Anja’s ghost stood over her body. Tick tock. An empty cadaver called upon shapeless creatures the way an abandoned building invited the homeless.
To cross over one more realm, Anja breathed in all the free floating energy around her. The electrons magnetized to her spirit and strengthened her to translucency. She squeezed her hands to test her strength. If her knuckles turned white, she could survive the transfer to the next realm. Bone white knuckles. Good to go.
Focus on the same spot outside the kitchen.
Concentrate harder than before.
Dividing the parallel realms. Peeling away layers of reality.
The flame returned to the baseboard outside the kitchen. It expanded as far right and left as the house and roared up to the ceiling. The firewall—not the same little singe eating at the floor the way a flame eats at a cigarette, but a floor-to-ceiling wall of fire—blazed toward Anja.
The pressurized heat forced its way through her. In a long, steady breath, she managed to maintain all her strength until the firewall sifted out of her spirit and consumed the entire house.
No longer in what resembled the tall lady’s house, Anja stood in a condemned place marked by Hell. Charred black walls connected to weak, crumbling ceilings. Decayed by the fire, each room lost its identity. Memory alone reminded Anja that the disintegrated room to her right used to be a kitchen. Smudges coated the windows and blocked out living light. Flames spewed through the house’s seams. The firelight provided visibility for Anja, but the constant heat threatened to drain her energy.
Welcome to the Realm of Damnation.
Sulfuric stench and the density of wrath defiled the air quality. Somewhere nearby, the demon disguised itself.
Lurking from the shadows…
Or as a shadow…
Like looking in a two-way mirror sensing someone staring back from the other side, Anja sensed something off about the wall in front of her. The harder she focused on discovering the demon, the more vulnerability she risked.
Anja pointed at the wall with her sword of spirits.