Please be aware that Curse of the Twins also known as Twins of Evil, is copyrighted in the Library of Congress .
derivatives are fine just give credit to the original author, that being me, S. Kristine Quick. I have absolutely no problem in the world with people doing spin offs of my work, just give credit where credit is due. thank you very much and have a great day.
Steven Is Crazy!
Damien took Annie home with as much speed and care as was possible. He stopped the bike in her driveway, and helped her off.
“Annie, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Steven is… weird, but he never attacked anyone, before… I don’t know why he did that! I am so…” Damien’s words trailed off as he stared at Annie’s face.
Tommy’s throat was ripped out? But mom and dad said he strangled on gum! And Tommy told Damien that Annie had ripped his throat out by mistake. And Annie; she was the girl in his dream.
About how Tommy really died?!
No WAY! That idea was too weird. It was only a dream, and Steven was crazy.
“Steven won’t bother you, again. I’ll talk to my parents-”
“No! Don’t put yourself out. I’m not concerned about that, but… just… well, goodnight, Damien.” With that, Annie turned and darted into the house. Damien wanted to stop her, but he was shaken to the core, and just wanted to curl up in his bed.
“It was a really good essay on vampires.” Billy said as he sat on the couch with Abbie. Melissa and Brenda were looking at fashion magazines, while Jason sat on the fireplace hearth and smoked a cigarette. Jeff sat on the floor, looking at all the postcards from around the United States. Pat served up bread-sticks and drinks for everyone.
“I entered the Bread Loaf Writers contest,” Billy sipped his coffee while Pat handed him a stick with a pair of metal tongs. “You want to be a writer?” she asked.
“Thank you. A doctor. It was a financial award. I’m using the money for college.” Brenda rolled her eyes upward and smiled. “He’s also gonna be valedictorian, too. Melissa! Are you coming to the homecoming game on Friday? I’m gonna be queen! Isn’t that great?”
“Vanessa doesn’t think so,” Jeff reminded her.
Billy smiled “That’s our sister. She missed out on becoming queen by one vote.”
The front door opened and slammed shut. Melissa looked up and noticed Annie. “What happened?” she gasped. She got up and ran to her sister. She fingered the torn blouse Annie wore. Annie lightly shoved her away, and spoke in a stony voice:
“Need to speak to you, mother, right now.”
Jason jumped up. “Ok. Time for everyone to go home!” He grabbed the postcards from a startled Jeff. “Come on, you guys! We have important family issues to discuss.” Billy, Jeff and Brenda thanked Pat for her hospitality. They quickly left, as Jason kept waving his hands, like an orchestra conductor, in the direction of the front door. When the guests were gone, Jason peeked out the window, and asked, “What?”
Annie sat on the couch and embraced her twin and looked up, looked at all of them. Oh, there were on the run for so long, hiding in shadows, and telling lies to the outside world. There was no hint of a normal existence in this family, there was no peace. None for Pat, who almost unwillingly, started them on this nightmarish past, none for Jason, who made the horrible mistake of sleeping with a demon’s wife. The only innocent among them was Melissa.
At least Melissa could now have a normal life!
“We can be free, now.” Annie said, her voice choking a little.
“What happened!?” Jason shrilled.
“I saw him… Steven, you all remember Steven?” Annie swallowed hard.
“He saw me too.” and she told them what had happened.
Pat moaned. “He’s living across the street from us? Oh, God!” she put her hand to her mouth. “That poor little boy!”
“He’s not a boy anymore, mom.” Annie placed her chin on Abbie’s shoulder.
“So?” Melissa asked.
“So?!” Annie exclaimed. “He knows what we are… and he’s dangerous. Not to me and Abbie… ”
Abbie knew now, as well, and took her twin’s hand. “Yes! Mother, stake us…now.”
“NO! NONONO! You’re getting well… cause I love you! I’ve reading a book called Love Heals… and you are getting better… you can’t give up, now!” Melissa slumped over on the couch, crying her eyes out. Annie released Abbie, gathered Melissa in her arms, and whispered quietly to her for a few minutes. Melissa relaxed, and fell asleep.
“She’ll be ok in the morning.” Annie jumped up and ran upstairs. She tucked Melissa in carefully. Then she ran back downstairs. “Let’s hurry. When you’re done, take the remains to Steven. No harm will come to you…HURRY!”
“Right, let’s go!” Jason nearly shouted. Soon he would be free of this. Maybe he could leave Pat and Melissa.
But of course he’d gladly pay alimony and child support.
Because real men just do that!
Things moved quickly. Patricia bolted the front door and Jason searched the backyard for some big sticks. He set to work, carving them into sharp stakes, while Pat checked around the house to make sure no one was around. Annie came out to the backyard.
“Give us five minutes, then come down to the basement.” Annie said, and she and Abbie walked across the lawn, with its patches of grass and weeds. They opened the basement door, went inside, and shut the door behind them.
After four minutes had passed, Jason stomped towards the basement. “You have to wait!” Pat called behind him. “Jason! You have-”
Her voice was cut off by a loud noise above their heads. It was thunder. Pat turned her face up. Drops of rain splashed onto her face, and rolled down her cheeks.
“PAT! Are we gonna do this or not?”
“She’s gone! Mama! Annie’s gone! SHE VANISHED!” The basement door swept inward. Abbie dashed out of the darkness. She stopped and looked up.
“Hey, it’s raining.”
“Gone? What?! Jason approached her. “She can’t be! The 2 of you wanted to be staked tonight, so Steven wouldn’t hurt me, Pat, or Melissa… remember?”
“Hey, I’m not gonna get staked all alone! Don’t worry. She probably just got scared. I’ll find her.” With that, Abbie changed into a crow, and flew away.
Jason stood, dumbfounded. He dropped the stakes, and stared at the open door of the basement.
“What happened, Pat? Why did she run away… why?”
Patricia had no answers.
“Who the hell are you?! Tell me! Tell me now!”
“Annie, honey? Aw, don¦t look angry, sweetheart. Now I know I’ve been away a long time, but I¦m back, now. I had to come back. There are foolish mortals… and un-deads… that only want to hurt my baby… It was me that rescued you from one of them at the nightclub… Oh, you’re still angry about Tommy’s death… I’m sorry, baby. You were so new… and hungry… you ran to him before you and I had a chance to talk. Teenagers… so willful! Alright, onto more pressing matters. Time is short… it’s about your enemies… I must tell you: Jason tracked down Steven 2 years ago, he arranged for you to come to Salem, and into the enemies camp. He told Abbie what he planned to do. She liked that idea. She always hated being an identical twin, and especially an identical vampire. They both hoped… erroneously, I must say… that Steven would destroy you. Apparently, they didn’t have the guts to do it themselves. Now Jason and Abbie must be punished… we cant let them get away with this… now, can we? Ah, that’s better. A smile. Now, tell me all about your friend, Damien… “
“Yes…daddy… Damien… he has a sister… ”
“Jason? Jason! I know what you did, worm!”
Jason froze at the sound of Annie’s voice. The kitchen seemed to grow larger. He felt so small and very scared! The glass of beer he was holding trembled in his quivering hands. He raised his eyes as he heard Annie stomp across the roof. “It’s started,” he moaned.
A few moments later, she entered the kitchen, stepped up to him. “H… hey, Annie… you vamping out?”
She knocked the half-full glass from his hands. It hit the wall and shattered. Golden liquid dripped down the wall in thin rivulets. Jason averted his eyes from her; she might try to fry his brain with her powers. Jason! he thought, don’t let her see your fear.
“What’s the matter, Jason? Don’t you have the balls to come after me yourself?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know! Does my mother know about your wormy little plot to destroy me?”
“Why don’t you go ask her! She’s over at the minister’s house right now!”
“You’re not funny, worm!” Annie stomped out of the kitchen and out into the backyard. Jason rushed after her. He watched her enter the basement, and waited at a distance. Soon, Annie emerged, her coffin hoisted on her shoulder.
“Pastor Kirkakis wants to pray for you. Maybe he can anoint you.” Jason said smiling.
“SHUT UP!!” Annie replied.
“Are you leaving?”
“I’ve found a nice cemetery in Danvers, far away from you and my traitor sister. Hey, someday I’ll invite you, permanently!”
Annie loaded her coffin in the back of the truck, jumped into the driver’s side and slammed the key into the ignition.
As Annie drove away, Jason breathed a sigh of relief. She was gone. Hopefully for good!
Annie had the power of demons; and the power of demons was a very scary thing.
My brother… he’s really messed up.
Your brother is a psycho!
Shutup, Damien! You don’t know what he’s been through. It didn’t happen to you! He was traumatized by what he saw. He… saw things little boys shouldn’t see. He saw me murdered! It isn’t fair what happened to him. I’m dead… and I never had to worry about how to live the rest of my life with such a burden!
Ok. I apologize… will you go away, now?
No, I can’t I can’t leave your mind.
Don’t think I don’t want to. Your head is so small, I’m getting a cramp! But I think my energy brought on your speedy recovery. But don’t thank me it was nothing!
“No! Someone, help! I’m being possessed!” Damien sat up, fully awake. His long, dark hair was in his face. He swung his feet onto the floor and brushed the hair out of his eyes. He was shaking again.
“I wouldn’t possess you, no. Would I hurt you? Oh, yeh!”
Damien looked up. Someone was outside the trailer!
Damien catapulted off the bed, stumbled over to the closet. He fell against it, breathing heavily. He fumbled for the tiny knob, jerked the door open, and grabbed the first thing he wrapped his hand around. It was a hockey stick. He had never played hockey, but thought a hockey stick might help in a situation like this.
He moved to the other end of the trailer very slowly. The hockey stick was clenched and raised to his shoulder. He steadied his panicked breathing, tried to step softly.
“I can hear you, Damien. I can hear your heart beating.”
Damien’s eyes narrowed, and the hair on the back of his neck stood straight up. Slowly, very slowly, he reached for the knob. The hockey stick was poised and ready to strike.
“Tell you what, Damien. I’ll give you a choice…”
He gripped the knob…
“Stay away from Annie. I’ve just had a good conversation with her. She’s told me everything about you. Everything.”
Damien braced his shoulder against the door.
“Stay away from her, and nothing bad will happen…you have my word.”
Damien shoved the door open and leaped out of the trailer, brandishing the hockey stick threateningly.
“Where are you, son of a bitch!?”
The parking lot was deserted. Damien checked the fence. It was locked securely.
Damien checked the lot carefully. Finding nothing, he went back into the trailer. He looked at the phone on the wall, thought about Steven, and wondered if he should call his dad.
No… Steven was just nuts. That’s all.
The New Annie
Jason Langdon sat at the kitchen table. He had smoked seven cigarettes in the last twenty minutes. Sitting on the kitchen table was a full glass of milk and a near-empty pack of cigarettes. He reached for the pack and saw his hands were shaking. “They haven’t stopped,” he muttered. “Not in the last, oh…” He checked his watch. It was ten in the morning. He had been awake for 16 hours, waiting for the twins for the last 8. “Interesting,” he said to no one. “I wonder if Annie will be home by noon. Heh!”
Pat came into the kitchen and headed for the coffee pot. “Did she get back,”
“Nooo… but Abbie did. Right at the break of day. Oh! You should have been there, Pat. It was kinda funny… I heard this shout from the sky, LOOK OUT!”
Jason waved his arms around, wide-eyed, trying to describe the scene.
“Abbie crashed to the ground. That must be what it’s like for a duck during hunting season… Heh heh! Oh, She was like this dirt torpedo, it was incredible! She slammed right into the ground, all this dust flew up and… ”
“Jason! Pat slammed her coffee cup down. “Just calm down. What happened to Annie? Did Abbie find her?”
Jason took Pat’s cup, drank deep from it, and said, “We’re not that lucky.”
Pat pressed her hands to her forehead and recalled the previous nights events. Tried to make some sense of it.
“I’m really worried, Pat. Why did she leave? I thought she wanted to be staked. Is she insane? Did her… vampire-itis drive her insane? Will she come back, and…”
Melissa stormed into the kitchen, scowled at her father, and lobbed her Love Heals book at him. It missed the top of his head and slammed into the back door. Jason blinked, confused at this outburst. “Why’d she throw a book at me?”
Melissa prepared her breakfast, ignoring him. Pat fixed another cup of coffee. _Melissa, that wasn’t right. I know we’re all upset. It’s not going to do any good for us to stay pissed.”
“PAT! SHE THREW A BOOK AT ME!”
“You staked her, I know you did. Jerk!”
“I did not!”
Pat slammed her hands on the tabletop. “Grow up!”
She sighed and sat down.
“Jason, go upstairs and go to bed.”
“I need more cigarettes,” he whined.
Pat checked and saw he was low. “Fine! I’ll go buy you some. Melissa… ”
“I’m going to church with Brenda, today. We were gonna go see the witch museum, tonight.”
“Both of you, get going. There’s nothing we can do about the problem right now. Ok?”
“I’m going to bed.” Jason stood up. “Ya know what, Pat? If Tommy was still here…he’d believe me.”
“If Tommy was here, Jason… he’d be very disappointed at the weakling you’ve become.”
At about eight that night, Damien and Brenda invited Jeff, Billy and Vanessa Reizo to go to the Witch Museum. Melissa came, also. She was too preoccupied with her twin sisters, and too angry at her dad, to just sit at home. Abbie was out looking for Annie, right now. Abbie was sure she was still un-alive. Damien called Brenda to say he’d be a little late.
Jeff was really taking a liking to Melissa. He talked to her about the homecoming game on Friday, and asked her if she’d like to come
“You’ve got to come,” Brenda said happily, trying to cheer her up.
“Hah! Minister’s daughter makes Homecoming Queen!” Jeff laughed. Vanessa Reizo, only one vote away from gaining the coveted role, stuck her nose in the air. “But my boyfriend is the king! Brenda, dear, you can always step down, because it will look better if the king and queen are actually an item.”
“She’s jealous!” Jeff said.
Vanessa sighed and took a nail file from her purse. “Well, Tiffani wanted to see her big sister be a queen, because that would make her a princess. And what’s so bad about that?”
“That’s our three-year old sister,” Jeff said, then he leaned over to Melissa, and whispered, “I really don’t want to see Vanessa raise Tiffani in her image.
Jeff shuddered at the thought.
A Harley-Davidson, motorcycle pulled up to the curb. Damien shut it down and got off. He hastily threw some coins into the parking meter and walked over to his friends. Brenda gave her brother a big hug. “You gonna come into the museum with us?”
Damien nodded, and said, “Sure.”
“Melissa!” Abbie was running up to her. She grabbed her and hugged her. “She’s here. I just saw her.”
Abbie turned around. “She was helping a little boy across the street, that way…”
“Really?” Melissa squeaked.
“There!” Abbie pointed.
Annie was at the crosswalk, she waited until the light changed, looked both ways, and crossed over, walking quickly to Melissa.
“Sistah!” Abbie cried, and threw her arms wide open. Annie pushed past her with a slight sneer, and approached Melissa.
“Annie!” Melissa shrieked, and ran into her sister’s arms. Suddenly, Billy was skeptical. These twins supposedly suffered from a type of cancer that made it impossible for them to be out in daylight. They didn’t look sick to him, although they were very thin.
“Damien!” Melissa called. “Look. She’s back. Isn’t that great?”
Damien turned to Billy and said, “I have to be with her. Does that sound unusual?”
“No,” Billy replied. “Actually…I really like Abbie. I mean I really…”
Damien smacked his friend’s shoulder lightly. “Don’t be shy now, my friend! I’m sure she’d love to be seen in the company of a future doctor.”
With that, Damien approached Annie, stepped right up to her…and kissed her. Brenda giggled.
The crowd applauded. Billy looked at Abbie and could only smile
Damien put his arm around Annie watched as Brenda and Vanessa proceeded to the ticket booth, arguing about which one of them would make a better homecoming queen.
“Can you believe those two?” Damien asked.
Melissa followed. She held Jeff’s hand and told him how she was looking forward to graduating with him next year. Billy and Abbie followed.
Damien looked around and saw that Annie was standing very close to him. She smiled and put her head on his shoulder.
“There’s something about you that feels so…loving.”
“My mom always said I’ve got a very compassionate heart. She said that it’s a gift.” He hesitated, then put his arm around Annie.
“Would you like to go for coffee afterwards?”
“No.” Annie smiled. “I’ve got…something…to take care of. Someone I gotta talk to.”
Melissa grabbed Annie’s hand and whispered into her ear, “You’re not gonna go through with it, are you?”
“No. I’ve been enlightened, now. It would be a mistake. Tonight, I am the new-and-improved Annie.”
I Warned You
“Late. It’s much too late.”
Brenda raised her head from her pillow and look at her digital clock. The glowing red dismay said it was 2am. She sighed loudly and dropped back onto the pillow. Clutching her pink bedspread, she pulled it up to her neck, and closed her eyes. A soft tapping noise could be heard at the window. Brenda ignored it and scrunched her legs up to her chest.
“Brenda? Brenda! Let me come in.”
Who was that? There was someone at the window!
“Brenda, honey. I want to talk to you. I’m not going to hurt you.”
No. The man behind the voice wouldn’t hurt her, would he? Somehow, she just knew that. She threw back the covers, pulled herself up, and padded over to the window. Outside, sitting calmly on the window sill, and smiling at her, was a man who looked to be about 50 years old A big man, whose long gray hair cascaded over his broad shoulders. He gazed at her with piercing blue eyes, and his big fingers tapped the glass lightly. “Let me in,” he begged in a syrupy voice “I’m your friend.”
“I don’t know you,” she said cautiously.
How was he balancing himself on that tiny sill?
“Your brother is cold, Brenda.”
“You don’t know my brother!”
“I sure do. He lives in a trailer. The heater broke. He’s really freezing. Hey, wasn’t your cousin, Tommy all alone when he choked to death?”
This guy was right! She barely remembered Tommy, but always thought it was such an injustice that Tommy should die that way. What if the same thing were to happen to Damien?
“I love my brother,” she wailed plaintively “and I don’t think its fair that my mom and dad let him go away like that, knowing what happened to Tommy. Why… why would God want that?”
“Would you like to talk about it, Brenda? Let me in and we’ll talk about it.”
“Ok,” she wept.
Something inside her told her to leave the window shut. It would cost her, dearly, if she opened it, but as she looked into his ice-blue eyes, she felt there was nothing to be afraid of.
Nothing to be afraid of. That was her last thought before she passed out.
Brenda pulled on her clothes with great effort. It was seven, and she was usually so energetic in the morning. Today, however…well, she was so tired, and out of it. Did it have something to do with that strange dream from last night?
No, Damien’s dreams were just affecting her, that’s all. She yawned sleepily, picked up her books and put them in her book bag. Then she headed downstairs where a breakfast consisting of pancakes and bacon waited for her. Mom was in the kitchen, loading dishes from last night into the dishwasher. Dad was reading the paper, and Steven was digging into a bowl of oatmeal.
She sat down at the kitchen table, while her mother came from the kitchen and looked at her with concern. “Did you sleep well last night?”
Brenda nodded and reached for her water glass. She held it in a slightly shaking hand. She drank deeply. “I’m thirsty,” she said quietly.
“Honey, your neck…”
“What about it, mom?”
Steven’s head snapped up. He stared at Brenda with a growing concern.
Daniel Kirkakis looked up from the paper he was reading, and he saw what his wife was referring to. “You seem to have been scratching it,” he said, and peered closer. He looked at his wife. “Looks like mosquito bites. Did you leave your window open last night?”
“No!” Brenda insisted harshly. Then,, without warning, she burst into tears. Beverly used some paper napkins to wipe away her daughters tears. Steven shifted nervously in his chair. Bitch, he thought, that little demonic bitch! Oh, Anna Kramer, she would pay for this!
“I did a bad thing,” Brenda sobbed. She pushed herself into her mother’s arms, crying.
“What did you do, baby. Tell me.”
Steven sat back in the chair, feeling oh-so very smug. He couldn’t wait for her answer. After today, no one, not even Damien, would dare call him crazy again.
“Well, I was mad,” Brenda said finally. “I was mad at God and… dad, cause Damien had to leave.” She turned away, embarrassed. “I love Damien! And I missed him all the time.”
“I know,” Beverly said. She glanced at Steven and looked away quickly “I’m… well you… have each other… is… there anything else you want to confess?”
“Well… I don’t think I have a relationship with God, anymore.”
“That’s it?” Daniel asked “You became angry with God, and now you think he doesn’t want anything to do with you?”
Steven grimaced. Tell the truth, he thought, Anna came and sucked your blood!
“Brenda,” Daniel explained, “Being angry with God is nothing to be ashamed of. Why, some of his greatest followers disagreed with Him and His judgments. It doesn’t mean He didn’t love them anymore.”
“You look kind of pale,” Beverly said, as she pushed Brenda’s hair back. “Do you want to stay home?”
“No,” she replied, staring at her pancakes. “Hafta go to school. I’ll get something to eat later. I’m not real hungry, now.”
“I’ll take her, Aunt Beverly,” Steven said quickly. “Let me take her.”
“Ok,” she said. “Melissa Langdon will be going with you. Hurry up.”
“Gotta run, mother!” Melissa said as she ran down the stairs. Patricia stopped her, and said, “Steven will be dropping you and Brenda off at school, today-”
“Don’t engage in conversation with him. No doubt, he knows all about us, but I don’t think he’ll try anything in front of Brenda. But don’t get alone with him, ok? AND DON’T HATE HIM! He’s been through hell. Alright? Promise me, Missy.”
“Alright… but don’t call me Missy… it’s a kid’s name!”
She dashed out the front door. Pat followed, watching her daughter run across the street, as Brenda, closely followed by Steven.
Guilt swept over Patricia. Oh that poor boy, forced to witness his brother’s violent murder, and cursed to live the rest of his life with that! And it was her fault for cavorting with a demon!
Pat shielded her eyes from the sun and watched the three of them get into the family’s Capri. She thought she saw something strange about Brenda. She rubbed her eyes, and looked again.
Brenda was pale, and her neck had sharp red marks on it. Brenda, Beverly, and Melissa were already in the car. Steven smiled and waved. Pat was unable to return the gesture. She turned and headed back in the house, telling herself she didn’t see what she thought she saw.
“Pat? You home? What time is it?” Jason walked into the kitchen. Pat had spent most of the day relaxing and staying calm, until Mrs. Kirkakis came over about one and helped Pat weed her front yard. Now, Pat was prepping a slab of roast beef for dinner. “It’s about two. Guess you slept ok?”
“I always sleep better in the day when the vampires can’t get me.”
Pat was about to say something when the phone rang. Jason answered it quickly.
“Hello? Melissa? Stop crying and slow down…uh, huh…yeah…” he looked at Patricia with an I-told-you-so look.
“She was taken in an ambulance…you’re still at school…yeah, I’ll come get you…right now…yes, I’ll take you to the hospital. Bye.!”
Jason hung up and Pat asked, “What happened?”
Jason ran out of the kitchen. Pat followed.
Jason had run upstairs to get his keys. He ran back down and out the front door.
“Tell me what happened!”
“It’s Brenda, HONEY! Your little demon-child put her in the hospital. She’s suffering from severe anemia…ANEMIA, PAT! She keeled over in her history class. Melissa wants to be picked up and taken to the hospital to see her friend.”
He went to the door and opened it. He felt a little more empowered, a little less afraid.
I’m gonna tell her Even if she doesn’t want to hear it; Annie and Abbie can’t be cured. They’re only getting worse.”
Pat could only stare after him.
Panic rose in her throat. She dashed into the house, slammed the door behind her, and nearly tripped over the auto-man. She ran for the back door, stifled the sobs already on their way. She flung open the door, and sped for the basement. When she had made it to the bottom of the steps, she found she didn’t remember her furious trip from the front door to the basement.
“Abbie! I need to speak to you.” Pat knelt by Abbie’s coffin and opened it.
Abbie lay on her back, her arms wrapped around herself. “Did the sun go down, already? Musta overslept!”
“No…Abbie…where was Annie last night? Was she hanging around the Kirkakis’s house last night?”
“No. She won’t go near that place. Remember how she ran away on the night we arrived? The power from… above… is too strong, it keeps her away.”
“I know. Did she meet with Brenda outside, then?”
“No. She was here, threatening Jason. She took her coffin and left. Didn’t even say goodbye to me. Mom, can you go? The sun is up, and I’m sleeping.”
Patricia nodded and closed the coffin. She exited the basement and went into the house. She sat at the kitchen table to try and figure this thing out.
If Annie didn’t attack Brenda, then who did?
The ominous feeling seemed to choke her, seemed to spread out of the house, the kitchen, and on to embrace the town of Salem and everyone in it.
And Patricia knew!
“Vincent!” she cried out in terror.
Patricia got to her feet, staggered to the sink, and vomited
Melissa handed Brenda the Carnation flowers she bought in the hospital gift shop. “I like them,ö Brenda said, and smiled slightly. “You’re a good friend. Vanessa called. She wanted to know if I’m gonna be able to make it this weekend. Can you believe that?”
“Heinous! Melissa said.
“I know. So I said, even if I’m dead, I’ll be there. And I’ll take my crown and smack you over the head with it!…then, she hung up on me.”
“She hung up?” Melissa repeated. Brenda and Melissa broke into fits of laughter.
An invisible cloud cast its shadow over Brenda’s face. “Is my brother here?” she asked quietly. Melissa nodded. “I wish he’d come back home,” she said, and started to cry again.
Damien stepped into the room and came to her bedside and took her hand.
“Just got the call,” he said and kissed her cheek.
“Hey, I wanted you to give me the transfusion. Dad and mom both said they couldn’t be positive your blood was clean. I told ’em you got the test. Twice.”
“It’s ok. Don’t worry about it.”
“That trailer is no place for you! Are you gonna talk to dad, now?” Brenda whimpered. You’re not living in sin, anymore. “You can come home, now.”
“Ah. Soon, Brenda,” he promised. “I’m doing a lot better. I’ve been reading my Bible, and going to church. I’ve been trying real hard to be a good Christian…and…I think it’s working.” Damien looked over his shoulder. “Billy got me here, he wants to see you.”
“Ok. Damien! Get me some juice?”
She needed to speak to Billy alone before her parents came back from the cafeteria.
He nodded and went off.
Billy stepped up to Brenda, who grabbed his hand tightly. “I need help!” she whispered.
Billy sat in a chair beside her. He smiled warmly.
“My mom and dad couldn’t give me a relationship with God. Even though they really wanted too. I need…take care of my brother. Promise me you will. I can’t have peace, otherwise.”
Jason stopped in front of his house on Dearborn Lane. He had left Melissa at the hospital to be with her friend. He looked at his watch. it was three-thirty. He sat there for a long time, thinking.
Annie hurt Brenda, Annie tried to KILL Brenda, his daughter’s friend.
He was so wrapped up in his own thoughts, he didn’t hear the truck pull up and park in front of him, didn’t hear the driver get out and walk over to him.
“Jason? Is that really you?”
The young man’s eyes narrowed.
“Steven Gardener. Remember me? Remember Tommy?”
“Oh, no! T… Steven???!” Jason exclaimed, and burst into tears. “You’re so much older. You’re all grown up…my daughter’s friend, Brenda…in the hospital… Annie did that! It was Annie!”
“Yeh! Now…are you ready to take a stand and break from that devil-whore’s control over you?”
Jason bit his lip and nodded.
“Say, Jason, have you met my girlfriend? No? Well, this is Lucy. Say hi, Lucy.”
The girl waved from the truck.
Steven opened the car door and helped Jason out, holding his arm tightly.
“Tommy was a good guy! Tommy didn’t deserve that!” Jason sobbed.
“I know. Tommy was the greatest, wasn’t he? Come on, man. You can be free now! We have a lot to do before sundown.”
“Uncle Daniel, can God or the devil make vampires?”
That was Steven’s question as they got off the plane, back when he was just a child. Daniel said he would talk to him during a more private, appropriate time. When that time came, the answer was a resounding NO.
Steven thought that was too weird. No such thing as witches, or demonic possessions of the unbelievers; no speaking in strange languages called tongues, or healing a person by laying your hands on them, for the saints? No dream-visions?
“No, Steven. God does not operate in these manners, today. It’s not possible.”
How could mankind say what God could, or could not, do. Wasn’t this view narrow-minded? Steven thought so. If God was all-powerful, he could do whatever he wanted. Even if tongues and dreams were limited today, and not quite as glaring as in the Bible, He could still make it happen, when divine miracles were needed to convince those whose eyes would remain blind, otherwise.
Just like Saul when he took a spill off his horse.
Once, Steven questioned his own existence. Now he knew why he was here.
Tonight, he could see.
God brought Anna Kramer to Salem, and God placed Steven here to kill the Devil’s whore.
The three of them went to the cemetery shorty before dusk. They talked, drank beer, chatting about the brief but good old days. It wasn’t too long before they fell asleep in the car.
“Steven…Steven, look!” Jason was jerking hard on his collar. The sensation was enough to wake Lucy.
“Keep the noise down!” she muttered angrily.
“Steven..do they have wolves in this part of the country?”
“Well, they got Black Bears…and moose, but-”
“Then that one must be lost or on a vacation , right?!”
Outside, in front of the truck, was a large white wolf. It’s eyes glowed a deep red. It snarled cruelly.
“Annie,” Jason moaned. He grimaced as he saw frothy white foam dripping from the wolf’s snout.
“Oh, come on, little boys!” Lucy said angrily. “I humored you guys all day, but this is not funny. There are no such things as vampires…OK!? Give it a rest!”
A high-pitched laughter filled the cab. Jason grabbed for his ears; the sound was piercing.
The laughter stopped abruptly. “Anna!” Steven gasped.
She was standing in front of the truck, in the spot where the wolf had been.
“Jason! You’ve been a naughty boy!” She wagged her finger in his direction. She then inserted it into her mouth..
“Ew! Gross! She just bit her finger off! That’s so sick!” Lucy shrieked, and covered her eyes.
“This was truly a mistake,” Jason said softly.
Brenda sat bolt upright in her hospital bed. The thin blanket slid off her legs and onto the floor. The room was silent…and dark.
Brenda wasn’t alone.
He had come back.
No, she couldn’t let him in again!
But you invited me…
That’s cause you didn’t look ugly like sin is supposed to look… Go away…PLEASE! You have to go away…I can’t resist you…you’re my temptation.
“Got to call Damien,” she whispered frantically, and reached for the phone. “He’ll come. I know he will.”
Get up…Damien, for God’s sake, GET UP! He’s at the hospital right now!!!
Damien jerked awake. Fear clutched his heart like frozen steel. He leapt out of bed, threw on his clothes, and grabbed the keys to his motorcycle. He ran over to where Billy was sleeping, in a sitting position, at the table. Billy had offered to stay the night with his best friend.
“Wake up!” Damien shouted. He grabbed Billy’s arm and shook him frantically from the chair he slept in. “Billy, GET UP!”
Billy moaned a little and pulled his arm away, still sleeping. Damien rammed his knee into his friend’s side. Billy’s eyes flipped open. “Did the burglar come back?” he asked. He tried to stay awake and help watch the trailer, but fell asleep.
“No, my sister…” Damien sobbed. _DON’T YOU FALL ASLEEP AGAIN! Billy, it’s Brenda…we’ve got to get to the hospital! “
“Hey, chill! And don’t kick me again!”
“Billy, we have to get to the hospital…BRENDA’S GONNA DIE!!”
It was murder!
“Visiting hours are over, dude!”
Damien reached down and grabbed the young man roughly. “I’m going up to see my sister, so, don’t try to stop me!”
Billy, still half-asleep, followed his friend silently. Damien shoved the security guard aside, and headed for the elevator. Billy was concerned about Damien being robbed by a burglar and offered to spend the night at his trailer. It was ok, until Damien was shaking Billy awake. With tears streaming down his face, he sobbed, “Brenda’s gonna die!” He then rushed down to the hospital on his motorcycle, with Billy shouting that he was driving too fast. Once they arrived at the hospital, Damien seemed like a man possessed. Why was he acting so strange? Damien could be a little rough at times, mostly where Steven was concerned, but tonight he was absolutely terrifying to be around.
Damien and Billy dismounted the bike at the entrance to Salem Hospital. Damien thrust the keys into his pocket, and they both ran inside, heading for the elevators.
“Hey my mom has the night shift!” Billy exclaimed as they walked down the corridor to Brenda’s room. “She’s ok, my mom is her nurse. She’s fine. She’ll probably be mad at us for disturbing her.”
The two friends slowed to a walk. They saw Billy’s mother, Nina Reizo, leaning against the wall next to Brenda’s room. Damien quickened his pace, walked up to Mrs. Reizo and grabbed her arm. She looked into his face…and burst into tears.
I grabbed her arm too tight, Damien thought numbly. That’s why she’s crying. Damien turned to the door to his sister’s room, slowly pushed it open, and went inside.
Billy ran to his mother “What happened!”
She pulled back, trying to remain in control. “I called…her doctor.” she said, her voice shaking.
She looked towards the ceiling. _I estimate…happened… ” She walked across the hall and sat at the desk, began filling out her report with shaking hands.
“Billy! Get in here!” Billy glanced at his mother as she picked up the phone. He entered the room. The light was on. Damien was standing by the bed. Brenda was stretched out on her back, her arms stretched out. Her eyes were wide open and staring at the ceiling. _Help me! Her arms won’t move, and I gotta put the blanket over her.”
Billy walked over to the bed. He hunched over. “She’s…oh, God…”
“Billy get a hold of yourself and help me.”
“She’s d…Yeah.” He raised his hand to his face and wiped the tears away. “It’s Riger mortis. The body gets stiff after… ” He took Brenda’s arms firmly, and folded them over her chest.
“Billy?” He looked toward the voice. His mom stood in the doorway. “Go home. You have to check on the others…
Damien kissed Brenda’s cold forehead, pulled the blanket over her face, and said, “Do what she says, Billy.”
Billy just stood there. Damien walked around the bed, grabbed his collar, and pulled him out into the hallway.
“I have to stay with you… I mean, I promised…”
“Go HOME, Billy. You go talk to your family. My parents will be here soon and I have to break the news to them. You get some rest. I’m going to need you in the very near future. Because my sister was murdered, tonight!”