Copyright (c) 2016 by Randall R. Peterson ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This is a work of fiction. All persons, locations and actions are from the author's imagination or have been used in a fictitious manner.
By R. Peterson
Marsha sat at the kitchen table smiling with her eyes firmly closed. The two astonished girls dropped the packages they were holding. Alison Weatherbee slammed against Marsha Hicks knocking her out of her chair, while Eleanor James tried to wrestle her dog out of Rhonda Johnson’s arms. The marionette called Demilune floated down from the ceiling. Rolling eyes in the wooden head seemed delighted at the bedlam. Two cabinet doors above the kitchen countertop banged open and ceramic plates, saucers and a large mixing bowl spun in the air, briefly orbiting each other before crashing to the floor. The hands on a wall clock spun like airplane propellers until with a bang tiny metal gears exploded above the struggling girls like shrapnel. A drawer slid open and a handful of Rhonda’s steak knives became airborne decapitating a troll doll watching the fight from the top of a bookcase before stabbing all the Friday squares on a WNBA wall calendar.
Invisible strings manipulated by an unknown entity added to the terror and evil saturated the room as the now laughing puppet began to dance. Rhonda Johnson stood up, towering at least a foot over the other roommates, flung Tinkerbelle against a wall and then knocked Eleanor to the floor with one punch from her oversized basketball player’s fist. She lunged across the room as Alison slammed Hicks into the refrigerator. Just as Rhonda reached for a handful of Alison’s hair, Eleanor snagged the dangling laces of one of her size twelve athletic shoes and off-balance, Rhonda fell.
“Do something!” Rhonda sputtered at the puppet, now dancing over her crumpled form. Alison had Hicks by the throat, pinned against the refrigerator door and was trying to force open her eyes. “You said your power was greater than hers!” Rhonda yelled.
“That juju!” Demilune hissed in a hand-saw voice pointing to the amulet Alison wore around her neck. “Take it … from her. All my … sinew is … being used … to make … it sleep.”
“Don’t you know you’ll go blind if you keep this up?” Alison forced Marsha’s eyelids open and when she did, Demilune collapsed on the floor, a twisted lump of carved worm-wood, painted linen and tangled string. “Those who channel their sight and their mind through this carved image of Satan find first their vision diminishing … and then their brain. You might achieve power for a few hours but then Demilune will leave once your eye-sockets were no more than black pits and your brain a bowl of worms. The spawn of Hell will search and find another handler like he has for centuries.” Alison explained.
This time Rhonda kicked Eleanor in the head when she tried to stop her. She lunged toward Alison and jerked her backward by the hair. Rhonda reached for the amulet swaying around Alison’s neck, but when she touched the magical necklace a blast of etheric energy sent her and Alison spinning across the room and crashing into a wall. “Use the puppet to finish her now!” Rhonda demanded as she knocked Alison unconscious with her fist.
Marsha carefully touched her swollen eyelids with her fingers as she walked from the room. Her astonished voice came from above the sink as she stared in the bathroom mirror. “No more today,” she said. “I thought my eyes had some kind of infection after I controlled the puppet at the river. This time I’ve only given my sight to Demilune for less than a minute and already my eyes feel like they are falling out of my head.”
“She lies!” Rhonda yelled. “Use the puppet to kill them both now.” Eleanor moaned once and the mercifully fell unconscious.
Marsha glanced at her watch. “Alison and Eleanor’s dates will be here to pick them up in twenty minutes. Let’s drag them into the bedroom and decide what to do with them once the boys leave.”
Rhonda looked at her scorched hand blackened from touching the amulet. “You take Alison,” she said.
Eleanor woke up first; she had a splitting headache as she shook Alison awake. It felt like she had been asleep for many hours but her watch said less than five minutes. “We have to do something,” she said. “Johnny and Kevin will be here soon. Rhonda and Marsha will think of an excuse to send them away and once they are gone, even if Marsha refuses to use the puppet any more tonight, Rhonda will use her fists to beat us both to death.”
Both girls were elated when a jubilant Tinkerbelle crawled out from under the double bed.
“I wish it was a full moon,” Alison said looking out the window at the dark sky. “There is barely enough power in the amulet to act as a shield to prevent it from being taken from me.”
“Is that the only thing that will recharge your power?” Eleanor asked. “What about starlight?”
“Any natural reflected light works,” Alison said. She removed a broken compact from a fanny pack worn around her waist like a belt. She tilted the cracked mirror at the stars and then trained the faint light on her necklace. “The amount of power we’ll get from this short of time will be good for a few simple magicians’ tricks,” she said. “No more.”
“Where did you get this?” Eleanor gaped in wonder as the amulet began to faintly glow.
“I found it in the ashes of a fire that never was,” Alison said. “And I used its power to change things that could never be. Melania gave back to me something that I never possessed when I moved into her house.”
“Is magic always spoken of in riddles?” Eleanor shook her head.
“Magic is not knowing the reason things happen,” Alison said. “There is magic in everything!”
“I don’t think my yelling outside a bunch of houses late at night and making lights come on is really all that magical,” Eleanor sighed.
‘Your mind controls everything whether you believe it or not,” Alison told her. “Your subconscious made the air pass from your lungs across your diaphragm and created the loud sounds that woke the people who turned on the lights.”
The amulet was glowing brighter. Alison explained. “I believe that this special piece of jewelry collects the same energy your brain waves float on and allows you to create a channel outside of your body.” She held the necklace in front of her and closed her eyes. “If those two Neanderthals in the other room are given the time to think about what they are doing they could be dangerous.” She smiled. “We have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Rhonda and Marsha sat at the kitchen table while Marsha rubbed Vicks Vapo Rub on her eyelids and put drops of Visine in her eyes. “That crap don’t work on your eyes,” Rhonda sneered. “If you want to bring down the swelling gob both of your eyes with Preparation H.
“I’m not using a hemorrhoid cream on my eyes,” Marsha pouted.
“Suit yourself,’ Rhonda told her. “But I have the notes in last year’s Biology 101 textbook … go read for yourself if you don’t believe me.” She pointed to a bookcase littered with candy wrappers and foul smelling gym socks.
Marsha picked up the textbook thumbed through an index until she found a chapter on eyes and began to read. “In humans the eyes are organs that react to light stimulus and has several purposes. As a … What ### Hell!” Marsha gasped.
Rhonda looked at her new roommate. She’d never heard the scar-faced girl stutter before.
“What the devil is wrong with you?” she sneered.
‘### sentence I just read about #### vanished from ### page and now I can’t speak any of ### words #### I just read.”
Laughter came from behind the closed bedroom door. “Reading usually stores knowledge in your head,” Rhonda said. “That bitch from your hometown has made it so every word you read vanishes from your brain. Put that book back before you become a copywriter for Fox News and we’ll listen to some music while we think about what to tell Johnny and Kevin.”
Marsha tossed the book in a corner and walked to the table. “We’ll tell Johnny #### Eleanor decided to go to ### dance with someone on ### football team!” she bawled when she heard what she just said. “My ####!” she moaned. “My tongue ### my ####!”
Rhonda inserted a CD of the Baha Men singing Who let the dogs out? into a laptop computer. “Shut up, and listen to some music while I think!” she told her.
Inside the bedroom Eleanor and Alison both giggled. “Unlearning every word you read,” Eleanor said. “Is the damage permanent?”
“Common words can be learned again from a Dick and Jane primer,” Alison laughed. “Marsha won’t realize that she now doesn’t know what an organ or stimulus is until her next reproductive biology test.”
Rhonda was writing down names of football players in case Johnny or Kevin started asking questions. The music was blaring, but the sound of the refrigerator door banging open still rose above the Who who who who? A package of Ball Park Franks and a square of Colby-Jack slices appeared to open by themselves and seconds later five marching wieners wearing colonial era three cornered cheese hats jumped from the bottom rack to the kitchen floor followed by a mounted sausage riding a bottle of Heinz Catsup and three other packaged meats dragging a mustard cannon.
… the party was nice, the party was bumpin' …
Marsha Hicks screamed as a jar of Nalley’s Bread and Butter pickles opened and flung cucumber slices like tiny Frisbees across the room before turning over mid-air and spilling vinegar, dill and mustard seeds over her frazzled head.
… the poor dog show up! …
The Ball Park Franks marched over the smoking keyboard as the catsup bottle and the mustard burst like grenades sending Artic Circle’s secret sauce dripping from the ceiling, a lamp cover and the end of Rhonda Johnson’s nose.
She really want to skip town
Sparks began to erupt from the vinegar soaked laptop computer seconds before an outlet in the apartment caught fire …
Who let the dogs out?
and all the lights went out.
Insane laughter flew across the apartment as the living room window shattered and the sound of something falling then bouncing … and the sound of splitting wood came from the street below.
Marsha and Rhonda sat in the tomb like silence and the suffocating darkness made even more eerie by the loud music preceding it. They both heard the stealthy brushing sound as the eight foot long Bo Constrictor bumped the lid off from the sixty gallon terrarium and slid out … most likely searching for food. “When was the last time you fed your snake?” Rhonda whispered.
“It will probably be very hungry,” Marsha gasped.
“It’s time you tried a bit of your own magic,” Alison told Eleanor from the darkness of the bedroom.
“I don’t have a magical amulet and I don’t think yelling I believe is going to help us out of this jam,” Eleanor moaned. Tinkerbelle jumped on the bed and snuggled into her lap.
“What do you possess that you value above all other things,” Alison prodded her.
Eleanor sighed. “My dog and memories of my mother and father,” she said. “How happy they were before dad died and mom married that creep Harry Winston.”
“Then hold those thoughts in your mind and allow them to create a channel from you to what you want to happen,” Alison said.
Both girls laughed when they heard the apartment door bang open and Rhonda Johnson and Marsha Hicks ran screaming down the hall. Tinkerbelle barked as if she were chasing them away.
“I didn’t know your powers were so formidable,” Alison teased her.
“That’s not what I was imagining happening,” Eleanor confessed.
The lights in the apartment flickered on and seconds later Johnny Lang’s voice echoed in the hallway as he knocked on the open door.
“This place looks like a bar fight after a roller derby,” he laughed. “I wonder what’s up?”
“Some of the girls on campus are a little strange,” Kevin confessed. “But I like that.”
Inside the bedroom, Eleanor moaned as she stared into the closet mirror. Tinkerbelle ran in circles around her legs. “This is what I hoped would happen but … Oh my God! Now I look like a cow!”
“I can fix that,” Alison began to rub her amulet.