Ľ Love From Beyond - Dark Stories
- A December/2003 Special Feature -
by Andrew Wooldridge
Why of all people did it have to be him? Carrie Green pondered. He was so full of life and it hadnít even started yet.
She placed the book on the coffee table and proceeded to remove the furniture from the living room. She slid the furniture with ease along the hard, wooden floor she had installed for just this occasion.
Paul had been only eight years of age when he fell to his death. An accident of course, but a reoccurring thought that had shattered Carrieís life. She had forbidden him to play near the cliff tops, situated around the back of their Isle of Wight home. They had been living alone for three years, since the death Paulís father George, in an automobile accident. It was that devastating news that made her treasure Paul so much; he was all she had left.
"Please, please, let this work," she said, removing a box of chalk from her pocket.
As she began to draw on the wooden floor, all she could think of was Paulís accident. She had always kept an eye on him when he went out back. He didnít play there often, but when he did, she never took her eyes off him. Always sitting in the conservatory at the back of their house, lifting her eyes from her book every ten or twenty seconds. It was exactly this much time it took for him to disappear from her sights.
She had looked about for him, but when she realised she couldnít see from her chair, she went outside to search for him.
She began to panic almost immediately. It was at this point that terror had struck her; she knew exactly how dangerous these cliffs could be to an unsupervised child. Then she saw the ball, rolling slowly to the pace of the wind. Paul was nowhere in sight.
Tears rolled down her cheeks at the very sight of the cliffís edge, which the ball rolled toward.
"No, no!" She screamed, running toward the edge.
Carrie barely had enough courage to look over the edge, but she knew she had too. She knew instantly what she would find at the bottom; then, her worst fear was confirmed.
Lying lifeless on the rocks below, was her son. He was lying face down, a small pool of blood oozing from his head. His small, fragile body, motionless.
Carrie collapsed to her knees, screaming as the tears poured down her cheeks. Ten seconds she had left him for, ten lousy seconds that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
That was over a year ago. Now, over a hundred therapy sessions and one suicide attempt later, she had finally found the answer.
She stood up and looked proudly at the shape she had drawn on the floor, an Alchemy: a 17th century sign with the blending of geometric shapes - circle, triangle, square - all the elements used for spells and magic.
Removing the candles from the box, she placed them around the Alchemy, then lit them. Then she drew the curtains, not wanting any passer-by to witness her magic act. After consulting with the illustrations in the book, she decided that all was satisfactory.
Carrie pulled out some of her sonís personal belongings: his small Pokemon pyjamas, and the remote control toy car she had bought him for his eighth birthday, two years ago today; the last birthday he would ever have.
Water formed in her eyes. She really hoped this would work; she didnít want to feel like she was losing him all over again.
Since Paulís death, Carrie had been to see several mediums and spiritualists - without any success. She became fascinated by the spirit world, reading everything she could get her hands on (much to the concern of her psychiatrist), speaking to experts and even joining groups of people who shared her interests.
This was where she had met a young woman named Joanne Willis - a self-described white witch. Joanne taught her what life for the modern witch was really like, even the difference - which Carrie was surprised to hear - between white and black magic.
Warned of the dangers of black magic, Carrie learned she could get almost anything she wanted, but for a very high price. She visited occult stores, dark, damp places where she bought books and learned of their uses. It was in one of these books she came across the chapter she had been waiting over a year to read, Raising the Dead.
An idea formed (an idea she suspected had been there since she first heard the word witchcraft) that would finally bring the happiness back into her life. Something that would gave her life meaning.
The room was dark, lit only by the small flames of the candles, which seemed only to brighten the area of the Alchemy. Carrie picked up the photograph from the fireplace mantle and looked at it. It was of Paul and herself, taken four years ago in the garden by her husband. A tear ran down her cheek as she thought back to when it was taken. When she had a family. Her arms were draped around Paul who was holding his ball, smiling at George as he took the photo - reminding herself why she was doing this.
Placing the photo back on the mantle, she picked the large, wrinkled, leather bound book and opened it. For a brief second, a chill ran throughout her body, like a wind blew out of the yellowed pages, like it had been there for centuries, waiting for escape.
She stepped into the middle of the Alchemy. A mild wind blew from nowhere, flickering the flames on the candle. Looking down at the old, gothic written words, she couldnít help but feel a little foolish for believing in such things, but she looked again at the photo she had just placed and shrugged away any doubts she was thinking.
As she spoke the first words, she couldnít help to remember the warnings that Joanne had installed upon her..."You should never get involved with black magic, itís dangerous...and the consequences far outweigh the rewards."
But she shrugged it off, thinking it was all just an old wives tale - but then, why was she standing here within this symbol? Did she really believe that the spell was fact and the warnings were fiction? The truth was, she didnít care. She believed she could live with the consequences the spell offered, as long as it would bring back her baby - even if she were to sell her soul, so her son could live again.
The words seem to take on a life of their own. Flying from her lips like she was no longer in control. The words coming alive, spoken in such a manner, it seemed like she was chanting.
Wind blew from nowhere, getting stronger with each passing passage she read. The words, getting more deeper, more intense. Books flew from their shelves, magazines glided across the room as the wind picked up pace, almost like a storm was brewing in her living room.
Carrie found herself beginning to shout, trying to hear her words over the howling wind. Her hair blew around her face; her eyelids squinted as she tried desperately to read the words she held. The coffee table she moved to the front of the room slid across the floor, squealing along the floorboards before tipping over. A wind so powerful, it began to move almost everything in the room. Her clothes clung to her body against the raging storm.
She tried to stop, the objects flying around her spooking her, but she couldnít. Her mouth wouldnít quit moving, and her voice wouldnít keep quiet. The words flew from her mouth like she had read them a hundred times before. Her voice no longer seemed her own. She found herself looking around the room, watching as the growing wind destroyed her home, and yet, chanting the words like she was still reading the pages. Her body was no longer her own. She stood helpless, unable to move or drop the book.
The room filled with rage, nothing had been left standing still...nothing except herself. A wind of such magnitude could have easily blown her over, yet she was still. She realised it was the Alchemy; everything within it remained untouched - even the candles, whose flames should have long since been extinguished, remained alight.
Carrie knew at this very instant, there was no turning back; there was nothing she could do but stand helplessly and watch.
The room seemed darker. What little light that shone through the drawn curtain was gone. A low rumble could be heard over the gale force winds that destroyed her home. A brief flash of light lit up the room, followed by an even louder, angrier roar of lightening. It was coming from outside -- the storm in her living room wasnít the only one stirring.
Outside, large grey clouds gathered from within a two mile radius. Each visible mass of watery vapour drifting, colliding...and blending over Carrieís home, to foam a giant, deadly, whirlpool. Bolts of lightening forked from within its belly, reaching for the Green residence.
Was it possible she created the storm outside? It had been a clear day ten minutes ago, how could it have changed so dramatically?
It couldnít! She was responsible.
Inside, Carrie watched as the contents of her living room danced around her, like a tornado in which she was in the middle. She continued to chant words from a page she no longer read. Then the windows shattered, blown inward by an outside force.
And without warning, the items around her dropped, the fierce howling was now a distant whistle; she had found she was no longer chanting. In full control of her body again, she dropped the book and jumped from the Alchemy. Her living room a mess, fragile objects had been smashed and heavy ones toppled. Brushing back her hair, she ran to the windows, wanting some light into the room.
Light flooded the room. Crunching on the glass covered floor, Carrie saw the back of the curtains were covered in small piece of glass, sparkling like diamonds. She soon realised, that if the curtains werenít drawn, the paramedics would be picking shards of glass from her lifeless body.
Three hours later, darkness fell outside and rain slowly increased to a steady downpour. There was no sign of Paul anywhere. She cleared the room the best she could and boarded the windows...then sat, quietly sobbing at the photo she held earlier...then, a knock at the door.
Dropping the photo and wiping her eyes, she opened the door, "Yessss......."
Standing before her, was the skeleton remains of a small body. The eye sockets were staring, but empty; two black holes watching her quivering body. The flesh, rotted and wet, slipped from it skull, slapping the floor. Maggots raced across what little flesh covered its face. Itís teeth, yellowed with age, seemed to smile at her. The clothes, were.... familiar?
Yes, the shoes, the small waistcoat and even the mud covered shoes. Carrie shrieked and stepped back, the word, no repeating from her lips. The clothes...the clothes she had bought especially for his funeral...Paulís funeral!
With her back against the wall; tears streaming down her face like a mighty flood, Carrie watched in horror as the flesh-ridden corpse dragged itís maggot infested body across the threshold, dragging mud along the floor - mud from the grave it dragged itself from. Raising its bony hand - flesh still clinging to two fingers, the remains of a fingernail on one - pointed at her. With a mighty struggle, itís jaws dropped, and struggled the same words over and over again - words that sent Carrie into a shriek of terror: "Mommy, Please help me!"
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Copyright © 2003 Andrew Wooldridge