23 Journey beginning

In the evening before bed, Aisling and Astila are on the phone going over the happenings of the day. Aisling tells him that the sweat lodge is complete and that Inola will start the next morning at sunrise. Astila explains to her what will happen.

" he will not eat or drink until he gets guidance on what to do. Since you and Salali will not be going into the lodge or seeking the vision you will not need to fast but you will need to sit outside the lodge and pray for that inside. Often times those outside praying will fast in support of that inside. Follow Salali lead she will guide you. When they have what they need and their spirits are cleansed then Inola will be able to enter the cursed land. Be ready he may need you to get certain herbs or items you fo do not have in your garden. He won't know exactly what is needed until he comes out. He will be able to only have water and a small amount of food before entering the cursed land. Don't worry everyone will be safe. " Astila encourages her to have an open mind and heart.

" I missed you today. Did you have a good day at work ?" Aisling asks him wanting to know more about his work.

" I did though I kept looking at my phone every chance I had. I missed you too. My work was good I always like visiting my patients and learning new techniques. Tomorrow I have to work a double so I don't know when I will get to call you. " he sounded tired to her. Aisling looks at the clock it is already after ten.

" it's ok I don't know when it will be ok to talk with everything going on tomorrow. It's getting late so I will say good night. " she wants to stay on and talk more but he needs to get rest. So she hangs up and drifts off to sleep.

Salali wakes Aisling just before dawn. They gather the dried herbs that will be needed for the ritual. Then head to the creek.

The men are already there setting things up the fire is already going in the pit inside the sweat lodge. Salali hands Aisling a scarf.

" since it may make you and the others uncomfortable with the men bathing as part of the ritual Inola had me get these. We will wear them so that we cannot see them naked. For us, it is not a problem but for your culture nakedness is an issue. So once they are ready to start we will put these on our head until the door closes. " Aisling smiles at the care that they have put into trying to make them comfortable.

Inola signals they are ready. The five of them enter the pool under the waterfall and cleanse their bodies with the natural flowing water. Upon exiting they join hands and John leads a prayer to set the intent of their action and desires.

" our Gracious Heavenly Father we join together to banish an evil that has decided to sit on this property. We ask that you guide us and protect us on the journey we are about to take. Amen," when he has finished Salali starts to sing a song. It's the song that Aisling hums when she meditates. This is the first time hearing it sung. The men look at each other.

" that is the lullaby that great gran used to hum to put us to sleep. " John smiles at his brother.

" It is actually a prayer. " Inola informs them they enter the lodge and close the door. The ladies remove their headdress. You can hear Inola chanting inside while Salali sings outside. After a few minutes, Salali stops singing and goes to just quietly praying. The smoke from the herbs gently curls out the top of the lodge. The ladies sit outside of the lodge keeping watch and praying for those inside well into the night. In the early hours of the morning inside the lodge, the two younger boys have fallen asleep. The three older men are still in deep prayer.

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Inola and John's spirits lift above their bodies. They are in the cursed land. They see the burned-out shell of Onacon's house. He is standing there pointing towards the lake. They walk towards the lake. There the water is black and smells of death. Looking into the waters the two men see Eyes staring back at them. Angry eyes that are filled with hatred. John can feel the emotions emitting from them. John hears Inola chanting. Looking a crossed the lake hands begin to reach out not just one pair but many pairs. John turns to Onacona to ask what happened here. A mist covers everything and there sits a young man. His heart filled with hatred he is draining blood from the body and drinking it. It is from Daniel. He is throwing a dead body into the lake. The mists clear and they are floating back into their bodies.

The two men open their eyes and look at each other. They wake the others and knock on the door to signal they are coming out. The door opens the ladies to place their headdress back on over their faces. The men exit and go back into the pool. They cleanse themselves. Once dressed Inola speaks.

" we will need olive oil, salt, sage, rosemary. We will also need to call the sheriff and get his people to bring body bags. There are dead bodies in the lake it is their spirits that are angry. They are angry at Aisling because Daniel is the one who killed them. He killed them in anger over him not being able to possess Aisling. We need to remove the bodies and cleanse the ground. " Inola looks at John the man is clearly shaken by what he just experienced.

" Reverend are you ok? " Inola asks him

" I am humbled I never expected to experience anything like this. The fact that God allowed me to have such an awakening. At my old age is a very humbling feeling. I have never witnessed such an amazing spiritual event before. At the same time, I have also never witnessed such evil. Not even during my time serving in the war. " John looks at his brother And gives him a long hard hug. They all head back to the house to rest just as they are coming to the end of the path the sun is rising. Aisling goes inside to get everyone breakfast while John calls the sheriff.

After a light breakfast, the ladies are cleaning the kitchen when the sheriff and a van of FBI agents pull up. The men go to meet them.

Terry does the introductions.

" We suspect that Daniel May has used the lake on the overgrown area as a dumping ground," Commander tells them.

Aisling comes out and looks at Terry.

" did you check on what I asked?" Not giving any details because Terry knows exactly what she is asking.

" yes, and we have to go back to the old jailhouse as we found bodies in the old outhouse where he used to live. I think it may be his parents. We were coming today to check the outhouse by the old jailhouse to see if the stench from their bodies as well. So us taking a look at the lake won't be a problem. "

" if the bodies in the outhouse from his property are his parents then that means Daniel has been killing since the day he killed my kittens." Aisling's voice is weak and filled with sorrow.

" have you found a cave with bodies yet?" She looks at Terry tears streaming uncontrollably down her face.

" he is refusing to talk but we will keep looking. Either way, he will never get out of prison alive. " the FBI agent in charge informs them he orders his men to split up into two groups. One to go recheck the jailhouse the other to check the lake. The men go with the group going to the lake. John insists the younger boys stay with Aisling.

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