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Curse of the Seventh Continent

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Keelan McCluskey held the newspaper in one hand while sipping a cup of tea with the other.  Her eyes scanned over the pages, trying to gauge if there was anything of note.  She about spit her tea out of her mouth when her eyes landed one article in particular.  Sitting her cup down, she began to read the text.  “EXPEDITION MEMBERS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND- Several members of the recent expedition to the newly discovered Seventh Continent have gone missing.  Family members of the missing have been reporting the disappearances over the past week.  While police are actively searching for them, the reason for their disappearance is currently unknown…”

The article continued for another few lines, but Keelan didn’t bother to read them.  She was shocked by the disappearance.  After all, she herself had only just parted from them a few weeks ago.

The more Keelan thought about it, the more concerned she became.  The expedition had been rough, and the group had faced more than a few unusual circumstances throughout the trip.  The group had chosen to leave most of these instances out of their official report, and she was now beginning to question the wisdom of that decision.  What if those events had something to do with the missing people.

Keelan shook her head to rid herself of her thoughts.  Dwelling on the issue wouldn’t make any difference.  She might as well attempt to move on with her day.

Attempt she did.  Throughout the day, Keelan made an effort to go about things as normal.  However, a sense of lethargy began to creep up on her, making it difficult to complete any task.  As the day wore on, she became more and more tired, and eventually, she decided to skip dinner and head straight to bed.

The next few days didn’t get any better.  She became more and more lethargic, and it became increasingly difficult for her to get up from bed in the morning.  Adding to the overall problem was the fever she ended up with and was unable to get rid of.  

While lying in bed, Keelan’s thoughts turned back to the expedition.  While the trip hadn’t been that long ago, she was finding it hard to recall what exactly had happened during it.  She could call to mind the faces of some of her traveling companions, and she saw flashes of trees, wild animals, and...swirling mist?  Why would she remember swirling mist?

The more she thought about the trip, the more her memories became jumbled.  Gradually, as she lay in bed with a rising fever, a cold shiver began to make its way up and down her spine and.  A small amount of fear began to enter her mind.

Keelan wasn’t exactly sure how she knew this, but she knew for a fact that some sort of unknown evil was beginning to consume her from within.  As she clutched her blankets to her chest, she couldn’t escape the nagging desire to return to the Seventh Continent.  The thought stayed with her as she gradually descended into a restless sleep.

On the other side of the world, Dimitri Gorchkov, another member of the expedition team, was tossing and turning in his bed, sweat beading on his forehead and trickling down his face.  He was trapped in a nightmare, unable to escape from the never ending dreams of swirling mist, haunting melodies, and a shiny pair of eyes.  As he struggled getting himself to wake up, he became overwhelmed by a presence surrounding him.  

Ashamed as he would be to admit it to anyone, Dimitri screamed in terror.  The scream traveled from his nightmare into the physical realm, causing the late-night stroller outside Dimitri’s house to pause and stare.

A voice entered Dimitri’s mind, and it would be a voice that would stay with him for a long time to come.  Come back to us, Dimitri...It can’t be finished without you.