Thursday, October 30, 2014

Coffin Hop 2014 Sandra's Story Part Two

“What if I don’t want to? What could possibly be in there that will make any of this less weird?”
The Maestro knocked softly on the metallic hatch, earning a chattering moan from within. “There. You know that there is something in there that is dead. Or dying, at the very least.”

“You have someone dying in there?” Sandra sounded panicked.
“Just open it up already.” Maestro snapped, his temper flaring. “Who knows, perhaps you’ll be able to save the victim of my attack somehow.”
Sandra grabbed the hatch, unhooking the latch to whip open the covering. The stench of burnt flesh, with an undercurrent of something sweet that she just couldn’t place assailed her senses, something that would have made her gag were she alive. Sandra grabbed the gurney and pulled it out, revealing a woman whose head had been burned to a charred state. Her eyes were gone and her neck was open to the world, exposing a tube that would have served as her throat under normal circumstances. Her body was restrained by lengths of barbed wire, tying her hands and feet down to the table. Long slashes and deep bite marks marred her body, though very little flesh was missing. It was as if a shark had come up from nowhere and attacked the girl, after belching a ball of fire over her head and neck.
“What happened to her…?” Sandra asked in awe, staring at the writhing body, listening to its pain clicking as it tried to speak.
“I got the information I needed.” Maestro replied cryptically, staring at the girl almost in a daze. He snapped back to attention and turned to smile evilly at Sandra. “Stephanie was a particularly easy nut to crack. I didn’t even have to skin her, like I did her cat.”
Sandra stared, shocked that this charred and chewed body was the once beautiful witch that had sent Sandra into fits of depression and rage over the last two years. Looking up at Maestro, who was standing with his hands behind his back, she could only smile back at him.
“This is Stephanie? You killed her, made her into a Lurker?” Sandra asked, tears of joy threatening to appear in her eyes.
“Yes and no. The serum her grandfather derived from a plant my people hold sacred allows her immortality. At least her body. Now I have a proposition to make, and I would like for you to think it over before answering.”
“Alright,” Sandra would give anyone who did this to Stephanie a chance.
“Now the Moon Children flowers that this graveyard has are already a grave sin, but removing them would be an even worse one. I would like to elect new officials to govern this graveyard and do whatever it is you all do, on the promise that no new flowers would be made. This would allow for more nectar to form should the young die here, but it would not allow for more flowers to be seeded. Do you follow me?”
“Yes…” Sandra replied, not following where this was headed.
“Now Stephanie is young and strong enough that, given time, her body will fully heal. In fact, right before I did this to her she’d made this,” he showed a leather tool kit in his left hand, before placing it on the gurney, “which would allow for a near instant recovery. She made ten syringes worth of the new serum, with plenty more in the cauldron back there.”
Maestro pulled his right hand from around his back, revealing a glass jar with a beating human heart, inscribed with runes that glowed a faint green with every throb of the bloodless muscle.
“Cloud’s heart…” Sandra said, voice full of wonder.
“I was able to learn where she had it hidden, along with a small fortune in gold, through my interrogation. Now, all of these facts together seem rather meaningless, don’t they? She’ll recover and I’ll move on, leaving the graveyard as is unless I can find someone else to watch over it.”
“Her grandfather is the mortician that watches over it.” Sandra replied, thinking of the leathery skinned old man that favored Hawaiian shirts over traditional garb.
“Well I’m currently digesting his head, along with the head of his wife. Seems to me there is a power vacuum, don’t you agree?”
Shaken at the thought of what the Maestro had said, Sandra thought for a moment. “So she’s going to inherit the graveyard?”
“It looks that way,” Maestro said, his smile growing wide. “But I left out one important factor: I am Unseelie. I can pull the souls of the living from their bodies and make them serve me, leaving their bodies mere husks.”
“You can?” Sandra was suddenly afraid as she had seen the spirits that served him already strip her of some of her abilities. Could he enslave her?
“I can. What I propose is that I drain the soul from Stephanie, and allow you to possess the body. We then inject you with the serum, and inject Cloud with the serum, and you both get to watch over the graveyard, together.”
Sandra stood there for a while, frost forming beneath her feet and fingertips as she contemplated Cloud. “Why would I want to serve with him? He doesn’t even like me…”
“Oh that’s not true. That’s not true at all.” Maestro said, shaking his head. “I can peer into people’s hearts and minds, and read what they desire. He desires you, as he has for the past two years. Had you not died here you would have probably been dating by now for some time.”
“You’re lying…” Sandra mumbled.
“I never lie girl, and I would suggest you not accuse me of such a thing again.” The Maestro’s tone changed from jovial to dangerous in the span of seconds.
“If what you’re saying is true, Cloud’s avoided me for two years because of what? Because he had this slut at his beck and call?” Sandra growled, the air growing chilly as she spoke.
“Because she forbade him from seeing you,” the Maestro said softly. “He visited the third of your party often, and from what Derek has told me tonight Cloud cares a great deal for you. If I were to drain the soul of Stephanie, she would haunt this graveyard as you do. These books around you would allow you to learn how to control her, bend her to your will. You could even force her to carry out tasks for you.”
Sandra stared at the ragged breathing coming from Stephanie. It was true, what the Maestro had said; the skin was slowly knitting back over her wounds, closing them up ever so slowly.
“Okay, I agree. But I only agree so long as I can give Cloud his heart back somehow… and I want you to take Stephanie with you.”
“Why, whatever for?” The Maestro asked, looking at her with a hint of confusion.
Sandra shook her head. “I don’t have it in me to be as cruel as Stephanie was, and I don’t want her around causing trouble. You said you have ghosts, would another one be too much trouble to have?”
“No, but are you sure you want to give up the chance of revenge? She has denied you your lover for the past two years, and forced him to do many carnal acts with her.”
Sandra closed her eyes and shook her head. “No. No, I won’t sink that low.”
Maestro closed his eyes as he gently sat the jar down on the countertop. “Good.” He said simply, giving her a warm, almost human, smile.
“What?” Sandra was confused.
Suddenly a hammering came from within one of the other wall gurneys, Cloud’s voice ringing out angrily. The Maestro reached up and behind himself to unhook the latch and pull open the covering. The gurney came rolling out angrily as a shirtless Cloud, eyes wide and ready for battle. The Maestro clamped a hand over the jar, glaring at Cloud.
“You sick son of a bitch! How dare you get Sandra involved in this?” Cloud demanded, balling his fists once he’d jumped down from the gurney.
“Because you asked for it. We spoke of the Moon Children, you said you would change it if you could; now I’m making it to where you can. Sandra and I are just… ironing out her end of the bargain.”
“She has nothing to do with this! I won’t have you hurt her!” Cloud growled.
“Oh? And what if I wanted to hurt her Cloud? I have your heart in the palm of my hand. You can’t do anything against me, so stop trying!”
“Cloud! Did he hurt you?” Sandra cried, worried over his safety.
“A little, but it’s healed now. Mostly bruises.” Cloud replied, eyes never leaving the Maestro.
“Well I had to be certain he gave a similar response as you did. Both of you are too good for this place the way it is, and far too good for me to take advantage of.”
“What?”
“What do you mean?” Sandra asked.
The Maestro didn’t answer, instead unrolling the leather tool kit, revealing the syringes to the world. Before Sandra could move the two spirits were beside her, grabbing hold of her arms. She shouted for help, but Cloud could only quiver in rage as the Maestro took his hearts jar, and began to unscrew the lid. Popping the lid off, he slid the heart out like a slick dumpling, palming it in his enormous hand before pulling a syringe from the tool kit. Looking over his shoulder at Cloud, Maestro smiled.
“You might feel a slight pinch,” the Maestro giggled, as he rammed the syringe into the heart before pumping down on the plunger.
Cloud immediately fell over, his skin rippling and stretching, his muscles swelling and his head shaking. He screamed until hoarse, all while Sandra cried over watching him go through this agony, helpless to do anything about it.
The Maestro leaned over Stephanie’s body and placed a gentle kiss on her charred forehead. He muttered some words that Sandra couldn’t make out over Cloud’s agonizing shrieks of pain, and then he placed a hand inside her chest cavity, his spare hand wrapping around her heart, and drawing forth a silvery cloud, slowly pulling as if it was made of the most delicate cloth. Stephanie too joined in the screams; hers more gurgles and clicks then actual words, but her pain was obvious from the way she strained against the barbed wire, drawing blood from her already torn wrists and ankles, the skin rubbed free down to bare, bloody muscle.
The Maestro smiled, placing Cloud’s heart on the gurney and using both hands to continue pulling the silvery essence, which was slowly taking form of a charred and bound Stephanie, her eyeless sockets burning with a crimson fury that Sandra had never seen. It turned, still being pulled from the heart.
“No!” It shrieked in Stephanie’s voice. “Please! I’ll do what you wanted, I’ll do as you ask! Don’t make me some undead freak!”
Cloud was bleeding now, from his back and sides, as his skin split and stretched. Pops and cracks could be heard from where he lay as he slowly seemed to be… growing?
The Maestro finished pulling Stephanie’s soul from her body, leaving her in an ethereal state. The two spirits holding back Sandra appeared behind Stephanie, floating with her high in the air as they wrestled her arms behind her back, twisting the phantasmal barbed wire together to form handcuffs. The Maestro took another syringe full of serum and, without skipping a beat, plunged it into Stephanie’s heart, plunging the fluid deep into the cadaver. Quickly removing the syringe, the ribbons of flesh and weaves of skin began to come to life, wrapping over the opening as new blood splashing within the cavity. The charred head flaked away to reveal Stephanie’s gorgeous features, albeit with short and spiky hair. Maestro looked over at Sandra and nodded.
“Now’s the time,” he said before scooping up Cloud’s heart and moving over to his collapsed form.
“Time for me to possess-wait, what is… No!” Sandra said before realizing she was being pulled into the body, her frame dissolving into spectral mist and swirling into the opened chest cavity, which was rapidly closing. Sandra’s screams joined Clouds and Stephanie’s as she was suddenly trapped inside the sealing chest cavity of human body.
Her mind turned blank as a blinding light flashed behind her eyes, leaving her blind for what was to come. 
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3 comments:

  1. An interesting fate for Stephanie.

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  2. I'm really interested in Cloud's new life!

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  3. Nice ending! I love twisted, ghostly stories. Thanks for sharing. Happy Halloween!

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