Chapter 22: Memory
“You really did kill your wife!” Jordyn exclaimed, her hands clutched into fists as she stood up and glared at him.
“How did you find her body?” the Sheriff demanded, shooting the gun at the ground and cocking it again, causing them all to jump.
“Janet led us here.” Ian said coldly, standing up as well. “So now the question is, where is everyone else? The other bodies? The missing people? The girls you all killed? Where’s my brother?!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I only killed my wife cause she was sleeping with that damn Reverend.”
“Then why didn’t you kill the Reverend?” Joey piped up curiously. This caused the Sheriff to pause.
“The Reverend. Usually if someone is cheating, you kill both of them right? Why didn’t you kill the Reverend?”
Black goop started to drip from Sheriff Glendale’s nose.
“I-I don’t have to tell you anything!” he yelled, wiping the goop away.
There was something off about all of this.
“How did you kill her?” Ian asked, narrowing his eyes. “Was it an accident? Or out of cold blood?”
The Sheriff’s hand was shaking vehemently, and more black goop was dripping out of his nose, and now out of his ears. A single black tear rolled down his cheek.
The man fell to his knees, dropping the gun and putting his hands to his head as if he were in pain.
“I killed her I killed her I killed her-. No one else-look at me-I’m guilty-I killed her.”
The other four people in the barn stared at him. Joey eventually ventured forward.
“I don’t think he killed his wife guys…” she said softly, crouching down to look at him in the face. “I think his memory has been tampered with.”
“By the spirit parasite?” Jordyn asked, dumbfounded. “So you’re saying-it was-the spirit parasite-was trying to make it look like the Sheriff was guilty?”
“Yes. The fact that his wife is in his barn and something is making him admit to it, I don’t think anyone would have actually checked the bullet to see if it was a match…”
“Sheriff?” Ian asked gently as the man groaned in pain.
“Barry?” Jordyn asked, her demeanor towards him changed.
“Brian, go back and get your van. We need to figure out what happened to him.” Joey ordered as the Sheriff coughed up some black goop.
“Fine by me. Anything to get away from this dead body...”
Jordyn had removed the bullet from Janet’s body and put it safely in a ziplock bag as evidence. They had decided to wait a little to call the coroner so he could do a more thorough investigation.
For now, the five of them sat in the back of Brian’s van. Ian found himself for once, grateful that Brian owned a cargo van that could fit this many people-with the added perk of being able to stand up inside.
The Sheriff had seemed mostly to have regained his composure, and was now looking at the four people around him warily.
“So you’re saying… my memory has been altered?” he asked, looking curiously at some of the equipment Brian had back there.
“We think so. What do you supposedly remember about killing your wife?” Joey asked. The Sheriff’s eyebrows furrowed forward in confusion as he tried hard to think about it.
“I-I remember there was some sort of argument… I confronted Reverend Passey… and…”
The Sheriff leaned over in pain again, clutching his head.
“Ian, did you call the Reverend and tell him to come over?” Jordyn asked, folding her arms and looking over the Sheriff with concern.
“Yeah. He should be here any minute.”
“Brian-what do you have on your scanner?”
“It’s weird… It’s picking up some of the same readings as the ghosts and the black goop, but just on the Sheriff-almost like it’s inside him or something.
At that moment, they heard a car pulling up in the driveway.
The poked their heads out of the back of the van to see the Reverend pulling up. He got out of the car and then froze when he saw the Sheriff.
“I-I thought you said the Sheriff wasn’t here!” the Reverend squeaked.
“I lied.” Ian smirked. “Now you’re the one who slept with his wife right?”
At this, Reverend Passey looked very taken aback.
“You know we found her dead body.” Ian told him, standing up and walking over to him threateningly.
The Reverend shrank back.
“It-it was an accident!” he blurted. The others paused.
“Are you confessing that you’re the one who killed her?”
Black goop started to drip out of the Reverend’s nose.
“I-I didn’t want anyone to find out-it would have ruined me as a Reverend-it-it-.”
He doubled over with a hand on his head as if he were in pain.
“HA! There! Same thing!” Brian exclaimed, pointing.
“I don’t think either of these men killed Janet.” Ian stood back, folding his arms. The Reverend stood there confused, subconsciously wiping away the black goop coming out of his nose.
“Your memory has been tampered with Reverend. You and the Sheriff both thought you killed Janet.”
The Reverend blinked, completely surprised.
“I’m not even sure if the Reverend even slept with her…” Joey theorized. “I thought that part was a little weird… Maybe he ran into something he wasn’t supposed to, and someone fabricated this whole thing to draw the attention off of themselves…”
“So… what do we do now?” Sheriff Glendale asked.
Joey gave him a smile.
“Let’s go inside. I’m going to try to restore your memories…”
Roderick continued to walk in the dark expanse, followed by the dead little girls.
“Roderiiiiiiick…..” a voice hissed in the air.
Roderick stopped, feeling that chill up his spine again.
“Who’s there?” he demanded, his hands balling up into fists.
Suddenly, a dark figure appeared in front of him. A few of the girls that had been following Roderick shrank back in fear, and a couple of them whimpered.
“So you’re the spirit parasite.” Roderick said through clenched teeth, standing his ground despite his fear.
It was the first time he had seen it in detail up close.
It looked like it had dark hair that was tied back in some kind of ponytail, and a goatee on his dark face that seemed covered in the same black goop that they had seen so much.
“Aaaand you arrrre Roderiiiick Vennnndeleeer…” the parasite hissed, circling him, it’s blank white eyes staring at him.
“What do you want with me?” Roderick spat.
“Ooooh you found out whoooo my partner isssss… I couldn’t let thattttt sliiiiide…”
“But you haven’t cared about killing people-so why am I still alive?”
He probably shouldn’t be asking this, but his curiosity always got the better of him.
The spirit parasite circled him again.
“My name is Kisssshnu…” it began. “I am of the oldest of the parasites… And I want a physical form… The others… none of them were verrrrrry compatible...”
Roderick’s eyes grew wide.
“You thiiiiink that this little ghosssssst charade with the girlssss is all we have planned?” the spirit laughed. “That hassss merely beeeen a disssstractionnnnn…”
Roderick took a step back, his heart beating faster and faster.
“You-you’re planning something… bigger?!” he asked, his stomach feeling heavy with dread.
“You’lllll fiiiind out sssssoooon. For now however…. Weeee have worrrrk to doooo.”
Roderick couldn’t help it. He turned and started to run.
He had to get back-he had to warn them-something big was coming. He wasn’t sure where he would be able to run to-but-.
Suddenly, it felt like he was being squeezed. Roderick gasped and fell to the ground, choking and gurgling on black goop. He put a hand to his head in pain, feeling like it was going to burst. He couldn’t breathe… He couldn’t see… He could hear someone laughing.
“Leeeet ussss begiiiin…” the voice of the spirit parasite hissed gleefully.