The Mirrored Staircase Chapter 5

mirrored staircase

by

Rico Lamoureux

 

All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE

BEST HALLOWEEN EVER!

So far Jake’s words had proven right, with an empty Boone’s bottle being Lucas’ wheel of fortune as they all played Truth or Dare Spin the Bottle. Lady luck had been on his side as the long neck found its way from one girl to the next, making him the high-rolling recipient of thirty-second make out sessions with each. Jealousy was not a factor, as the guys were used to having these types of erotic party sessions, with the flow of alcohol before the turning of the bottle only increasing the raging of hormones, especially when it came time for the girls to make out with each other and/or display some deepthroating skills with a bottle of Dos Equis.

Every so often a break would be taken from “the game of horndogs” to pour more sexy shots and keep the buzz goin’. Hot Fuck, Buttery Nipple, Silk Panties, Blow Job, with its Amaretto, Baileys, whipped cream and cherry on top. Beth had even taken a shot from Lucas’ chest and he her cleavage when they had been egged on by the rest of them, the high-bass tracks playing in the background while inhibitions dipped sensually low. One of’ ‘em, Tina, had went so far as to let her breasts fly free for a minute while Rodney made their turn with the Buttery Nipple literal.

As they all prepared for another round of dirty bottoms up Jake leaned over to Lucas. “These chicks are about to spread eagle, man! When you get her upstairs, just don’t forget Jimmy Hat in your back pocket.” Lucas looked over at Beth. She was tipsy, but not yet topsy-turvy.

All of a sudden alarms started to go off one by one, everyone reaching for their cellphones to turn off the reminder that it was now midnight, the witching hour.

Ah shit, the time has come, boys and girls,” Jake announced in his best ghoulish voice. “On upstairs we go, will Joseph and Elise take us where nobody know?”

The lights then went out, Rodney by the switch with his cell torch light illuminating his face like a Jack-o’-lantern. “I want my mama,” he chimed in with a scared child-like voice. “My old lady Aunt Mama.”

All laughed, with the giggles of the fuck fairies laced with a hint of genuine nervousness. Each took the hand of the guy they were to spend the night with, including Beth’s grabbing on to Lucas’, and after turning off the music the gang headed upstairs to the bathroom.

“…And so after an extensive investigation and intensive hunt, the research, the probing, the obsession of today’s greatest urban legend, the tale of the mirrored staircase has led us across state lines (that’s right Professor Wellington, for your class I go beyond the call of duty!) and to the doorstep of Aunt Mama herself!

And thus I stand before you about to open the gate to the realm Joseph and Elise have been stuck in since 1950!”

Jake was speaking to his cellphone as Veronica videoed him, Rodney, Tina, Nancy, Glen, Jesse, Lisa and Beth all recording as well as he was about to open the medicine cabinet. Lucas was the only one not shooting footage, standing in the doorway behind all of them and expecting nothing to happen, eager to get it over with so that he could have his real excitement with Beth.

Will the two show themselves on this day of the dead? On this very day over six decades ago when they themselves became lost souls to Aunt Mama’s witching ways?”

Well, if Jake doesn’t make it through college Lucas thought, he’ll have no problem landing a hosting gig on one of those bullshit ghost hunting shows!

And now we turn the key to open the realm to the mirrored staircase,” Jake dramatically continued, slowly pulling the mirror away from the medicine cabinet and towards the main mirror of the bathroom. Beth moved closer to Lucas, and he could see on the screens of all the cellphones as the illusion of the mirrored staircase began to take shape, everyone scrunching closer to get the tight shot.

Jake then took his cellphone from Veronica and moved in for a better angle, the rest of the phones now only being able to capture the back of his head. “I am now taking this to P.O.V, careful as not to affect the reflection of this mirror-to-mirror with the cellphone.”

All was quiet, Jake trying hard to see something, anything, the seconds turning from one minute to two, and by the third it had become too tedious of a wait for them to withstand.

Bullshite! Hoaxed right up the arse!” Rodney wisecracked, the bunch sighing in agreement and lowering their phones.

Goddammit!” Jake echoing their sentiments.

But as they were about to leave Beth flipped off the lights and stepped forward, positioning her own phone between the tight space of the two mirrors. “Maybe there was too much light being reflected,” she said as she searched the infinite staircase.

Once again they waited, self-doubt creeping into Lucas’ mind while the cellphones were aimed on Beth and the two mirrors.

Maybe she’s desperate to see something because she’s losing her buzz. Losing her nerve to be with me. And as if his thought had been a sick premonition to what was coming next…

Ain’t happenin’, Snow White,” Rodney joked. “Only mirror action you gonna be seein’ tonight is Lucas’ bare ass. I’m sure you’ll be able to catch a reflection of it when he’s playin’ puddy puddy bang bang!”

They all laughed.

Pimples and all!” someone else said.

More laughter, from everyone but Lucas of course, who listened from the door frame as they went on as if he weren’t even there, his embarrassment growing with each new ridicule.

If you get lucky while he’s getting lucky, maybe you’ll see one pop.”

Ew!”

Gush, burst, splatter…”

Talk about a night of horrors!”

Do they make proactive for the ass?”

Pro boner.”

That last insult cut the deepest. Not only because it meant everyone knew about the plan, which they were all confirming by the merciless chuckles, but also because of who had said it. Beth, who was now turned around to the others, her face lit up by all the cellphones as they recorded her smug side basking in the attention.

Time seemed to slow to a demoralizing snail pace, the mouth of the slug bitch opening wide in laughter as she gloated in the praise of being able to add to the quick wit of the group. All at Lucas’ expense, the lowered inhibitions of the night taking a terrible turn as it veered horribly off course from what had so far been “the greatest Halloween ever.”

Never before had he felt such anger, such degradation. Given where they were, he thought of Joseph’s straight razor mentioned in the short story. If he had it right now he wasn’t so sure he’d be able to stop himself from using it to disassemble Beth’s cruelty.

Y’uh remind ma of a youngin’ man I once knew,” Aunt Mama’s words now echoing throughout Lucas. “Soft nayt’cha’, but a fya’ in his ha’t.”

As if he had willed it true with the inferno in his heart, the hot molten lava of pain rushing through his veins, an action of hyperspeed proportion suddenly shot out from the mirrored staircase, shattered glass projecting over all of them before raining down to their feet.

For a moment all were in shock, their brains scrambling to process. Once awareness resurfaced Lucas was the first to catch sight of what had just happened, Beth holding her dismayed face with both hands, literally. It had been filleted with one swift cut, now slowly beginning to slide off like wallpaper, horrified wide-open eyes staring out at Lucas while a random thought crossed his mind.

Geekish wallpaper.

Despite trying her best to keep it pressed against her skull her face was becoming nothing more than a flap of flesh, like a big slice of New York-style pizza that just sags down when not properly held. She reached out with one hand to her coeds for help, but all they did was scream and shrink back. Then it was noticed that a figure was in the main mirror, Joseph’s iridescent eyes staring back at them, a straight razor in his right hand. Tripping over one another with self-survival locked in place they all bolted for the door, Lucas stepping aside as they flew past him.

His heart was beating harder and faster than at any other point in his life, but the scientist in him kept him in the doorway, taking in the scene that appeared to defy the laws of nature and the truths of physics as the countless pieces of glass began to retract over the bathroom tiles, up the counter and back to its origin where it miraculously reconstructed.

Joseph was still there, peering out from the other side, fragments of glass not being the only thing being absorbed by his world. Beth, whose new face looked like that of the grotesque illustrations found in some of the anatomy books from back at FSU, was now being sucked in as well. Trying to form words with a mouth that no longer had lips was proving quite difficult, but she struggled nonetheless to plead to Lucas for help, her old face still in one of her outstretched hands, hanging from its grip like a wet rag.

Lucas’ first thought was to offer her the hand she so desperately needed. The one she had held when toying with him, when giving him a glimpse into the world of intimacy. But then his gaze caught what lay directly ahead. The explosive power of Joseph’s assault had knocked back into place the door of the medicine cabinet, and in its mirror now stood a girl no more than sixteen years of age, her bare beauty veiled by nothing more than a long thin nightgown. So thin in fact Lucas swore he could see the pinkness of her rose-petal nipples pressed against the fabric.

Her face was one of pure innocence, which hadn’t aged a bit in the over half century of being imprisoned in a world of mirrors. And her eyes, just as iridescent as the others, but with a sparkle far more brilliant, as if they held the reflection of a truly pristine soul.

A sadness enveloped the beauty that was Elise, no words needing to be uttered for Lucas to know that it was she whom his soul had been waiting for. She, whose sorrow he now felt he had been brought here to bring an end to.

By this time Beth was no more, Lucas stepping forward towards Elise, but the action caused the main mirror to his left to crack a little. He knew one more step would mean Joseph’s blade would come crashing through again, this time intended for him, but he also knew that he couldn’t just leave Elise. There had to be a solution, for every question had an answer, and so the frontal lobe in his brain responsible for problem-solving began to fire up. But then someone grabbed him, shaking him from his search for solution.

Lucas, what the fuck are you still doing up here?!” Jake yelled. “We gotta get outa’ here! But they locked us in! How the fuck are we gonna get outta’ here?!”

His cousin was pulling him out into the hallway and he looked back over at Elise.

I’ll get you out, I promise.”

I know you will, cuz. If anybody can figure it out, I know it’s you!”

He let Jake pull him down the hall, not bothering to clarify that he really meant Elise. Once at the top of the stairs Lucas looked down at the others as panic had them pounding on the front door and struggling with the closed windows. He looked to the numerous mirrors on the walls and throughout the living room. Were they a threat? Could they be used in a counterattack? But counterattack to what? Did Joseph’s reach extend this far? What else could the girl and the old woman do?

As if there to answer him, Lucas spotted Isha standing on the other side of the living room, behind the others who had failed to notice her in their distress. But Jake did, when he saw where his cousin’s eyes were focused, now rushing downstairs to try and take control of what he perceived as part of the threat.

You fucking bitch! Turn it off! Let us out of here!”

Lucas ran down after him, not sure that she was responsible for anything based on that look of sadness across her face.

Jake yanked her forward, violently shaking her as he demanded, “Let us out!” He pulled her towards the front door. “Fucking let us out!”

She cried, trying to say something with her mutilated tongue, red streaks now pouring down her cheeks. Blood tears, that’s what they were, Lucas now certain that the dark power was in the hands, or eyes, of Aunt Mama alone. He placed his arm between her and Jake.

Let her go, Jake. It’s not her who’s doing it.”

Reluctantly he did so, just as Tina said, “Guys, look, she’s out there rocking.”

All but Isha gathered around the window, and when their eyes adjusted they could see the silhouette of Aunt Mama rocking in her chair out there on the far end of the porch.

Rodney grabbed the nearest thing he could use; a wooden side chair, picked it up over his shoulder and used it as a means to bust through the window. Once he had cleared enough debris to escape he grabbed Tina’s hand and started to step through.

Half way on the other side and the broken glass instantly replenished, disemboweling Rodney straight up the middle, leaving half of him on the porch and the other half in the living room with the others.

Tina’s mouth opened to scream but she was too aghast to even produce such, her brain playing catch up and signaling her hand to let go only after her eyes shifted from Rodney’s pile of internal organs to the grip he still had on her.

They all backed away from the window, from Rodney’s half corpse, the backs of Glen, Jesse and Lisa’s legs finding the glass coffee table, which unfortunately meant sealing their fate as well, as glass transformed from fused soda ash and sand to a kind of liquiform substance that Lucas wouldn’t have been able to stop himself from marveling at if he would have seen it. But by the time he, Jake, Nancy, Veronica and Tina turned around to the sounds of lost cries the glass had already returned to its hardened state, the three having been sucked inside and displayed like stained glass biblical characters.

The looks of anguish and terror were frozen on their faces, the only movement being that of their eyes, which shifted all about until the blood vessels within them burst, leaving the poor souls not only trapped but also blind.

Isha tried to stop Nancy with a verbal warning but her mangled yell fell on deaf ears, the glass shattering to a million different pieces when Nancy used her fist to break through as if she could somehow release Glen. This time the glass didn’t replenish, but instead shot up to embed into Nancy’s face and throat, leaving her to choke to death on shards of her boyfriend.

With only four of them remaining, Lucas knew he had to think fast, turning to Isha in hopes of extracting the answers he needed if they were to have any chance of defeating Aunt Mama’s supernatural abilities. He took her hands into his and looked into those shiny mysterious eyes of hers. “Isha, you sent that message out for a reason. Being born into this was something you had no control over, and even though your grandmother has turned you into the very thing your ancestors had fought to free themselves of you no longer have to be her slave. You can draw from the same power she’s using against us because you’re linked to it. There has to be a way to reflect it back onto her.”

More blood tears flowed from Isha’s iridescence as she slowly shook her head No. Lucas was right in that they had come from the same power, but what he didn’t understand was that Isha herself had been created for the sole purpose of serving the cause, and since she was nothing more than an effect of that cause if Aunt Mama were to be defeated, which Isha herself did not have the power to do, it would mean the end to her as well. An end she was gladly willing to accept so as to stop the suffering, but an end she could not bring about herself.

Isha did the only thing she could do. Removing her hands from Lucas’, she placed them on the sides of his face and pulled his gaze deeper into her eyes, The multitude of colors started to shift until the pupils themselves began to transform into images that told her story.

From the age of three a bright yellow dress is what Isha wears, her hair in a bun as she’s seated alone on the floor in the room at the end of the hall and playing with three identical hand-stitched dolls, all with black skin, iridescent eyes and wearing outfits that match her own.

In reaction to a noise coming from the other side of the closed door behind her little Isha turns around to look at it. Her attention then draws back to her dolls, playing a little more before once again being distracted by whatever is going on out there.

With as much curiosity as any three-year-old has she stands to her feet, one of the dolls in hand and walks over to the door. Despite her best effort she can’t reach the knob and so goes back to playing.

Transforming into a four-year-old, little Isha is still on the floor with those same dolls, once again turning around at the sound of something going on beyond that door and being compelled to go for it after a short while, only to fail in reaching the knob.

Another year older and the process is repeated, but this time the little hand is able to get around that doorknob and turn it, the five-year-old now free to follow the noise on down the hall with dolly in hand.

The disturbing sounds make the little girl frown, but are not frightening enough to keep her from continuing on towards them.

She reaches the bathroom, pushes on the door that is open about an inch or two and as a result of what she sees drops the little black doll that looks like her.

A naked white man stands twitching between her young mother’s legs, who herself is seated naked up on the countertop with blood pouring down her milk chocolate chest and Hershey Kiss nipples.

Sprinkled over it all are small pieces of glass that remind the little girl of glitter, the flow of the dark red coming from the slashed throat of the white man.

Reaching out from the mirror behind her mother’s head is a figure Lucas recognizes as Joseph, whose shiny eyes dart Isha’s way and locks in on them as the white man, who gasps his last breaths of life, is absorbed into the mirrored realm.

With the victim now off of her the young woman notices her daughter in the doorway, blood tears forming in her iridescent eyes and spilling forth when little Isha runs into her naked embrace. The bright yellow dress smears with sticky red, mostly from the white man but also from the droplets of affliction coming from her own face, as she knows what is to follow.

Aunt Mama is now in the doorway, the stare of the queen bee serving as an order to Joseph and Isha’s mother, Elise in the mirror of the medicine cabinet, also shedding tears for what is to come.

Why you cryin’, mama?” little Isha asks, but with no tongue all her mother can do is answer back in garble, picking her daughter up in her arms and placing her across her chest to where Isha’s chin rests on her shoulder.

Don’t cry, mama.”

The simple innocent request produces even more blood tears, as she knows it will be the last thing her precious child will ever say with clarity.

A long pair of fingers now extend out from the mirror, slowly making their way to the side of the five-year-old’s face. The fingertips then take their time caressing her cheeks on down to her chin, before tracing her thick little lips.

As the index finger and thumb gently reaches into Isha’s mouth her mother places a loving hand on the back of her head to hold her in place, Joseph taking his time as he pulls out her tongue so as not to scare the little one during her last remaining moments of innocence.

Isha smiles at the man in the mirror who she believes is playing with her tongue. He pulls it out to as far as it will go, then in a blink of an eye slices it out of her mouth with his straight razor.

Confused, little Isha just lies there across her mother’s chest for a moment, hearing her garbed sobs, feeling the hand on the back of her head and the emptiness in her mouth, seeing the hand of the man in the mirror take her severed tongue in with him.

Although she can’t make sense of it Isha knows it’s wrong, the next moment bringing forth the excruciating pain as her mouth overflows with the saltiness of her own blood. A taste she will forever associate with this horrific memory. And it is only now that she gives voice to it, screaming out in a pain she was destined for, Lucas now beginning to understand such as the scene transforms to three more generations, all reaching the age of reaching the doorknob, walking in on the ritual of sacrifice required to sustain Aunt Mama’s sight, another little black doll being stitched for a new honeychild.

4…

3…

2…

1…

A legacy having begun on that fateful morning sixty years ago, with Aunt Mama gaining the sight she needed in order to read, to learn, to take control over the history of the black arts that had been handed down from her ancestors for a quarter of a millennia.

Her first order of business had been to conjure up one of the many relatives she had purgatorized on her way up to her rule. A niece, who had the innocence of a child and a physicality of a blossoming fifteen-year-old so honey-sweet no man could decline it.

The honeychild was steered to produce a babychild, so as to be a mamachild and raise the offspring until it had become the same age she had been upon conception. This meant females were the only descendants needed, all males that happen to come along being sacrificed into the mirrored realm upon their birth.

The training of each new heiress would begin when they could no longer be kept away from the frequent rituals, at which time their tongues were removed to prevent secrets of the family from possibly being told.

Another transformation brought Lucas back to five-year-old Isha, who was now meant to bear witness to the seduction, fornication and mutilation of the countless men her mother was to go fishing for out on the bend. And so Isha’s conditioning years went on, until the scene had come to a period of time when she was now entering adolescence, standing a quarter mile from the house with mother and watching as a school bus took the curve.

This day had been a special day for it was her thirteenth birthday, and so she had decided to make a little birthday wish with the power she knew lie within her. Just about all of the deep inner secret was dark, but like a speck of stardust that shined in its own special way there was a tiny sparkle in the center of the shadows of death that she could remember feeling ever since first seeing that beautiful girl in the white nightgown. The girl in the mirror of the medicine cabinet who always cried blood tears when the ritual was taking place.

Their eyes had met, and through shared innocence Elise seemed to have placed a small light of hope within Isha. A light she would then focus on whenever it came time for her to do her duty of bearing witness as her mother gave over her body to a stranger, with the blood sacrifice always following.

On that thirteenth birthday out on the bend Isha felt more scared than ever before. Not for the stranger they would lure to hell, nor for some of the sex acts she would now have to start performing. What really brought panic to her still innocent heart was what she was about to attempt with that shred of light she had managed to camouflage from both her mother and Aunt Mama. She would use it to try and reach out to someone like her, someone like Elise, while she still could, for she felt the darkness she was a part of would engulf her at any time now.

She had never been to school, never knew what it was like to play with someone her own age, but Isha recognized the vehicle that would be full of kids thanks to some of the television shows and movies she had seen throughout the years.

Zeroing her sight through those square double windows she used some of the special power within to slow time down some, to scan the young faces for someone she could try and transfer the shred of hope to.

Like the men who would peer from the Greyhound buses most of the boys ogle out in lust as her mother flaunts what she has to give while the girls either look with aspiring eyes or ones of jealousy.

But now Isha finds a pair that are unlike any other, looking out to her with a kind, curious, compassionate nature, and like a bumble bee to a Cherokee rose she hones in on them, Lucas seeing himself from her perspective…

And it is from her perspective where he remains for the conclusion of her story, Isha’s nervous P.O.V out on the bend as she stands alone in her tramp wear for her very first luring.

She doesn’t have to wait long, a big rig pulling over to the side of the road and waiting for her to approach. The length of the semi-trailer dreadfully long to walk, and when Isha finally gets to the tractor it towers over her like looking up at a skyscraper.

A massive door swings open and out looks a heavily bearded giant of a man, the look in his hungry eyes the same as in the countless pairs of eyes her mother has attracted over the years: Insatiable Lust.

The scene now transforms onto a montage of misery, all taking place in the bathroom of carnage.

  • Isha removes her top and allows the giant of a man to fondle her still-developing-breasts and Hershey Kisses with his monstrous hands.

 

  • Isha chokes on his enormous cock, barely having enough time to catch her breath before he shoves it back down her throat.

 

  • Through tears and a violent rhythm of jolts Isha can see the giant looking down at her as his face contorts in gluttonous pleasure.

 

Her gaze lowers to the bottom half of his torso as he pummels her like a battering ram, her legs spread open across the countertop and covered in the blood of her innocence.

 

  • A glimpse of Elise on one of the steps of the mirrored staircase, grieving in blood tears.
  • Isha runs her palms and fingers over the sticky red between her legs and then places them to the back of her head, against the mirror, silently pleading with Joseph to take him now!

 

But deep down she knows it’s not really up to Joseph, but rather Aunt Mama as to when Joseph’s blade will be unleashed, and so she can do nothing but to continue to endure the ride through hell, her painful gaze now falling to the bathroom door where she finds her mother staring back at her with blood tears.

Are they tears for the daughter, or tears of knowing that her end has come? A question Isha will torment herself with for years to come. As she wonders under camouflage from Aunt Mama whether or not her mother could have ever done anything to stop the suffering.

One answer she is given at this moment is to the question of whatever happened to her grandmother and great-grandmother. For as the iridescence in her mother’s eyes sharpens to the point of lethal slivers Isha now knew that this is what becomes of the mamachild when the honeychild is ripe enough to take over.

Now a raging storm the slivers slice through her mother’s face, consuming everything in their path as they spread on down through her neck, shoulders, arms, torso, legs, until there is nothing left but the revelation beyond the doorway, that of Aunt Mama.

She watches as Isha continues to be thrashed by the sex-crazed swine, the stranger having no idea she’s at his back. Harder the thunderous thrusts come, Isha’s palms slamming against the mirror so violently they begin to fracture the glass.

At this Aunt Mama seems to take offense, finally giving the go-ahead for Joseph to come crashing through.

The giant-of-a-man is lifted up and out of Isha with an effort no greater than what she used to use when picking up one of her identical dolls, Joseph slicing the trucker from stunned eye ball to stiff cock, the heavy onslaught of blood bathing Isha’s sprawled out naked body.

Like a big hunk of wild game the now whimpering giant sounds like a pathetic child as he’s absorbed into the mirror, the kaleidoscope of blood glass now shifting to one stranger after another as each take turns feeding off Isha’s suga’, with the only thing changing being her P.O.V, now dulled as she has taught herself to zone out during these sessions of sacrifice.

As the scene transforms back to Isha’s shiny irises Lucas wipes away his own tears, overwhelmed by the level of perseverance displayed by this girl.

From sympathy for Isha to curiosity about himself Lucas wonders if a small part of Elise was indeed transferred into him during that very brief encounter years ago. Was that why he had never found an opportunity to use the Jimmy Hat in his wallet? Why he had always failed to have a turn at bat, let alone reach first base with a girl? Had his innocence really been locked in place, destined to bring him here to Elise? It surely explained why he had felt the way he had upstairs.

Regaining his awareness of the here and now Lucas felt something small being placed in his palm. It was the little key that had been around Isha’s neck, she now closing his hand around it to keep safe.

Her action came at just the right time, as Aunt Mama was now standing outside the window facing them. Jake, Nancy and Veronica were at their back, not daring to run out of fear that the old woman would give chase in the form of her deadly craft.

Isha quickly turned to the wall nearest her, which was the base of the stairs going up to the second floor, and removed the oil painting of slaves tending glass. Now exposed was a small keyhole, she looking back at Lucas and Lucas looking down to the small key in his hand.

When he looked back up to Isha he noticed her eyes had changed. Like sizzling molecules the array of colors within her irises were clashing rapidly around the small circles of her pupils, and before he could react on his fear that she would meet the same fate as her mother little splinters of glass began to puncture through Isha’s eyes, followed by the horrible sight of them pouring out of her eye sockets. Actually they were more like chopped up sunny side up eggs, oozing down her face and leaving two empty dark holes below her forehead.

Lucas shot a look Aunt Mama’s way, the stare she now wore so vicious that he knew there was no hope of reversing her will, but that didn’t prevent him from trying to protect Isha.

Guys, help me out!” he yelled, stepping between Isha and Aunt Mama and urging them to do the same. The two girls were hesitant to come forward but Jake led them to do so.

Despite now being blind Isha pulled Lucas over to the small keyhole in the wall, her mangled words not needing to be understood for him to know that it was imperative that he hurry.

He fumbled with the tiny skeleton key, trying to hold it in place between his thumb and index finger while at the same time trying to line it up with the hole it belonged in.

Just as he slid it in and felt the pins in the lock lift a splatter of blood slapped him across the face. It was Veronica’s blood, a jugular vein in her neck spraying all about like an out-of-control fire hose.

 

Over her hysteria Jake frantically tried to stop the eruption, but while he was being soaked in the bloodbath another hole sunk into Veronica’s neck, then a third, this time dead center into her throat.

Lucas realized it was the necklace she was wearing, the little diamond-shaped jewels not diamonds after all but actually cubic zirconia, the glass of which was being controlled by Aunt Mama on the other side of the room.

Faster the fake gems began to sink into Veronica’s flesh until a deadly ring had completely encircled her neck, decapitating her and leaving her head to fall into Jake’s blood-soaked hands. He didn’t know what to do with it, not wanting to just throw it to the floor but also not wanting to hold on to it, finally deciding to place it on the nearby couch.

For that moment it took before Veronica’s headless body fell to the floor the glass chandelier above all their heads had reached down and snatched up Tina before retracting back up to the ceiling, the last of the fuck fairies now entangled and struggling among thousands of tear-shaped ornaments.

These moments of struggle were deliberately drawn out by Aunt Mama as she waited to see if Lucas would forfeit Tina’s life by turning the key. Looking over at her fierce eyes, the windows to evil, he knew that whatever he was about to unlock must be a threat to her, which at this point was their only hope.

As soon as he turned the key a simultaneous triad took place. While the glass chandelier blended Tina to a puree and covered them with her blood and body parts some of the wood panels in the wall fell back, as if unlocking a hidden door, a sharp pain cutting through Lucas’ hand at the same time, as if the flesh of his palm had been torn open by the shift in the wall or the grinding of Tina.

But it was actually Isha who had inflicted the bloody cut, no doubt still using what remaining power she still had to guide her into knowing where to grab, slice and smear.

Had she been playing him all along? For some reason unable to turn the key herself and therefore needing him to do it for her?

The thought of treachery left Lucas’ mind just as fast as it had entered, watching the effect of Aunt Mama shrinking back like a cat to water after Isha had been quicker than the old woman, grabbing a mirror off the wall before slicing through Lucas’ hand, dropping the shard which had also cut into her and getting off one good smear of his innocent blood onto the surface of the mirror before turning it around to face Aunt Mama.

Ah, Lucas thought to himself, the craft can be used against the witch! And a chink in the armor means a gateway to victory. For every question there is an answer, every problem a solution.

The hidden door was now open, Isha holding the mirror against Lucas like a shield as Jake helped them back away from their crafty adversary in this moment of being untouchable.

At the entry of the passage a small set of stairs were leading down into darkness, but given the circumstances anything was better than facing the wrath of Aunt Mama. Isha felt along the wall for the skeleton key, removed it from its lock and guided Lucas to hang the mirror with his blood where the oil painting had been. She then ran her hand down another wall, knowing she’d find a lever that would close the hidden door, the mirror shield warding off Aunt Mama, but for how long?

To the left of the first step they passed a box full of cellphones, no doubt belonging to the poor souls looking for a good time and explaining how Isha had been able to upload the short story and riddle to the net. On down they carefully descended, all three now equally blind due to the pitch black surrounding them. Lucas counted twenty-three steps before they reached the bottom, putting them an estimated fifty feet below the ground.

I can’t see shit,” Jake said. “Are there any lights down here?”

At that precise moment candles lit aflame in rapid succession, revealing a cellar inhabited by ancient relics of Latin, Haitian and African descent, centuries-old books and hundreds of jars containing what one could only describe as diabolical. Chicken feet, beaks, bones, human fingers, tongues, hearts to name a few. And the amount of eyes was simply overwhelming, floating and staring in their preservation as if to never be allowed rest from witnessing the horrors of the darkest of overlords.

But none was as amazing of a sight as the slaves of long ago, frozen in time in glass portraits, their images appearing so real it was as though they were peering in from the other side of windows, the shimmering of candle light reflecting over them making them even more life-like than Lucas and Jake would have cared for.

As eerie as it all was Lucas had to step back and be objective, looking at all he had encountered so far, including the short story and the riddle, all as components of a formula.

Ah, shit man, you’re bleeding pretty bad,” Jake said as he noticed Lucas’ bloody hand. He then took off his shirt and began to wrap it around his cousin’s hand, an act of empathy that would have surprised Lucas if he wasn’t completely focused on finding a solution to their detrimental problem.

Don’t know

so just keep on hummin’,

song of the lost souls keep on drummin.’

The one remaining verse he had been unable to crack. Obvious to him now was that Isha was the one hummin’, as she wouldn’t have been able to sing lyrics with a mutilated tongue. Lyrics to a song of the lost souls.

What lost souls?

Not the men who had been sacrificed, for he knew how much she loathed them. For the male infants that were put to death for not being born into the sex that best served Aunt Mama? For the mothers who were expired once the evil queen bee had herself a new honeychild? For the ancestors of the wicked, whom she had placed into a purgatory of sorts in order to have them under her power and draw from their powers?

Could it be true? Is that why the glass portraits looked so frighteningly real? Were they actually in the mirrors staring back at them right now?

But weren’t they evil as well, having brought an end to the white family they worked for?

Lucas needed more pieces to the puzzle if he was to figure it out properly, but there were too many tattered dust-covered books to sift through for answers. Working the calculation in his head, even if he were to blow out all the candles except for one and used each until it burned down to nothing it would still only be enough wax to get through less than half of the books. And besides, they’d starve to death before that could be accomplished, let alone the looming threat of Aunt Mama, for who knew how long that safeguard up on the wall would keep her at bay?

Lucas turned to Isha, the two dark holes where her eyes used to be a far contrast from the shine that once inhabited them. With no reflection to show any more of her story, with no tongue to tell it, he hoped to the core that she still had some of that power which surrounded them now.

The thought of a long-ago science project involving a potato suddenly popped into his head.

“A conductor…” he whispered to himself.

What?” Jake asked. He had left Lucas alone after binding his hand, knowing him well enough to know when the wheels were turning in his cousin’s brilliant mind.

Lucas placed his hands on Isha’s shoulders.

“Isha, are these your ancestors down here? Are they in the glass?”

She mumbled something, shaking her head Yes.

“Do you remember how Elise transferred that little light of hope into you, and how you transferred it to me out on that bend when we were thirteen?”

She nodded.

“What?! Jake asked astonishingly. “You’ve been here before?!”

“We both have, Jake, the Coca-Cola field trip back in middle school. But I don’t have time to explain right now.

“Here, come here.”

Keeping his right hand on Isha’s shoulder and placing his left on Jake’s Lucas guided the two towards the least intimidating portrait there was: to a girl that looked a lot like Isha. Maybe her great great-grandmother, standing next to an old man whose bare neck and hands bore the awful scars of decades of whip lashings.

They both looked oppressively solemn, in a time when a slave’s soul was defeated before it even entered the world of cruel servitude, the dispirited expression of such cemented on their faces.

Lucas took Isha’s right hand and put her palm against the glass that entombed these two ancestors of hers, then placed her left hand on Jake’s heart.

“Isha, I need you to concentrate on that same feeling you had when Elise gave you the light. Remember what it felt like to receive. Receive the answers to your past from those who lived it, and then concentrate and transferring them to Jake. Focus it to the same place where you showed me your story. The eyes. Transfer it to his eyes so that I may see the images your ancestors give you, just like I saw the images you gave me.”

Isha nodded.

Lucas now looked to Jake. “I-”

“No, cuz,” Jake said, cutting him off before he could find the right words. “It’s ok, just do it. I trust you.”

“Alright, Isha,” Lucas said back to her, “ask them for their story.”

Right away, as if those behind the glass were indeed eager to tell their story after over a century and a half of waiting the colors in Jake’s irises began to sharpen from their normal bright blue to a more icy cold hue, with sleek ice then transforming to reflective glass, the multitude of colors turning into the first image as Lucas stared with as much concentration as he had ever used.

  • A piece of dark flesh lay split open, the pinkish red on the inside and the darker red of the taut muscle beneath it glistening as the wound expands with every strike of the whip.

 

As the vision of the inhumane punishment falls back, the one being whipped is shown to be the woman who looks like Isha, topless and cowered down at the base of a tree, every inch of her bare skin covered in deep red slashes as a white hand wields the long weapon of dominance.

 

Relentless in its lashing it’s like Satan’s tongue, carving out one agonizing cry after another, the image under the whipping tree staying the same while the woman transforms into the old man, the old man into a teenager and so on as a series of victims each endure under the hands of different members of the Matheson family.

 

Young and old, male and female, all taking their turns feeling the power of ownership over another human being, the ground beneath those they torture so blood-stained that one can only imagine that hell itself is down there in those roots.

  • As the sun sets the woman who looks like Isha is the last to head out of the surrounding cotton fields and back towards the main house, her last bucket of cotton balanced with one hand over her head.

Coming down the opposite end of the path one of her masters has already took to his evening drinking, as he stumbles here and there with bottle in hand.

Veering to the far right she tries to stay clear of him as he approaches, but those intoxicated eyes full of lust have already locked in on her, taking in the curves of her hips and the roundness of her bosom.

He lunges for her, but as she sidesteps he misses.

He tries again, and this time his clumsiness causes him to drop his bottle. They both watch as the hooch spills out, then look to each other, he in anger she in fear.

She turns to run but anger has sobered him up enough to give him the coordination needed to reach out for a fist full of hair, her head snapping back and returning just in time for a strike across the face.

This sends the poor woman down to the ground, her master’s weight falling atop her. She fights to refill her lungs with air, her blouse and dress being ripped open in the process.

She tries to cry out but only gets off a few breaths full before the white man stuffs her mouth with the scattered cotton she had been holding. His hand clenches down to ensure she doesn’t spit it out, leaving her no choice but to bite down on the soft white as he drives up hard into her.

  • With a body that’s ready to give birth at any time now Isha’s great great-grandmother is shown no mercy in her late stage of pregnancy, waddling from one cotton plant to another until she falls over in labor.

 

  • A little girl whose skin is like that of creamed coffee sits out on the porch to the main house, watching as her half kin files past her, the male slaves forking off in one direction to tend glass while the females and children head in the opposite direction towards the way leading to the surrounding cotton fields.

 

A white hand comes down to the three-year-old’s level and hands her a piece of candy. As a half-breed she’s allowed to play free around the house, her mother now working inside as a house servant.

The little girl already displays a manner of being better than her more darker side, sticking her tongue out between chews of her honey treat as the other slave children look enviously on their way to a full day’s work.

 

  • Now five, the little girl wears a bright yellow dress and has her hair tied up in a bun, the manner of better-than-thou even deeper, with a downright sinister look to go along with it.

Lucas knows that look.

It’s Aunt Mama.

Skipping along the porch with a doll in hand that looks just like her she stops when she spots two slaves heading up to the house, one on each side of a large pane of glass and both being extra careful so as not to break their masters new house decor.

They take their time walking up the wooden steps, making sure they’re in coordination with each other and hold their breath when they pass little Aunt Mama, for she already has a reputation that precedes her.

Through the doorway and into the living room they rest the pane against the wall and breathe a big sigh of relief. But then they notice her peering in through the window, with fear striking them an instant before the pane of glass shatters out into a million pieces.

Out by the whipping tree little Aunt Mama swings, chewing on her honey candy and watching in joy as the two slaves are whipped to a bloody pulp.

Each lashing echoes, and it is now when Lucas realizes he can hear it. He looks to Isha, then to Jake, both appearing to be in a hypnotic state.

Am I the only one who can hear it?

Am I really hearing it?

Falling back like a subtle soundtrack the sound goes on as the images continue to unfold.

 

  • The path in front of the main house is full of productivity, slaves coming and going with baskets of cotton, sacks of sand and soda ash and other tools of the two trades.

Little Aunt Mama now straddles a homemade rocking horse from her vantage point up on the porch, the rockin’ becoming more intense, as does her glare.

Wind starts to pick up, the slaves looking around in fear as to what’s coming, with no time to take cover as a gust of it whips through, sending sand and ash into the freshly-picked cotton and vice versa, in turn wasting a good amount of both.

Again out by the whipping tree and with a mouth full of honey candy little Aunt Mama takes pleasure in watching the suffering of others, this time a whole row of ‘em.

Learning the true story of her oppressed forebears made Isha mourn them even more, now knowing that the telepathic images Aunt Mama had allowed her to see over the years were manipulated, therefore making the story Isha put out into the world untrue. The family’s whole dark past had been blamed on them, when in reality it had been plagued by Aunt Mama herself.

With no eyes to cry out of Isha’a sorrow comes through through her voice, quivering as it begins to hum and merging with the snaps of the whip into what begins to sound like a melody of pain, a soundtrack of sorrow.

Dead of night. A door to one of the slave shacks busts open, a half dozen masters with their lanterns pouring in to raid the humble quarters.

Straw beds are flung apart, bodies searched, pillows cut open, until a golden locket is found in an old hand-me-down shoe of a boy no more than fourteen years old. He’s yanked up by the neck and pulled outside, his family taking harsh blows as they plead with their masters to let the boy go.

Past the main house they pull him along, the candle at little Aunt Mama’s back making her a silhouette as she watches from her bedroom window.

 

Under the moonlight, under the whipping tree the boy is shown no mercy, the echo of the whip cutting through flesh and reverberating deeper within Lucas.

 

  • More items are mysteriously found among the slave children…

 

Food…

 

Coins…

 

Jewelry…

 

The age of the loss of innocence going down disturbingly lower and lower…

 

Twelve…

 

Ten…

 

Eight…

 

All bloodied, all scarred, under the whipping tree.

When it gets down to a five-year-old little girl the cruelty simply cannot be tolerated anymore, the slaves waiting for a moonless night and slipping away into the darkness with their children.

 

But loose slaves are like loose horses, someone had to have owned them, and before long they’re rounded up by white folk and returned to the Matheson’s.

 

Chains are brought out and locked into place, leather no longer being the only thing digging deep into flesh. And as one link rattles into another the metal clinking noises join in with the whipping soundtrack.

 

The slave children go on suffering for the sick entertainment of the wicked little child known as Aunt Mama, giving those on her darker-skinned side reason to put into motion a plan their kind as been working on for over a hundred years.

 

Witchcraft and voodoo has been part of their history long before slavery and the families have been sure to keep the teachings alive from one generation to the next, cloaked under the guise of song, knowing one day a time would come when they would use it to free themselves from the white man’s rule. For the most part such dark arts could be kept under control, but every now and then a spawn would be created from the power, and with the mixture of the white domineering blood this had come about in the form of little Aunt Mama.

 

Times had started to change with Lincoln in office, so talk of unleashing the craft now that the white man’s power was weakening had increased, with the misdeeds of the evil little child bringing forth the decision to indeed turn the tables on their captors.

The big event is to take place on Hallows’ Eve, to ensure the most powerful of results, but with the Latin holiday still being two seasons away the slaves focus their energy on first ridding themselves of little Aunt Mama. And so as dawn breaks every A.M. they sing, chant, recite, until one early morning, when a piercing scream shrieks through the whole plantation.

 

It’s little Aunt Mama, her eyes now clouded over so thick no light can penetrate them.

 

A doctor arrives to check in on her and leaves with the grim news that she’ll never see again, the blind child and her house servant mother now left to take their place amongst the other low-life slaves.

 

Little Aunt Mama seethes in anger, managing to grab hold enough of the dark art’s power before it’s taken from her to take out half the clan who has brought this about, half of them being decimated with rupturing hearts, eyes, brains, eardrums and so on while the other half is thrown into a hidden purgatory of glass, at which time she falls back in exhaustion and appears to now be expended of all power she had been born into.

 

Little do they know that her dark gift is not entirely depleted.

As described in the short story the big event has come, subtle in appearance and indeed turning the table of master and slave. But to achieve such a feat the slaves have to put everything into this intense ritual during the dawn of Hallows’ Eve. Combing both crafts they pour their hearts and souls into the ceremony through voice, layering in with the lashings, the rattles, Isha’s melody of sorrow, the hummin’ of a painful past…

  • The loss of being torn from their motherland, herded onto slave ships and taken to a hell of white devils.

 

  • Beaten, raped, dehumanized…

  • The life of loved ones snuffed out as if they were nothing more than insects.

 

  • The forcing, brainwashing, conditioning, losing who they once were and assimilation of the slaves they are to become, with each new generation being able to identify less and less the native tongue of the motherland and the beliefs of a heritage that went back thousands of years, in exchange receiving a faith which contradicts itself, with the love of a white god being preached while his white followers treat them as if they’re below animals.

 

It’s a barrage of heartbreaking images for Lucas to bear witness through Jake’s eyes, the thudding of his heart in his chest adding a timed beat to the soundtrack of sorrow.

 

The horrid images transform into the dark clouds of Aunt Mama’s eyes as she ages from one decade to the next, rocking in a rocking chair on the porch she once tormented from, locked away in darkness while her kin now roam all around her in freedom.

And so she remains, mastering the art of patience until the age of eighty, when no one from the old days is left and no one from the newer generations either believe or care of her dark past.

It is on this seventy-fifth anniversary of blindness that Aunt Mama reaches down into the depths of her dark soul for the power that has been brewing within her for so long. She had used up all but a tiny part, but what was an equivalent of a few dust particles was all that was needed, for over time the specks of malice have turned to beads, beads to marbles, marbles to nuggets, and so on as she would absorb some of the power of each of her witch relatives when they passed until she had accumulated a massive mountain of potency.

Of course not a single one of them had had any idea of the spite fermenting right before them, and now, as the dawn of Hallows’ Eve 1935 breaks Aunt Mama digs down deep to unearth the volcanic rage, rockin’ in her chair as the purple sky above reflects the demented incantations which pour off her lashing tongue of Satan and past her thick lips.

One by one she curls her evil soul around her relatives, imprisoning them into the glass of their legacy, some of the verses she spats out allowing her to not only take their inherited power but their remaining years of life as well, since none are needed in the timeless realm of purgatory. This gives Aunt Mama’s dark heart nearly a thousand more years to beat on, but it still does not bring to her eyes the light that was once taken from her. And so she must wait until opportunity presents itself before she can explore the black magic of her ancestry, chronicled and stored under the house by those who took it over in 1865, the next fifteen years going by a lot faster than the previous seventy-five.

  • 1950. Joseph shakes hands with the foreman of the glass factory, grateful for the opportunity to work.

He, Margaret and Elise hop off the back of a pick-up truck out on the bend and head down the old dirt path.

The area is wide-open, rural, quiet. As they approach the house they can see an old black woman in a chair up on the porch. The scene is as beautiful as a Norman Rockwell painting. Joseph looks to his fiancée. They smile. Their lives are about to change forever.

Just as Jake’s eyes shift from iridescent to icy cold blue Lucas feels the weight of a couple of pounds atop his wounded hand, and once he sees the bright blue return to his cousin’s irises he looks down to find an open book lying across the palms of his hands.

When an innocent has been captured for her blood berry she may bring about her own release by the will of her own hand.

Blood berry…

Lucas looks to the glass portraits of slaves, all staring back at him with even more life than before.

Both of Isha’s palms are now against the glass which holds her great great-grandmother, the soundtrack of sorrow growing stronger.

Dazed, confused, Jake asked, “Is it over? Did it work? Where’s that music coming from?”

“It worked,” Lucas replied. “We have to go back upstairs. To the bathroom.”

He folds the page in the book and holds it tight in his good hand, urging Jake to follow. “What about her?” Jake asked of Isha.

“Leave her. She’s safer now than she’s ever been.”

On up the twenty-three steps they hurried, then took a moment to breathe, to contemplate.

“How do we get past the old evil bitch?” Jake asked. “Do we use the mirror we used earlier?”

There was only one way to find out. Lucas pulled the lever down to open the wall…

The mirror with his blood was no longer hanging over the keyhole, but instead scattered in pieces both big and small on the floor below.

They both peeped out and spotted the silhouette of Aunt Mama on the other side of the room, just standing there like a statue in stillness.

Could she hear the soundtrack of sorrow? Was she just waiting to pounce?

Jake pulled Lucas back in behind the wall. Shirtless and huddled close, it reminded Lucas of the few times his cousin had convinced him to join in playing football against the neighborhood kids.

“On the count of three you’re gonna take off up those stairs faster than you’ve ever run before, ok?”

“What do you mean? What are you gonna do?”

“Don’t worry about it. Just givin’ my cousin a little help, that’s all.” Jake smiled.

Lucas wanted to hug him, to say he was sorry for being wrong about the mirrored staircase, but before he could do anything…

Three.”

Jake had bent down, snatched up a shank of blood-smeared glass and took off towards the deadly beast of Aunt Mama.

“B-I-T-C-H!” he yelled as he charged. Lucas did as he was told, taking the stairs two at a time in record time with counter-curse in hand, not daring to look back down once he reached the top.

Only as he approached the doorway of the bathroom did Lucas remember the threat of Joseph. He took a breath, looked down to the tiles and took a step forward onto one of them.

He could feel the strong presence to his left, keeping his line of sight aimed downward out of respect.

Joseph, I’m here as a friend, not an enemy. I know what Aunt Mama has done, but her reign over everyone, over everything, is about to come to an end.

“Can you hear that? That’s the sound of redemption. The voices of the past, who like you have suffered greatly under the darkness of Aunt Mama. But the time has finally come. Your freedom, their freedom…

“It all lies within the release of Elise. So please, allow me to help bring that about.”

Silence was all that followed, leaving Lucas with not an answer but a decision to make. Take another step forward and risk death, or…

Or what? He already knew there was no other choice, so lifting his sights from the tiles below he looked dead ahead to the mirror of the medicine cabinet, Elise on the other side waiting for him.

Shifting his weight he took another step forward, then another, Joseph’s blade yet to make a move…

…Downstairs Jake was a bloody mess, bleeding from too many orifices to count yet still trying his damnedest to get past the force of Aunt Mama’s witchery as it sent him crashing against one mirror to the next…

…Lucas placed the open book up against the mirror for Elise to read, watching as her iridescent eyes went from left to right taking in the passage, then staring at it as realization sunk in before looking back up to Lucas.

With peripheral vision Lucas could see Joseph’s figure to his left, so far doing nothing to interfere. He slowly placed his open palm against the glass.

Elise followed suit, placing her own right up against Lucas’, the only thing between them being the thin mirror itself.

Their eyes locked into one another’s Elise took her other hand, put it to the side of her nightgown and began to use her fingers to pull up the fabric and collect it in the palm of her hand.

On up the gown slowly rose, the hem ascending up her leg, past her knee and over her thighs until the right side reached her right hip, with her then maneuvering the bunched fabric to where she could slip her hand underneath it, the base of her palm and the pads of her fingertips easing diagonally down over her pubic area and towards her innocence…

…Down below on the first floor Jake was out of breath and nearly out of stamina, knowing this would be the last time he’d be picking himself up off the floor and therefore putting the rest of all he had into hurling the chunk of glass he had managed to hang on to into the air and towards Aunt Mama’s face.

The long blood-stained shard pierced her right eye, shattering the iridescence in it and leaving her evil glare cyclopsed…

With fingers now pressed against her blood berry Elise surrendered herself into the eyes of her destined mate and began to gently apply pressure…

Now regretting the choice to toy with this nitwit Aunt Mama closed the distance between her and Jake in a blink of an eye, sinking a vice grip into the back of his neck and with one hand lifted him up off the floor with supernatural strength, using her other to pry loose the jagged glass shank out of her eye and driving it on up into Jake’s crotch.

He screamed out in agony, the damage splintering off into a frenzy of hungry glass termites as they devoured him all the way up the neck, stopping just below Aunt Mama’s deadly grip before dissipating into thin air.

Like a thunderbolt she then chucked his head into the oil painting of slaves tending glass. At that moment the soundtrack of sorrow grew so strong its vibrations started to tremble the entire house.

She shot a look upstairs…

The skin of Elise’s blood berry suffered its first tear, sending a crack spreading through the mirror which separated her and Lucas.

A second abrasion caused a second split in the glass, followed by a third and a fourth…

A quarter of the way upstairs Aunt Mama found it very difficult to keep her footing amongst the ever-increasing quake of the house, the sound of shattering glass adding another layer to the soundtrack of sorrow.

She reached out for the railing…

The thin membrane of Elise’s blood berry finally gave way, a burst of red spattering through the fine threads of her thin nightgown while simultaneously the glass of both the medicine cabinet and the main mirror, the doors to the realm of the mirrored staircase, burst out…

As did the glass portraits down in the cellar…

As did Aunt Mama’s one remaining eye, once again rendering her completely blind as she struggled, the years of her true old age of one hundred and fifty-four seeming to invade her all at once, her left leg losing strength, then her right,

She tumbled back down to the base of the stairs, shaking in frailty as she tried to feel her way along the floor. The soundtrack of sorrow was so deafening to her now that it ruptured her eardrums, blood spilling out from both of her ears and onto the wooden surface of the floor…

An estimated fifty feet beneath Isha held her hands out to her sides as the power of her ancestry poured into her from the shattered-out portraits…

Aunt Mama crawled along the floorboards, trying to escape the house that she had caused so much pain in, her flesh beginning to rip open one gash at a time like the lashings she brought about so long ago…

The soft pristine skin of Elise’s hand was now in Lucas’, one last blood tear rolling down the beautiful girl’s cheek, the intimacy of human touch not having been felt for sixty years.

Lucas let the book fall from his left hand and reached in for Elise, pulling her body out of the cursed realm and into his arms, her eyes transforming from iridescent to bright green.

With the strength of an Alpha and the heart of an Omega Lucas kept her in his embrace, turning back towards the bathroom door not with his gaze avoiding Joseph but actually making eye contact, respect now coming from the other side of that blade…

The bloody monster dragged itself out onto the porch where her malevolence began no longer resembled that of Aunt Mama, the last frantic beats of her evil heart spent on reaching for her rocking chair before the pounding organ exploded in what was left of her chest, the pure darkness of it dissolving her into oblivion.

The house was now still, the soundtrack of sorrow no longer being hummed, the broken glass throughout now replenished. For the first time since its two centuries of existence it sat in peace, finally void of dominance, hate, cruelty, suffering, as the wide-open sky above it began to break with the light of a new day.

 

~

EPOLOGUE

THE KEY to Rodney’s van is inserted into the ignition, Lucas then turning it to start the engine and shifting the gear to drive before placing his arm around the beautiful girl at his side. He steps on the gas, he and Elise making their way down the dirt path and into a future they have both been waiting so long to live…

At their back Isha taking her throne as head of the family, taking her seat on the porch in the chair that will no longer rock for the misfortune of others, but instead cradle the peace and love she had always dreamt of having in her life, with a sixth sense stronger than her sight ever was giving her the comfort of knowing she is surrounded by the spirited warmth of generations of ancestors…

Out back by the whipping tree Joseph’s straight razor falls from his hand, letting go the last stronghold of pain as he looks out to the visual symphony before him, the dawn sky setting ablaze and in turn revealing the rural landscape below…

He breathes in the cool crisp air, deciding to head in the same direction as the coming sun, not knowing where it will take him but liking the idea that wherever it is it’s a place full of brightness.

 

Stay tuned for the prequel,

Aunt Mama,

posted shortly!

 

 

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