The story so far:
There was a figure there…with its back to me. I couldn’t quite make out who it was…
It was too dark to see anything.
****! I didn’t have the porch light on.
I was contemplating running back to get the gun again when the figure turned around and drove its fist into the door again. I instantly recognized him.
With a sigh of relief I unlocked the door and pulled it open hard.
“Sheriff!” I exclaimed.
“Evenin’ Mr. Knox.” Came the serious reply.
A moment of uncomfortable silence passed as we stared at each other.
“If I say ‘Trick or Treat’ will ya ask me in?”
“Oh ****…yes, I’m so sorry. Please come on in.”
The Sheriff sauntered past me and shook the rain off in the foyer.
I slowly closed the door…peering suspiciously out through the opening into the dark rainy night.
“ Mr. Knox, I’m sorry to stop by at this hour and bother you but I did have a few questions I was hoping you could answer.”
I turned to face him.
“Sure…wha' cha' need?”
“Well, it’s just that I really want to build a solid case against this hypnotist guy and I need to understand a few more details.”
“Ahh, okay. You wanna come in and sit down.”
He glanced over his shoulder down the hallway, into the dining room where Bill was sitting with his pants unbuttoned, playing drums on the table with two wooden serving spoons.
“No, I think we can take care of this right here to be honest. Shouldn’t take but a minute.”
He straightened his stance and looked me in the eyes. The sheriff was a number of inches shorter than I was and with his thinning blond hair drenched from the rain he was even shorter. Not intimidating in stature however his eyes were piercing green and rather unsettling. His moustache was thick blond and heavy, with a tinge of yellow from years of tobacco use. He didn’t look particularly friendly either but I suspect that was one of the side effects of years on the job.
“This Preacher fella…you say he asked you to kill six people before midnight tonight, that right?”
“Ahh, yea. I mean, he told me that if I did that then he would give me my family back.”
“MmmHmm, and this is the family that was killed in that plane crash last year…right around Christmas waddenit?”
I cleared my throat, trying to swallow the emotion out of my voice.
“Yes. That’s right.”
“So, how you expect he was gonna do that? I mean, your families dead right. Not like their tied up in the mans basement somewhere. He aint gonna bring them back from the dead. You understood that didn’t you Mr. Knox.”
“Look Sheriff, I was confused…remember. The whole hypnotism thing. I didn’t understand anything that was going on. All I know is the son of a bitch told me to kill six people by midnight so he could have their souls…and…and he would somehow turn those golems…I mean, those poor people…he would turn them into my family.”
“Sounds pretty crazy to me.”
“No ****! Yea, it does to me too. But you try waking up to the smell of bacon being cooked by your dead wife! And…and…the sound of your dead kids playing! The guy is a hypnotist, you told me that yourself. He’s been getting people all over the state!”
“So what was you planning on doin Mr. Knox?”
I was dumbstruck.
“Plan on doing…what did I plan on doing?”
He reached in his pocket and pulled out a knife with a five-inch blade and demonic looking markings on it. I recognized it immediately.
“What were you planning on doing with this? But wait, before you answer that…I need to know Mr. Knox, did you follow my advice earlier and get yourself a gun?”
Suddenly his eyes flashed deep ink black and I saw his fist curl heavily around the handle of the knife.
“We had a deal Mr. Knox, and you blew it!”
I froze. It was him. The Preacher.
“I told you this would be one to remember didn’t I.”
He cocked his arm back for the strike.
A loud indecent bang shook the house. I saw a flash of red spurt out through the Preachers chest. His grip released on the knife and it dropped to the ground, making impact only seconds before his limp dead body.
I looked up and saw Bill standing in the hallway with the gun. It was smoking.
“Yea, I know. You think I just saved your **** life.”
“I think? I know! You’re my hero man!”
Bill began walking toward me slowly.
“You don’t understand Derek. I am not here to save you. I’m here to kill you.”
And just like that his eyes flashed black.
I stumbled backward and the door knob jammed into my back. I reached my arm around and tried to open it No luck. Instinct had caused me to lock it when the Sheriff had entered. I fumbled on trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
“Bill, what the **** man! Stop this.” I silently willed this to be some sort of joke.
I closed my eyes and told myself… ‘It’s just an illusion…‘It’s just an illusion.’
When I opened them back up he was only a few feet away. Grinning.
“I DON’T GET IT! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?”
“We had a deal Mr. Knox. And you haven’t held up your end of the bargain. So it’s time for you to give me your soul.”
“WAIT…that wasn’t the deal! I was going to get you six souls by midnight and you were gonna get me my family. Well I changed my mind. I’m not gonna do it. My family is dead and that’s where they should stay. Its GODS will!”
The Preacher, now somehow in Bills body, broke out in a ridiculous laugh.
“You forgot to read the fine print Mr. Knox.”
He reached down and picked the knife up off the floor. He held it close to his face and read: “I Derek Jeremy Knox, agree that if I do not fulfill my end of the bargain, I will immediately surrender my soul to the Preacher.”
“That’s **** and you know it.”
“It’s all written right here.” He held the knife up for me to see.
“Maybe. but not in English!"
The Preacher shook his head. "Of course its in English boy...read it agian!"
"I cant read that **** from here! Give it to me.”
I couldn’t believe he fell for it! He actually handed me the knife.
Without hesitation I snatched it from his grasp, turned it in my hand and plunged it into his neck.
The blood was immediate and hot as it jet out and splashed across my face.
The preacher, in Bills body, dropped the gun to the floor and sank to his knees. Holding his neck he stared at me in disbelief. Gasping for air I was able to discern his final words before he tumbled forward and died right over the already cooling corpse of the Sheriff:
“Why did you do this Derek? I saved your life?”
Had I killed Bill? Had he killed the Sheriff? Was the Preacher just taking over these bodies? Was he hypnotizing them?
I was so ****. I couldn’t believe I had killed Bill. Was any of it real? It was all happening too fast!
I leaned back against the door and put my hands to my face. I felt the sticky blood there. I started to cry. Was the sheriff ever real? Were they really aware that there was a psycho on the loose? Or was this **** really an agent of Hell? It didn’t matter. No one was going to believe me.
I suddenly realized what I had to do. A realization I had already had once before. Always trust your first instinct! I had to kill the mother ****.
I reached down and yanked the knife out of Bills throat. As I was standing back up, the Doorbell rang and nearly bowled me over backward.
I regained my equilibrium and clutched the knife tight. I was ready. Live or die…this was my fate.
I swung the door open and charged forward while I brought the knife down heavy.
I only had a moment to register the shocked look on her face before the knife sank into her tired eye socket, all the way to the hilt.
Sheila staggered backwards, lost her footing and tumbled down the four steps of my front porch. Her head hit the pavement and I heard a sound like a pumpkin being hit with a sledgehammer.
Was I losing my mind here?
In the distance I heard the faint sound of the phone ringing. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate. Everything was falling apart.
Or was it?
I opened my eyes and felt them burn. It felt good.
I walked back into the house and picked up the receiver in the living room.
“Well Hello Mr. Knox. I trust you are having an eventful Halloween.”
“My my but aren’t we playing the part tonight. I’m so proud!”
“ I do Mr. Knox. I do. However, killing me isn’t in the contract agreement. The agreement stated you had to provide me with six other souls and then I would provide you with your family. Remember?”
I said nothing. I only felt the thundering hatred in my heart growing fatter.
“Additionally Mr. Knox, if you kill me…well then, your never going to nuzzle the sweet supple breast of one Mrs. Susan Knox again. Go on Mrs. MILF, say something sexy to Daddy. Let your man know how much you miss him.”
It wasn’t happening. It was just hypnosis!
“…DEREK…Derek are you there? Please baby…help us! He’s got Megan and Andrew and…”
“That’s enough bitch!”
It was beyond my reasoning. My dead wife…talking to me on the phone?
“Believe it Mr. Knox. Now…according to my watch, it’s 11:22. That means you have less than an hour to complete your end of the bargain. And really…will it be that bad? I mean, your already half way there.”
I looked down at the bodies of Bill and the Sheriff. Still warm. Blood still seeping out of their wounds and into the cracks of my floorboards. I thought about my poor old neighbor Sheila. She was probably just coming over because she heard a loud noise…like a gunshot. **** nosy bitch!
“You just need three more now. And, Oh, I don’t know…maybe I can even help you a bit.”
I heard footsteps from behind me. I turned quickly and looked through the front door unto the porch. There stood Not-Susan and the two not my kids. Smiling at me. Not-Susan winked and licked her lips seductively.
It wasn’t real right? He was an illusionist. A hypnotist. He only mimicked Susan’s voice!
“Three more Derek. And only thirty eight minutes.” The preacher called through the phone.
“Now don’t you ever go saying I never gave ya nothin’!”