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Morsambula: Secrets

After having tried to end the monster that was terrorizing his house, Isaiah realizes he has failed, because the monster has returned. But children keep going missing. Isaiah needs to stop this thing once and for all.

By Stephen Kramer AvitabilePublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 28 min read
White-skinned beast terrorizing a home - AI image using Midjourney

After having tried to end the monster that was terrorizing his house, Isaiah realizes he has failed, because the monster has returned. But children keep going missing. Isaiah needs to stop this thing once and for all.


This is Part 4 of the Morsambula Series. Head here if you haven't read Part 1 yet.

Or if you need to read Part 2, head here.

Or if you need to read Part 3, head here.


The beam of light shooting out of the forest floor is brighter than before. It stretches up to the tops of the trees and fades into the dark night air. But inside the forest, that beam of light is so strong.

Isaiah refuses to sleep until the beam of light is gone. It lasts all night… all the way until dawn, or just before. The light just vanishes. Not a gradual fade, not an abrupt disappearance, it just isn't there anymore. Isaiah never sees the beast again that night, not in his home, not by the forest. But he's sure the beast ducked back into the hole that the beam of light extends from without him seeing. Isaiah's eyes burn from staring into the forest from his bedroom. He's perched on his bed, gazing out the window, across the field, into the forest… and he did have his eyes trained on that beam of light.

Now, it's gone.

Now, Isaiah sleeps.

Isaiah doesn't sleep very long. A loud knocking at his door just a few hours later jolts him out of his slumber. He quickly throws on some clothes, splashes water in his face, fixes his hair ever so slightly, and opens the front door.

Standing at his doorstep, an excited Adriel, Nev, Ray… and an excited, though overwhelmingly tired, Brandon. They're carrying bags of groceries, pots and pans.

"We're here to make you a proper breakfast." Nev says. "Adriel tells me you've been living off of sugary cereals."

"I like sugar." Isaiah says dumbly.

"We're making you a hot breakfast." Adriel brings Isaiah in for a bear hug. "The hero. This is the least we can do. The least! Don't say anything stupid to contradict me. I'm right."

Isaiah lets a laugh slip out of him. It feels good to laugh again.

He lets them all into his place. Instantly, they all notice the extensive damage to his place.

"Oh my God!" Adriel yells out, noticing the smashed walls and floors. "Did that bear come back?"

"Yeah, I think it must have come back one… or two times… when we were out looking around in the forest." Isaiah lies. "Must have forgotten to close a window or something…"

For a moment, Isaiah and Brandon's eyes catch one another and they both quickly look away. Brandon and Ray walk slowly into the living room. Adriel looks in Isaiah's bedroom. Nev checks out his office.

"Damn!" Adriel yells out. "This is a lot! Isaiah, I'm so sorry. I never even asked you anything… I had… no idea."

"No, don't worry. You obviously had way more important stuff to worry about." Isaiah is trying to usher Adriel away from his room.

"We seriously had no idea, Isaiah." Nev explains. "I'm so sorry. I wish we knew…"

"It's okay. No one was hurt. Just a little damage." Isaiah is trying to lead Adriel and Nev into the kitchen.

"How come there's no damage in your kitchen?" Ray asks. "Or your living room?"

Isaiah doesn't have a good answer for this. Adriel and Nev look around.

"Yeah, why is all the damage contained to one half of your house?" Adriel asks.

"Probably stupidly left my sugary cereal in my room… office… something like that. I don't know." Isaiah lies through his teeth.

"It's the half that's off the reservation!" Ray yells out as the realization strikes him. "That's weird!"

Brandon playfully rubs his knuckles in Ray's hair.

"You're weird!" Brandon yells out as the two wrestle around.

"Okay, okay, let's not break anything in the half of Isaiah's house that isn't destroyed!" Nev steps over to break the two up then turns back to look at Isaiah. "Sorry. That was mean."

Isaiah has a big smile and laughs.

"No. It was funny. So… breakfast? Because a hot breakfast does sound delicious."

Adriel gives Isaiah another hug. He and Nev head into the kitchen and begin making breakfast. They insist that Isaiah doesn't do anything to help. Brandon tries to help but his parents won't let him help either. They tell him he needs to rest. In fact, they would've left him home to rest, but they just couldn't fathom the idea of leaving him alone right now.

Ray insists he's big enough to help make breakfast, so Adriel and Nev let him. Isaiah takes Brandon over to the couch and they relax and watch TV. They share a silent moment of appreciation of one another. Isaiah can see in Brandon's eyes just how exhausted the poor kid is. He looks malnourished. The experience of hiding in the forest for that long must've been harrowing.

But he's home now.

More than Isaiah can say about those two other poor kids… trapped down there.

They all share a wonderful breakfast. Isaiah is thankful for the home cooked meal. Adriel and Nev are beyond thankful and cannot stop singing Isaiah's praises. Isaiah tries to talk about the whole situation as little as possible. He doesn't want the lie that he and Brandon concocted to gain too many hard-to-remember details.

After breakfast, Adriel and Nev help Isaiah change the bandages on his shoulders. The cuts from the beast's claws are still fresh and extremely painful.

"So, this bear's been destroying your house, then, it attacks you as you're trying to save Brandon." Nev speculates with a hint of skepticism. "You must hate bears now."

"Bear is just doing what bears do." Isaiah says, unsteadily. "Can't hate them. Not trying to hang out with them anytime soon."

Everyone laughs. His joke seems to have diffused the situation. Until Adriel examines the wounds a little closer.

"The spacing of these wounds are… different from what I've seen before." Adriel says.

"You've seen wounds from a bear attack before?" Isaiah is legitimately shocked.

"Couple guys on the reservation have been unlucky too." Adriel answers, still studying. "I feel like the spacing of these claws is not consistent with the usual. And they look… deeper. You know what kind of bear this was?"

"An angry one?" Isaiah shrugs his wounded shoulders with a smirk.

This time the laughter is much quieter. Adriel and Nev accept Isaiah's answers, but it's clear they're still suspicious.

They hang out with Isaiah for another couple of hours. Watching TV. Playing board games. It's a fun family moment… with a family that Isaiah doesn't have. They leave him to relax. Isaiah takes a long nap.

He wakes up just before evening and decides to shower and head to the 24/7 cafe with all the books. He checks out all the books he can find that deal with Native American legends and folklore. They happen to have a lot.

After making himself dinner, the studying begins.

Isaiah spends much time reading through the books, hoping to find something about Morsambula. Something that will explain to him why this beast came back after he stabbed it through the chest multiple times.

He doesn't find anything that night. With books strewn about the table, midnight descends, and the beast returns.

Isaiah hides behind the couch as usual. He watches from his hiding spot as Morsambula destroys more of his home… just on the side that's off the reservation. Just like the fresh wounds in Isaiah's shoulders… he can see those fresh stab wounds in Morsambula's chest. Two clear stab wounds from the knives Isaiah plunged in himself.

And those eyes… so human. So eerie. He wonders if Morsambula knows he's here. Morsambula stands in the entranceway, in the very spot where Isaiah attacked. But he scans his surroundings. Looking into the living room. Looking over in Isaiah's direction. Isaiah ducks down lower behind the couch, nervous the beast's gaze will find him.

The beast is breathing heavily, snarls escaping through slightly open lips. A low and thunderous grunt is the last noise the beast makes with its throat before smashing another hole in the wall and stomping into Isaiah's bedroom… followed by a bright flashing light… and silence.

Isaiah waits.

In just moments… there's those deep brown eyes appearing right next to him.

Isaiah turns. The ghost, the Native American.

"I paralyzed Morsambula with the sugar." Isaiah says with annoyance. "I killed him. He died. How is he back?"

"Morsambula is not easily stopped." The ghost replies.

"Clearly. So, how do I do it?"

"The legend explains."

"Yeah, what legend?" Isaiah moves to the coffee table with all the books and starts sifting through. "I'm looking through everything and I can't find it."

Isaiah looks over to the ghost who is worriedly scanning his surroundings… surroundings beyond this plane of existence… surroundings which Isaiah cannot see.

"Morsambula. I must go. Find the legend."

He vanishes.

Isaiah lets out an exasperated sigh. He collapses back onto the couch. He doesn't expect Morsambula to return tonight, but he waits until he sees the sun. Then, he sleeps. He'll have to find this legend… soon.


Isaiah wakes up after minimal sleep. Just enough to get by. He has a quick breakfast, a quick shower, and then it's back to the books. He reads as much as he can, but he can't find anything about Morsambula. Adriel and Nev invite Isaiah over to their place for dinner but he declines saying he would just like to rest.

It's another night where Morsambula returns, Morsambula destroys, Morsambula vanishes. The ghost appears. Isaiah speaks with the ghost again, asking for information. All the ghost can tell him is to find the legend. The ghost appears more worried, more frantic than usual. He vanishes as well. Isaiah is left with a pile of books that haven't helped him.


After another night of minimal sleep and a quick breakfast, Isaiah heads back to the 24/7 cafe. He returns the books he checked out and takes out five more.

Isaiah heads to his car and as he reaches it, he sees Adriel walking across the parking lot towards him. Isaiah quickly throws the books in the backseat. He hears them tumble around and quickly shuts the door.

"What are you doing here?" Adriel asks, peeking into Isaiah's backseat.

"Good coffee. And good books." Isaiah says. "But better coffee."

He forces a laugh at his own stupid joke. Adriel chuckles.

"You should come by for dinner tonight." Adriel says.

Isaiah opens his mouth but before he can get a word out…

"Not accepting no as an answer. We owe you dinners for life."

Isaiah agrees. Then, he heads home.

He figures he still has some time to read through his new books. He carries them inside and instantly is drawn to all the damage in his home. He should probably make an effort to clean up too or the house will just get worse and worse.

Isaiah tosses the four books in his hands onto the couch. He winces from the pain in his shoulders. Still tender.

Isaiah makes an effort to clean up, to repair some of the damage in his home, but it's difficult. He hasn't slept much, and his shoulders burn with pain at every movement. Those cuts from Morsambula, they went deep. The pain lingers like an unwanted stench.

He works on the house until he's in too much pain. He lays down on the couch, intent on starting to read one of his books… just after a quick nap…


A quick nap turns into hours of sleep. Isaiah is annoyed with himself for sleeping so much. He only leaves himself with minimal time to read through one of the books before he has to leave for Adriel and Nev's.

No matter. He doesn't find anything useful. He wants to find this legend, figure out what he needs to do to end Morsambula, save those two still-missing kids… but before he engages in any of that, he needs to heal. He'd be useless in the state he's in right now.

But those kids may not have much time. Who knows how long that light will be there… how long that hole will stay open…

Dinner at Adriel and Nev's is pleasant. It helps him to take his mind off everything. Ray is excited to have his brother home and to have Isaiah over. He has begun calling Isaiah his best friend. Brandon is doing better. He has regained much of his strength. When Isaiah arrives, he gives him the tightest hug ever.

The two share a bond, one which they cannot speak of to anyone.

After several plates of food, several beers, and something Adriel has named a Tequila Mockingbird, Adriel drives Isaiah home. Isaiah insisted on walking, but Adriel would have none of it. He didn't want Isaiah walking home alone, drunk. Adriel refused to have his own tequila creation, so he said Isaiah was safer being driven home.

"You know who came by and talked to Nev today?" Adriel says while driving slowly down the road. "Jessica. She was asking about you."

Jessica?! My Jessica?

Isaiah is so thrown off, he doesn't even know what to say. He hasn't spoken to Jessica in so long. Not a text or an email or anything. He's purposely kept radio silence in hopes he could move on from the pain easier.

"She wants to see you." Adriel says plainly. "She misses you."

"She misses being with someone." Isaiah says frankly. "She misses stability. She thought she wanted freedom… and it doesn't seem so appealing now that she has it."

"How do you know that for certain?"

"I don't. But I feel fairly confident in it."

"How confident?"


"You willing to not take a chance… talk to her… see if there's still love there… for 80%?"

"I'd be willing to for 20% She ripped my heart out. She can't have it back when she already took it."

"Isaiah, just…" Adriel stops talking and his eyes pop open.

Isaiah follows Adriel's gaze, past his house that they're approaching, over towards the forest, and directly at the light. The light in the forest that likely no one could see unless they were down by Isaiah's home.

"Is that the light that the kids keep talking about?" Adriel asks in shock as he puts his car in park in Isaiah's driveway.

"I guess." Isaiah tries to play it off cool. "Probably some campers with one of those heavy duty lights. Messing with people."

"Probably." That's the word Adriel says, but it doesn't sound like he means it at all.

Isaiah opens the door. Adriel grabs his arm.

"You don't want to talk to Jessica? Just in case? See if there's anything still there?"

"I don't want to talk to Jessica just in case I get the feeling that there's something still there. Because I know there's nothing there. I live with it every day. I don't want to be tricked into thinking otherwise."

"Okay." Adriel says simply. "But if you change your mind, she said she'll be in town for a couple weeks."

Isaiah steps out of the car and drunkenly nods at Adriel with a smile.

"You should tell her to check out the Grand Canyon, then. Nice big cavern for her to get lost in…"

Isaiah's voice fades as he shuts the car door and staggers towards his home. Adriel chuckles. He waits for Isaiah to enter his home and then drives off.


An enormous and thunderous roar shakes every fiber of Isaiah's body. His heart lurches and he jolts awake, unsure of the position he's even in. He stumbles, falls, lands hard on the floor. He quickly looks around.

He's on the floor in his living room, next to the couch. He looks over towards the entranceway. There stands Morsambula, chest heaving, muscles tensed, staring right at Isaiah. His eyes gleam with evil.

Morsambula roars again, all while maintaining eye contact with Isaiah. Isaiah pulls himself to his feet and backs behind the couch. But Morsambula doesn't move past his spot in the entranceway. He doesn't step onto the half of Isaiah's house that's on the reservation. But he swings his arm and bashes his massive fist through the wall, pieces flying everywhere. A few pieces careen into the living room and slide to a stop just in front of Isaiah.

So, it's true. This thing really can't come onto the reservation.

The beast quiets himself other than his heavy breathing. His fingers are tense, his claws rigid, and then they curl into fists. The dexterity of his hands are impeccable, just like a human's. Morsambula's own claws dig into the palms of his hands, drawing blood. The blood drips onto the floor as he watches Isaiah.

Isaiah's heart has not thumped for a good minute as this beast's eyes pierce through his soul.

Morsambula spins around, smashing another chunk of the entranceway wall off, and stomps into the bedroom, disappearing in a dazzling and terrifying display of bright light.

The room grows cold. Isaiah turns around to see the ghost before him.

"You must find the legend of Morsambula."

"I can't find it!" Isaiah yells, still drunk. "I have all these books and I can't find it!"

Isaiah motions to the four books on his coffee table, even though he has only opened and begun reading one of them.

"There's not much time." The ghost says in a panicked tone and then promptly vanishes.

Isaiah collapses onto the couch. He can't believe he got so drunk that he passed out on the couch. He stares at the open book on the coffee table. He hardly read anything. But worst of all, he let Morsambula see him.

Is that bad? Isaiah is not even sure. Morsambula must've remembered that he lived here. And he didn't seem to be able to cross the threshold and come over to this side of the house. So, maybe it wasn't bad. But it couldn't have been good.


Isaiah heads to the store after his usual routine of breakfast and showering. He's low on supplies. He needs coffee, cereal, other foods that he could try to slap together to make meals out of… and probably more sugar. Just to be safe.

After collecting all his usual groceries, Isaiah makes his way to the baking aisle. The shelves with the bags of sugar have been cleared out. But there are several bags left… in the back of the shelf.

Isaiah strains, his shoulder burning, barely grasping one bag of sugar. He plops it into his shopping cart. He begins to reach for another bag… the pain is unbearable. It feels as if his shoulder is about to rip right off.

Suddenly, someone taps his arm and gently pulls his arm back with cool, silky soft fingers. The hand reaches for the bag of sugar, pulls it off the shelf, and plops it into his shopping cart. Isaiah sees the hand belongs to Jessica. She stands before him with a small smile on her face.

"Nev told me about the bear attack. You okay?" Jessica asks sweetly.

"No. My shoulders are barely hanging on." Isaiah says.

"Well, I'm happy to help. Need anything else?" Jessica's smile widens.

"Um…" Isaiah hates this, but he does need more sugar. "Maybe another bag of sugar?"

Jessica laughs, eyeing the two bags of sugar already in his cart. She reaches for the bag.

"Maybe two, to be safe?" Isaiah is in even more pain saying this than he's experiencing in his shoulders.

Jessica grabs two bags of sugar and puts them in his cart.

"A lot of sugar, huh?"

"Yeah, I'm on this new health craze."

Jessica laughs. She loves Isaiah's corny jokes.

"It must be working. You look good."

"That's a damn lie."

Isaiah knows he's a complete and utter mess in more ways than one.

"No. It truly isn't." Jessica looks down and her smile tightens.

"Well, thanks for the hand. I better get going." Isaiah says bluntly.

"Look, I know this is awkward." Jessica grabs Isaiah's cart and halts him. "Me… showing up like this. But I wanted to talk. At some point. Whenever you would like. I want… I want us to get back together. We could be a happy little family once again."

"Jessica. As much as it pains me to say this… and it does… we were never a family. We pretended we had that. We wanted to have that. We convinced ourselves we had that… at least, I know I did. But we never really had that."

"I disagree. But… even if I'm wrong, and if you're right, I want that. And I want to work towards that."

Isaiah says nothing. It's awkward and it's silent. He contemplates just spinning around and leaving. He already used his great exit line… only he forgot to subsequently exit.

"Well, I'm here another couple weeks. For you. Call me, when you want to talk. You still have my number."

"No, I don't. I deleted it."

Isaiah spins and leaves on that note.

That was a good runner-up exit line. Even though I remember her number by heart.


Isaiah eats the dinner he threw together. It isn't bad. He peruses one of the books he recently got. He can't find any helpful information.

Morsambula shows up that night, same as always. Isaiah hides behind the couch, same as always. But one thing is different.

Morsambula is not destroying any of Isaiah's house. He enters the entranceway and stands there. He scans the house, presumably looking for Isaiah, sniffing the air for him. Morsambula breathes calmly. He moves slowly. But Isaiah watches him from his hidden position, those eyes, they look human, but they look angry.

Morsambula leaves without destroying one single thing. The ghost appears. Isaiah tries to ask him about the legend but gets the same quick and confusing responses that he always gets. All the ghost can tell Isaiah is that he has to find the legend. That Morsambula is difficult to kill. Isaiah must stop him before he ends him.

Real helpful stuff.

At least Morsambula didn't destroy his house this time. Is that a sign of something? Isaiah thinks about how his situation is obviously not ideal. Then again, Morsambula cannot cross that certain threshold of his house. Isaiah is safe on the side of his house on the reservation. If this is what his life has become? Only able to sleep in one half of the house? Waiting for the beast to show up so he can hide, then going back to sleep. Having to deal with a talking ghost for a minute or two each night. It could be worse.

Isaiah would never tell anyone about this routine. No one would understand it. But if this is what Isaiah has to do, he could do it. He could continue his life this way. The downside, those two kids that are lost underground with those beasts. It's horrible. But what can Isaiah do? He doesn't know how to save them. And he's in no shape to do so right now.


Isaiah has a belly full of breakfast and coffee and is leaving his place with a little pep in his step. He has decided to make the best of his life. Be positive. Begin living life to the fullest, or as close to that as he can. He's off to get supplies to fix his home up.

But before Isaiah can leave, Adriel shows up, worry in his eyes.

"Another kid went missing." Adriel says bluntly.

"From the reservation?" Isaiah asks.

"No, a kid off the reservation. But… it's one of Ray's friends… from school. He went missing last night. His parents said goodnight to him, he was in his bedroom… then, this morning, he was gone."

"Oh my God."

"They said all the doors were still locked. Even the windows… they've been locking them since they heard about the kids here going missing…" Adriel catches his breath for a moment, clears his throat. "That light in the forest… have you still been seeing that?"

"I don't know, not sure. I don't know that I've looked." Isaiah lies and feels horribly about it. "Why? You think some camper out there has something to do with this?"

"I don't know." Adriel peeks over Isaiah's shoulder at the forest briefly. "Ray insists that his friend, Joey, had no desire to go see the light in the forest. He was apparently too scared to go to it or even talk about it. But, I just get this feeling it has something to do with all of this. And, you know, we're so happy that Brandon is back home, but I keep forgetting about the other two kids that went missing before him. Louie. And Chad. And now Joey. Isaiah, when you told me, you saved Brandon from a bear, that he fell in a little pit, that was the truth, right?"

"Of course."

"This had nothing to do with the light?"


Adriel sighs. "We're gonna help form a search party for Joey… and… for the others… you know, if they're still…"

"I'll come help!" Isaiah offers.

"No, don't. You still need to rest and recover." Adriel motions towards Isaiah's shoulders.

Isaiah nods. As horrible as it would be to say this out loud, he doesn't want to search the forest for those kids today. He is in no shape to do so. He knows he needs rest. But also, he knows it's all for nothing. He knows the kids aren't in the forest.

They're under the forest.


A search party in the forest - AI image using Midjourney

That afternoon, Isaiah spends as much time as he can fixing up his place until his shoulders burn. Then, he relaxes with dinner and reads through his books, looking for the legend. He can't stand idly by. Kids are missing. Morsambula has not stopped. He needs to figure something out.

Morsambula arrives, Morsambula doesn't destroy, Morsambula leaves. The ghost appears. Isaiah tries showing the books to him, but the ghost can offer no information.

This continues on for several days.

Isaiah continues to rest, relax, and recover. Adriel and others form a search party, looking for Joey and the other kids. Brandon and Ray go with them, too afraid to be alone. What that must be like for Brandon. Searching for these kids, knowing it's futile, but staying quiet all along.

Isaiah wonders if he and Brandon should explain what really happened. But who would believe them?

Isaiah fixes up his house as best he can in spurts. Each day his shoulders feel slightly better. Isaiah combs through his books, looking for answers, finding none. Morsambula arrives, only staying for a few minutes, then leaves. Isaiah gets just as little time with the Native American spirit that arrives right after, and never gets information there as well.

This continues on for a few days. Another kid off of the reservation goes missing. Her name is Candace. She's also in Ray's classes. The search parties continue. Isaiah continues to stay home, healing, recovering, searching for answers. Finding none. Feeling helpless.

Days go by. The same pattern continues on. Isaiah's shoulders are feeling better. The wounds are still there but he hardly notices them now. He's gone through all four books… he's found no answers. The Native American spirit has offered him no more information. Except to find the legend. A few times the spirit has tried to explain the legend, but he always has to depart suddenly.


Isaiah finishes his breakfast. He rereads a particularly promising passage in one of the four books, hoping something will jump out at him this time. It doesn't. Isaiah slams the book shut. He flings his fork across the room in aggravation. It flies into the entranceway and clatters on the floor.

Isaiah stews in his anger.

This isn't good. I need to go somewhere. Clear my head.

Isaiah gets changed and heads for the front door. He opens it to see Jessica standing on his doorstep. Isaiah is so caught off guard, he can't even say anything, and Jessica walks past him and into his place.

"I like your new place." She says, looking around. "Damage needs some fixing up."

"The bear." Is all Isaiah can say.

"Oh right. Well, I'm sure you'll get it fixed up soon enough."

Jessica's eyes wander to the kitchen. She sees the bags of sugar that Isaiah couldn't squeeze into the pantry… eight of them. She frowns in confusion. She looks to the living room and sees the books on the coffee table. She looks back to Isaiah.

"Reading up on uh…" Isaiah thinks. "On how to deter bears from coming into your house. Sugar. Apparently, sugar can deter them."

"Really? But they love honey, right? I would think sugar…"

"Totally different. Something about sugar deters them. Anyway, I've been trying that… and looking for other options to… to keep the bears away."

"Is it working?"

"Jessica, what are you doing here?"

Jessica shuffles her feet, looks at the floor, then looks back up.

"You haven't called." She says.

"That's right." Isaiah tries to stay strong, not giving in to her batting eyelashes and purposely revealing shirt.

"I thought you would." She says.

"I thought you wouldn't have ended our marriage to begin with." Isaiah's tone is icy. "Apparently we're both bad with predictions."

"I want to work things out."

"I don't."

"Will you reconsider?"

Isaiah sighs. "Not right now, Jessica."

"But I want to talk about this now."

"Not everything goes on your timetable!" Isaiah explodes. He realizes he's breathing heavily after unleashing his pent up rage. "It doesn't matter if you want to do something now! If the other person doesn't want to do something now, then you have to work out a compromise! You don't just get your way because you want your way!"

Jessica bites her lip in silence. She simply nods.

"Okay. I understand." She says quietly. "Let me know when you do want to talk."

She heads outside. Isaiah is unsure why, but he follows her. He doesn't even seem to be controlling his body, something else is moving his body along. Jessica never looks back as she strolls down the driveway to her rented car parked behind Isaiah's car, but she knows Isaiah is following her. It must be a gravitational force of Jessica's that is pulling Isaiah along.

Jessica stops in between the two cars. She turns around and takes a step back towards Isaiah. The two stand face to face, so close. Isaiah can smell her sweet perfume… the blend of two different perfumes that she combines for her own personal scent. She really knows what she's doing.

"I'm still around for a couple days." Jessica says in a hushed tone, but her mouth is so close to Isaiah's face, it's so clear. "Call me. Or… if you call me after I've left… that's fine too. I'll be here. I'll be there. I'll be on the other end of the phone… when you call."

Isaiah tries hard not to let his mouth turn into a frown. Jessica smiles. She turns to leave, but stops, and peers into the backseat of Isaiah's car.

"Looks like you left one of your books in there." Jessica points into the car. "Maybe you got some information on how to keep the bears away in there."

Jessica saunters off to her car. Isaiah is torn between looking into his car and watching her walk away. His eyes allow him to watch Jessica approach her car. She really has a lovely walk. And with any luck, that's the last time Isaiah will have to see it.

His eyes bounce back to his car. He looks into the backseat and sees that one of the books he had gotten had fallen onto the floor and was partially covered by a paper bag.

Of course! I took out five books!

Isaiah sprints inside, grabs his keys, runs back and unlocks the car door. Jessica is still sitting in her car watching Isaiah as he retrieves the book. He never looks back at her, and dashes inside.


Isaiah reads through the first bit of the book, not finding information. Suddenly, he feels so tired. He's not entirely sure why. Perhaps the lack of sleep he's had for weeks is now catching up to him. He wants to keep reading, but more and more the words aren't making sense to him.

He decides to sleep for a couple hours. A couple hours turns into several. Isaiah wakes up and the sky is getting dark. He needs to prepare himself dinner and get ready for his usual nightly routine.

After dinner, Isaiah sits in silence on the couch for a moment. He stares at the book that's flipped open to the 20th or 30th page. Hundreds of pages left unread. It's such a tall task, but Isaiah is almost at the end of it. There has to be something in this book. Isaiah fears that there isn't, and he'll be back to square one. He almost doesn't want to pick up the book and confirm this fear.

Maybe just a little TV. Take my mind off things… relax… feel happy for once.

An image of Jessica in her revealing shirt and her cherry red lips flashes in his head. A swirling emotion of nostalgic happiness and realist sadness circles his mind. He realizes how lonely he is right now. Alone in this house… at least until around midnight.

Isaiah needs to hear voices… of someone… anyone.

He clicks the TV on.

Just for a bit. I'll get back to reading soon.

Isaiah puts on a lighthearted comedy. Something to remind him that there can be nice things in the world that just make you smile without any compromise.

He falls asleep with a smile on his face for the first time in a long time.

Only to be jolted awake by a thumping sound. Isaiah's eyes dart around. He sees nothing… except for a shadow moving around in his office. Isaiah ducks behind the couch… and out comes Morsambula. His usual routine, sniffing the air, scanning his surroundings, standing so still in the entranceway.

Morsambula looks over in Isaiah's direction several times, his human-like eyes training on Isaiah's couch. Isaiah stays as still as a statue.

And then Morsambula is gone.

Isaiah feels his skin growing colder. There's a loud creaking sound. The window is groaning… vibrating… suddenly the window bursts open and cold air sweeps through the room!

Isaiah jumps back in total surprise. The wind flies into the room like a hurricane, pushing napkins off the table and flipping the pages of Isaiah's open book.

Isaiah watches. The pages flip one after another, over and over, until suddenly the wind stops… the pages stop flipping and the book lays open… somewhere in the middle of the book.

The air remains cold but the wind has completely halted. The window swings slowly and then stops. Isaiah inches towards the book and peers at the pages. The book has been intentionally flipped to the start of a new section.

At the top it reads, 'Plane Stepper.'

"Plane stepper?" Isaiah says aloud.

"Morsambula." Suddenly, the spirit appears and speaks in a gravelly voice.

Isaiah turns to see those sullen, deep brown eyes.

"Plane stepper? That's Morsambula?" Isaiah asks.

The spirit nods. He checks his surroundings. His eyes grow wide.

"That is the legend. I must go."

With that, the spirit vanishes. Isaiah turns back to the book.

Plane stepper. So, this is the legend of Morsambula. It must go by different names.

Isaiah begins to read.

There are beasts known as the Mors. They live in an underworld, a place between the living and the dead. When souls perish from the world of the living, they travel to the realm of the dead. These beasts have intercepted souls on their way to the realm of the dead for centuries. Getting a hold of every soul they can manage to. Keeping those souls in their plane of existence.

The Mors use the souls as their slaves, helping them to build their empire, hoping to one day have an empire strong enough to take over all the other planes of existence. They work the souls until they wither away into almost nothing. The Mors, they also want to feast on the bodies of the souls. But they much prefer to eat the bones and don't enjoy the flesh or skin or organs. They work their slaves down to the bone, then, after the souls have perished once more, or are close to it, they devour them.

The Mors cannot leave their plane of existence, not yet. Their empire isn't strong enough. So, they cannot enter the plane of living. However, one Mor devised a plan. He would mate with one of the human souls that had been imprisoned there. They would have an offspring. That offspring should be able to exist in both this plane, and the plane of the living.

This is how the Plane Stepper was born. Able to exist in both planes, but only for certain periods of time. Each full moon, the Plane Stepper can enter the plane of the living, and only for the next 15 days. Then, he is restricted to this underworld plane. When the Plane Stepper was born, a magnificent light source was created partially from his own energy and partially from the moon. This light will pierce a hole through the Earth's floor. This hole will only be open in the hours of the night and will vanish before the sun rises. That is the time when the Plane Stepper can step into the plane of the living and snatch living souls away and bring them beneath the Earth's surface.

This goes on for 15 days after each full moon, then 15 days of peace and silence from the underworld. Only to start again. The Plane Stepper can walk anywhere in the plane of the living, so long as the humans there haven't used different magic and sorcery to ward him off. Many Native American reservations believe in this legend and have used their own magic to ward the Plane Stepper off their reservations. It is said spells were placed on the reservations hundreds of years ago to keep him away and remain intact to this very day. The concoctions are largely unknown, but it is believed sugar is part of the recipe as sugar does something to the body of the Mors and paralyzes them briefly.

The Mors are like any other soul, they live, and they can be killed in their plane of existence. The Plane Stepper exists in two different planes. So, if one were to finish him, he must be killed in both planes. If the Plane Stepper is killed in the plane of the living, he must subsequently be killed in the underworld Plane, otherwise, he will regenerate in the plane of the living at the next full moon.

Isaiah's eyes widen. He realizes now what happened. He only killed Morsambula once. That's why he's back. Now, Isaiah knows what he must do. He needs to kill him twice. Once up here… and once back down there in that hellhole.


This was Part 4 of the Morsambula series. Head here for Part 5, the final part!


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About the Creator

Stephen Kramer Avitabile

I'm a creative writer in the way that I write. I hold the pen in this unique and creative way you've never seen. The content which I write... well, it's still to be determined if that's any good.


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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (3)

  • Mr. Smithabout a year ago

    I was wondering about that fifth book? Originally there were five, then Adrial surprised him at the market, the books flew into the backseat and suddenly there were four. Enjoyed the way your wrote the interaction between Isaiah and Jessica. Her presence in Isaiah's life, although emotionally riddled and charged at times, was influential in the breakthrough that was needed to put an important piece of the puzzle together! Brandon is a little trooper man. The burden of what he knows and must keep to himself would be difficult for many adults to carry and take on I imagine. Especially when they started searching for past and present missing children. Nice Work Stephen! From the imagery of the words to the images you have included alongside the text! Good Stuff!

  • Oh no, poor Joey and Candace! Plane Stepper, that's so intriguing. And now I know why this Morsambula has human like eyes and is the only one to come to Isaiah's house. I still feel Isaiah should have told the truth. I mean he shouldn't just assume that no one would believe him. Anyway, really excited for the final part!

  • Quincy.Vabout a year ago

    interesting to read.........👌👌🙏🙏

Stephen Kramer AvitabileWritten by Stephen Kramer Avitabile

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