Chief Kerrigan found the note written by Andy. He felt relieved that somebody else is going to put up a fight against the demon but he was bugged by the fact that he didn't know who this person was. Or are there more people involved? The thought that it might still be a joke lingered in his mind but he silenced it.
So the time comes again, he thought, to face it. It was the last thing he had ever wished for. And who will be the one to be sacrificed? This was the main question. Until now it was only him. He played a lot with the idea of sacrificing himself. He also played with the idea of destroying the spade. That was their original idea back then. But back then they were four and still couldn't do it. So the idea of self-sacrifice came naturally to him.
He had to find a quick way to fill the symbol with blood but that wasn't easy. The blood had to flow into the ground through a small orifice at the bottom of the symbol. So even if he drenched the symbol with blood, some time was still needed for it to flow through. During this time the dead could stop him and prevent the blood from flowing down.
Anyway, if there are more people involved, it increases the chance of success. They either have a plan of their own or he has to convince them to go for the spade. If everything else fails, he will do it, he will slash his wrist and end it.
He thought about his wife and children. If he kills himself, they will never know what had happened to him, just as Buddy's wife had never known. It will be painful for them if he dies but maybe that's part of the sacrifice too. He had to choose the lesser evil out of many.
Kerrigan drove to the station and locked himself in his office. He sat down at his desk and put his legs on the table as in the movies. The urge to drink came upon him but he somehow resisted it. I still have work to do, he thought. People were all over him, his superiors, the media, the mayor and people from town. They wanted answers and he couldn't deliver them.
What happened to Karen, to the priest, to Harry and so on? He knew very well what was responsible for their demise but he couldn't tell anyone. All right, he could tell Victor but he wouldn't listen and he could have told Jim but Jim is dead now.
At least the disappearance of Kevin is still a missing person's case. They are looking for him in the neighboring states also without success, of course. Many people think that Kevin ran away and abducted Karen for some reason. Kerrigan couldn't care less, let them search, he thought.
For the priest, he cared even less, pedophile cocksucker. He deserved his fate. The autopsy reports were strange and had left the specialists scratching their heads. There were so many things that didn't add up. They had finally concluded that the severe deterioration of the body is to blame. The priest was buried and the police were now looking for a phantom killer. The sheriff guessed that it was the work of the demon but didn't know the details. Most likely, he said to himself, the priest was killed by some vengeful person and then resurrected by the demon. He came back to avenge his death and failed again. What a fucking loser, he said and then uttered a bitter laugh.
Fuck it, I need a drink, he thought and went to a small cabinet which held a few bottles of expensive booze for special occasions. He opened up a bottle of Jack Daniels and poured himself a glass. Here's one for the dead, he said and drank it.
He put the bottle and glass back then began inspecting the weapons he had here. There was not much to choose from. Two 12-gauge shotguns and 3 handguns complete with ammunition and some accessories. He seldom used these weapons. He took them on interventions many times but didn't really need them.
A shotgun and a handgun will be enough, he thought, that's gonna be the arsenal for Thursday night. His guilt resurfaced again after seeing the weapons. When he really had to pull the trigger, he was afraid.
Clarice, he muttered under his mustache, I failed you. I had the weapons, I had the knowledge, I had everything yet I still failed you. Then I murdered you once more. Who is the loser again?
He went to the cabinet and opened it up again, took the bottle with a firm grip and poured another drink. Keith looked at the glass as it was glittering in the faint light of the office and tears began to roll down his cheeks. This was it, the surface had finally cracked and the steam had to come out.
And one more for me, he said and emptied one more glass. Then the proud and brave Sheriff Keith Kerrigan cried like a baby. Clarice's face was drifting before his eyes. First, it was young and beautiful, youth and beauty she had lost because of him. Then her face turned grim and rotten, just like it was when he bashed her head in at the cemetery. Kerrigan felt sorry for Clarice. Maybe I should sacrifice myself, he thought, a life for a life. I don't deserve to live while she is down there robbed of her life. I failed her in life but I will not fail her after her death. I will make things right!
Victor and Nate sat down on the side of the boy's bed. The father put his hand around the son's shoulder and looked at him with a concerned gaze. He never expected to hear what the boy had to say.
'So,' he began, 'what's bothering you, buddy?'
'Dad,' began Nate but he was hesitating, 'the demon is back.'
Victor's face dropped and began shifting colors like a chameleon. He was blinking like a fish out of the water and couldn't say a word. No, he thought, it can't be, I misheard what he had said. There is no way that the demon had any contact with my son.
'Sorry,' he finally said but his voice was trembling, 'what are you talking about?'
'You know, daddy,' said the boy and looked into his father's eyes, 'the demon who digs up the dead.'
Victor almost fainted. How in the hell, he thought, did my son get in contact with it? It has to be something serious if he is so scared.
'But how do you know about it?' asked Victor.
'We were there when Father Jonathan died,' the boy explained, 'we broke into the priest's office to steal the evidence because he was a pervert and he caught us then took us into the basement to kill us.'
'Oh, my God!'
'Yes, Daddy,' Nate continued, 'but the demon came and dug up the dead kids and they came out of their grave to kill Father Jonathan.'
'And what happened to you?'
'I looked into its eyes and it cursed me.'
'Sorry, Dad, I didn't know I shouldn't look.'
'And do you know what curse it placed on you?'
'Yes, a tormentor, an evil spirit that lives in the darkness, I saw it again now in the basement. It said that...' he began sobbing again, 'it said that it's going to take me to hell and it...it can kill me anytime it wants to but it wants to watch me suffer...'
'Damn right I want to!' a hellish voice spoke in response to Nate.
Victor shuddered and a cold chill ran up then down his spine. The voice filled him with dread and he looked in all directions to try and identify the source. Nate was also looking around but they couldn't see anything out of the ordinary.
'Dad, I think it came from the closet.'
Victor didn't respond, he stood up and started walking towards the closet. Nate knew that it was a bad idea but he trusted his father. He hoped that the adult will solve the problem. Nate didn't yet fully know that oftentimes the adults are who are causing the problems. They are capable of doing things no child in the limited but right mind would ever do. Sometimes children are more mature than adults yet they look up to them all the time and expect them to solve all their problems.
Nate watched with wide eyes as his father reached for the knob, took a deep breath and then yanked the door open. A puff of grey smoke was visible inside as if somebody had smoked a cigarette there five minutes ago. It dissipated in a few seconds and left only a sense of dread in its place. Victor sighed out of relief, he expected that something will jump out at him but it didn't. He went back and sat beside his son again.
'See, I told you,' said Nate and studied his father's face.
'I believe you, don't worry. How did you know that I had dealt with it before? I mean the demon.'
'Chris told me,' Nate replied without trying to lie, 'he was in your office when the sheriff came to talk with you. He was hiding behind the sofa. He wanted to steal some cookies.'
'We will face the demon on Thursday night, dad.'
'We have to.'
'Andy, Chris, Danny, Jess and me.'
'No, it's out of the question. How can you...'
'Dad, there's no other chance,' said Nate with tears in his eyes, 'the ghost can kill me any time now. If we face it, I have a chance to stay alive. I don't want to die, Daddy!'
Victor saw his son's point and knew that he was right. He was staring at floor hunched over with his elbows on his knees. How could he possibly think that he's going to somehow sit back and watch everything resolve itself? He was a coward, he admitted it at last. Until now, he knew it but rejected the idea, he didn't care. But now the stakes have risen. His son is days if not hours ago from dying and he just tries to ignore everything.
'Dad, are you ok?'
'Oh, yeah. I was just thinking.'
'Will you help us?'
The dreaded question had been asked. Victor didn't want to help, he didn't want to have anything to do with the demon and the dead. He also didn't want to see his son die. Time was running out.
'Help? I don't know...I mean...yes, I will help but I don't know how...'
'We have a plan but we don't know if it's going to work. Andy wrote a note to the sheriff and hopefully, he will also come and help us.'
'That's good news,' replied Victor but his mind was desperately trying to find a way out of the situation.
'All right,' spoke Victor again after a slight pause, 'let's go to your mother. Be careful, don't tell her anything, ok?'
'Ok,' said Nate more relieved now that his father said that he's going to help.
Victor lied to his wife that he had forgotten something at the library and left in haste. He didn't want her to see that he is shaken as if he came back from the front line of some war. The car was parked in front of the house so he jumped in and sped away.
The library was closed at this hour but he could enter whenever he wanted. He went up into his office and just as his friend did a few hours earlier, he began to drink.
Thoughts were racing inside his head like crazy. He now understood the chief and why he came to ask for his help. You don't know the weight of things until they are resting on your shoulders.
Now it was his time to feel guilty. First of all for Buddy because his death was Victor's fault. When the situation got tight, he chickened out and ran away. Second, his son will most likely die because he is a coward and isn't strong enough to face the challenge. This was the first time he came face to face with himself. Victor wasn't stupid, he knew things about himself, he just didn't care much. But now the problem is much closer to home, it is literally in his home. This time there will be no running away, he thought, but will I have the balls to save my son?
He drank until he passed out and slept on the couch until early in the morning. After waking up, he went down to the car and headed home.
Frank finished helping his mother with the work around the house. It wasn't an easy task especially due to the hail of curses thrown on him by Martha. The boy didn't say a word. He kept fantasizing about killing her in various ways. Some part of him, the one still attached to her, protested against these murderous thoughts but it was useless. His darker side took over and it somehow had a calming effect on him. It made him feel in charge of his own life which liberated him mentally at least.
He imagined cutting her throat with a knife and watching her squirm on the ground. Then he saw himself implant an ax in her head and laugh at the surprised look on her face as the steel is halfway buried in her stupid brain. The next variation, however, gave him the most satisfaction. It was disembowelment with a sharp knife. Yeah, he thought, this way I can enjoy it much longer.
After some fantasizing, he paused and tried to comprehend just why does he have these feelings. Because, he thought, my mother is a fucking whore who wouldn't ever say a good word to me. It was always the punishment, always the scolding and the beatings. And my dad left her alone to do to me whatever she wanted to. He was weak and still is, he is her slave and so am I. He is guilty of letting her do to me what she had done. I have to be stronger than him, stronger than both. Yeah, maybe I should kill them both, fuckin' useless pieces of stinkin' shit. That's what they are, nothing more.
I am stronger now than both of them, he continued his reasoning, I'm a big boy now. They are shit and they shouldn't tell me what to do. The weaker shouldn't give orders to the stronger. Yeah, I will show them who is stronger, I will show them true power.
After they had finished what they had to do, Frank didn't want to go out anymore. He felt tired and didn't want anything else but to sleep so he went into his room and lay down in his bed. Frank was tossing and turning but sleep just didn't come. He was wondering why. It might be the thing they saw in the cemetery, it might have somehow affected them. Frank couldn't figure this out but, nevertheless, he was frustrated by the lack of sleep. After some time he got desperate. The boy got so angry that he began tearing at the pillow and cover with his teeth. His eyes were bulging like he was being castrated with no anesthesia.
Sleep was out of the question so he got out of bed and went for a walk. He had no destination, he just walked wherever the road was leading him. Frank returned hours later, he was just in time for dinner.
The Fletchers ate their dinner without much fuss. Martha always insisted that dinners should be consumed in peace and she was adamant about this. Frank ate in silence but in his mind, a short movie was playing. It was about Martha as she is choking on a piece of bone.
After dinner, he went to bed with high hopes but sleep still didn't come. His desperation and anger grew. It was only a matter of time when the anger will be released.
He hated almost everybody. His mother, father, the sheriff, the Gang. Jess came into his mind again. Frank hated her but he also liked her. Perverse ideas of revenge were making their way into his head. His penis hardened and he felt the heat. Imagining Jess naked was pleasant indeed. Frank decided to blow off some of the steam. He thought that it might help him sleep so he grabbed his small dick and began masturbating violently. After a short time, he finished but still had a hard time sleeping. The road to his madness had been paved, he just had to follow it.
Jim wasn't feeling well either. He was shivering all the time now. It began to become worse after he woke up. He told his parents that he had slept without covering himself last night and this is why he feels bad. His mother grew more concerned when she saw that her son is feeling worse by the hour.
Just before nightfall, she took him to the hospital. There the doctors checked him out but couldn't find anything wrong on the spot. They said that they will know more on Wednesday morning.
Tuesday night Jim slept only a little because the chill he was feeling was getting unbearable. The hospital staff had placed three radiators in his room so he doesn't shiver. It was all right for a few hours and Jim managed to get some sleep.
His dream was a most unsettling one. In the dream, he was wandering through the cemetery looking for Frank. Snow was falling in large flakes as it was the middle of winter. Jim was shivering because he was clad only in summer clothes. The path was covered in a blanket of snow several inches deep, he had a hard time feeling his toes.
As he was stumbling around and hugging himself, Frank appeared in the distance. His face looked exhausted, his body thinner than usual as if he had lost many pounds. Frank came up to him and spoke:
'It was the demon,' he said in a tired voice, 'the demon cursed us. We are lost!'
'W-what d-d-demon?' asked Jim.
'Him!' said Frank and pointed to the side.
There, several yards away, the black figure they saw Sunday night, was staring at them. Jim got scared by the towering presence and looked down, away from those burning eyes. This was when he noticed that the graves are open, they were all open. He heard cries and moans coming from everywhere. In his frigid daze of a sleep, he thought about what he had heard in church when he was younger and his grandmother used to take him to the Sunday services. It was something about judgement day when the graves would open and all the dead would come out. Jim wasn't a smart person but he knew that this was only a fool's hope. People have always invented fairytales to deal with death and probably they always will. Now he wasn't so sure anymore, the dream felt too real.
'Frank, we have to run!' he said and grabbed his friend by the shoulder.
'There's no running away,' said Frank and stared at Jim with a grave look.
This was when Jim began to hear the sounds of movement. Rustling and earth shifting, he looked around in fear and saw hands coming out of the graves. He started to run but it was difficult in the deep snow. A quick glance over his shoulder was enough to see that the dead have come out of their graves and caught Frank. Others have taken after Jim so he tried to run faster.
He woke up when he felt a cold hand on his shoulder. A scream almost left his throat but he saw that it was a nurse who touched him.
'Sorry for waking you,' she said, 'but it seemed to me that you're having some kind of nightmare.'
'Y-yes, I h-had one,' he replied and tried to minimize his cold-induced stuttering but with little success.
'Don't worry, the doc's going to be here soon,' she said.
'A-all right,' he replied and pulled the many covers he had on him almost over his head.
The doctor indeed came to visit Jim but he could say nothing certain. Jim got alarmed when he shook the doctor's hand but didn't say anything. The hand felt cold, he also felt the nurse' hand as cold but he attributed the sensation to the daze of waking up. This was new but it signaled him that things are going downhill fast. Also, the cold sensation has got more severe.
The doctor said that he had sent Jim's analysis results to the State Hospital in Minneapolis and until he gets some results, he will put Jim on medication. This ain't gonna do shit, Jim thought and was already thinking of ways to warm himself up because the doctors can't.