The horror at the town hall was over. The residents of Oasis were saved once again. All was good. All were happy. Except for Mike, who wanted a show-down with the demons. He wasn’t satisfied with the easy resolution of their troubles.

    Shana felt the creature’s hold on her begin to slacken. She glanced up and saw its body begin to fade until it slowly turned to dust. Then she was falling. She closed her eyes and then felt arms around her. She looked up into Todd’s brown eyes. Wow, he is gorgeous. Now she could see what Linda saw in him. He put her down. He then helped Linda up from the ground, who asked, “Is this finally over? Will others try to kill us?”

     “No,” Todd said, “I think we’ve finally rid the town of all the evil creatures.”


     The famous last words chanted by every hero. Mike was hoping that there was more to come; he was beginning to enjoy the parade of vampires and their superhuman display of tricks.

By susanne leist


I want to be at the beach.

I want to walk down the wood stairs

and step into the soft sand.

Let the sand flow through my toes.

Feel the hot sun on my face.

Smell the breeze coming off the ocean.

Watch the birds swoop down to pick

at the fish near the surface of the water.

Hear the soft lapping of the waves at the shore.

Feel the cold water hitting my body.

So good!

So cold!

Everything comes at a price.

Even in your dreams.



By susanne leist



Deeper and deeper

into the dark abyss.

No sights.

No sounds.

Only the air whooshing by

as I fall.

Will someone save me?

Will I hit rock bottom?

Is there a bottom to this hell

we call life?

Only time will tell.



By susanne leist


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By susanne leist


The nightmare of my mind.

Crammed with trees and dirt.

A deserted forest of the night.

No visitors or intruders.

Only death and silence.

Graves mark the spots

where life once stood.

Now all that’s left is

darkness and shadows.

Shadows drifting across

space and my mind.



By susanne leist



The town hall was under attack by flying creatures. Natalie stood before them, reveling in the control she had over the mere mortals.

     Shana continued to struggle against the creature. When she looked up at it, it glanced back down at her. She was shocked to see that while it had a human face, it also had a beak. But its body was the body of a huge bat. It kept staring at her, turning its head sideways—like a bird analyzing its prey.

     She pulled at her long hair trapped in its sharp talons. Its hooked claws were very sharp; she could feel their edges digging into her scalp. She was in a bad situation. She looked down at the strange scene being played out beneath her.

     Father John’s voice bellowed out loud, causing Natalie’s lit reflection to fade and flicker. “If you vanquish me, you silly fool, then Todd’s girlfriend will fall into the fire and

burn up quickly. Humans roast very rapidly—if you need to know for the future.” Natalie laughed.

     Sam quietly said to the Father, “I’ve got it covered; just vanquish her as quickly as you can.”

     The priest’s voice rose high up into the rafters. The great devotion in his voice made the wooden beams crack and tremble. The whole building shuddered and shook; sections of the ceiling crashed down upon them. He lifted both his arms to heaven and chanted.

     Natalie caught on fire: beginning at her legs and then traveling up her tiny body. She screamed and moaned as she tried to fight off the flames. She rolled across the floor in a ball of fire. She continued to sizzle and burn until all that remained of her were ashes. With Natalie annihilated, Linda began to fall into the fire. Sam promptly opened the hose at full blast, which extinguished the fire beneath her and protected her fall with soggy and wet firewood.




By susanne leist




What if our paths in life were obvious?

Set up before us.

Clearly outlined.

No branches.

No deviations.

Just the straight and narrow.

Would life be simpler?

Would life be easier?

Or would it be boring?

Too obvious.

Too narrow.

Too defined.

No choices.

No chances.

No deviations.

Definitely boring.



By susanne leist



Chapter 32

Intense feelings of claustrophobia began to overwhelm Shana in the narrow, confined space. The air was becoming heavier and thicker. She thrust her hand in front of her, where she could actually feel the air: it felt strangely thick and spongy. When she tried to move her arm back down, she found that it was being held firmly in place. She was being sucked into the unyielding darkness, where some unnatural force was probably lying in wait for them.

     She felt a slight shift in the air—possibly even a slight breeze. The darkness slowly lifted and loosened its hold on her arm. She turned to flee, but her hasty escape was interrupted by a high-pitched, blood-curdling scream. What now? What else could be in store for them?

     She looked ahead into the darkness and spotted Louise, standing as still as a statue with her huge blue eyes wide open in horror as she stared at the far end of the tunnel. The group edged closer to Louise and watched the bizarre scene that was being played out in front of them.

     In the darkness of the tunnel, a light was being projected on one small area. In this subdued light sat a woman in rocking chair, rocking a baby in her arms while humming a sweet lullaby. To Shana, the scene looked very peaceful and serene—which didn’t at all fit with Louise’s terrified reaction.

     She asked Louise, “Why are you so afraid? Who is that lady with the baby?”

     Louise replied, “It’s my mother holding me. I’ve seen this scene numerous times in old pictures. My mother had died when I was only a baby.”

     “The scene was obviously recreated from you own imagination. Before our minds are toyed with any further, we must turn around and leave! Right now!” Louise grabbed Shana’s outstretched hand and followed her back through the tunnel.

By susanne leist



The skyline was beautiful before.

Hope was present before.

Brotherhood was keenly felt before.

Life was pure and simple.

Death wasn’t an everyday concern.



By susanne leist