Chapter 2: Chapter 2

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Review Chain

Reads: 81
Comments: 4

 

Chapter two

 

Madame Leroux’s big caravan stood out among the other colorful caravans. Corrine was not sure if she had seen this caravan earlier, making her feel more unsure of her sense of reality than ever. She could turn tail and run home now, just so she could ignore the possibility of her demon being real. Despite her inner turmoil, she went up and knocked on the thick wooden door. The scent of cigarette smoke floated through the cracks of the windows, also a hollow light glowed through the red velvet curtains, and a tall shadow reflected behind it. Sweat poured down on her temples as she inhaled the smoke through her nose. She coughed furiously into her shoulder blade when the door opened completely by itself. As she hesitantly walked inside  the dim room while holding in her irritated cough. Through her blurry vision, there was an abundance of apothecary items, some voodoo charms, and lots of incense and candles in the room.

 

In the corner of the room, there was a little sign that said: "Ring bell for service, but not more than once!" So she rang it with a hint of giddiness. Within a minute, a tall, gaunt older woman wearing a red velvet robe came behind the front desk.

 

"How may I be of service to you, young lady?" She asked through a rather raspy voice.

 

“I was hoping you could tell me, Ma'am. You’re Madame Leroux, right? ” Corrine grimaced how her own voice sounded like a cat being pulled by its tail. 


 

"Come my child, your calling awaits," Corrine followed Madame Leroux through the jingly curtains and into a small dark room with a glowing, amber sphere in the middle of a table. 

 

The Madame motioned Corrine to sit down, so she did so very cautiously. This room had an eerie darkness and chill in the air; she felt like she was close to suffocating. 

 

"Yes, sometimes the demons take up so much room that one can barely breathe in here," The Madame whispered in a very refined tone. Corrine sat there waiting, feeling the apprehension when the Madame mentioned demons. 

 

"I don't do this shit for free, darling!  Please contribute to my donation bowl, as the ghosts are very, very exhausting."  Oh, crap, Corrine wasn’t sure if she had any money left. Although in her defense she wasn’t aware that she would be attending a seance. 

 

Regardless, she managed to drop a George Washington bill into the clear, glass bowl and waited in somber anticipation for what was to come. She winced when she saw Madame's reaction to the one dollar bill. The Madame looks pissed off. 

 

 "What do you think this is, some side circus freakshow? I hold the true gift of supernatural power and my time is worth more than a measly dollar bill!” The Madame exclaimed at Corrine while she could only shrug her shoulders for a response. 

“You’re lucky I’m feeling generous, but you really do have a nasty demon with ya,” She jolted at the Madame's words as she looked behind her. However, she didn’t see or feel her familiar demon. 

 

“You see him too?” She asked quietly, afraid to speak even louder.

 

The Madame closed her eyes and sat back for a few moments. Suddenly, she started to tremble and she opened her eyes very wide. Her eyes blinked uncontrollably as Corrine attempted to stifle a scream.  The Madame looks possessed.  She shook violently in her chair and the candles were flickering, the walls began to rumble and the table was almost floating!  And then everything stopped. The Madame looked as if she was in a deep slumber.

 

"Madame, are you there?" Corrine whispered as it had been about five minutes. There was a faint light in the crystal ball, and within seconds it seemed like it was on fire from the inside.

 

"You decided to listen to me, Corrine. You wanted to go above and beyond to see if your daddy was truly dead. Very well, his soul is in the cornfield, so he is quite alive by scaring the crows.” Madame Leroux loudly rasped her words, but her mouth was barely moving. She looked like one of those string puppets as her body hung in disarray manner. The walls trembled again and the candles were blowing in some strange unknown wind.

 

Corrine trembled as she gripped onto her chair. She couldn’t bolt out of her seat, but she wiggled her body like she was trying to loosen some knots. The sinister voice from the Madame chilled her to the bone, since her constant demon in her imagination has spoken outside of her head.

 

“Hickory, Dickory, Dock, your daddy went up the clock. He wanted the ringmaster dead, to have your mother’s religious hand. Instead, his head is stuffed with strands, for not completing the devil’s plan. Does Corrine want to go up the clock and complete the tasks that her father couldn’t understand?” The Madame whispered as she grabbed Corrine’s sweaty face. She was pale and shivered at the older woman’s cold touch.

 

“Why did he want the ringmaster dead, my father is not a murderer?!” The Madame had amusement in her soulless eyes as Corrine struggled in her grasp.

 

It was like she couldn’t escape from the Madame’s stare, almost like she was a trapped mouse under a snake’s predatory gaze. Everything around her, except for the Madame’s entranced eyes, which sent alarm bells in Corrine’s head. The room looked far away at sea and the sound of clocks blared through like a ship’s boisterous horn.

To her utter dismay, she still couldn’t escape from her seat and she felt uneasiness like she was being put on trial. She has never met her father, yet she felt dirty and unclean for her blood relation to a potential murderer! Although she wasn’t sure if her demon’s spiel spoke truths or lies. It was always good to read the whole story from cover to cover, since you could easily miss something between the lines. Whatever the scorn her father had with the ringmaster, which might connect with her grandmother’s passionate hate for circus people.

 

She was literally facing her inner demons, even though the truth could hurt her more than the fire’s of hell. However, she was determined once and for all, and the truth might finally set her free of her supposedly imaginary demon. 

 

“Alright, what did he have to do, and what would happen to me if I don’t complete these tasks?” 

 

She humored the possessed woman, even though she felt guilty for the Madame’s boneless state. Her face was no longer in the Madame's hands, yet she could still feel her icy touch like frostbite.

 

“Your father raced against the clock, ticking off seven nursery rhyme riddles, and the seven deadly demons decided if your father was worthy in their acts. However, your father wasn’t the only one competing, since everyone wants something from the devil ringmaster.” A sense of uneasiness came over Corrine as the Madame referred to the ringmaster as the ‘devil’. 

 

“If you fail, just like your poor unfortunate father. I will finally get what I’ve always wanted from you, Corrine Edgar Devonshire, your very soul!” The entire room shook like a clap of thunder and the walls looked like they were peeling off. 

 

Corrine felt herself free from whatever tied her up. She bolted out of her seat before Madame jumped onto the table like a spider. The Madame’s arms and legs started to multiply, along with her darkened eyes that dotted her face, and her mouth opened up like a bottomless pit.

 

“I’m in debt with the ringmaster too, but me eating your pure soul might lessen my harsh sentence!” The demon no longer talked, in place was the Madame Leroux menacing voice. 

 

Corrine ran like hell not wanting to end up as a delicious snack. She didn’t dare herself to look back, knowing the sight might petrify her on the spot. The entire floor groaned loudly when a white casket tore up the floor in front of her exit. A higher scream wheezed from her lungs as the coffin opened to reveal a skeleton. The body was decayed, almost like it was fried too long in an oven. Many glittering jewels and a withered robe wrapped around the skeleton in a protective cocoon. Her eyes watered at the stench, so she tried to cover her mouth from inhaling the dead body’s wastes. The demonic Madame Leroux was right behind her, a long tongue teasingly licked on her clothed back, and the sensation grossed her out beyond compare. 

 

In a burst of a high adrenalin, she hastily grabbed some lit candles and threw it at the skeleton. A huge wail shattered from the Madame’s bottomless mouth, which knocked Corrine to the side of the room. Through her blurry vision, she saw the Madame and the skeleton burned and screamed into blurry nothingness. The door for her escape was in dangling flames like a spider web. She needed another way out, so with all her might she picked herself up as she climbed out of the small window. The cool, fresh smell of the summer’s air consumed her nostrils when she hit the solid ground. She quickly rolled herself away from the fiery caravan in a tumbling manner. Her body ached all over while she tried to greedily inhale the fresh air. Although she couldn’t contain her coughing and her sobbing added the burning pressure in her lungs.

 

The entire night started to claw itself into her memories and her body reacted in a flight response. However, she needed to reach a phone booth in order to call her grandmother, and she was too sore to ride her bike home. In the corner of her eye, she saw a flaming red hand rise up to the night sky, which struck a sense of anticipation at her like crawling ants. 

 

“Oh, fiddlesticks!” Corrine didn’t curse due to her upbringing, but she sure as hell did in her mind.

 

The flaming red hand was prowling at her like a spider from its web. No matter how much she tried to move her body, even though she admitted defeat as a bug trapped in a cunning web. She closed her eyes tightly while she prepared herself for her own demise. However, nothing hot or flaming touched upon her body, but she felt more like she was being hovered over. A piercing howl hummed underneath her and she strangely took comfort in it like a lullaby. Suddenly, she felt a wet snout which lifted her up to something soft as a cloud. Her eyes slowly opened up towards bright twinkling stars with the darkened sky. Back and forth her body moved like she was in her grandmother’s rocking chair. It was like she was on a boat that sailed through the stars. If she was dying or drifting to the afterlife, she found herself glad that this guardian angel kept her from her demon. Right before she closed her eyes again, instead of the familiar red eyes that has haunted her dreams. For once in her sixteen years of life, in place were heavenly green eyes like The Garden of Eden.





 

 

 


Submitted: April 21, 2022

© Copyright 2022 FromBlackToViloet. All rights reserved.

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Comments

llywrch

Sorry I hadn't commented on your first chapter, but I'm glad you're plugging on with this work. Keep at it!

Fri, April 22nd, 2022 4:02am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much! I’ve been having a lot of fun with this story. The inspiration keeps flowing so I’m just keeping at it. Thanks I’m glad you’re liking it so far, this story is so different from the other stories I’ve written. Thanks much:)

Sun, May 1st, 2022 9:04am

Poetshri

Woah! If I ever have to scare kids to death, I'll tell this story. This chapter is very creepy. It is a miracle that the girl is still alive. :D I liked the phase at which the story is moving; to add that, non-stop action. It was like watching a movie. Hope this story will have a happy ending at least for Corrine. :) Keep it up!

Sun, April 24th, 2022 6:22pm

Author
Reply

Thank you! I’m glad this story you recommended to scaring little kids. That’s where I was going for lol. Yeah I kind of like want to keep the tempo like that so it would flow better. I hate when something horror tends to drag so I like to add a bit suspense but keep it flowing. Oh yeah, I keep feeling guilty for what I’m putting Corrine through. Let’s just her happy ending is a long…. Way . Thanks again!

Sun, May 1st, 2022 7:40am

CreativeMarauder

Madam Leroux had a pretty high opinion of herself considering she went and got possessed by a demon.

Great aesthetic choice to have the dad be a scarecrow.

I love the ideas. Like with Chapter 1 though I think this would benefit from another draft to refine the prose and expand certain things. You've got a nice lump of gold here. Just needs more TLC.

Mon, April 25th, 2022 10:29am

Author
Reply

Yep she surely did, so makes you think what kind of sin did she portray. I had a lot of fun writing her, she reminds me of one fortune teller I went as she pointed at her jar lol. I’m a huge sucker for fortune tellers.

Thanks, yeah I had wizard of oz in the background and I was like rhyming out loud. To make it work. Saw the scarecrow and was like must be fate.

Yeah like this is a work in progress:) Like I’m still figuring out on where I want to go with this. But I’m glad to see it’s a good start, like on the right track, and I can expand more like a pot of gold thanks again:)

Sun, May 1st, 2022 8:02am

Ann Sepino

There's some gorgeous imagery in this second chapter. The bright red caravan, the cackling fortune teller, the repeating reference to stars and lights. I also like the psychological-thriller elements scattered throughout. It keeps us tied to the fact that we're seeing all this from Corrine's perspective.

That being said, you could totally focus more on Corrine's physiological reactions when she encounters something that affects her. For example, the part where her eyes watered because she couldn't take the rotting corpse's stench. It's important to remember that in scary situations, humans react physically before they react cognitively or emotionally (i.e. shaking, sweating, shivering). More passages that depict this give us a clearer picture of how our protagonist deals with the things that are happening to her.

Keep up the good work! I'll stop by whenever I can to read more. :)

Sat, May 14th, 2022 2:40am

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