The Witches Grave
By Brian Evans
“JOEL!” Lori tried to scream, but it was too fast. It put its hand over her mouth and dragged her back into the living room. Lori tried to get out of his grasp. Whatever took Connor’s form was strong.
“Shh, It’s alright—no need to make a scene. If I wanted to, I could kill him if you’d prefer. I would hate it if it had to come to that. Just listen to me. That’s all I ask. You want to know where your friend is, right? I suggest you stop struggling and listen.”
Lori’s blood ran cold. “Where is he?”
“Sit, please. I just want to talk.” It said, releasing her.
“Lori? What’s taking so long?” Joel said, approaching the living room.
“Say anything, and he’s dead.” It warned her.
“Oh, look who’s up. You just missed my great performance. Tell him, Lori. She said I was great.”Joel said triumphantly. “What’s going on here? You two have a fight?”
“Nope, Lori and I were just about to go outside. She wanted to get some air. RIght?” It asked.
“Y-Yeah, if that’s okay. Could you keep Thomas busy?” Lori asked.
“Okay, don’t do anything too crazy.” Joel smiled and closed the door.
It looked surprised. Like it was expecting her to tell on it, “Shall we go for that walk?”
“I’m staying right here. Where’s Connor?” Lori said, trying to fight back the tears. She didn’t care what happened to her. She just needed to know if he was okay.
“He’s not dead if that’s what you’re worried about. I just needed to get him away from you. I saw an opportunity when you and the other one left. Twins. I can’t believe it.” It laughed. “I would’ve loved to go for a walk, but if you insist on staying inside, I’ll accommodate you.” It sits on the couch. It watches her cross the room and sit down. “Lorelei. That’s a beautiful name.”
“I’m not asking again. Tell me where he is.” Lori demanded.
“You seem confused. I’m the one that will be asking the questions. Not you. All you need to know is that he’s safe. Sort of. He’s alive. That’s what matters, right? He means so much to you. I doubt you want to put him in more danger. I went through a lot of trouble setting this up. Do you want to know the best part? This is just step one. Step two is coming later. Once I know I have your full attention, Lorelei. Do I have your full attention?” It asked.
“Wonderful. First introductions. My name is Mordecai, and before you ask, no, I’m not a spirit. I’m human, just like you. I just have better control over my gift. Your turn.”
Lori hesitated. She had so many questions about it. “Lorelei Jones.”
“I already know that. I want to know more. Like how you got your power. I really want to know that.” Mordecai asked.
“I almost died. I saw a spirit, and then I kept seeing them. That’s it.”
Mordecai blinked at her. “Really? That’s it? Huh. Kind of a letdown. Still interesting, though. Tell me, how far can you go with your powers? I know you can possess the recently deceased to live out their last moments. I know you can hear and see spirits. Is that it?”
“As far as I know.”
“I see. Well, thank you for your honesty. You can ask me something if you’d like.” Mordecai smiled at her.
“Why kill people? Do you need to so you can use your powers?”
“No. I can use them whenever I like. The murder is just a bonus. It helps me channel that person. I kill them; then I take a piece of them. After that happens, I can become them. There’s no time limit or anything. I can change into anyone I’ve killed or eaten.”
“Wait, so you…” Lori couldn’t finish her sentence.
“I took a piece of Connor so I could become him. And no, I’m not telling what piece. Also, no, it’s not what you think. I tend to stick to things that are visible if I can. An arm, leg, eye, something like that. Just a little piece.”
“What do you want from me?” Lori asked. She couldn’t hold the tears back anymore.
“I want you to be the best you can be. I want you to become more. I was like you. I thought I was alone, but I’m not. Not anymore. I want to help you.” Mordecai said.
Lori could see Thomas poke his head through the door. When he saw her crying, he docked back into the hallway.
“How is murdering people helping me?” Lori asked.
“Every time I’ve killed someone, you use your power to find out what happened. You’re getting stronger with each one. I can see that. I’m so proud of you. But..it’s not enough. That’s why I’ve come up with a solution. Something that will bring out your full abilities. I’m so excited to show you.” Mordecai laughed. He took out a piece of paper and handed it to her. “12 PM. Train station. Be there. Bring your friends if you like. Trust me; you won’t want to miss it.” Mordecai walked to the front door. “Oh, before I forget, Connor is in his room. Goodbye, Lorelei.” Mordecai says, closing the door. When Lori opens the front door, Mordecai was gone.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Joel asked, running to her. “Thomas said you looked upset. What did that idiot do? Did he say something?”
“Joel.” Lori cried. “Connor, where’s his room?”
“Lori, what is wrong?”
“We have to hurry! Where’s his room?” Lori cried.
“Down the hall. I’ll take you.” Joel grabbed her hand and led her to Connor’s room. “Here.” Joel banged on the door. “Open up! You got some explaining to do!”
“Hey *******, you want to tell me why she’s out here crying her eyes out?” Joel shouted. “Open up!”
“Connor! Open the door! What’s wrong with this guy? Thomas! Can you peek inside?” Joel asked
“I already did. You don’t want to go in there. It’s not pretty.”
Joel backed up and rammed the door with his shoulder. “Son of a… that hurt.”
“What did you expect?” Thomas asked. “Punch me again.”
“What?” Joel asked, rubbing his shoulder. “You want me to hit you again? I don’t even know how I did it the first time.”
“Joel, try, Connor, is in danger. We need to get in there.” Lori said,
“Stand back,” Joel said, making a fist. Thomas positions himself in front of the door. Joel hits him as hard as he could, shattering the door in the process. “For a spirit, you have a pretty hard face.”
“CONNOR!” Lori said, running into the room. Connor was on the floor, beaten and bloodied. She put her hand to his nose and felt the slightest bit of breathing.
“Con! What happened? Lori, what happened?” Joel said, holding his brother.
“That thing showed up. When I went to go get Connor, it was there in the living room. It took his form. I thought it was him. He grabbed me, and he made me kiss him. I knew something was up. When he said he wanted to show me something; I knew it wasn’t him. Oh god. Was he going to show me the real Connor? That’s sick.”
Joel put his fingers to Connor’s neck. “Sorry, I needed to check for myself. Thank god he’s alive,” Joel said, wiping his eyes.
“Con! Can you hear me?” Lori asked.
Connor’s eyes started to flicker open.
“You *******! You made me scared for a second. I oughta punch you for that.” Joel said, hugging him.
“Me too!” Lori joined in the group hug. “You owe me like a thousand cookies for making me worry.”
“How did it get you? Last time we checked, you were sleeping.” Lori asked. He was out, but they should have heard something. “At least a little struggling.”
“No, my music room is soundproof. A truck could crash into the house, and we wouldn’t hear a thing. Hey, dummy, say something.”
Connor looked at the floor. Then shook his head.
“No? What do you mean no? I can’t imagine what that thing did to you but at least say you’re happy to see us.”
“Joel, I don’t think he can,” Lori said. She understood why he couldn’t say anything.
“Connie. Open your mouth.”
Connor shook his head furiously.
“Connor, please,” Lori begged.
“Come on, man,” Joel said.
Connor looked between them and nodded. He opened his mouth, and Lori screamed. Connor’s tongue was gone.
When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.
Join the conversation