Possession Chapter 9 – Decisions

September 17, 2013 in itchysocks, Possession by itchysocks

Possession

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

Chapter 9 – Decisions

A bead of sweat ran down Tiffany’s brow as she jogged towards Tom’s SUV. The dull grey sky above the white car looked menacing, but she was thankful it wasn’t raining. She couldn’t help but notice her legs shake under her weight – wobbly – from the shock of what she had witnessed: a hulking killer overpowered by a girl nearly half his size.

She had never seen anything like it.

They approached the SUV with Tom behind the wheel; his blue eyes wide in surprise.

He unlocked the doors to the SUV and watched as they quickly leapt into the backseat without hesitation. He raised his eyebrows at them from the rear-view mirror.

“Drive,” Tiffany ordered, buckling her seat belt.

Tom could hear the urgency in her voice. He shifted the car out of park and hit the pedal. The engine roared and it wasn’t long before the Turlock library was behind them in the distance.

Tiffany struggled to catch her breath. She was out of shape, and in that moment, regretted not opting into the college gym membership program. She glanced at Seohyun and noted that she didn’t have the same problem. The girl was an enigma and Tiffany had too much on her plate already.

She stared at the book in her lap: Apocalypsi. Its dark brown leather cover felt cold under her finger-tips. She traced the foreign symbols etched onto the scab-like surface with her fingernail. She saw the familiar goat’s head that was associated with the Church of Satan. It wasn’t any normal text.

What drew Seohyun to the book? Why was she even here?

“Who’s your friend, Tiffany?”

Tom’s question broke her thoughts. Thankfully, it was going to be the easiest one to answer. “This is Seohyun.”

“It’s nice to meet you Seohyun. I’m Tom.”

The girl gave a shy nod, seemingly shell-shocked from the ordeal.

Tiffany remembered how Seohyun held the baton in her hands, and how she was ready to do the unforgivable.

“Where do you live, Seohyun?” Tom asked. “I could drop you off at your house if you’d like. Unless you guys had something else planned?”

Seohyun hesitated to answer, but she reluctantly told him her address.

Tom made a turn at the next light, changing their destination.

In the meantime, Tiffany was looking for answers. How else could she determine their next move? The more she thought about it, the more she worried. Her gut was telling her that there were higher forces at work – and her gut was usually right.

A serial killer like Mason Lucas wasn’t supposed to be running around Turlock. He should be facing the death penalty in prison. Things didn’t add up. There weren’t any news reports of an escaped killer. The media was focused on the storm, but news like a killer-on-the-loose would have been front-page material.

She pulled out her phone and saw a tiny bar of reception. Her service was wonky from the storm that still lingered over Turlock, but she tried her best to search for ‘Mason Lucas’ news articles with her browser.

A few failed searches later, her browser finally gave her the information she needed. A headline from the Turlock Times:

‘Mason Lucas safely transported to St. Lucia’s Penitentiary despite storm.’

She eyed the date.

Yesterday.

She felt her heart sink. It was Mason Lucas at the library. Surely the media didn’t report false news articles, did they? Wasn’t there some journalistic code? But it was clear to Tiffany that all of it was a lie. She was always agnostic by nature, believing in the things she’s seen or experienced versus the word of others.

“This is it, right around the corner,” said Seohyun as she pointed it out for Tom.

Tiffany followed her finger to her residence and saw the white picket fence and the typical American dream home that was so common in Turlock. Coming from a city, living in such a picture perfect town had always bothered her. “Seohyun, I hope you don’t mind if we drop by for a quick chat?” asked Tiffany.

“No, I don’t mind.”

 “Tom, you’re coming too.”

“What?”

“It won’t take long. I promise.”

Tom was reluctant but Tiffany flashed her signature smile. He caved in an instant.

They got out of the SUV, Seohyun pulling out a set of keys from her jeans. A short girl greeted the three of them as they entered, her hair tied up in a bun with a hairpin keeping it in place.

“Taeyeon,” she said. “This is Tom and Tiffany.”

She smiled at the strangers. The girl exuded an approachable aura. “Nice to meet you all.”

Tom had seemed interested in Seohyun earlier, but now he looked absolutely smitten.

Another girl entered the foyer from the kitchen, her short hair and curvy figure accentuated by a tight white top and tight sweats. “Oh, we have guests?”

“Sunny meet Tiffany and Tom, Tom and Tiffany meet Sunny,” Taeyeon added.

Tiffany rolled her eyes. Tom looked like he had died and gone to heaven.

Taeyeon was friendly despite his greedy stare. “Do you guys want some tea or snacks? I’m about to head out but I could make you some before I go?”

“Thanks Taeyeon but we won’t be here for long…”

“Non-sense Tiffany,” Tom interrupted. “I’ll have a cup of tea.”

As much as she wanted to punch Tom in the face, these two girls were the perfect distraction. She watched as Tom followed them into the kitchen with a hop in his step.

Tiffany looked over at Seohyun. “Could we talk alone in your room?”

“Yeah. Of course.” Seohyun guided her upstairs, where she was greeted by a whiteboard with a list of chores that each of the roommates had to do each week. It explained the pristine condition of the halls and the pleasant smells.

As she passed by each of the girl’s rooms, she noted the time-tables that were taped onto their doors, a way for them to keep track of each other’s schedules. They all had name tags on their doors and Tiffany could make out Seohyun’s name on the last door at the end of the hall.

Once inside her room, Tiffany admired the neat and tidy space that was a stark contrast from her own cramped attic. The bed was perfectly made, the desk was neatly organized, and even the top of the dresser was freshly sorted.

There was a moment of silence as Seohyun closed the door behind them. Tiffany knew that they weren’t friends by any means. In fact, they were strangers.

Seohyun offered her hand. “Well, it’s nice to meet you.”

Tiffany smiled back despite the awkward atmosphere. She took Seohyun’s hand and half-expected her fingers to break under her grip, but it was a firm shake. Her sudden strength had seemingly disappeared.

Tiffany relinquished the handshake, feeling more at ease. “I guess I have a lot of explaining to do.”

“We both do,” Seohyun replied.

Tiffany grinned. They both had secrets. “You’re probably wondering how I know your name, and why I was there. I’m friends with Yuri, but that’s not how I know you.”

Seohyun seemed unfazed, but Tiffany took a deep breath for the next part of her explanation: an explanation that most people would never believe.

“I sometimes have these dreams, but they aren’t really dreams at all. You could call them visions. I can see the future.”

Tiffany exhaled, waiting for Seohyun to give the typical reaction. She remained silent. “I know it sounds crazy, but it’s not. That’s why I came to the library. I saw you walk into the basement and pick out this book.” She waved it furitively.

“I saw him coming at you. I thought I could stop the attack from happening.”

Seohyun’s face was now riddled with guilt. “You did stop the attack from happening.”

Tiffany knew she had rubbed salt onto her fresh wound, but she needed answers. “How did you do it? How’d you overpower him like that?”

 Seohyun shook her head. “I’m not sure.”

“Have you always been able to do that?”

“No, I guess it was adrenaline.”

“You and I both know it was a lot more than that.”

Seohyun sat down on her bed, looking lost. “This all started yesterday, when the storm hit the town. All of this weird stuff that’s been happening to me.”

Tiffany joined her on the bed. “Like?”

Seohyun grimaced. “Like me being supposedly kidnapped; I don’t remember any of it but there was a witness that saw me get taken.”

“Witness?”

“Professor Ashby.”

Tiffany remembered the news headline from a night ago. “You were there?”

“That’s what the cops said. Ashby told them that I had been abducted.”

“Do you remember what you were doing at the time?”

“No. it’s all foggy.”

Tiffany stared at the book in her hand. “Why did you pick this book out?”

Seohyun shrugged. “A gut feeling?”

Tiffany opened the cover, flipping through the pages: a lot of text, but nothing that stood out to her. She needed time to study it.

“What did Mason want with you?”

Seohyun paused, her eyes looking down at Tiffany’s lap. “He wanted the book.”

Tiffany felt stupid for not realizing it earlier. “We’re not safe, are we?”

Seohyun shook her head.

“I stopped you from stopping him.”

“You did the right thing.”

“Who knows? Maybe he’s coming here, right now.”

“How would he know where I live?”

“He’s supposed to be in prison. He’s not alone in this.” Tiffany’s mind started to put the pieces together. There was only one rational explanation. “A lot of powerful people in Turlock are helping him. The prison warden, maybe even the cops?”

Seohyun furrowed her brow, the first unappealing look that Tiffany had seen from her all day. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that none of us are safe. Anyone outside of this house could be an enemy. We need to leave, as soon as we can.”

“What about Taeyeon, Yuri, and Sunny?”

“They’re coming with us.”

“How will we explain it to them?”

Tiffany shook her head; the anxiety of the situation was weighing on her. Her heart started to race. “I don’t know.”

They didn’t have many options.

“We’ll figure something out,” Seohyun reasoned. “We have to. Come on, let’s hurry and tell the girls. Taeyeon’s going to leave soon.”

The two of them got up from the bed and headed down the hall with haste but Tiffany stopped at the door of the one person that was unaccounted for.

“Where’s Yuri anyways?”

Seohyun stopped and glanced at the time-table. “She should be home by now. Maybe she’s at the gym.”

Tiffany wasn’t so sure. “Can you call her?”

Seohyun pulled out her phone. “I’ll try.”

They headed down the stairs, Seohyun dialing while Tiffany figured out a plausible explanation to get her two new acquaintances to pack-up and leave. Tom would be easy to sway, but how would these two strangers take it?

They entered the kitchen, the atmosphere seemingly happy and upbeat. Tom was smiling from ear-to-ear as Sunny and Taeyeon talked. If it wasn’t for the fact that Tiffany was Tom’s favourite, he would have never even given her the time of day.

“All good-to-go?” he asked, taking a sip from his cup of tea.

“Well, it’s complicated,” Tiffany answered. “I’m going to need you guys to come with us.”

The truth sounded a lot harsher out loud than it did in her head.

Taeyeon and Sunny seemed stunned by the sudden command. They looked at each other before glancing back at Tiffany in surprise. “What do you mean, come with us?”

“We’re leaving this house. It’s not safe. We’re not safe.”

“What are you talking about? You’re scaring me,” Taeyeon said.

“Yeah, this isn’t funny Tiffany,” Tom added.

“When have I ever joked about something like this, Tom? I might bruise your ego whenever I get the chance, but I’m serious. We’re in danger.”

“From what?” Sunny queried.

“You can’t honestly expect us to pack-up and leave just under your orders, do you? I have errands to run. This is our first rainless day.” Taeyeon turned to the girl beside Tiffany. “Seohyun, what’s going on?”

Seohyun got off her phone and looked her housemates in the eyes. “Taeyeon. Sunny. It’s true. We are in danger. You have to believe me.”

The two girls at the table seemed conflicted. Tiffany’s testimony wasn’t worth much, but Seohyun’s was.

Taeyeon stood up from the kitchen table and approached Seohyun. “I love you Seohyun, you know that. I know crazy stuff has been going on, but I think you’re still experiencing shock from talking with the police. From all this abduction business.” Taeyeon put her arms around her, hugging her comfortingly. “How about you just rest, your unnies will look after you.”

Sunny nodded in support. “It’s normal to feel unsafe, to feel in danger, but we can always call those officers for help,” she added.

Seohyun gently pushed Taeyeon away. “I’m telling the truth Taeyeon. I’m not crazy. I’m not paranoid. We’re in danger!”

Taeyeon nodded her head but remained quiet. She excused herself. “I’m sorry Seohyun, I really have to go.”

Seohyun blocked her path. “Wait! Wait! Let me show you something. Please everyone. You’ll believe me after this.” They watched as Seohyun headed towards the gas stove. She flicked on the burner to the highest heat.

Without any hesitation, she plunged her fingers into the flame. Everyone let out a cry of shock.

“Seohyun what are you doing?!” Sunny shouted.

For seconds she waited, her face completely calm as the flame tickled away at her hand. Tom looked like he was about to throw up, while Tiffany was oddly mesmerized by what she was witnessing.

Seohyun pulled her hand out of the flame, and showed it to everyone in the room. It was completely unscathed.

If they hadn’t been convinced before, they were convinced now.

“Something strange is going on with me, and because of that we’re all in danger. And I know all of you think I’m crazy, but now you must all think you’re crazy too. Now go pack what you might need for a few days. We’re leaving.”

*

Yuri had never gotten into the backseat of a police car, but the blonde-haired officer insisted on giving her a safe ride home…