Mind-Eater [Darkover series]
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by Joan Marie Verba
Category: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Description: Domenic MacAran, forced to spend the night in a haunted castle, found himself some unlikely allies there.
eBook Publisher: Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, 1990 Domains of Darkover
eBookwise Release Date: December 2006
30 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [24 KB]
Reading time: 12-17 min.
Domenic turned back to the edifice. It was larger than the castle in Thendara; had he not seen it earlier by moonlight, he might have mistaken it for a mountain. No light came from any window or door. He might have tried to spend the night in an animal shelter instead, but the smell of straw and hay would stop up his nose. He walked to the castle.
He halted before the wooden double doors. These were in good condition, on their hinges, latched, but not locked. He unfastened the catch and pushed. The door swung open easily, silently. He called inside. Nothing answered. With his matrix, he kindled a cold blue light in his hand. Domenic stepped in, closing the door behind him.
He stood in an entry hall. In front of him and to his left was a stone staircase. Beside that was a hallway. To his right, there was another door, presumably leading to a chamber. To his far left, there was an open entryway to a vaulted hall. Holding the light in his hand in front of him, he walked in.
The bare wooden floor was clean. His sensitive nose detected no dust. In the middle of the long wall was a fireplace, taller than he was, with dry wood stacked next to it. He walked up to it, put down his pack and sword, laid fuel on the hearth, and kindled a fire with his matrix. Then, he extinguished the blue light. Hungry from the long day's climb and from the use of his laran, he ate a large meal from the store of food in his travel pack. Spreading his bedroll in front of the hearth, he prepared to sleep.
A hideous scream made him sit up and reach for his sword. Shrill curses echoed in his ears; the vilest language he had heard since leaving the Guards. It echoed in the hallways, reaching his ears in this large room. Then it stopped.
Domenic sat quietly, his heart racing. In his mind he recalled childhood tales of haunted castles and demon-possessed artifacts. But he was a Tower-trained telepath, and he knew such things were not so.
Are they not, little man?