Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 15

                    The conjurer of wicked little minds

“You see, back in those days my greatest fear was to wake up and find my candle had burned
itself out. That was my foremost concern as a child, whose room overlooked a giant wheat field
where every monster known to man was waiting. Waiting so patiently for that light to go out!”

“Most of the time, it was too dark to see anything after the sun went down, but that didn't stop my
mind from burning the midnight oil, no siree! I would even have dreams of that field coming alive
and growing under trains, and on beaches! Even around the highway, were I thought we were
perfectly safe. All of a sudden our car becomes stuck in the mud. The highway is long gone, and
we're sinking deeper into this black sludge. What are we going to do, I ask, frightened terribly, but
there is no reply. Just then I notice two decaying corpses in the front seat, and I release a scream!” 

“Then I'd wake up shivering, and it would be the dead of winter with a hint of snow in the air!”

“The summertime was especially bad 'cos the windows had to be left open, or we'd suffocate
to death
from the heat! I had no clock in my room back then, didn't need one. My mother would
rouse me come mornin' when it was time for class. All's I had was a candle that was lit every
night by my father before bedtime. If I was asleep then it didn't matter, but if I awoke mind you!”

“Some of the darkest nights I can remember was having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the
night. Inching my way down that pitch black corridor was more than my little mind could handle!”

“No lights, we didn't have 'em yet, picture that! Do you know that every time
I walked down that hallway, I was trembling with fear? Barely high enough
to reach the doorknob, I'd open it and step inside. Then came the scary part.”

“My mother liked mirrors, so there were a few in the bathroom. One was tall and slender, my
another was very ornate. By ornate I mean fancy, and the other was a hand held mirror.”

“I had to cover my eyes as I walked in. Shaking like a leaf on a tree, I knew
I wasn’t alone in there! Now I couldn't close the door or what was behind the
shower curtain might spring out and get me, and God forbid no one should
hear my scream! And I was just as terrified to leave the door open 'cos the floor
seemed to
creak most right in that hallway. It was then at that moment, where I
could see somebody or something leaning over to catch a glimpse of me as I sat
there stirring. I could almost hear a presence breathing ominously in the shadows
of that corridor. Then above the window where I sat, which led outside. I would
always sense something was gonna come crashing through the window and rip
me out of my seat! That never happened to me of course, thank heavens!”

“No child should ever be filled with such gut-wrenching terror and trepidation,
but those were the woes of my youth. Then come mornin,' father would lift up the
box and carry out the waste. Sure better than creeping around in an outhouse!”

                                                                 Pg 74

“Why did you cover your eyes,” I asked, now engrossed in the conversation? “Excuse me,”
she said, taken aback. “You said, when you went into the bathroom you would cover your
eyes from the mirror, why?” “Because those mirrors came from my great grandmother. ”So.”
“My great grandmother was a high priestess in a coven of witches, and people took her very
seriously. She knew how to cast spells and make magic potions. Why she could concoct a brew
for anything at all. Either to cure or to make one ail, mattered none to her so long as she got paid.”

“How do you know so much about her?” “Because my grandmother kept a diary of all her affairs.

Kind of like a spy was she in a way to her mother! Whenever she could, she'd secretly document
everything her mother knew about the occult. Had it not been for her, we may never have known.”

“All this was handed down to my mother who in turn gave it to me.” “Do you still have it?”
“No, my granddaughter has it now. Getting back to the mirrors, now let's not lose ourselves
 The way I saw it, those mirrors were used in black magic for all kinds of evil things
and sometimes, depending on the day mind you, they would reflect more than just fact.”

“The way my mother saw it, it was merely a family heirloom that had been
handed down from generation to generation as it should be.” “Did she ever
read it?” “No, she just kept everything neatly sorted out in boxes.” “Do you
know how to cast spells?” She began acting very uncomfortable, almost like
a young girl when she hears something displeasing. “Yes, I know how to cast
spells.” “Do they work?” “Yes, let me start from the very beginning. This
is sure to answer any questions you may have about the dark side.”

“A long time ago me and my friends had this game we would play. We would make
up all these horrible stories as we went along. Well, one day, I told them a story that
was told to me by my grandmother. She had me swear to her that I would not tell
another living soul about it, especially my mother, and to that moment I had not.
Anyway, we were sitting around on a bunch of old milk crates where we would
tell our stories.” Her voice was beginning to change, and I started to feel uneasy.

“Before I tell you this, I said to them you must promise never to do it. Emma stood
up and said, how can we promise you something, if we don't know what it is we are
promising? Because this story comes with a rule book, I said, in an over-assertive
voice, that's why!!! They were a bit startled by my tone, and rightfully I would
have been too. Does everyone here understand me?” She sat there looking white
eyed while pointing her finger at me, as though I'd done something reprehensible!

                                                                 Pg 75

“They all agreed and so I told them. I then recited every word of that awful spell from
an actual page in my great grandmother's book, which I had copied down word for
word. It took me nearly five minutes to write it all down!” Now you must remember,
in those days we had inkwells in school, and at home it wasn't must easier either. . . ”

“Wait, what?”

“Inkwells; you really do have a lot to learn, young man! When I was a girl, we wrote
with a quill, or better still, a feather.” “Aw, come on.” “I am quite serious, why would
you think I'm lying to you? This was the way like was, child. So anyway, after writing
it all down, I put the paper in my pocket and headed off to school. After school, as
sat on our milk crates, I recited for my friend the page I copied down word for word.”

“Do you know that if you wake up at a certain time of the night, you can summon a
spirit beside your bedpost?” There was a terrible strain to her voice as she relayed the
information from another time and place. “And did you know it can only be done when
the moon is full? If you were to get up at exactly three O'clock in the morning, and cut
the palm of your hand like so. . . Without flinching, mind you! Then chant the following
words into a mirror in the dark with eyes closed and two black candles lit side by side.
You would be closer than you could ever imagine to a hell beyond your understanding.”

“After this, should you follow precisely a certain incantation, someone will
appear beside you in a cloak and steal you away forever into that mirror!

*The words to the evil prayer, she would not agree to speak of*

“You mean he'd pull you inside the mirror?” “No, no child, you would
open your eyes to find you are no longer standing on the same side of it!”

                     “Once that happens, bam!!!”

She slammed her old withered hand down hard upon the table!

“You and your spirit are gone! You can scream, but no one will ever hear
you; not in that wicked place. . . The place of no reflection and no sun.”

“A place so dark and dreary, nothing human can survive.”
“A plain of time which lies between our world and the next.”
“A terrible place of immense suffering.”

“How do they come back?”
“Once a spirit touches that darkness, it can never come back.”
“You mean they lose their soul?”
“Yes and no.”

I acted confused, and so she explained it to me. 

“I found out many years later that the only way to release a soul from that misery would
be to take the mirror and smash it, but I didn't know it at that time.” “Then everything gets
normal again?” “No, no, the body dies 'cos the heart stops beating. The brain is already
dead, now do you want to hear this story or do you want to ask questions? All right then.”

“The following week we gathered round the milk crates to tell more stories, but Millie hadn't
come out yet. Emma then said, did you see the moon last night? It was huge! Dear God,
I thought! She performed the spell on the only day of the month when there was a full moon!
Oh, no, this was was a test, and I failed it. Suddenly it dawned on me that all this hocus-pocus
from my great grandmother's crazy book could very well prove to be real. Then I shrugged it
off as I did almost everything back then. I mean really, there had to be a logical explanation.

Next day comes. Day after. Millie hadn't been to school, and she wasn't hanging around
with us,
so we figured maybe she was taken ill. So me, Katlyn, Mary and Emma walked
down to Millie's house to see if everything was okay. Not even an inkling did we have of
anything being wrong in the least, but in the back of my mind, I knew something was wrong.”

                                                                 Pg 76

“When we got to the door her mother answered and let us in. Gracie looked like
she had been crying as she escorted us into the parlor where Millicent was sitting,
her back facing us. Now I believed in witchcraft the same way people believe in
magic. When you see the magician cutting the woman in half, why is it there's no
blood and how does he put her back together again?” “He can't because he really
isn't cutting her in half.” “Exactly, it's all an act! That is the same way I felt about
witchcraft, but I blundered. Even so, how was I to know at that time, a person
could be endowed with photographic memory? Her mom whispered something
in her ear and then motioned for us to come closer. Anna just stood there as we
moved up. When I saw her sitting in that chair I knew what I had done to her.”

“She had a red mark running across her forehead,
and it looked like her skull had been cracked.”

“That explains the page next to the spell with no writing in it. The first was a plain forehead
next to a palm of hand with a red mark running diagonally across it. The second was the
forehead with a red mark running diagonally across it next to the plain palm of hand.”

“Her mother was crying hard now and holding a handkerchief up to her nose saying,
I don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do!!! Mary bolted from the scene
pulling Emma's lifeless arm, and together they ran off like two frightened rabbits. Gracie
then rushed into the kitchen leaving me and Katlyn alone with Millie. As we stood there
looking into her eyes, Millicent grabbed hold of my hand and my heart stopped beating.”

“Katlyn gasped loudly and was taken by such surprise she tumbled backwards knocking over the coffee
table and shattering the vase that was on top of it! Right then Millicent looked at me with an intense
scowl! It was a look so terrifying my skin crawled. As her grip began to tighten, I could feel every
bone in my hand pop like twigs in a fire! She snarled like a vicious animal trapped in human clothing.
Such bitter hatred! She then clamped down on her lower lip so hard, she bit clean through it.

“Blood flowed from her mouth like a river and that lip, dangling down.” Miss Wade's
complexion had now grown pale,
and she looked like she were about to sicken. “I then
noticed her eyes were no longer her own, but those of my great grandmother in Hell!”

“My knees gave out and I fell into her lap. As I started to pass out, Gracie
came running into the parlor and her grip released. Millie was now just
vacant shell, and there was clearly no blood on anything at all.”

“My mind must have created the whole scene out of pure horror!

As I opened and closed my hand, every bone popped into place again.
I thought my mind had snapped as did the rest of the girls, I'm sure.
Whatever Katlyn saw that day must have been so frightening to her,
she didn't speak for almost a week, and we never told stories again!”

                                                                 Pg 77

“What happened to Millicent,” I asked?
“She was taken away to a sanitarium.”

Drucella now sounded very distracted, almost to the point of worry. “I so wanted to visit her
one last time, and this time I wanted to set things right. Tell her how sorry I was for opening up
this can of worms, even though I knew she was no longer in there. . . In her right mind, that is.”

“A month later, her mom told me she died. The year after that
her mother passed away, and soon new people were living there.”

            “Do you still keep in contact with Katlyn?”

 “Katlyn married a wealthy man and
moved to North Dakota
   in the fall of 1916. Never did I see or hear
from her again.”

                     “What about your other friend?”

      “Emma still lives in the house she grew up in, she never
       married though. We talk on the phone from
time to time,
      but I haven't seen hide nor hare of her in over fifty years.”

                                    “And Mary?”

            “Mary died during the pneumonia epidemic,
of 1918 to be exact. . .”

“When the moon is full, I see Millie in that place.”

“I watch as they torture her with hot irons. Then they start to remove her toes and fingers with
cutting shears. Sometimes, they just start sawing. After they kill her, it starts all over again.”

“I have watched her die in every conceivable way you can imagine.”

         “It still seems so real, but I'm powerless to stop them.”

                                “Can't they get you?”

                             “No, I'm just a watcher.”

                               “Don't you wake up?”

“Not until the sun is even with the horizon; e
very time the moon is full.
               Oh Millicent, why couldn't you just let it go!”

             (Her eyes began to fill with tears as she spoke)

“You think we're just little old ladies who tell tall tales as we sip
 our tea and smile, but ask yourself something, where do you think
your horror movies come from? They come from usssssss!!!”

   Two years later Miss Drucella Wade passed away quietly in her sleep.

I along with my parents arrived at her wake on Friday, April 8th, 1977.

Mom and Ray were by my side as I listened to people talking.
One of the voices I heard was her granddaughter May.

“I was knocking on her door the other day, but she didn't answer.
The coroner told me she was already dead. Already dead and I just left!”
“Calm down honey, you didn't know; there-there now.”

I heard another voice as I appeared to be praying by her casket with eyes closed.
“The coroner said she went peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday; she lived a good life.”

Hey, wait a minute, didn't we have that power outage on Tuesday?
*No that was Monday*
Actually, Monday morning is, in fact, Tuesday, isn't it?  *Yes it is!*
Technically, anything after 11:59 pm automatically becomes am,
so therefor, Monday had already turned into Tuesday!

I woke up to go to the bathroom, and all the lights popped off! That was creepy!

The service finally concluded, and I was getting into the car with my parents
when two kids passed by. I overheard one young man say to the other,

         “Hey, did you see the size of that moon on Monday? It was huge!”

                         “No,” said the other kid, “I was studying.”

                                                                 Pg 78


Reviews for chapter 15

Jane Bryce  - who is emma?

Norman Vasserman  - Cool, the way your story unfolds

Ira Goldberg  - Ooh, now that's scary! You write good horror!

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