Tale as Old As Time

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Rings and Retching

“Oh My God! He has no head!” Mia whispered, before racing into the dining room.

Emma and Matt could hear retching sounds coming from Mia’s direction and were struggling to quell the urge to join her.

“She’s right. He has no head.” Emma stated.

“So where is it? I mean, how many times have we been up and down that staircase tonight and we haven’t seen a drop of blood.” Matt told her, trying to remain calm and provide a logical explanation for the bodies in front of them.

“That’s assuming he was killed on the staircase. He could have been taken somewhere else and killed.” Emma pointed out.

“How do we know they’re real and not just really clever models?” Matt asked, still not wanting to believe all of his friends to be dead.

“Why don’t you go touch one and then you can tell me if they’re real or not.” Emma suggested.

“Why don’t you?” Matt snapped back at her.

Emma sloshed through the water left on the floor to what they assumed to be Tom’s headless body and leaned over. Gingerly she prodded it, before recoiling her finger and screwing up her nose.

“It feels real. And...” She explained, looking at the bodies of Alexis and Lucas in turn “We know Alexis was eaten by a sea monster and Lucas fell to those poison darts.”

“You want them to be dead don’t you?” Mia asked from the doorway, looking at Emma accusingly.

“No, but I’d rather know they’re dead than wonder where they are and what happened to them.” Emma snapped back, making Mia sob.

Emma lifted Tom’s hand, revealing a gold ring on his ring finger. Puzzled by the ring, Emma bent down to inspect it.

“It looks like a wedding band.” Emma said, twisting it around to get a better look at it.

“A wedding band?” Matt asked her, risking a look at Mia.

Mia’s jaw dropped to the floor as Emma quickly looked at the other bodies, before her gaze rested on Khaia’s glowing corpse.

“Don’t touch her! She could be contagious!” Mia warned.

Emma knelt down beside Khaia’s body and raised her left hand, revealing the matching band to Tom’s.

“They got married? How, when, where?” Matt stuttered as Mia ran back to the dining room.

“I have no idea. Maybe they were tricked into it. What fascinates me is how her skin is glowing.” Emma replied before searching Khaia’s skin.

She found the cut and, using her fingers, managed to squeeze one of the bulbous, glowing substances out of it.

“Is that a firefly?” Matt asked her, horrified.

“Death by firefly. Sounds painful.” Emma quipped to try and lighten the mood. “Do you hear that?”

“Hear what? There’s nothing but silence!”

“Exactly! Mia was sob-retching about thirty seconds ago.”

“We better go find her.” Matt suggested, not really wanting Mia to separate from the group.

Emma and Matt stood in the doorway to the dining room staring in horror at the scene they were witnessing.

Over by the fireplace Mia was stood, bent over the fire pit in a retching position, an empty, smoking glass stood next to her.

Except, Mia wasn’t moving and steam was coming out of her open mouth, nose and ears.

Walking towards her and trying to ignore the strong smell of vomit that clung to the air, Matt wanted to check her pulse. He found nothing.

Meanwhile, Emma was checking the smoking glass.

“Looks like Liquid Nitrogen.” Emma told him, putting the glass back down and joining Matt at the strange shape that was now Mia.

“And then there were two. How do you think the house is going to take us?” Matt asked, his face blanching in the moonlight.

Emma heard the swish of the cloak and the soft click of a door, but decided to keep quiet about it, instead, choosing to answer Matt’s question.

“I think it’s going to be quick and painless.” She lied, trying to keep his spirits up.

“Back to the stairs?” Matt suggested, turning away from Mia, wanting to get as far away from the bodies of his friends as he possibly could.

Emma said nothing but followed Matt to the door.

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