The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 26

“You can’t do this!” Lisa cried out as she beheld the scaffold that had been erected in front of the old courthouse. Three wooden stakes stood upon three piles of pyre, and that could only mean one thing…

“Oh, yes we can! You’ll see!” the man who held her captive snickered. Lisa’s mind went numb with denial! She couldn’t believe she had survived all of their ghostly misadventures only to wind up losing her life at the hands of her neighbors! She wasn’t ready to die! She had so much that she wanted to experience before her demise, and it was gut wrenching to think that she would never get the opportunity to even try! Departing this earth was devastating enough, but the worst part was she wasn’t the only individual fated to their doom that night! She wasn’t only referring to her male counterparts either- with the three of them perishing, the truth about the recent mayhem would disappear with them! Once they were no more, Rebecca would have an even greater reign of freedom, and more innocent souls were going to get lost! The gathered crowd had no idea how truly tragic this situation would become!

A group of folks in colorful t-shirts merrily snapped pictures of what was transpiring, and one of them chirped, “Look, honey! It’s just like in the witchcraft days!”

Delron snapped at them, “People died during that period! And history is about to repeat itself! This isn’t a tourist attraction! We’re in real danger! Please, save us!”

“Don’t do anything of the sort!” Ezekiel commanded as he jaunted onto the stage. “Those criminals are responsible for dozens of deaths in this town, and we’re putting a stop to their mischief before they cause any further damage!”

“We’re not trying to spread harm, we’re trying to prevent it from spreading!” Adam appealed to the onlookers present. “If you kill us, the evil that’s invaded Melas will only strengthen! We can put a halt to it, but you gotta let us go first!”

Ezekiel smirked at his bid for their release. “Nice try! You’ve had all this time to curtail this chaos, and yet, you let it persist! What kind of fools do you take us for?”

“Particularly big and blind ones!” Lisa retorted. She glanced to her left, and she saw Adam’s eyes widen in fright at her audacity. She couldn’t discern Delron’s visage, but she got the vibe that he shared Adam’s sentiments. She turned her focus back to Ezekiel, who bore the expression that a person might have if they got punched in the ribs! This gave Lisa some satisfaction, and she needled him further by saying, “What? You expected us to treat you like gold when you’re about to murder us?”

“This isn’t murder!” Ezekiel refuted. “This is self defense! We’re not going to sit idly by while you destroy our entire city!”

Lisa shot back, “No, you’re gonna make your last act on this planet committing the worst sin possible! Good luck justifying that to your maker!”

Ezekiel folded his arms, and then he challenged them, “Oh, okay! You’re not guilty, huh? Then why has all of this trouble always seemed to have circled back to you?”

“That’s the way they want it to be! They’re attempting to frame us so you all let your guards down!” Delron spelled out.

“Who’s ‘they?’” Ezekiel probed.

The trio all met each other’s eyes and wordlessly enquired to one another on what the best course of action to take was. If any of them uttered the truth, Ezekiel and his mob would likely view them as insane and lock them away, however, if they offered them no culprit, then they would likely carry on with the execution! Either route they took would lead to a disbelief of those who heard it, so it was difficult to choose the right option! Eventually, Adam bit the bullet and articulated to everyone, “It may sound crazy, but the real villain of this story is a vengeful spirit who got unjustly slaughtered but has risen up to slaughter the descendents of her wrongdoers!”

It took the collective a lengthy stretch to absorb this outlandish claim, but once they did, laughter began to ripple throughout the space! Ezekiel chortled, “Wow! I expected a cockamamy excuse, but not a whopper like that! Whoo!” The spectators’ giggling increased in volume, but apparently, not everyone partook. “Abby, baby! Isn’t that hilarious?”

“Don’t call me that!” Abby softly requested. It didn’t totally surprise Lisa to hear that they became an item at one point, but it did stun her to see that Abby seemed unable to meet his gaze! She stared at the ground with her arms folded, and she seemed uncomfortable as he referenced her! Lisa found this confusing- with Abby’s relentlessness over the need to punish them, she would have thought that she would’ve been glowing with pride at this event! Instead, she appeared as though she wanted to shrink into the congregation! What was going on?

“Abby, what’s the deal?” Ezekiel obviously also possessed a high level of befuddlement on this development. “Isn’t this what you wanted?”

Still not making eye contact with him, Abby croaked out, “Not like this!” 

The horde booed and hissed at Abby, but, to Lisa’s astonishment, Abby didn’ budge! She didn’t justify herself to anyone, and she seemed to have lost all of her usual bravado. Lisa couldn’t comprehend her sudden change of heart until it occurred to her that Adam made a plea for morality and peace to her, and, as if she needed more proof of his honesty at this juncture, it must have had an effect on her after all! Lisa looked over to Adam to get his reaction to this transpiration, and she happened to witness movement directly past him. It took her a minute to register that Delron’s hands could maneuver more than hers could…

Luckily, Ezekiel was oblivious to this incidence because of his growing alarm in Abby’s behavior! “You said you almost strangled one of these traitors!”

“I’m glad I didn’t!” Abby meekly expressed. “Now that they’re at death’s door, it just seems… wrong!”

“Seriously? You wanna protect them all of a sudden after all they’ve done?” Ezekiel grilled her.

Abby contended, “It doesn’t make sense to kill them and not give them a chance to fix this mess!”

Ezekiel countered, “What makes you believe that their release won’t cause more killings?”

“So, the solution is to cause the killings ourselves?” Abby snapped.

“What? You still have the hots for that jerk, don’t you?” Ezekiel gestured towards Adam, and Lisa noticed that Delron swiftly repositioned his palms in their original position. Lisa sincerely hoped that Abby would instigate Ezekiel further so that Delron could slip out! She thought that perhaps he could have called for help prior to their demise, but, at the very least, her mind would feel slightly more at ease to know that at least one innocent being would have gotten spared! Unfortunately, Ezekiel didn’t seem to have the ability to behold Abby any longer and did not turn back to her! He instead addressed his frustrations to Adam, “How dare you sink your claws into her! Well, I won’t allow you to influence anyone else!” He exclaimed to the others, “Their regime of terror is done!”

Most of the array chimed in with agreement, but Lisa espied a few individuals who seemed persuaded by Abby’s reasoning! Lisa dearly hoped that more supporters would voice their disapproval so that Ezekiel would give up this lethal plot, but that didn’t happen- he drew out his lighter without objection! Lisa beseeched the lot to spare them, but no one could listen to her pleas over the roar of their own enthusiasm over this occasion! Her pulse skyrocketed as Ezekiel advanced towards them with a wicked grin planted across his face! She regretted allowing her optimism of escaping to prevail, and she wished she had done more to say goodbye to the living world as she braced for her final moments…

With total abruptness, Ezekiel faltered in his footsteps! It perplexed everyone around him, including Lisa! She saw him staring at the floor, but she couldn’t fathom why until he inquired, “What did you do?”

“What did I do? Not a whole lot! Being tied up doesn’t let you do a whole lot!” Lisa snarkily replied. She began to get the impression that he lost his marbles, but then…

“Don’t play dumb with me!” Ezekiel barked. “I felt something brush past my legs, so I know you did something!” It buoyed Lisa’s spirits to realize that Hester showed up to defend them, and it startled Lisa that she had let her pleasure over this feat become transparent enough for Ezekiel to observe it! “Yes, see! You have something brewing here! What is it?”

Lisa wasn’t sure what to tell him. She knew Ezekiel wouldn’ believe the truth, but she couldn’t drum up any other plausible explanation for that phenomenon! Fortunately, Adam had an inkling of how to counter him, “She didn’t do anything! You’re the one causing trouble right now! Meanwhile, the actual monster is out there wreaking havoc while you’re wasting your time here!”

Ezekiel hissed, “Don’t give me that b.s.! Whenever she’s upset with someone she doesn’t like, catastrophe strikes!”

“I don’t wish you any misfortune!” Lisa honestly relayed to him. “I want you to let us go, but what you do with yourself after that is none of my concern!”

“You’re lying!” Ezekiel insisted. “Of course you wish misfortune on those you don’t like, that’s human nature! And who do you dislike more than me at this moment?”

Lisa’s insides plummeted when she heard a familiar person assert, “I can answer that!” A different sort of excitement fluttered through the populous, and Lisa’s grimace grew more pronounced! She seriously doubted he visited this locale to offer her assistance, and she disliked that her downfall would include further humiliation from this repulsive reprobate! Tommy leered at her, and Lisa did her utmost to remain as neutral as possible! Whatever he had in store for her, she would not give him the satisfaction of showing him any emotions over his antics! Tommy taunted her, “Seems like you’re in a bit of a jam!”

Ezekiel tittered at Tommy’s version of a quip, and as much as bantering with her ex irked her, she crossed her fingers that she could use this opportunity to bide some precious seconds where a miracle could befall on them before it was too late! “What do you want?” she posed to him.

“I came here to set the record straight about us,” Tommy informed her. “I had no clue you were busy with-!”

“Set the record straight? The entire planet believes your side!” Lisa’s brows furrowed upon this explanation. It astounded her to consider that he sought her out with the intention to prove anything else to anyone else! “You’ve already won! Your work is done!”

It intrigued her to see his confidence waver slightly as he catechized, “Why haven’t you been on social media lately?”

Lisa had to blink extensively in order to fully comprehend what he was demanding! Once she mentally certified he had, indeed, asked what he asked, she couldn’t fathom a rational motivation behind it! “I was getting destroyed by your minions, so I disabled those apps! Why?”

“People are starting to say that if you were really nuts, you would have been on there having a fit…” Tommy reported. As Lisa drank in his words, she spotted Delron’s activity out of the corner of her eye. He unmistakably used this distraction to tiptoe over to Adam’s post, and she tried not to pay too much attention to the two men as Delron strove to untie Adam. She simply took an inward note to keep Tommy and the others occupied no matter what it took! Tommy went on, “They’re starting to say I’m the nutty one ‘cause I’m the only one showing interest in the breakup! Well, I know you must regret your decision to leave now since you got into mortal peril trying to live without me!”

“I have no regrets about my decision! None!” Lisa fiercely stated.

Tommy told her, “I wrote a song talking about how you’d die without me! Seems like I was right! You’re nothing on your own!”

Lisa pursed her lips at his slant, and as infuriating as his jibe was, she was determined not to dignify it in any fashion! Ezekiel, however, interpreted her response differently than she aimed to portray. “Oh, you’ve done it! You’re setting her off! She’s gonna unleash her dark magic ‘cause you upset her!”

The multitudes guffawed at his insult, but Lisa sighted shadows above the scene that signified his allegation had merit! She couldn’t permit Rebecca to augment this disaster, she had to do something to prevent her from bolstering her power! She covertly viewed Adam and Delron, and all of a sudden, she knew exactly how to cease this crisis from commencing…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Ch. 25

“Going into a graveyard on Halloween night… Are we sure this is the best idea?” Lisa brought up to Delron and Adam as they stood outside the old cemetery’s entrance.

“This was your idea!” Delron pointed out to her. 

Lisa acknowledged his response, “Yeah, I know! The three of us weren’t getting anywhere trying to chase that sinister spirit all over town, and she’s likely to show up at her final resting place eventually, which would give us the opportunity to trap her in the witching bottle, but I didn’t really think about the risks involved…”

Adam probed, “Do you feel a little nervous ‘cause of how our last trip here went?”

“That definitely crossed my mind! But I imagine that Hester would protect us again if she tried that.” She stared into the burial grounds and saw no sign of possible peril for them, but she still got a sinking sensation as she considered going in there!

“Maybe your misgivings do stem from the fresh memory of your collapse in this place! That’s understandable- I’d get scared to return too! Just remember that you’re not alone! We won’t let anything bad happen to you!” Delron comforted her. Lisa sincerely appreciated his effort, but it didn’t give her much solace to have the two men there since a tragedy could easily befall onto the entire trio all at once!

Adam shared his sentiments, “He’s right, we’ll protect you! If we need to! Everything might go well, and we won’t have to worry about any more threats!” He gave her a broad grin as he wrapped a sympathetic arm around her shoulders, and while it made her heart skip a beat, the rest of her body still felt frozen! Adam got the drift of her general status, so he added, “Well, even if we wanted to back out now, we really can’t! Leaving this area isn’t exactly safe either…”

He gestured to his right, and Lisa glanced over in that direction. A small crowd had gathered outside of Brigfell, and not only did they not seem friendly, but they paced around in an antsy manner too! Their behavior reminded her of a pack of wolves anticipating their prey emerging from its den! Logically, she assumed that they wanted to confront them due to their unceasing belief that the three of them bore responsibility for Rebecca’s destruction, but the malicious aura that they emanated gave her the chills! Because of this, Lisa concluded, “It seems like we’re out of options where we can avoid harm, so we may as well try the one with a small chance of ending this madness!” The other two nodded in agreement, and after taking another glimpse at the library lurkers, Lisa shifted her attention to the path ahead of them. She recommended, “If it gets too dangerous in here, let’s run to the river and just pray that none of our neighbors consider searching for us there!” Delron and Adam indicated that they were on board with that plan. They took a collective deep breath and then set foot into the dark territory!

As the triad carefully crept along the ancient trail, Lisa attempted to steel herself up for this confrontation. She knew it wasn’t wise to dwell on anxious ruminations because it frequently became a self-fulfilling prophecy, but she couldn’t help but get overwhelmed with apprehension over this endeavor! She had no desire to flee from this site, but she didn’t like the ominous nature of this trek! She esteemed that they would endure this impending doom regardless of where they fled, and it occurred to her that their lives could conclude in these dismal surroundings! A part of her yearned to flee somewhere where she could bask in the beauty of this world prior to her leaving it, but she strove to push that concept out of her brain! She kept telling herself that everything would turn out fine, but a strong skepticism lingered around that affirmation!

“I wonder what their stories are!” Delron abruptly commented, which made Lisa and Adam jump a bit! He indicated to some of the nearby tombstones, and he elaborated, “All of the people buried here who weren’t part of the witch trials, what were their lifestyles like before their deaths? Were they farmers? Pastors? And how did they pass? Smallpox? Childbirth? They…!” He trailed off when he espied Adam and Lisa’s peculiar expressions, and he apologized, “Sorry, that’s my history professor husband talking!” Right after he spoke, his phone rang. “Speaking of my history professor talking… Denis, baby! How are you?”

Delron went off to another sector in order to get more privacy, and that left Lisa and Adam alone together. Lisa realized that this was the first instance that this had transpired since their near kiss during the hoedown, and she grew incredibly flustered at this prospect! It really flattered her to receive that romantic gesture from him yesterday, but now that the moment was over, she questioned how genuine it had been. She still harbored the notion that he had ulterior motives for courting her, but she couldn’t quite pinpoint what that might have been! She previously presumed that the proof of his decent intentions laid in the fact that if he was serving Abby, he wouldn’t have created such a dramatic ire with her, but then she pondered whether or not that was part of his plot all along! Did he deliberately set her off? Perhaps he knew that her animosity would release that mayhem, and she started to worry that he may not have been helping Abby but their nemesis all along…

“It’s such a nice night!” Adam broke the ice.

Lisa had to blink to register the topic he raised. She had gotten so absorbed in spooky subjects and betrayal that small talk seemed out of the realm of possibility for her! She didn’t know how he could have possibly uttered such a sentence under these circumstances, so she puzzled, “Huh?”

Adam explained himself, “I specifically meant the weather! It’s cool but not cold, and the stars are so bright! It’s a shame that all this carnage is ruining the evening! If we all could’ve gotten along better, this could have been a beautiful end to this holiday!”

“No one accepted our offer to assist them!” Lisa recollected. “Not even the old lady struggling with her groceries! We tried to encourage the individuals we interacted with to send out good vibes to anyone they had problems with, but no one was willing to do it! Then shit would go wrong, and it looked as though we predicted it! It only made them blame us for the anarchy running amok at the present! Nevermind that many of these atrocities were happening in places nowhere near us!”

“My father would’ve hated to see what’s become of the region!” Adam ruefully remarked. “Oh sure, there’s always been a certain amount of gloom and doom, but there were always days when we could all put the b.s. aside and come together! That’s why he constantly threw parties on the farm- for a few hours, we could cut the crap and revel in each other’s company! But that’s not the case anymore! At the rate everything is going, we’d all be more fit to stay by ourselves!”

Lisa reassured him, “It won’t be like this forever! We’re gonna stop this evil ghoul, and we’ll make this city back to normal! Maybe even better! I refuse to accept that we’re powerless against this! There’s always something that can be done!”

Adam gratefully smiled at her, and then commented, “This is why I like you so much! You’re such a fighter for the future! You’ve been through hell, and you still believe in the goodness of the earth! You’re so rare and amazing!”

He grabbed her hand, and she could resist fiercely blushing! She was astounded by this high praise, and she hadn’t entertained this view of herself previously! She met his eyes, and they sparkled with pure admiration! He pulled her in closer, and for a second, she abandoned the judgment that he possessed anything but romantic impulsions for her! He fixed his gaze towards her lips, and she readied herself for his embrace…

The cellphone in Adam’s other hand chimed, and it took them out of their amorous torpor! Lisa would have gladly returned to their endearment, but she caught sight of the message he received. Her insides plummeted when she beheld that it was Abby asking about his current location! How could he not have broken ties with her after all she did to them? Especially her! “Are you late for something?”

“What?” He peered at where her scrutiny was at, and he told her, “I have no clue why she said that!”

“No clue?” Lisa reacted doubtingly. “You didn’t try to schedule any meetings with her?”

Adam reported, “No! The hoedown is over and paid for, so why would I wanna meet with her?”

Lisa charged, “She must have some reason for wanting to find you right now!”

“All I did was check in with her and see how she was doing,” Adam disclosed.

“Why would you do that after everything she’s done?” Lisa queried in an accusatory manner. “She almost strangled me, and she put nearly everyone in jeopardy ‘cause of her jealousy! Why would you even associate with her?”

Adam’s visage contorted into a perplexed and hurt grimace. “It’s not like I wanted to! She’s the ringleader of a lot of local social circles, so I figured she could convince a lot of people to act kinder to each other!”

Lisa folded her arms and articulated, “If you had that sort of influence on her, then I would’ve thought we’d see less attacks, but they’ve only increased! And why would she request to see you in person if that was her only goal?”

“What exactly are you accusing me of?” Adam challenged her.

“You’re conspiring with the enemy!” Lisa alleged.

Adam grew highly affronted by that statement. “She’s not the vengeful ghost we’re combating! She’s a victim of her wrath like the rest of us!”

Lisa shot back, “She’s making everything worse! She couldn’t get her way, so she’d rather watch the whole town burn down rather than deal with the consequences of her misbehavior!”

“Abby isn’t a bad person!” Adam argued. “She’s slightly misguided, but she-.” When he noticed that Lisa wasn’t buying his claim, he shouted, “What? You don’t trust me?”

“You’re not giving me the proper motivation to do that!” Lisa contended.

Adam quarreled, “Really? I’ve sacrificed so many hours helping you with this ordeal, but that wasn’t enough? Almost going to jail wasn’t enough? Sacrificing my reputation wasn’t enough? You know, Half Moon Hollow is gonna lose business from this, which’ll make my mom and I struggle, but that’s not enough, huh? Maybe I shouldn’t even bother!”

Lisa took out the witching bottle and yelled, “Fine! Don’t! I don’t need your help!” She threw the witching bottle to him, and after he put it into his pocket, he began to walk away without saying another word to her. Lisa hollered, “That’s right, leave! You’re not gonna pull the wool over my eyes anymore, Tommy!”

He immediately halted his gait, and Lisa instantly recognized her slip. She presumed that he was going to turn around and discuss her faux pas, but his pause seemed to indicate something else when they heard a scream in the distance! “That was Delron!” Lisa gasped. Without hesitation, they sped towards the source of that sound!

To their horror, they saw Delron getting bound and gagged by the throng next to Brigfell! Lisa’s outrage preceded her rationale, and after she marched straight up to them, she demanded, “Let him go! Who do you think you are?”

“We’ve been deputized!” A man flashed his badge at her. “Sheriff Hopkins authorized us to make some citizens’ arrests!”

“You’re coming with us!” another man leered.

Adam stepped forward and warned them, “You can’t do that!”

A woman retorted, “Watch us!” She kicked him in the back of his knees, which caused him to buckle! As she apprehended him, Lisa erupted in enormous clarity! She ached to apologize to him, but it was too late! She was soon surrounded and captured, and as they led him out of the area, Lisa feared forgiveness would never grace her as they endured whatever grim fate the man had in store for them!

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 24

Marilyn dropped an egg to the floor as she heard Marcy let out a shrill scream! She cringed when she realized her daughter’s shriek stemmed from her joy of bouncing from one piece of living room furniture to the other, which she had repeatedly warned her not to do, but before she could scold her for this behavior, the dog made a bid to lap up the yolk. “Billy, no!” Marilyn attempted to bar her pet from partaking in this dangerous delectable, but Billy was persistent! As she struggled with the pooch, Marcy’s commotion hadn’t subsided in the slightest! “Marcy, knock it off!” she shouted, but Marcy either couldn’t hear her or chose not to! She gritted her teeth, and meanwhile, Billy still fought against his restraints! She could feel her blood pressure rising, and she tried to compose herself in order to clean up this mess and finally prepare breakfast, but no one was cooperating! Suddenly, the phone rang, and Marcy’s antics increased their volume! She couldn’t take it anymore, so she hollered, “Man, I wish someone would permanently duct tape your mouth shut!”

As soon as those words left her lips, she heard Marcy let out a muffled yelp, which immediately preceded a loud thud! Marilyn and Billy raced into the living room only to find Marcy on the floor with adhesive covering her jaw! Marilyn agitatedly asked, “Marcy! My poor baby! Who did this to you?” Marcy answered by shaking her head in a manner that indicated confusion, and that mystified Marilyn- how could she not know who attacked her? She tried to remove the tape, but it wouldn’t budge! She grabbed a nearby nail file and punctured a hole in the gag, but to her bewilderment, the material instantly grew back! Tears formed in Marcy’s eyes, and Marilyn’s eyes grew wide with fear! Billy whimpered, and Marilyn posed to him, “What do we do now?” Silence ensued.

Tara used her copy of the meeting notes as a fan while her boss, Giles, prattled on, “In addition to this drop in online engagement, our analysts have concluded our profit margins fell from a decline in consumer-employee engagement…” Tara inwardly groaned at this unceasing lecture! This easily could have been an email! As she gazed at the packed space, she could see her colleagues were sharing her sentiments! Why did Giles think this was a good idea? Surely, their production would increase if the sales leads could spend their Sunday mornings relaxing instead of listening to this old dude babble! Her feet ached from standing in high heels for too long, and she thought about how blissful her partner looked as she peacefully slumbered throughout her period of getting ready for work… She reckoned that she was still serenely sleeping in their soft, cozy bed, and it just didn’t seem fair that she could join her! This conference showed no signs of subsiding, and she wistfully stared out the window. It felt so tempting to hurl herself right out of it…

In that instance, a warmth overtook her legs, and the compulsion to run overwhelmed her! It startled her peers to watch her take off like that, but she didn’t care! It was as though this action was the best plan in the world, and she had to go through with it! A couple of her coworkers strove to stop her, but she brushed past them and flung herself through the glass! Passersby voiced their fright as she flew out of the skyscraper, and she ignored them until the sidewalk got closer and closer! There was nothing for her to grab on to, nothing to halt her movement, and she howled as she braced for impact…

Maks scrolled through his social media page with his chin resting in his palm, and he emitted a long yawn. At that juncture, he heard his upstairs neighbor merrily greet her husband, and he perked up. He pulled up her page, and he longingly touched the screen. “Oh, Ally! You try so hard to make him happy, but he’ll never care! Not the way I do! You need to get rid of his ass and be with me!”

As if on cue, a tormented cry sounded from above! A voluminous thump echoed onto his ceiling, and Maks grew perplexed as to what transpired! There was a knock on his door, and it surprised him to see a broadly smiling Ally on the other side! At any other time, this would have been the opportunity of a lifetime for him, but something seemed off about her distant gaze… “Hey, Maks! I need your help!” she notified him.

“Of course I’ll do it! Whatever you need!” Maks obliged, though he was leery to do so because of the vacant expression etched on her face.

“Can you take my rug down to the garbage for me?” Ally sweetly requested.

Maks found the timing of that question suspicious. He didn’t want to believe that this innocent darling he once knew was capable of a heinous act, but then he espied red stains near the wrist of the hand she had behind her back! “Oh my god, you killed him?”

Ally let her hidden limb emerge, and this gesture revealed blood-soaked skin and a butcher knife! “Yes, fine! I did it so we could be together! It’ll be okay though! We’ll get rid of the evidence, and no one else will ever know!”

“I… I can’t do that!” Maks used all of his willpower to prevent himself from vomiting! He may not have liked the guy, but he didn’t commit any violation so horrendous that he deserved a brutal slaying! 

“Whatever! Let’s leave his corpse there and live out the rest of our lives in Mexico!” Ally lovingly wrapped her arms around his waist.

Maks removed her grip and objected, “What about your kids? They just lost their dad, and you want them to lose their home too?”

Ally shrugged that off. “My sister or somebody can get custody of them, so they’ll stay in the same school and stuff! In the meantime, you and I can spend the rest of our lives basking in the sunshine of sandy beaches!” She expected him to revel in the glow of the romantic hue she threw out there, but instead, he braced his couch to quell the shaking! This behavior incensed her, and she spat, “Hey! I did this for you! You better start showing more appreciation!” She brandished her weapon, and Maks didn’t know how to proceed…

Delron gestured to the abode behind the sign that read: “Ingerturn Gable,” and he glumly proclaimed, “We’re too late!”

As Lisa watched the police tape getting put up, she queried, “Did anyone die here?”

“Like you don’t know!” the officer disdainfully regarded her. Lisa turned away in disgust- she was done trying to convince these close-minded individuals that she didn’t have any dark powers and had no desire to do anyone any harm!

“We could visit the Jeffrey Draw House, but with that imbecile doing her dirty work, I doubt she’d strike there!” Delron commented to Lisa. “Marshal probably has no inkling that he lives in the home of the attorney who aided in the effort to condemn guiltless souls!”

Lisa bitterly remarked, “He’d probably be proud of that fact! And if he knew the notorious Sheriff Garet Crowin once resided in our library, he’d probably grow the balls to come inside it for once! Do you think that Ms. Bell knows she owns the property that my ancestor used to occupy?”

Delron signaled his lack of insight into that subject. “I imagine that the person she bought it from would have disclosed it to her. I guess it doesn’t matter to everybody! Like, I’m positive JT’s knowledge of history would have provided him with the fact that he owns the land where Rebecca’s main accuser once lived!” He checked his phone, and he reported to Lisa, “Harlow County P.D.’s  site says it was an assault resulting in hospitalization.”

“They probably can’t fathom how lucky they are to have survived this rampage! If they-.” Lisa cut herself off when she received a notification on her cell. “Adam says a skateboarder who knocked a rock into someone’s car got crushed by a billboard seconds later!”

“You three are heartless!” a woman raking leaves in her backyard muttered as they passed her in the alley.

Lisa readied herself to ignore her slander and move on, and then something on that woman’s roof caught her eye! She did a double take and confirmed her hunch- the ghostly mist hovered over her home! Delron obviously noticed it after she did, and they didn’t have to outwardly communicate with each other to recognize the obstacle obstructing the path to get to her! Lisa decided to move forward with the spiel they prepared for this event, but she didn’t have much optimism about it. “We’re spending Halloween going to our neighbors not for treats but for good deeds! Tell me, is there anything we can do to assist you today? Need extra hands with your yardwork, perhaps?”

The woman scoffed at her, “Psh! Even if you picked up each and every leaf, it wouldn’t make up for all of the misdeeds you’ve done! Besides, it isn’t gonna do much for me long term! Whenever it’s time to do any sort of chores around the house, my lousy roommate will always be conveniently buried in paperwork!” Lisa and Delron exchanged glances at the mention of this violent imagery, and the woman perceived their sentiments. “What are you gonna do? Actually bury him in paperwork?” She laughed derisively, “Go ahead! It’d serve him right!”

In unison, Lisa and Delron shouted, “No!” It was too late though- a frightened yell followed by a large crash commenced inside! Rebecca’s cloud disappeared, and Lisa groaned! Their attempt for peace yielded the opposite result! Plus, their nemesis escaped their scope, making this entire occurrence a total waste of precious minutes! The woman guiltily gazed at her dwelling, and Lisa irately articulated to her, “And you called us heartless!” She glared at her, and then Lisa as well as Delron walked off in a huff.

Gretchen twirled around in her princess costume while watching the full length mirror that her parents hung on their bedroom wall. It was almost flawless! It would have been perfect if they would let her put on some cosmetics! She was thirteen years old, and that should have been a perfectly acceptable age to do some blush and mascara! She figured that she could try asking them again when she showed off her gorgeous getup, and the excitement of the concept made her speed down their stairwell!

Her mom was concentrating quite a bit on a garment for her brother’s ensemble, and her dad’s replacement of their porch lightbulb kept him distracted. Her older sister munched on some popcorn while a scary movie played, and not a single soul bothered to crane their necks up to view her arrival! She cleared her throat, and everybody took a second to peek. “That’s pretty!” her mom told her prior to shifting her eyes to focus back on her project.

Gretchen grumbled, “That’s it?” Nobody spoke up, and she pouted until she spotted a headline popping up on her father’s tablet… She closed her eyes and prayed, “Make them pay more attention to me!” In a flash, her whole family came over and proudly praised her appearance! It gratified her very much… for a small stretch. After a while, they were still ogling her, which prompted her to remind them, “You can quit now” They didn’t! She fled from them, and that only strengthened their admiration! She sprinted outside, and bystanders joined in with the extravagant fawning! Their pandering amplified, and their vigor became more feverish! “Don’t! Don’t!” They didn’t cease, and she wasn’t sure how to fix this!

Tristan picked up the platter with a pronounced frown. It was the third instance that contemptible Melot fellow sent back his entree, it was never to his liking! And he was far from polite about his refusal too! Tristan very much doubted that he would get a very high tip, and due to his shenanigans, the opportunity for more and probably nicer customers to have a meal was getting taken away! He planted a smile on his face and begrudgingly headed over to him. “Enjoy your lunch, sir!” 

“Hmpf! We shall see!” Melot sniffed in disapproval. He began munching on it, and Tristan turned back to the kitchen. He didn’t get far though… “Bleck!”

“A problem, sir?” I wanted the onions in my samosas to be smaller, not grated! Take it back! And bring me a refill of wine! At least you got that correct!”

As Melot guzzled his beverage, Tristan glowered and willed him to choke on his drink! And he did! He collapsed onto the ground before anyone could rescue him, and a patron announced, “He’s dead! Oh no! Who will run the homeless shelter now?” Tristan wrung his coat jacket around as his insides twisted…

Morana forlornly pored over photos of her departed husband, and then she clasped her hands together while beseeching the universe, “I beg of you, let me be with my Mortimer again!”

Moments later, Mortimer manifested himself in front of her! Her heart was elated with joy until she realized he was nearly transparent, and his visage bore a morose demeanor. He dejectedly addressed her, “Oh, my dear Morana, why did you do that?” Morana slanted her vision down, and it shocked her to see that her complete anatomy had morphed into a translucent and floating entity…

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…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 21

The bailiff called out, “Order! Order in the court! The case of Melas versus Bassett et All will now proceed! Please rise for the honorable Judge William Hale!”

Lisa, Delron, and Adam stood up as well as the two people in the audience, and Ezekiel roosted on the prosecution’s side. Lisa purposely avoided eye contact with Ezekiel, but Adam sharply glared at him! Lisa would have savored in this show of solidarity, but she was too worried about what fate they would endure as a result of this hearing! With everyone’s predisposition to castigate her for an untrue backstory she didn’t esteem that she would get a fair trial! The further damage to her reputation would have hurt, and she fretted that this misdeed would prompt Melanie to fire her, but neither of those possibilities were even the worst part of this! Her incarceration would free Rebecca to run amok wherever she pleased without interference, and she feared her capabilities without Lisa’s ability to fight back! The only souls who knew of Rebecca’s existence were likely due to get locked up, and she grew frightened by what would wait for them once they got released!

“You may be seated!” a cold voice told the courtroom. Lisa wasn’t sure if his long, black robes simply adorned him in a manner that gave him this appearance or not, but Lisa swore he swooped in like a bat on its hunt! He perched on his bench and studied the court with his small, beady eyes, and his wrinkles became more pronounced as he sneered at the entire lot! Lisa’s trepidation heightened- this did not bode well for their odds of winning! Judge Hale pored over the document that the bailiff handed him, and he banged the gavel to initiate the hearing. “On this twenty-ninth day of October at eleven thirteen p.m., we are here for the arraignments of Delron Faulkner, Adam Farrington, and Lisa Bassett for the charges of trespassing and attempt at burglary or destruction of property.” He put down his paper and addressed Lisa directly, “So, you’re the one everyone’s been talking about! We meet at last!”

“Yes, your honor! But I hope my public image does not bar me from receiving a fair trial!” Lisa expressed as politely as her early irritation with this event would allow her to.

Judge Hale briefly flustered, “Of course not! I only mentioned this as a point of interest. Only direct evidence shall be considered for my ruling.”

Ezekiel objected, “Your honor, the city intends to present character witnesses to testify on the defendant’s criminal intent.”

“Isn’t that highly unusual for misdemeanor charges?” Delron challenged that premise.

“It is unusual for a strict liability case  such as this. Unless the prosecution can prove the defendants committed more erroneous offenses, the court cannot permit character witnesses or heresay.” Judge Hale begrudgingly decreed. Lisa began to grow hopeful about their odds of success until Judge Hale stated, “Sheriff Marshal Hopkins saw first-hand that they entered illegally onto property whose owners gave them no permission to do so, so I’m inclined to let the trespassing charges stand.”

Adam protested, “That’s not fair! We didn’t get a chance to defend ourselves!”

Judge Hale inquired, “Did you enter onto Blackthorn Orchards without getting the owners’ permission before doing so?”

“Yes, but-!” Adam tried to fully reply.

“Then I have no choice!” Judge Hale didn’t show an ounce of regret to act upon this obligation.

Lisa detected Peanut barking in the distance, and with Delron’s proximity to the dog, she recalled a vivid detail from their expedition and brought up, “We didn’t want to break into anyone’s land, but we had to retrieve his pet! We couldn’t let him just roam around on someone else’s grounds!”

Judge Hale questioned, “Why didn’t you get the owners’ permission to retrieve the animal?”

Who is the owner?” Lisa shot back. “No one lives there, so how would we get the dog fast enough to prevent him from wreaking havoc in that territory?”

“Well…” Judge Hale fumbled through some files, and when he couldn’t present an immediate response, he shifted to a different tactic, “You should have contacted the police and let them take care of the matter!”

Lisa folded her arms definitely and probed, “What police officer would have been willing to go onto a haunted property?”

Judge Hale’s frown grew more pronounced, but he didn’t verbally react to the issue she raised. Ezekiel could obviously see his inner turmoil over his legal obligations, so he catechized, “Your honor, what about the scream Sheriff Hopkins put in his report?”

“What about it?” Judge Hale countered. Ezekiel looked as though he had slapped him in the face with that remark, so Judge Hale elucidated, “Do you have any video of that occurrence? Photos of their activities? Eyewitness accounts? Something that proves they were doing something unrelated to dog retrieval?”

“We have theories…” Ezekiel pouted prior to Judge Hale’s reaction to this assertion, and Lisa strove to not appear overly delighted by Ezekiel’s downward spiral in fear that Judge Hale would rescind his lean to reluctantly side with them!

With a heavy sigh, Judge Hale ruled, “The court finds that the prosecution has failed to provide sufficient evidence that a crime took place, therefore, I shall not schedule any further hearings on this matter. All charges are dismissed!”

Ezekiel stormed out without his gaze meeting anyone else’s. The bailiff directed, “Please rise and stay standing until-.” He glanced behind him, and it stunned him to espy that the judge’s bench was already empty! Lisa shook her head at the poor behavior in which her opponents conducted themselves after receiving their loss, but she relished in the relief that she and her allies avoided a disastrous fate! As the officers who escorted them in proceeded to prepare for their exit, Lisa twisted the emerald ring on her finger- she could not wait to take that thing off!

“Here are your belongings.” A female clerk plopped a giant bag onto the counter next to her cellphone and keys.

“That’s not mine,” Lisa informed her.

The clerk gave her a quizzical stare. “Sheriff Hopkins brought this in during your processing; why would he do that if it wasn’t yours?”

Not wanting to explain the insult that Ann pinned onto her or the fact that Marshal further exasperated that jibe with this gesture, Lisa changed her tune, “Oh, I forgot. It is mine!” The clerk still eyeballed her peculiarly, but since she no longer had to make excuses for herself, she snatched her stuff and marched out the door.

It irked Lisa that while the police transported her to the station, no one offered her a ride home! Adam got released faster than her, and he apparently caught a lift to his home from someone who was unwilling to stick around for her. She felt certain that Abby’s cronies had relayed what transpired to her, and she assumed that Abby hovered around the precinct anxiously anticipating the outcome of this judicial entanglement. A pang of jealousy rose up within her, and in that moment, all she desired was to punish Abby for her manipulative efforts to sway Adam’s affections! As she stewed over this concept, she noticed the streetlights darkened from dark clouds forming over her! She glimpsed up at them, and then she focused on that ring. She shook herself out of this vengeful stupor- as much as she disliked Abby, she could not bring herself to enact any sort of horrendous curse onto her! She kept it on to ensure its safe passage to her abode, but she steadfastly refused to let any negative emotions overpower her during her travel! Regardless of what injustice she underwent, she resolved to never let herself become Rebecca Rook!

Delron lived close to that site, and he offered to loan her his bicycle for the journey, but she had to say no because of the bag of clothes forced onto her. She would have loved to have abandoned it somewhere, but she could not risk any other infractions, not even something small like littering, right then! Her studio wasn’t terribly far from there, but it felt that way as she dragged her heavy load down the boulevard! She could still see shadows lingering behind her, and she had no appetite to entertain them! It became especially difficult as she lugged her burden up her staircase- her pants got caught onto part of the railing and created a large hole in the fabric! She gritted her teeth, but she did not relent to her rage!

As soon as Lisa got into her apartment, she immediately wanted to get the ring off! She pulled at the spooky piece of jewelry, but it didn’t want to budge! She absolutely refused to don that accursed object for the eternal period it probably wanted her to, and she yanked at it even harder! All of a sudden, it not only loosened off of her finger, it flew across the room! It landed on the floor with a loud ting, and then it bounced under her bed prior to her being able to stop it! She bent over and aimed to retrieve it, but she couldn’t feel it anywhere along the edge, so she resentfully got low onto the ground. She already felt sore enough from the arduous trek she just made, and it was a total pain to perform this feat now! She turned on her cellphone’s flashlight, and she grew alarmed to find more than merely the trinket beneath her sleeping post…

Lisa squinted her eyes to read what the markings on the wall denoted, but she couldn’t quite make it out, so she turned on her camera feature and zoomed in… She gasped when she saw that the word “witches” lurked next to a set of tallies! It disgusted her enough to tempt her to avert her eyes, but she lingered momentarily in order to take a picture for Delron and Adam. As soon as she snapped and sent the photo, she tore herself away from that visualization! It was hard for her to process that! Whoever originally occupied this space clearly enjoyed watching the bodies of the witch-trial victims getting moved down the river and into the graveyard!

This development stressed her out enough that she pulled up her job search app! She didn’t fancy the idea of giving up on an important goal, but at this juncture, it seemed imperative to her survival! The others could repair the damage done by her accidental contact with the Proctor Bible! She acknowledged that this error released that malevolent essence, and that malevolent essence would undoubtedly destroy many innocent lives in her absence, but if she stayed in Melas, she may not have been able to exist long enough to do much good for the community anyways! She nearly texted Lydia to tell her opinion of this creepy city had been correct all along, but then…

The familiar sensation o a creature brushing against her legs returned, and she ceased her current undertaking to focus on it. “Oh hello, Hester!” The cat’s form appeared in front of her, and initially, she was pleased to get such a supportive visitor, but soon, she recognized that Hester was staring at her with a hurtful mistrust! She couldn’t comprehend why until it finally dawned on her that she probably sensed her intention of departure! “Listen, it’s not my fault!” The feline persisted in its peering, so she amended her sentence, “Well, I suppose I did start this fiasco, but I can’t finish it! I’ve done all I can…” Hester’s stance didn’t bend, so Lisa admitted, “Okay, so I could give the witching bottles a shot, but how can I live somewhere where a vile human being amused themselves with people’s suffering? See what they were doing…?”

She pulled up the image for her, but in this instance, she observed more details beside the witch tallying. There was another count labeled as familiars, and her stomach lurched. “They killed innocent animals too?” She buried her visage into her palms, but she craned her neck back up when Hester emitted a pitiful mew. She gazed at her as though she were striving to convey a relevant message, so Lisa posed to her, “Did they execute you in the witch-trials too?” Hester meowed in a sad fashion and bowed like she was reliving an awful memory, and that was more than Lisa could bear! She could not be quiet with this revelation! Action had to get taken!

Lisa dove back under the bed and swiped the ring back out! She dashed over to the kitchen table where Adam’s witching bottle stood and plunked Rebecca’s possession straight into it! She poured in the cinnamon and salt that the instructions next to her described, and she swooshed it around for about ten seconds. She stuck the cork back into it and proudly displayed it for Hester, and she avidly declared, “You will not have died in vain! I’m gonna catch that she-devil, and once this nightmare is over, I’ll do everything I can to insure that all of the guilt-free souls lost in this atrocity are remembered and get the justice that they deserve!” It warmed the cockles of her heart to see Hester’s warm glow resurface, but as she gawked at the completed witching bottle in her grasp, she became apprehensive that this endeavor would prove easier said than done…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 20

“It came from over there!” Adam pointed to the remains of an old barn, and they raced towards it! Inwardly, Lisa prayed that Delron was alright because if he wasn’t, it would have been all her fault! She let herself get convinced to go against her better judgment and allow Delron to go across the property alone, and she involved him in this whole supernatural affair in the first place! He was such a sweet, kind guy, and he didn’t deserve to endure a fate like this! She spotted him in the distance, and it relieved her to see him still standing, but she wasn’t entirely certain that proved his condition was still stable… Adam queried, “Are you okay?”

“That scream didn’t come from me,” Delron reported. “It came from inside of here, but I don’t see any sign that anyone was actually in here! I’m sorta scared to go in there and investigate!”

Lisa stepped forward, “I’m going in!”

Delron ogled at her audacity. “Really? You’re not scared?”

“Of course I am! But someone’s gotta do it!” Lisa asserted.

“Come on!” Adam instructed Delron. “She’s not doing this alone!” Delron’s expression still wavered, but he complied.

Lisa visually scanned the floor, but all she could see was old hay. She didn’t expect to instantly stumble into anything substantial, but she knew that eventually they would wander into the territory of something that was important to the spirit of whoever occupied this area in the afterlife, and when this occurred, they would likely get forced into an unearthly combat! She had no clue what was getting guarded here, but she was willing to fight for it in order to end their apparational nightmare once and for all!

They tiptoed across the ground for a minute, and the trio collectively appeared to have gotten the impression they would elicit a response quicker than they had, and when nothing happened, Delron stated, “We’re walking into a trap!”

“Let’s split up,” Lisa suggested. They seemed frightened by that concept, so Lisa elucidated, “Whatever’s in here may not have the ability to attack at a wide range, so we have a greater chance of survival if we spread out.” The two men nodded in agreement, and after Delron went left and Adam went right, Lisa moved forward and beseeched the universe that she hadn’t created more of an opportunity for peril to prevail by enacting this measure! They operated in a concentrating silence until…

“Hey!” Adam called out, which made Delron and Lisa jump slightly. Adam pressed his right-foot onto a specific plank, and he observed, “This spot’s hollow!”

Delron posed to him, “Can you open it up without tools?”

Adam affirmed, “I’m gonna try!”

Lisa and Delron watched with intrigue from their positions. Lisa crossed her fingers that they would uncover a concealed treasure that Rebecca stashed prior to her imprisonment, and while she acknowledged that it very well could have been a den from one of the few creatures who dared to roam Blackthorn Orchard, she had a strong feeling that they had discovered a valuable token! As they eagerly awaited the results of this find, Peanut started barking wildly at something near Lisa! She didn’t comprehend it initially, but a cold chill made his behavior so clear…

Once she turned around and beheld it, Lisa gasped. Adam’s jaw dropped, and Delron lost all of the color in his face! They beheld a translucent figure of a woman in a long dress and an antiquated hairstyle, which prompted Delron to nervously verify, “This isn’t… you know who?”

“I’m Goody Blackthorn!” she addressed them in an ethereal voice. Her speech frightened them, but they did not believe that she posed a threat to them… yet. “What are you doing on my land?”

“Goody Blackthorn, we…” Lisa wasn’t positive on where to begin. Obviously, this was the original wife of Rebecca’s second husband, and surely, she witnessed the horrors that Rebecca went through before injustice drove her into madness, but how much insight did she possess into more modern events? She decided to initiate their interaction by relaying to her, “We mean you no harm!”

Folding her arms in a displeased manner, Goody Bishop curtly stated, “That is always nice to hear, but it does not answer my question!”

The trio grew frightened by the possibility of upsetting her further, and no one knew how to react initially. Not wanting to risk the wrath of her impatience, Delron gingerly spoke to Goody Blackthorn, “We… We’re… We want to rid the region of a terrible evil, and in order to do that, we need an object from a person who lived here long ago…”

“You’re talking about the mistress,” Goody Blackthorn stoically reacted. “The one who took my husband and my land.”

“She tried to, you mean,” Adam supportively told her. “I saw her above your property once, but she didn’t come back, did she? You drove her off, didn’t you?”

They felt a jolt of relief as she smirked with pride! Goody Blackthorn basked in the glow of this memory, and she triumphantly conveyed to them, “She tried to claim this as her territory, but it is not hers to take!”

Lisa confidently assured her, “And we want to prevent her from disturbing anyone ever again! But we need your help! Please, is there anything in your land that does belong to her?”

“She did not create the crevice you found,” Goody Blackthorn briefed the three. “That belonged to her servants, they put objects in there to manufacture her guilt. She chanced upon it ere they could show it to the authorities, but she did not have the opportunity to destroy it ahead of her arrest. She did drop something of hers in there though, a valuable token she intended to retrieve for repayment of my husband’s debts… I cannot bear to set my sights on that horrid thing! It serves as a constant reminder of what was taken from me after I succumbed to my disease!”

“We can take it far from here!” Lisa offered. “Then you can spend an eternity in what’s yours and only yours!”

Goody Blackthorn contemplated this matter for a moment, which caused Lisa, Delron, and Adam’s nerves to spike as though they stood upon pins and needles! Finally, Goody Blackthorn aired her determination, “You may retrieve it! Protect your ears from my utterance when I’m forced to lay my eyes upon it for the final  time!”

Lisa nodded in understanding, and then she as well as Delron joined Adam by the cache he discovered. The plank that concealed it remained steadfastly unmoving, so Delron assisted him in lifting it. After quite a bit of tugging, the clandestine horde got unsealed! Lisa immediately dove down, and her fingers brushed against something soft but coarse. She carefully pulled it out, and they were surprised to see a cloth doll with rough, unrefined hair and black buttons for eyes! Delron assessed, “That’s a voodoo poppet! The court records indicated that her servants reported seeing them in the horse stable, but no one ever verified this allegation. Their word was all they needed, so I’m not sure why they even bothered to create this evidence! They just as easily could have lied!”

Adam and Lisa shrugged at the premise of knowing the motivation of the servants, and then Lisa continued to clear out the rest of the stash. She pulled out five of these effigies, and she continued to scour the surface, she got the notion that they were watching them! Evidently, the others had experienced the same sensation because Adam pondered, “Did these things actually get used to curse anyone?”

The room was mute to speculate on the issue that he raised. Goody Blackthorn sustained her pursed lips, and Delron ogled them as though he were trying to discern whether or not the curios contained dark magic within them. Meanwhile, Lisa’s palm examined every inch of that trove. She momentarily worried that Goody Blackthorn had communicated in deception, but she heard a very visceral scream earlier, so she did not entertain the option of giving up for long! At long last, her skin came into contact with something icy, and she knew without a doubt that she had located the commodity they sought! She warned the others, “Brace yourself!” They muffled their hearing as she drew it out…

A pang coursed throughout Lisa’s eardrums as Goody Blackthorn let out a blood-curdling scream. Lisa put her hands over her ears, but it did benefit her much to do so- the volume of that hollering was so high that Lisa suspected they could hear it on the opposite end of Melas! Once the cacophony had ceased, Lisa planned on putting it in her pocket and then thanking Goody Blackthorn for her cooperation until…

“Trespassers, exit the vicinity right now!” Sheriff Marshal’s dulcet tone blared over a loudspeaker. “Go to the street with your hands up!”

“What would he do if we refused to leave?” Adam sniffed in disapproval of Marshal’s actions. “It’s not like that d-bag has the balls to set foot onto the orchard!”

Delron forlornly pointed out. “It’s not like we can stay here forever! We’ll have to obey his command, and… knock on wood that we can concoct a plausible explanation for the judge!”

Marshal repeated himself, “Trespassers, exit the vicinity! Go to the street with your hands up!”

“As far as anyone knows, this is mine!” As Lisa raised an ancient emerald  ring above the traditional digit to adorn such a piece of jewelry, Adam and Delron vehemently shook their heads. “They’ll confiscate what’s in my pockets, not what’s on my body!” Preceding their shot to protest this act any further, Lisa slipped it on! Her entire being flooded with a bitter glacialness as she raised her limbs and departed from the building.

“See, Sheriff Hopkins! There was someone in there!” Beth bragged to Marshal. “Ooh, there’s three of them!”

Marshal supplanted her sentence, “No, it’s the  three! I knew that girl had mischief up her sleeves!”

Lisa rolled her eyes at his sentiments, but Adam became defensive, “Hey! We had a perfectly legitimate reason for coming here! We… we’re waiting for our lawyers before we say anything further!  What are you two doing here?”

“Don’t you remember? You offered to loan Abby some of your mom’s old clothes while she’s displaced.” Ann indicated to a bulky bag beside her. “We can’t take it though ‘cause it’s far too big for her slender frame! Oh, it’d be perfect for you though, Lisa!” Ann sneered at her, and Lisa purposely didn’t flinch at her contempt.

“Let’s go!” Marshal’s bravado gained its fervor back as they climbed over the fence. He eagerly cuffed Lisa, and while he placed her under arrest, Lisa began to grow fearful that they would not get freed in advance of Rebecca’s next assault!

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 19

One of the residents exclaimed, “Wow! That blizzard really picked up some steam!”

As Lisa and Delron watched the wind gain strength with knowing eyes, a young man peered out the window and opined, “It looks more like a hurricane!”

“Come off it!” another one of the other posh occupants dismissed his claim. “It’s October! Plus, how often do you get a snowy hurricane?”

“Get away from the-!” The receptionist ran to rescue the lad, but he was too late- a tree crashed through the glass and landed directly on top of him!

Abby shrieked, “This is all your fault!” She lunged towards Lisa’s throat, but Lisa dodged her attack. She couldn’t believe she had to fend off this aggression during a supernatural disaster!

The receptionist grabbed Abby’s arms and curtly ordered, “Miss Parris, get into the basement, now!”

Everybody flooded down a wooden staircase, and Lisa as well as Delron took the rearmost position in order to distance themselves from Abby. Before they could reach the bottom, the tempest’ force caused them to struggle! Delron attempted to close the door, but it wouldn’t shut! “We’re doomed!” a little girl wailed.

“We need to put something against the door!” Lisa asserted as she clung for dear life onto the railing.

“There’s no way we could lift anything up there in time!” an older guy objected.

From above them, they could hear a thunderous boom, and the volume of the storm increased! “Part of the building got ripped off!” an elderly lady howled.

Delron vociferated, “All we can do now is hold on and pray!”

“I’m slipping!” a small boy cried as the gale intensified.

“Do you have any rope?” Lisa asked the receptionist.

The receptionist pulled out a dusty, old box and answered, “I have these!”

He pulled out some antiquated shackles, and Lisa apprised, “That’ll work!”

As quickly as they could, each person grabbed a cuff and locked it onto a long guide rail that ran along the perimeter. The furor became more and more ravenous, and Lisa feared that her support may not reach her end before a fatal impact! Chains got passed in her direction, but she could barely hold on! When she finally grasped some, she could hardly maintain the fortitude to clasp it! She struggled to maneuver it towards the railing, and she moved in slow motion to attach it to her wrist! When it finally shut around her wrist, the door flew off its hinges! This was it…

And that was it! No sooner had the bluster come to its pinnacle, it disappeared! Everyone returned to the ground, and the atmosphere got quiet! Lisa’s brows furrowed; it was as though her connecting her constraints drove it off! She thought that concept was impossible… unless… No! What were the odds?

“Is it over?” a teen queried.

“Perhaps we should wait a minute in case this is simply the eye of the storm,” an elderly lady suggested.

Snowflakes surfaced on the stairs, and somebody puzzled, “It’s snowing again?”

The receptionist proclaimed, “I think it’s done! Here’s the key. Be careful as you head up there- you never know what that monster exposed!”

Lisa and Delron unlocked themselves first since they needed to shift and clear a path for everyone else. When they arrived back on the main floor, they gaped at the damage that had been done! The pristine lobby had vanished, and debris was strewed everywhere! They got a glimpse of the town beneath the hill of the edifice’s location, and nothing else suffered from this incident! “The hurricane didn’t get anyone else?” a young woman enquired.

“Our house!” a middle-aged fellow cried.

Now will you ban them from the premises?” Abby demanded to the receptionist.

The receptionist stated, “No one is coming back here until this infrastructure is examined and deemed safe!”

A weeping wife probed, “But… where will we go?”

No one had a response. Lisa and Delron began to walk away, but then the receptionist addressed them, “Please give back that historical artifact!” Lisa hesitated. If she could only keep it, she could end this nightmare forever! She couldn’t come up with a valid excuse other than the truth though, and that was not something she could share, so she very unwillingly handed the handcuffs back prior to their departure.

Lisa saw him standing under a hazy streetlight. Everything else was pitch black, which made her worry about their prospective endeavor this evening. When she got closer to Adam, he flashed her a grin, and she tried earnestly to reciprocate the gesture, but her nerves froze her facial muscles! Exploring a vengeful ghost’s former territory felt daunting enough, but in addition to that, she dreaded interacting with Adam after what happened with Abby. Oh sure, it didn’t sound like they were currently dating, but that didn’t mean he didn’t want to! She didn’t want to hang out with the man who would choose to pursue a girl who tried to strangle her, but his work towards their effort to eradicate this town from a terrible presence was valuable. She pushed herself to buy into the notion of a positive outcome from this undertaking, but her anxiety overruled her optimism!

Suddenly, Lisa detected movement in the darkness in front of her! She couldn’t discern what it was, so she could only assume it was some sort of spirit racing towards her! She looked to Adam for possible assistance, and it startled her to see him smiling! Did he send a wicked entity to her? She could hardly comprehend that, but she didn’t have a second to spare in analyzing anything! The obscure figure arrived in her proximity, and she braced herself for a paranormal battle…

“Oh, hello there!” Lisa merrily greeted the perpetrator of her panic- a mid-size, black dog with floppy ears and a sweet expression on its visage! “You scared me, little dude!”

“Peanut, down!” Adam commanded his pet as it put its front paws onto Lisa’s sweater.

Lisa laughed, “Oh, I don’t mind! Well,  I suppose I should since he could snag it and I don’t have very many clothes, but I’m just so relieved that he isn’t some ferocious creature coming to eat me!”

Adam chuckled, “That’d never happen! He chases the rabbits out of the pumpkin groves, but if he ever caught any, I’m certain he’d just play with them! He’s the gentlest animal I’ve ever met! But, having said that, I’m hoping that he’ll provide us with protection while we explore Blackthorn Orchards! I think if was in any true danger, he’d come to my rescue! Besides, Rebecca didn’t like that ghostly cat, so I was counting on him warding her off while we’re here. You never know when she might revisit her old place!”

“If this proves successful, then I’ll have to consider getting a doggy or kitty to take with us on deliveries! Maybe we could actually complete an order without almost dying!” Lisa joked. She instantly regretted making that quip though- it gave him an opening to pry into this morning’s incident!

“Yeah, I imagine that’s getting old!” Adam responded. They each guffawed at that, and then Adam smirked. “Abby told me about the freak hurricane. So, you attempted to murder her, huh?”

Lisa emphatically denied that allegation, “That’s a lie! She was the one who wanted to wring my neck in the middle of evacuating from the wind!”

Adam assured her, “I know! Well, I didn’t know that specific detail, but Abby’s claim didn’t make sense! Why would you do something like that when you allegedly sent the hurricane to do everyone in?”

“Thank you!” Lisa’s heart thumped with gratitude for his vouching of her character! “How much you wanna bet half of Melas will believe her b.s.?” 

“People believe a lot of dumb things! You’d be surprised how many idiots still think the world is flat!” Adam commented. They exchanged amusement in this tidbit, and then Adam got more serious. “Forget what they say! The important thing is you’re still here!”

He stroked her hair, and Lisa fought her instincts to inch closer to him! She didn’t want to fall victim to any tricks on his part to persuade her to let her guard down and provide her foes with invaluable insight, but he got right next to her body, and it became very hard to resist pulling her lips up to his…

Delron shouted, “Get back!” Lisa and Adam immediately jumped out of each other’s orbit and mentally prepared themselves to engage in a harrowing altercation, but they soon espied Peanut merrily greeting Delron! Delron cracked up, “Yes, yes! Nice to see you again, buddy!” Peanut scampered back to Adam, and Delron sheepishly regarded them, “Sorry! I didn’t wanna interrupt your, um, conversation…”

“The entrance to the estate is a few feet behind us,” Adam mentioned as if the bout of awkwardness had not transpired. “Shall we…?”

“Yes! The sooner we find an object belonging to Rebecca, the sooner we can evoke the magic of those witching bottles and finish this spooky shit!” Lisa ardently articulated. Adam led them on the route to their destination, and Delron as well as Lisa determinedly traversed behind him.

A battered-up old arch marked the onset to the property, and a padlock sealed up the slender, iron gates. Adam informed the other two, “They put this up later to discourage squatters, but no one is even tempted to trespass here!” Lisa couldn’t see anything beyond the obscurity, but she wasn’t about to let that discourage her! She used the gate’s setup as steps and began scaling the structure. Delron and Adam mimicked that move while Peanut squeezed through the gaps, and once they all reached the other side, they stood in silence for a moment to absorb the gravity of the occasion. Once they accepted the hallow oddity, they took a collective deep breath and went forth down the shadowy path.

Lisa, Adam, and Delron turned on the flashlight feature on their cellphones, and so far, all the trio could see was several deadened trees lining their trail. Delron wondered, “Do you imagine that this lot was ever nice?”

“Oh, look! There’s a house!” Adam indicated to a dilapidated dwelling ahead of them.

“It seems like it’s staring at us!” Lisa assessed as she viewed how the eaves resembled eyebrows, and the windows very much appeared like glaring eyes! Holes in its walls showed the inside of a fairly ordinary domicile, but the closer they got to it, the more it seemed like their existence in this area angered the current occupants of the land! “Remember why we’re here- don’t lose your cool!” Lisa advised the two men in addition to herself.

Delron reached the porch first, but when he attempted to open the door, it wouldn’t budge! Adam pointed to a sizable crack nearby, and he let the others know, “We can fit in there if we take out this board!” He yanked it from its position, and then he stared at the site guiltily. “Why does it feel like I pissed someone off by doing that?”

Lisa responded, “Because you’re overthinking it! Let’s go!”

She crouched low and shimmied into the shack, and Adam did the same. Delron almost followed suit, but then, unexpectedly, Peanut darted away and ran into an unclear detour to the rearmost section of the habitation! “I’ll go get him!” Delron volunteered.

“He shouldn’t go alone!” Lisa fretted.

“Aw, he’ll be fine!” Adam aired his vote of confidence. “Peanut doesn’t tear himself too far away from me. We should start searching for Rebecca’s possessions, who knows how long we have…” Lisa nodded in agreement, and they initiated a sweep of their surroundings.

Lisa peered at a pile of rubble, and she conveyed, “Man, it’s like one day, they just took everything out and never came back!”

Adam denoted, “No mice, no bugs, no birds- nothing touched this home in ages! What exactly were they trying to avoid?”

Prior to Lisa having the ability to reply, they heard a horrible scream from afar! They swiftly removed themselves from that locale and sped towards the origin of that anguished cry…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 18

“I already told you I’m sorry!” Lisa expressed to Delron as they trudged up the downtown boulevard in a light dusting of snow. Delron didn’t respond to her, so she made another bid for his forgiveness, “I know I acted recklessly, and I promised I wouldn’t do it again! What more do you want from me?”

“I’m not really mad,” Delron finally spoked up. “I’m simply afraid of what you might do if you get more information! Are you gonna act impulsively and behave in a way that might get you killed? You already almost died in the graveyard, and you got lucky at Derrick Tyburn’s Field! You can only cheat death so many times…”

Lisa took offense to that. “Are you saying I wanted all those things to happen to me?”

Delron probed, “Did you? You’re going through a rough patch, and it’s not uncommon for people in that situation to put themselves in harm’s path…”

“I’m not suicidal!” Lisa refuted that statement. “I messed up, but I only did it ‘cause I was trying to help! I’m trying to save innocent lives, not harm myself!”

“It worries me to involve you in any more of these efforts,” Delron spelled out to her. “Every new fact we learn seems to get you into trouble!”

Lisa got shocked by the audacity of his assertion. “So, you’re saying you don’t trust me? This whole rescue mission was my idea!”

Delron contended, “It’s not that I don’t trust you, I just don’t wanna lose you! Yes, we’ve only known each other for a few days, but I feel like I’ve made a new friend! I don’t have a lot of allies in this town, and it’d crush me to see you meet your demise like that!”

“If you really value our friendship, you have to have a little more faith in me than that!” Lisa argued. “You have to give me a chance to prove I’m trustworthy! Besides, Rebecca has a strong vendetta against me after what my ancestor did to her! I doubt she’d leave me alone if I stopped pursuing her! I’d fare better against her by being armed with more information…”

“You’re right!” Delron conceded as he halted his gait. “I guess I got a little overprotective! If I tell you what I learned, will you swear not to act on it alone?”

Lisa assured him, “Of course! What did you find out?”

Delron glanced around at his surroundings, and when he felt confident about their privacy, he inquired, “Do you know how we’re doing a book pick up at Bayside Estates?”

“Yeah,” Lisa replied.

“Well, I was doing some research on other places that may have held significance for the witchcraft trial victims, and…” Delron trailed off.

With her interest piqued, Lisa pressed him, “That building may have meant something to that menacing ghost?”

Delron explained, “Well, before it was luxury condos, it was actually an insane asylum, and before that, it was a jail notorious for its harsh conditions and mistreatment of prisoners…”

“So, Rebecca may have been held here prior to her hanging?” Lisa surmised.

“Precisely!” Delron confirmed. “And a lot of her madness probably stemmed from the abuse she went through there!”

As they resumed their travel, Lisa wondered, “Why would they create such fancy homes on a site with such an ugly history?”

Delron commented, “It happened more than you can imagine! Entrepreneurs buy the land for dirt cheap, and then after they turn it into something nice, they make a huge profit.”

“But wouldn’t this spot be haunted as hell?” Lisa queried.

“Most likely.” Delron shrugged.

Delron pushed a button by the front entrance’s intercom, and a snooty voice addressed them, “Yes?”

Lisa informed him, “We’re from Brigfell. We’re here at the request of Patrick Wheat.”

The man requested, “One moment.” After a considerable pause, the man returned, “You’ve been verified. Come in.”

Lisa beheld the ultra posh lobby, and other than the sour face that receptionist was making as he avoided eye contact, nothing regarding this space suggested that it once held anything sinister! As she followed Delron across they foyer, she glanced around at her surroundings to visually unearth some sort of memento honoring the background of this site, but it became very apparent that the designers of this edifice strove to bury that secret! She watched an arrogant bunch board an elevator, and she had to resist the urge to question them on whether or not their opulent pad ever got visited by the spirits of tortured prisoners!

“We’re taking the service lift,” Delron assured the condescending crew as they eyeballed the pair warily. They seemed really relieved to receive this tidbit, and Lisa shook her head as their doors closed. “Don’t take it personally,” Delron advised her. “They treat everyone like that!”

“I’m not particularly concerned about that,” Lisa remarked as she studied the residential hallway they trekked through. “I lived in a penthouse up until recently, and I had neighbors like that! It’s a shame that they isolate themselves from so many people! Then again, they’re hardly the first occupants of this establishment to live in total seclusion…”

Delron put a finger to his lips to signify the need to keep that morsel under wraps, and while Lisa didn’t see the problem of anyone here knowing the truth, she acquiesced to his wishes- she hardly wanted to get into another tiff with him! When they reached the barred entryway of this shaft, Lisa probed, “Is this the servants’ corridor?”

After pushing the summoning button, Delron expounded, “It’s designed for those with large loads to utilize for a more convenient experience, but I have rarely seen it get used by anybody who actually lived here! So… yeah!” Lisa shook her head at the ridiculousness of the residents.

Once they were in the solitude of the conveyer, Lisa observed, “I didn’t find any hint of anything that once belonged to the old jail!”

“It was kind of a long shot,” Delron responded. “We don’t even know what cell Rebecca was held in! But hey, it’s still worth it to keep an eye out for something!”

“Are you the book peeps?” a young woman with her gaze fixed firmly on her cellphone greeted them at the door of her condominium. 

Lisa authenticated this with a less than sincere thumbs up, but the girl didn’t catch a drift of her disdain. “Book peeps… yeah, that’s us.”

The youthful lady instructed them, “Daddy is in the study. Wait here, I’ll get them for you.”

She shut the door, and then Lisa whispered, “Wouldn’t it be ironic if Rebecca was once locked up in this apartment?”

Delron chuckled, and then Patrick’s daughter shoved a sack of publications into their arms. “Have a nice day!” She flashed them a disingenuous grin prior to shutting the door once more. “At least this one made eye contact with us!” Delron kidded. Lisa tittered, but she soon grew crestfallen, which prompted Delron to ask, “Is something wrong?”

“You mean aside from the usual?” Lisa answered with the slightest sign of jest in her melancholy. “Well, I was hoping to gather an important clue during our stay in this joint, but all we got was treated badly!”

“It could’ve been worse,” Delron consoled her. “At least we didn’t run into anything too scary!” In that instant, a door swung open, and Abby stood before them! “I stand corrected!”

Abby folded her arms and spoke directly to Lisa, “What business do you have with Adam?”

Lisa hesitated. Obviously, she couldn’t divulge the small part Adam played in their quest to rid Melas of an evil apparition, and she definitely didn’t want to confess to any romantic sentiments that surfaced within her! Still, she had to offer her some kind of rationale for their increasingly frequent activities together… Delron jumped in, “He comes to Brigfell to get literature and music for the Halloween Hoedown; as someone who helps pay the bills for that event, I would’ve expected you to feel pleased about stuff he can rent for free!”

“Don’t give me that crap!” Abby snarled. “You don’t keep a man’s attention that long for mere logistics!”

“Well, since you’re not gonna listen to our story, why don’t you tell us what Adam wants from the library?” Lisa challenged her.

Abby spat, “You! But I highly doubt that’s from his own free will!”

Lisaa put her hands on her hips and catechized, “What is that supposed to mean?”

“Don’t play games with me!” Abby hissed. “You know exactly what I’m talking about! You bewitched him to get him to fall for you! That’s the only reason a guy like him would go for you when he could have someone like me! I have the entire package- looks, personality, money, and you have none of that!”

“You’re forgetting something else that you have that I don’t- an unsound brain!” Lisa retorted. Abby’s jaw dropped upon hearing this insult, but preceding her ability to argue any further, Lisa directed Delron, “Let’s go!”

Delron tailed Lisa, who had taken brisk strides towards the elevator, and Abby struggled to keep up with them. “Wait! I’m not done with you yet!” Lisa closed the elevator door in her face and smirked as they descended back down below.

Lisa and Delron had nearly gotten to the exit when they lift behind them dinged, something they would have ignored if it didn’t come with Abby in it, who yelled, “Don’t you dare try and escape me!”

“Miss Parris, please remember that there’s no shouting in the lobby!” the receptionist gently reminded her.

“I want these two banned from the premises!” Abby demanded as if she hadn’t apprehended his guidance. “They’ve damaged my property!”

Lisa disputed that, “That’s a lie! She’s making up wild claims ‘cause she got the impression I’m stealing a boyfriend that she doesn’t have!”

Abby accused, “Ever since she got here, my home has been acting funny! My belongings keep getting moved, it gets cold out of nowhere, weird shadows dance across my floor… Do you really think this is a simple coincidence?”

“Uh…” the receptionist demurred. It pleased Lisa to watch his skepticism rise because she recognized although he probably didn’t want to side with Abby’s opponent, her assertion was too bonkers for him to entertain! “Ma’am, forgive me for asking, but what precisely are you accusing her of?”

“Dark magic!” Abby bellowed. Several passersby stopped to witness this scene, but Abby didn’t seem to care about their presence. “You can’t deny that something is very wrong here! Haven’t you noticed any unusual sightings?” 

The receptionist slowly articulated, “Miss Parris, this complex got built on very old grounds…”

Lisa’s ears perked up at this! She eagerly awaited him to provide more detail about its past, but her hopes of gleaning anything that might assist them in their mystery got dashed when a couple of audience members concurred with Abby! Abby picked up on this, and she avidly interrogated the crowd, “You’ve seen it too, haven’t you? The weird lights, the creepy sky…”

“Listen, if you want us out that bad, we’ll leave! Our boss can deliver your orders from now on!” Lisa turned to Delron, who nodded in agreement. They attempted to march out, but then…

“Hold on! No one is going anywhere!” the receptionist decreed as he stared out the window in fright…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 17

“No!” Delron cried out upon seeing Adam walk in with Lisa loosely hanging off of Adam’s shoulder! “That wasn’t supposed to be a dangerous mission! Oh, please tell me she’s okay!”

“I’m fine!” Lisa firmly stated. Given that her eyes weren’t fully open, Lisa could only assume that their pause stemmed from disbelief of her claim, so she corrected her statement, “I’m alive!”

Delron exhaled in alleviation. “Thank goodness! What happened out there?”

Adam opened his mouth to speak, but he refrained from doing so because the front door opened. Melanie greeted them, “Man, there’s a lot of traffic, and it’s not even the weekend yet! I wish I could ride a bike like you guys, but, you know, bad knees! If there’s another delivery, one of you will have to-.” Once she set her belongings down, she noticed the weakened stance Lisa was currently in, and she vociferated, “What is this? Ugh, I knew I shouldn’t have let you return to work so soon! I don’t know if workman’s comp will reimburse your medical bills since you went against doctors orders…”

“I don’t need medical attention!” Lisa assured her. “I just… I tried to do too much too soon! I’ll go slower from now on!” 

“You need to go home and rest!” Melanie decreed. Lisa started to object, but Melanie insisted, “No! You’re not killing yourself on the job! I don’t want that liability! Stay in your studio, and if you’re feeling stronger tomorrow, you can come back.”

Lisa could already feel her limbs regaining their stamina, but she could see that arguing with Melanie would yield a futile outcome for her, so she relented to her demand. Adam sensed her disappointment, so he attempted to buoy her up. “Relax while you can ‘cause on Saturday, you’ll have so much fun at the Halloween Hoedown, you won’t get a chance to sit down!”

Melanie barked at Adam, “What are you doing? You’re not employed here, so you’re not supposed to be doing any of the labor!”

“Well, she’s off-the-clock, right? So, we’re both free agents!” Adam countered. Lisa caught Melanie’s surprised expression prior to them heading up the fireplace stairs, and she got the impression that no one had ever talked back to her like that before! Having the most popular guy in town be the one to disagree with her like that must have been even more of a shock! They had always seemed to get along well, and she vaguely wondered how it would affect their power dynamic! She hoped that it wouldn’t jeopardize her occupation at Brigfell, but she would have to worry about that later! At that moment, she couldn’t help but savor the fact that someone in Melas actually stood up for her! That and a handsome man was leading her to her bedroom…

“Nice place!” Adam complimented as he entered into her abode. 

Lisa gave him a half grin. “Thanks! Well, I can’t really take credit for it! It came furnished…”

Adam chuckled, and then he noted, “You’re standing on your own! Do you still need my assistance to move around?”

“No!” Lisa had been thoroughly enjoying the support he offered, and it pained her not to have an excuse to remain nestled up against him! She walked over to her bed, and she realized that she hadn’t shown Adam appreciation for his service. “Thanks for your help!”

“Not a problem!” Adam graciously responded.

Lisa differed, “You almost got murdered by a vengeful ghost, so I woudln’t say that was exactly problem-free!”

Adam shrugged. “It was a problem, but now it’s just a bad memory! I’m glad I played a small part in your noble mission, and I wish I could do more, but I’m way behind on party prep! Plus, I need to take care of Mom before I see Abby…”

“You’re seeing Abby?” Lisa’s spirits fell. It seemed as though every time she thought she was getting closer to this hunky sweetheart, she was simply fooling herself! Furthermore, if he had to date any other girl, why her? Other than the evil essence she was currently battling, she was her greatest rival!

“She’s a major donor, and we have some bills to settle,” Adam let her know. That sounded like a denial, but Lisa observed that he didn’t outright reject that premise! He put a hand on her shoulder, and he requested, “Take care of yourself, ‘kay?”

Lisa obliged, “Sure.” He beamed at her, and Lisa could have melted! His hand felt so soothingly warm too! She ached to not feel like she could make a more flirtatious move, and as she watched him leave, she became doubtful that she ever would!

She woke up from a nap feeling quite refreshed! She knew she couldn’t overdo it, but Lisa definitely felt like she could shelve some books! It wasn’t as though she was eager to do any tedious tasks, but she was dying to learn more about their ghostly mystery! She eagerly desired to find a possession of Rebecca’s so they could end her evil curse, and it drove her crazy to not have the ability to progress in that realm! Certainly, they couldn’t discuss much in front of Melanie, but sooner or later, she was bound to go on another delivery! Or let them go on one! Any tidbit that they could unearth from a meaningful conversation would provide tremendous relief, but instead, she was stuck here doing nothing! Although…

Lisa stared at the window, and while she had covered it with curtains, she vividly recalled that it generated a frigid effect upon viewing it. Clearly, this body of water was significant! Delron described Rebecca’ husband taking her corpse to the graveyard, so without a doubt, the stream held some significance! Exploring Rebecca’s former home at the orchard could have yielded the results they needed, but she speculated that this brook may produce a positive output for them too! Delron and Adam were both busy, but solving this dilemma was too vital to wait until they weren’t, so she decided to explore the territory on her own. As she grabbed her jacket, she knew that the two others involved in this affair would’ve objected to her going out on her own, but she didn’t see the harm in a mere trek by the rivulet…

The frosty grass and the colorful Autumn trees made for such a tranquil setting! If she hadn’t been on the hunt for a trinket belonging to a savage spirit, she would have found the process very peaceful! Initially, she had passed the posterior of the businesses that bordered the library, but it veered to the left, and the nearest buildings were no longer very close! She beheld plenty of grasslands, but none of it gave off any sort of indication that this area once housed the hangings from one of Massachusetts’ darkest chapters! She ambled along and pondered how long she should travel preceding her circling back to her apartment when, all of a sudden, she heard screaming in the distance! 

As she raced towards the origin of the cacophony, she rapidly recognized that the hollering hadn’t been made in fear afterall! She approached a chain-link fence, and it dawned on her that this river ran alongside a park! The raised voices emanated from a baseball diamond, and parents were cheering on their tots as they merrily engaged in this sport. It was an entirely quaint picture to soak in, and she began planning to skip past it… until… 

Lisa gasped when she spotted the strange mist floating above the crowd! Her jaw dropped at this spectacle- surely, children were off limits to her cruelty! She couldn’t comprehend how Rebecca even knew to occupy this region! She recalled that Adam told her and Delron the apparitional cloud hovered around the orchard, which made sense since they could now confirm that it had a connection to Rebecca, and while she acknowledged it wasn’t totally impossible for this malevolent phantom to reside somewhere where Lisa didn’t visit, it seemed odd to do this at a super random site like this! … Unless it wasn’t so random… But that notion was impossible! They couldn’t have built a youthful recreation center over the former Gallow’s Hill, could they?

After watching the game for a couple of minutes, Lisa started to wonder if she misinterpreted the nefarious nebula. Everything seemed to be functioning like normal, and she wondered how long she should watch this game before calling it a loss and moving on. She despised the idea of wasting more time, but she wouldn’t have forgiven herself if she stepped away and an incident occurred! She inwardly went back and forth between staying and going, but then…

A kid hit a ball with such fervor that it flew beyond the boundaries of the outfield! It transpired so fast that Lisa didn’t realize that it was speeding towards her subsequent to it landing onto her outstretched palm! She hadn’t even meant to catch it- an automatic reflex compelled her to! The players involved got rather irate about this instance, and she fully intended to tell them that she didn’t enjoy this fluke because she seriously didn’t, especially due to the force of the impact’s pain and continued reverberation! However, it soon became evident that the baseball hadn’t caused the vibrations at all…

“Are you gonna give that back to my boy?” an angry dad demanded to know.

“Why are you interfering with their fun?” a vexed mom queried Lisa.

Another spectator remarked, “Look who we’re talking to! She won’t let anyone feel the slightest bit of happiness!”

Lisa stove to catechize, “Did you notice the ground-?”

“Why don’t you leave us alone?” another adult heatedly addressed her, which sparked a murmur of agreement amongst the throng.

“It’s getting worse!” Lisa ardently cautioned them. “You need to get out of here!’

Somebody else shouted back, “No, you do!”

The bystanders applauded that sentiment, and Lisa ogled at the masses with desperation in her eyes! Something very sinister was about to ensue, and she probably could have spared some agony if someone, anyone, heeded her warning and evacuated the property! She gazed at all of the innocent souls, particularly the juveniles, and it anguished her to foresee the terrible fate Rebecca had in store for them!

Finally, one individual spoke up about it, “Hey! I think we’re having an earthquake!”

One of their peers disputed, “That’s impossible! We don’t get earthquakes in this neck of the woods…”

The shaking strengthened, and it grew difficult for the people in this locale to stay upright! A few attempted to flee, but the convulsions only became worse! No one could maintain their footing, and Lisa bellowed, “Hold on to the fence!” Some of the besieged followed her guidance, but many stayed skeptical as they laid on the floor waiting for the event to conclude. Unfortunately for them, the dirt turned into the least safe sector to reside in…

Abruptly, the turf opened up, and slowly, the chasm’s width multiplied! Various minors plummeted into the abyss, and Lisa couldn’t stand to witness this demise! She had no clue how to thwart this demonic effort, and without a personal item of that wicked woman, she didn’t esteem that they could stop her! With a last ditch push to conquer this madness, Lisa yelled, “Just ‘cause your life got cut off here doesn’ mean you gotta do the same for them!”

To her astonishment, the trembling came to a halt! Nobody got up immediately, but once a bout of stillness elapsed, the affected party warily started to stand. Parents rushed to check on their babies, and Lisa instinctively ran over to aid them with the rescue, but a man blocked her path! “Don’t bother! You’ve done enough already!”

Lisa’s heart wrenched from this hostile attitude towards her! She yearned to learn how the kids fared, but with more and more glaring getting thrown in her direction, she opted to exit the scene. As she headed back to her dwelling, she despondently deliberated on the condition of the blameless victims…

The Darkest Wishes of Melas, Chapter 16

Lisa and Adam went closer to Delron and listened to him with wrapt attention! Lisa felt sort of scared of what he may have unearthed, but she sincerely hoped that he would divulge a tidbit that would aid them in solving this problem dilemma indefinitely! Delron took a deep breath, and then he narrated, “Rebecca was a young bride to an older man, and she soon found herself to be a widow. A few years later, she married a wealthy business owner, and after about five years of marriage, he died too. She inherited his land, and shortly following that, she was wed to a lumber mill worker. Melas erupted in gossip over her relationships, and the rumor was that she played a sinister role in how things ended…”

Folding her arms, Lisa pouted, “You’re not gonna get me to feel sorry for her just ‘cause our experiences are similar! She may not have been a witch then, but with how many people she’s hurt, she certainly qualifies as one now!”

“Certainly…” Evidently, Delron hadn’t made that connection, and this abrupt comparison threw him off a bit! He cleared his throat and then went on, “They used those scandalous reports against her at the trial. Apparently, her second husband was quite abusive, and they were often seen arguing together in public. This was very unusual for that era since wives were expected to have complete obedience to their husbands.”

“Nope! Still don’t feel sorry for her!” Lisa stubbornly insisted, though really, she needed to convince herself of this more than anything!

Delron continued, “Ruth Williams along with her two best friends, Susanna Booth and Betty Warren, accused Rebecca of using a love spell against Edmund Rook because they didn’t view her worthy of capturing his heart on her own.”

Adam observed, “It sounds like they were just jealous that she got the town squeeze and not them!”

“Most likely,” Delron concurred. “But, in addition to using a dark enchantment to get his affection, they also swore they spotted her flying through the air! They even claimed that she forced them to sign the devil’s book before they suddenly erupted into fits in the courtroom! They weren’t the only accusers though. Some construction workers said they found voodoo dolls in her barn, and then several witnesses alleged that they found their missing items in her home even though she hadn’t actually set foot onto their property. It was all petty stuff like eggs and candles- stuff that she might have had at her house anyways…”

“Gosh, it really does sound like she was completely innocent! I could see why she would harbor such a venomous rage over this!” Lisa didn’t like admitting it, but Rebecca’s backstory was truly tragic! She pitied her plight, but she felt guilty for doing so since she didn’t want to justify the monstrous actions she was taking as a ghost!

Adam responded to Delron’s revelation quizzically, “This is interesting and all, but how is this gonna help us stop her?”

Delron explained, “You never know! Besides, I haven’t finished yet! The article described her getting hung at Guardian’s Ledge, but no one is positive where that is exactly. We do have one clue, however! Edmund Rook was seen on a boat rowing her body to the graveyard. He wasn’t allowed to put her tombstone in the Blackthorn lot, so she’s likely mixed in with the other victims of the witchcraft era.”

“Did you say Blackthorn?” Adam reacted in surprise. “So, the land she inherited was Blackthorn Orchard?”

“No wonder everyone thinks it’s haunted- it probably is!” Lisa contemplated this statement, and then she furrowed her brows. “But if Rebecca’s spirit got trapped in the Proctor’s Bible, how could she haunt the orchard too?”

Delron shrugged. “Perhaps other inhabitants took residence there in the afterlife. George’s first wife died young too, so it could be her.”

Adam remarked, “Maybe we can find something of Rebecca’s at the orchard! It hasn’t been lived in for ages, so maybe some of her belongings are still there!”

“Maybe, but we’re literally right next door to that graveyard…” Delron indicated to the window behind him. “Any of her most precious possessions would presumably have been put in her casket, but it’s still worth a look! You two could take a quick peek while I do the book drop, but you’ll have to hurry ‘cause Melanie’s delivery probably won’t take long!”

“You wanna do it?” Adam inquired to Lisa.

Lisa was ready to tell him no until he articulated that! She did not want to spend any alone time with a person whom she suspected of only acting kindly towards her so he could gain intelligence on her activities for her rivals, but when he used that precise phrasing, she couldn’t resist replying, “Yes, of course!”

Adam grinned. “Alright! Let’s get moving!” Lisa found herself blushing as he opened the backdoor for her, and she prayed that he didn’t catch her reddened cheeks!

As the two of them walked over to the cemetery, she gazed at the rows of old graves, and she realized what an awful idea this had been! She would become totally isolated with someone who may have been working on behalf of bad actors, and she admonished herself for getting into such a potentially precarious situation! Right when she started thinking of excuses to turn back, her phone chimed. She assumed it was Lydia again trying to check on her, but her insides twisted when she saw who had contacted her! “Ugh, no!”

“What’s wrong?” Adam asked her.

“My stupid ex texted me!” Lisa answered. “He’s all like, ‘Hey, babe! What are you up to?’ He’s acting like nothing happened between us! I wouldn’t wanna talk to any guy who cheated on me a month after we split, but I especially don’t wanna talk to him after the lies he spread about me! That asshole thinks I’ll chat with him? Nuh-uh! Blocked!” She pushed the option to bar him from communicating with her.

Lisa traveled with steam in her step, and while she fumed, she predicted that Adam would offer some condolences before using this window she opened up to pry into more details regarding their relationship. It bewildered her completely when instead, Adam stated, “I never liked him!”

Blinking in confusion, Lisa puzzled, “Huh?”

“Tommy Dane,” Adam clarified. “His music is mediocre at best, and everyone acts like he’s the greatest thing to happen to rock since the Beatles! He’s hackey, and he puts on this big show of humility for his fans! He’s so fake! I could see it in his eyes- he’s really just an arrogant jerk! He doesn’t deserve the fame he’s earned!” As much as Lisa despised her previous flame now, some of her past instincts wanted to resurface! She shoved them back down the instant they arose though because she recognized the accuracy of his accusation! She couldn’t deny that his songs weren’t that great, and with how he treated her once she left, she couldn’t fight the notion of his ignoble character either! This recognition caused sadness to overwhelm her- how could she have wasted three solid years with that jerk? “What on earth did you see in him?” Adam probed.

“I thought I saw the real him,” Lisa told him. “When we first met, I was alone in a coffee shop trying to cheer myself up from a hard day, and this dude with a baseball cap and sunglasses sat by me and began a conversation. He seemed so nice and empathetic, so I agreed to go on a date with him. When he eventually revealed his true identity, I didn’t believe him at first! Soon, I decided what he did on stage was simply a persona he developed to sell tickets, and I stuck with him ‘cause I figured he needed someone normal to come home to. We always had to disguise ourselves when we went out, but when we were by ourselves, we were a typical couple! He went out of the city a lot, but I didn’t think too much of it since that’s the nature of the entertainment industry. If I had any inkling that his real self was at all terrible, I wouldn’t have stayed!”

Adam paused his gait, and he affirmed, “I’m glad you cut ties with that prick! You deserve better!” Lisa felt touched by his sentiments, and the intense stare he gave her drew her closer to him! His lips were so inviting, and although her doubts about his character wanted her to pull away, the desire to get even closer to him strengthened… “She’s gotta be around this area!”

His sentence addled her brain! For a moment, she feared he had come out to meet another girl! She definitely wanted for that to prove incorrect, so she petitioned him, “Who?”

“Rebecca Rook… Remember…?” Adam attempted to jog her memory. Lisa glanced around and got startled to observe that they had reached the innermost section of the graveyard! She got so wrapped up in her romantic drama that she hadn’t paid attention to where they went! She felt foolish for this bout of ineptitude, and Adam sympathetically chuckled, “It really was a long night for you, wasn’t it? Are you sure you’re up for this?”

“I’ll be fine!” Lisa reassured him as well as herself. She cast that topic out of her mind and catechized, “What makes you think that her tombstone is around here?”

Adam gestured towards the top of a grave as he filled her in, “Those are death heads! Puritans weren’t supposed to put religious symbols on their tombs, so they used these instead. They taught that in Melas High School- I’m shocked I still had that in my memories!”

Lisa kidded, “Delron and his husband would be so proud!” Adam cracked a grin, and Lisa tittered prior to shifting her mood back to serious. “Let’s see what her final resting place tells us!”

They slowly made their way down the aisle of witchcraft era graves, and she espied a few names that she vaguely recollected from academic courses, but none of them mattered for their mission. After a minute, an intuitive hint formed within her that they were getting nearer! She felt as though they were being watched, and goosebumps formed all over her exposed skin! She grew colder, and despair overwhelmed her! These sensations heightened more and more until, all of a sudden, her limbs froze! Without peering at which tombstone she halted at, Lisa firmly proclaimed, “She’s here!”

Adam swiveled his head to the sepulcher, and he confirmed, “Yeah, it’s her… her…”

He abruptly became tongue-tied, and he massaged his throat as if he endeavored to coax the words out! “Adam, are you-?”

Her utterance got interrupted when an eerie glow enveloped them! They floated above the grassy terrain, and then Rebecca appeared! “You shall interfere with my plans no longer!” Lisa wanted to scream for someone to race to their rescue, but she couldn’t move a muscle! Their entrapment began to warm up, and Lisa knew they were about to get killed in a tortuous manner! She shut her eyes to avoid beholding her own demise, but then she flicked them wide open! She wasn’t about to perish cowering in fear like that evil essence wanted- if she was hellbent on murdering them, she would have to take in her orbs of sight! The same ones of her ancestor that sent Rebecca to her doom…

Unanticipatedly, Hester’s form manifested between Rebecca and her victims! The force that propped them into their lofty position vanished, and Rebecca ogled at the feline fearfully preceding her disappearance! Lisa and Adam returned to the floor, and Lisa rather weakly expressed, “Hester! You saved us!”

Hester mewed at them cheerily, and Adam commented, “Huh! I thought witches liked familiars!” He laughed, but prior to Lisa having the ability to do the same, everything went dark and she plummeted to the ground!