Chapter 16: Elizabeth
Brian clutched the steering wheel of his van tightly, feeling very uncomfortable with the fact that Jordyn was forcing him to help her sneak around Devin’s house in the middle of the night.
“For the record, I think this is a horrible idea.” he squeaked.
“For the record, I don’t care.” Jordyn retorted, snapping off her seatbelt and quietly getting out of the car. “Do you want answers or not?”
Brian grumbled and got out of the van as Jordyn started to sneak up to the house.
“Which window do you think is his?” she whispered, ducking behind a bush. Grumpily, Brian pointed to one that had stickers pasted up into the window.
“How do you know that-.”
“Unless his parents are big fans of Transformers, that’s going to be Devin’s bedroom window. You know this is really stalkerish and-.”
“Shh! Rules kind of go out the window when there are spirits involved.” she retorted, sneaking up to the window. Brian reluctantly followed her. Then, as inconspicuously as they could, they peered through the window only to find that the blinds were down. In response, Jordyn mouthed a curse and went to turn around, but Brian grabbed her by the arm to stop her. She was about to punch him in response, but he shrank back quickly and pointed to the window.
It was then that Jordyn realized that the top part of the window was down to let air into the room. It sounded like Devin was talking to someone. Silently, the two of them sat there to listen.
“Elizabeth, do you think the people who are smiling all the time are really sad inside?” the boy asked beyond their sight. “That one man the other day said something about how he felt when he had the happiness spell on him.”
The next voice the two adults outside the window heard sent a chill up their spines. It was the voice of a little girl with something sinister hidden behind a bubbly attitude.
“Don’t you worry about those strange grown ups.” Elizabeth responded. “Grown ups never understand what’s best anyway. They don’t care about your feelings at all. They’d rather just have your parents get divorced.”
“I don’t understand grown ups at all…” Devin lamented. “Why would anyone want that?”
“I don’t know. But don’t worry. I’m here for you. I understand.”
Brian and Jordyn sat there tensely as there was an uncomfortable pause.
“Elizabeth, they couldn’t-do anything to… reverse the spell thing-could they?”
There was another pause, almost as if the imaginary friend was thinking.
“Well, that’s actually a concern that I wanted to talk to you about…”
Brian glanced around in the dark, hoping that none of the smiling neighbors were watching them. He was really starting to get the willies from this whole thing. Jordyn however, simply crouched there, staring at the ground and listening intently.
“Devin, these new people aren’t like the others that have come through Serenity Hill and decided to stay. They want to put an end to all the happiness here and stop it from helping other people. And unfortunately, they have the ability to do that. We need to do something about them.”
“Then-then what do we do? How do we stop them?”
The spirit was quiet for a moment.
“I-I think we need to get rid of them.” she said with a little tremor in her voice.
“...You mean like… kick them out of town?”
“No. Something more permanent. If we kicked them out of town they’d find a way back in.”
“But-you’re not saying that-.”
“Devin, we need to kill them. It’s the only way.”
“But-Elizabeth! That’s-that’s just-that’s bad!” the boy cried. Jordyn and Brian heard his bed creak like he was sitting up suddenly.
“If a murderer came in here and tried to kill you and your family, would it be ok to kill him?” the spirit said quietly.
Devin thought about this for a long time. A cool wind blew through Serenity Hill, and Jordyn and Brian shivered from their spot under the window.
“I-I guess so…”
“This is the same type of thing. It’d be to protect everyone. But don’t worry-I won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.”
Suddenly, Brian started to feel a little tickle in his nose.
He needed to sneeze. Slowly, he started to crawl away only to have Jordyn pull him back. Frantically he started to motion to her that he needed to sneeze, but she just gawked at him.
It was coming…
Brian did his best to prepare, and then very expertly, gave a fairly silent sneeze. Jordyn cringed for a moment, and then after a moment of silence, she nodded in approval.
“Can we go now?” Brian mouthed. Jordyn sighed, and then nodded. The two of them started to crawl away from the window.
Suddenly, a ring of pink fire erupted around them, trapping them within its circle. The two of them cried out in surprise and then watched as the flames parted to let a dark figure through.
Elizabeth floated before them, a small spirit with pink flames for hair and burning blank pink eyes. She kind of reminded them a little of the spirit parasite with his dripping black goop, but she was clean, and her black dress slightly touched the ground as she hovered there. She could have been a little girl for all they knew-a little girl dipped in darkness and fire.
“So you’re stalking little boys now huh?” she asked with disgust. “I thought I felt a presence nearby.”
“Who’s there Elizabeth?” Devin asked, lifting his window and sticking his head out.
“It’s a couple of those grown ups who were here the other day.” she called out to him, eyeing the Jordyn and Brian, who were trapped in her pink flames.
“You’re not-you’re not-going to get rid of them are you?” he asked a bit fearfully.
“Of course not!” she soothed. “We won’t do anything that you aren’t comfortable with.”
Devin seemed to be relieved at this, and he climbed out his window to gaze at the two adults from behind the flames. Elizabeth narrowed her eyes at them, as if she were studying them.
“How do you two know Josephine Washburn?” she suddenly asked.
“Who?” Brian asked, confused for a second. Jordyn rolled her eyes and elbowed him in the ribs.
“She means Joey.” she whispered.
The two of them stood there awkwardly as Elizabeth waited for a response. Brian cleared his throat, but then didn’t say anything.
Elizabeth suddenly formed a pink fireball in her hand, obviously losing her patience.
“Don’t hurt them!” Devin exclaimed from behind the flames.
“These grown ups could be dangerous Devin.” she said with her eyes narrowed. “They’re friends with that lady I warned you about.”
At the sound of that, Devin backed off.
Now Elizabeth was holding two fireballs-one in each hand.
“Tell me how you know Josephine Washburn!” she seethed coming towards them threateningly.
“I-I just found her online! I was curious about spirits!! And-and I convinced my companions to go up to Bishop to meet her with me!” Brian squeaked, hiding behind Jordyn, who had pulled out her gun and was now pointing it at the spirit even though she knew it couldn’t do anything.
Elizabeth looked at them suspiciously.
“I know you did something to Shahwah. He hasn’t corresponded with me all day.”
“They-they did something to our helper?!” Devin asked, aghast.
“Tell us what you did…” the spirit demanded, coming closer and closer. Jordyn’s hands started to shake.
“I PUT HIM IN A TEAPOT!” Brian screamed as Elizabeth came within inches of his face and he could feel the heat of the flames on his nose. Devin started to snicker.
“You did what? That’s kind of funny.”
“This is not fun and games Devin! This is serious!” Elizabeth said shrilly. “These people are dangerous! That Josephine woman could send me away and you’d never see me again! Do you want that to happen?”
Devin’s face paled.
“Ok then. Go to bed. I’ll deal with these two. And don’t worry. I won’t get rid of them.”
Devin nodded, and then shuffled back over to the window, crawled through, and closed it behind him.
“You’re manipulating him…” Jordyn said quietly, trying to keep her gun steady. The spirit gave a devilish smile.
“Well duh… I’m surprised you didn’t try to tell him that just now.”
“Well… to be honest I was… kind of… distracted with the whole flame thing…” Jordyn told her, clearing her throat. “But uh-we’ll make a deal with you. If you let us go, we’ll hand over Shahwah.”
At this, the spirit laughed, and her fiery hair raged around her dark face. Her face broke out into a large unnatural smile as the fireballs in her hands seemed to explode with energy.
“Sorry…” she hissed gleefully. “I don’t make deals with grown ups.”