“During the exorcism he – it – showed me something. I saw the demon. Or, at least the form it was choosing to take. A form meant to shake my faith and my foundation. But, worse…worse was the vision of Ed’s death.”
Though ‘looking into the history of the house and property’ should have been a perfectly normal thing, regular research type stuff like she usually did in these cases, Lorraine had something else in mind as well. The usual methods of checking the place out had turned up surprisingly little of interest considering the activity she’d experienced there and Ed’s belief that the Ouija board incident wasn’t really what had started it all. That meant that things hadn’t been happening before this family – which she didn’t really believe – or simply that no one else had publicly mentioned it. That made more sense than anything. It also meant that whatever this – these – were wasn’t attached to the family itself if it was still centered around this house.
Which brought her involvement into question. Clearly she was there to help. But, who? She had really thought that it was Janet and her family she was here for. The girl had been stupid, but people made mistakes and helping in situations like this was what she did. Now she wasn’t sure of much of anything and she didn’t like that confusion. Time was ticking and what it was counting down to, she could only imagine.
That was why she had made this decision. Sitting back on the couch in the living room, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Centering herself, she reached…and opened her eyes. She now stood in front of the couch, looking down at…herself. She hadn’t willingly put herself into a trance like this since Amityville. Being led through the murder of an entire family that included children while being played like a puppet forced to pull the trigger yourself before being confronted by an inhuman spirit that wanted to kill your soulmate made the idea a little daunting.
“This is as close to Hell as I want to get.” She had told Ed that day. She had gotten closer, however, when she had nearly lost him years later to that same inhuman spirit. But, that was past and she was hoping that this would make it easier to communicate with whatever it was that was trying to get through to her. They had been able to manifest some things physically, but not themselves. Not in any way that made their intentions clear aside from the obvious help.
Padding toward the kitchen where Ed was again talking with the family, she was almost glad that he couldn’t see her doing this because he would have been extremely unhappy with it. He liked to be there when she tranced down so that he could bring her back. He was her anchor even when he wasn’t trying to do anything at all. He couldn’t concentrate on that while he was trying to figure things out with Janet and her parents.
They three of them were sitting at the kitchen table. Ed was speaking calmly but seriously, his expression understanding but also firm enough to demand the truth. Janet’s parents sat side by side, answering his questions as they could. They were still skeptical about all of this, but there had been some things even they couldn’t deny needed more explanation than the rational could give. Janet sat by herself, across the table from her parents. They were all oblivious to Lorraine’s presence because it wasn’t one of the physical.
Her gaze flitted over the adults before being drawn to Janet. Her eyes widened and she almost took a step back because there was a shadow looming behind and over the girl. Humanoid in shape, what looked like a hand rested possessively on her shoulder as it guided her in how to answer anything directed toward her. Eyes moving from Janet to the thing standing over her, it looked at her. It saw her and it froze her in place with the menacing smile that appeared out of the darkness. “This game does amuse me.”
- His hands were still behind his back as he approached her, glance sliding to the orderly watching closely near the door. They never let her visit alone. There were safety precautions to keep, after all. But, that didn’t matter. They wouldn’t interfere if he didn’t make any sudden moves and if he didn’t try to hurt her. Which he, surprisingly, never did.
Looking up at him as he seemed to tower over her, she swallowed hard, trying to suppress the tears in her eyes because meeting his eyes, she saw only darkness. There was nothing left of her uncle at all and whatever it was that was looking back at her was evil. It left her chilled and afraid and at a loss because no one else could see it or sense it or believe it was there. She was completely alone with whatever this was.
It studied her for a long moment, expression still amused but otherwise unreadable, and then it leaned down to whisper in her ear, making sure that she was the only one to hear the words. “I see you, little girl. I SEE you and I know things that no one else believes. This game no longer amuses me, but it’s not over. Not even close.” -
She could feel the amusement from the entity as the memory briefly engulfed her and she realized that she had run into it before. This was the thing that had taken her uncle from her when she was younger than Janet was now. This was the thing that had promised things weren’t over, the thing she had never forgotten that had looked into her very soul and smiled. This was the thing the others were warning her about.
Never taking that bottomless gaze off of her, it stroked Janet’s hair. The girl seemed oblivious to its presence which was frightening in itself. She had no idea what it was that she had called, what it was that had eagerly answered. She had no idea that she had made herself a pawn in a game she didn’t even know was being played.
Trembling, Lorrain opened her mouth to protest, to order the thing to stop touching the girl, to leave her alone, but there was a slight shimmer out of the corner of her eye and her gaze snapped to the other side of the room. A woman around her age stood there, though none of the others seemed to notice a thing. She was of the same height and build as Lorraine, even her hair was almost the same shade and the physical resemblance was definitely eery, though she had never seen this woman before.
‘Help us.’ She wasn’t sure if the words were actual words, were something in her head, or were just read on the woman’s lips, but they were understood nonetheless. Lorraine met her eyes, almost hypnotized for a moment before her gaze lowered and she saw that the woman was pointing down. “I don’t understand.” She tried to speak the words, but wasn’t sure they were vocalized at all. The woman continued to point for a long moment and then she disappeared without a trace as the darker entity let out a warning growl.
Blinking, Lorraine turned back to Janet and her shadow and was surprised to see that a man now stood where the entity had been. He still stroked the girl’s hair, as if he owned her rather than loved her and she caught a brief flash of rage directed toward where the woman had been in his expression before he turned his attention back to her, tilted his head slightly, and studied her with a slight leer. What he was looking for, she was sure she didn’t want to know.
Then he was gone and she was left with just the humans in the room. The humans that were completely oblivious to everything that had gone on around them. She thought she caught the hint of a smile on Janet’s face before she woke up on the couch once more. Shaking slightly, she glanced around the room, unsurprised but grateful to see that she was alone. She hadn’t known if the trance would reveal anything when she’d decided to do it. Now she thought maybe she had seen too much. And yet, still not enough at the same time.
“Hey.” She looked up, startled by Ed’s voice as he entered the living room from the kitchen. “Did you find anything?” He was looking at the newspapers and books and other research items that were on the coffee table as he asked the question and at first she thought about just telling him she had found nothing. But, something in her wouldn’t let her do that. “Not there…”
He knew immediately that something was wrong, even before he turned to look at her. “Not here?” He echoed, knowing that she meant the materials on the table and not liking that she was hesitating over something bigger. “What did you do?” He wasn’t sure she would answer at first and he prepared to try again because he felt it was something he needed to know. Something she shouldn’t deal with alone.
“I went into a trance…”
This game does amuse me...
(Author's Note: This is part six of a multi-part series.