Possession Chapter 2 – Blink Once

June 6, 2013 in itchysocks, Possession by itchysocks

Possession

Reader Discretion: Possession will contain violence, profanity, gore, sexual themes and coarse language.

The storm came to town like everyone expected. It died down as it hit the coast and became more of a glorified rain system than a storm straight out of hell. As a result, people continued on with their lives, but there was a chill in Tiffany’s body as she stared at the dark grey clouds that seemed to remain completely still in the sky. They were pouring heaps of rain onto the city.

Rain could be dangerous, and it certainly showed. The sewers of Turlock were flooded with storm water by mid-afternoon, pushing water out onto the streets. And more than a few unlucky families also had their homes flooded.

A massive sinkhole from the rain formed on a major road, which enveloped a few cars, causing search and rescue teams to risk their lives to find the people who were trapped deep in the earth. Worst of all, flash floods were occurring across the mountainous roads that led out of the city. Park rangers around Turlock were issuing warnings regularly to all travellers to: ‘Proceed with extreme caution.’

It was at times like this that Tiffany was thankful she lived with the Johnsons. They were a small family in Turlock that welcomed college undergrads as house tenants. Two other students lived in rooms below her, but Tiffany kept to herself in the attic. She had her own interests, and preferred to have her own secluded space.

She sat back down at her desk, stepping away from the window, and flicked on an old lamp that she had borrowed from the Johnsons. They were a friendly bunch and she felt like she fit right in. They would prepare big meals on the weekend for Tiffany and the rest of her house-mates Their son – who was around Tiffany’s age – was particularly interested in her.

However, Tiffany had someone else that she was interested in.

Tiffany put on her reading glasses and continued with another passage of her archaic looking book. Demonlogy had fascinated her since high school, and she loved to learn about things like witchcraft and the occult. This particular passage was about hurricanes and thunderstorms – perfect for the weather.

Hurricanes & Thunderstorms – The Wind Demon’s Habitat

She read the passage diligently, noticing the important demons that were associated with strange winds or storm systems. One name in particular caught her eye. Lilith. The very name sent shivers down her spine.

The demon was a conundrum to her, and apparently to Professor Ashby who was well-versed in such knowledge. He had shared what he knew the day before, which was very little. The only thing he added to her knowledge was the fact that Lilith was an “Evil Bitch.”

She flipped through her pages, and stared at the painting of the female demon. with red-hair and a snake over her shoulder. Tiffany wondered just how accurate this depiction really was.

“Tiffany!” muffled a voice from below her. She got up and opened the trap door to the attic and stared at Mrs. Johnson, who was looking up at her. “You’ve got a visitor.”

The raven haired girl unfolded the trap door to reveal a set of stairs, and she headed down without another word. She passed by her other roommates, giving them a warm smile. Tiffany was happy. She was expecting someone.

“Hey Jessica,” she said as she arrived at the door. “Come in.”

The girl at the door grinned at her, and waved politely. She also had black hair, and fair skin that had a slight tinge of a tan, which was enough to make her a contrast to Tiffany’s ghostly complexion. They stood at about the same height, with Jessica only a couple of inches shorter. She wore jeans and a hooded wind breaker that was completely soaked from the storm. Ironically, she also held an umbrella that was just as drenched.

She had walked over.

In her hair she donned a white headband, and around her neck she had a silver cross. Her gentle dark brown eyes stared at Tiffany with kindness. She smiled as she looked around. “What a nice place.” It was her first time over at the Johnson’s.

Mrs. Johnson who was standing in the hall behind Tiffany was happy to see such a polite girl. The tall gray hair woman smiled at her with warmth. “Thanks, we try to maintain the best we can.”

Jessica carefully took off her shoes and followed Tiffany upstairs and up into her attic but not before bumping into Tom – the Johnson’s son. He stared at the two girls with a flirtatious grin. “Who’s this Tiffany?”

“Jessica,” she answered.

The shorter girl smiled and bowed politely. Tom was in-awe of the two. He had a terrible case of yellow fever.

Tiffany ignored Tom as he gawked at them, and led Jessica up to the stairs to her attic. She lifted the trap door, and locked it into place. She flicked on the ceiling light in the room and went to her desk to close the book on her table, hiding Lilith and the demons away from Jessica’s eyes.

The sheets of rain had been slamming against the roof of the house for much of the day, creating a ruckus of noise inside Tiffany’s room. Tiffany had acclimated to it, but Jessica wasn’t quite adjusted to it, and it showed.

“So let’s get started.”

Tiffany and Jessica took up spots on her mattress and worked together on their Bible Studies in Globalization project. Jessica was quite the expert when it came to the holy gospel, but that wasn’t the reason why she wanted to pair up with the girl. The truth was that Tiffany found her attractive. She wasn’t just a pretty face, but she had a loving heart. She was friends with Tiffany for all the right reasons, not afraid to bring her along despite the way she dressed, always warm, even when Tiffany seemed cold or pretentious. She was labelled as an eccentric, but Jessica never saw her that way.

She pondered the idea of a confession as they sat there alone, but she was too afraid to pull the trigger. Jessica was a devout Christian and homosexuality was shunned upon.

“There,” Jessica said, stretching her arms up in victory. “Finished. Want to read it?” She had been working on a passage for their research report.

Tiffany smirked. “Don’t need too. I’m sure it’s perfect.”

The girl gave a pleasant grin but started to yawn. She was getting tired. It was then that a voice called down from below.

“Tiffany!” The yell was muffled, but she knew it was Mrs. Johnson again. She went over to the trap door and opened it ever so slightly to greet the lady of the house. “The rain’s awfully bad out there and Mr. Johnson might be too scared to offer her a ride home later at night. Do you know how much longer your friend’s planning to stay?”

Jessica was behind Tiffany and could hear Mrs. Johnson’s yell. She approached the opening. “I’m going to stay for another hour or two.”

Mrs. Johnson nodded. “I think you should just stay the night. There’s been more than a dozen inches of rainfall that’s poured out there since this morning. It’s still going at it and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down.”

Jessica headed towards the window and gazed at the heavy rain that was pouring outside. Turlock’s campus was only two blocks away, and she could see that some of the roads were indeed flooded. “On second thought,I think I might need to stay overnight. Is that okay?”

“Of course it’s okay.” With that, Mrs. Johnson went back to preparing dinner. Tonight she was making a big pot of her famous chilli, and was more than happy to let the two girls have some.

Tiffany thanked her as she left for her graciousness and headed to the window to look out at the campus with Jessica. Her room was getting stuffy so she carefully slid open the window to allow some fresh air to seep into the attic.

“Where should I sleep?” asked Jessica. “I don’t mind spending a night on the floor.”

Tiffany frowned at the thought. “Just bunk with me.” She paused. “That’s alright with you, right?”

Jessica nodded. “As long as you’re fine with it.”

Tiffany laughed in her head. Of course she was fine with her crush sleeping beside her. If anything, it would be like a dream. In her mind, scenarios raced in her head, but a chilling sound interrupted her. A sound that penetrated the constant drumming of the heavy rain all around them. It came from the campus.

“What was that?” asked Jessica.

The sound was distinguishable, even with the conditions. Tiffany had heard it before. “It’s a gunshot,” said Tiffany, looking up at the clouds which brooded over the setting sky. It was déjà vu. None of the clouds had moved from earlier.

Jessica seemed startled by her answer. “Gunshot? In Turlock? No way.”

Tiffany agreed that the idea was preposterous, but there was no other explanation.

***

“Aaron,” a voice called to him in the darkness. It was faint, but he heard it.

“Aaron Ashby, it’s me.” The voice grew louder. “Aaron please, wake up!”

He knew that voice. “Emilia?” he thought. He could hear her crying.

“Daddy,” he heard another voice. This time it was a boy. His boy. “Why won’t dad wake up?”

Professor Ashby knew his family was there with him, but the darkness shrouded his vision completely. He could hear them but he couldn’t see them. Was he even alive?

“Aaron Ashby, you better wake up this instant or I’ll never forgive you!” his wife shouted.

He reached in the darkness in front of him, and found nothing but air. He tried to look around, but there was nothing but shadow blanketing his entire being. That’s when he saw it in the corner of his eye – a speck of light in the dark abyss. He ran towards it with all his will spurring him forward. The light grew bigger and bigger the more he pushed himself, until he realized that he was actually seeing the light enter his opening eyes. He squinted as brightness poured in around him, his consciousness now acknowledging the rest of his aching body.

“Aaron!” cried Emilia. His wife had stayed loyally by his side for the past hour, never once letting go of his hand. She smiled as he shot his eyes open with life.

His son equally happy. “Daddy!” he yelled.

The nurse was also excited, but for a different reason. “He’s awake!” she shouted, running out of the room. It was urgent that she get the right people to see the patient.

Professor Ashby slowly gathered his thoughts, unable to remember what had happened earlier.

How did he end up here? In the hospital, with an IV in his arm, a oxygen mask over his mouth, and wires on his chest.

He moved his eyes to see the beautiful image of his wife and son, who were now crying tears of joys at the sight of him awake. A man with a white coat stormed into his view, followed by two police officers that looked like they had been drenched by water. Then he remembered that there was a terrible storm just outside the window. He could hear it tapping away against the frame of his hospital window.

“Hello Aaron,” said the gray-haired man in the white coat. It was obvious he was a doctor.

Aaron watched as he carefully took off his oxygen mask and flashed a light into his eyes. He smiled, realizing that he was indeed conscious.

“Do you know who I am?” he asked.

Aaron tried to talk, but he struggled to even open his dry mouth. He could hear Emilia let out a shrill cry, worried that he had become a mute.

“I’m a doctor, Aaron. Blink once if you understand, twice if you don’t.”

Aaron forced his eyes to close once, and then kept them open.

“Good.” The gray-haired doctor smiled.

“Now Aaron,” said the doctor with a serious tone. “I know this might alarm you, but you’ve been shot.”

If Aaron could laugh, he would. He had spent two tours in Afghanistan and had been shot at plenty of times. Insurgents, terrorists, even his own men, but a bullet had never actually entered his body. Now the doctor was telling him that he got shot in Turlock, California?

But the policemen that came in behind him made it all to clear that the doctor was telling the truth.

“These officers are here to get more information on the people that did this to you Mr. Ashby. They’re going to ask you a few questions okay? Are you felling well enough to answer them? Blink once for yes, twice for no.”

Aaron blinked once. He struggled to remember what had happened earlier, how he had ended up here, but he would try his best to help them in their investigation.

The taller officer of the two officers pulled out a notepad and started asking for some information. He was grayed just like the doctor, but instead of being skinny, he was a broad man. “Same drill as the doctor. Blink once for yes, twice for no.” He had a hoarse voice.

Aaron blinked once.

“Perfect, let’s get started.”

The officer took a step forward, examining him carefully. “Your wife tells me that you were at work? Is that correct?”

Aaron blinked once.

He started jotting down notes. “You were at work until roughly six in the evening? Is that right?”

Aaron blinked twice.

“Did you stay later? Or Earlier? Once for later, twice for earlier.”

Aaron blinked once.

“You were found in the University parking lot, bleeding out in the rain. Do you remember how you got there?”

Aaron struggled to try and remember what had happened. He could make out a few things in his mind’s eye. The first was the sound of the heavy rain which had spattered against the top of his dark blue umbrella. The next was how dark it had been as he walked outside. It was then that a face flashed in his head. He had been walking someone to his car, but he couldn’t remember who it was. There was a darkness that surrounded their face in his mind.

Aaron blinked once.

The officer was glad to see he had his memory back. “Were you heading to your car?”

Aaron blinked once.

“Was it a car-jacking attempt?”

Aaron blinked twice. He struggled to remember what had happened, but knew that it was not a robbery, it was something else. Something much more serious.

“Were you with anyone?”

Professor Ashby tried as hard as he could to recollect who he was with. Something inside him told him that it was important for him to remember, but for some weird reason he couldn’t picture the face no matter how hard he tried. Was he experiencing shock?

The other officer stepped in, encouraging him to respond. “Aaron, this is important. It’s the only way we can help catch these guys that did this to you and whoever you might have been with.”

Aaron stared at the officer weakly. He was a Hispanic officer, good looking, clean cut, and looked incredibly young in comparison to his taller counterpart. Then he noticed something around his neck that caught his eye. He would have never noticed it, if it didn’t sparkle in the white fluorescent light of the hospital room. A gold cross. He instantly remembered everything.

His body and mind were in a frail state, but he tried his hardest to collect his thoughts, and get the sudden rush of information out to the police officers.

Aaron blinked once, this time with urgency in his eyes. He needed to tell them who he was with.

The police officers stared at each other in surprise. Ashby had not been alone. They saw the spark in his eyes. They knew they were onto something big.

The taller officer continued with the questions. “Was the person you were with a colleague?”

Aaron blinked twice.

“A student?”

Aaron blinked once.

The taller officer continued. “Male or female? Blink once for female, twice for male.”

Aaron blinked once.

The two officers had worried faces as they processed the information. How would they get the name out of him? It would be a tedious process of going through letters on a alphabet board, making him blink each time they hovered over the right one.

Aaron could see that problem too. He knew that he had to make this process quicker. He opened his dry mouth and tried his best to tell them who it was he was with, give them a name, so that they could help her.

The police officers leaned in immediately, realizing that he was trying to speak.

He willed himself with all his might to force out a name that was barely audible.

“Seohyun.”

Everyone in the room seemed confused, except the officers who had stern faces. The taller officer cleared his throat and asked, “Is Seohyun in danger?”

Aaron blinked once.