina’s fingers as she lifted the pendant over her head and its links clawed at her hair. The medallion throbbed and its gem blinked like a viper eye. She boggled it from her grasp and off her lap. The floor shuddered at the amulet’s impact. Shadows flew past the windows, swirling faster to strobe the fading daylight.
Arden backed away from her, scanning the walls and ceiling. His tone deepened and his drawl stretched like a slow motion playback. “I’ll be right back.”
Dusk succumbed to an unnatural night shrouding the building. The overhead lamp sizzled. With a pop, the bulb exploded. Glass fragments tinkled onto the linoleum.
Laina stretched her trembling fingers into the palpable darkness. “Arden?”
An icy grip clamped onto her forearm. The pressure dug into her skin. Pain shot through cinched nerves into her shoulder socket. A face with burning crimson eyes flashed within an inch of her nose and snarled its fanged jaws.
Laina screamed and flailed. She shot backward and stumbled over the chair. Her head whacked against the floor. Prickling sensations scuttled up her splayed limbs. She tried to raise her arms and bend her knees. Chilling blows thwacked her wrists and ankles. Claws burrowed into her skin, working up her abdomen and over her chest. An oppressive weight settled on top of her body and crushed the breath from her lungs.
A low, distorted voice waffled into her ears. “Can you hear me, Laina?”
“He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light” (Job 12:22).