The Long Thaw: The Slender Man Part Four
The Adventures of Millie and Sandra
The Adventures of Millie and Sandra is a series of urban, paranormal, crime fiction/fantasy stories for girls between 9 and 14. At the bottom of this story, seventh in the series that will become books, I will provide the links to the previous stories in order, from number one.
Aunt Millie had Sandra’s hand in hers as they made their way through the forest. While the coven prepared for the battle ahead, Judith was keeping her up to date. From what she could tell, Millie had just about used every spell she knew.
“Auntie?” Sandra said.
“We’re headed for the creek.”
Creek? Aunt Millie thought, What creek?
They were sucessfully manoeuvering through tree and bush without making a sound. It was a delicate operation, but now Aunt Millie was trying to recall what creek. She and Tess, the twin’s mother, had explored the forest when they were children, and there was never any creek back then.
“Tell me about it,” her aunt said.
“It was strange,” Sandra said, and her voice had taken on an excited tone.
Her aunt knew where that would lead, “It would be absolutely delicious and, what a wonderfully divine love affair that could be,” or some other such nonsense. She knew she had to put a stop to it before it started.
“Calm yourself,” she said, “and breathe.”
Sandra took a deep breath, but it didn’t slow her down.
“Millie and I came across it… Well, I fell into it,” she said. “Mil’s only just stopped in time. It would’ve been a deliciously divine moment had both of us hit the water at the same time. What a splash that would’ve made?”
“Why was it strange?”
“Well,” Sandra began, “we hadn’t been into the forest as far as the barn, ‘cause mum and dad said we couldn’t, but one day, suddenly there it was.”
Judith? Aunt Millie asked psychically, did you cross a creek on your way to the house?
No creek. Big pond though.
Sandra was full to bursting. She had lots to say, but her aunt held out a forestalling hand.
“Stop it,” she whispered. “we’re trying to save your sister and your constant nattering is letting all the nasties no where we are.”
Suddenly, Sandra grabbed her arm.
“Stop,” she whispered.
“What’s the matter?”
“Look,” she said. “Look at this absolutely splendid pond. Isn’t it just divine? See how the moon—”
“Yes. Yes,” her aunt said.
Laid before them was a large lake. It looked like it’d been there forever. Aunt Millie felt an intense spectral heat rising from it.
“Now, where did you come from?” she muttered, then something strange happened.
The water whirled and twisted. A great whirlpool formed at its centre. It whipped small waves up into waterspouts. Then, just as fast as it began, it stopped. The forest was silent. Everything became still. Not even the crackle of a dying fire that once was a barn, or the sweet song of night birds, could be heard.
Mill’s? Mill’s, Judith suddenly cried, giving her a headache, something’s happening. Something’s—
Then there was a stomach-churning silence.
Judith? she called, Judith?
Aunt Millie panicked, but she was the high priestess, and the twins aunt, she couldn’t let anyone know of the terror she was experiencing.
Let’s hope it’s just the Dybbuk, she thought and put on a fake smile.
A round of, “Oo’s,” and, “Ah’s,” began around them. It was those in the coven who stayed to help save Sandra.
What now? Aunt Millie thought.
Before she had time to think, she noticed her steel caps were covered in ice.
“Out of the water,” she cried loud enough for all to hear, and backed away.
“Auntie?” Sandra screamed, that’s when she realised she’d let go of her hand, and her pink sneakers were covered in ice.
What’s going on? Several sisters of the coven said in unison.
Aunt Millie’s head pounded. Their energies overwhelmed her, and she had to put her fingers in her ears, give them a wiggle and a whirl to try to stop the cascading voices in her head.
Stop, she said, and the voices became silent. Stay away from the water.
Aunt Millie took a deep, calming breath as they left her head.
“Auntie?” Sandra called, “Help!”
Aunt Millie pulled her boots from the ice without effort and kicked each toe on the side of a tree to shake off the rest. She quickly evaluated the situation and knew what she had to do to.
“Hold on,” she said, and took a deep breath, then cast a single stream of warm blue fire into the ice. “Now! Get out now.”
Sandra looked down to see the ice quickly melt from her shoes and turned to see her aunt’s hand reaching for her. As she took hold, she saw ice moving up along the bough of a tree.
Is it alive? Sandra wondered. It’s slithering like a snake... are they eyes?
Just when her aunt thought everyone was safe, the slithering ice, coating all the trees, began shooting icicles at them.
“Duck!” her aunt yelled when a scream from somewhere to her left sent a shiver up her spine.
“Auntie?” Sandra whispered, “what’s happening?”
“Just stay close.”
Sandra moved in and tried to adjust her eyes to the darkness, but the moon was behind a cloud.
“What’s going on?” she whispered.
“It’s the Dybbuk,” her aunt said.
“You mean the thing in the box?”
“The very same.”
“I don’t understand—”
“Not now,” her aunt said, “I’m trying to see how many of my sisters can still speak.”
Although Sandra was quiet, her mind was racing, and she didn’t see the snake of ice wind itself up around her leg. The first she knew was when her aunt began to chant:
Seething swales of salt and sand,
Shatter with a seasoned hand,
Blind the foul touch of the beasts reach,
Depart loathsome creature, release,
Sandra looked down at the large, thin, coiling mass of ice as it crumbled to the forest floor. Aunt Millie had no luck in contacting Judith, or any of the sisters at the house, and she couldn’t feel Millie. After quiet consultation with the sisters who’d stayed, it was decided her aunt would melt a path through the lake.
“Stand back, Sandra,” she said, and as she took a step back, “the coven… what’s left of it, will be here any minute.”
Sandra grabbed her arm, and even though she knew the coven was coming, she was filled with—Delicious terror—as seven older women emerged from the forest.
“Get behind me,” her aunt said, but Sandra refused to let go, so took hold of her backpack. “Don’t know what’s ahead. Also got no idea how wide, or how deep, the lake is.”
Aunt Millie took a deep breath, then she released a white-fiery flame into the ice and carved a path. They snaked their way through ice-cold water and had only been walking a few minutes before it was waist deep. Aunt Millie tried to warm it with her Dragon breath, but it lasted seconds. With another fiery flame shot into the ice ahead, the next step Aunt Millie took was a doozie. Her head went under, and she took Sandra with her.
Aunt Millie struggled to get her head above water, but because of Sandra on her back, she was drowning. Her aunt had to think of something, fast.
Sourly salted the shaken sea,
Embrace we two, Sandra and me,
Stack beneath a rocky pile,
and shift through water like a missile,
Sandra was holding on tight as she and her aunt flew out of the water, then splashed back down.
“Whoa,” Sandra said, becoming more impressed with the aunt and her oogity boogity minute by minute.
“Sandra? Sandra,” her aunt called while treading water. “Thank goodness you‘re all right.”
A loud crackling filled the forest, and several screams from the coven rang out. The ice aunt Millie had melted was rejoining. The sisters were treading water with only their heads above.
“Cranzoo,” Aunt Millie said, then caught herself. “Forget that word, Sandra. Never heard it from me. Right?”
“Okay. But what does it—”
“Nothing. It means nothing. Never say it in front of your mother, and I’ll deny it if you ever do,” her aunt said, and her tone suggested it was the end of that discussion. “Now hold tight.”
You know what to do, ladies, Mill’s said.
“And Sandra? When I say, “Now,” you say the words, “Shatter, then, snap!”
The ice was growing fast. It’d begun to tighten around their necks. The sensation made Aunt Millie fear for her friend, Judith, and the other sisters at the house.
“Now!” Aunt Millie yelled, and in one voice, the forest trees shook when the words, “Shatter, snap!” was screamed into the night.
The ice crumbled back to water. The clouds drifted from the moon, and the forest lit up again. The ladies were still neck-deep, but the other side was only a couple of strokes away. As they emerged from the water, the green pulsating light surrounding the house across the road showed them the way. Aunt Millie tried to contact Judith and the others again but got no reply.
“Come along, sisters,” Aunt Millie said, holding tight to Sandra’s hand, “we have to hurry.”
They looked like an odd-looking troupe of women as they walked towards the light. They were wet and bedraggled and would’ve been a sight to see. They neared the house and fell into a stunned silence. Standing like statues amid a great snowstorm, stood their sisters. They’d been covered in the green gel before being frozen.
“To cull our numbers,” Aunt Millie mumbled, unaware she’d said anything at all.
“Are they dead, auntie?”
“I’m not sure,” she said. “It’ll be a long thaw and even then, I can’t be sure. We need to get them out of the gel first. I can’t hear them either. The gel’s blocking my abilities.”
“What about Millie?” Sandra asked.
Her aunt didn’t know she was crying until she spoke.
“It’s time, Sandra,” she said and wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her jacket.
“Time for what?”
“Oogity boogity, my dear child. Oogity boogity.”
“No. Not my thing,” she argued. “That’s yours and Millie’s—”
“Are you going to let your sister die because you don’t want to admit to your power?” Her aunt said, taking her by the shoulders and giving her a good shake. “I’d do anything to get my sisters back, but look, Sandra, just look at them.”
Sandra did. She looked around and saw her aunt’s friends, her sisters, and in that moment, she knew she’d try anything to get Mil’s back.
“What do I do?” she asked.
“You must believe in yourself. Accept your destiny,” her aunt said.
“Okay,” she said. “How will I recognise it?”
“It’ll be real simple for you,” she said. “Look for Millie. We’ll share our power with you to help.”
The remaining coven surrounded Sandra. They lay her on the ground and helped her drift off into a deep trance.
“Look for your other self, Sandra,” Margret, the resident astral projector, said. “You’ll know her by her light, as she will know you by yours.”
Sandra was hovering above her sleeping body, looking down.
“What do you see?”
“Me, and I can fly,” she said, and saw the lips on her body move. “This is excellent. What a delicious— Millie. What’re you doing?”
“You see Millie?” her aunt asked, but she didn’t answer.
Millie was calling to her.
“Sandra?” Millie asked. “How’d you… never mind. Come lie down. It’s lovely here.”
Sandra flew to where Millie lay. She was bathed in a gold light. Sandra looked to see what hers was, and it too was gold. She landed on a tuft of fresh green grass and lay down next to her twin. Sandra looked up and saw they were under the old pear tree at Grandad's old place. It even had Warren loves Meryl 1944 carved into the bark.
“So, how’ve you been?” Sandra asked while picking a pear.
“Okay, considering the Dybbuk,” Millie said.
“Yeah,” Sandra said, but her thoughts flew from her mind as soon as she thought them. “I like this place.”
“Me too,” Millie said, and they bit into their fruit. The juices sprayed into the air just like they used to.
The Adventures of Millie and Sandra:
- Aunt Millie's Warning
- The Terrible Case of Mr. Spoxal
- Happy Birthday Girls
- Marigold Madness: The Slender Man Part One
- The Raging Bull: The Slender Man Part Two
- The Heart Of The Matter: The Slender Man Part Three
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About the author
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.