Read His Dark Ways Online

Authors: Naomi Canale

His Dark Ways (8 page)

BOOK: His Dark Ways
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My bags are sitting at the foot of the door inside Lucky’s room—the girls should be here soon. I’m shocked I got the okay from Dad to stay over after he found me in a fetal position under the piano this morning. I pause for a second and the image sinks in as I flop down on top of her bed, which nearly drowns me in an ocean of stuffed animals.

Somehow I know Daniel won’t be out in the shadows tonight. I don’t know how, but I can sense he’s hurting.

I’ve always envied people who have faith, like my parents. They’ve always had this unshakable kind. In a way it reminds me of little kids who believe in Santa and the way they look at you with wide eyes—sparkling—shining with a glimmer of hope. I’m sure any snippet of faith would comfort me right now, but I don’t have any. I’m depressed and lacking faith that Daniel’s okay—that he will reappear.

An ache starts near my inner wrist as if poison’s being administered into my system—it’s creeping toward the blood pumping through my ventricles. A pulse makes its way to my brain and beats hard enough to cause a headache. I push the skin over my temples and rub firmly. It doesn’t do anything. With my head hung low, I try to focus on one thing and hope the pain will cease.

The gloss on Lucky’s violin catches the last rays of the day’s light and I zoom in the best I can to eliminate the pounding in my head—minutes pass—nothing.

I grab the violin. Maybe playing music will force my mind to amuse itself in other places other than hurt. I stroke my fingers across it the same way Daniel did on the piano. A clock ticks in the background and the silence that remains starts making me mad. I wonder if he’s thinking of me, or if he’s able to. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. How do I know I won’t see him? How are we connected like this? The thought stabs at me.

A melody from Phantom of the Opera,
Think Of Me
, keeps circling in my mind and I hum the song, trying to play it from memory. I mess up the first cords.

I lay the violin into my lap with a long sigh. Even though I slept off most of my insomnia and took a cool shower, I’m still murky. All of my being wants to remember the song Daniel played and play that one only. What is wrong with me? Mom’s always been the one with Obsession Compulsion Disorder, not me.  

I grit my teeth and hold the violin more firmly under my chin. It gives a sharp shriek until I get my notes exact and when I do, it feeds something inside me as I reach each high and low note and
Think of Me
come to life. I close my eyes. The music somehow calms the hurricane within my head—twisting thoughts are no longer being strewn about.

Lucky’s calling out and I hear the front door shut. “Damn girl, I haven’t heard that violin sing since we played together in the sixth grade. What’d you do, tune it?”

I’m quiet. Silence departs and being a hermit suddenly seems like a better idea than being around people as the girls’ voices carry down the hall. I’ve never felt so selfish in my life, I want to get to the séance already and find Daniel.

Lucky cozy’s up next to me and bounces her butt on the bed. “Why so blue, you?”

Amy’s arms are full with flannel shirts and a couple of books—they look like her dad’s things. She stops in front of me. “You seriously look ill from sadness. Is your mom okay?”

“Yeah, she’s fine,” I answer.

My headache is mostly gone, but my gut is quivering. Should I tell them about Daniel or face the truth about what I saw earlier today? Lucky nudges me and pops a lollipop into her mouth. “You can tell us.”

I’ve never held back anything from them—this instinct to hold back is foreign. I take a deep breath and plunge in. “Remember the other night at Goldfield?”

Lucky takes the sour apple Blow Pop off her tongue and matches eyes with Amy. “Yeah.”

I get up and place her violin back onto its stand. They are both waiting for me to respond. “I met this guy,” I pause, “that night.”

Amy puts her things down on top of the loveseat in the back corner of the room. “A guy? But there was no one there, except for that fucking creepy demon we saw.”

“Something was trying to kill me that night and this guy kind of saved me.”

“Why haven’t we met him yet?”

“Because he’s not exactly human, he is, but he’s not.”

Lucky starts laughing. “Oh, shit, Savanna sees dead people.”

“It’s not funny, Lucky, seriously, I think I’m in love with him.”

“But it’s been like a week. I think it took me more than a year to even say that about Jared.”

I hesitate as I talk. “He’s different. And last night he disappeared—”

Lucky giggles. “Ghosts kind of do that, right?”

“I don’t know, Lucky. All I know is that when I touch him, he becomes real, like, human again, and whatever that thing was you guys saw in the hotel, I think it’s hurting him—keeping him away from me.” Amy and Lucky aren’t laughing any more. “I need your help,” I mumble, “we are connected, like twins. When he hurts, so do I and I don’t know why.”

Lucky moves her ear closer to my lips. “Whoa, what did you just say, Miss I-Refuse-To-Ever-Fall-For-Someone?”

“I love him.”

Amy pulls candles out of her bag. “So who’s this, ‘him’?”

“Daniel.”

I spill my guts out to both of them—relieved to be on the same page with them again. We all saw something. Misery definitely loves company and the longer they’re here with me, the better I’m starting feel. Patience isn’t sitting well with me, and apparently it’s not sitting well with Amy either. She can’t take the candles out of her bag fast enough and nods her head in the direction of my stuff. “Looks like you packed light. You brought our book, right?”

I give her an answer with a hushed tone. “Dad caught me with it. He’s took it.”

Fortunately the pitch of her voice hasn’t changed much. “You’re kidding right?”

“Nope,” I say with a smack of my lips.

“Shit.”

Lucky pipes up. “It’s all good. They didn’t invent Google for nothing. Plus, we’ve all read up on this a ton of times before. You really just need warm bodies and some of your dad’s stuff. We’ve got both.” Her face grows blank like she forgot something. “Well, I’m sure it works sometimes without stuff too.”

It’s a nice gesture, especially because she believes me. I had to see Daniel more than once to even believe. Regret binds itself together like a tight ball of string in the same place I usually get the hiccups and I feel stupid for not holding onto him like I did on the playa. “You two are smart. I know you’ll help me find him.”

***

By the end of two failed séances Amy and I sit in unsatisfied confusion. Lucky comes into the room with shot classes and an abnormally sized bottle of Jack. “I think we could all use this.”

Lucky has no idea just how true that statement is. She gets ridiculously loving after having a few shots. When she starts petting me, I’ll break the news to her about Jared. Hopefully alcohol will help lessen the blow and we’ll all curl up with each other and weep about loss—love.

I’ve only had two shots and I’m already lying on the floor peering up at the ceiling—it feels better to belt out the news I have for Lucky at the fan than telling her face to face. “Lucky.”

A soft, “What’s up,” carries over the room.

“Jared was with Peg today at El Marquez,” I sit up on my left elbow and pick at the carpet, “he’s cheating on you, Lucky.”

This is crappy. I gulp down any Jack that’s still lingering on my tongue as I watch her eyes gloss over—she quickly downs the shot in her hand. “Shut up.”

Her chest lightly pants up and down. Hurt is obviously swelling up inside of her like an infected wound. “My stupid gut was right.” The rim of the bottle is at the tip of her lip—she tilts it and begins to chug. Streams of liquid fall across both sides of her cheeks and she doesn’t bother to wipe them away when the bottle’s brought down to rest on top of her knee.

Lucky’s never been one for hugs, but I get up to cradle her in my arms anyways.

Amy gets a fresh roll of toilet paper from the bathroom but Lucky wipes her tears away with a pajama sleeve instead and looks at me. An uncomfortable laugh escapes her. “Tell me one of those stories you used to tell us as kids Savanna.”

I was a disturbed child—she knows all my stories are a bit dark. If it will help settle down the monster of pain Jared unleashed into protected territory, then it’s worth it. It’s not easy to see her upset.

As I try to recall one, Lucky’s very round cat, Freddie, walks in and rubs his face against Amy’s notebook and plops down beside it. Her notebook is full of spells, séances, and scribbled pictures colored in with whiteout. An old monkey fable I haven’t told in ages comes to mind when my eyes peer over a half drawn monkey that looks like one of Eric’s masterpieces. I blow out all the candles but one and hold it under my chin like it’s a flashlight, like we used to. The tip of the flame tickles my chin with warmth as I twist my lips and crinkle my nose against the light and make a stupid face. “Are you ready, my pretties?”

It’s takes a second for my eyes to adjust, but I can hear Lucky’s sniffles and Amy laughing. “You’ve always been such a creep, Savanna.”

Amy always tries to act like she doesn’t like being creeped out, but she does, otherwise we all wouldn’t be into the same crap and the only movies she owns are horror—The Exorcist is her favorite. Possession has always fascinated her. I give her a long stare as if I’m the main character, Regan, and pretend my head’s about to turn in a full circle before I continue on.

“Murder.” I let the word roll off my tongue and continue. “Neighboring ears knew the cries they heard weren’t like any other, they were murderous ones. Cries of fear and screams echoing until, SMACK, a body hits the concrete. Room 1013 of the Hotel Avandaro was closed for days until they figured out why two people unwillingly fell to their death, but it was ruled as a fluke. Unfortunate double suicides—they wrote it into the files and the key to 1013 was given to its next victim, an American businessman. He believed in karma and the thought of his wife sitting in the freezer wasn’t sitting well with him. It took a while for him to doze off. He hadn’t slept much lately and he kept wondering if he would get caught—Mexico was his hiding place and he hoped it was a good one. Money was stashed away and loose ends were taken care of—except for the ones back home.

“A demented voice woke him. It was coming from inside the closet that only held an iron, ironing board, and a luggage stand. You see his wife had been ironing his shirts when he killed her, so he didn’t take it as any coincidence that the sound was coming from the closet. He hated the way she ironed his shirts for fifteen years and finally snapped. He closed his eyes moaning, trying to tune out the muttering, but it only grew louder. ‘Now I’ve got you where I want you, now I’m going to eat you.’”

“Urine nearly spilled onto the sheets before guilt forced him step out onto the ledge of the window. Shame was pouring into him too fast. He wiped away a few stranded tears, apologized to the man in the sky, and leaped to his death.”

“A brave woman who went by the name of Officer Zamora was sick of scooping dead bodies up off the hotel curb decided to spend one night in the room to investigate. As she dozed off, the voice started up. ‘Now I’ve got you where I want you, now I’m going to eat you.’ She was a brave woman and had heard these types of threats before—she wasn’t a seasoned cop for nothing. Being in the middle of gunfire was a scarier place than being in the middle of a fork and spoon—she calculated her chances were much greater on a plate if the psycho in the closet didn’t attack her with an anesthetic needle. With her forty cal drawn—safety switch off, she stood in front of the closet. The voice was now raspy, hushed. ‘Now I’ve got you where I want you now I’m gonna eat you.’”

“Zamora didn’t like taking shit from people and immediately kicked open the folding doors and there sat a monkey holding onto a banana. As he slowly unpeeled each yellow strand he talked to it like the starved insane animal he was, ‘Now I’ve got you where I want you, now I’m gonna eat you.’”   

Lucky’s eyes are dried up already and all that remains is red encircling her irises, but she’s clutching onto her vagina. “I really need to pee, I drank way too much.” 

As Lucky dashes out of the room, Amy looks at me seductively. “I think your creepiness has always been my favorite thing about you.”

I give her kissy lips. “Thank you.”

Our BFF flirting is cut short by a shriek coming from the bathroom—it’s Lucky. The first thing that goes through my mind is that someone has broken in. Lucky’s curled into a ball outside of the bathroom—the door is shut and she’s trembling with her face tucked into her knees.

“What happened?” I say hoping I don’t really have to kick some intruder’s ass, drunk.

“I was looking in the mirror,” spit spills off the bottom of her lip, “I saw a monkey the same size as me staring at me with red eyes.”

Amy and I try not to break out in laughter. We both know she’s way too drunk and probably just traumatized because of the news about Jared. I’m pretty fuzzy myself, but I get up, open the door to the bathroom and check out the so-called monkey scene to comfort her. “There’s nothing in here, Lucky, promise, I don’t see anything.”

Amy picks her up by the arm and leads her back into her room. I push the shower curtain all the way against the wall. I’m about to leave when I see a streak of black hairs in the tub. I pick one up. It’s about three inches long, dry, and as soft as a kitten. The bathroom suddenly has a weird vibe. I quickly switch off the light and shut it as fast as I can. There must be something wrong with that bottle of Jack, it’s playing tricks on all of us.

 

Chapter 10

Fear of What Can Take Your Soul

Church service is over and I’m sitting in a back pew disgruntled. For the past two nights I’ve had nothing but nightmares about an overgrown monkey attacking Lucky. Either my body hates me for having too much alcohol the other night or it’s mad that I’ve stayed up too late staring out of a window hoping to see Daniel.

With my knees pulled close to my chest, I tap my fingernail on top of my lip and think of the hair I found inside the tub Friday. I feel like an ass for telling Lucky that story when she was obviously a damsel in distress, but the guilt only worsens when I think about my dream. It was reminiscent of a Stephen King movie, but with a monkey, and it played out perfectly in sync to the one the night before. It’s like I literally pushed a DVD into my brain and pressed the play button—twice. I’m tired, but don’t want to go back to sleep—ever. Every time I close my eyes all I can see is Lucky’s cat, Freddie. His guts are strewn all over Lucky’s room with words written in blood across the wall above her bed, and claw marks streaked across the carpet that start on the bathroom linoleum. I know the marks on the floor aren’t Freddie’s—I’ve examined them each time and there’s no way a cat as fat as him could rip the carpet down to the particle board. Who would hurt an innocent kitty anyway? It’s disgusting.

BOOK: His Dark Ways
8.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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