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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Willow Creek Chapter 10


Anna stared at him, her mouth hanging open- her heart pounding as loud as an oncoming steam train. “Mommy?” Andrew asked again after a moment. Her jaw snapped shut, recognizing hurt simmering in the little boy’s eyes. “No,” she said immediately- wishing she hadn’t just a second later. Instantly, the heat in the apartment spiked- droplets of water in the sink evaporating as if boiled, “but why?’ he cried, tears welling up in his eyes. “You said I could stay with you!” his voice changed mid- sentence- turning back to the rumbling growl Sean had heard before. His eyes glowed bright red, a warning sign in the dim light of the apartment. “I did say that,” Anna said, cutting off Sean’s shocked squeaks- “but I didn’t say here in Willow Creek!” at this, Andrew seemed to calm down a little. The temperature began to recede, and, gasping, Sean crossed quickly to the window. He put his hand down to open the window- and burned himself on the metal frame. “Sorry.” Andrew said quickly, reaching over to open the window himself. Sean ran to the sink, grabbing a cloth before turning the metal cold water tap on. Cold air, sodden with moisture, rushed into the hot, dry apartment. Immediately, steam began to form around the open window panel. “So if we get out of here, I can still stay with you?” he asked, his voice back to the sweet little boy’s voice. “Of course,” Anna said, ignoring Sean’s glares from the kitchen- “I promised, right?” at this, Andrew smiled widely, and threw his arms around her waist. Sean, unseen by Andrew, started waving his hands in the air spastically, trying to communicate- “what are you doing?” he mouthed, the look on his face telling her more than his actions could- he thought she was crazy. “What are we going to do now?” she asked Andrew, leaning down sideways to see his face. He smiled widely. His voice the embodiment of happiness, He said, “We have to stay here for a while. People will be looking for you, mommy.” “Okay,” she said, standing up straight again, avoiding looking at Sean. “What do we do tonight, then?” Andrew let go, standing back- a thoughtful look on his face. After a moment of silence, he asked haltingly- “what do humans do at night?” “Eat, sleep, etc.” Sean said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. Anna glared at him, which he ignored- staring up at the ceiling, holding his burnt hand- the opposite still bandaged. Andrew made no move to heal him this time, seemed to ignore him completely. “Mommy needs to eat.” He said, whirling around and racing around the corner for the door before the two humans could even see. Sean reacted exactly the same as if a rat had run across the floor, throwing his arms up and trying to get his feet off the floor. Luckily, Andrew didn’t see; his hand was already on the door handle, looking back and down the length of the apartment to where Anna stood, shooting Sean disapproving looks. “I’ll be back soon, mommy.” He called back, wrenching the door open and disappearing behind it before she could even answer. As the door clicked shut, Andrew turned to find Roger, curiosity raging across his face, standing behind him. “So why do you look like a kid?” he asked immediately, bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet. “So she’ll trust me.” Andrew said patiently, grabbing Roger’s hand and dragging him away from the door and down the hallway towards the elevator. “But she’s going to be your mom, right?” Roger was practically jumping now, his excitement comparable to that of a big, friendly golden retriever. “She already agreed I could stay with her.” Andrew said carefully, coming to a stop in front of the elevator. Reaching up, he pushed the button repeatedly. “You have to jam it hard.” Roger said, pushing his hand away. Using his thumb, he jabbed the button in as hard as he could. The circle of light around the button sputtered to life, flickering unhappily as it was forced to work. “Needs fixing.” Andrew observed sagely, tapping his foot as the slow, cranky old elevator made its way stiffly up from the bottom of the building. Roger snickered. “You try getting a repairman here.” As the elevator doors slid open, they stepped in, ignoring the orb of light that hovered around the ceiling. “So if you have a mom, that means you grow up, right?” “yes.” Andrew said, rolling his eyes- as if they had had this conversation, a thousand times over. “And once you grow up, you’ll let me out, right?” at this, Roger looked down at his feet, as if afraid of the answer. “I’ll let everyone out.” Andrew answered, reaching out and grabbing Roger’s hand, as if to reassure him. “Don’t worry!” he smiled brightly at the bigger demon, who seemed to relax. “I just have to get mommy out of here now.” Andrew looked up at the orb of light. “Hello.” It whispered, rolling around as if on the floor. “Hi.” Andrew said, tracking its movements. The elevator door slid open, and Andrew left quickly, running for the front door. “Wait!” Roger called after him, stumbling on his own two feet as he left the elevator. The doors almost slammed shut behind him, and the elevator grumbled its way back to its resting position, on the basement floor. “Where are you going?” he asked, his forehead furrowed in confusion. “To get food for mommy.” He answered, and with that, he was out the door. “ Oh.” Roger said, standing in one place- his hands in his pockets, staring back and forth from the front door, to the elevator, as if deciding something. After a few moments, he came to a decision- and sat down carefully in his chair behind his desk.
Andrew walked down the walkway outside, breathing deeply of the cool night air. Crickets sang in the ditch he walked beside, venturing up onto the edges of the sidewalk, only to throw themselves off like people from a burning building as he passed. He hummed as he walked, swinging his arms. Now that mommy and Sean weren’t with him, he could see all of Willow Creek. Spirits came out of hiding, strolling around as they had in life, silent, blending in and out of the dark. A woman with at least 4 feet of gown trailing behind her made her dignified way, gracefully gliding along the surface of the in ground pool of one of the houses. A man in a pinstripe suit, missing his hat, and seemingly badly beaten, made his slow and ambling way, holding his face as if he had a toothache, towards the movie house. As Andrew rounded a corner, he came face to face with a girl’s spirit, around the same age as Andrew appeared to be- and she was totally blue. Her breath billowed in the warm night air, and she clutched a thin shawl around her shoulders, shaking hard. He stepped around her, ignoring her dark and pleading eyes. Farther down the street, approaching at a breakneck speed, was the mist. Andrew, seeing it coming, began to change. His body thickened, and he grew taller, and taller- his facial feature’s changing, his shoulders broadening- until, without even breaking pace, he was Sean’s perfect replica- save for the injuries to his hands. As the mist swallowed him up, he bent down, grabbing a rock from the street. He stuck it in his pocket, carrying on through the mist. Suddenly, it died away- and he found himself standing, safely, beside Sean’s car. He grimaced at the sight of the red goop all over the headlights- he couldn’t drive it to town like that. He made a swiping motion in the air with his hand, and the dried on sludge that had been the young woman simply crusted off, and allowed itself to be whirled away on the wind. He climbed in the driver’s side, reaching for the glove box. In it, he found three hundred dollars- folded carefully, and stuck in an envelope. He stuck it in his pocket, slamming the door shut. He started the car carefully, looking left to right and checking his mirrors. When he was sure no one was coming down the road behind him, he pulled carefully onto the highway, and drove quickly towards the town he knew to be, just around the bend in the trees.

-This blog belongs to Horror Author Cheyenne Leo. All outside contributions are credited. Thank you for supporting Darkness Reigns.