Story Orgy – I Am Not Myself, Part 10

Good Monday morning, Story Orgiasts! Happy Daylight Savings Time (I know, ugh!), and welcome to my new digs. You like? If you have my blog page bookmarked, and why wouldn’t you?, please update it with this new link. There will be some tweaks and updates, but the link will now be http://www.hankedwardsbooks.com/hankerings. Enjoy!

This week we have no real news to share. How about reminders? Did you go out and grab a copy of Lee Brazil’s new book, Loving Eden? It’s available at Amazon, ARe, and Breathless Press. How about Em Woods’s new book, Convincing Symon? It’s available at Total e-Bound Press. Go get ’em!

Today’s prompt was tricky for me, I had to cheat it a bit. But, to make up for cheating (a bit, just a bit!) on my prompt, how about if I give you some answers to all the crazy stuff going on with Angelica and those dolls? Sound like a fair trade? Okay, so the prompt for today is: Your character’s best girl friend is having a spring themed potluck at her house. He thinks she has ulterior motives. What happens?

Ready to find out what happens? Me too! Our hottie pic of the week was found, as usual, but that hottie herself, Jade Baiser. Thanks Jade!

 I Am Not Myself

Hank Edwards

(c) 2012

“You get it?” Jack said back to Dan. “Good. Now explain it to me, starting with why the fuck I’m being held at knifepoint by a goddamn doll.”

“Language!” Angelica snapped from across the room, and a doll close to Jack poked him with a knitting needle.

“Ow!” He glared at the doll, then looked at Dan.

When Dan met Jack’s gaze, he saw the concern layered within: not only was their situation far outside the realm of possibility, and anything they had experienced before, but it was looking less likely they would both come out of it alive. And Dan still didn’t know his mother’s location or condition.

He turned to Angelica across the room, opened his mouth to ask her one more time about Nora, then stopped at the sound of the front door opening and swinging shut with a heavy, final thud. They all tipped their heads back to look up, dolls included, as footsteps moved along the hall. It was a heavy tread, slow and steady, the floorboards creaking underfoot.

“Hey!” Jack shouted. “Down here! The basement! Help us!”

The same doll that had poked him before did it again.

“Ow!” Jack moved his leg, cradling his broken wrist against his chest as he looked at the doll faces around him. “Which one of these bitches did that?”

“It’s almost time,” Angelica said through a giggle. “The full moon is rising. And now Elena is here, my little ones, she’s here for the reaping and the sowing.”

Dan watched the dolls standing around Angelica tip their heads back to look up at her, could swear he saw a mix of admiration and love in their porcelain faces. It was difficult to watch, to try and take in the details of the dolls and the basement, without feeling like he watched a horror movie.

“Dan,” Jack called, and Dan turned to look at where he sat at the bottom of the stairs a dozen feet away, his back against the stone wall. “What the fuck is going on?”

“Didn’t you hear Angelica?” Dan said. “Elena is here.”

“Who the fuck is Elena?”

“Language!” Angelica shouted, and a different doll poked Jack’s leg with a tiny paring knife.

“Son of a …” Jack muttered.

“Thank you, Bonnie,” Angelica said, and the doll nodded to her.

The door at the top of the stairs creaked open, stopping Jack’s retort and, most likely, saving him from receiving another jab. Dan watched the expression on Jack’s face as he looked up the steps at the new arrival descending into the basement. He studied the man’s profile, which he had seen hundreds of times, but never really noticed details. He noted how Jack’s nose dropped to a mild point, how his chin ended in a rounded, determined thrust, and the way Jack’s dark blond hair jutted out over his forehead in a youthful spike. Dan suddenly yearned to see Jack’s profile in bed bedside him each morning, silhouetted by the rising sun through the window, the lines of tension currently visible eased in sleep.

He was in love with Jack, and he seemed to have just now realized it, on the day they both might die.

“Oh, shit,” Jack said quietly. “We’re in a lot of trouble.”

A final step brought Elena into Dan’s line of sight and a chill shook his spine. She was tall and broad shouldered, with wide hips and heavy breasts. Her hands were big, the size of sledge hammer heads when fisted, and her broad face was framed by straight, fine, dark hair pulled into a pony tail.

Elena narrowed her dark eyes down at Jack. “Who are you?”

“Jack,” he said in a quiet voice.

Elena snapped her gaze to Dan. “And you?”

“Dan Archer,” Dan said, forcing himself to put power into his response. “We are police officers and I demand you release us and take me to my mother, Nora Archer.”

A cool, vindictive smile creased Elena’s lips. “You’re Nora’s boy? Well, well, well, that busy body’s son didn’t fall far from the tree.” She turned her head to look at Angelica and her face softened, her genuine smile lighting up her features. “Good evening, Ms. Kirkpatrick! How are you tonight?”

Angelica clapped her hands. “Hello, Elena! We’re all very excited for the celebration. Did you bring a dish to pass?”

“I sure did!” Elena smiled and lumbered across the stone floor to Angelica. With her back turned, Elena could not see Dan, and he jumped to his feet to rush at her. Pain stabbed into his ankle, crumpling him to the hard stone floor, and he lay groaning and rocking, clutching his bleeding ankle. A sharp poke in his cheek startled him, and he opened his eyes to find a knitting needle only inches from his face.

“Now, now, now,” Elena rumbled from above him. “Don’t aggravate Ms. Kirkpatrick’s poppets. They tend to get temperamental when someone tries to keep them from the celebration.”

“Oh, they do,” Angelica agreed. “They truly do. Don’t you, my lovelies?”

The dolls all looked to Angelica and nodded, the weak light from the bare bulb flashing off their silent, frozen faces.

“Well, time’s wasting,” Elena said. “The moon should be full up by now. I think it’s time we made our way to the clearing, don’t you, Ms. Kirkpatrick?”

“Yes, Elena,” Angelica said. “I’ve been so excited all day!”

Elena raised an eyebrow as she stared down at Dan. “You two mind yourselves now, you hear? These poppets may not look like much, but once they get hold of you, they can get real vicious.”

“Yeah,” Jack said, “we’ve noticed that.”

“All right. Let’s go then.” Elena bent at the waist and lifted Angelica out of the old wheelchair, then turned and jerked her chin toward the stairs. “Up the stairs and out the back door. And no sudden moves. When the poppets smell blood, there’s no controlling them.”

“Oh, not at all,” Angelica said and giggled. “Like that one young man years ago, remember him? What was his name? Oh, my mind these days. They didn’t let him get far before they brought him down. Took him such a long time to stop screaming, too. Gave me one of my headaches.”

Dan pushed himself to his feet. The dolls around him moved back out of range of his kicks, weapons held at the ready. He limped across the basement and reached down to help Jack to his feet.

“You okay?” Jack asked.

“Yeah, I’m all right.” Dan lowered his voice. “I need to find my Mom.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Jack assured him.

“Enough whispers, love birds,” Elena snapped. “Up the stairs and out the back door.”

They proceeded up the steps, a bizarre parade of dolls in front, climbing each step, weapons tucked into frilly dresses, and dolls behind. Dan and Jack followed, moving slowly, careful not to stomp on a wayward doll for fear of retribution. Elena brought up the rear, carrying Angelica. They moved through the kitchen and out the back door into the chill February wind. Night had fallen, and a round, white moon peeked at them over the skeletal trees of the woods surrounding Kirkpatrick Manor.

The dolls set off across the lawn toward the line of trees and Dan and Jack followed.

“So, back in the basement you said you got it,” Jack said. “Care to share?”

“The missing persons files on my desk helped me get there,” Dan said. “The cases go back years, some thirty or more. Missing women, mostly. I remembered Astor Kirkpatrick being found standing over a woman’s body, her spleen in his hand, and I started thinking about it. What if he took something from each victim, an organ, and put it inside a doll? I think each of these dolls carry a part from a missing girl. They’re controlled by Angelica or Elena, something like that. I haven’t figured that part out yet.”

“The dolls are haunted?” Jack whispered. “Possessed?”

“Sort of. It might be a type of voodoo or something.”

“Shit.”

“Yeah. And tonight it sounds like there’s going to be a new addition, and one of them gets to be put to rest, maybe.”

“Dan…” Jack’s eyes were wide in the white light of the moon. “What the fuck, man?”

“I know. Just stay alert, okay?”

They followed the line of dolls down a trail crowded on each side by tall hardwood trees. Behind him, Dan could hear Elena’s heavy tread as she carried Angelica. Ahead and between him and Jack, the dolls moved in single file, dresses glowing ghostly white in the pale moonlight. He was having trouble believing any of this, had to keep reminding himself this was not a dream.

The trail ended at a clearing drenched in moonlight. The pale light etched the shadows deeper, made it difficult to see details. When Dan squinted, however, he could see a long, wide slab of stone in the center of the clearing, and someone stretched across it, legs apart, ankles secured, and wrists bound overhead. It was a woman, and the sound of their approach made her turn her head and his heart seemed to flash freeze inside his chest.

“Mom!” Dan started for her, kicking dolls out of his way, stepping on a few.

His feet got tangled up halfway across the clearing and he went down hard on the ground, reaching one hand out toward his mother. He caught a glimpse of her wide, terrified eyes, heard the fear in her voice when she called his name, then the ground rushed up to hit him in the face. Pressure on his legs and arms, holding him down, and then he felt it on his back and realized the dolls were climbing on him, exerting surprising strength to keep him still.

“Dan!” Jack shouted, then cried out, and Dan heard rustling and a muffled sound from Jack.

“Oh, don’t finish them off,” Elena said in her deep, thick voice. “Not yet, anyways.”

Dan felt the weight on the back of his neck ease and lifted his head. Dolls stood and sat on his outstretched hand and along his arm, weapons pointed at his face. Just a few feet away was the stone altar, and he could see his mother’s fingers extended over the edge, moving slightly.

“Good girls.” Elena moved to stand beside a plastic tarp. “A little help, my poppets?”

A number of dolls hurried over and pulled the tarp away, dragging it rustling across the leaf strewn clearing. A rocking chair and small trunk were revealed in the moonlight, and Elena lowered Angelica into the chair, then pulled a heavy fur coat out of the trunk to lay over her.

“Comfy, Ms. Kirkpatrick?” Elena asked.

“Yes, thanks so much Elena,” Angelica replied. “Is it time?”

Elena tipped back her head, and Dan craned his neck to see where she looked. The edge of the moon was just clearing the tops of the surrounding trees.

“Won’t be long,” Elena said.

She leaned down and withdrew something else from the trunk beside Angelica’s chair. When she straightened up once again, Dan saw moonlight shine off the long, polished blade of a knife.

“Listen to me,” Dan said. “You can’t do this. We are police officers. We will be missed, and there will be searches, and the people I work with know my mother works here, so sooner or later they’re going to come out here.”

“Oh, they’ll find  you,” Elena said, her face falling into shadow as she turned to face him. “But they won’t know you were ever here.”

A fist of fear tightened inside Dan’s chest, and he turned his head to look around. Jack lay beneath a group of dolls, their pointed weapons held against the back of his neck, forcing his face against the ground. Dan met Jack’s eyes, tried to find some hope within his gaze, and could not. He turned his head again, watched as Elena walked slowly around the altar where his mother lay stretched out. She whispered words Dan could not make out, and held the knife against her chest with both hands, the moonlight winking off the long, thin blade.

 ~~ * ~~

Holy guacamole! What the heck is up with that freaky night nurse Elena? Guess we’ll have to wait until next week to see if Dan and Jack find a way out of this mess. I hope you have a great week, enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day, and be safe and smart if you go out drinking. Now, let’s  jump on over to the other Story Orgy blogs for more hot, smexy reads.

J.R. Boyd,    Lee Brazil,     Havan Fellows,     Em Woods,     Jade Baiser

Follow our tweets during the week:

J.R. Boyd: @JR__Boyd

Lee Brazil: @leebrazil

Hank Edwards: @hanksbooks

Havan Fellows: @HavanFellows

Em Woods: @EmWoodsAuthor

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2 Responses to Story Orgy – I Am Not Myself, Part 10

  1. Have you seen Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary’? This story is giving me the same creepy chills. Nice! 🙂

  2. Lee Brazil says:

    Oh my word, How are we going to get out of this mess? (Thank God we’re out of the basement! )