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Gothic Beauty Magazine

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Willow Creek Chapter 14

“Mommy, PLEASE come back!” Andrew ran down the hallway after her. Anna stopped, turning to look back at the little boy. “Tell me where Sean is! “She demanded. “I can’t!” Andrew said plaintively, reaching out for her hand. She jerked away, striding off towards the elevator. Roger stood at the end of the hallway, observing everything, as usual. When he felt the energy Anna was giving off, he slid backwards, avoiding it. “I took him to a Doctor, Mommy!” Andrew shouted, catching up to her as she punched the elevator’s button repeatedly. She whirled on him, and he cowered away. “WHERE is Sean?” she screamed at Andrew. “At the hotel!” he blurted out, slapping his hand over his mouth. She gaped at him, horror replacing the anger. “YOU TOOK HIM BACK TO THAT SHITHOLE?” she turned to the elevator again, punching the button rapidly. “It won’t open!” Alex said, closer than she expected. She jumped, turning to face him- only a few feet away. He leaned against the wall, watching, as if her life was a great TV show. “Andrew is stopping it.” “SHUTUP, Alex! Go away!” Andrew turned, putting his tiny hands in the middle of his brother’s stomach. He pushed as hard as he could, but the bigger Demon didn’t even move. Anna turned away, banging through the door to the stairs. “It’s all YOUR fault!” Andrew yelled at Alex, running after her, his voice cracking with stress. “That’s a weird way to say- I’m sorry for horribly torturing your boyfriend in front of you, Anna!” Alex said, trying to imitate the little demon’s high pitched voice. “Mommy, please wait!” Andrew shouted again, tripping over the stairs as he tried to keep up. He wished he could change to his real form. Anna disappeared around the bend of the stair way, and Andrew ran even faster, trying to keep up. Despite his efforts, Andrew heard the door to the outside at the bottom of the stairs bang open and shut before he could make it to the second floor. Alex shot past him, his feet a blur as he ran past. “Hey!” Andrew yelled out, falling down four stairs. He flipped head over feet, landing feet down on the landing for the third floor. He heard the door bang open again, and he was alone in the stairwell. Tears welling up in his eyes, he jumped up again, half- morphing- on his long, hooked legs the body of the little boy ran down the rest of the stairs in seconds. He changed back as he reached the door, afraid that Anna would see him. He ran out the door, looking left and right. To the right, towards the front of the building, he saw a long shadow, disappearing as the one who made it traveled farther and farther away. He ran after it, coming out between the apartment building and a long, black car. Anna marched down the road, Alex sticking right behind her, like an overgrown sheep dog. Andrew could hear him talking from here- snippets floated back to him as he ran as fast as he could get his legs to go. “Unwise,” Andrew thought he heard him say, and then “protecting.” By the time Andrew had caught up to them, Anna had stopped, turned around, and was waiting for him to catch up. “I’m sorry!” he shouted, looking up at her with wide eyes. “Then tell me EXACTLY where Sean is.” With his mouth turning down at the corners, Andrew reluctantly told her the truth. “I took him to the man who lives on the top floor.” He looked down at his feet, ashamed for lying. “What man on the top floor? Who is he?” Anna asked, kneeling down to see him eye to eye. “The doctor man,” Andrew looked up at her, sniffling back his tears. “Wasn’t he the one who used to put people under and horribly mutilate them?” Alex asked casually, leaning against a light post. “WHAT?” Anna asked her eyes wide. “No!” Andrew shouted, glaring at Alex with pure hatred. “He promised he wouldn’t hurt Sean! He’s my friend.” “He’s my friend, too and he never listens to me!” Alex shouted back, suddenly angry, their energies swirled around each other, catching Anna in the middle. She felt her body go from cold, to hot, to cold again. Gasping, she jumped up on her feet and rushed down the street towards the hotel- more to get away from the two of them than anything else. However fast she walked, they followed- Alex sticking unusually close. “Can you back up a bit?” she asked him, irritated. “Actually, I’m worried about you.” He said, drifting only a few inches back. “Why?” she snapped, looking left and right. The street seemed different, now- had their always been a bar on that corner? “Because people around here get hungry quick,” he said, “and you smell pretty good.” Anna shook her head, ignoring the stab of uncertainty that his words brought up. As they passed another apartment building, Anna caught sight of the hotel’s glowing sign. She crossed the street to be on the same side, Alex at her elbow, Andrew grabbing her hand as she stepped off the curb. Ignoring her anger at Andrew- trying her best to remember that he was really only a baby- she pulled him along, looking for the door to the hotel. In her worry for Sean, she had to look closely at each door; they seemed, suddenly, to look quite the same. “Don’t let him fool you,” Alex said quietly, turning to look behind him. He seemed suddenly cagey- as if the need for flight might come up at any moment. Andrew was silent at her side- he had a sudden foreboding feeling- something wasn’t right. He released Anna’s hand, giving her the horrible feeling that she had suddenly plunged into a bucket of ice water. He ran ahead, wrenching his way through the hotel’s door- stopping in horror at the sight that met him. A body lay at his feet- twisted, its legs lying unnaturally around it. As Anna and Alex came through the door behind him, the body groaned. “Andrew,” the poor being rasped, lifting its piteous gaze from the floor to stare imploringly up at him- as if pleading for forgiveness, “Annabelle,” the body coughed, and all at once Andrew realized who this was. This was the doctor- the one who lived on the top floor. The man Andrew had left Sean with not so very long ago. The man was naked, now- when Andrew had left, he had been fully clothed. His skin was gone- not only that, but he seemed to rot- to rot so quickly, in fact, that he was drying out- slowly turning orange, as if he could be blown away in a cloud of rust. Anna gasped at the sight, but her human brain didn’t really process it; this would be the subject of many nightmares, many nights spent sobbing at the images that wouldn’t let her sleep. “Doc?” Alex said uncertainly, reaching out to pull Andrew back. “Couldn’t stop her,” the doctor groaned, the orange extending, now, up onto his face, glazing over his eye balls. As the conversion became complete, the doctor sighed, and with that, he blew away- his body pouring down into itself, reducing to a wide pool of orange dust that lay across the floor. The three stood, staring for a moment. Even Alex was lost as to what to say. Slowly, from the silence, Alex asked; “is your name Annabelle?” Anna shook her head, stepping deftly around the pool of dust to sit heavily down on the long, low bench that ran by the window. “No, just Anna,” She said, staring down at what had once been the Doctor Demon. “Annabelle! The little girl!” Andrew shouted, and to Anna’s horror, he took off towards the door of the room where she had once lost her life. “ANDREW, NO!” she leapt up from her seat, trying to run after him, slipping and falling in the loose dust that covered the floor. She shrieked in horror as it covered her, getting into her mouth. Alex grabbed her up, pulling her along behind him. She winced- his grip was like an iron vice. “Andrew!” he barked out, but already Andrew was pounding on the door, each touch of his fist leaving a singed place on the door. The little girl answered, her baby face spread wide in an innocent smile. No one was fooled. Andrew grabbed her by the hair, dragging her down to the floor- burning her scalp with his fury. She screamed in pain, twisting and trying to get away. He planted his other hand firmly on the middle of her face, and she screamed as he burned her flesh away. “WHERE IS SEAN?” he growled, abandoning all pretense for Anna. Anna backed away, her hand over her mouth, her eyes wide. Alex darted past the pair, into the room. “Andrew! Andrew, come here!” he shouted, and Andrew threw the girl aside. She hit the opposite wall, falling down in a whimpering heap. Anna, though she knew it was unwise, fell to her knees beside the girl, stroking her hair in an effort to comfort her. The little girl lifted her face to hers, whimpering; and Anna saw the bones of her skull, peering through the burnt off flesh. The smell of her cooked face was almost enough to overpower Anna, and she gagged and gagged, trapped by her own morality. Andrew rushed into the room, stopping cold at the sight of what lay in the room. Sean was dead; his body was torn apart. He still bled; his blood pooled across the floor, soaking into the carpet. Andrew sat down hard on the floor, staring. He had only left him for a few minutes! Anna would never forgive him! Tears welled up in his eyes as guilt over rode. Alex stood quietly to the side, his head bowed in respect. The human’s soul wasn’t here- Annabelle had eaten him, ending his very existence; he would never, ever live again.
Watch out for next week’s installment of Willow Creek.