The academy moving in se.., p.15

The Academy (Moving In Series Book 6), page 15


The Academy (Moving In Series Book 6)

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  Then the hands were gone, and Mitchell could suddenly breathe again. His sight returned as he took in great gulps of air, coughing as he did so.

  “Mitchell,” Beth said, helping him to sit up. “Are you okay?”

  He tried to answer, but his throat hurt too much. Mitchell nodded instead. He looked around and saw the lead box was closed, the latch secured. He gestured towards it.

  “Yeah,” Beth said, “I got him. When he was yelling, he was evidently angry about someone. Do you think he meant Brian?”

  Mitchell shrugged, took his phone out, and sent another text to Brian. Where are you?

  They sat in silence for a moment, and when Brian didn’t respond, Mitchell shook his head. He cleared his throat, winced, and then managed to say in a croak, “Three down. We need to get the others before Weiss figures out what’s going on.”

  “Yes,” Beth said. “My thoughts exactly. Let’s get this in the trunk, then we’ll deal with the gold ring. We still have to find Weiss’s picture right?”

  “Yes,” Mitchell answered. He held up two fingers.

  “And the other two,” Beth said, sighing. “Come on.”

  She helped Mitchell to his feet, and he picked up the box. He let his gaze rest on the room for a minute.

  How much worse will it be when we face Weiss? he wondered. He kept his concern to himself, and together they left the Mather House.

  Chapter 53: Back at the Academy

  Willis Anderson had a cup of coffee, and he drank it as he walked around the grounds of the Academy. He was uncomfortable as he did so, the strange and terrible events which had been occurring weighed heavily on his mind. Usually his evening stroll was peaceful; the school was a reminder of days when he didn’t have the worries of adulthood.

  Willis stopped in front of Adrienne Hall. A man was beaten to death here, he thought. Willis had read the newspaper, watched the news reports. Beaten to death.

  He shook his head and started along the walkway again.

  A man stepped out of an archway and Willis nearly collided with him. Willis came to a sharp stop, the coffee splashing around the interior of the paper cup.

  “Oh,” Willis said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.”

  “That’s alright, quite alright,” the stranger said, smiling.

  He was an old man, a thick, majestic beard reaching down to his chest. He wore a magnificent black suit and he exuded an air of elegance.

  “I’m Nathaniel,” the man said.

  “Willis,” he replied.

  Nathaniel stepped forward, inclined his head slightly before he confidentially said, “Do you know there are trespassers here?”

  Willis shook his head.

  “Are you an alumnus?” Nathaniel asked.

  “Yes,” Willis answered.

  “I think these trespassers mean to cause harm to the Academy,” Nathanial said. “I’m afraid I’m too old to do much about it.”

  A strange urge to protect the Academy rose up within Willis. Frowning, he asked, “Where are they?”

  “By the Administration building,” Nathaniel answered. His words had a curious rhythm to them, and Willis felt as though he could listen to the man speak for hours. “I know some terrible events have occurred here at the Academy recently. I wonder if they might be responsible.”

  Willis clenched his teeth, turned his attention to the Administration building, and felt anger build up within him. “Yeah, some really bad stuff has happened.”

  “I would hate,” Nathaniel said, “for something else to be done this evening. Alas, I do not know what I could do to help.”

  “No,” Willis said, “don’t worry about it. I can take care of it. I won’t let anything happen. Not to the Academy.”

  “Are you certain?” Nathaniel asked, concern thick in his voice. “I don’t want you to be troubled. I’m afraid they are, well, crafty. Dangerous. I know they have a disturbing ability to confuse a man with their words.”

  “I won’t listen,” Willis said fiercely. “I won’t listen to anything they have to say. Call the police, I’ll go handle them until the cops arrive.”

  “Of course,” Nathaniel said, “if you’re quite certain?”

  “Yeah,” Willis said. “I’m certain.”

  Willis put his coffee down on the walkway and headed towards the Admin building.

  Chapter 54: Hidden

  Herman crouched down in a bush, hidden by the broad, green leaves and the steps leading into the Admin building. From his position, Herman could see a man with a cup of coffee, and the man was speaking with Nathaniel Weiss. Herman couldn’t understand what the two men spoke about, but as he watched, the stranger’s face became a mask of anger. Red crept into the man’s cheeks, and he put his drink down on the walkway. When the stranger turned away from Weiss, Herman saw a smile appear on the old man’s face.

  As the living man drew closer, Weiss nodded and left. Herman watched him walk away for a moment. Once the old man had vanished, Herman left the safety of the bush.

  The angry man barely glanced at Herman, pausing only when Herman called out, “Hey!”

  The man stopped, stared at Herman and said, “Get out of here, kid. There’s some bad stuff going on here.”

  “The people who are here,” Herman said, “they’re trying to help.”

  “No,” the man said, shaking his head. “They’re not. I just talked with a guy, he knows what’s going on.”

  “Nathaniel Weiss,” Herman said bitterly, “is a liar.” He shifted the trophy of the archer from his left hand to his right. “Weiss is the reason bad things are happening,” Herman continued, “and will keep happening.”

  Behind Herman, the main door of the Admin building opened and he glanced back.

  Mitchell Roy and Detective Skillings exited and came to a stop. Mitchell held a metal container about the size of a shoebox.

  “Herman?” the detective asked.

  With a snarl, the stranger pushed past Herman and started up the stairs.

  Chapter 55: Joining Forces

  Beth recognized the man who approached them. Willis Anderson, a good Samaritan, who had helped some victims in a car fire a few months back. Willis, who was not looking at all like a good Samaritan, as he climbed the stairs. Beth had been a cop for years, and she knew a potential threat when she saw one. Willis fell heavily into that category.

  “Stop where you are,” she said, filling her voice with authority and command.

  Willis hesitated, then continued up. His momentary hesitation, however, was enough time for her to draw her weapon. The sight of the Glock brought him up short, his eyes widening but losing none of the anger filling them.

  “Willis,” Beth said firmly, “Willis, look at me. Do you know who I am?”

  “Trouble,” he grumbled.

  “My name is Detective Beth Skillings, I helped take your statement after the car fire on Monroe Street” she said, keeping the weapon aimed at him. “You need to take several steps down the stairs and calm down.”

  “You want to hurt the boy,” Willis hissed. “I know it. He told me so.”

  Without taking her eyes off of Willis, Beth asked Herman, “Did you tell him that?”

  “No, Detective,” Herman answered. “He’s talking about someone else.”

  “Weiss?” Mitchell asked.

  “Yes,” Herman said, shock in his voice. “Yeah, Weiss.”

  “I’m a police officer,” Beth said. “You’re going to do what I tell you to do.”

  Willis charged up the stairs and Beth fired once.

  The round took him in the left shoulder, the force of the impact spinning him around and off balance. He tumbled down the stairs, rolling into the legs of Herman and knocking him down as well.

  “Damn it!” Beth snapped. She reached for her phone to call in the shooting and someone punched her in the side of the head.

  Chapter 56: Attacked

  The world was spinning into chaos.

  Herman stood still, unable
to move as violence continued to erupt around him. Willis screamed in agony as Herman managed to get back to his feet. He saw first the detective, then Mitchell fall, and Herman also saw why. A pair of teenagers, one boy and one girl, were beating them. Both Mr. Roy and the detective tried to defend themselves, but their punches and blows passed right through the teens.

  Every kick and every slap struck the principal and Detective Skillings. The man and the woman were helpless against the onslaught of the teens. Both of the teenagers had grim, determined looks on their faces. They were focused solely on the task at hand, which seemed to be the destruction of the living adults.

  Over the sickening cries and shouts of Mitchell and the detective, Herman heard a laugh. A soft chuckle which was barely audible.

  Slowly, fearfully, Herman turned to find the source of the sound. A short distance away, stood Nathaniel Weiss. The man had his hands clasped loosely in front of him. His eyes were bright, a look of sincere pleasure on his face as the beating unfolded on the granite steps of the Administration building. What disturbed Herman the most was how Mr. Weiss enjoyed the violence. The man’s smile was wide and full of joy. He loved the agony which was being inflicted. The old man pulsed with a strange light, faint at first, but it grew steadily stronger until Weiss was glowing.

  He needs to be stopped, Herman realized. He’s making those kids do that. And if he doesn’t tell them to knock it off, Mitchell Roy and Detective Skillings are going to be killed.

  Numbly, Herman looked from Mr. Weiss to the teens and back again.

  Nathaniel Weiss let out a deep, throaty laugh, and he nodded happily.

  Terrified, Herman didn’t know what to do.

  Chapter 57: A Wake-Up


  Brian groaned in response.


  He managed to open one eye and saw Leo. The man stood over him and smiled gently down at him.

  “Hello, Brian Roy,” Leo said.

  “Leo,” Brian said groggily, forcing himself to sit up. “What are you doing here?”

  “I came to help,” Leo said.

  “Appreciate it,” Brian said.

  Leo reached down, took hold of Brian’s hand, and helped him to his feet. Brian’s head pounded, his vision swam, his entire body screamed as Leo said, “Lean on me.”

  Brian nodded and did so. Everything ached as Leo led him over to the stairs, waited for Brian to get a grip on the banister, and then they walked down to the first floor together. The library was a mess, as though a group of rowdy, drunk teens had ripped through, raging against order.

  “Damn,” Brian said. “This place is destroyed.”

  “No,” Leo said, confused. “The structure is still upright and quite sound.”

  Brian chuckled. “No, I mean someone has made a mess, Leo.”


  The main door was open, and the two men passed through it. Brian winced at the evening light. “God, my head is killing me.”

  “You will heal, my friend,” Leo said. “You always do.”

  A single gunshot ruined the peace of the grounds.

  Suddenly, Brian remembered Mitchell and Beth. He also remembered the boy, Herman. Brian looked at Leo. “We’re supposed to be getting the items together.”

  Leo nodded. “Your cousin is at his office, I believe.”

  Brian tried to walk towards the Admin building, but Leo held him back.

  “What’s wrong?” Brian asked.

  Leo opened his mouth, and then closed it. “You are too weak, Brian. The danger to you is too great. You should leave them to this task, Brian.”

  Brian looked at Leo, confused. “I can’t. I have to help them. They’re good people and Mitchell’s my cousin, Leo.”

  “Alright,” Leo said after a moment. “I will help you, Brian Roy.”

  “Thanks,” Brian said. Leo supported him, enabling him to move quickly. They went around a tall, weeping willow and Brian saw one side of what looked to be a brutal fight.

  Mitchell was on his back, an unseen force striking him repeatedly. Beth was on the stairs, her form limp while another invisible entity attacked her. A man lay on his back on the walkway, screaming. Herman stood near the man, an archery trophy in his left hand. Off to the right stood Nathaniel Weiss.

  Weiss had his hands clasped loosely behind him, an expression of sheer joy was on his face. Weiss was glowing in the light, as though with every blow, his power increased.

  And Weiss’s eyes never left Herman. Not once.

  Then, as Beth was lifted up and slammed to the ground, Weiss shuddered. He no longer glowed, but shined. Nathaniel Weiss was now totally visible to everyone.

  With a triumphant laugh, Weiss stepped towards Herman.

  “Weiss!” Brian yelled.

  Weiss and Herman looked to Brian, both of them surprised.

  Brian shook off Leo’s hand, pointed at Weiss and spat, “You’re screwed!”

  Weiss motioned to whoever was at the stairs, and Leo went to intercept them. Brian stalked towards Weiss.

  “Herman,” Brian said as he reached the boy, “Do you have my ring?”

  Herman nodded, slipped it off of his finger, and handed it to Brian.

  “Thanks,” Brian said. He slipped it on, cleared his throat and spat out a glob of bloody mucus onto the ground.

  Weiss, still shining, advanced towards Brian. “And what shall you do?”

  “Whatever I want,” Brian said.

  And Brian ran at Weiss, who tried to move out of the way. Hatred fueled Brian and drove him through his pain. Brian reached out and was just as surprised as Weiss when he managed to catch hold of the front of the man.

  A flash of memory leaped into Brian’s thoughts, a late night spent with one of Leo’s books. The Curious and Brief Physical Manifestation of Spirits of Exceptional Power.

  “Look at that,” Brian hissed, “you’re just strong enough for me to touch you.”

  With savage glee, he drove his right fist into Weiss’ mouth. He felt Weiss’ curious form quiver beneath his hand and felt a primal thrill as fear filled Weiss’ eyes.

  Weiss brought his wrinkled hands up to protect himself, but Brian was a fighter. He felt no sympathy for the dead murderer in his clutches, and he poured every ounce of rage into his blows. Weiss tried to wrench himself free, lunging towards Herman who stood off to one side. The man’s strength was born of desperation. Brian continued to beat Weiss, knowing how with each blow he was shattering decades of planning and preparation made by Weiss.

  Weiss let go a roar of fury, the force of the sound sending Brian back a step.

  As Brian recovered, Weiss was upon him, the man’s hands pounding into Brian’s already aching head.

  “Leave me be!” Weiss shrieked. “I will breathe again!”

  Weiss formed his hands into a single fist and brought it crashing into Brian.

  No, Brian told himself, body shuddering from the blow to his chest. No. I’m not going to die.

  Two rapid punches struck Brian on the side of his head, but he blocked a third. He struck three times quickly, each one causing Weiss to stagger back.

  You won’t defeat death, Brian thought, snarling as he drove his fist into Weiss again.

  “You’re going straight to Hell!” Brian screamed, and he struck Weiss once more.

  Weiss screamed.

  The unholy, foul sound was quickly drowned by a black cloud which billowed out of his mouth. Brian staggered back as Weiss was turned inside out, as though some great hand had reached down his throat, grasped his feet and started to pull.

  Within seconds, he was gone, and Brian was left panting and shaking.

  Chapter 57: Madness Reigns

  For a moment, Herman watched Brian attack Nathaniel Weiss, and then a voice drew his attention away.

  “Young man.”

  Herman turned and looked at the man who had arrived with Brian. The stranger smiled at Herman and said, “May I have the trophy and the book, please?”

/>   Herman blinked, glanced down at the trophy and said, “Oh. Yeah, sure.”

  He pulled the book out of his pocket and handed both of the items to the stranger. It was then that Herman realized the two teenagers stood perfectly still as if they were frozen in place.

  “Thank you,” the man said. He turned to the teenage girl and beckoned to her. She walked forward, her movements were jerky.

  “Come now,” the man said gently, “in you must go.”

  The girl nodded and reached out to the trophy. As soon as her fingers touched it, the girl vanished.

  “Come Charles,” the man said, motioning to the teenage boy. The teenager glanced over at Brian and Weiss.

  “No,” the man said firmly, “they are no concern of yours. Please, return to your book. Return to your safe place.”

  The teenager’s shoulders drooped, then he nodded, and he too, walked over, reached out, and touched the paperback.

  The stranger stood alone, holding the trophy and the book.

  He walked quietly up the stairs and set the two items down in the metal shoebox. The stranger gestured with his hand and the lid closed by itself.

  When he did, Weiss screamed. A terrible, painful sound which threatened to burst Herman’s eardrums. Wincing, Herman watched, horrified, as Weiss was pulled inside out. A black cloud exploded out of Weiss’s open mouth, dissipating in the air.

  He glanced first at Mitchell Roy, then at Detective Skillings and nodded.

  “Excellent,” the man said, walking back down the stairs. He stopped by the man Willis, who had passed out, and said to Herman, “You should apply pressure to the point of entry on the wound. Blood loss has contributed to his loss of consciousness. Continued loss will inevitably result in the man’s death.”

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