The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 23

A flurry of tearful cries exploded from the exterior, and Lisa as well as Adam knew what that meant without either of them having to discuss it with one another! Adam commanded the people in the barn, “Stay here!” Nobody seemed tempted to disobey him as he and Lisa raced towards the cacophony of mayhem!

While Adam shut the door behind him, Lisa beheld the source of the scare and gasped! Hundreds of rats overtook the terrain! Some merely scurried across the land, but many of the creepy creatures crawled all over the unlucky individuals who could not escape their breadth! At least a couple of party goers laid on the ground while the rats swarmed them! Adam’s jaw dropped when he soaked in this sight, and Peanut took it upon himself to guard Lisa and Adam from the furry beasts! As he barked furiously at them, Lisa dove into her pocket and pulled out the witching bottle. “Here goes nothing!” she remarked as she popped open the cork. She held the glass container in the air and anticipated receiving a jolt of tremendous force resulting from her villainous capture, but after several seconds, nothing but more chaos ensued!

“You have to get closer to her so she can take in the allure of the ingredients!” Adam briefed her as he watched this scene unfold with dread.

“Where is she?” Lisa probed. Adam glanced around, and he shook his head due to a lack of clues to Rebecca’s whereabouts. Lisa observed both the rodents’ numbers strengthening and Peanut clearing a pathway out from them, and she declared, “I’m gonna find her!”

It was difficult to ignore the anguished hollering and injuries happening all around her, but she only possessed a single method of defeating this demon- to trap that evil essence in this receptacle! She had no inkling as to where Rebecca could have been lurking until she espied Delron tossing meat from the grill to the mice. She recalled Delron’s hunch about the smoke from the barbecue having a suspicious aura to it, and she made a beeline for that area! Once she arrived, she stood beside him and beseeched the universe, “Please be here!” Once again, her efforts yielded no results! Her heart sank- what was she going to do now?

She saw Adam using a pitchfork to destroy the vermin, but they continued to teem from an unspecified source! Lisa bit her lip trying to unearth another method of combating this madness, but she came up blank! Then, all of a sudden, they no longer had this issue- the rats all sprinted away from the vicinity! A few folks were relieved, but most of the crowd looked wary of this phenomenon. This behavior offered no explanation, only the ponderance of what these terrifying animals were afraid of!

Shortly after the rodents’ departure, it became overtly evident why they emptied this site! Dozens of bats flew into the territory, and before many bystanders could escape their grasp, these new foes attacked them! Lisa and Delron dove under the cover of the pits, and they saw Adam fending them off by the stables. Lisa didn’t like him battling these adversaries alone, but she needed to pinpoint that phantom and end this nightmare immediately! Her eyes darted all over until something unexpectedly fell into her scope! “The hayloft!” Lisa exclaimed.

Prior to Delron being able to respond, the bats unexpectedly exited the premises! Lisa took this opportunity to make a furious sprint towards that nefarious apparition, but she didn’t get very far since several men and women purposely blocked her from going forward! “Where do you think you’re going?” a man accosted her.

“I can stop this disaster!” Lisa vehemently explained. “I need to go to the barn, and-!”

“Oh no! You can’t hide from this mess you made!” a woman decreed. Her nearby peers all ardently shared her sentiments.

Lisa argued, “I’m not trying to get myself out of this! I’m trying to get you out of this! I need to get in the right place to-!”

It was too late! The chance to entrap their ghostly enemy evaporated! The floor beneath them began to shake, and at first, Lisa thought they were going to experience another earthquake, but a growl in the distance told her otherwise! Lisa swiveled towards the other side of Half Moon Hollow, and she could hardly fathom that this was reality!

A scarecrow with a menacing visage manifested out of nowhere and stomped towards them! Its raggedy clothes and straw hair bobbed up and down as it took massive steps towards them, and massive wasn’t an exaggeration! It towered over all of the buildings associated with this property, so there was no plausible reason to believe that this entity could simply have been a festive attendee causing disarray! Its surface was stitched together like cloth, and yet it moved its mouth as though it was a living being with a voracious appetite! Even if it wasn’t hungry, the stilts that comprised its limbs could have easily crushed whatever had the misfortune of befalling beneath its trajectory! Most of the populus scrambled to break out of its range, but it became clear that some of the bystanders near the entrance did not have that fortune!

“This is awful!” Delron croaked out.

“How do we make it less awful?” Adam posed to them.

Lisa glanced around as though something in the environment would give her a hint. It had life, but it didn’t seem like it was actually alive, so trying to stab it or hurl a hard projectile at it wouldn’t have done them much service! It was getting closer though, so she had to do something! Panic started to set in as the vibrations increased, and her brain remained vacant of anything useful! The earth below them shook with enough power that some of the branches from nearby trees fell off! A twig smoldering on the grills captured her eye, and suddenly, she knew what to do!

She darted over to the base of one of the cooking units, and her male counterparts didn’t need to hear her request for assistance- they mimicked her move without question! They waited for the scarecrow’s colossal feet to hit the necessary position, and with every ounce of vigor within themselves, the trio pushed the pit in front of the scarecrow! The scarecrow didn’t have a single moment to change its course, it could not stop itself from landing in that snare! Fire swiftly enveloped its wooded legs, and the rest of its form rapidly got consumed by the blaze! Within seconds, it let out a final roar and disintegrated! 

The majority of the collective stood still in anticipation of another supernatural siege, but Lisa wasn’t about to allow another outbreak to commence! She dashed towards the hayloft, and her adrenaline prompted her to ram down anyone who obstructed her route! When she neared Rebecca’s perch, she yanked the witching bottle back out! She held it up high, but she endured a sharp pang of disappointment when the ominous haze drifted well beyond her boundaries! She stood still for a stretch so she could fully absorb this loss. Oh sure, the guests of Adam’s soiree no longer needed to fear for their demise, but that was only a temporary condition! Lisa knew it wouldn’t take a lengthy span for the next onslaught to arise! Frustrated tears formed in her eyes- it deeply pained her to not have been able to thwart this tragic frequency once and for all!

“Casper! He’s dead!” a woman wailed as she stared at a man who no longer appeared to have any breath left!

“The parking lot is full of blood!” a young boy sobbed.

An older fellow opined, “You can’t chalk this up to coincidence! You could say that the animals were freaks of nature, but you can’t say that the scarecrow happened by accident!”

A pregnant lady wondered, “So, it was the result of some kind of magic? But how? How could anyone make this occur?”

“You wanna know how? I’ll tell you how!” Abby opened the barn door and strutted directly to the horde. “She brought a curse onto us!”

“That’s not true!” Lisa refuted. Technically, she did release Rebecca onto them, but she could tell that Abby meant to convey that she evoked the potency that compelled these monsters to attack them, which was most certainly a false premise! She was tirelessly devoting herself to warding off this sinister spell, and she seriously disliked the insinuation that she was desirous of doing any of them harm!

Abby quarreled, “When I saw you puckering up to Adam, I prayed for an interruption, and I got it! But I didn’t want any of this…” She gestured towards the devastation. “… to do that! My prayers were answered in an evil way! It was as if an evil genie was at the helm and twisted into this awfulness! Only someone truly wicked would do something like that!”

Delron challenged Abby, “Why would she interrupt a romantic capstone for something that could have killed her?”

“She laid a trap, she didn’t know when or how it would snare its next victim!” Abby speculated. “What, you think I wanted to ruin this celebration? I’m the one who helped organize it! I wouldn’t do this! I made one little wish, and it came true by the worst means possible!”

“Huh! That effect was around when my store flooded,” the stocker from Dulahan’s recollected. “I didn’t want her to leave thinking she was right about Tommy, and she almost didn’t!”

Ezekiel piped up, “The cashier in Shade’s was wishing our bickering would subside, and then the shop filled with a noxious gas! If we died, that girl would have gotten her wish too!”

An eruption of murmurs washed over the assembly, and everyone sounded like they concurred with this theory against Lisa, so Adam orated, “Will you listen to yourselves? In each of these scenarios, she almost died! Why would she put herself in peril like that?”

“She couldn’t get away before the curse she laid out sprung to life!” Abby spat.

“Or maybe she attempted to pretend she was also a victim so no one would blame her,” Ezekiel added. “Only that didn’t fool us!”

Supporters praised their logic, and Adam condemned their misjudgment, “That’s crazy! She hasn’t even been in Melas for a week, so even if she had a vicious bone inside of her, which she doesn’t, it wouldn’t make sense for her to lash out against people she doesn’t know!”

Ann scoffed, “I told you not to pursue him! He’s too far under her spell to side with us! He was willing to get arrested with that jezebel, he’s not worth your effort!”

“Are you for real? Adam’s the nicest guy in this region!” Delron defended him. “His dad was the kindest, most generous person any of us have ever met, that’s why we all flocked to him! And his son has followed in his footsteps! You’re all just too stubborn to admit you could be wrong about this argument!”

“She’s not so innocent! We called her out on the shit she did to Tommy, and now she’s trying to punish us for it!” Beth barked.

The plurality of the population applauded her hypothesis, and Delron made a bid to fight against that incorrect parameter, but his voice got drowned out in a sea of backlash! Lisa couldn’t stand to see him receive such harsh treatment, but it was especially terrible under these circumstances! She bellowed, “Stop it! This is insanity! Our neighbors have died for heaven’s sake!”

Ezekiel alleged, “Yeah, ‘cause you killed them! You’re lucky we can’t legally prove anything, we’d haul your murderous ass to jail in an instant!”

The mob echoed his opinion, and Adam severely ordered them, “That’s enough! Grief is no excuse for this asinine act!”

“Your father would be ashamed to see you show compassion to degenerates like them!” Ezekiel shot back, which prompted Adam’s fists to clench.

“This is his home!” Delron expressed as he wedged himself between the two men and impeded a pending altercation. “If you don’t like what he has to say, you can leave!”

Everybody but the grievers proceeded to disperse. Ann muttered to Abby, “I never liked that dweeb! He’s always been a weirdo!”

Beth agreed, “Totally! The company he keeps confirms that!”

Abby assured them, “Don’t worry! They’ll pay for their crimes somehow! Mark my words!” She threw one last dirty look at them prior to her leave.

“What the hell are we going to tell the cops?” a mourner queried. “Our son got assassinated by an f’ing scarecrow?”

“That is gonna be hard to explain!” Adam commented to Lisa and Delron.

Lisa shrugged. “Maybe! But we have bigger problems than that!” She stared at the hayloft and grimly assessed, “A malicious ghost is on the loose, and now everyone knows that they have the ability to make their darkest wishes come true!”

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