It isn’t just our world the Empty-Eyed Man covets, and the only one who can stop him is a young girl named Kira Graves. When Kira’s family and everyone else in their carnival are murdered by unearthly creatures called Grigs, Kira and her constant invisible companion, Jenn, flee toward a... read more
Prologue1 (Unnamed)Copyright 2012 ©
Distribution of any or all of this work is strictly forbidden without the express written permission of the author.
Chapter 11 (Kira)July 26
The carnival owned by Kira... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Prologue1 (Unnamed)Copyright 2012 ©
Distribution of any or all of this work is strictly forbidden without the express written permission of the author.
Chapter 11 (Kira)July 26
The carnival owned by Kira Graves' parents has returned to their wintering grounds early, and Kira can tell that there is a new tension in the air. Jen, Kira's constant companion is reticent as usual, but Kira's mother informs her to always stay close to Jen and to trust her. Kira journeys with her father into the nearby town where he puts up posters and passes out cards. He explains to Kira how the games the carnival runs are set up in the carnival's favor but they are not 'rigged' and tries to get her to understand the difference. Kira brings up her mother's nightmares but although her father is dismissive Kira knows he's hiding something. He finally admits that he feels something bad coming. Later her mother tells her that 'sometimes people owe a penance for things they didn't do.' She gives Kira a pendant in the shape of an eye and tells her to never take off the 'oculet'. Kira realizes it's an exact copy of the one her father wears. During the night the carnival is attacked by weird black creatures Kira learns are called Grigs, and only she and Jen survive by running into the nearby palmetto swamp.
When the grigs pursue them Jen drags a protesting Kira further into the bog. Kira wants to go back to her parents but Jen tells her bluntly that everyone is dead. Jen tells her to look in her heart, and in there, Kira knows what Jen says is true. The next morning as they emerge onto the highway a patrol officer picks them up. He seems to pay little if any attention to Jen, but Kira is used to that. He takes them to the local police station and after questioning (the deputy is surprised as most people are to learn that Kira is fourteen, older than she looks) they are taken away by a social worker named Roseanne.
Chapter 21 (Kira)With the Social Worker Then Gone
Once again the authority figure, Roseanne, ignores Jen and explains instead to Kira that they are being taken to a temporary foster home in a town called Coral Isles. Kira admits that they have no other family than that they lost with the carnival. As they drive Kiran nods toward the rearview mirror but Jen just shrugs because the face they both see there doesn't resemble anyone in the car. When Roseanne adjusts the mirror Kira flinches. Then she notices that aftward Roseanne massages that hand. For a while a freight train paces them and Kira smiles at the friendly engineer. Then the train pulls onto a siding and is left behind. At the foster home Kira is introduced to the older couple and then she asks to use the bathroom. When she discovers there's no window in the bathroom, she and Kira slip out the back, climbing over neighbors' fences until finally emerging on the street again just to find themselves watching the approach of that same freight, now slowed. When Kira cannot make the leap Jen snatches her up and drags her aboard a boxcar.
Chapter 31 (Silky)July 27
Graves Island, Maine
On Graves Island, Silky, an old retired carney has lived for decades protecting a secret so dark and deadly that he has allowed himself contact with only one human being in all that time. Silky has just received a letter from an old friend, No Legs, warning him that the chickens are coming home to roost and fellow carnies are dying all over the country. In the letter is an amulet which matches the one dangling from the chain around Silky's throat. Silky decides it is time to journey to the far end of the little island and deliver an ultimatum to his friend, the only other island occupant.
Chapter 41 (Clem)Clem Sollart Gets an Ultimatum
Clem Sollart, Silky's only real friend, climbs from his lobster boat and trudges up to his shack with his heart pounding in his chest. He's almost sixty with a bad ticker, and all he wants to do is live out his days on Graves Island with his books and a little cheap Scotch and beer to see him through. That and occasional games of pinochle with Silky. He remembers he hasn't seen the old man in a few days and decides that later he will hike up to check on him. Once inside his home, though, his heart really starts acting up and he snatches a plastic bottle from his shirt pocket and tucks a nitro pill under his tongue, stumbling into a chair. He needs triple-bipass but can't afford it. Silky has offered Clem money in the past but Clem won't take it, realizing Silky is no better off than he is. Besides, the idea of being opened up like a baitfish sickens Clem.
He looks up to see Silky at his door. They have a drink then Silky orders Clem to leave the island. Clem is floored when Silky also hands him an envelope full of money. Silky leaves but not before warning Clem to stay out of shadows and away from mirrors. Outside long shadows are already drifting across the island.
Chapter 51 (Kira)The Empty-Eyed-Man Appears
Kira and Jen ride on a flat car loaded with new cars until the train rattles to a stop and they hike away down the tracks. In a small village they hide when a strange eyeless man appears calling out to Kira. As he strides away into the night more grigs follow him, sniffing and growling. After that Kira and Jen hike on, hoping to find some food by morning.
Chapter 61 (Silky)July 28th
Silky awakens after a dream-shattered sleep, certain something malevolent is near. But no evil appears and he continues with his morning ritual, shaving, hiking out to the old outhouse that looks out over the tallest cliff on the island. Then he lights the stove and finds himself staring into an image reflected on his window of a face with dark, empty sockets and she slams the curtain closed with a shaking hand.
Chapter 71 (Clem)Clem Spies on Silky and Doesn't Like What He Sees
In the failing moonlight Clem hikes to Silky's cabin with the intention of having it out with the old man and getting the truth from him regarding why Clem is being forced off the island. But as he nears the cabin he begins to sense something wrong, some unseen presence and he hides in the trees. He tries to tell himself it's all in his head, and he wonders—since he brought Silky's mail from the mainland—whether some old trouble hasn't come back to haunt Silky. Then the wind begins to pick up and the sense of malevolent presence grows stronger. When the feeling becomes overwhelming Clem runs for home with his heart pounding in his chest.
Chapter 81 (Sheila)Sheila Bright Hears Terrible News
Sheila Bright is a woman with a problem. She's trying to make a living with her diner at the same time she's carrying on a dysfunctional relationship with the ghost of her mother who 'lives' in the old homestead outside of town. But her mother's not the only dead person who wants to talk to Sheila. Most of them seem to. To top it off she's begun to have recurring dreams about a man with no eyes. When Charlie, the local sheriff comes to the diner with bad news about a local man who shot and killed his wife and daughter then shot himself. Sheila realizes it's the same man who's been wandering around outside, and when he turns to look at her she sees the gore on the side of his head. She and Charlie discuss how the world in general is falling apart. When the phone rings she answers it but all she hears is a strange sort of static. The sound makes her skin crawl and she slams the phone back onto the hook.
Chapter 91 (Kira)Kira and Jen Meet an Old Hobo
Kira and Jen end up in the camp of an old hobo named Clancy. Strangely Clancy has no trouble seeing or speaking with Jen once Kira points her out. Kira tells him that Jen is a pooka and that she had just showed up one night to tell Kira she was there to be her friend. Clancy makes them some bacon and coffee. Kira finds that she is dog tired and quickly drops into sleep.
Chapter 101 (Kira)Kira has a Terrifying Dream
Kira dreams that she is running away from the Empty-Eyed-Man and the Grigs. She is very small and the Grigs grow larger. She can barely keep out of their reach. The Empty-Eyed-Man demands that she give him what he came for, but she doesn't know what it is. She stumbles, falls off a cliff, and just keeps falling.
Chapter 111 (Kira)The Grigs Come
When Kira first awakens she's certain Clancy has gone to bring the cops, but then the old man shows up with more food. He also brings them jackets he's apparently purloined. As darkness settles in Kira begins to sense the presence of the Empty-Eyed-Man again and she agrees to stay only until after dinner. Suddenly Kira realizes there are Grigs around and she warns Clancy that it's time to hide. She tells Clancy to stay in one place while she and Jen lead the beasts away, but he argues with her. Kira gives Jen a look, and when Jen grabs Clancy by the shoulders he sinks unconscious onto the forest floor. They leave him and flee.
Chapter 121 (Kira)Kira Realizes Her Mistake
While Kira and Jen are still trying to make their escape good they hear Clancy's screams reminding Kira of those from her parents' carnival, and she knows she has made the wrong decision in leaving the old man behind.
Chapter 131 (Kira)Clancy’s Death Drags on Kira
Jen tries to convince Kira that there was nothing the two of them could have done to save Clancy. Jen explains that she is not made to care about others, only Kira. Kira blames Jen for dragging her away but Jen simply says, "After you decided." Jen explains that while she can 'stop' things on a limited basis it is not in her power to stop the Empty-Eyed-Man and it is not her purpose.
Chapter 141 (Kira)Kira and Jen and the Bank Robbery
Jen and Kira hike on until they are exhausted. Finally Kira reluctantly breaks into a house for food. As they eat they watch the news and it's all bad. The world is falling apart. Even the cartoons are about malformed animals acting violently. Kira recalls the towners on the midway and how it always seemed to her that they were searching desperately for something but they didn't know what it was. Her mother had told her that towners were afraid they weren't real or perhaps they were equally afraid of what might be real. Kira tells Jen that they can't keep breaking into people's houses that they need money. They find a pet store where Kira produces a hundred dollar bill and asks for change. When they leave she expresses regret that she cheated the man with a bill that was not real. Jen tells her the store owner was a bad man.
A wild young man named Bullet gives them a lift in his pickup. He tells them he's not going anywhere, just going. Oddly he, too, can see Jen. In fact he becomes a little too friendly with her and Kira objects. She finds herself disgusted with him. She senses that in some way he is connected to the Empty-Eyed-Man even if he doesn't know it. Bullet parks in front of a bank and produces a pistol, forcing Jen and Kira to follow him inside. No one in the bank can see Jen, but when Bullet pulls out the gun Jen stops time for everyone inside but her and Kira. Jen explains that the only person she can save is Kira and they have to walk away. She tells Jen that she cannot stop what is going to happen. She can only protect Kira. Kira finally follows her out of the bank. Outside they hear shots from inside.
Chapter 151 (Kira)Kira's Powers Increase
While eating at a DQ Kira argues with Jen that the things she creates out of thin air aren't real. Then she witnesses a gang rape in progress and goes to help the victim. In doing so she inadvertently turns the girl into a deadly monster, at least temporarily, and Kira is stunned by her own power which certainly seems to make something 'real'. Kira decides that the best thing she can do is never get close to another human being who can be hurt or killed because of her.
Chapter 161 (Sheila)Sheila Bright Goes to Visit Her Dead Mother
Sheila goes to her mother's house where her mother's ghost still resides. Sheila can't make up her mind whether the ghost is real or she's going crazy. She remarks that her mother doesn't clean much and her mother informs her that ghosts don't clean. Her mother has heard about the killings, surprising Sheila. She also informs Sheila that her Uncle Willy wants her mother to move out to California. Sheila asks her if she made the phone call that frightened her but her mother tells her that phone calls are something else ghosts don't do. They argue as they always do about Sheila being ashamed of her mother because of her weirdness even before she died. Her mother tells her to try being herself for a change and not what the world wants her to be. To embrace her power rather than being ashamed of it. Finally she asks her mother not to move to California. Her mother tells her about Sheila's father who Sheila always thought had deserted them. Her mother's story is slightly different in that she believes he had to go.
Chapter 171 (Kira)Kira and Jen Discover More of the World Falling Apart
Kira doesn't know if some angel is guiding them or whether they are being inexorably pulled into the maw of the Empty-Eyed-Man. She can't get the image of the mangled boys from the gang rape out of her mind, and she keeps hearing her mother saying "Sometimes we owe a penance for things we didn't do." Kira doesn't know what she is or why she has such powers, but even when they weren't as strong her mother had warned her never to use them in front of a towner. Her mother had called her a creator, but what had she created? She and Jen argue over creators and THE Creator and Kira is flabbergasted with Jen claims to not only know her creator but is able to describe him. Approaching another village in the night they stumble upon a woman leaning against a tree staring raptly at the town lights. The woman seems miserable but is uncommunicative. Passing by the town Jen says simply, "They live it, but they still don't feel it the way you do." Outside of town they slip aboard a flatbed truck and hide amongst crates there.
Chapter 181 (Kira)Kira and Jen Hunted by Grigs
At a deserted intersection Kira and Jen slip off of the truck outside a small hamlet in Virginia. They fall asleep in woods there. Sometime in the night they are awakened by the clicking sound of Grigs. Kira hears the voice of the Empty-Eyed-Man in her head. "I can feel your hours slipping through my fingers like dust." Jen manages to use her powers to keep the Grigs from finding them. Kira realizes that she and Jen ran off without her pack and that the money was in it. She also realizes that she has to get over her mother's admonitions against using her own powers if she is going to survive. The Grigs hound them all night.
Chapter 191 (Sheila)Sheila has a Terrible Dream Then Meets Kira and Jen
Sheila dreams that her mother is in terrible danger but she cannot find a way to help her. Then she sees the murderer and can't tell if she's dreaming or not when he tells her that he didn't mean for it all to happen. He says he just didn't want them to have the nightmares anymore. He was protecting them by killing them. When she awakens she has a strange foreboding and stares at the phone, waiting for it to ring, but it never does.
Kira doesn't want to venture into the small town but there seems little way around it and the Grigs are close behind driving them forward.
Even Awake Sheila hears her mother's voice from the dream, calling her name, but she knows there are no monsters, no evil darkness. The sound of trash cans rattling draws her attention and she goes to check, convinced it's the neighbor's dog again. Instead she runs into Kira and Jen who have stumbled over the cans in their flight. Kira begs Jen to go back inside, but Sheila won't leave them alone. Sheila doesn't understand why Kira is surprised that she can see Jen. When the Grigs show no sign of finding them immediately Kira allows herself to be persuaded to at least have breakfast.
Chapter 201 (Silky)Silky Visits His Basement
Silky takes a tray with a pot of coffee, a cup, a bowl of cereal, and two pieces of burnt toast into the basement, thinking that the meal is always the same or it's refused. He slips the cover off an ornate mirror and places the tray on the floor in front of it. After a moment a hand comes out of the mirror and takes the tray. For forty years Silky has agreed to live on the island nearly alone to perform that deed three times a day. Someone had to be the Keeper of the Glass. But Silky knows that for all his sacrifice Shandan Graves has sacrificed more because he is on the other side of the mirror.
Chapter 211 (Clem)Clem has a Fearful Foreboding
Clem awakens stiff and cranky after a night on his boat. He checks his pots before sunrise and thinks about Silky. Finally he head back to the island, but as he nears it he begins to get a creepy feeling, like someone is watching him from the shore. Still he promises himself that he will sleep at home that night. Then as the boat approaches the dock he hears a voice like Silky's in his head urging him to run away. He knows then that it is worth his life to so much as let the boat rub against the pilings. He decides to sleep on the mainland.
Chapter 221 (Kira)Kira and Jen Stay Over With Sheila
Kira decides that Sheila's living room feels unlived in as though Sheila herself is only passing through. Sheila asks why Jen keeps staring out the window and Kira tells her Jen is keeping watch. Sheila questions them but Kira gives evasive answers. Sheila wants to turn them over to the authorities, but Kira pleads with her. Kira opens up a little about being from the carnival. Sheila offers them a bed and Kira demurs but Jen signals that the Grigs don't seem to be around so Kira decides to take a nap. In seconds she's asleep.
Chapter 231 (Kira)Kira and Jen are Caught by Sheila and Forced to Stay Longer
Kira awakens to discover that they have slept most of the day away. When she and Jen try to sneak away Sheila spots them from the back door of the diner and calls them inside where she feeds them again in exchange for doing dishes. Kira and Sheila open up to each other a little and Kira is surprised to learn that in the past people had thought she might be a little too different. Finally Kira breaks down and tells Sheila about the Empty-Eyed-Man but of course Sheila doesn't believe her. Sheila offers a deal. If they will stay with her for three days she won't turn them in.
Chapter 241 (Kira)A Confrontation in WalMart
Sheila takes Jen and Kira to WalMart for a change of clothes. Inside Sheila believes a clerk is playing a game with her by refusing to admit she can see Jen. The clerk is convinced she has a crazy on her hands and calls security, but eventually they all manage to check out. Kira explains to Sheila that most people can't see Jen at all.
Chapter 251 (Kira)"What just happened in there?"
Kira tries to convince Sheila that Jen is a mostly invisible Pooka. She then tells Sheila about the Grigs and tries to make her believe that the Empty-Eyed-Man really did murder her parents. She tells Sheila that sometimes there aren't any reasonable explanations. When Kira sees a fuzzy image of an old woman on a stoop as they pass she asks Sheila if she sees the old lady too, stunning Sheila. Sheila's mother is waiting for them inside Sheila's trailer, but although Kira senses her presence and can almost see something she can't hear Sheila's mother. When Kira runs her finger along Sheila's mother's face Sheila sucks in a breath. There ensues a weird conversation where Sheila 'translates' for her mother. Sheila's mother has come to tell her that Uncle Willy has been murdered. Out of the blue Jen says, "Willy, Willy. Winding Wind. Whither will your journey end." Sheila's mother tells her that her father used to recite that oddball rhyme. He'd made it up for Willy. "You don't have to meet someone to know them," says Jen. A cop comes to the door and Sheila goes outside with him. When she returns she turns in shock to her mother and informs her that their friend the sheriff has shot himself.
Chapter 261 (Silky)An Earthquake on the Island
When an earthquakes jars Silky's house he rushes to the basement to check on the mirror. It's been buried beneath debris and he begins digging feverishly.
Chapter 271 (Clem)Clem Returns
Clem can't sleep in the city. When he gets back to his boat and is preparing to pull out he sees something moving in the shadows along the street approaching the dock. It looks at first like a big dog, but then as it disappears into the shadows again he's convinced that it's no animal he's ever seen before nor does he want to see it again. He rushes to cast off the bow line just as more of the creatures appear and he hurries back into the wheelhouse, backing the boat out into the harbor. As he turns the boat toward the island he begins to feel that he is not alone on board and he finally searches, but finds nothing amiss. Still he's convinced that something evil is hitching a ride. He docks on the island and hikes up to Silky's place. When he sees the mess in the basement he pitches in even though Silky is not happy to see him. Silky tells him a little about his people all being carnies and him the only one living alone. He explains that the island is not really his but belongs to Shandon Graves. Clem tells Silky about the creatures he saw and Silky is horrified again asking him to leave but Clem refuses.
Chapter 281 (Kira)Kira and Sheila Continue to Feel One Another Out
Kira confuses an already confused Sheila by telling her that she and Jen didn't have anything to do with the cop's death. Sheila wanders around the house in a daze. Kira considers explaining about her oculet but decides Sheila would never understand why she was pretty sure it was what the Empty-Eyed-Man wanted. Kira thinks that Sheila's mother knows more than Sheila does, and she wants to know why Sheila is mad at her. Kira finally gets Sheila to admit that she's mad at her mother for dying.
Chapter 291 (Kira)Jen Senses Trouble
Jen warns Kira and Sheila that the Grigs are coming. Although Sheila is reluctant to believe in the creatures Jen's agitation and Kira's fear finally convince her to go. At the car Sheila sees her first Grig, setting fire to a building across the street. Another leaps onto the hood even as Sheila tries to race away. More of the creatures attack but with astute driving Sheila manages to dislodge them and they escape into the night.
Chapter 301 (Silky)Silky Explains a Little Bit of Background to Clem
Silky gives Clem a little more background and when Clem is unconvinced Silky rolls out one of several steamer trunks which seem to all be filled with money that Shandon gave him. Silky tells Clem there's something like eighteen million dollars. He explains that there was more but that one year he sent five million to the other carnies for expenses. The carnies all came from the other side along with Shandon and Silky, and they all had powers of one sort or another. But they all worked in creating dreams.
Chapter 311 (Kira)Sheila, Kira, and Jen Meet With Sheila's Mother
Sheila, Kira, and Jen stop at Sheila's mother's house to pick her up. Although the power has been off for over a year the lights are on. Kira knows that Sheila is struggling with what's just happened and that her well planned out reality is cracking. But now the Grigs know that Sheila has helped them. They'll never forgive her for that. Kira tries to explain that the Grigs and the Empty-Eyed-Man come from the other side of the mirror, but that is one step too far for Sheila's credulity yet. Kira tells her that at the very least she must believe everything that Jen tells her and act on it without thinking if they are going to survive. Jen says that they are safe for the moment at Sheila's mother's home but only for the moment. Sheila explains to her mother all that has just happened. Jen finds a small hand held mirror and tells the others to look into it. They see a very alien landscape, a place of dreams and nightmares. When Jen slides her hand across the glass it turns back to reflecting the room around them. Kira knows that Sheila is on the cusp of fully believing. Sheila's mother asks to see Kira's Oculet and wants to know where she got it. She disappears down the hall and returns with another just like it. She says they were made by a man named Shandon Graves and that he lived on an island named after him and never left it. They decide they must find the island and Shandon.
Chapter 321 (Kira)Grigs Attack and Kira is Sucked Into the Mirror
The car won't start. When Sheila announces that she will check the battery cables Kira warns her not to get out. Kira sees a Grig slip under the vehicle and a nasty scratching noise sounds. Sheila says that nothing can get through the bottom of a car just as an ebony claw rips through. When Jen gives Kira a look Kira announces that if she freezes time Kira will not leave Sheila. Kira forms a key in her hand and passes it to Sheila telling her to use it in the ignition. The car starts. Sheila drives like a mad woman nearly killing them all trying to dislodge the Grig. Then the Empty-Eyed-Man appears in the road ahead. Miraculously he seems to pass right through the speeding car. When the Grig is about to break through Kira screams 'Stop it!" and Jen freezes time again. Kira searches for a weapon to kill the immobile Grig but there is none. The rearview mirror has broken off and she picks it up. She sticks the mirror into the Grig's face and shouts for Jen to start time again. As everyone begins to move again the Grig is sucked into the mirror, but so is Kira.
Chapter 331 (Kira)Kira Finds Herself in Another World
Kira finds herself in a sort of fern jungle and a slim dark figure in a cowled cloak watches, then disappears. The Grig finds her though and attacks. There are no weapons to hand and she knows that this is the Grig's world, not hers. Without Jen she doesn't have any plan at all and no hope. Still she refuses to just die. When she wishes again for a weapon her fingers tingle and a knife appears. "I couldn't create a gun?" she mutters, backing away from the Grig. After a fierce fight she is able to kill the creature and she feels some exhileration at the minor revenge she has exacted for all the deaths the creatures have caused, but as she watches it die in agony she experiences sorrow as well.
Chapter 341 (Sheila)"What do you mean she went in there?"
Sheila is livid that Jen allowed Kira to be sucked into the mirror with the Grig and even more so when Jen informs here that she cannot pass them through unless Kira calls for them. Sheila's mother further announces that it's unlikely that Kira knows to call. The car has practically been destroyed by the Grigs and the windshield is gone. Sheila knows that while it may still run they cannot drive it without the windshield. Sheila asks Jen if she has ever been a harbinger of doom t which Jen replies simply, "I don't think so." but she further announces that the three of them must continue since although theirs and Kira's paths have diverted their destinies have not parted. Her mother says they must make their way to Graves Island.
Chapter 351 (Kira)Kira Meets a New Friend and Sheila Meets One as Well.
Kira come upon a strange boy in the jungle. His pants are frayed and he wears a broadcloth shirt. He is unkempt. He asks her where she's come from and when she doesn't know what the Citadel is he grows wary. He is furthered shocked at her claim to having killed a Grig. He decides to take her to his home informing her that Grigs do not like to cross open water so they should be safe on the other side of the stream if any are still around. At an all night gas station Sheila meets a man distraught that his wife is dying. Through Sheila her mother tells the man that she knows what he's going through and that death is not the end. When he learns that Sheila has a broken windshield he offers to take them home as he lives over his small glass company.
Chapter 361 (Sheila)Grigs in the Shop
In the small glass shop the reflective surfaces make Sheila nervous. When she realizes that Grigs have found them she and Jen enter the shop proper, Sheila armed with a mirror frame.
Chapter 371 (Kira)Kira Meets the Lost Boys
The boy named Stomper takes Sheila to meet the others like him. On the journey he shows Kira the Encroachment that is turning paradise into a dead, blackened desert. Stomper says someone called the Mogul is causing it. When Kira asks if Stomper knows where she can find a mirror he grows distrustful of her again. He tells her that she must see the Elder. The old woman questions her but gives few answers in return. Then she gives Kira a sleeping potion. Sheila creeps through the aisles of the glass shop with Jen and her mother, hunting the Grig that is hunting them and the old man who is totally unaware of the danger. As she races past a mirror she sees Kira. Kira dreams of a world of glass and a Grigs hunting her friends. When the Grig's attack she screams Sheila's name and Sheila hears her. Kira unleashes her power again and Sheila metamorphs into a monster.
Chapter 381 (Silky)Clem and Silky Dig
Clem helps Silky dig out the mirror which Clem is certain will have been destroyed. He pleads with Silky to leave the island with him but Silky refuses.
Chapter 391 (Kira)Kira Learns More from the Elder
Kira awakens to the sound of a man's voice calling the name Cynthia. The man is cradling the woman's head in his lap. Sheila and Jen are by his side. Kira apologizes for turning Sheila into a monster although she isn't one any longer. Sheila asks about her mother but learns that a ghost cannot pass what the Elder calls the Crossroad. Sheila is distraught at having left her mother all alone. The Elder also tells Sheila that she has a part to play in the fate of the Creator's world although she cannot say what it is. The old woman tells Kira that the Mogul (who Kira realizes is the Empty-Eyed-Man) is collecting Oculets and he is learning to use their power. The Dreamtime is all that is left of the world outside the Mogul's Encroachment. Forty years before the last forty Originals escaped to Earth. Only Shandan Graves and the Elder remained. The Elder remained to protect as much of the Dreamtime as she could, and Shandan was the only power stopping the Mogul from crossing with all his power into any world he chose.
Chapter 401 (Shandan)Shandan Graves in the Hall of Mirrors
Shandan lives in a world of infinite viewpoints, surrounded on all sides by mirrors which not only reflect each other but open into myriad worlds across the universe. Before the coming of the Mogul he was a large and powerfully built man now he shambles a bit and his long hair, tied in a pony tail is white as snow. Although he is the Creator he knows that now above all what the universe needs is a destroyer. Until forty years prior he had never considered that something so purely evil or powerful as the Mogul could exist and he wonders if even is granddaughter, Kira, has survived. He prays that Jen has fulfilled her one mission, and protected Kira. He knows that he should have tried to make Jen more powerful, and in fact in trying to augment Jen he had inadvertently unleashed a burst of energy that had nearly killed Silky and buried the one mirror that opened onto the island.
Chapter 411 (Sheila)Kira, Jen, and Sheila watch the Lost dance for Max and his wife.
Kiran, Jen, and Sheila watch the Lost Boys dance while the Elder explains that if Max and his wife remain in the Dreamtime his wife will get better and will live extraordinarily long lives. If the Mogul doesn't win, that is. The Elder explains that the Lost Boys crossed over forty years before at the same time that the Creators escaped. Clem and Silky seek safety aboard Clem's boat after Shandan warns Silky of approaching danger.
Chapter 421 (Kira)Kira, Sheila, Jen and the Elder Flee
Kira tells the Elder that they were looking for Graves Island but didn't know what to expect when they found it. When Kira tells the Elder that Sheila's mother believes it was owned by Kira's grandfather the old woman gasps. When Kira tells her her father's name the Elder locks her arms around Kira. She informs Kira that Shandan Graves is her husband and that she is Kira's grandmother and what is called a Keeper of the Glass. She also tells Kira that although she believes Kira is an important part of what's happening she must discover her own fate. Stomper warns them that Grigs are coming and Kira feels guilty that she led them there. But the Elder informs her that they were due to attack the forest in any case. She leads Kira, Jen, and Sheila deeper into the woods. When Kira asks the Elder where she is leading them she tells Kira that she is not leading them anywhere. They are simply running for their lives.
Chapter 431 (Clem)A Storm Approaches the Island
Clem tells Silky they have to decide soon whether to return to the island or run for port. Silky refuses to leave Shandan even though Shandan warned them to run. Clem can understand that kind of loyalty. Although Clem warns him against it Silky gets him to anchor near the island in what he hopes will remain the lee of the storm.
Chapter 441 (Kira)Kira, Jen, Sheila and the Elder Reach the Edge of the Encroachment
Reaching the edge of the desecration that is the Encroachment Kira realizes just how fast it is spreading. The Elder informs them that they have nowhere else to go but into it. She gives Kira a small mirror 'as a last resort' since there is no way Kira will know where she will end up in using it. The Elder says that they are all paying a penance for what they didn't do. Stomper appears to tell them that they have had a great battle with the Grigs and several of the Lost have died but that 'the mama and the papa' live. Kira is enraged by all the death and suffering. She begins to sense the approach of a final reckoning with the Empty-Eyed-Man. The Elder warns her that while the Encroachment is the Dreamtime becoming a nightmare it is real enough on this side of the Crossroads to kill her.
Chapter 451 (Mogul)The Mogul in Silky's Basement
The Mogul has made it onto the Island (though in getting there he is in a much reduced state he is still powerful) and he stares at the mirror, feeling Shandan weakening. Still, the mirror will not yield to him and he becomes enraged. "You are trapped here," says Shandan. The Mogul has made a mistake. Now his true body and his shade have become sundered when the shade traveled to the island aboard Silky's boat and the boat is gone. The storm increases threatening to rip the house above off its foundation. When the Mogul informs Shandan that he will eventually win and that Shandan is the only person standing between the Mogul and victory, Shandan replies, "No. There is another."
Chapter 461 (Clem)Clem Has a Heart Attack
Clem and Silky barely manage to anchor the boat in the increasing storm. Then Clem has a heart attack.
Chapter 471 (Kira)In the Encroachment
The Encroachment is a world of nightmares brought to life. Only Jen seems unaffected by the place. The Elder explains that this is what the Mogul has made of dreams throughout the universe and why everything seems to be falling apart. When they reach the edge of an ocean, without warning Sheila walks into it and disappears beneath the waves.
Chapter 481 (Sheila)There are People Under the Water
Sheila walked out into and under the water because she could see what the others could not, the people there. When she speaks to those people they are shocked that she can see them. The people are trying to ameliorate some of the suffering in the Encroachment and she realizes that they are dead Creators who no longer have their Oculets. Sheila asks them to help her group find the Citadel. She also asks them to come with her to help fight the Mogul but they refuse.
Chapter 491 (Silky)Silky Swims for Help
When he realizes that there is not even any aspirin aboard the boat Silky realizes he must swim to the island for Clem's medicine. He does discover a shaving mirror in Clem's toilet kit, though, and sticks that in his back pocket. Slipping over the side of the boat Silky uses his one power, as a shapeshifter to turn himself into a water creature. Silky understands that at least part of the Mogul has made its way to the island and that he will be in great danger there, but he has no choice. But the storm itself is against him, pushing him back. He finally reaches Clem's place but can't find the medicine. When a bolt of lightning lights the bathroom Silky stares at the words clawed into the wall. "I hold the old man's life in my hands." Now Silky knows he has to face the Mogul.
Chapter 501 (Kira)In the Cityscape of the Encroachment
When Sheila explains that the dead are all around but will not help the Elder explains that they have suffered terribly and are fearful. She also explains that there are other living Creators who are held within the Citadel and that she believes the Mogul draws some power from them. The group finds itself in a strange cityscape. A giant snake appears but Kira believes it is not so much there to kill them as to trap them in the Encroachment. Kira believes that now the mirror will take them to the Citadel, but the Elder says she cannot go there because she would instantly fall under the same spell that holds the other Creators there. She further tells Sheila that her ability to speak to the dead is a powerful talent. As the snake constricts around them the Elder gives Kira her Oculet and warns them to go.
Chapter 511 (Kira)Within the Citadel.
They can hear cries and moans of the last Originals. Kira feels strangely energized by the second locket, as though the two charms worked together. They follow a torchlit corridor toward the sounds of the moans. Sheila keeps hearing something Jen and Kira cannot. Kira notices that Jen seems listless, half awake now. "Tired," is all Jen will say. As they draw closer to the end of the corridor they can make out one word in the cries. Shandan. Inside a massive room are a horde of insane Originals. Sheila tells Kira that she has dreamed of this place. Jen can now barely remain on her feet and the Originals are all screaming at Kira. Kira realizes that it is the place which is affecting Jen. She is not a Creator but was created by Shandan Graves and Jen is protecting them from the madness in the room.
Chapter 521 (Shandan)Shandan Prays for Silky to Return
Shandan can feel the last of his power dwindling against the power of the Mogul, but he knows he has to hold the Mogul off until the game can play out. He prays to his Creator, and wills Silky to return to the basement to face the Mogul.
Chapter 531 (Kira)In the Throne Room
Followed into the room by hundreds of Originals threatening them with death Kira spots the Empty-Eyed-Man sitting blankly on the throne. Sheila eyes Kira's dagger and wants her to kill him but Kira knows she cannot. She knows that he is immortal because he wasn't alive, not the way other people were. He was more like a bad idea. Jen tells her to "Do what you do." Sheila studies the body on the throne and announces that he is dead already, but Kira says that he is simply not all there. Part is back on Earth. Jen collapses freeing more of the Originals to surround them. Kira and Sheila help Jen to her feet and they back toward the throne.
Chapter 541 (Kira)Kira Meets Her Dead Parents
They are surrounded at the throne and Jen is losing her power to control them when the dead Originals show up. That was the noise Sheila had been hearing in the corridor. The living Originals can't really hear the dead, but they sense them and it seems to calm the living. Sheila announces that Kira's parents are among the dead. They speak through Sheila. Kira's father asks if she knows what to do and she says yes but sadly. She asks for Sheila's Oculet and Sheila gives it to her. Kira announces that she is going to give all the Oculets to the Mogul. She explains that the Hall of Mirrors has been here behind the throne all along. She places her palm upon the wall behind the throne and suddenly she can see mirrors.
Chapter 551 (Silky)Silky Fights the Storm to His Old House
Silky fights his way home against the storm. The house itself is gone but he knows he will find the mirror and the Mogul in the basement. He refuses to give the Mogul the Oculet until the Mogul gives him Clem's medicine. The Mogul gives him a small bottle and Silky hands over the locket. Hoping to draw the Mogul away from Shandan Silky produces the mirror. "So," says the Mogul, "there is a way home after all." The Mogul disappears into the mirror and Silky wonders if he has failed Shandan after all. Silky leaps off the cliff into the ocean far below.
Chapter 561 (Silky)Silky and the Sharks
The storm has the boat hitching at her anchor lines and the ocean is figthing Silky worse than the wind did. A shark comes out of nowhere and rips a chunk out of his thigh. A shark that looks uncannily like a watergoing Grig. More malformed sharks appear to surround him. A weird green glow surrounds him, and the Sharks seem confused by it allowing Silky to make it back aboard with Clem's medicine. Silky then cuts the anchor lines so the boat can run before the storm.
Chapter 571 (Kira)Kira, Jen, and Sheila in the Hall of Mirrors
Shandan welcomes them and Kira knows the game is running down and Shandan has expected it to. She also knows what that end is going to cost her. The Mogul appears with an Oculet in his hand. Shandan asks Kira if she knows why he created the Oculets. It was to enhance the powers of his people, the Originals. And Kira knows that the Mogul is not a person. She gives him her Oculet. "It's all about dreams and about time," Shandan says. Kira tells Jen that she loves her, then she tells her to do what she has to do. Shandan tells the Mogul that the Oculets are enhancing his one power. "You are a destroyer," says Kira. "You are destroying yourself." But she knows that he will destroy everything around him first and she tells Jen that she cannot save her. Jen says it was meant to be. Then she snatches Sheila and Shandan and wishes the Hall of Mirrors away.
Chapter 581 (Kira)Kira, Sheila, the Elder and Shandan on the Steps Outside the Citadel
Kira wants to go home, at least for a time, but she promises to come back. She takes the mirror from her pocket, holding it up to Sheila who says, "I'm never getting used to this."
Chapter 591 (Kira)Kira and Sheila Journey to Graves Island
Kira introduces herself to Clem and Silky and announces that she wants to own her own carnival. She says, "I know where to get the money."