Dead is the New Alive (A Chuck Wendig Challenge)

Posted: July 2, 2015 in Fiction, horror
Tags: , , , , ,

This week’s challenge is the random song title jamboree. I ended up with Dead Is The New Alive by Emilie Autumn.

“Are you sure about this, Vicki?” Chris asked.

Vicki looked up from the book in her lap, her scarlet lips turned up in a sardonic smile. “Don’t tell me you’re scared?”

Chris looked at Gregory and Sam, the other two members of their small group of friends. They’d gathered in the basement of the abandoned house a few blocks from Vicki’s. The bank had foreclosed on it last year and made some renovations to it, but no had bought it yet. Sam had been the one to discover the alarm sticker in the window was for show, and the four of them had made it their place to get away from their parents.

The book in Vicki’s lap was old, the leather binding cracked and peeling, the pages frail and yellow. They’d brought an electric camping lantern

“Well?” Vicki tapped her fingers, painted a midnight blue, against her fishnet clad leg.

“I’m not scared,” Chris replied.

Vicki narrowed her eyes at him. “Yeah, sure you’re not. Did you bring the stuff?” she asked, turning her attention to Gregory and Sam.

Sam nodded her head, brushing her bangs out of her face. She opened her backpack, pulling out five candles, a plastic baggie filled with salt, and a knife. Gregory slipped a small bottle of rum out of the pocket of his jacket. Chris coughed up a lighter and a stubby piece of red chalk.

“All right.” Vicki flipped through the pages of the book, the pink tip of her tongue peeking out between her lips. “Clear some space.” She took up the chalk and drew a large design on the floor, a pentagram inscribed inside of a circle. She next drew a triangle, connecting the points of the pentagram. Copying from the book, she traced strange squiggly lines around the outside of the circle. Chris tried to follow the pattern, but his head started to hurt and his vision went fuzzy the longer he stared.

“Here,” Vicki said, producing a small wooden bowl. “You’ll need to put a bit of blood in the bowl. At least three drops each okay?”

“Seriously?” Sam asked, her nose wrinkling in distaste.

“Come on, Sam,” Vicki said. “We all agreed to do this, right? You’re in, aren’t you Greg?” Vicki smiled sweet at Greg, and he found himself nodding in spite of himself.

Greg took the bowl and the knife. He pricked his finger and bled into the bowl before passing it to Sam. “Want me to help you?”

Sam shook her head, letting out a small cry when the knife pricked her skin, eyes welling up with tears. Desperate to be liked, accepted by anyone, she’d leapt at the chance to be accepted by someone as cool as Vicki. She also didn’t want to look like a coward in front of Greg.

Taking the bowl from Sam, Chris pricked his finger, letting the blood drip into the bowl, mixing with the rest. Vicki took the bowl and knife from him and added her contribution. Carefully, so as not to disturb the chalk drawing, she set the bowl in the middle of the design. She placed a circle of salt around the bowl and spilled a bit of rum in with the blood. She placed candles at the five points of the pentagrams and lit them. All the while she muttered under her breath, a rite from the book the others couldn’t quite make out.

A hot wind blew through the room, flickering the candles, but not blowing them out. This despite the fact that the basement had no windows. The door leading into the basement slammed shut, and the electric lantern flickered and died, leaving the four teenagers with only the dim candlelight.

“Vicki, what’s going on?” Sam asked, her voice on the knife edge of panic. “Vicki?”

Tricia didn’t answer. Her friends saw her head thrown back, her feet drumming on the floor. One kicked over a candle, sending it rolling toward Greg. He picked it up, but the damage had already been done, hot wax spilling over the design on the floor.

“Tricia, come on, this isn’t funny,” Chris said, reaching a hand out to her. Her head snapped down, and she caught his wrist in her hand. She smiled, all dark and sinister, then snapped his wrist. He howled in pain, but before he could pull away, she had opened her mouth, impossibly wide, sinking teeth too long and sharp into his throat.

“Oh, I think this is hysterical. Come here Greg, give me a kiss.”

Greg scrambled to his feet, trying to get away from whatever Tricia had become. He was bigger than her by quite a bit, but it was a soft, flabby size. Vicki slapped his arms out of the way, drove her knee up into his stomach, doubling him over. She grabbed the back of his head and slammed him face first into the pavement with the sickening crunch of a melon exploding.

“Vicki, please, oh god, please, please don’t kill me,” Sam wept, crawling away from her former friend.

Vicki looked up, a pale blue light gleaming in her pupils, her mouth smeared with Chris’ blood. “Sam, Sam, poor little wallflower Sam. Do you know why the bank can’t sell this house?”

Sam shook her head, letting out short, panicked gasps.

“Two sisters lived here. Two sisters who killed children. They died here, you see, when they felt the investigation was getting too close. Took poison in their tea and died in this room. Do you want to know a secret?”

“Vicki, please, I want to go home. Please, just let me go home.”

“Shh, Sam. Shh. I’m not going to hurt you. The secret is that they took a special poison. Their bodies died, but their spirits lingered on. And Vicki, well, that stupid bitch never learned not to call up what she couldn’t put down. And now here I am.” Vicki ran her hands down her body, shuddered in ecstasy. “Young. Vibrant. Alive. But it would be wrong to enjoy this new life without my sister.

“Come here, Sam. There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Sam screamed for a bit, but it didn’t last long.

  1. Cameron says:

    You started swapping names (Vicki/Tricia) about 2/3 of the way into the story. The setup was entertaining, but I’m not sold on the ending.

  2. PD says:

    I got a little lost on the name thing, too, but you’re still far and away my favourite un-mainstreamed (to date) author.

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