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Gothic Beauty Magazine

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Willow Creek Chapter 7

The pair walked together through the night, the darkness broken only occasionally by a passing streetlight. They walked along a long, town road- businesses stood on either side, and vehicles lined the sidewalk. They were old- the rounded fronts and high cabs found in the 1950’s. Andrew held tightly onto Anna’s hand, looking from left to right with bright, excited eyes. Anna strode nervously ahead, letting his weight pull her arm back, her body almost sideways as they marched along. “Where are we going?” Andrew asked turning his head around backwards to get a good look at a nervous looking cat that paced back and forth between two doors she glanced back at him, her distraction driving common sense out of her mind. “Turn your head around!” she said sharply, jerking his arm. Automatically, his head snapped around the other way, looking at her again. “sorry.” He said, as if he truly meant it. Anna came to a stop suddenly, and the little demon collided with her side. Across the street, on a tall, poster sign in the front lobby of a movie house was her own face. “What is that?” she asked breathlessly, unnerved by her own lack of reaction. “It’s your death,” he said cheerfully, wide smile lighting up his little face. “Why is my death a movie?” she asked, her voice rising and falling with her emotion. “It’s just a played- back memory. Not really a movie.” He said, switching hands with her. Now he held her hand tightly, trying to pull her further along down the side walk. “Can we walk some more?” he asked, leaning back and putting his weight against hers. “How can you play back a memory?” she asked, rooted to the spot. “Anything is possible here except getting out.” He said, running around her body to push on her other side- like she was a tree. “Yea but, who’s memory is it?” she asked, waving her hand in the air as if slapping something away. “It’s yours.” He said, giving up, standing back- his hands on his hips, his dirty black coat hanging almost down to the ground. “Mine? How did they get my memory?” the little boy sighed, sitting down on the ground. “Why do you ask so many questions?” he asked, putting his chin in his hand. She looked down at him, tearing her attention away from the movie house. “Don’t sit down there, you’ll get dirty!” she said loudly, reaching down and pulling him up. “okay.” He said, hopping up on his feet, smiling up at her- his little face the picture of innocence save for his glittering red eyes. She turned away, looking briefly back at her own face in the movie house window. Then she, pulling the little demon behind her, carried on down the sidewalk. “I need you to fill me in.” she told him, looking up and down the street, stepping down from the curb when she found it still. They crossed the street- the little demon almost running to keep up. “About what?” he asked as his foot came down on the curb at the other side of the street. “What is happening?” she asked him, slowing down again. “All I know is we were in the car a few hours ago doing great, and now I’m dead and he’s gone and somehow we got here, and I don’t really know where that is or if he even is here anymore or if he ever was here.” “He’s here, you’re here, and you’re both here.” Andrew jumped over a frog that sat, mute and squat upon the cement of the sidewalk. “So he’s dead too then- did we crash?” she asked, looking down at him- her pace slowed to almost a crawl. “Nope- no crash, he’s alive and so are you.” He said, skipping a little with his last word. She stopped completely now, releasing his hand. She glared down at him, her face twisted with confusion. “But you just said that movie was my death.” “I also said it was a played back memory. Your last memory of life. You are in a coma and you’re gonna stay that way now that the man in the suit has you.” Andrew smiled brightly at her, seemingly oblivious of the terror that made the energy around her thrum, her own body nearly disappearing amongst it. She whirled, looking back to where she thought the hotel would be. “You can’t get it back.” Andrew said loudly. She turned slowly back to him. “Get back what?” she said, looking at him carefully. “Your body,” he said cheerfully, hopping up and down a little bit as if excited. The suit man is alive as in really alive and in control of his body and he’ll stop you, and you can’t stop him because he’s stronger than you!,” he said cheerfully. “And even if you could find it he would have it inside a granite box like the door at the hotel so you couldn’t get to it.” He grinned from ear to ear, as if he had given her good news. She stared at him, her mouth hanging open in shock. “So what am I supposed to do?” she asked, sitting down on her heels in front of the boy. “Find your boyfriend.” He said, reaching out to play with a piece of her hair that lay on her shoulder. His cold fingers brushed the side of her face. She found herself wondering why they didn’t feel cold when she was holding his hand. “Okay.” She said, getting to her feet. “Let’s find Sean.”
Sean examined the bandage on his hand, turning it left and right in the light from the bulb above the stove. Anna and Michelle sat at the table, facing each other. Anna scowled at her, her face still drawn in an unhappy pout. Michelle grinned widely at her, pouring herself a cup of tea- the “grandmother’s” sitting cold on the sideboard, now. “Your grandma was just telling us about demons.” He said his back turned to the table- completely oblivious of the silent war that was being waged there. “Yes, she knows a lot about it all.” she said, smirking at Anna over the table, who at that moment was imagining how many different ways she could rip the other woman’s head off if she could only reveal herself.
Anna held on to the little demon’s hand once more and together they walked around the corner, the town street disappearing behind them, the scenery turning into a meandering neighbourhood. In the window of one of the houses, a little girl stood her chin in her hand as she stared out at Anna and Andrew as they walked along. “Why does she stay inside?” Anna asked, staring back at her for a moment. “Because she’s not allowed out,” he said simply, avoiding looking at the girl. “Who doesn’t let her out?” she stopped then, turning completely to face the little girl. The girl perked up, a wide smile spreading across her face. She waved enthusiastically. “She’s just not allowed out.” Andrew said, jerking hard on her arm to make her move away. “She does bad things when she comes out.” Anna looked down at him, her eyebrows knitting together. “That almost sounds like YOU’RE the one who decides.” She said, smiling lightly. He froze for a moment, a serious expression coming down over his face. “I am the one who decides.” He said his voice a little quieter than usual. “What do you mean? You’re just a kid!” Anna said incredulously, crouching down to be on his level. “I’m 357 years old, actually.” He said, watching her face as it dropped into an expression of disbelief. He grinned, the seriousness gone from his face. “I’m a demon!” he said loudly, reaching out once more to play with the hair that fell across her shoulder. “We don’t age the same as humans do.” He said, lifting a piece to his mouth, tasting it. She suddenly felt cold all over, and shuddered hard. She seized the piece of her hair back, pulling it gently out of his grasp. She stood up again, and he grabbed her hand- as if he was afraid she would disappear. “Are you mad at me?” he asked, looking anxiously up at her. The question took her aback. “Why would I be mad at you?” she tilted her head, keeping her eyes up on the road around them. “I don’t know.” He said, looking down at his shoes. “Last time I had a human friend, her mom and dad got mad at me and sent me here.” “Is that right?’ Anna payed close attention now. “Yea, they didn’t like me, “the little demon’s voice was saturated with sadness. Anna found herself wondering how anyone could be so callous to a child- even a demon child- to send it off to live in a strange place. “Well, you can stick with me.” She said, the finality of her words ringing down on her brain only after she had said them. “Really?” he said, his voice taking on the edge of excitement. She paused for a moment, wondering what she had just gotten herself into. “Of course,” She said, smiling down at the boy. One look at his face made all traces of worry disappear. His face was wide open- excited, innocent- even his red eyes seemed less unsettling, for the emotion behind them. “Good!” he said, looking forward again. “Then I’ll help you get out of here.” “You can do that?” Anna demanded, stopping, spinning him around to look at her. “Yep!” he said loudly. “But you have to take me with you, and we have to find your boyfriend first.” He said, nodding at the last word.
Sean, done looking at the bandage on his hand, turned back towards the kitchen table- and froze. Because there, through the window in the dining room, standing by the trees that were all he could see- was Anna. She held the hand of a little boy, and they seemed to be talking. He looked quickly over at the woman who sat at the table. He had felt as if something was off- and he was right. One look at her face confirmed it- there was no way that she was Anna. The expression on her face, the way she held herself- it was all wrong. As he stared at her, Michelle suddenly flipped her head over backwards, grinning at him upside down. “You know,” she said, to the room- “I think we’ve been found out.”
Watch out for chapter 7 next week in the Darkness Reigns Newsletter.