Mary speed walked to Cy’s house. She'd dumped all of her things in her locker and walked straight out of school. She was a mess of nerves. She wasn't worried about missing school. She couldn't care less. She was worried about what she'd find at Cy's. She wished he'd come and gotten her instead of leaving her that note to meet him at his house.
When she got to Cy's house, she saw that there was no cars in the driveway. His parents were still at work, and Kyle was still at school. The thought of Kyle made Mary shudder. That guy had serious anger management issues. When Mary went up to Cy’s door, she noticed it was open a crack. She knocked on it anyway, but Cy didn’t appear. She pushed the door open tentatively.
There was no answer. Frowning, Mary stepped inside.
“Hello?” she called. There was still no answer. There was only one place she could think of that Cy could be and not hear her--The basement. Mary went through the living room to the basement door.
She stopped at the door with her hand on the knob. She was beginning to get a sinking feeling. If Cy were all right and waiting for her, he would’ve popped up by now. The thought that Ricky might have done something to Cy made Mary’s stomach twist, and now, the homicidal ghost was down there waiting for the next unsuspecting victim to show up, but Mary was not a victim.
She moved to the kitchen cabinets and looked through them. She found a heavy cast iron skillet. She wouldn't be able to hurt Ricky directly with it, but it could destroy his anchor. She went back to the basement door and opened it slowly. The basement light was already on. Someone had been down there or still was.
Mary considered calling out to Cy again but bit her tongue instead. She was afraid of who might answer. She crept down the stairs with her ears perked for any noises. She froze when she heard something scrape against the floor. She didn't hear anything else as she tensely waited. She continued down the stairs one step at a time. She finally reached the basement floor and peered around. There was no sign of Cy.
“Cy?” she whispered. When no answer came, Mary took a few tentative steps from the stairs and slowly scanned the room. Where was Cy? Her hand tightened on the skillet.
“Ricky, what have you done?” she whispered.
From under the stairs, a pair of beefy arms reached out. They clamped down around her and picked her up. Mary gasped in shock. She hadn’t expected an earthly attack.
“Well, if isn't the witch,” a nasty voice said. “Were you going to fix me some eggs? Sorry, but I'm not hungry.”
Mary struggled to get free, but all she managed to do was drop the frying pan. It thumped to the ground below her dangling feet.
“Let me go, Kyle!”
“Why? I like you just where you are.” He chuckled and squeezed her tighter. She kicked back, and her heels hit his shins.
“Stop that!” he ordered.
“And what are you going to do with me?” she demanded.
Kyle chuckled and bounced her a little in his arms. “Oh, I don't know. Play house maybe.”
“Not interested,” she gritted. She threw her head back and hit him square on the nose.
He let out a yowl and dropped her. His hand went to his bleeding nose. Mary scrambled away. Kyle blocked the stairs. She knew she couldn’t get by him. Her eyes locked on the frying pan sitting on the floor. “I’ll get you for that!” Kyle roared.
He lunged at her with blood still streaming down his face. He wasn’t just acting like a homicidal maniac anymore, he now looked like one. Mary dodged his lunge and scooped up the fallen frying pan. She turned back to face him with the frying pan in a two handed grip.
“Not so big and bad now, are you, Kyle?” she taunted.
He snarled and rushed her. Mary didn’t flinch. She twisted her body and pulled back her arms like a baseball hitter. She struck his shoulder with the flat side of the frying pan. Kyle crashed into the cinder block wall and slid to the floor.
“Kill her. She isn’t any good, just like the other one. Always whining that I didn't love her and that I should be nicer to her. I'll show her nice.”
Mary looked around the room in astonishment. “So you decide to speak up now? What's with you?” she asked in annoyance.
Kyle hadn’t moved from where he'd fallen. Mary cautiously kicked his leg. He didn't respond. “All right Ricky, where are you?” she asked the basement walls. She tossed boxes aside as she searched for the anchor. She was done being careful with the searching. She was going to turn the basement upside down if that was what it took to find Ricky’s stupid anchor.
Ricky didn’t respond to her question. Mary was getting really tired of being ignored. “Ricky, where are you?” she demanded again.
“Guess,” Kyle said as he swept her legs out from under her.
“What?” Mary gasped. Her left side hit the cement floor. A nasty bruise guaranteed for her elbow. The frying pan once again left her hands.
Kyle rolled on top of her, pinning her to the floor with his body. He grabbed her wrists and pulled them above her head. Mary struggled to get him off of her, but he was too heavy.
“Are we starting to get the picture?” Kyle asked.
“Yeah, I'm starting to get it,” she replied and kneed him in the groin, hard.
Kyle let out a wheezy groan and rolled off her to cradle his crotch. Mary picked herself up and took a step back. She stared down at Kyle with incredulous eyes. This was so much worse than she’d imagined.
“How did it happen?” she asked.
Kyle chuckled from the floor. He rolled to his knees. “No, no, no. I've got to keep some of my secrets.”
“Come on you can tell me,” she cajoled.
“And I said no,” Kyle said. He leapt up. Mary moved back to keep out of his reach.
“It has to be something. Ghosts need an anchor to keep them on this plane. How does a ghost possess a person through an anchor?” she wondered aloud.
“You won't figure it out, until I let you,” Kyle announced and rushed her again. Mary tried to lunge out of the way, but one of Kyle’s outstretched hands grabbed her and dragged her back to the floor. He pinned her down again.
“Get off me!” Mary kicked and shoved at him, but her strength was beginning to wane.
“Getting tired?” Kyle asked.
“Yeah, of you,” she answered. To her right, Mary saw a lamp that had tumbled out of a box. It was round and hard. In a last ditch effort, Mary threw her hip and rolled them over to it. Kyle's head cracked against the cement floor, and he groaned as he reached back to massage his skull. Mary sat up and grabbed the lamp. She hit Kyle over the head with it. The lamp didn’t break, but Kyle fell back limply. Blood started to trickle from a nasty cut to his temple.
Mary began rummaging through Kyle's pockets. He had to have the anchor on him. Ricky couldn't be possessing him by remote control, at least that was what she hoped. She searched frantically, patting down all of his pockets, raising his shirt and pant legs to see if anything was strapped or stuck to them.
“Now, aren't we fresh?” Kyle sneered, whipping up and catching one of her wrists. Mary tried to pull free, but Kyle’s fingers were like iron bands on her wrist. He lumbered to his feet, dragging her with him. Mary couldn’t twist her arm out of his grasp. She stomped on his feet to make him let go. Kyle retaliated by backhanding her.
Mary’s free hand flew to her face. Her eyes narrowed in anger, and her lips drew back in a snarl. Nobody slapped her, ever. She raised her foot and thrust kicked Kyle in the stomach with all of her strength. He let go of her arm as he stumbled back. His locket slipped out of his shirt and glinted at his throat. On impulse, Mary yanked it off him. Kyle hissed in pain and turned to attack her but stopped mid-motion.
“What…Wait, what?” Kyle asked in a dazed voice as he fell to his knees. He lifted his hands to his bleeding face. He stared at his fingertips perplexed when they came away bloody. “What the hell?”
“Kill HER!” Ricky shouted in stereo in Mary’s head. She gasped and dropped the necklace. Ricky's anchor. The fool had been wearing the anchor.
“Kyle?” she asked.
“What’s happening?” He kept dabbing at his face and pulling his hands away to look at the blood smeared on them.
“Do you remember anything?” Mary got down on one knee to look Kyle in the eye. He stared at her wildly.
“I wanted to kill you,” he whispered.
“But now you don’t. It's okay, but you gotta get out of here.”
Kyle got up off the floor in a daze and stumbled up the stairs. Mary got up as well and turned to pick up the locket.
“You won't get away from me that easily.”
“I'm not going anywhere,” she said to the empty room. She knelt to pick up the locket.
“We'll be together forever. Just like it’s inscribed on that stupid locket.”
“If you hate it so much why’d your spirit anchor to it, dipstick.” Mary clutched the locket and moved to the stairs.
“You're never leaving here!”
Mary cried out as a stack of heavy boxes fell onto her. She covered her head to protect herself, but a heavy box knocked her down and twisted her ankle painfully.
“Like I said, you’re not leaving.” Mary pushed the boxes off and scrambled out of the junk. She struggled to her feet and winced when she put weight on her left foot. She prayed that nothing was broken and limped hurriedly to the stairs.
She began hopping up them. Halfway up the stairs, Ricky grabbed her bad leg and jerked her back down. Mary toppled to the bottom and cracked her head on the cement floor. She shook her head in a daze and blinked away the stars super nova-ing behind her eyelids.
The frying pan. Where was the frying pan? Ricky must've been thinking the same thing. The frying pan came zooming across the room toward Mary's head. She barely jerked out of the way. It hit the cinder block wall with a loud crack. The force of the impact bent it and made a hole in the cinder block. Mary stared at the bent frying pan for a second in horror. What if it'd hit her head? Don't ask stupid questions, she scolded herself and turned back to the stairs. She began to limp her way up again. She kept a double-handed grasp on the banister this time. She was determined to make it to the top. Once she was out of the basement, she'd find some other way to destroy the locket.
“You women are all the same. Whining about when we’re here, and whining when we’re gone. Why don’t you make up your mind!”
“I’d be happy if you were gone,” Mary muttered.
Ricky tugged on her legs as she climbed the stairs, but he couldn’t jerk her down them. She grimaced each time he grabbed her bad leg but didn’t stop her ascent. She was getting out of that basement.
Mary reached the top with relief. She was almost out. The light from the kitchen bathed her face. She grabbed the door frame with one hand to pull herself through the doorway. The door slammed shut on her hand. Mary cried out in pain and would’ve taken another header down the stairs if she hadn’t been still clutching the banister with her other hand. Her hand stung where the door had torn the skin on her knuckles, and another bad bruise was guaranteed.
Ricky laughed. “You’re not going anywhere.”
“Kyle!” Mary screamed, beating frantically at the door. Boxes were flying around in the basement. Some of them hit the stairs and made them shudder. Kyle threw the door open in bewilderment.
“What's going on?” Kyle demanded. “Why are you tearing up my basement?”
“Not now, Kyle.” Mary pushed past him with the locket clenched to her chest.
“Oh goody, the kitchen.” Mary stopped and looked around the kitchen in terror.
A drawer on the far side slid open, and an assortment of knives popped up.
“Kyle, duck and cover!” Mary yelled. Kyle dived under the kitchen table. The knives flew by him and like sharp little missiles flew toward Mary. She ran limping into the living room with the knives chasing her. She slid under the coffee table and knocked it over onto its side. The knives plunged into it. Some poked out of the other side at her. Ricky had quite an arm. Kyle cowered in a corner and stared at the table and her.
“What's going on?” he yelled.
“Badness,” Mary replied. She slowly got up from the floor still clutching the locket. How could she destroy it? Unfortunately, Ricky wouldn’t wait for her to think up a solution.
The front door burst open. Mary turned to it in terror, afraid to see what Ricky could have pulled in from the outside.
Contintue to Chapter 13