Was this the light outsiders came for? Whatever it was, a low, humming sound came from it. Walter went deeper into the woods, recalling what Alden had told him of a marsh.
Something made Walter look up, where he saw four creatures flying. Witches? Dragons? Fairies? He couldn’t tell, but it made him nervous. It could have been an owl or an eagle, but the creatures were too large to be either. Maybe this is what Mr. Sullivan was talking about: bizarre things happening in the witching hours.
Walter kept walking. There was a lull. The leaves rustled in the trees, a cold wind blew, and Walter wished he had brought a coat. He walked a few feet further when another sound caught his attention. It was a whir.
He picked up the pace feeling a little rattled after seeing those creatures flying in the sky. Whatever that whirring sound was, he didn’t want to know. He had lost track of the light in the mountains, but he could still faintly hear it. Now he was worried about the sound behind him. As he tried to make a run for it he tripped over an exposed root, falling to the ground. When he looked up, he saw a psychai stuck between two branches in the tree. It struggled fiercely to release itself. Walter has never seen a psychai before. It was a nymph the size of a fruit bat with lovely butterfly wings. The wings were outlined in black, filled with vibrant purples and pinks that glowed in the dark. Walter stood up and slowly approached the psychai. When she saw Walter she struggled even more.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” Walter assured her. “I am going to help you get unstuck.”
He pulled the two branches apart so the psychai was able to fly off, but it came back and pointed at something behind him. The horror on her face told Walter he was endangered. He turned around to face a dark shadow and it wasn’t alone. Other dark shadows were coming near him. There was something malicious about them. The psychai tugged on his sleeve, but as fast as they were advancing he knew he couldn’t outrun them. He fumbled with the Odyssey ring and before the shadows were upon him, he transported himself.
In a flash he was at the manor with the psychai still holding onto his sleeve. He looked around for a moment. His heart was still beating fast. What were those things? For now, he didn’t want to know.
He walked up the steps to the manor and knocked using the brass handle. The doors didn’t open. He knocked again and still nothing happened. He walked back down the steps and looked up to see if any lights were on, but everything was dark. Where was Archibal? He went to knock again but was stopped by a male voice.