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This is chapter two of the story Fires from the Dark.

Chapter

After briefly running the suggested shower, Sven wandered back downstairs, into the living room.


As he entered through the archway, he flipped a light switch on the bright-blue colored wall.


A series of lights flickered to life, illuminating the somber room.


He flopped himself down on a lengthy, tan couch, and, picking up a remote control brought the TV to life.


The slender, black-bordered television sat against the wall opposite of the string of couches. To either side of it was a large, long glass window, looking into the backyard and the gardens. Faintly, Sven could hear the muffled chirping of birds nesting in an oak just outside the windows.


As Sven’s thoughts drifted from the program on the television (a news channel, announcing the final days of spring and the coming of the anticipated summer months) to the small, wooden stand beside him, he thought back to the couple’s discussion about calling Andrew.


He turned his head to the cordless phone set placed on the stand.


As he picked it up and began to dial the phone number, Lori walked into the room. She stood in the doorway, hands on hips.


“Lexi called while you were showering. She had to leave early because of somethin’ to do with her house, I dunno.” She mumbled. “I’m going to have to get over there now, so…Yeah. You’ll have to see Andy without me.”


Sven sighed. “Ah, fine. I’ll be back around three or so- if he picks up.” He said, finishing dialing the number.


Lori blew him a kiss, and left the room.


As she started up her car, the call finally made a connection. Sven could hear it ringing on the other end several times.


He started when a muffled thump came from the windows on the far wall. When he realized it was only the tabby-cat Terra, he stood up and strolled over to the window. Opening it up, he picked up the cat from outside and tossed him onto a nearby loveseat.


As he closed the window and his attention was directed back to the phone, he realized that it was still ringing.


Must not be there… Sven thought to himself.


As he proceeded to switch the phone off, there was a muffled sound at the other end, and a voice picked up: “Hello?”


“Andrew? Hey, yeah. It’s Sven. I, uh, was wondering if you’d mind some company?”


“Hm? Sure, sure. Come over when you’re ready.” Andrew said.


“Uh…Oh…Okay.” Sven replied.


“What’s the matter? You sound…distracted.”


“It’s…nothing.” Sven said, dropping onto the couch. “I just had a nightmare last night, that’s all. I ‘spose I’m still not really awake yet.”


There was a long silence on Andrew’s end of the line. In a low murmur, he inquired “Was it…” his voice trailed off.


Another eerie silence drifted over the line. “Yeah…” Sven said, his voice a deep whisper.


“Well, I would assume it’s perfectly normal. I’d say you’ll eventually get over it.”


“It’s been ten years, Andrew.” Sven gravely reminded him.


“So, how’s Lori?” Sholzer asked, changing the subject. “Is she there?”


Sven stole a brief moment of recovery, and said “No…no. She left for a friend’s.”


“I see…so she won’t be joining us, then?”


“No.”


“Hmm…Well, alright. Come over when you’re ready.”


“…Okay. I’ll see you.”


“Bye.”


The call was ended.


Sven settled the phone back into its holder, and sighed.


He got up, walked out of the room, and into the kitchen.


As he gathered his coat and shoes, he sat himself down at the table. The newspaper Lori was reading was still lying there.


As he tied his sneakers, he glanced at the front page.


A child was found dead downtown early yesterday morning, her body showing no physical signs of damage. Her blood was tested, and showed no signs of drug use. Other tests were preformed, and doctors, baffled, could not find any reason of death, though it was eventually deemed of natural causes. At least, that’s what the doctors claim.


As he stood up, keys in hand, and moved for the door, his eyes skimmed over one last sentence in the article.


A woman claimed that the “child’s soul had been thieved”.

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