Part 1 here
Lea stood up gingerly, the woman perched beside her rose with her supporting her. Jerry thought his heart would burst; Lea was alive. He quickly looked around and sure enough the 3 guys on the floor were all moving, they were all starting to get up. None of them were dead! He gazed at Lea, she smiled back at him and he felt calm again.
Jerry suddenly couldn’t breathe, he realized he could see the woman behind her; all of the woman. Lea was transparent! He quickly turned to the guys and his heart sunk as he watched his friends get up, dust themselves off, and move towards Lea he could see straight through all them. Everyone else in the room was solid as a rock but the last 4 people that mattered in Jerry’s life were phantoms. Lea, precious Lea, was dead! Yet she was still so beautiful, if anything she looked even more angelic as she continued to move toward him. She took his hand gently in hers. And then she motioned toward Sean and the man Jerry thought of as the suit.
Sean looked as solid & slimy as ever when Jerry turned to look directly at them. But ‘the suit’ no longer looked human! He was all black from head to toe, black without even a suggestion of colour, blacker than the darkest midnight of Jerry’s imaginings. There was a suggestion of movement across his body; a liquid movement as if he was not actually solid but a liquid black mass held together by God knows what! He was all black and yet somehow Jerry could clearly make out every detail of his beautiful, terrible, face. His eyes were like liquid balls so black that they seemed to pull light into them, only to destroy it. Even then he still resembled a human, just not a human Jerry had ever seen. Until he laughed; a laugh Jerry prayed he would never hear again. His laugh cut through Jerry leaving him feeling cold and unsteady, and when he laughed he revealed his fangs.
Jerry screamed “Sean, what the hell are doing? Get away from that creature!”
Sean gave the creature a conspiratorial wink as it nodded, “Just get on with whatever it is you do, Buddy.”
Lea stood between the hallway door and the creature. The people who had been tending the guys had fled through the hole that had been a wall such a short time ago. The woman following Lea had left while Jerry was preoccupied with the creature. The stream of people running through the wall didn’t even glance towards the creature, not even one of them so much as turned their head in his direction. But without looking they all managed to give that corner a wide berth. It was clear now why the people were running, to get away from the creature. It wasn’t long before the stream dried up and only Lea and her crew were left with the creature, only ghosts, Jerry and the enthralled Sean.
Paulo & Mike were rubbing themselves all over in an almost comic way. They looked like they were checking pain spots to see if they were injured. Jerry was confused; ghosts didn’t feel pain, did they?
Wal staggered to Lea’s side as soon he could drag himself to his feet. Lea reached toward Sean; but of course he couldn’t see her, he had all the sensitivity of manure of course he couldn’t see spirits.
Lea had tears in her eyes when she turned back to Jerry. He couldn’t stand it. Of all the people in the room why did that bastard Sean have to survive? Why did Jerry survive? He was older than any of the others, and they all seemed to him to have more to give than he did. Lea looked so sad, Wal had put his arm around her. She looked so frail, as if she might collapse any second. What happened when a ghost fell over? Would she dissolve into mist and just float away? Jerry didn’t want to see that. He thought about turning away but then Lea smiled at him, he melted.
“Jerimiah, how did you die?” Lea asked gently.
“Francis Ford Coppola was directing a movie, it was gonna be a big one, I think it was called “Apocalypse Now”. It was gonna be great. I was filming, I think, no I’m sure I was filming a helicopter, then noise… Lotsa loud noise and fire I remember fire. Oh my god it was so quick! I barely noticed… I didn’t notice… I’m dead!”
Jerimiah, it’s time for you to rest,” Lea’s voice sounded like a song; a beguiling lullaby for a tired spirit. “Walk into the light!” her voice was gentle but insistent.
Richard Wallace moved his arms further around Lea trying to keep her warm. He didn’t need to understand who or what she was speaking to, she had his complete respect & trust, he just wanted to give her every protection he could give her.
Jerry turned & watched Wal pulling Lea away joining Paulo & Mike. The stayed close to one another as they moved hurriedly out of the hallway door. They had left their equipment behind them. Perhaps they would return for it during the day, perhaps with the police.
Darkness laughed; he settled his jet black eyes on the hapless Sean. He was still making grandiose plans completely oblivious to the reality of his situation. Darkness placed a hand on Sean’s shoulder and with the other grasped the handle of the door Wal & the others had just escaped through. As the door opened Jerry could no longer see the hallway. It was now a doorway into a dark black nothingness.
Sean Turbin was beyond help now. Jerry could feel himself being pulled towards the void. He dragged his gaze from the doorway before he too would be forced to follow the creature into the eternal night. He straightened up and strode quickly into the light.
Darkness laughed and the echoes bounced off every surface in the room; every brick in the fire place, every book, every smote of ash became a sounding board intensifying the chilling sound. The demonic laughter was a cacophony of humourless, merciless evil joy. A scream could be heard from beyond the doorway. Sean’s sudden realisation turned rapidly from shock to panic to abject terror. Now the scream was coming from Sean, swiftly changing to wordless gurgles of pain.
Darkness laughed once more, but now the echoes that returned sounded hollow & discordant. The echoes faded leaving only silence.
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