Chapter 32: Slipping Away
[A Stabbing Westward song. If you don’t know who Stabbing Westward is, look them up on iTunes right now. They are the soundtrack to everything I wrote in seventh grade.]
The next day found Dawn Sullivan in her room packing. I’ve got to get out of here. I’ve got to leave, before everything gets even more out of control.
As she was packing her things, she felt a chill rising up her spine. She quickly spun around to find her dearest friend Jenni behind her. She rais her hand to the small of her neck. “Jenni, you scared me half to death.”
Jenni seemed to speak like a robot. “Dawn.”
“I know who you are.”
Dawn looked at her questionally. “Whatever Jenni.
“No really Dawn. I know who you are. You may not realize it, but I’m--”
She was cut off by Sela walking into the room. Sela cleared her thoat and looked from Dawn to Jenni. Sela was always a perceptive girl, and Dawn kind of figured that she had a pretty good idea of what Jenni was about to tell Dawn. “Jenni, don’t you have something you should be doing right now Sela?” [huh?]
“Yes, of course Sela.” And she was gone. [Since when does Gracie back away from Lauren?]
Then Sela looked at Dawn. Dawn wanted to tear her dark green eyes away from Sela’s blue ones, [Didn’t Dawn have blue eyes?] but she couldn’t. She didn’t know why, but she felt like Sela was reading her mind. [I think Lauren spent the last fifty years becoming a witch with mind controlling powers.]
Suddenly Sela dropped her gaze. “As you wish it Julie.” Sela turned around, but then quickly turned back around, walked quickly up to Dawn, grabbed her wrist and squeezed tight. “But I’d unpack my things if I were you. There’s no way in hell that you’re leaving this cabin.” And then, she was really gone. She left so quickly, it was almost as if she had dissinigrated in the air.
Dawn looked at her wrist, it was red.
If there was one thing she knew about Sela, it was that Sela was not human. But what was she? [I can squeeze my own wrist hard enough to make it red. Does that mean I’m not human, too?]
Chapter 33: To hell and Back
Gracie was sitting by the lake with her feet dangling in the water. It was a thing she did when she was worried. There was something Lauren was not telling her, and it had her scared to death.
What was going on? Everything was going so perfect till someone’s mind started wondering. [You call killing innocent children and teenagers perfect? God I hope she comes to a bad end.] Gracie was not sure who that person was, her senses were still not as keen as Lauren’s. [Does that mean these weird alien body hopping spirits get psychic powers, too?]
At least now Lauren was being civil towards her.
Gracie raise her eyes from the water to the sun. What the hell? It was red. Deep dark blood red. The sun. The whole sky. It was covered in that deep dark red. [Do you think this has anything to do with that crazy prophecy even crazier Phoebe made as she pulled the hair from her dead step-sister’s decapitated head?]
Then she heard voices behind her laughing. She turned around shocked to see a deep cracked desert. What’s going on?
She started to run. She kept running and running until she came to a scene. It was a strange scene. One she had never seen before, she was sure of that. But why did it seem so familiar?
“Lauren!” she yelled out to the bottomless pits of this hell hole. And then--as if to answer her--the ground started moving and shakin violently.
Then the ground split open in two. Gracie ever-so-slowly started to lose her balance and slip in.
And when she fell, she fell forever and never hit the bottom, and never would. [Stolen from Christopher Pike, again.]
* * * * *
Lauren looked down at Gracie, dreaming about going to hell. Lauren knew she could make the dream end right that moment if she wanted. But now, she wanted to see Gracie squirm. [Guess she didn’t change that much.] As Lauren herself had done many times over the years.
Lauren looke up at the sun. She loved staring at it. When she was alive in Scottland years earlier, she was always one of those people who could stare and stare at the sun, and not even flinch. [So she was always a little cooky.]
But Lauren knew things. Things she wasn’t supposed to know. She knew what would happen when they went through the gateway. She had known for the last ninety-seven years that little Julie had followed her and Gracie had followed them. Lauren knew that Gracie’s love for her daughter was greater than words could say. [What’ve you been smoking? Gracie was a terrible mother.] Since her husband Frank had died before Julie was even born, Gracie had been very careful with Julie. Trying to make sure she didn’t lose her like she lost Frank. Doesn’t look like she did too well, she often thought.
Maybe she was wrong to think that, or maybe she was right. Either way anyway the wind blows, life is like a black rose. [Oh my God! I used that in this story! This was kind of my motto at the time. I think I even signed yearbooks with this saying. It was also the tagline for, you guessed it, Any Way the Wind Blows. I even wrote a poem based on it.]
Lauren knew one other thing as well. Justin’s, Gracie’s, and even hers; time on Earth is almost over. She knew that it would be over in the next few days, that’s why she arranged it, even thought it was Jenni’s parents sopposed idea. Lauren knew mind control all right. [Thanks for clarifying.]
And Lauren kenw that each and every day Dawn, or Julie, was getting closer to solving the riddles in her dreams. But if Dawn solved them too soon, it could be dangerous. [Didn’t Dawn already figure out that she’s Julie and Gracie’s her mom like fifteen chapters ago?]
Just like Gracie was getting closer to the truth. But that wasn’t dangerous. Not to Gracie at least. Especially on this side.
Lauren sat down and snapped her fingers. Automatically, Graced woke up and stared at Lauren.
“Do you understand Gracie?”
“Yes, Lauren.” [I wish I did!]
Lauren looked into her eyes to make sure that she was sincere. And she truly was.
“Come one, Gracie, it’s time.”
“Time for what?”
“You know, Gracie, you know better than anybody.”
Gracie looked down at the ground trying to figure out what Lauren meant. And Lauren felt pity for her for some reason.
A long time ago Gracie burried the answer deep within herself. And now she was trying to bring it back up above the surface.
“Come on anyways. It’s time to confront Julie.”
Chapter 34: Get it Julie
Dawn was pacing back and forth across her room trying to figure out the poems. Both of them that were told to her in her dream. [Not again…]
And the day came
That the risk
To remain closed in a bud
Became more difficult
Than the risk it took
One bright day on a sunny night two dead bous stood up to fight back to back. They faced each other, pulled out their swords, and shot each other. The deaf policeman heard the noise, ran right over and shot the dead boys. If you don’t believe my lie is true, then ask the blind man, he saw it too.
These two poems keep running throught her head again and again.
And then, it clicked.
The two dead boys were Gracie and Lauren. [Oh wow, it did have some meaning to the story! Although…stupid.]
The blind man, and the deaf policeman, were both her, Julie Louise Deck.
And it was true, she had heard and sene them, but pretended that she hadn’t, so in a way, she was deaf and blind.
And about that other one, that was true as well, she was afraid of what would happen if she were to tell someone exactly who and what she is or was.
She knew. She finally got the picture.
Lauren was going to be pissed.
Chapter 35: The Joining
The four spirits of the passed [possessed?] were gathered together in the cabin that night.
That fateful night of all nights. Everything was changing. And changing fast. None of them except he intriguing Lauren Sanders, knew the hell they were pointed for. And noen of the others cared. And they always wondered why.
* * * * *
That night was full of excitement, wrath, envy, and intrigue. [I was really milking this story for all it was worth…]
Dawn was sitting by the fire with Jenni. The real Jenni. Dawn could tell. And as for Nicholas [Justin] and Sela, well, Dawn couldn’t give less of a damn about them.
“How are you doing Jenni?”
“Fine,” Jenni looked at Dawn. “I haven’t bee in here in a while. Have I killed anybody else?” [I feel kind of bad for Jenni, actually.]
“Don’t ask me that kind of question.”
“But I need to know. Tell me Dawn!”
“You don’t want to know the answer.” [Dawn, you’re a bitch. You know damn well she didn’t kill anyone. There’s no one else there to kill.]
Then Sela and Nicholas walked in. “Dawn, say goodbye to Jenni.”
“Sela, what are you talking about?” Jenni asked.
“I think I know,” Dawn said looking at Jenni. “Goodbye Jenni.”
“But. . . .” Her faint whimper carried across the room a slight chill. And Dawn knew she would never see the real Jenni again.
“Goodbye,” she whispered.
Then Gracie transformed before them. It was truly fascinating to watch it before her very own eyes.
“Hello Gracie, Julie, Justin, we’re finally one big happy family.” Sela took a seat on the couch.
“What the hell are you talking about, Sela?”
Sela smiled at Dawn’s remark. “Gee Julie, you’re about as perceptive as your mother.” [I’m starting to like Lauren.]
“Leave her out of this Lauren. This is between you and me. It has nothing to do with Julie or Justin.” The two women rose to their feet. [Catfight!]
“Mother,” Dawn murmered.
“What?” Gracie said sending a questioning look at Julie.
“Look, the four of us are together, that’s what counts.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Gracie asked. [Yes, please elaborate.]
“Auntie Lauren.” Dawn looked up at her mother and her half-aunt. [Completely pointless plot twist!]
Gracie and Lauren were half sisters. They had known that for years, and that’s one of the things that made their fight so illusive.
“We’re all together.” She looked at Dawn. “Julie,” then she looked at Gracie. “Meet your mother.”
Dawn just stared at her. “I know,” she said pitifully. [Yeah, I wouldn’t be so thrilled with Gracie being my mother, either.] But then Lauren broke Gracie’s concentration when she screamed. “Lauren,” Gracie said now looking at her dear old friend.
But it was the strangest thing, just as Gracie and Justin went to see what was wrong with Lauren, they felt the strange sensation of death as well. And as Dawn stared at them amused, she notice something, their original souls were separating from the bodies they possessed. Justin from Nicholas, Gracie from Jenni, and Lauren from Sela. It was the most amazing thing she had ever witnessed. Then something started to disturb her. [Started to?] If they were all beings from other worlds, why wasn’t it happening to her? [Good point!]
Then as quickly as the process had begun, it was over. Little Julie looked at Gracie and Lauren in their original form, Gracie with her brown hair and blue eyes, and Lauren with her blond hair and blue eyes.
They seemed to be frozen in time though, they looked like there were over two-hundred years before. [Umm…ninety-seven.] Then--oddly enough--they started to kill each other. [Who would've guessed they'd ever try to do that?] Just tried to break them apart while Dawn just sat crouched down in the corning, staring, with seemingly vacant eyes.
“Momma, Auntie Lauren,” she jumped up. “Have you no sense at all?”
And as she said that, and they stopped, they all felt an uncomfortable cold around them.
“What’s going on?” Lauren said.
“I don’t know. You’re the one who seems to know everything that’s going on,” Gracie said to Lauren sarcastically.
Then, to all of they’re surprises, the gateway appeared. [This is so badly written, yet I’m finding this part so hard to snark at… :(]
“Oh my God,” Dawn muttered.
“It’s back,” Lauren said.
“I think we should go through it,” Justin said. “And get out of this hell hole.”
“Yeah,” Gracie and Lauren said in unison [I spelled it right!] and looked at each other.
“Well let’s go.” And Justin went through.
“Julie, let’s go,” Gracie said to her daughter.
“No momma. This is my world,” she looked around the cabin. “I don’t belong in your world Momma. You go.”
“No Julie not without you. You’re my baby. My little girl.”
“Momma, I can’t go.” [You ditched me to go partying with Lauren in another dimension. You guys spent the next century trying to kill each other. You killed most of my friends. You killed my little sister. Like HELL I’d go anywhere with you, bitch!]
“Let’ her stay, Gracie,” Lauren said from behind them.
“She’s right Momma, go.”
“No. I’m not leaving without you Julie.”
“Momma, you have to, you can’t stay here.”
Lauren tugged at Gracie’s hand. “Let’s go. Before it closes up.”
“I’ll never forget you Julie.”
“I wont’ either Julie.”
“Goodbye Momma. Goodbye Auntie Lauren.” And then they were gone too. [Umm…that was a little anti-climactic.]
Chapter 36: Scottland
“Well this sure seems like de’ja vu, now doesn’t it Gracie?” Lauren asked.
* * * * *
When they were at the place where Gracie’s house had been ninety-seven years before, they stopped. Shocked. Absolutely nothing about the house had changed.
“What do you think happened, Lauren?”
“I don’t know, Gracie, I just don’t.”
The two old friends and half-sisters joined hands and went into the big, beautiful house.
Then Gracie’s long-lost husband, Frank Deck, ran up to them and picked Gracie up. “Gracie, Gracie, Gracie, wehre on Earth have you been. I was worried about you.” He looked at Lauren. “Well hello there, Lauren. How are you?” [Why is he alive now?]
“Fine, what year is it?”
“It’s 1899, what else did you expect?’
Lauren smiled and looked at Gracie, who was staring up at Frank, smiling.
“How’s Julie?” Lauren suddenly asked. She didn’t know why, she just had to know.
Frank looked at her strangely. “Julie died while Gracie was giving birth to her. Right Grcie.”
“Of course Frank.” [What was that bit she said about never forgetting Julie?]
* * *
Gracie never remembered what truly happened. It was as if nothing that ever was, ever is. But Lauren knew. Lauren always knew. As did Julie. But Julie was no longer her. She never existed before 1982. Not like Gracie, or Lauren, or even Justin perhaps. But nothing was ever as it seemed. Not even for poor Dawn. [Does this make any sense at all?]
Jennifer Miller awoke to Sela Sullivan shaking her awake.
“Sela, what do you want?”
“What’s going on.” Jenni looked at her, she was scared. Truly scared.
Jenni got up and looked around. The last thing she remembered was talking to Dawn. Dawn had said goobye to her. Why though. Why did she say goodbye.
Jenni looked over on the table and something caught her attention. “What’s that?” she muttered.
She walked over and on her way there she almost tripped on the body of a handsome boy. Who’s he? she thought. Oh well. [Yeah, there’s a strange guy in your parent’s cabin and Dawn’s missing. That’s EXACTLY what I’d think.]
She went to the table and saw a knife. Jenni picked it up and held it tight. It felt good to hold. It had an ivory handle. [The knife that killed Chloe! Very smart Jenni!]
Then a note on the table caught her eye. She quickly picked it up.
That’s Dawn’s handwriting, she thought. Quickly, she read it:
Dear Jenni, Bye the time you read this I will be long gone. Don’t ask me why I’m leaving, I just have to make a new life for myself. You have always been my closest and dearest friend, and I will miss you a lot. I have good news for you, you did not kill anyone, someone else did. Please say goodbye to Melanie, Justine, and my family for me. Thank you Jenni. Sincerely yours, Dawn Sullivan. P.S.: You wont’ be having any more blackouts Jenni. Goodbye dawn, she thought. Goodbye.
[That’s it? Really? What a crap ending! We don’t know what happened to Dawn, or Justin. Did Gracie feel any kind of remorse whatsoever for killing all those people? And why did Dawn run away? Didn’t she have any idea how much worse she would make it for her family and for Jenni?]
As the end credits roll I imagine Journey’s Any Way You Want It blaring in your ears and the following appearing on your screen.
Martha and William died in the influenza outbreak of 1901. Their parents were very sad.
Justine had to take a lot of therapy. It’s still not helping.
Melanie became a lawyer, then a judge and got her own show on Fox.
The two old men who live in the house by the park delight in terrifying their grandchildren with the horrific tale of finding Chloe Sullivan’s mutilated corpse in the lake.
Jonathon was relieved of his position as head of the Evil Bodiless Spirit Guild when a couple of pot heads wandered into the dimension and he lost his temper and beat them with his mallet. Even though they’re spirits and it doesn’t hurt, the board found his behavior very unprofessional.
Dan never got over the loss of Debbie. In high school he found comfort in the arms of his young, attractive male shop teacher. Eventually they were found out and have since made their rounds on the talk show scene.
Phoebe is still committed in an insane asylum. She spends her days chanting to herself, “I killed Thalia! I killed Thalia! Thatlia’s dead! Thalia’s dead!”
Officer Adams was written up on arresting a minor without informing the parents. Eventually he was fired and now lives in his mother’s basement, watching his DVD boxed sets of Family Guy over and over and over and over and…
The real Sela and Nicholas hooked up at the cabin and eventually married. Initially they had trouble having children but though invitro had a set of nine-tuplets and are having their own reality TV-show debut this fall on TLC.
The Sullivan and Miller families cashed in on their daughters' tragic tales by selling the book and movie rights to the highest bidder. The movie was a huge success and made Creston--or is it Harrington--the most visited tourist attraction in Delaware--or is it California?
Dean Sullivan played himself in the movie, catapulting himself to stardom. He’s very excited to be playing Aro in New Moon.
After Jenni, Sela, and Nicholas returned without Dawn, Jenni was taken into custody and spent the next ten years in a mental hospital muttering “One bright day on a sunny night…” You know the one. In 2006 she was finally released into her parents custody. They still live in the house with Phoebe killed Thalia. And they still make her sleep in the room where the murder took place.
Justin got stuck in a wormhole on his way back to his own dimension where his soul was torn to itty bitty shreds.
Frank caught influenza during the 1901 outbreak. After his death Gracie--what else?--killed herself.
Lauren found her mind control powers to be very lucrative and became the emperor of Scotland in her dimension.
Dawn eventually found out that running away isn’t such a good idea when you’re a 14-year-old girl with no clue how the world works. She was forced into prostitution and had a bout with drug addiction. Eventually she decided to come home to her parents but was furious when she discovered they’d sold the book and movie rights to her story. She went to the publishers to tell them the TRUE tale but after hearing it they laughed in her face. Later that day she got a call from Weekly World News offering her a position as a journalist. She took the job.