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Authors: Naomi Canale

His Dark Ways

BOOK: His Dark Ways
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All rights reserved

Copyright © 2013 by Naomi Canale

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Unauthorized distribution is prohibited.

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“His Dark Ways is full of palpable action careening toward a breakneck conclusion. Plus, hot guys.” -Bookalicious



Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27










His Dark Ways


A novel by

Naomi Canale










For My Husband

Because you’ve always seen me







“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

– Mathew 10:28



Chapter 1

Thrill Seekers

Tonopah is the only seven-letter town I’ve known my entire life. It’s a small town where everyone seems to be concerned for the pastor's daughter and the lack of resources flowing out of the mines. It's a place that has more churches than grocery stores, and my parents are the proud owners of one of them, The First Baptist Church. I've been cooped up in it ever since the last wall went up, staring at a plastered Jesus that's only two bolts away from falling off the wall. Maybe sitting in that place year after year watching the first seven bolts unwind is making me lose my mind. Or maybe it's all the "prayers" everyone's saying for me. I don’t think they’re working; otherwise, I wouldn't be making up lies and driving across the desert, kicking up dust in a beat up Ford with Amy, Lucky, and Red.

As we go over a speed bump the door shakes from rusty hinges, and Amy attempts to gloss her lips with black as she stares over Lucky's shoulder. The book they're holding freaked me out when they first showed it to me, but that was back when I was a shy little redhead with freckles, afraid of sunburns and not doing everything perfect like my mom. But after reading it—meditating on it, I'm starting to see things. The Bible says books like these open doors that should never be opened, or so my dad keeps telling me. He shouldn't have told me that—his parental advice left me curious, addicted. 

It’s our first visit to the Goldfield Hotel, well not really our first visit. We’ve been here before but never had the guts to break in until now. Every thrill we accomplish, the bigger we want the next one to be.

As we arrive in the black of the night that seems darker than most, we park. Lucky rolls her eyes at my dog Red. “How in the hell are we supposed to get him in there?”

I smush Red’s furry cheeks together with my hands and give him a kiss. “You’ll figure out how to get in there, won’t you, big boy?” His hazel eyes get glossier, and he tucks his wet nose under my arm for a hug. “See. He’s all good. He won’t make any noise.”

Lucky hops out. “Okay, just so long as there’s not a repeat of what happened last month.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I say as I try to avoid a reenactment of our first night in jail. Jail in Tonopah consisted of twelve empty beds and a few drunks who participated in bar fights. It wasn’t that bad. The worst part was our parents banding together to “help us”, except for Amy’s mom. She’s doesn’t participate much in life anymore ever since Amy’s dad died in Afghanistan.

I hop inside the back of my truck and untie the tarp covering our stuff. As I move it out of the way dirt kicks up all over my face. Unlike Amy and Lucky, I can just wipe it off. I hate makeup and the two of them cake it on. I’ve never understood the stuff, especially if you live in a desert. There’s nothing that grows long enough out here to hold the dirt down so I’m constantly rubbing dirt off my face, especially now since the wind is pulling in winter and seems to be pissed with everyone that lives in this town. When the snow finally falls, it adds a stillness—a peace we don’t have all year. There’s no more flying dirt, just the wisp of the wind carrying pieces of snow all over these old grounds that people abandoned long ago.  

With a quick zip of a suitcase, I toss the girls their flashlights and backpacks, I grab the crow bar. My boots are laced up snug around my calves, and I take the lead with Red trailing by my side.

We did our research before coming out here and decided we’d try to break in through the back. I grasp the crow bar harder, wondering if I’ll be able to pry particle board off a door frame that’s taller than me. But when we get closer, Lucky walks the opposite direction. “You guys,” she shouts, “come here, a window’s already opened.”

Lucky climbs in first and I follow in last after I heave all seventy-five pounds of Red up through the window. Amy shines her flashlight over a door in the room and tries to open it, “Damn, it’s locked.”

“Well that’s an easy fix,” I say as I twist the crow bar around in a small flip and make a crack in the door frame while lifting the lock free. The door slowly creaks open like we’ve entered a real haunted house. Together we laugh. “That’s pretty cool.”

There’s nothing eerie about this place. People can be crazy, always trying so hard to believe in something. I shouldn’t judge because I guess I’m delusional too for trying so hard to feel something real besides the life that exists before my eyes.

Together we make it into the entrance area. An old chandelier, dusty desk, and a bunch of building material piled up and partially brown from rot is all that stands out through the streams of light from my flashlight. Amy sits on an old seat surrounding one of the pillars in the room. “Look, guys, it’s still bouncy. Me and Eric could definitely come back here for a good time.”

Lucky socks her in the shoulder while sitting down next to her. “God, Amy, you two are so slutty.”

Amy clanks her tongue ring against her teeth. “Oh and like you and Jared aren’t?”

They continue their banter and I try to stay out of it. I’m tired of them calling me the soon-to-be sacrificial virgin. But I’m not big into guys, let alone sex. I’m happy not having some immature boy in my life, plus I don’t want to feel all attached to a guy like the two of them feel. Even though I don’t believe in religion or a god, I still want to follow Dad’s advice about abstinence. It’s worked out well for him and Mom before they got married and seems like good stuff to live by. I think.

Lucky shines her light over Red. “Oh, looky at Red, his eyes look all creepy. Come here, Red, baby.”

Red just sits there with his head turned sideways, tongue out, and ready to play. He’s eight years old and still likes to toss around squishy toys and won’t go to Lucky unless she has one. She gives up on Red and rubs her hands across the hard cover of His Dark Ways. “So where are we doing this, ladies?” 

Amy stands up, fixes the bottom button on her cowgirl blouse, and flips her braid over her shoulder. “The basement’s supposed to have the most activity.”

Lucky leads the way. “Let’s do this already.”

After a few laps around the bottom of the hotel, we locate the stairs of the basement. There’s a damp draft as we get closer to the bottom. Our book says that if everyone in our circle believes in the spirit world, then we have more of a chance of an event taking place, but nothing’s ever happened except for the cup moving off of our Ouija board the last time we used it. I’m the only one who doesn’t believe in anything, maybe that’s our problem. But ever since I saw that cup move across the board, I started having more dreams; maybe it will help with today’s séance since I’m tapping into it more.

The wide hallways give off shady vibes, but it’s probably because it’s a creepy old basement with a mine shaft. I never did understand why they originally decided to build a mine shaft inside a hotel. You can supposedly hear a baby crying from the bottom of it, but all I can hear are Amy and Lucky breathing heavy from our walk around the building and Red’s claws scuffling along the concrete.

Amy stops in the middle of the hallway. “Let’s do it right here. It might be better than confining ourselves to one room, yeah know? Like maybe we’ll end up picking the room where there are no ghosts. Let’s lure them out of their rooms.”

“Sounds good to me.”

It must sound good to Lucky, too, because as I move my flashlight in her direction she’s already spreading out a bright blanket for us to sit on. The sunny colors under the blue flowers remind me of the last time Mom was home. She wanted to freshen up the house for me and Dad before she went on another tour for the United Nations, and Lucky’s blanket makes me miss her. Three more months and she gets to be home for an entire year. But ever since Amy’s dad died, I’ve been haunted with the idea of losing someone I love and now I’m more scared for Mom. The insane rebels running the crumbled village she’s helping in, like to hunt down the American volunteers. Bastard rapists and killers is all they are. Dad tells me to have faith, but that’s all just fairytales to me, like how I used to have faith that Santa Claus would bring shoes for the kids in Africa Mom used to tell me stories about—it’s all crap, people need to get off their asses and actually do that stuff. 

After our candles are lit, we join our hands together as we attempt a new ritual. I need to clear my mind, but it’s hard to take this ritual seriously when all I can picture is the little demon in His Dark Ways next to this séance. He’s this dancing cartoonish demon with miniature horns, a flappy long tongue, and red eyes.

Amy introduces the séance. “Dearest spirits, this is Amy, Lucky, and Savanna. We would like to talk to you tonight and ask what happened here. Or who you are?”

My back is towards the stairs. Footsteps are heavy from behind. Did someone else break in? If so, I’ve got my crow bar ready for whatever weirdo comes at me. I break the circle by grabbing my flashlight and shining it toward the stairs. The girls open their eyes. “What’s wrong?”

There’s nothing there.

Amy puts on a curling grin. “Is
famous nothing-can-scare Savanna Christy actually getting the creeps?”

I flip my flashlight off and grab their hands. “No, and as a matter of fact there’s been something I’ve been wanting to say during these séances. Close your eyes. My turn.” I take in a slow breath and go against everything my parents taught me. “Dearest spirits, the Bible speaks of opening doors that shouldn’t be opened, tell us, can you open these doors? Do they really exist?”

We wait—nothing. “If you can, can you open one of these doors? A big one?”

A rumble echoes into my ear. It’s Red’s growl. He doesn’t do it often and it makes me think more strangers really did break in, or worse, the property owner. I’ve heard he’s a pretty nice guy, until people break in. Then he turns psycho. We should’ve closed the bedroom door behind us when we came in. Red’s changed position toward the stairs when we open our eyes. Homeless people have been known to stay in many of the abandoned places around here. Winter is coming after all. Red’s growl gets louder and he starts to bark. He never barks. When the three of us look at each other and back down at Red, he’s already running up the stairs. I take off after him. Amy shouts out to me. “Savanna, wait!”

BOOK: His Dark Ways
11.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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