We burned brighter when we first met.

Chapter 6 (Final Pt.)

DING! DING!

The door chimed, announcing as we walked into the store. A young girl stood slumped over the checkout counter flipping through a teens magazine.  She met us not with a warm southern welcome greeting I’ve sort of come to expect but as an alternative, a more rebellious “I rather be anywhere but here” glare while popping her gum at us.

“Welcome to Mama Ed’s.” A broad-shouldered, heavy-breasted, short merry woman hobbled from the aisles with a broom in hand.

“Not seen you folks around here before, wait a minute?” The lady reached for her glasses that hung from her neck, adjusting them on to her face. “Well, I’ll be you Mary’s grandbaby.”

Kassidy smiled with joy as she ran into the jovial woman’s arm, “Hey Aunty Edna.”

“Gurrrrrl it’s been so long since I seen ya!” Edna could not believe her eyes, holding Kassidy closely to her. “After Mary’s passing yawl hardly come visit us anymo. Heard you move to the city and made something of yourself.”

“Yea, sometimes it’s hard to come back from a loss, but I have missed being here. Besides I wanted to bring my husband, Nero, to my town.”

“Oh, Baby you got a husband? Where he’d wander off to?”

Chapter 5: The Flickering Light of the Past (Part II Final)

“King? Are you okay Baby?” Kassidy smile quickly turned into worry.

“Yea, just… I don’t know.”

“You were calling out some other woman’s name you know.” Her lips shifted, and her left eyebrow moved on its own, her look now was one of curiosity. It kind of reminded me of how WWE The Rock would do his to rile up the fans.

“I was, when?”

“Yes, in your sleep duh! Someone named Claire I think you kept saying. You wouldn’t be cheating on me would you and now your guilty conscience eating at you.”

“Wooooow, you funny but no. Claire Williams from way back at St. Ovaria.”

“Claire from when we were kids? Wow that’s going way back, I haven’t thought about her in ages”

“Yea, me either” I watched as the snow plastered pine trees faded into blurs, I tried to search the depths of my mind for a reason for the sudden trip to the past and what the hell did I dream to frighten me so bad about it. After pulling off to the approaching exit we soon past a large wooded, timeworn road sign with “Welcome to Remington” inscribed across its surface.

Chapter 5: The Flickering Light of the Past (Part I)

I awoke to a flash of dazzling lights. It was inviting, totally different from the cold of the lonesome shadows of death; I felt at peace.

     Through Darkness, Comes the Light, from its warming brace I could hear the proverbial whispers of my mother. Could this be The Light, the Light found at the end of the obscure tunnel? The guiding light to Paradise, to Heaven almighty where the angel dwell?

“Jesus, Nero, are you really sleeping?” Kassidy scoffed. I turned from the brightness of the daylight wiping the sleep from eyes, to see Kassidy in the driver seat steering the Ford down the scenic mountain road. We had just past a green Stagg road sign that read REMINGTON 1 MILE. It wasn’t what I thought, just the sun, it was the sun which woke me some hours later.

“Maybe next time I’ll hold back from taking your soul if you can’t hang Baby.” Kassidy clowned while sticking her tongue out while tooting her ass.

“Don’t kid yourself, Queen, you’re good but you could be Hella lot better.” I retorted with a slight grin. I struggled out of a terrible dream — I was chasing after someone or something had been chasing me. I couldn’t remember vividly, the only thing that stuck was the heart gripping, skin crawling, soul-freezing fear I had experience, and a familiar name from my younger days of attending St. Ovaria private school, Claire Williams. I was unbearably hot; my skin was damped with sweat. Sitting back in the passenger seat I cracked the window letting in that cool mountain air. Could this have been fear of the nightmare? No, the sun rays had been gleaming down on me for only God knows how long as I slept. Beaming down on me through the window like an ant under a magnifying glass from a mischievous child. Better yet it was probably a combination of both the Heat of the sun and the cold fear of the dream causing condensation to emit from my flesh.

Chapter 4: Memories of eyes made of Coal (Part IV Final)

“Nero…” A familiar voice whispered my name. I instantly shot up surveying the halls.

“Nero hurry…” My eyes could hardly believe it, I don’t think I could believe it. It was Claire, Claire Williams!  I wasn’t alone, an actual person and not the Snowman. Claire stood in the center of the hall looking at me with a slight smile. She turned walking down the hallway, I got up quickly following her.

Claire took a right down the foyer, as did I, she took a left and with no delay, I trailed behind. Locker’s begun to swing and close on their own, the closer I got to her, the louder they banged against each other. There was a flood of clashing metal clinging together. I tried drowning out the gaudy sound by covering my ears. Claire disappeared into the blackness of a classroom, just as I was to follow her the door slammed with a terrifying force, there was silence all around me.

“Please, Nero… where are you? I’m scared. He-He’s coming!” Claire called out. I rush to open the door, trying my hardest to pry it open but I stopped after looking at my feet, a pool of inky red fluid oozed around my tiny shoes.

Fear-stricken I took a step back as an earsplitting little girl scream could be heard from the other side, I slipped in the sticky rust smelling liquid. Out the corner of my eye there he stood with that smile and eyes made of coal at the center of the hall. His snow-white body stained with carnage.

The screaming stopped. The lights started to shut off, section by section the darkness started to creep. The Song of Moonlight, I thought to myself. I need the music box to keep the monsters away. I search my pockets only to come up with lint from the lining of my pants,

You Dropped it running after her… I thought to myself. I was now encircled by the darkness only a spotlight around me. But even in the darkness… even in the complete black, I could still see his Black Eyes.

“He’s Coming…” I muttered as the lights flickered on and off until the blackness finally consumed me.

“Nero…”

Chapter 4: Memories of eyes made of Coal (Part III)

“Daddy, Daddy please help me.” I shut my eyes even tighter now, shaking my head in disbelief. If I couldn’t see him then he can’t be real, it can’t be real. With the music box still in my hand, I would keep winding it and play the sweet tune, my mother adored so much. Yes, of course just keep playing the music box, the music kept the monsters away,

Nero, we are safe when bathed in the light. The sun in the day, and the moon at night, so long as there’s a glow the monsters hold no fright. Yet even the brave fears the darkness, fear the loneliness it what gives the things that go bump in the night their bloodlust. They smell terror, so when I am not at your side play this song of Moonlight.

Again, I opened my eyes merely to see the hall lined with the pale red lockers. Looking back out of the clear double doors, the Snowman was back at his post only this time he was gazing intently at me.

He forgot about you, the snowman seemed to utter from its smile of coal. I curled myself into a ball tucking my head tightly into the folds of my arms.