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Finding Grandmother

by Karen Eastland 6 months ago in Horror · updated 5 months ago
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The Adventures of Millie and Sandra S02E05

When Frank Arrived at Millie's house, he was just in time. Every neighbour was trying to get a good look at what was going on. The local rag was also there trying to get a story for the nightly news, and all were being held back by witches.

Frank found he was able to recognise a witch amongst a crowd. If the sun caught in their eyes atjust at the right angle, he could see they were silver. Making his way to the CSI crew, he searched the landscape to see if he could see the old biscuit tin, but when he reached Millie's front door, a shiver ran through him.

A chalk outline had been drawn around the pool of dried blood.

Why are they still here? He thought. Should of being gone long ago. Why are they hanging around?

"So," he said, "what’ve you got for me?"

A young man in his early 20s, dressed in white coveralls and wearing a mask and face shield, turned when he heard Frank's voice. Making his way through the CSI crew, Frank saw he had a clipboard in his hands.

"We've got a pool of blood," he said.

"I can see that but why are you still here?" Frank asked.

"Because of the blood."

What the bloodied hell is going on here? Frank wondered.

"What's on your clipboard?" he asked.

The young man showed him the clipboard. There were several pieces of white lined paper attached to it, and each line read the same thing.

"The witch is mine."

Frank looked up, scanned the crowd to try to see if there was anybody looking shifty watching on.

Got to be some sort of spell, he thought, then caught the eye of one of the witches.

Raising his right hand, he motioned for her to come to him.

Huh, Frank thought. Witches in the forces as well.

A tall woman in her early 40s, wearing a dress uniform and a metal insignia on her right breast pocket, neared.

"Sir?"

Frank didn't want anyone to hear their conversation, so directed the PC to a quiet corner against the hedge Judith had been thrown into.

"What's going on here?" he asked.

"Can I speak frankly, Sir?"

"Please do."

"We've been trying to clear the crowd for hours but for some reason CSI aren't moving on."

He peaked around her shoulder and saw the crew did seem to be behaving like automatons.

"I can see that, but why?"

"We don't know, Sir."

"Do you think there under a spell?" Frank whispered.

"I think that's a given, Sir."

"Can you break it?"

"We've been trying to but nothing's worked," she said. "Is Mill's the elder all right?"

"Yes, yes. Mill's is fine now. I just left her… Actually, have you come across an Anzac biscuit tin lying around?"

"No, why?" She asked and worry lines creased her face.

"Oh, it's nothing," he said. "Mill's was just asking about it… She seemed to be… worried about it."

The PC worry lines didn't ease, in fact Frank saw them deepen, but he was her superior… On the force, but not in the Coven.

"The other witches?" She whispered.

"I'm unsure they're fine, Mill's Hall was in good spirits,” Frank said. "So, what do we do about them?"

The PC turned see where he was pointing at the CSI crew. They were still crouched on the ground still examining the pool of blood.

"If you can do without me for a while, Sir, I can make some enquiries?"

"Yes, do that … Hang on, what's that?" Frank said as a cloud shifted and the sun touched something silver in the hedge behind the PC.

She turned to see, wedged in the hedge, a piece of silver tin with the letter 'A' embossed into it. The PC was just saying she wasn't sure, when Frank whispered, "the biscuit tin, it's been opened."

The PC certainly looked like 110-year-old woman from a war-torn country. she reached into the hedge searching for more fragments of the tin, but found none.

"Think I really should go. Make those enquiries," she said.

Frank agreed. They were both were worried.

"I'll just… Hang around here," he called as the PC retreated into the crowd.

Don't tell Mills, he thought, unsure if anyone else should, or needed, to know. Except Judy.

That wave of panic rose in his chest again, Except Judy.

***

Once Sandra and Tess made sure dad was tucked up nice and tight, in the light sleeping spell was cast over him, they made a beeline for the coven. Although they had fought Meryl in the ether together, neither test nor Sandra Knew Mill's the elder was in the Launceston general ICU. They did know Millie the younger was at the coven.

After test tried several knock combinations on the coven door, Sandra knocked twice, wrapped once, and tapped three times before the door was open to them. Inside they found Millie with chocolate cake all over her face.

"Oo, cake! How delicious," Sandra said, "can I have some too, plea—"

But before she could finish those words, Rhianna stuffed a piece of cake in her mouth.

With her mouth full, Sandra grunted, "and mum," and before Tess could speak, Rhianna stuffed cake in her mouth as well.

"Young Millie's been telling some very tall tales," Margaret said and smiled.

"And we believe it all," Susan said.

Tess swallowed hard and put a hand up in front of her face to stop more cake from getting shoved into her mouth.

"It's all true," Tess said, "now, where's Millie?"

The all new she was asking about her sister, and someone had to tell her. They all thought it would be better coming from Judy. Judy was about to fill Tess in, when there was another knock at the door.

"Three – two – five – two," Marianna said.

"It's Molly," Sam said.

Susan opened the door and Molly, the twin’s high school principal, barrelled through.

"What a day I've had," she said. "Everyone’s acting very oddly."

"What do you mean?" The high priestess asked.

"I mean everyone," Molly said. "It's not just the kids, it's the pedestrians, motorists, shop assistants, even the police, they are all behaving oddly. There's something bad out there. I can sense it but can't see, or locate, it."

"We know," Tess said.

"Tess!" Molly said with gleein going down pulling her in for a hug. "It's been so long. We're glad you're back."

"It's nice to be back," she said, "but there's a big bad out there, and it's the twin’s grandmother—"

"Meryl?" Molly asked and her flushed face from her rush to the Coven creased into the worry lines all her sisters shared. "But she's been dead for–"

"Almost 20 years," Tess said.

A murmur of voices moved through the sisters, and while the Marcotte witches, Tess the almost elder, Millie the younger, and Sandra the almost younger wiped chocolate cake from their faces.

"Where's Mill's?" Tess asked.

Judith turned to her, took Tesses hand in hers and told her Mill’s was in the LGH ICU.

"What?" she asked. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"We were going to," Susan said. "But there is so much happening that other things keepall of getting in the way.”

The sisters began whispering to each other again, in Tess was wondering, what was really going on?

"The girls and I," she saidand stood up, "are going to the hospital. If this is all Meryl, then only we can stop her."

***

When Tess and the twins reached LGH, they were informed that Millie Marcotte, had been moved to a private room.

"She's a bit tired, but on the mend," a nurse on the ward said. "She's worried about someone called, Frank."

Tess and the twins knew exactly who Frank was, and if Mill's was worried about him then she truly was on the mend. they made their way to the elevator, with Sandra rushing in before her mum and Millie.

"Don't press those buttons," Tess called, but it was all too late. "You're a daemon child."

After going to the basement, then stopping at the three floors before the fourth, they finally made it to aunt Millie's room.

“Auntie,” the twins said as they pushed the door all the way openuntil it smacked up against the wall behind it.

“Girls! Tess,” Aunt Millie said, pleased to see her sister smiling and glowing again. “I’m glad you’re all right. I was worried about what’d happened after we left the ether.”

“Lots happened, auntie,” Sandra said, and had a look she gets when she's about to just go on a word soup rampage.

They all knew the look and Tess stepped in fast otherwise no-one would get a word in edge ways.

“There's lots going on, Mill’s,” Tess said and gave Sandra the familiar look of, “you won’t say another word for 20-minutes.” “So much strange stuff is going on around Launceston."

"Do you think she is and not?" He asked.

"Can't be sure. It's got that feel though," Tess said, "andMolly rushed in, when we were at the coven, and told us everybody, from the everyday person to the police were behaving oddly-"

"And they are, auntie," Sandra said, her excitement brimming over.

Millie pinched Sandra on the arm and when she turned to see what it happened, her twin gave her the same look her mother had given her not five minutes earlier.

"I’m so sorry to say, Mill's," Tess continued, "she wasn't exaggerating. they are, everyone is. They're all behaving oddly... Anyway, how are you feeling?”

“I didn’t know I was bad enough to be put into a medically induced coma," Mills said. "Physically I’m fine, psychically I am being inundated and now I know why. Mums out and up to her old tricks again. You know what that means, don't you Tess?”

“But we freed the Pelion,” Millie interrupted, “she doesn’t have a body, so how is she free?”

Sandra had been sitting quietly on the end of the bed rubbing her right arm, waiting to be allowed to talk. Having waited too long, she raised her right hand.

“Um, I might have something to say?” Sandra said.

“Well speak up, girl,” Aunt Millie said. “When not all mind readers here.”

Sandra was about to offer up an explanation, when another thought filled her head. Turning to her mum, Sandra asked, “what’s your power?”

“Fire of course,” Tess said, “you might not have experienced it yet, but we're dragonflies. I understand Millie stumbled on the name all on her own, after she’d been chased by a bull, if I’m not mistaken?”

Aunt Millie looked all around the room. She looked at Millie, then Sandra, then out the window only to see an air-conditioning stack.

Damn and blast, she thought, why isn't thereany scenery?

“Dragonflies, I like that,” Sandra said. “But that’s not our only power, is it? Millie can see things before they happen, and I can see things before anybody can… Like the Sandman—"

“The what?” Tess asked. “No one told—"

“All right that’s enough,” Aunt Millie said adjusting herself in her bed. “You’re right, Sandra, but the story about the Sandman can wait for another time."

Millie new look her aunt had directed at Sandra. It pretty much meant the same thing as her mum's look.

"Now," their aunt said, "you, Sandra, said you might know what’s happening? Please fill us in.”

“Oh yeah,” Sandra said, “she doesn’t have a body.”

Her twin was looking at her as if to say, “what does that have to do with anything?” And was about to say those exact words, when Sandra continued.

“I mean if she has no body, then like Millie, the sofa, and the pastor’s wife—”

“The debbil the debbil,” the twins said in unison and laughed.

Millie and Tess tried to contain their laughter. It wasn’t the time or the place, but Aunt Millie was certain they’d have a good laugh about it later.

“Keep going, Sandra,” her mum said.

“Well, like four-year-old Millie, she’s got no limits. Nothing to contain her. If that’s right—”

“Then all we need to do is find something to contain her,” Tess said. “That’s brilliant, Sandy.”

“I do what I can,” she said with a smile.

Tess and Aunt Millie sat back and watched the twins work through the problem. They were so proud and amazed at their ability to think around the corners. Their mum couldn’t wait to see what they’d come up with next.

“But what do we contain her in?” Millie asked looking at Sandra, “where she can’t cause any more damage? Right?”

“Right,” Sandra said. “Oh, there’s a thought, mum, auntie, what was grandmother’s power?”

Furtive looks passed between them, and the twins knew they were talking to each other psychically. Millie tried to listen in but found one of them had blocked her. Sandra nudged Millie’s arm and psychically, the one power she recalled, asked what was going on. She was new to the craft and whatever spells and powers she learned to use over the summer holidays, well, it wasn’t her that learned them.

I can’t get in, Millie said, and Sandra screwed up her face.

Why? How? She asked.

No idea, Millie said just as her mother spoke.

“It’d explain what’s going on outside,” Tess said to an unasked question.

“What would explain what?” The twins asked.

After another few moments of silence, they saw their mum nod to their aunt, then both looked to the twins.

“Your grandmother was, well I suppose, is, a psychic vampire,” Aunt Millie said.

“A psychic what?” Sandra asked.

She didn’t like vampires. She never liked vampire stories, or movies, or the vampire costumes people dressed up in on Halloween.

“It’s Australia,” she'd say, “we don’t have Halloween in Australia,” though she did like the lollies and chocolate Millie would get after dressing up as a witch.

Sandra would go as she was and stand back at the letterbox while Millie knocked on people’s doors and say, “Trick or treat?”

One of these days, Sandra had thought last Halloween, someone’s going to say trick. Wonder what‘ll happen then?

“Psychic vampire,” her mum said and hated Sandra’s shocked look, but she had to know the truth.

“She sucked all the life out of your mum and I, when we were your age,” Aunt Millie said. “When we were coming into our powers—”

“Like all the witches in the ether?” Millie asked. “She drained, was draining, them of their power. She was living off their power even after she died.”

“Exactly,” their mum said, and they could all see how painful it was for her to remember.

Aunt Millie shed a tear, their mother was brutal with her, but she got out early. But Tess, poor Tess she couldn’t get away. Millie reached out and took her sister’s hand in her own.

“But we got out,” she said.

“Yes, we got out,” Tess said, “only after she—”

“Died,” Aunt Millie said.

“But she didn’t really die, did she?” Sandra asked.

“She was killed?” Millie said, rather than asked.

The decision to kill Meryl was made by her daughters. They were the only ones who could. They petitioned the coven to aid them in the task. She was too strong for them to deal with by themselves, and the coven knew what Meryl was, what she was doing to them… What she did to Aster.

After much deliberation, the act to terminate Meryl was agreed upon. It took a lot to get Tess to agree to it, and she knew it was the only way she could ever be free. The straw that broke the camel’s back, was when a daughter to one in the coven had a power Meryl coveted, and she sucked her dry.

Aster was the same age as Tess. She was her only friend. Tess suffers with the guilt of her death every day. She'd sworn to herself, she'd never make friends again, never do that anyone ever again.

If Aster wasn’t my friend, if she didn’t come to visit, Tess had thought. Then Meryl would never have known about her power.

Aster’s mother, Grace, a dimensional guardian, disappeared into a dimension the day after her daughters funeral. She couldn’t live without her. Before she disappeared, Grace imbued Susan with her power, so it was not lostin the Coven needed another powerful enough to bring an end to Meryl.

Aunt Millie and Tess told the girls the full story of how they decided their mother had to die.

“The coven told us to get the crystal ball-"

"Mothers totem," Tess said.

"While she was sleeping,” their aunt said.

“So we could get it back to her before she woke up the next morning,” their mum said, “I was the one. I drugged her coffee. The coven had given me a concoction of herbs. I was to wait for her to start snoring, then sneak into her room and steel the crystal ball… I was so scared.”

“You were so brave,” Aunt Millie said and squeezed her hand. “I was outside waiting for her. I couldn’t go back into that house. We rushed the totem to the coven where Jacqulyn cursed it.”

The sisters took a breather. It was hard going, and something they’d never told anybody else about, but knew the twins needed to know the truth, if nothing else, to keep them safe.

Especially now, Tess thought.

“The next time Meryl, we weren't allowed to call her mum, used the crystal ball, the covens curse would shatter it and wound her. The curse would make her powerless,” Tess said, “but we had to find something to hide it in. Something so powerful she couldn’t find it. Then the next night…”

Tess was remembering hiding in the cupboard under the stairs, listening to Meryl's screams and curses as she stomped, stamped, and wailed into the ether over her loss.

"She was talking about killing those who took away her power," Tess said, and the twins saw their mum was shaking.

They sat on either side of her on their aunties bed and gave her a hug.

“It’s all right mum,” they said. “You don’t have to continue.”

“No, we do,” she said, “you need to know it all. You're in as much danger as we are now.”

Tess looked to Millie, and their aunt adjusted a couple of pillows behind her and took over.

“The day the Crystal shattered,” Aunt Millie said, “I gave your mum a tincture of hemlock the sisters had put together. It was powerful, potent and poisonous. One sip and it would've killed an elephant… But we had to be sure.”

“I took the tincture and poured half a of it into her whiskey,” their mum said, “and the other half into her coffee. I wasn’t sure what she'd be drinking, though whiskey was a good pick. She started drinking the moment the crystal shattered.”

“While your mum waited in the cupboard under the stairs,” Aunt Millie said. “She was safe in their because when we about your age, we installed three slip locks on the inside of the door, so I knew your mum was safe. All I could do was wait outside for her.”

Tess and Millie took a deep breath. It was hard work reliving the past, and both new things outside the hospital were only going to get worse.

“The poison didn’t take long,” Tess said, “but I couldn’t be sure. I heard her hit the floor. I waited another hour before unlocking my door. I had to be sure she was really dead.”

“Your mum came running out of that house like a bat out of the circles of hell’s were after her,” Aunt Millie said. “We held tight to each other as the coven moved into the house to get rid of the body.”

“Get rid of?” Millie asked, “but, we’ve seen her grave.”

“Yeah,” Sandra agreed.

“You’ve seen a headstone,” their aunt said, “but we had to make sure she couldn’t ever come back, so with the power Grace imbued into Susan, the coven cast her body into a dimension that had no way out.”

“Well,” Sandra said, “I think they’re a bit off their game, cause grandma got out.”

“Yes, well,” Aunt Millie said, “someone, something must’ve helped her, and we’re going to have to find out who.”

“Do you mean we've got a betrayer in the coven?” Sandra asked. “How delicious. Do we get to help?”

Aunt Millie knew there was nothing delicious about having a betrayer in the coven. They could do so much damage and already had.

Who'd let Meryl out? She thought.

“Okay,” Millie said, “so, where did the Anzac biscuit tin come into it? And how has that protected, or, contained, the shards of powerful crystal ball?”

Tess and Millie shared a quiet laugh.

“We needed something to put the shards in,” their mum said.

“And there was an Anzac Day special on,” Aunt Millie said.

“And we didn’t have much time,” their mum said, and Aunt Millie started laughing again.

“So, we decided, why the hells not?” Aunt Millie said. “We got to have tea and biscuits, and a pretty secure container for the crystal ball to lie in.”

“All right,” Millie said, “what made the Anzac biscuit tin a secure container for a magic totem?”

“Oh, right,” their mum said, “blood magic.”

The twins looked at each other and their mum and aunt were laughing again.

“That was shorter than expected,” Sandra said.

Aunt Millie sat upright. Her eyes flashed a bright silver, and their mum looked worried.

“What is it, Mill’s?” she asked.

“Frank!”

***

Frank had been at Aunt Millie’s house for some time, and things were only getting wilder and weirder, and that fog from the day before had begun to follow him. CSI were still examining the dried blood pool, Frank couldn't move them on. The neighbours were behaving as though the bloody Beatles had just arrived. Only he and the witches were in their right minds.

“All right, everyone,” he yelled over the ruckus trying to be heard, “time to go home.”

Frank made his way along the line of onlookers while motioning with his hands for them to move back when suddenly he heard his name called.

“Millie?” he asked and spun on his heels to look in the direction he’d heard the voice, but it wasn’t Millie. When he turned, a tall rectangular block of fog had risen up behind him. Then it transformed into the shape of a human, right before his eyes. A foggy hand reached out and took him by the throat and pulled him into the fog.

Horror

About the author

Karen Eastland

I write primarily, Urban Fantasy, but because my style sits on the cuff of several genres moving into paranormal fantasy was an easy step. I became a Vocal+ member to provide interactive access for my readers.

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