Tara stared at her brother’s corpse as it lurched towards her, eyes empty of everything that made up the boy she had known. Though the sight of him had taken her by surprise, it was not the sight of the dead walking that shook her but the knowledge of how he could have been reanimated that filled her with disgust and outrage.
“How could she do this to you?” She did not expect an answer but wondered out loud anyway. “What could possibly make that crazy old cunt think this was a good fucking idea? She knows this sort of magic is forbidden!”
Only those who fear true power deem it wrong to desire.
“Says the asshole that needs to hijack a dead teenager to do anything besides watch. So, what’d she exchange for your services? What’d she sacrifice for a little vengeance?”
“Don’t lie to me, nekeich. Your kind is never given free reign. Now answer me!”
We answer to no one. The one who brought us into the realm of the living breathes no more. We are free. It reached for her. And we shall now drink of your essence.
“Not today you won’t.”
* * *
Cameron, Percy and Donovan ran through the dark streets until their bodies ached too much to go any further. When they finally collapsed on the far side of Engruber Park, it was only due to pure exhaustion as the intense fear that fueled them still tried to push them to move.
But they needed to rest, if only for a moment.
“How is he… he’s alive!” Percy was on his hand and knees, on the verge of tears. “How the fuck does someone who’s dead show up very much alive?”
“They don’t.” Cameron sat against a tree, his eyes closed. “Whatever that… thing is, it isn’t Asa… at least, not our Asa.”
“So what the fuck is it?” He dropped to the ground and rolled onto his back.
“I don’t know. I doubt any one would. This is some Walking Dead shit, man. People don’t just come back from the fucking dead.”
“They do now.”
“This is wrong,” Donovan said as he collapsed beside Cameron. “He was wrong and not just because I watched him buried and we all know that kind of dead means really dead.” He hugged himself, shivered.
“What do you mean?” Cameron put an arm around Donovan’s shoulder.
“I looked into his… its eyes and… Asa wasn’t there. It was like, like something else was driving his body.”
“Like, he was possessed or something?” Percy asked as he crawled towards the other boys. “Like, demons or spirits or something?”
“I dunno. Maybe?”
“This is crazy,” Cameron said.
“Asa walking and stalking is crazy and happening.” Percy nuzzled against Donovan, kissed him gently. “And Tara’s…”
“Tara!” Donovan jumped up. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, man, we need to go back for her. Fuck. Oh, God, what if he, it… he sliced Nikki in fucking half and we just left my sister there… alone with it! We need to go back.” He only got three steps before a hand grabbed him and turned him around.
“We will. But first,” Cameron looked him up and down, “we’ll stop at my place and get you some pants. You already ran through town naked once. No need to chance an indecent exposure fine twice in one day.”
* * *
It was almost midnight when the boys arrived back at Donovan’s house. All the lights were off, the windows closed and locked. Donovan grabbed the spare key from underneath the welcome mat and the three of them crept inside.
It was quiet inside. The house felt empty, abandoned even, and it filled Donovan with a spine-chilling dread as he tiptoed through the dark rooms and searched for any sign Tara was still alive. He doubted he would find her still breathing but refused to admit his fears to even himself.
“Wait,” Cameron said, grabbing his arm. “I think I heard something. Listen.”
Donovan went still and tried to hear whatever Cameron thought he head. At first there was only silence and guilt crept in, threatened tears. But then he heard… something.
“Is that… chanting?” He looked at Cameron then Percy. “It sounds like its coming from the basement.”
“Great,” Percy said, “the one room I really don’t want to see. Bad things always happen in basements.”
“Shut up,” Cameron spat as he reached for the door handle. “Let’s go.”
* * *
Asa was on the floor, a shackle around his right ankle. Tara stood over him, blood on her hands, chanting. Every time she said nekeich, he cringed as freezing wounds opened up on his skin. He hated her and smiled at the thought of tearing her apart and feasting on her essence.
Yours is strong. It will make us stronger.
She glared at him but continued her chants.
It will not work. We will not be sent back. He lunged for her but was stopped was jerked back by his binding. We will be free and we will make you scream.
She turned to see Donovan, followed closely by Cameron and Percy, walking down the stairs. She looked back at Asa, who was smiling cruelly, and continued her chants.
“Tara! You’re alive!” Arms wrapped around her from behind and squeezed. “I was so scared he had-”
“What’s going on?” Percy asked. “Why’s evil-Asa chained to the floor? And, um where’d the chain come from?”
“Tara? What the fuck haven’t you told me?”
“Not now, Donny.”
“No!” Donovan grabbed her shoulder and spun her around. “Tell me now!”
Thank you. Asa grinned as he disappeared in a blaze of smoke and fire.
“Shit!” Tara shrieked. “I was trying to keep him trapped until midnight.”
“Because, that’s how her spell works!”
“Whose spell?” Donovan was quickly becoming angry. “Just fucking tell me what’s going on!”
“Mom! Mom did this! She brought Asa back, alright? Jesus, Donny, mom fucked up and now we’re on that thing’s hit list!”
TO BE CONTINUED