Tales Behind the Tombstones

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1) - Session with Smurl

Submitted: August 30, 2017

Reads: 82

Comments: 4

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 30, 2017



Session with smurl


The car rounded the corner; the kids were laughing and talking excitedly as their parents pulled up in front of their new home. Jason had received a job offer at the local paper; he and his wife, Carol had decided to move from Madison, Wisconsin to Pittston, Pennsylvania on a whim. With a huge pay increase, flexible hours and two days where he could work from home, they snapped up the offer quickly.

It was a five bedroom, two-story, brick home with an attic, verandas and lovely gardens bursting with roses, lilies, jasmine and other fragrant blooms. In the centre of the garden was a large pond with a wooden bridge and two spectacular water features either side. Moss covered rocks decorated the perimeter of the pond which was home to at least a dozen goldfish. The home and land was well maintained. Jason and Carol bought the house for a remarkably low price and moved in within a week of signing the papers.

The kids bounded out of the car and ran towards the house already fighting over who would have the second biggest room. Their family dog known as Samson, a large Great Dane mix, was hot on their heels. The dog had been a Christmas present five years ago; he joined the family during the holiday season at only eight weeks old and became a firm favourite of the children. Anywhere the kids went, Samson followed. He showed a fondness for their then eight-year-old daughter, Sadie almost immediately and slept curled up next to her every night.

The truck pulled in behind them as Jason was busy unpacking the car. Carol had gone inside to help the children pick their rooms. They settled on the second largest room for Sadie, the boys wanted to share the room with the large built in wardrobe, leaving a room for Jason’s office and a room for storage which would later be turned into a guest room. Jason and Carol had the largest room overlooking the backyard, equally as beautiful as the front. It was complete with bay windows, ensuite and walk-in wardrobe.

“Where do you want the bed, Mrs. Banks?”

“Oh, just over there against that wall would be fine, thank you.”

The removalists carefully brought in all their furniture placing each item down where Carol gestured. The boxes were labelled with the name of the room and left in a neat stack in the rooms corresponding with their label. Carol unpacked the boxes marked kitchen, while Jason unpacked their bedroom belongings. The kids bounded up the stairs excitedly to their rooms and began unpacking their things and making their beds. The house was abuzz with laughter and life and as the sun went down beyond the horizon, the lights in the home flicked on one by one.

The family sat together in the loungeroom. Carol had ordered some pizza as there were still some kitchen boxes that needed to be unpacked, and they had not had time to visit the grocery store.

Samson barked, alerting everyone to a sudden presence. The doorbell rang; he dashed towards the front entrance barking and wagging his tail happily. He was generally a happy dog, great with other dogs, kids and even strangers. If anyone hurt the kids however, he would become very protective and intimidating.

“Hi, my name is Amy and we live a few doors down across the street.” Said a short, slender woman with brown hair, hazel eyes and an awkward smile holding a plate of cookies. “Here, a gift to welcome you to our neighbourhood.” She seemed to look past Jason and Carol, nervous for some reason.

“Oh, don’t worry about this big mutt,” Carol said, patting Samson’s head. “He may look big but he is really quite harmless.”

Amy glanced at the dog before peering into the house again. Carol stepped aside and ushered her in. “Would you like to come in for some tea?”

“Oh, n – no thanks.” Amy stammered, looking utterly fearful. “I – I best be on my way. I need to get the kids ready for bed. Enjoy the cookies.” She waved at Jason and Carol before bounding off down the road, not looking back once.

“What a peculiar woman.” Carol said, as she slowly closed the door.

“Who is a peculiar woman?” Sadie said, appearing at Samson’s side suddenly.

“No one, sticky-beak.” Jason said, smiling at her. “Just a lady from down the street.”

By the time they finished their dinner they were all exhausted. After being on the road for close to fourteen hours they decided it was time to call it a night. They would resume unpacking in the morning. Jason flicked the lights off as Carol took the kids upstairs to brush their teeth, go to the toilet and get in their pyjamas.

They tucked Sadie in, kissed her goodnight and headed to the boy’s room. Cooper and Michael were busy wrestling over who belonged to what pillow (since they were identical) and after a coin toss and a bit of groaning from the pair, the problem was sorted. Carol turned on the boy’s star finder nightlight, and they kissed them goodnight before retiring to their own room. It was eight o’clock and all was quiet.


Carol roused the kids for their first day at school. The twins were off to the local Elementary school and Sadie to Junior High. They were excited, yet nervous.

Sadie rode the bus to her new High School. A young girl about her age hopped on the bus two stops later and sat next to her. She had black hair, brown eyes and wore black clothing and dark makeup. She had a lip ring and nose stud.

“Hi, my name is Ivy.” She said, smiling pleasantly.

“Hi.” Sadie responded.

“You’re new here, aren’t you?”

“Is it really that obvious?” Sadie said, raising one eyebrow.

“No,” Ivy shrugged. “Just never seen you around here before.”

“We moved here from Madison, Wisconsin. Got here yesterday.”

“Neat.” Ivy said, fiddling with her nose stud. “So where do you live now?”

“328 Chase street.” Ivy’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped.

“What?!” Sadie asked, bewildered.

Ivy’s face suddenly changed from one of shock to one of excitement. “You gotta have me over one night!”

“Why? What’s so special about my house?”

“You don’t know, do you?” Ivy said, reapplying her dark purple lipstick.

“Know what?”

“That house is haunted.”

Sadie looked at her incredulously. “Whatever…”

“No, it’s true! Honest.” Ivy deposited her lipstick back in her bag. “Dozens of families have moved in over several decades. I overheard my parents and their friends talking about it. People have died in that house and others have simply fled in the night with barely the clothes on their backs. The house then gets fixed up and then another buyer moves in.”


“Yeah. The last family that lived there…” Ivy stammered. “It was so sad. The guy lost his wife and kids then ended up hanging himself. His caretaker found him. It was all over the local news here.”

Sadie sat stunned as the bus pulled up outside the High School.


“How was school honey?” Carol asked Sadie as she was dishing out the meatloaf.

“I made a friend,” she said, pushing her vegetables around her plate.

“Not hungry, honey?”

“I – It’s not that.” Sadie started. “Mom, Dad…”

Jason looked up from his newspaper.

Sadie continued, “I – I heard something at school today. A – About this house…”

“What about the house, sweetheart?” Her father said.

“People have died here, Dad.” Sadie said, fear etched clearly on her face.

Her Dad folded up the newspaper and her mother sat down. “Darling, people die. No one lives forever…”

“I – I know, but…” she continued, “It was in our house.”

“This house is very old. It was built in the early fifties so chances are someone died here.” Jason said.

Carol glanced sideways at Jason. “What your father means to say is, that someone may have passed in this house but there is nothing to worry about.” She tucked a wisp of hair behind her daughter’s ear.

“But Mom, lots of people. Not just one…”

“Where did you hear that?”

“From a girl at school. She said she overheard her parents talking about this house.”

“They are probably just scary stories honey. I doubt there is any merit to them.” Her father said, comfortingly.

“I hope you’re right.” Sadie said.


The rest of the week was somewhat hectic as the family worked around their jobs, schooling and unpacking the remaining boxes. They finished unpacking their last box Thursday afternoon.

Friday morning they sat down to some pancakes for breakfast. The boys were fighting over the maple syrup; Sadie put the finishing touch in her hair -  a purple rhinestone butterfly clip – and began hungrily devouring her food.

“Mom,” she said, with a gaping mouthful of cooked batter and syrup, “Can my friend Ivy stay over tonight after school?”

“I would have to talk to her mother about it first.” Carol said. “Hurry kids, or you will miss the bus.”

Sadie hurriedly scribbled down the phone number for Ivy’s mother on a scrap piece of paper, shrugged her backpack onto her shoulder and ran out the door with a mouthful of masticated pancake.

Ivy got on at the usual stop and took the seat beside Sadie. “So I can stay at your place tonight. My mom just got off the phone with your mom. Cool hey?”

“Wow, that was quick!”

“Yeah. She was almost going to say no when she found out your address. My mom believes in that other realm stuff, you know? She is weird. Anyway…”

“She is worried about you being in this house?”

“Yeah well, she has heard stories and we have lived two blocks away my whole life. People talk. News around here travels kind of fast. Everyone knows about this house. But I guess after my mom found out both your parents will be here and she didn’t want to look like some psycho she caved. Although my mother wants me to call her before bed. She worries, a lot.”

“Wow, that’s crazy.”

“Yeah. Well, after school I will stop by my house to grab my things and ride my bike to your house, okay?”

“Okay, awesome!” Sadie said excitedly.


The afternoon rolled around quickly. Ivy rode up the driveway and leant her bike against the brick wall, under the carport. She leapt up the stairs and knocked on the front wooden door. She was curious and excited to not only be entering but staying at the house she had heard so much about.

The door opened and Sadie greeted her enthusiastically.

“Mom!” she called out. “Ivy is here!”

Carol entered the foyer. “Hi Ivy. It is very nice to meet you.”

“Hi Sadie’s mom.”

“Please, call me Carol. If you are hungry please help yourself.” She said, smiling. “Sadie, please show your guest where the kitchen is.”

“Yes, mom.” Sadie said, as she yanked Ivy by the arm and headed straight for the kitchen.

“Oh, and the bathroom!” She added, as an afterthought, but the girls had already left the room.

They all ate dinner together; roast chicken with potatoes, pumpkin and onions, steam vegies all smothered in Carol’s homemade gravy. Later the boys were bathed and tucked into bed.

“Girls, it is eight-thirty. Time for bed.”

“Aw, mom!” Sadie protested. “It’s too early!”

“Your father and I have had a very long day. We are heading to bed. You girls should do the same. You can stay up a little in your room and talk. Quietly.”

“Okay.” Sadie responded, pouting. Ivy grabbed Sadie’s hand and they headed upstairs.

Carol entered Sadie’s room with clean, folded bath sheets. “I brought some fresh towels for you girls. Sadie, I hope you showed Ivy where the bathroom is. I leave the hallway light on for the twins so if the light bothers you, just shut the door.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

“Thanks Mrs. B.”

“Please, Ivy. Call me Carol. Goodnight girls.”


“Ever used one of these?” Ivy asked, retrieving a wooden Ouija board and planchette from her bag.

“Where did you get that?”

“I found it at an op shop while my family and I were visiting Kentucky last year. It was only five bucks. Neat, huh?!” She exclaimed, holding it up and examining it proudly. Every engraved symbol. Every smudge, burn mark and scratch. The planchette looked weathered and the point was slightly flattened.

“A – Aren’t those dangerous?”

“Eh, only if you’re superstitious…” Ivy said, nonchalantly.

“I – I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Come on, Sadie. It’ll be fine.” Ivy said, smiling. “Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?”

Sadie swallowed a hard lump in her throat at the sound of those words.

Ivy shut the door and placed the board on the carpet. She pulled out five candles and laid them out around it, lighting each one. She flicked off the bedroom light and sat in front of the board. Sadie hesitantly sat on the other side.  

“Place your two fingers on the planchette like this.” Ivy said, demonstrating. “Focus all your energy on to the Ouija board.”

Sadie felt the anxiety begin to bubble under the surface. She was superstitious and worried that they would allow something bad to come through.

The planchette vibrated, then moved immediately. ‘L – E – A – V – E’

“Who are you?” Ivy asked.

‘S – M – U – R – L’

“Smurl…” Ivy muttered. “I am sure he was the man that died here recently. The guy I was telling you about who lost his wife and kids.”

The planchette responded by moving to the yes engraved in the wood.

“Why do you want us to leave?” Ivy probed.

‘N – O – T – S – A – F – E’

“It isn’t safe here? In this house?” Sadie whispered, shuddering violently.

‘L – E – A – V – E – H – O – U – S – E’

“Why?” Ivy probed further.

‘T – H – E – Y – A – R – E – C – O – M – I – N – G’

“I don’t want to do this anymore!” Sadie squeaked, pulling her fingers away as though the planchette was suddenly hot.

“Put your fingers back on the planchette. We need to close the session”

‘H – U – R – R – Y’ Spelt out the board, quickly. The planchette started to move erratically for a moment before Sadie and Ivy were able move it to the goodbye position and close the session.

Sadie was visibly shaken. She started sobbing. “That guy died here? What does he mean it isn’t safe? Who is coming?”

“I don’t know.” Responded Ivy, blowing out the candles. “But that was freaky as hell. Smurl is the guy who died in this house recently. The one who hung himself. I think my mom still has the newspaper clipping somewhere. I will see if I can find it.”

“What if we let something terrible get through?”

“Relax, Sadie.” Ivy said, putting the board and planchette in her bag. “We closed the session. You have nothing to worry about.”


Ivy stood at the kitchen bench, almost hypnotised by her mug of milk rotating around and around in the microwave. The appliance beeped four times. She opened the door and grabbed her warm beverage.

It was Sunday night. Her parents were in their den watching their usual shows. She said goodnight to them as she headed upstairs to her bedroom. As she entered, she noticed her Ouija board and planchette was sitting on her bed, and not in her backpack where she had left them. She stood for a moment, scratching her head. Picking up the board and tear shaped object she put them in the bottom drawer of her dresser, closing it gently. She skulled the contents of her mug and slipped in between the covers. She was asleep moments after her head hit the pillow.

Muffled noises came from downstairs as Ivy roused from her slumber. She pulled back the covers and padded softly towards the sounds. Upon reaching the ground floor, she noticed that the walls were illuminated with a soft, flickering light. She rubbed her eyes and walked towards her parent’s den.

“Mom? Dad?” She yawned, sleepily.

No answer.

Ivy rounded the corner and saw her parents, kneeling either side of the coffee table. Several candles were lit and her parents seemed to be focusing intently on the flames. Ivy walked down the two steps leading into the den and stopped. Her eyes widened in horror as she realised what her parents were staring at.

The Ouija board was positioned in the middle of five candles. The planchette was moving erratically, yet neither of her parents were touching it.

“Mom…” she whispered, suddenly fearful. “Dad…? What are you doing?”

No response.

Ivy swallowed the lump in her throat and moved a little closer, trembling with each step. Her parents looked up at something in the other direction suddenly and nodded. Ivy could not see what had caught their attention but the way they nodded creeped her out. The hair prickled on the back on her neck and she shivered.

Her parents gaze slowly turned towards her. Their eyes were wide with horror; they looked as though they were silently screaming for help. They rose to their feet slowly, hesitantly, almost like they were not in control of their own bodies. With one swift movement, they ran a sharp blade from one side of their necks to the other. Ivy screamed as the blood started to trickle out of the wounds and watched in frozen terror as their bodies hit the floor.

Time seemed to go in and out for Ivy. She found herself kneeling on the carpet at first, unable to move. In the next blink, she was sitting next to her parents hugging their limp bodies. Blood had well and truly soaked into the cream coloured carpet. Time wove in and out as the grief took hold of her.

In the next moment, she found herself lashed to the timber support beam at the entrance to the den. The Ouija board still sat on the coffee table, along with the planchette; her parents lay motionless either side of it.

Without warning, the candles that had sat there flickering softly, burst into flames. Jets of fire surged toward the ceiling, igniting it. The fire roared ferociously as it took control of the combustible materials. The fire swept across the ceiling, down the walls and along the carpet, inching closer and closer to Ivy’s feet. She squirmed and cried as she frantically tried to free herself.

Strange voices whispered in her ears.

Ivy screamed shrilly as the flames licked at her legs. The skin started to bubble and melt as it climbed up her body. The pain was excruciating. Somehow, she managed to stay completely awake as the fire consumed her. An apparition of a woman stepped through the flames and grinned at her.

“You will all suffer. Just liked I did.” The woman shrieked. She laughed feverishly as she watched Ivy’s flesh melt off her bones.

The house was ablaze as sirens wailed in the distance. By the time the fire brigade arrived, the house was reduced to nothing but smouldering timbers and ash.


Several days passed.

Sadie felt exhausted Monday morning. She reluctantly packed her schoolbag and headed off to school, almost missing the bus. Ivy had not shown up at school. When Sadie returned home from school that afternoon she ran straight to the phone.

“Sadie, honey?” Called out her mother’s voice. “Is that you?”

“Yes mom. Can it wait?” she responded. “I need to call Ivy.”

“Honey. We need you in here please.”

Sadie reluctantly changed direction and headed towards the loungeroom where her parents were waiting. Both wore sombre expressions.

Sadie noticed straight away. “What’s wrong?”

“Honey, you need to sit down.”

“No. I want to stand.” She said, frightened and somewhat agitated. She did not like being kept in suspense. She swallowed back the lump in her throat and waited for one of her parents to speak. Her mother looked at her father and shook her head sadly.

“What is it?!” Sadie squeaked, growing more uneasy by the second.

“Honey,” her father started. “There was a house fire. Ivy and her parents didn’t make it out.”

“What?” Sadie shrieked. “When? How?”

“We’re so sorry, honey.” Sadie’s mother soothed. Jason rushed to hold his daughter as Sadie’s knees buckled under her.

Her parents held her as she sobbed unconsolably.


Sadie’s parents were growing increasingly concerned about her as her she sunk further into depression. She was beginning to behave erratically and agitatedly. She snapped at her parents and even acted out towards her younger brothers. She had not cried again since the day she found out about her friend.

Samson no longer slept on her bed. He would growl at her whenever she entered the room. One day, her parents were watching television when Sadie walked past. Samson suddenly lunged. He stood growling at her; jowls peeled back revealing sharp, pointed fangs, ears flattened and hackles up.

“Samson!” Carol called out. “What is wrong with you?”

“Sam!” Jason yelled. “Here, boy.”

Samson didn’t budge.

“Get out the way, stupid dog.” Sadie spat, kicking the dog square in the jaw. Samson turned tail and ran, whining.

Jason and Carol stared at Sadie in disbelief.

“Don’t kick Samson!” Cooper piped up, angrily.

The twins glared at Sadie in disgust as they ran off to find Samson.


“Time for bed, boys.” Carol announced.

“Mom, we couldn’t find Samson.” Michael said, worried.

“Why is he afraid of Sadie, mom?” Cooper said, inquisitively.

“I am sure he will turn up, boys. I don’t know why he is afraid. I will take him to the vet when we find him and get him checked out, okay?”

“Okay, mom.” The boys said, yawning.

“Goodnight, boys.” Carol said, turning the ceiling light off. The weight of the world was on her shoulders as she headed to Sadie’s bedroom.

The room was a mess. There were clothes all over the floor, some hanging out of open drawers. The work that had been sent from school was still sitting haphazardly in a pile on her desk. A rancid smell greeted her nostrils. Carol crossed the room and opened the window to allow some air in. Sadie was laying in her bed in the foetal position. She had not changed her clothes in several days; she looked ragged and slightly gaunt. Carol kissed her on the forehead; her skin felt warm to the touch, but not feverish. She closed the door softly as she excited the room.

“I am worried about Sadie. She is not acting like herself.” Carol said to Jason. He was busy getting ready to turn in for the night.

“Me too.” Jason said, as he drew the covers back and climbed into bed. “We will take her to the doctor in the morning. Try and get some sleep, honey.”

Carol stared at the ceiling for several hours before sleep finally claimed her.


Carol woke suddenly. The LED display on the alarm clock beside her read 3:33am.

She glanced over at Jason who was softly snoring beside her. Something didn’t feel right. Carol pulled back the covers and slowly climbed out of bed. She could hear voices; thinking the boys were awake, she peaked in their room. They were sound asleep. She frowned as she turned towards Sadie’s room. The covers were pulled back, the bed empty. The stench from her room was also gone.

The staircase was enveloped in darkness; Carol carefully descended, holding onto the wooden rail for support. She could hear strange noises coming from somewhere down below.  The closer she got to the loungeroom, the louder the whispering voices became.

At the end of the stairs she rounded the corner and entered the archway leading into the loungeroom. Nothing. Not one thing was out of place; the boy’s tiny houses they made from Lego were still on the coffee table, the remotes for the sound system and TV were still where they were earlier.

Each time she got close to the voices, it sounded like they moved into another room. She rounded the corner leading into to dining room. A feeling of dread swept over her for a split second and she hesitated.

“This is ridiculous…” she muttered to herself. Nothing out of place in the dining room either. Polished brass candelabra sat in the centre of the large oak table, each chair tucked neatly against it. The placemats sat in front of each seat as they did hours before. The voices seemed to be coming from the kitchen. From where she was standing, there was a breakfast nook between the dining table and the rest of the kitchen. Whispering voices seemed to be coming from the other side of the breakfast nook. Carol’s hair pricked up as she ventured closer to the sounds.

Nothing. Nobody was there. Carol checked the whole house and the backyard. When she had not come across Sadie she started to panic, thinking the worst. She ran back through the house, up the stairs towards Jason, about to wake him when she heard the voices again, this time louder.

She spun on her heels and headed towards her daughter’s bedroom, where the voices seemed to be coming from. The door was slightly ajar.

“Odd…” Carol muttered. She was sure she had left the door wide open.

She peaked in through the gap. All she could see was the bed, still with the covers drawn back. As she opened the door, she noticed Sadie huddled in the corner facing the wall. The whispers grew louder as Carol approached her daughter, almost like people were whispering directly into her ears, on both sides.

When Carol was about a foot from her daughter, the voices stopped instantly.

“Sadie?” she mumbled. No answer.

“Sadie?” she repeated, shakily. No response.

She reached out with a trembling hand. Before her finger tips could barely brush Sadie’s shoulder, Sadie spun around suddenly. Her face was wrinkled and her mouth was contorted unnaturally, with sharp teeth partially concealed by cracked lips. Her eyes had been removed; a dark pit sat either side of her hooked nose.

Carol could not move her legs, as though her feet were glued to the floor. She couldn’t speak. She stared wide-mouthed at the thing that was not her daughter. The thing suddenly let out an ear-piercing scream, shattering the nearby window into tiny shards of glass that rained down on the gardens below. The glass ornaments and vases that covered much of Sadie’s shelves broke one by one as the scream continued.

Carol started to bleed from the nose. A sharp pain started in her brain and got worse as the screaming continued. Sticky red fluid trickled out of her ears and her eyes as she stood frozen in terror.

The strange figure lunged at her…


Carol lurched upright. She was saturated in sweat, her hair hung about her face in messy, matted clumps. Her heart was racing and her breathing unsteady.

Jason was missing. She sat on the edge of the bed unable to shake the fear, the nightmare still fresh in her mind. After a moment or two, she stood shakily and freshened herself up a little before heading downstairs.

The house was empty. She entered the kitchen and found a note on the bench in Jason’s handwriting.

Morning, honey.

I have taken Sadie to the medical centre. I thought you could use the extra sleep.

The boys are with me.

Love, Jason.

P.S There is a fresh pot of coffee. xo


Carol smiled as she lifted the jug and poured herself a cup. The anxious feeling had eased.

“It was just a nightmare.” She said to herself.


“Honey! We’re home!” Jason called out. The boys ran through the house and into the backyard, heading straight for the wooden treehouse and rope swing.

“How did it go, honey?” Carol asked her husband. Before Jason could answer Sadie skipped up to her mother and hugged her.

“I am sorry, mom.” She sobbed against her mother’s shoulder. “I have been horrible to you.”

Carol looked at Jason somewhat taken aback. Jason just smiled and shrugged.

“Doctor said he thinks it is mostly stress related and everything she has been through lately; the loss of her friend has just compacted the issue. He prescribed her some mild sedatives to help her sleep. We need to see him again in a week.”

Sadie stood back and looked at her mother with a tear stained face. She smiled at her mother slyly before turning and running up the stairs.


Carol slept fitfully again that night. The nightmares invaded her sleep every night. The lack of sleep was starting to interfere with her waking life. She was constantly exhausted. Each time the nightmare was the same thing.

One night there was a subtle difference.

Carol reached out towards the huddled mass in the corner of Sadie’s room. Sadie suddenly turned and smiled that sly smile. Her face stayed the same for a moment before she spoke.

“You will all die.” Then just like that, Sadie slowly faded into mist; Carol was left standing in the room by herself, confused and scared.

She had told Jason of the nightmares; he had simply put it down to stress. With Sadie losing a friend, being unwell, moving house and starting new jobs all within a couple of weeks it was understandable. She knew he was just trying to be supportive and ease her mind, but she couldn’t shake the dreadful feeling that something wasn’t right.

Sadie had been sleeping better with the medication, and she seemed generally happy since seeing the doctor. She was relatively nice to the boys and Jason but towards her mother she was different. No one seemed to notice except Carol.

At the dinner table that night Carol asked Sadie to pass the butter knife and margarine. Without warning Sadie drove the knife with such force that it embedded itself into the timber, barely millimetres from her mother’s hand. Carol screamed suddenly startling everyone at the table.

“Honey, what is it?” Jason asked, concern etched on his rugged face. The twins sat with their loaded forks raised, staring at their mother wide eyed.

Carol rubbed her eyes and looked at the table. Nothing. No butter knife stuck in the wood. Not even a mark. She held the tears back as she looked at Jason, completely at a loss for words. Upon glancing at her daughter, she noticed the same sly smile.

“Honey, you should get some rest.” Jason fetched her a sedative from the first aid cupboard and filled a glass with water. “Here sweetheart. Take this. It will help you sleep.” He helped her to her feet as he handed it to her.

As they walked towards the stairs Carol heard her daughter say to the boys, “Don’t mind Mom. She hasn’t been sleeping well.”


Carol slept fitfully; the sleeping pill did little to calm her. Her tired eyes fluttered open to reveal 3:33am on the clock face. Voices filled her ears like every night before; she felt like she was gradually going crazy. Jason didn’t believe her which made her feel even worse.

There was something wrong with Sadie. She could sense it. The way her daughter looked at her was unlike the daughter she knew. The males in the household didn’t seem to notice. She couldn’t get that strange smile out of her head. A smile that Sadie had reserved only for her mother.

Carol slowly rose out of bed. Her knees cracked and she felt the weight of the world baring down on her aching shoulders. She hadn’t slept a full night in almost two weeks; the fabric of her mind was beginning to unravel. She trudged downstairs and followed the familiar voices towards the kitchen. As she rounded the corner heading into the loungeroom she froze. Her eyes went from tired and barely open to wide and alert. Her mouth dropped and she screamed.


Her daughter was kneeling over a furry mass on the floor with a knife raised. The furry mass was whining, trying with all it’s might to move free of whatever was holding it. Before Carol could speak, the knife came down fast. Sadie opened Samson from hind legs to throat with one swift cut. Carol tried to surge forward but her feet wouldn’t move. She cried hysterically as Sadie went about her bloody business. Sadie seemed undeterred by her mother’s presence and began pulling out the entrails and arranging them in a pentagram shape. With the dog’s blood, she drew a symbol at each point of the star. Next to each symbol she lit a candle and began chanting in a language that was not familiar to Carol.

Sadie looked up at her suddenly and smiled slyly.

Carol felt sick and terrified all at once. Samson had been unable to move because a large nail had been driven through each one of his paws. Carol retched.

Loud footsteps came bounding down the stairs. Jason appeared with the twins following closely behind. Carol tried to turn the boys away but it was too late. They screamed and rushed towards Samson.

Sadie looked up and glared at the boys. Her face was warped in anger at the sudden interruption. With a flick of her wrist, the boys levitated and were thrown against the far wall where they hovered about two feet off the floor. They grappled at their throats while Carol watched in horror as the boys turned from red, to blue, to purple before they slumped to the floor. Jason ran to the twins as he hysterically cried their names. They lay there completely still, not breathing.

Jason stopped dead in his tracks less than a foot from the twins. His eyes went wide with horror. Carol looked at Jason, then at Sadie. Sadie was no longer kneeling. She slowly moved, almost floated towards her father, staring at him malevolently. Carol could only watch as Sadie smiled at her and then turned her focus back towards her father. In an instant Jason burst into blue flames. He let out an ear-piercing scream as the fire began to blister and melt his skin; his face contorted into an anguished look of pain. His screams intensified as it slowly consumed his body. Sadie was somehow keeping him alive and wide awake as he spontaneously combusted. Carol bawled as she watched her husband of twenty years be reduced to nothing but smouldering embers and ashes. Carol could still hear him screaming long after he had succumbed to the fire.

Sadie kicked up the ashes as she stepped over the remains of her father’s body.

“Aw, ash too bad.” She said, laughing wickedly, as she continued to hover towards her mother.

She grabbed Carol by the hand and led her back to the disembowelled canine. Her mother was paralysed with fear.

“We have saved the best part for last, Carol.” The disembodied voice that seemed to be coming out of her daughter said.

Carol shook violently. The girl who looked like her daughter laughed maniacally.

“What have you done with my daughter?” Carol begged.

“We needed five sacrifices. One for each point of the pentagram. Four down, one to go.” Said the disembodied voice.

Carol whimpered. “Just kill me.” She choked, through sobs. “You have already taken everything from me.”

“Oh, no.” Said the girl, tisking. “We aren’t going to kill you, Carol. You serve a much bigger purpose.”

Carol suddenly noticed the knife lying near Samson.

“Uh, uh, uh.” Sadie chided, as though she read her mother’s mind. Sadie flung the knife away with a wave of her hand and glared at her mother. Carol tried to move her legs but they were stuck in place.

Sadie continued to stare at her mother and began chanting.

Et sanguinis non minuetur,

Et non revertar,

Revertere ab igne,

Resurget ex favilla.


Sadie chanted the words over and over. The flames flicked and danced, intensifying with each repetition. Suddenly jets of fire burst from the candles. Carol blinked and stared into it. She could see Sadie on the other side; something else was now there, heading towards her from beyond the flames.

“Ah, the spell is almost complete, my dear.” The voice from beyond the conflagrations said. An aging woman stepped through the fire and stood in front of Carol. It was the woman from her nightmares, only the eyes weren’t pits. She had moonstone irises and pinned pupils.

“Sadie. Come to me, my child.” The old woman said.

“What have you done with my daughter, you bitch!” Carol spat.

“I prefer the term Witch, if you don’t mind.” She responded, smiling smugly. “As for your daughter, she is still in there…somewhere. Screaming to get out. Little brat doesn’t shut up.”

“Bring my daughter back!” Carol shrieked, desperately.

“No. That won’t be happening,” boasted the Witch, studying her own pointed fingernails.

Sadie walked towards the witch as Carol desperately tried to free herself but to no avail. The witch muttered some words in Latin and suddenly Sadie changed. Her eyes blinked and she seemed to notice her mother properly for the first time in weeks.

“Mommy?” Sadie’s voice muttered. “Mommy, what is happening?” Sadie looked towards her mother, her almond eyes laced with desperation. Her mother wanted to run to her, to comfort and protect her but she was still fixed to the floor.

“Mommy…” She said, her voice trembling with fear.

Sadie could not see the strange woman, but she suddenly noticed the mass of fur and blood. “Samson?”

As Sadie ran towards Samson the witch struck out at her. Sadie’s eyes widened in horror as she clutched at her throat; blood started to trickle out of the wound.

“Mommy?” She whimpered, coughing and choking on her own blood.

She dropped to the floor; Carol wailed helplessly as she watched the light drain from her daughter’s eyes.

A dark presence hovered above Sadie’s body. Suddenly Carol felt it surge through her. She blacked out...


Amy sat watching the six o’clock news in her loungeroom. The news reporter announced a multiple murder at the house just down the road.

“Oh my gosh, David!” She cried out to her husband. “They only moved in a few weeks ago!”

According to the regular evening program, two young boys were found asphyxiated and a teenage girl was found with her throat slashed. It was also reported that they had found the remains of a dog and peculiar burn marks on the floorboards nearby. The parents were not found…

© Copyright 2018 H D Cooper. All rights reserved.


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