‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Four, Chapter 1

Some time after the achievement of her revenge, Alexa’s ghost reappeared before those of Megan and Tiffany. They looked at her apparition with mixed feelings.

Do you feel satisfied, now that you’ve destroyed Boyd and Denise? Tiffany asked.

Yes, Alexa said. Completely. She grinned gloatingly.

Are you sure about that? Megan asked.

Why would you doubt me? Alexa said. Of course I’m sure.

It’s just that…here in Hell, we burn, melt, and suffer, Megan said. Satisfaction seems so far away, so unattainable, even after receiving revenge, as I got on my father.

Achieving revenge is a satisfaction all in itself, Alexa assured Megan. Even in this hopeless place.

I suppose so, Megan said, looking away from Alexa.

Why do you have doubts? Tiffany asked. Don’t you want to get revenge on Lynne and Herman for raping you?

Oh, yes, of course I do, Megan said. Every second that those two are still alive, I burn in a rage. Their every heartbeat is an insult to me.

So, go after them while you still have the opportunity, Tiffany said. Make them suffer, as we suffer.

They have no right not to suffer, Megan acknowledged with a scowl and a snarl. I hate that they’re happy.

Then get them, Alexa said. Ruin them. Why do you hesitate about your revenge? What’s stopping you, Hamlet?

Oh, I don’t know, Megan said, still not wanting to look at Alexa. How much of our burning and melting is just our sentence here in Hell for suicide, though; and how much of it do you think could be because of how much we’ve let our hate and anger turn us into murderous monsters? Aren’t we turning into the very bullies that we despise?

I don’t care if I’ve become a monster, or a demon deserving to be in Hell, Alexa said with a frown of hate. We’re in Hell and suffering anyway; it makes no difference if we get revenge or not as far as our fate’s concerned. But it makes a lot of difference if we suffer here and let our bullies get away with what they did to us, or if we make them pay.

I agree, Tiffany said. I groan in agony as each day passes and I don’t get revenge on Fay and George for what they did to me. We’ve followed Furioso’s advice about waiting to get revenge later, after cooling off after killing our parents. I’ve waited long enough: I will definitely get Fay and George.

We’ll suffer either way, Megan, Alexa said. But we can make them suffer, too, and we’ll show our strength, our power. Aren’t you tired of being weak? Make Lynne and Herman weak instead. Enjoy it. I enjoyed making Boyd and Denise weak.

But you killed their children and spouses, too, Megan said. You killed innocent children, and really violently. They never did you any harm.

Oh, who cares about them? Alexa said with so cold a face, it was as if her burning and melting had stopped and reversed, making her almost into an ice sculpture instead.

You don’t have to harm anyone other than Lynne and Herman, Megan, Tiffany said. Just hurt those two alone, if the idea of hurting innocent people bothers you. It makes no difference to me. We’re in Hell: having a moral conscience here is rather pointless, don’t you think?

I guess you’re right, Megan said. But I’m getting only Lynne and Herman. No one else.

Do what you like, Tiffany said.

Furioso appeared before the three spirits.

Are you ready to face Lynne and Herman, Megan? he asked her.

Megan looked over at Alexa again and winced.

Yes, I guess so, she said with a sigh.

Megan and Furioso disappeared, off to find the two targets of her revenge.

Tiffany now looked at Alexa’s apparition and winced.

You have no regrets over how you got even with Boyd and Denise, do you? she asked Alexa.

None at all, Alexa said with a rigid tone in her voice, though her face and body were anything but rigid.

In fact, her apparition showed her skin melting and dripping down to her feet, like the wax of an almost used-up candle.

‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Three, Chapter 4

Denise put the Pepsi and Fanta bottles on the kitchen counter, then she opened a drawer to get some straws. As she put her hand in to get them, she heard a whisper from behind.

Hello, Denise.

Startled, she spun around to find the speaker. Though the girl she saw looked ghost-like, the face was familiar enough. Denise gawked at that face in disbelief for several seconds, her jaw dropping.

“Alexa?” she whispered.

The ghost smirked.

Then it flew inside Denise’s body.

She gasped, then froze.

Her brain was now thinking thoughts that weren’t her own.

Terrifying thoughts.

Thoughts that couldn’t be expelled from her mind.

The baseball bat in the hall closet. Get it. Get a knife out of the drawer, too.

After getting a steak knife out of another kitchen drawer and putting it in her back jeans pocket, then putting her shirt over the handle to hide it, Denise walked out of the kitchen and into the hall like an automaton, with absolutely no ability to stop herself. She approached that closet with helpless dread.

All the while, she could hear her son noisily playing with his Star Wars toys.

You hate that noise, don’t you? Alexa’s voice rasped in Denise’s ears. You know you want to stop it, and there’s only one way to do it.

Denise couldn’t say no. She couldn’t even think it, as hard as she tried to.

She opened the closet door and picked up the bat.

She closed the door and took the bat with her down the hall to the living room. She couldn’t believe she had no ability to stop, drop the bat, and just return to the kitchen to get the drinks.

But she knew exactly what she was meant to do with the bat.

She couldn’t stop herself. She couldn’t say no to Alexa’s ghost. She couldn’t think any thoughts of objection to the ghost’s plan.

Alexa had total control over her mind and body.

Denise remembered how she’d bullied Alexa back in high school, but she couldn’t muster an apology, as sincere as it would have been. She couldn’t even let a tear roll down her cheek, over what she was being forced to do to her boy.

As she approached little Jameson with the bat, his voice, still imitating light sabre sounds, grew louder and more obnoxious. Her possessed brain was making her hate her son’s noises.

Violence is the only way to deal with anything you don’t like, Alexa’s voice told her. You know that. You’ve known it your whole life. Oh, sure, you’ve tried to suppress your rage against the world, you’ve pretended to be a good, loving mother, but you know, deep down, that that’s not the real you, Denise. Swing that bat. Beat him to death with it. You know you want to.

She was standing right behind him now. He just kept on playing and making those noises. He didn’t know she was there with that bat. He’d even forgotten about the Pepsi.

She raised the bat high over her head.

That noise is really annoying, isn’t it? Alexa asked. Little dorks like him deserve to be beaten, don’t they?

Denise kept that bat over her head, but knew she wouldn’t be able to stop it from coming crashing down on his head. She also knew why the bat stayed up above her head for the moment, why it wouldn’t come down just yet.

She was being made to wait for him to see her.

The waiting was also cruel suspense.

There was nothing she could do to stop it. The alien intelligence controlling her mind wouldn’t let her scream out a warning; it wouldn’t let her weep; it wouldn’t let her feel any affection for little Jameson.

It forced her to feel only murderous rage.

Still making the loud light sabre noises, he finally looked behind, saw her legs, then looked up at her.

He barely had time to frown at the sight of the baseball bat in her hands.

CRACK!!!

After that first blow bashed the boy’s skull to bloody pieces, she brought the bat down again and again, with many more a clubbing of his bones and back to finish him off.

He just lay there on his front, a motionless, bloody mess.

…and finally, she regained control of her mind and body.

She fell to her knees and dropped the bat.

She screamed a deafening wail of grief that went unbroken for the next ten seconds. Then she took in a hoarse breath and screamed again, louder and longer.

“I didn’t do this!” she yelled. “Something else…made me do this! Who?!

Alexa’s ghost reappeared before her, smiling.

“You!” Denise hissed. “You fucking bitch! You made me kill my son! What I did to you back in school was nowhere near as bad as this! I didn’t deserve this! He didn’t deserve this! I went to prison for my crimes! I reformed myself! I paid my dues!”

She picked up the bat and rose to her feet. She swung it at the gloomy apparition, hitting only her furniture as it swept through Alexa’s transparent spectral image. The ghost laughed at Denise’s futile attempt at revenge.

How does it feel to be the weak one, Denise? Alexa whispered. But as you can see, you still have your violent nature. All I did was reawaken it in you.

“I would never have been violent to Jameson!” Denise screamed, no longer swinging the bat in exhaustion. “You made me do that. I should have killed you back in high school.”

You did, Alexa said. You and that prick, Boyd, drove me to commit suicide. But I’m not finished with you yet.

Outside, Denise heard the door of their car shut. Her husband was about to walk through the front door.

One of the first things he’d see was little Jameson’s body in a pond of blood on the living room floor.

Before Denise could say or do anything, she felt Alexa fly back into her body. A cruel look on her face replaced the grief-stricken despair that had been on it just a few seconds before.

She picked up Jameson’s body and took it out of the living room.

Jack opened the front door and stepped in.

“Honey?” he called out as he walked down the hall to the living room. “I’m home. I’m really hungry. Could you please make me a…what the fuck?”

He saw that pool of red staining the living room carpet. He saw some broken things and dents in some of the furniture.

Was there a break-in? he wondered, trembling all over and stepping slowly and quietly into the living room. I thought I heard screaming as I drove in. Is the intruder…are the intruders…still here?

He walked over to the bloody baseball bat and picked it up.

He crept out of the living room and reached the entrance to the kitchen, listening for any sounds that might indicate an intruder. Any time his feet made the slightest creak, or if his breath was at all audible, he got mad at himself.

I must not give away my position, he thought.

No one was in the kitchen. He didn’t want to go in there for fear of his squeaking shoes telling the intruder…or intruders…where his was.

He went back across the living room and to the stairs leading up to the bedrooms. He noticed a few drops of blood here and there, suggesting where the intruder/intruders had gone.

He went up the stairs with painstaking slowness, careful not to make any noise, but slow also out of terrified reluctance to find out whose blood he’d seen on the living room carpet.

He reached the top of the stairs and looked around the hall leading to the bedrooms. No one was there, but a few drops of blood led the way to the bedrooms.

He crept over to his and Denise’s bedroom. He listened at the door. He heard the sound of something knocked over. He took a deep breath in and put his hand on the doorknob. He turned it ever so slowly and quietly.

He pushed the door open with the same slow, silent care. He saw mostly darkness and shadow, for the curtains were closed over the window. He heard a shuffling movement.

As soon as he flicked on the light switch, he felt something knock against his left leg, something that had leapt from the dresser drawer, knocking over a bottle of Denise’s skin moisturizer. It ran out of the room, scaring the shit out of him.

It was their cat.

“Jesus Christ, Snowball,” he whispered as their white cat continued running down the hall to the stairs. Then, remembering he had to be quiet, he put his finger to his lips. He looked down at the hall carpet. The drops of blood hadn’t stopped at their bedroom.

He continued his slow, quiet steps over to Jameson’s bedroom. He saw blood on the doorknob.

Oh, please, God, no! he thought as he opened the door, the bat in his other hand ready to swing.

This room was similarly dark and shadowy, the curtains also closed; but he could make out a short, small silhouette of a human being lying on the bed.

Please, let him be OK, he thought as he reached for the light switch. He turned it on.

Jameson’s body lay there, grotesque and disfigured from the beating he’d received, blood staining the bedsheets.

Jack’s eyes and mouth agape, he could produce no sound other than a hoarse gasp. He just stood there, frozen and stupefied.

Denise flew out from behind the opened door with that knife. She dug it deep in his gut.

The pain of the stab was nothing compared to the shock he felt from seeing the inexplicable malevolence in his wife’s eyes. He dropped the bat and fell to his knees.

“Denise…why?” he grunted as he looked up at her and her hateful expression.

He fell to her feet, surrounded in his blood.

She regained control of herself, then screamed at the top of her lungs again. “What am I supposed to do now, Alexa?”

You have the knife, the grinning ghost said. Use it on yourself.

She did.

***************

A few days later, the local newspaper reported the double murder/suicide, Denise’s naked body found in the bathtub filled with bloody water, her wrists slashed.

How such a family, known all over their community to have been so happy and loving, could have ended so tragically seemed a mystery to all…until a little research dug up her criminal past. It was assumed that her old violent ways had never been fully extinguished.

‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Three, Chapter 3

Denise Charlton, 38, had gone through quite a transformation over the years. Had she, at the age of eighteen, seen what kind of person she’d become twenty years later, she’d have never believed her eyes.

Still, the transformation did occur. It occurred out of sheer necessity. There was simply no way she could have sustained herself by continuing with her juvenile delinquency. Her violent ways had to stop.

It had all started with her abusive drunk of a father, an ongoing problem she’d known as far back as she could remember. As a little girl, she’d had to endure seeing that piece of shit get pissed and beat her mom; little Denise would get plenty of hits from him herself.

Now, when he attacked her, her trauma response wasn’t freeze, as was the case with her timid mother. She hated the way her mom was too afraid to fight back, so Denise was resolved never to deal with her dad in that way. Though the beatings she’d get were far worse than those her mother got, and though Denise always lost her fights with her old man, at least she made sure that bastard got a few dents on his own body, too.

Her fight response became her way of dealing with everybody. She was determined to let the whole world know she wasn’t going to take shit from anybody, and if anybody was stupid enough to give her shit about anything, she’d fuck him up good and proper.

Because of her attitude, she got into a lot of fights in the schoolyard…and no, she wasn’t afraid to fight boys, either. She’d fight with people at school, on the streets, and at any part-time job she ever-so-briefly had. She was a potential menace–Denise the Menace, everyone called her–to anyone who had the bad luck of crossing her path, and she was damned proud of that.

She started getting in trouble with the law, typically charged with assault and battery, at around the age of fifteen. Sometimes she’d get caught vandalizing–throwing rocks in windows, spray-painting rude words on buildings–or there was the occasional petty theft. But usually it was her and her gang of bad girls beating people up, out of sheer boredom.

Well, one night, months after the disappearance of Alexa, Megan, and Tiffany, Denise took her violent ways too far. That night, she and her gang assaulted a middle-aged woman and put her in the hospital. Denise was the ringleader, and the one who gave the woman the worst of the beatings, so she got the harshest punishment: five years imprisonment.

During her first year in prison, she stewed in a rage, angry at how unfair the world had always been to her. She got into plenty of fights with the other female convicts. But early into her second year, after a nasty fight that got her face bloodied and her ass in solitary confinement for a week, she found herself forced to rethink her life.

Though the preaching of the prison priest only made her roll her eyes, he did say one thing that made her reflect: “Anger is the enemy. Anger is a poison. If you don’t cure it, your hate will kill you one day.”

Indeed, she thought as she sat all alone in that room and sulked. Look at where my hatred and anger have led me. I have to stop fighting all the time. Maybe Mom was right to have been such a wimp.

She resolved, once she got out of solitary confinement, to make efforts to control her hostility to the world. Naturally, it was hard at first: she got into a few fights after getting out, but they were fewer, and she was pulling her punches for the first time.

After a few months, she was surprised with herself how rarely she was being even verbally abusive. The others in the prison were even more surprised, and after another year and a half of good behaviour on her part, she was considered for early release.

She had a parole hearing, and after making it clear how sincerely remorseful she was for not only having beaten up that woman, but also for all the hurt she’d needlessly caused others, she was released halfway through the fourth year of her sentence.

She found work–menial labour, but it was enough to get by. Her parole officer never had any complaints about her. She continued to be amazed at her transformation.

A few years later, she met a man, Jack Drew, a nice man, totally the opposite of her father. Jack was gentle, he never drank, and he managed to revive a belief in her mind that there actually are good people in the world. After two years of dating, they got married.

She was thirty when she gave birth to their son, Jameson. She lay in bed at the hospital, and when the nurse put the newborn baby in her arms, and her husband was standing by her, tears ran down her cheeks. She’d not only escaped the hell of hate and anger; she’d entered the world of love.

Notions of wanting to hurt people had become alien to her on this first gazing into her baby’s eyes. Now she felt only nurturing instincts, the drive to help, to give comfort, to remove hurt.

Again, she was amazed at how much she’d changed.

Years went by, and she was a dedicated mother. Taking care of little Jameson was a joy. Even when he was difficult, and outright annoying–which was not infrequent–her first instinct was almost always patience and kindness, rarely anger. He’d have to have been an extraordinary brat to make her as much as raise her voice.

So one morning, 38-year-old Denise was with her eight-year-old boy in the living room while Jack was at work. He was playing with his Star Wars action figures while she was watching TV.

He was imitating light sabre noises as he had Rey and Kylo Ren fighting. Really getting into it, he was also getting really loud.

“Keep it down, honey,” she said. “I can’t hear the TV over you.”

He kept at it at the same volume.

She sighed and said, “Fine.” She picked up the remote and turned up the volume. He made louder light sabre noises.

She sighed again, but before she could open her mouth to tell him to play quieter, a commercial came on. She decided to get a drink from the kitchen.

Before she got up, though, she looked over at Jameson. The sight of her cute little boy, so happy playing with his toys, disarmed her annoyance at his loudness. She got up and walked over to him.

“Look out!” she said playfully, her tickling fingers poised for attack. “The Emperor is going to zap you, Rey!”

She got her fingers on Jameson’s little belly and began tickling. He screamed and giggled, dropping his action figures.

“Stop!” he yelped. “Mom, stop!” He giggled and screamed some more.

She stopped, then gave him a big hug and a kiss on his chubby left cheek. “Want a Pepsi from the fridge?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said, nodding with enthusiasm.

“What’s the magic word?”

“Please.”

“OK, one Pepsi, coming right up.” She got up and went over to the kitchen. He returned to his loud light sabre noises.

She stood by the fridge, and as she opened the door, she looked back, with a smile, into the living room at her boy.

“I love you,” she whispered, then reached into the fridge for a Pepsi, and she got an orange Fanta for herself.

Someone else was gazing at her boy, and at her, but this person was frowning, not smiling. This person was invisible to Denise and Jameson, but were they to have seen this person, they’d have seen disheveled hair, pale skin, red eyes, and a tattered black dress.

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

Tess ran and stumbled through the grass, bushes, and fallen twigs in the forest. She fell to the ground a few times and got some mud on her jeans and jacket.

“Oh, shoot,” she whispered when she saw the mud on herself. “Mom and Dad are gonna be mad about that, for sure. Oh, well…”

She heard the shot of a rifle farther off.

“That must be Daddy!” She ran in the direction of the gunshot.

**************

Boyd frowned as he saw the deer run away.

“Shit,” he whispered. “I hate it when I miss.”

Indeed, Mr. Marksman, as had been his nickname ever since high school (in fact, long before he’d even hit Alexa in the face, just under her left eye, with that bottle-cap in his slingshot), almost never missed. Each miss, as rare as it ever was, wounded his pride terribly.

He shuffled through the grass in the direction that deer ran in. He looked all around, but couldn’t see it, or any other deer, anywhere.

“Dammit!” he whispered. “I’ll find you, deer, soon enough.”

***************

Tess had been running and running, falling in the mud again and again, knowing full well her dad and, especially, her mom were going to be really mad at her for getting her clothes so dirty. Still, she was giggling the whole time.

She didn’t care what punishment was coming her way. She was having fun.

She was going to meet with Daddy, and they were going to play some more. Her spirit guide promised her.

She heard another gunshot. It was louder and closer.

That was Daddy again, she thought. I must be almost there. I’d better be really quiet. I want to surprise him.

She crept in the direction of the gunshot, careful to make as little noise as possible, then hid in the tall grass and bushes.

***************

“Goddamn it,” Boyd whispered as he watched another deer run away. “I missed again.” This was two misses in a row. As rare as missing a target was for him, two consecutive misses were especially rare…and in his opinion, humiliating.

He went after that deer, being as quiet as he could.

I never miss like that! he thought. Those two opportunities I just had were easy hits. I had my target locked, both times. It doesn’t make any sense that I missed them. You’d think there was an evil spirit out here making me miss.

Actually,…

He now saw a deer feeding off of the leaves of a bush not too far off. It didn’t look like the other deer (or two) he’d shot at and missed, but it was a deer, all right. A rather small one, a particularly sweet and innocent-looking one, the kind that normally aroused his sense of compassion and mercy.

But with his wounded pride, mercy was the last thing on his mind at the moment.

Sorry, sweetie, he thought as he brought up his rifle to take aim. But I’m hitting you. And nothing…and I mean nothing, is gonna make me miss this time.

***************

Tess looked through the leaves of the bush she was hiding behind. She saw her dad in profile, aiming his rifle to her right, about ninety degrees from her position. He was clearly aiming at a deer out there somewhere; she looked out far to her right to see if she could see the deer.

She couldn’t find it anywhere out there, no matter how hard, or how far out to the right, that she looked.

Where is it? she wondered. Daddy seems to be aiming at nothing, if it’s a deer he wants to shoot. I guess the deer is too far out there for me to see.

She could see him keeping his aim and staying perfectly still.

Why doesn’t he just shoot? she wondered. Surely he’s aimed long enough. I wanna jump out and surprise him so badly. She was about to rise.

No! her spirit guide whispered in her ear. Don’t move at all. Wait for him to take his shot, then surprise him. If you startle him, he’ll miss the deer and get mad at you.

“OK,” Tess whispered.

Dammit, Boyd thought. The deer moved a bit, right when I was about to shoot. Good, it’s still again. Don’t move, you: I don’t wanna miss again.

He had the deer’s head right in his sights. He took a few slow breaths. The deer was perfectly still.

This is it, he thought.

He pulled the trigger ever so slowly.

POW!

Blood splashed from the head in all directions.

But it wasn’t the blood of a deer.

Not one second after the bullet struck did he see the brown fur of the deer change into Tess’s brown jacket.

Not one millisecond after he fired the shot did she see him change, from firing ninety degrees to her right, to firing straight at her face.

“What the–?” he whispered, with a chill going all the way up his spine to his head. He went closer to get a better look.

The bullet hit her just under the left eye.

“Jesus Christ!” he screamed.

He fell to his knees, just a few feet by his daughter’s bloody body. He shook for several minutes, his eyes wide open to see what they couldn’t possibly have believed they were seeing. Then, finally, he began sobbing.

“It was a deer!” he screamed. “I saw a deer! Not…my…dear!…” He continued bawling.

****************

“Tess?” Sharon called as she entered the woods. “Tess, where are you?”

****************

“What did I do to deserve this?” Boyd sobbed.

I am what you did, Alexa’s voice called out to him.

“What?” he said, his head swinging around in all directions to find a voice that seemed to have no body.

I told you I was gonna get you, the voice said.

“Wait,” he said. “Is that the voice…from my dreams?”

Yes, Alexa said, her ghostly apparition showing itself to him from his left. She was grinning.

He swung in her direction, pointing the rifle at her.

“Alexa,” he grunted. “I always hated you.”

And only now do you have good reason to.

“And now I’m gonna kill you,” he said, aiming for her face, his trigger finger more than itchy.

You can’t kill a ghost, you moron, she said, grinning nonetheless at the prospect of tempting him into more foolishness.

“No, but I can shoot at you to make me feel better.”

Are you sure you’ll feel better? Maybe you’ll feel worse. Remember what happened the last time you pulled the trigger.

“I didn’t see as clearly then as I do now.”

Are you sure about that, asshole?

“Shut up!” He fired.

Again, as soon as the bullet reached its mark, Alexa’s apparition disappeared, replaced by the person who really got the bullet in the head…just under her left eye.

“Sharon!” Boyd screamed as he saw his wife’s body fall to the ground. Now, he was bawling twice as loudly. “Alexa, you fucking bitch! I may have bullied you back in school, but I did not deserve this!”

Alexa’s ghost reappeared. Then shoot me, she said.

“And who will I kill next? Did you lure my mother here?”

Shoot, and find out.

He just stood there, frozen in a mix of stupefaction and despair.

If you don’t shoot me, who will you shoot?

Finally, he made up his mind. “Oh, you’ll like this, for sure!”

He put the end of the rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

***************

Over the following weeks, journalists, as well as everyone else who knew Boyd, puzzled over what the reason could have possibly been for such a happy, successful businessman to want to destroy himself and his loving family.

‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Three, Chapter 1

Twenty years later, Boyd McAulliffe, 38, had become a successful businessman, owning a cellphone app company headquartered in Toronto, but with branches all over Canada and the US. He married Sharon Willis when he was 27, when his company was struggling after two years of existence, but when she told him she believed in him and said never to give up. With her encouragement, he stuck to it and found the beginnings of success a couple of years after.

The couple had their first child, a girl named Tess, when he was 28. Every day of looking in his daughter’s baby blue eyes felt like looking at the entrance to heaven. She was number one in his life; neither himself, nor Sharon, nor his business, nor the rest of his family or friends, came even a distant second. Sharon was second, for sure…but still far behind his little angel, Tess.

With the massive amount of money he made from his business, Boyd bought a huge stretch of land near the Lake of the Woods and Rainy River area, home to white tailed deer that he liked to hunt in October, when he typically took time off work to go there with his family. Being out there in the fresh air, spending a month of quality time with his wife and daughter…this was when life was at its happiest for him.

He truly felt he’d had a fortunate life: a successful business, a beautiful, loving, and supportive wife, and an adorable daughter. On top of these blessings, he had a big stretch of land and plenty of time off every year to pursue his hobby and passion–deer hunting, a test of the marksmanship skill he was so proud of. How could his life have been any more perfect?

Well, there was that recurring dream he wished would go away.

Once every several months or so, he’d have a dream about that bitch Alexa he used to go after, the girl who mysteriously disappeared shortly after he and Denise Charlton had gotten her one particularly bad time back in high school. Nobody knew what had happened to Alexa. Had she run away from home? Did she commit suicide?

The principal gave him and Denise a really hard time for having bullied Alexa so much, especially since there had been fears that the bullying may have driven her to suicide. Boyd admitted to himself in hindsight that he and Denise had taken things a little too far a few times; after all, teenagers can be really immature assholes sometimes, including himself back then.

All the same, though, that was a long time ago. Why was he still dreaming about that girl? Surely his guilty conscience should have forgotten about her by now, two decades later.

But every two or three months, he’d see a vision of her in his sleep. He’d see her against a black background, with messy hair, pale skin, glowing red eyes surrounded in black rings for eyelids, and wearing a tattered black dress. Sometimes it looked as if tiny pieces of that ghostly white skin were flaking off. Sometimes her skin looked reddish-white, melting.

Worst of all was that frown on her face, a scowl that looked like she wanted to kill him. At last, these words would come out of her mouth, which made him wake up bathed in sweat.

I’m gonna get you.

He had this very dream again one night during his October vacation with Sharon and Tess on his property up in northern Ontario. The next morning, he brushed it off and forgot about it as usual, and after breakfast–delicious bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast made for them by Sharon–he found himself playing with his daughter in the living room of their log cabin.

First, they played a clapping game of “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man.”

Together, they chanted, “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man.
Bake a cake, bake a cake, as fast as you can
Pat it and prick it, mark it with T,
Put it in the oven for Tessa and me.”

Then they chanted “Mary Mack” to their hand claps; and after this one, he took her in his arms.

“Who’s the ticklish one?” he said as his fingers tickled her sides, getting high-pitched screams of laughter from her. “Who’s the ticklish one?”

“Oh!” she yelped. “No! Stop, Daddy, stop!” She continued screaming, giggling and struggling to get free of him until he finally relented.

Then he gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“I love you, sweetie,” he said.

“I love you, too, Daddy,” she said.

Sharon came in the living room with a tray of three mugs of hot chocolate. “Here you go,” she said as she put the tray on the coffee table.

“Yummy!” Tess said, picking up her mug.

“It’s not quite cold enough to drink this, but why not?” Sharon said. “It’s yummy!”

“Absolutely,” he said, picking up his mug for a sip. “This is gonna hit the spot, just before I go out there with my rifle.”

“I wanna go out with you, Daddy,” Tess said.

“No, sweetie,” he said. “I need absolute quiet when I’m hunting deer. Besides, I don’t like the idea of you being near my rifle when I’m using it.”

“Oh, but Daddy,” she whined with a pout.

“Your father’s right, dear,” her mom said.

“You are too dear to me to be anywhere near the deer I’m about to shoot at,” he said.

“OK,” Tess said, still pouting.

He gulped down the last of his hot chocolate.

“All right,” he said, standing. “Time to do some hunting. Thanks for the hot chocolate, honey.” He gave Sharon a hug and a kiss, then left the living room to get his rifle and get ready.

“Have fun,” Sharon said, then she and Tess drank their hot chocolate. When Sharon finished hers, she gave Tess a hug and a kiss on the forehead. Then she took the tray and her and Boyd’s empty mugs back to the kitchen. As she was walking out, she said, “When you’re finished yours, don’t forget to bring your cup back to the kitchen, honey.”

“OK, Mom,” Tess said, then drank another gulp. Why can’t I go with Daddy? she wondered. I like being with him. I wanna play some more. I’d be quiet. I’d stay clear of his rifle. It’s no fair!

Then she heard a faint whisper in her ear.

Why don’t you go out and surprise him, Tess?

“What?” she said. “Who said that?” She looked around the room for the invisible speaker. She saw her dad go out the door with his rifle.

I’m a spirit guide, the feminine voice said.

“A spirit guide?” Tess asked. “Where are you? Why can’t I see you? What does a spirit guide do?”

Well, you can’t see me because I’m a spirit, of course. I’m like a ghost except I’m one of the good ones. I’m here to guide you, to help you find ways to be closer to your father, to help your love grow stronger.

“OK, so how am I gonna do that?”

Well, just let me lead the way. Go on outside, but make sure your dad doesn’t see you, ’cause we want this to be a big surprise for him. It’ll be more fun that way.

“But he said he doesn’t want me to go, and Mom doesn’t want me to go, either. If I go, won’t they be mad?”

Not the way I’m gonna have you go. Your mom just went to bed for a nap, so she won’t hear you go outside. As for your dad…well…I’ll have a way of making him see you so you’ll be…a real dear…to him.

“OK,” Tess said, then finished her hot chocolate, took her cup to the kitchen as her mom wanted her to do, put on her jacket, and went outside.

Alexa’s ghost watched the girl run into the woods. As she watched, her lips curled up into a smile.

‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Two, Chapter 4

The ghosts of Alexa, Megan, and Tiffany grinned at having watched the destruction of their cruel parents. Furioso appeared before them.

“Have you enjoyed the first part of your revenge, girls?” he asked them with a smile of his own.

“Oh, yes, definitely,” Alexa said, still grinning. “It was so enjoyable punishing my mother and father with the same isolation and deprivation that they put me through in my time of need.”

“Same for me,” Megan said with a malevolent smirk. “It was fun revenge-raping my dad, stabbing his ass like that. He so deserved it. It was a long time coming to him.”

“And you, Tiffany?” Furioso asked.

“Yes,” she said. “What a thrill, scaring my mom in that park, then smashing her skull in with that sledgehammer.”

“Good,” Furioso said.

“I’m hot with enthusiasm for when we get to Part Two of our revenge,” Megan said.

“Yeah, I’m a little too hot, actually,” Alexa said. “My skin is starting to feel a little like lava.”

“Mine, too,” Tiffany said, her smile changing into a wince of discomfort.

“Yeah, now that you mention it, this heat is starting to get to me,” Megan said.

“Are we melting?” Tiffany asked. “It feels that way…like we’re slowly disintegrating.”

“It’s part of the reality of being in Hell, girls,” Furioso said with a sigh. “In Hell, we burn. Abandon all hope, you who enter. There’s nothing we can do about it. You’ll have to accept it. Even I must; I’ve been burning for centuries. Still, there is hope of one kind–getting the next part of your satisfaction, which is surely coming.”

“Good,” Alexa said. “I can’t wait to get Boyd McAulliffe and Denise Charlton.”

“You will,” Furioso said. “But it will be best to wait for a fitting time to get your revenge on your school bullies.”

“Wait how long?” Megan asked with a scowl. “I want to get that rapist and his bitch girlfriend now!

“Don’t get too hot with rage, girls,” Furioso said. “You’ll melt faster, and the heat will get unbearably painful. It’s best to cool off for a while, be satisfied with the revenge you’ve achieved for now, and get them at a time, and in a situation, that will be unbearably painful for them. Be patient. The right time will come, years later, when they are particularly vulnerable. You’ll thank me for this advice…I promise you.”

“Very well,” Tiffany said with a frown. “I’ll wait.”

“If it will result in a better revenge, OK,” Megan said.

“…and Alexa?” Furioso asked. “Will you wait with the others?”

She, contemplating a future Boyd, and a future Denise, with children they cherish and adore, nodded and grinned.

“Good,” Furioso said, also grinning. “You won’t regret this, I assure you.”

The three ghosts looked down at their reddening, melting skin, tiny black pieces of which were flaking off, like breaking pieces of igneous rock among infernally hot magma.

‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Two, Chapter 3

“You’re not coming in here, Mr. Fournier!” the madam said at the door of the brothel, blocking John’s entry. “You’re always hurting the girls. Every time you’ve been here, one of them complains of how you treat them. Slapping them around, grabbing them too hard, biting, scratching. You have no respect for women. Now, get out of here!”

“These girls are wayward and wanton,” he rationalized. “If they were good, they’d deserve respect.”

“If you were good, you’d deserve respect!”

“Maybe I should inform the police about your establishment,” he said. “Tell someone you aren’t paying off.”

“Maybe I should get Dan on you!” she shouted, then snapped her fingers to summon her new bouncer to the door, a tall, musclebound hulk of a fellow who approached with his fists already balled up.

“Fine,” John said with a sneer as he turned around to walk away. “This brothel is going to hell, anyway.”

“No, hell is going away from here,” Dan said. “And if hell comes back, hell won’t go away in one piece!” He and the madam watched John to make sure that he really left.

John turned the corner, came out of the dark alley, and continued down the street. He checked his watch: 11:33 pm. He looked up at the stars and the full moon. Almost two weeks had gone by without Megan returning home, or even as much as a word from her.

Whatever boy she’s with, he thought, if he’s hurt or killed her, it’s all her fault. I warned her about boys.

As he walked down the street, he thought about his marriage to Megan’s mother, and what a disaster that turned out to be. Of course, he blamed the failed marriage all on her.

The thought never crossed his mind that any of the fault could have been his.

Or that all of the fault could have been his.

Which it was, actually.

John had frequented whorehouses the whole time he’d been married to Patricia. He felt not even the slightest prick of conscience for it because he imagined the fault to be entirely the prostitutes’ for having tempted him.

He called them his ‘Eves.’

Patricia never told him that she saw him walk into a brothel one night after being suspicious of his frequent disappearances from home at night. She grew cold and distant, which didn’t affect him at all, for he was content to enjoy her cooking and cleaning, her being the good Catholic wife.

She simply decided she’d had enough, had the good luck of receiving the advances of a charming and much better man, and ran off with him. If only she’d cared enough for Megan to take her along; the thing was, her daughter looked too much like John, and seeing Megan’s face every day would have reminded Patricia of John’s betrayal.

Now, even if John had known the real reason of her running off with another man, he’d have judged her the same way. She was a slut for not being an angel. It was as simple as that to him.

He took a few more steps, then a teenage girl came around the corner…a familiar one.

“Megan?” he said with a start. “Where have you been? And why are you…dressed like that? It must be the influence of the latest boy who used you and dumped you, isn’t it? You been doing drugs? It sure looks it; you look terrible. C’mon, let’s go home.”

“Yes, Daddy,” she said in an almost whispered echo, the voice of a spectre. She had the same look as the other two teen ghosts: the tattered black dress, the black rings around glowing red eyes, the messy hair, the pale skin, and the frown.

He took her by the hand and they started for home. He felt flesh, but it was corpse-cold. “This is what you get for wandering around at night in winter without a coat,” he said. “Don’t worry, though. When we get home, I’ll warm you good enough.”

“Whatever you say, Daddy,” she said.

“Hey, you’ve grown compliant,” he said, almost smiling. “This boy you were with must have messed you up so badly, you’ve finally seen the error of your ways. I’ll be gentler with you this time.”

They got home and immediately went upstairs to his bedroom. When they got naked, he was shocked to see how pale all of her skin was.

“That boy must have been feeding you drugs for you to be looking so pale and sickly,” he said.

“There was no boy, Daddy,” she said. “And I didn’t do any drugs, either.”

“Don’t you lie to me, girl,” he said, trying to control his anger. “Just get on the bed. I promised to be gentler this time. Don’t make me change my mind.”

She got on the bed on her back, and he got on top of her. Again, when he touched and entered her, all he felt was coldness.

“How could you…be this cold?” he grunted as he went in and out. “This feels like…necro…philia.”

Still, he managed to like it for its kinkiness. If he could be degenerate enough to commit incest with his daughter, raping her without any guilt feelings, he was degenerate enough to enjoy sex with a corpse.

He looked in those red embers that were her eyes.

“Are you wearing…some kind of…contact lenses?” he asked. “You look so…ungh!…Satanic.”

Her legs were spread open and lifted back so her tailbone was up, not pushed into the mattress. Out of her tailbone slithered…a tail.

A devil’s tail with a sharp arrow tip.

She looked up at him with those fiery red eyes and grinned. This was the first time she’d ever smiled while he was on top of her. He himself was surprised to see that.

He was so pleasantly surprised, in fact, that he never noticed the emergence or movement of that tail.

He was amazed at how hard he was. Normally, he needed to be rough with her, to exercise his sense of dominance, to get and maintain an erection. Yes, he was just that pathetic.

But there was something about her this time that was making it easy for him to get it up and keep it up. Was it her more than usual submissiveness? Was it her corpse-like kinkiness?…

…or was she helping him get hot, with her new supernatural powers, to distract him from what she was planning to do to him?

Indeed, as he was moving faster and faster, getting more and more excited, that tail of hers was rising between his legs, the arrow tip pointing at his ass. As he pumped back and forth, his buttocks would conveniently open and close, exposing his vulnerable anus.

Approaching orgasm, he panted, “After this, we’ll rest…then, I’ll go…for anal.”

“Ooh!” she purred between sighs. “I like that.”

“Really?” he moaned, his eyes wide open with delight.

That tail was aiming for his asshole, waiting for an opening of his crack and timing when to enter to the rhythm of his thrusts.

“Oh, yeah,” she sighed, looking in his eyes and smiling lewdly. “I’d love anal with you, Daddy.”

He was just about to come. “Wow…you never…wanted…”

Suddenly, he felt a stabbing deep in his ass.

“AAAHHH!!!” he screamed in pain. That tail cut into his rectum, intestines, and up into his stomach. He fell on her.

She shoved him off. She removed her bloody, faecal tail.

“It’s all your fault this happened,” she hissed in his ear as his consciousness and life faded away. “You shouldn’t have let yourself get mixed up with whores.”

‘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!”

‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Two, Chapter 1

Arlene and Jonas Frey gave up their search for Alexa after a week, leaving it to the police in exasperation.

One day, in the late afternoon when Alexa’s mother and father had both just got home from work and were hungry for supper, they felt a strange compulsion to go upstairs to their bedroom and close the door behind them. They sat side by side on the bed and stared at their reflection in the dresser mirror.

They just sat there and didn’t move, their stomachs growling.

It felt as if some outside force was controlling them.

After several minutes of doing nothing else, Arlene finally felt free to open her mouth.

“What…are we doing in here?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Jonas said. “We should be…cooking dinner.”

“It’s like…something is holding us here,” she said.

Something is holding you here, a hoarse voice said.

Arlene and Jonas yelped and jerked at the disembodied voice.

“What was that?” he said in a trembling voice.

Me, the voice said, revealing the speaker in the mirror reflection. It was a spectral version of Alexa, pale with disheveled hair and a menacing frown.

“Oh, my God!” Arlene said. “The stress of her disappearance is making me see things!”

“Alexa?” Jonas said.

“You see her, too?” Arlene asked.

You both see me because I’m really here, the ghostly apparition groaned. She wore a tattered black dress, and had dark rings around her eyes, the irises of which glowed red. Her parents no longer saw themselves or their bedroom in the mirror reflection: the background of Alexa’s ghost was a void of infinite black.

“What happened to you, honey?” her father asked.

“Did you kill yourself?” her mother sobbed, tears forming in her eyes.

I’m not your honey, the spirit said, scowling malevolently at both of them. You never gave me the love and support I needed when I was being tormented at school. Now, you two are receiving your punishment.

“Our punishment?” he asked, shaking.

You are to remain in your room without supper.

“What is this nonsense?” he said, then finally with all his freedom of movement returned to him, he got up and walked over to the bedroom door. “You don’t get to decide if we can–

On touching the doorknob, he got an electric shock so powerful it threw him across the room. He hit his head on the wall, just under the windowsill, so hard that it knocked him unconscious.

“Jonas!” Arlene screamed, shooting up on her feet like a rocket.

He isn’t dead, Alexa’s ghost said. But he will be.

“Alexa, you little bitch! You stop this now!

You’ll be dead, too…’Mother.’

“Stop this nonsense, right now! I’m your mother!”

How will you make me stop it? You were never a real mother to me. He was never a real father to me. If you had been, if you’d shown me some compassion, I’d be with you at home now, eating supper together. Instead, you both will do without food…’til you die!

Arlene went over to Jonas, seeing the blood pouring from the wound on his head. She got an old T-shirt from his dresser, one he rarely, if ever, wore anymore, and wrapped it around his head to control the bleeding.

Then she looked up at the window above him.

When she reached up to open it, the whole room transformed into a surreal structure without windows or doors. She screamed and jumped at the sudden change.

“I am seeing things,” she whispered to herself. “I’m going out of my mind.”

Instead of the bedroom being a cubic rectangular shape, it was now ovoid. The furniture had all disappeared. No longer was there the room’s original light blue paint and blue-and-white striped wallpaper with flower motifs; now it was white with swirling light brown stripes everywhere…and the curved stripes were slithering like snakes!

“I’m going mad,” she whispered in sobs. “Jonas!”

She looked down at him and shook him. Her stomach was growling more and more, as if her hunger was being sped up to feel more like a few days’ hunger rather than that of a few hours. Jonas wouldn’t wake up…but his flesh was beginning to look…tasty.

“No!” she said, slapping herself. “I can’t let myself think that way. That bitch-ghost wants me to.”

You will want to think that way, Alexa’s ghost hissed.

“You little bitch!” Arlene shouted. “I wish I’d never given birth to you. My pregnancy was an accident, you know. I wish Jonas and I had decided to abort you! You’re lucky we’re Catholic!”

That unmotherly attitude is why you must die, the spirit said. If you’d loved me, the way parents are supposed to, we could have all been friends.

Her stomach growled even louder. “Oh, God!” she said. “I’ve got to eat something. I’m dying of hunger.”

There’s meat right next to you…Mother, Alexa said.

“You shut up, Alexa!” Arlene shouted. “How could Jonas and I have produced such a little beast?”

By being beasts yourselves, of course, the ghost growled.

Arlene looked down at still-unconscious Jonas, whose skin was looking sweeter and sweeter. Then she looked at her ever-growling stomach, which looked as if it were caving in from emptiness and malnutrition.

“What the–” she began in sobs. “I thought starvation causes a swollen belly…or is that just in kids? What’s happening to me? What…black magic…are you bringing on me, you bitch?”

You’ve done it to yourselves, Alexa said. You two are self-destructing. Now, enjoy your meal.

Arlene’s stomach was caving in even more. Soon, a huge empty black hole appeared where her stomach should have been. The pain and discomfort from having no food was overwhelming.

And Jonas’s body was looking delicious.

A large carving knife and carving fork appeared by her feet.

She picked them up.

She looked at her unconscious, scrumptious husband.

Her eyes widened, she salivated, and licked her lips.

“I’ve…gotta…eat,” she hissed, her energy beginning to be drained away.

His eyes opened a few millimetres.

“No,” she said hoarsely. “My dinner…must stay still.”

She stabbed the carving knife into his throat.

His lifeless body slumped on the floor, a red river flowing from his neck. Not that she, in her hallucinating state, noticed–she removed the shirt off his back, then stuck the fork in his right arm to hold it still. Then she used the knife to cut off thin slices of his flesh.

She looked at the slices as if they were Thanksgiving turkey. She put a piece in her mouth.

She moaned with pleasure as she chewed on it.

Alexa’s ghost grinned as she saw her mother continue slicing off her father’s arm flesh, stripping it right down to the bone, and eating it all…both arms, eventually.

Now fully sated, Arlene came out of her hallucination and back to her senses. Eyes agape, she gasped. Shaking, she screamed over and over again at the sight of all that blood, the gash in his throat, and his bare bones.

“Oh, my God!” she sobbed. “Oh, my God…What have I done?!” Now that the bedroom had returned to its original inner decor, she looked through teary eyes at the dresser mirror and saw her gloating ghost of a daughter.

Did you enjoy your meal…Mother?

“You!” her mother hissed at the mirror image. “You…little…b–no, ‘bitch’ is not nearly a strong enough word. You’re a demon. You’ve been ruining my life…and your father’s…ever since your misbegotten life began!”

If you hadn’t thought of it as ‘misbegotten,’ this would not have happened to you, Alexa’s ghost said. Good mothers are supposed to love their children, not despise them.

“So, I was a bad mother, is that it, Alexa? Fine! This should make you very happy!”

The knife was still there. Arlene plunged it into her guts and fell to the floor beside Jonas.

Alexa just kept on grinning.

‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part One, Chapter 4

The Hamilton Spectator

Three St. Thomas More Schoolgirls Missing

by Tonya Mills

Alexa Frey, 17, Megan Fourier, 18, and Tiffany Ferry, 17, students of St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, went missing as of last Sunday night. It is assumed they all ran away from home as a result of constant bullying at school.

Don Murray, 51, principal of the high school, asked some of those accused of the bullying, in particular Denise Charlton and Boyd McAuliffe, both 18, what they had done lately that may have provoked Alexa, their victim, to have run away. Though on Friday afternoon when school was finished, they’d shoved her into a mud and slush puddle, kicked her several times and spat on her (according to eyewitnesses), they denied having done anything else to her since then.

Those who’d bullied Megan and Tiffany also denied having done anything to those girls since they’d been reprimanded the previous Friday morning.

The girls’ parents have shown nothing but dismay at what they deem their daughters’ “wayward” ways.

“That girl has been nothing but one problem after another,” said Alexa’s mother, Arlene Frey, 52. “First, she can’t keep from provoking her classmates to pick on her. Then, she trudges slush and mud all over my carpet on Friday afternoon, and now my husband and I have to search all over the place for her. I’m at my wits’ end here!”

“That wayward girl is always getting mixed up with boys,” John Fourier, 55, said of his daughter Megan. “I’ll bet she’s run off with some boy, who’ll mistreat her and dump her. Then she’ll be lost. With any luck, I’ll find her soon enough. But she’s always been trouble.”

Tiffany’s mother, Alice Ferry, 49, had this to say: “That girl has always been a burden. She gets her classmates mad at her, they break a chunk of ice on her head, and I have to clean up all the blood on her. Now she pulls this on me. When’s it going to end?”

Disturbingly, the only traces left of the three girls before their disappearances were: a razor blade on the side of a filled-up bathtub in Alexa’s home; a bottle filled with John’s sleeping pills on the bathroom sink in Megan’s home, when her father hadn’t touched them Sunday night; and a kitchen knife in Tiffany’s bedroom.

Yet the three girls never used these items.

The girls just disappeared instead.