Bloody Mary

Crack. Tiny twigs crunched under Connor’s sneakers. Miller HiLite burned in his throat. Connor’s eyes adjusted to the forest darkness. This was all Zeke’s idea. Every town has its legends. Jannertown had Bloody Mary, a witch who was hanged and burnt and buried in these woods. To hang with Zeke and his crew I had to prove I was bad ass. I had to find Bloody Mary’s grave and drive a penknife through it. It’s bullshit, but Mimi, she’s my friend who is a girl but not my girlfriend, says I’m smart and I can tough it out and show the boys I’m cool. She had held his hand on the car ride out to the woods. Janner Woods were an abstract of blacks and grays. The coolness of the penknife stung in Connor’s hand. He had a bad feeling.
High school had been hard being the new kid when all the cliches have been set and everyone knew everyone. Mimi with her soft brown eyes was his first friend. Now her friends were allowing him to hang around. He marched on. Connor didn’t like this forest but he knew it. He ignored the inky shadows and forced on Mary’s grave. At least it was what the kids thought was Mary’s grave. It was simply an old bare patch of ground where a tree once stood and now nothing will grow. Out of the corners of his eyes Conor could see the shadows disjointed from their moorings.
With a huff, Connor plunged the knife into the ground. The tall shadow men surrounded him in a circle of fear.
“Child, it is good to have you back.” One of the shadows condensed into Lilith, the queen sire. Her dead pale form stood before Connor extending a hand.
“I’m not staying. I like it in the world. I have friends. Well a friend But one friend is enough. You don’t understand. I want to stay among the living.”
“No it is you who does not understand.”
And that was when Connor heard the cracks, slealthy furtive cracking of twigs underfoot. Zeke and the guys were sneaking up on him. Connor could make out their heat, smell their excitement as they crept towards him. Evan broke into the clearing first dressed in a Scream hood from a costume store. Soon Zeke, Johnny, and the other John stepped out of the darkness. The high schoolers were all cloaked. Their eyes over brimmed with fear when they saw Connor’s family waiting in the clearing. Laughing, Mimi ran out into the clearing. Connor and Mimi locked eyes. It had all been what the humans called a prank. Mimi’s gentle touches were a con. Connor’s glamour fell away as she screamed. Tall and bone slender, Connor stood among his brothers and sisters. The queen sire shrieked the feeding call. Connor’s friends turned and ran. The branches shook as the family took to the air to hunt their prey.

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