The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 22

Melanie never gave her permission to use the library’s delivery bike after hours, but she never said she couldn’t! It wasn’t safe to walk through the alleyways at night during normal times, but with a vengeful ghost on the loose… She didn’t imagine that her boss would want her to throw herself to the mercy of the darkened city, but Lisa guessed that she would have gotten peeved that she took the work bicycle off the clock! She tried contacting her to enquire about borrowing it, but Melanie never responded, so she had to make a difficult choice at this juncture: ride to the party and pray that it didn’t get damaged en route or chance a long journey in the shadows! Even if nothing detrimental occurred during her lengthy trek, she couldn’t tire herself out prior to her arrival there! Not that she planned to engage in much frivolity, she simply needed to ensure that she was in the most optimal physical condition in the event that her supernatural adversary came to call! And she found that to be a highly probable outcome- why wouldn’t she strike at a function where nearly the whole town assembled?

It somewhat relieved her to behold a slew of bikes parked on a rack beneath the Half Moon Hollow sign! It could blend right in, so if Melanie happened to pass by this site, she wasn’t likely to pick it out amongst the others! She would make certain to leave either well before or much later than her employer to avoid getting seen on it, so everything should be fine, right? … It gave her some comfort to see it nestled in the middle of many of its peers because she ascertained that the other riders’ more favorable public opinion would keep their vehicles safe from ordinary attackers! Although, Rebecca was far from ordinary! If she chose to ambush this specific spot, Lisa would regret this decision! Of course, the majority of her intended victims were going to occupy a totally different locale, so it seemed less likely for the bicycles to get vandalized! This tiny iota of good news provided her very little cheer in the grand scheme of things though…

As she passed the parking area, she noticed a lot of guests were wearing Halloween costumes. She didn’t have one, and actually, she didn’t have much to wear at all with that pair of pants ripping yesterday! She had no other choice but to dig into the bag of clothes Ann declared too large for Abby and Marshal handed over to her as a subtle insult! She was sort of hoping the garments would prove themselves as too massive for her frame too so she could throw it in their faces, but alas, they all fit perfectly! She was grateful to have a new wardrobe when she needed it, but she had to cross her fingers that no one would recognize the apparel as Missus Farrington’s! She wore a pair of jeans with a red flannel shirt, so she definitely embodied the hoedown theme, but many of her young, female neighbors donned more alluring outfits than hers! She wasn’t overly concerned about dressing better than them, but her least favorite attendee was undoubtedly following in their footsteps…

An evil essence creating a hellscape, and a deadly one at that, wasn’t the only reason she was dreading this soiree! Since Abby helped fund this occasion, she assumed she had already come to the farm. She knew Abby would do her utmost to seduce Adam, and it tore Lisa up to picture him engaging with that temptress! Admittedly, she believed her own romantic interactions with him were part of a ploy to gain intelligence for her adversaries, but she couldn’t prevent her sense of longing for him didn’t cause a plethora of jealousy too! Sometimes he seemed like the perfect guy for her- smart, kind, and very brave, and his handsomeness was icing on the cake, but it was difficult to entertain amorous fantasies of him since Abby was probably more of his type with her gorgeous, model-like appearance and a regional popularity! She slowed her gait in order to delay what she presumed would be inevitable- the heartache of seeing her hang all over him!

When she finally entered onto the grounds of the agricultural property, she denoted that it looked like a totally different world compared to when she originally saw it on that delivery where she first met Adam! She couldn’t even see the quaint, yellow house! Surrounding the scattered social circles was a candy cornhole toss, Jack O’ Lantern bowling, a hay maze, and an enormous grill full of barbecued food and cooks wearing kooky getups! She was impressed with how quickly the decorations got established, and she could easily comprehend why everyone enjoyed attending this every year! The amusement from the crowd was almost palpable! A fun affair was getting had by the entire mass… Well, perhaps not the entire mass…

Delron stayed steadfastly fixed on the atmosphere above the pit of coals, which drove Lisa to approach him and learn what motivated this unfestive behavior. “What, are you on a diet?” Lisa joshed him.

“No, but if I was, this wouldn’t tempt my vegetarian palate much!” Delron cracked a smile at her quip, but his stare did not budge an inch. He directed Lisa, “Take a gander at the air above the grills.”

“It’s smoke from all the cooking,” Lisa assessed.

Delron differed, “Is it though? Doesn’t it seem thicker than it oughta be?” Lisa took another glimpse at the haze, but she didn’t distinguish any qualities about it that stood out to her. She didn’t know how to express this opinion to Delron without offending him, but apparently, her silence spoke volumes. “I may be alone in this judgment, but with… recent activities… I’m not taking any risks!”

Lisa nodded in understanding. “I get that! There are a lot of things that I’ll never view in the same light! Things like cranberry juice and baseballs will probably always cause me to panic as though something awful is about to unfold! But don’t spend every minute of the day obsessing over it! We gotta take a break every now and then too! Who knows how many opportunities we’ll get to enjoy ourselves! If we don’t pause to… Delron!”

“Sorry!” Delron took the cigarette out of his mouth and then shoved the rest of the pack into Lisa’s pocket. “Save me from myself!” Lisa playfully rolled her eyes, but her mirth evaporated when Delron reported, “Adam was trying to find you earlier.”

“He was?” Lisa’s stomach lurched at the recollection of her apprehension over that man! She inwardly puzzled if he sought her out to deliver welcomed tidings or unwelcomed revelations, and she wasn’t keen on fishing out the facts here! If he aimed to flaunt a newly blossoming relationship with another girl, she would have been mortified! She bristled at the concept of experiencing another emotional blowout in front of hundreds of spectators again! Then again, he could have been striving to initiate a conversation to gather info for her foes too! She dreaded their encounter, but she couldn’t exactly refuse to interact with the host! That would’ve been bad manners, and she still counted on him for his role in their mission regardless of why he joined in! So, with a heavy sigh, she posed to Delron, “Where is he?”

Delron relayed to her, “He’s in the barn.”

It didn’t occur to Lisa until that instance that the music she heard emanated from the stables! She observed many folks popping in and out of that building, and she beseeched the universe to have Adam pull her into more private quarters so she could avoid another widespread humiliation! She asked Delron, “Are you coming?”

Still ogling the fog, Delron answered, “No. I’ll keep an eye on everything out here. Let me know if anything happens in there!” Lisa didn’t relish going without a companion, but he displayed no hints of removing his obstinacy! He had a point about watching over that sector as well, and she resigned herself to facing a taxing drudgery no matter if it was paranormal or not!

Food tables lined the edge of the edifice as well as a couple more games, but in the center of this station, a dance floor commenced in some lively jigs! On the opposite end from her, Lisa espied Adam changing out CD’s. He caught sight of her and gave her a broad grin in addition to a wave, and despite her misgivings on him, she simpered as she returned his gesture! She may have relented to a smidgen of optimism if she hadn’t overheard Abby’s snide voice remark, “She has some nerve showing up!”

Lisa glanced over to her left where Abby was hovering with Ann and Beth in the near distance, and they weren’t hiding their disdain about Lisa’s presence in the slightest! Lisa had no appetite for a confrontation tonight, so she shifted over to the apple bobbing barrels with the hopes that the added distance between them would deter her from initiating any verbal sparring. Abby showed signs of pursuing her, and she considered making a mad dash for the exit to avoid this dramatic spectacle! She realized that would cast her in a cowardly hue, but she would much rather have taken that hit than invite chaos that would lure Rebecca in to instigate another assault that Lisa would get blamed for! A myriad of whispers erupted from the bystanders in her proximity, and it became more apparent that nothing but tension and tragedy would transpire! She wondered what benefit she would produce by remaining at this function any longer, and concluding that the answer was none, she turned towards the door…

Abby glanced over to the stage where Adam was taking the microphone, and while she appreciated Adam’s incidental intervention, she wished that something else could have distracted the throng so that her intended movement wouldn’t seem so overt! She felt stuck in this moment, and she somewhat vexedly switched her aspirations to Adam’s speech elapsing rapidly so she could succeed in slipping out! She extended one leg and readied herself to sprint… until…

“Everyone line up! We’re doing the Virginia Wheel!” Adam announced. The congregation clamored for this, but Lisa’s insides plummeted! As the participants took their places, Lisa decided to keep residing in her current post. If anyone inquired about it, she would feign an injury, but she estimated that most individuals would simply be alleviated that she didn’t partake! Just as she settled on watching their merry-making for a few minutes, Adam requested, “When I push play, don’t start yet! I wanna partner up with the prettiest lady in the joint!” The multitude cooed at this cute antic, but Lisa put the final nail in the coffin for her will to continue her span there! She swiveled back towards the entrance to the outside…

“I’m all yours!” Abby silkily offered herself to Adam.

Lisa briefly checked behind her due to her curiosity wanting to verify that her predictions were accurate. She prepared herself to receive substantial heartbreak, but to her shock, Adam pushed Abby’s grasp off of him! Furthermore, he kept going, and adrenaline filled her entire being as he strolled straight up to her! Her suddenly frenzied mind threw out tons of theories about how this had to be a mistake or that surely, he was setting her up for some kind of prank, but he particularly politely held out his palm and invited her, “Please!”

She could feel all of her skin flushing red at this proposal! The enthusiasm for Adam’s selection ebbed tremendously versus when they assumed he was picking Abby, but a few urged her to accept his petition to her! She was so flattered that she shoved her doubts out and clasped her hand with his! He beamed, and the movement to the music commenced. Lisa truly didn’t believe that she would find any joy from engaging in this action prior to this juncture, but as she swayed to the beat, she grew rapturous! In the midst of the ugliness that befell on Melas recently, a spark of beauty eked out! Lisa mused on whether or not Adam meant how he described her, but then the manner in which he peered at her convinced her uncertainty to vacate! She couldn’t fathom that he possessed enough acting skills to fake these intense sentiments! Additionally, if he had an ounce of affection for Abby, he would not allow her to become this furious! She couldn’t lie to herself and say that she didn’t savor the glare of pure acrimony that she was displaying as well! The irony of Abby wearing a witch costume wasn’t lost on her either! She didn’t know how long this moment would last, but she thrived in every second of it!

When the tune finished, the collective aired their enjoyment of that episode! Lisa landed that number pressed against Adam’s chest, and it surprised her when he didn’t pull away at the finale of this ditty! And it stunned her when he drew her in even closer! She could feel his heart beating as wildly as hers, and she thought it may have stemmed from the exercise they just did, but soon, his lips were heading directly towards hers! She didn’t harbor any desire to rebuff him and leaned into this kiss…

Before they could complete this tender motion, Abby emitted an ear-splitting shriek! The room fell silent as they changed their attention to her envious scowl, but in an instant, they found that she wasn’t the only one with cause toto scream…

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