Many times that night, Jane was sure that she'd managed to let her consciousness slip and whisk her away into some dream, however there proceeded to be instances in which demanded for her to keep batting her eyes open. She couldn't describe it. It just felt like there was some sort of presence in the room. Occasionally, sometimes for a second or so, she'd pick on raspy breathing, the sound of a page turning and even footsteps. There was no question. It was definitely coming from inside of the room. Despite her love being huddled up, asleep beside her, she'd never felt so alone in this moment. So vulnerable to whatever was creeping in her room. As a deer caught in head lights, she was frozen in her spot, having sat up, staring blankly into the darkness, her startled baby blue eyes darting around anxiously in her skull. Her senses at the ready for any indication of movement or sound.
Silence governed the room once more, but the artist still found herself stuck in her position, riddled with fear. The suspense laid with quietness, assured to amplify even the quietest of sounds. Her gaze then fell to the floor and she began slowly absorbing each little detail in the room, for any abnormalities. A shape or shadow she didn't re-call or remember. Anything. Despite her motionless exterior, she was riddled with adrenaline, pumping through her body. Her heartbeat drumming in her chest, throbbing in her ears. There was nothing to detect, but her emotions had already conquered her establishment of reasoning abilities. She was still to horrified to find the courage to lower her head back down. Trying to bring some ease to herself, covering her own face securely with her hands, closing her eyes, she let out a shuddering exhale. Make each breath slow and long. In... and out. In... and out.
She lowered her hands, her feign security source amid her desperation, to see what most certainly was a dark figure standing by the door. Within an instant, Jane felt a sense of surrender. Instead of being mortified, there was an odd feeling of acceptance, as if death had come for her and she found no reason to fight it. The two stared at each other for what felt like an hour. It didn't have any of the particular traits in which Jane had been reading about. There was no hovering or skulls or piercing eyes. It was most certainly a humanoid figure. It gave off a thin, smoke like aura that rippled in the darkness. The entity had no firm structure, like it was a collected mass of toxic fumes, whose formation still gave off subtle waves. In the blink of an eye, it vanished from sight, lending the raven haired teen to remember her emotional tension before hand and her eyes frantically searched the room, until they laid upon her easel, still set up, with a blank canvas. What sounded like tapping fingers on a firm surface arose and she watched in terror, as the canvas started to bleed patches and strokes of grey and stark black. The breathing, being finally audible, began picking up from the most delicate of breaths to the most seething deliverance, as if the entity were suppressing an incredible rage and whose breath seeped out through clenched teeth. It sounded as if it were a moment away from reappearing before her just to snap her neck.
Daria awoke with a grumble, as she felt the nuisance of harsh day light beat through the curtains. Rubbing her eyes, she looked beside her to see her girlfriend was gone.
Getting up, she walked downstairs and into the kitchen to see Trent, being a massive surprise, seeing as he wasn't usually up this early, unless...
"I didn't sleep a wink last night" he confirmed, sitting up at the counter with some coffee, not once lifting his head from his drink to greet her.
"Where's Jane?" the chestnut haired teen asked blandly.
"She went running. She left a note down here. Said she'll be back soon. She couldn't sleep either"
It seemed that whatever it was the two were unfortunate enough to encounter hadn't at all interfered with her last night. She felt a wash of guilt upon hearing that and sighed, getting up at the counter with Trent, beside him.
"Was she there?" he inquired.
"The woman I was talking about. Did you hear singing or voices?"
"Err... I was out the entire time"
The musician huffed. "Lucky"
"I'm sorry. The whole point of me being here was to keep company with Jane to keep her feeling safe, and I couldn't even feel if she were sweating with fear right next to me"
"You were out like a light. I woulda been the same"
It was early, even by Daria's standards alone. Light was just about touching the sky, casting a mixed shade of pinks, oranges and blue-ish grays. She went out in her boots into the garden, letting the cool air help wake her. It was crisp, gave chills that were actually a welcomed sensation, seeing how oddly hot it was in the room when she woke up, perhaps due to the glaring sun.
Soon, she heard soft, consecutive pants, as Jane slowed herself down, entering the garden. Removing her headphones, she was astonished to see Daria standing there, still in her night shirt.
"Morning, amiga" she greeted, perked.
The bookworm looked down at the floor, unresponsive and the little smile that lit Jane's face slid away.
"I didn't wake you last night, 'cus I didn't want you to be scared too. I mean, what good would that have done us?"
"I still feel bad. You were up all night, like Trent, panicking and worrying and I was sound asleep, oblivious to what was going on" Daria replied.
"Again, it wouldn't have done any good if you were up too. We'd just be sat that, shaken outta our wits"
"But, that was the point: that neither of us were going to experience it alone. I woulda preferred to be awake so at least we could confide in each other somehow"
Sighing, Jane took a seat in the garden, still cool from the morning air.
"What've you got left to read of the journal?"
"I don't think it matters. He keeps talking about this demonic entity and his obsession with her. I don't think we'll be doing ourselves any favors hanging onto it any longer. The sooner we get rid of it, the better"
"What time did we say we'd meet the airheads?" Daria grimaced.
"Just after lunch. I suppose if we're throwing ourselves back into the lions den, we may as well plump ourselves up"
An amused smirk crossed the bookworm's face. "You mean plump THEM up? If I recall, you described their attendance today as a means of having canaries down the mine"
"Precisely. I am standing by that statement"
Seeing as they would be leaving shortly, Jane shot upstairs, going to store the journal in a ragged satchel that belonged to Trent from years ago. Before stuffing the lot in, she couldn't help but stop and admire the artwork. She wished she could recapture that genuine style, create her own works with hidden symbolic meanings in this style. It was clear the creator was passionate.
"Hey, Vincent Van Gogh, get your butt down here. I wanna exorcise this bastard TODAY!" called Daria from downstairs.
It was then the artist crammed the artifact into the satchel and took off, so much in a hurry, her mind remained absent from the concern of Vescatur's pendant, still sat within her desk drawer.
End of part seven