‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Two, Chapter 2

Alice Ferry, all stressed out after a week and a half of trying to find Tiffany, and with no leads from the police, decided she needed to walk it off. She put on her coat and went outside.

The night air, though cold, was refreshing. As she walked down the neighbourhood to a nearby park, she reflected on the past two decades of her life.

Back in her early twenties and almost finished her undergraduate degree in business, Alice really thought that Barry Manfred loved her. But a few days after learning he’d gotten her pregnant, he proved his love false by disappearing from her life without a trace. She’d never hear from him again.

Alice was at least lucky enough to have parents supportive enough to help her take care of her baby while she worked on her MBA, but her heartbreak was so great that she never wanted to risk trusting another relationship with a man again. She had to protect herself from further hurt.

Besides, giving birth to Tiffany ruined her figure.

For these reasons, she could never look at her daughter, or hear her voice, without thinking of all the pain her birth, her very conception, was associated with. Her family’s Catholicism had been the only reason getting an abortion was out of the question. The pain of Tiffany’s very existence made feeling affection for her daughter seem next to impossible. She felt guilty about this lack of love, but the pain she felt was too great to rise above.

At least that’s how it seemed to Alice.

She wanted to direct her anger and bitterness at Barry, but he was nowhere to be found, much less to direct her toxic feelings at. So she directed them, right or wrong, at his spawn instead.

His spawn.

She had difficulty accepting that Tiffany was hers, too.

So, now that she was gone, why couldn’t Alice be happy about it?

Guilt?

She was walking among the trees in the park now, shrouded in the darkness. She looked around herself with wide eyes and saw only differing shades of black and grey. She almost liked it. Part of her wanted to escape from life.

Look, she thought, if I find her, I’ll try to be nicer to her, OK?

Will you? a familiar female voice echoed in her ear.

“Tiffany?” Alice said, spinning around and still seeing only black and dark grey. Stupid, she thought. I didn’t say my promise out loud; how could she have heard it?

She listened.

Still, she thought, I did hear something…didn’t I?

She waited several more seconds for any sound, such as approaching steps.

Nothing.

I’m imagining things, she thought, then turned around and continued walking.

An opening in the park trees further off showed a bit of light and an exit from the darkness of the park. She started going in that direction.

She heard the snapping of a twig not from her steps.

She looked around again. It was still too dark to see.

“Is someone there?” she said.

She listened for an answer.

Silence.

She walked faster towards that exit.

Now she heard loud steps behind her.

She began to run. The loud steps were running, too.

She thought she heard Tiffany’s distinctive giggle.

I’m hearing things, she thought as she neared the exit and the light of the street lamps.

Though she was getting tired from running, something pushed her to run faster: a hand on her left shoulder.

She screamed, then ran out of the park. She stopped at the sidewalk, bent down, then took a moment to catch her breath. She turned her head, slowly and full of dread, to see who was behind her.

Only the trees of the park, and that black mouth she’d just run out of. Only she just remembered something.

That park had never had such a concentration of trees.

There shouldn’t have been a hole of darkness for her to run out of.

There should have been no blackness: the street lamps should have given enough light.

Indeed, just then, her hallucination dissolved before her eyes, and she saw the park as it had always been.

I’m going crazy, she thought with a shudder.

She continued walking. Within a minute, she was in the area of the neighbourhood where Tiffany had been hit with that block of ice.

She heard the giggle again.

She spun around and saw nobody. Eyes darting left and right, she checked everywhere behind which her daughter could have been hiding: bushes, cars on driveways, trees, houses.

Nobody.

She was tempted to shout at Tiffany to knock it off, but stopped herself for fear of making a fool out of herself. She continued walking.

She’d barely taken three steps when she thought she heard Tiffany’s voice again.

Mom?

She turned with a shaking body.

Tiffany was there, with the same ghostly appearance as Alexa’s: having pale skin, wearing a tattered black dress, with black rings around eyes of fiery red, unkempt hair, and a scowl.

Alice was so terrified of the apparition she saw that she hardly noticed the huge sledgehammer Tiffany was raising up, to bring it down on her mother’s skull.

CRACK!!!

Alice’s body hit the sidewalk, her blood flowing from her head and into the grass of a nearby lawn. As she slowly faded from the dark grey of unconsciousness to the black of death, she had a faint, dreamlike vision of four people looking down at her.

They were Tiffany, Alexa, Megan, and Furioso.

“Eww!” Tiffany’s ghost said, wincing at the bloody sight with the other three ghosts. “We have to clean up this mess? She always has to make things so difficult for us!”

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