Candy sat alone curled up in a large Victorian style high back chair, the worn blue velvet cushions were a bit lumpy, however still quite comfortable. Candy sat with her legs dawn up feet on the seat, her arms hugging her legs, chin resting on her knees, watching the crackling fireplace dancing amongst the quiet night. Candy couldn’t sleep, too many things raged in her mind. Graham had pulled another disappearing act, and Candy contemplated freedom, maybe it was time to leave. This entire abduction was like a dream, somehow not real, yet it was indeed Candy’s reality. It was still dark, but dawn was eminent shortly, Candy would have to be stealthy.
Moving quietly from the chair, Candy eased out of the cabin into the darkened veil of night. It was chilly, and she wore no coat the wind was blowing steady tangling her hair, stinging her cheeks. Candy had no idea which way to go, as she stumbled forward moving from tree to tree keeping to the shadows, hoping not to be detected. The night sky was invisible cloud cover hid the stars and moon like a dark shade pulled tight. There was an eerie silence, nothing seemed alive around her as Candy walked a worn path, to where, she had no clue. The night was unforgiving, and she tripped on unseen logs and rocks, each fall adding another bruise or scrape, still Candy ventured onward, feeling an urgency now. A clearing ahead seemed it would give her a choice of direction, Candy prayed she’d make the right choice. It was evident this cabin was rather secluded, and escape harder than she anticipated.
The clearing turned out to be an old corn field, the stocks neatly cut, but abandoned, not tended recently. Candy sighed and followed the tractor path around the lengthy field, there has to be a road here somewhere, Candy’s logic told her, yet what was logical in the past couple days? The corn field ended, and the tractor path spilled onto a dirt road, it looked dark and foreboding; without aid of moonlight, Candy could not see any distance up or down the road. Before Candy could choose, a dark shadow appeared before her; just a few feet away, it moved toward her, and although she should be frightened Candy felt no fear. The fluid movement, and long gate seemed oddly familiar somehow… “Daddy? How? You are dead.” Candy stammered, as she viewed the square powerful jaw, and kind deep set eyes of her father standing before her. “Oh Baby Girl, what has happened to you? You are too young to be here, what has brought you to me so prematurely?” His words echoed, Candy heard him plain, yet his lips did not move. Candy took a step backward, her father was not alive, he was a ghost.
“Daddy….I’m scared….How is this possible?” Candy’s heart raged pounding in her chest, confusion cluttering her mind. The shadowy figure reached for her, pulling her to his chest, it was not warm as Candy always remembered daddy’s hugs. The figure stroked her hair, and shook his head sadly. “You are dead Candy….no other explanation is possible. God Baby Girl what brought you to me hummmm?”
Candy pulled away shaking her head in disbelief, No this is a dream, a distorted reality, not possible. “I’m not dead daddy, I’m just trying to escape…I’m lost, help me please, help me daddy.” Candy pleaded, falling to her knees, crumpling to the moist earth her desperation and fear returning.
From behind her, another voice boomed out of the silence and darkness, it was Graham. “ Where are you going Candy? Running, silly girl it’s too late for that,” he chuckled slightly, and it sent shivers down Candy’s spine. There was an evil in his words, a coldness she had not heard until that moment. “Graham,” Candy spoke his name and wheeled around to face him, standing between her father, and her would be lover.
“Candy….you were with him? Oh my sweet child, no….no, no….NO!” Daddy was obviously upset shaking his head violently. Candy glanced back at her father, “ No daddy, No I wasn’t….I told him no….I’m so confused what’s happening…I’m not dead Daddy, see feel my hand, I’m warm.” However as Candy stretched her hand to her father she noticed it appeared stiff, her fingernails tinged blue, the peachy flesh colored tone, was gray almost ashy in color. This frightened Candy even more, panic gripped her heart, odd shouldn’t it be beating rapidly right now? What the Hell was happening to her? Her father stepped toward Candy, gently pushing her aside to stand between her and Graham, as if he were protecting her. Candy shrank behind him, feeling as though she needed to cry, only tears would not come.
“You…have no claim on her, and you are out of time, be gone from her. I’ll see that you do not ascend because of this. You were not honest with her…you didn’t tell her, and you tried to take her unwillingly, it doesn’t work that way.” Her father’s words made no sense to her, still Candy did not question only listened intently.
“I asked her, she would have come to me…if you hadn’t interfered. I own her soul…I’ve taken her life, it’s mine now, you can’t change that. Step aside and let me finish with her.” Graham tried to push her father out of the way, but he was betrayed by his strength: stepping back slightly puzzled, his strength had never failed him.
“You are weak….You haven’t taken her, and your time grows short. That body will die, as the dawn rises, you will lose all…return her soul to her…she isn’t yours to take.” Return my soul? What, are they talking about? Am I really dead? Candy began feeling of her body, it was indeed cold, not warm as it would be if….Oh my God, how can this be? I don’t remember dying. Her hand went to her neck, finding two evenly spaced puncture wounds on the side of her neck, taking away her hand her fingers dripped with blood. Candy trembled at the sight, as her thoughts swirled, Oh my God….what has Graham done to me?
“She is mine, I need her, don’t you see, it’s the only chance we both have. I must take her, and finish what I started. We will both perish if I don’t.” Graham argued desperate to finish feeding, and take Candy for his eternally.
“You never showed her who you really are. She didn’t consent, you took her against her will….I will not allow you to have her.” Candy’s father stood strong, a mighty wall of justice shielding his child.
“She is not your child….she’s my Elizabeth look at her, I’ve searched for her…you must let me take her….I’ll die without her…Elizabeth….It’s Graham…come to me my love, give yourself to me….join me forever.” Candy felt a sudden urgency, as if a controlling force commanded her. Candy moved involuntarily toward Graham…What power was this, it wasn’t mortal, that much she was certain. Her father reached for her, but Candy shook his hands free, as she continued toward Graham her eyes woven mysteriously by his…it was a need, a hunger, he beckoned and she must answer.
“Candy…Baby Girl…you are not Elizabeth…he is mistaken…the Elizabeth, Graham is searching for still lives. He is not Graham, he is a dark an evil being, a creature of the night, feeding on innocent souls….yours, Baby Girl. He took Grahams body that it true, but he has no choice but relinquish it now…and the only thing that will allow him to live is taking you, turning you into what his is. Show her the real you….you must do this, she has to agree of her own free will, you know that. SHOW HER WHAT YOU ARE!”
Candy heard her father and stopped in her tracks, the hypnotic gaze of Graham’s was temporarily broken, as the moon suddenly appeared from the blanket of clouds covering it. The light reflected upon Graham’s body before her, and in an instant his face distorted. The light reflected off a ridged pronounced forehead, and evil golden eyes glared back at her. His skin was ash, as her hands…lips black as coal, fangs replaced his even teeth, and his body was no longer human, his hands became vicious claws, able to rip a body apart. This was not Graham…this was something undead, something wicked, and evil, something she wanted no part of. Candy gasped and screamed jumping back, her father’s arms grabbed her holding her tight. “Daddy….help me, what is he?”
“He can’t hurt you if you do not let him….say no to him, Baby Girl say no.” Her father instructed, as the evil creature lunged at them. Reaching for Candy, it’s monster claws feeling over her body….her breasts, her neck, the compulsion of it’s eyes nearly made her falter, as the lust for him nearly consumed her being.
“I want you….Elizabeth lay with me now…let me make you my queen,” it’s voice was Graham’s again, and for a moment the distorted face became the one Candy knew in Graham. She reached out gently stroking Graham’s handsome face, his heartbroken eyes nearly breaking her own. At that moment, Candy didn’t feel like herself, instead she was Graham’s Elizabeth. As Candy reached her lips to touch Graham‘s, the creature returned allowing Candy to regain control, shrinking into her father’s arms.
“No…I will not go with you…you are a deceitful evil being, you took Graham against his will as well didn’t you. That’s why you can no longer keep his body, and you can’t have mine….I do not want to be your queen, I reject all that you are….and I’ll die before I go with you.” Candy spoke boldly, finding an inner courage she didn’t know she had.
The creature cursed in forked tongue, frightening Candy, her father pushed her aside just as the evil demon dove at them. Candy watched her father do battle with the evil one, she witnessed the sharp claws raking her father’s flesh, though dead he still bled. The evil one pierced her father’s throat drinking his oozing blood….Candy jumped up and pushed it away…allowing her father’s escape. “No…you will not have any of us…BE GONE now…” Candy shouted, and at that moment, dawn’s rays cracked through the dark of night. The rays glowing brighter every moment, while the creature covered his face and shrank back into the shadows from where he came, shrieking a death cuddling wail as he died.
Graham’s body lay naked on the ground, near dead, his eyes, his own finally free of evil. Candy went to him, holding him in her lap, caressing his face kissing his forehead, she knew he was dying as well. “Elizabeth….I love you….I love….” his last breath breathed into Candy’s mouth, as she kissed him goodbye. As Graham died, the vivid scars from the fire that claimed him etched across his face. However the beauty Candy knew inside of Graham could never be scared. He must have made a deal before he died, hoping to win Elizabeth’s love, giving up his soul. Candy lay Graham down, hugging him one last time. Raising to her feet, she noticed her father walking away, “Daddy, wait for me…please wait,” Candy ran to him trying to take his hand, only it was not there. He’d vanished in the light, and all she could hear was his voice echoing in her mind. “I love you Baby Girl…it’s not your time….wake up Baby Girl, wake up.”
Candy woke in a hospital bed, she was weak, she didn’t know where or why she was there, but this was reality, it hurt too much to be anything else. Her mom was there, along with her mom’s boy friend, smiles chasing away their worried frowns. “Hey…you’re awake…thank goodness, you had us scared honey.” Candy’s mom brushed her hair from Candy’s face lovingly. Candy noticed a tear streaming from her mother’s eye trickling her cheek.
“Mom….what happened?” Candy wasn’t sure what was true, or perhaps only a dream.
“You were hit by a car, walking back from the Cemetery, a dark sports car, it was a hit and run. You hit your head, and was out for awhile, and you will be sore, lots of bruises…but you’re okay honey,” Mom explained to a disbelieving Candy, No, that’s not what happened.
A week later, Candy was back at her father’s grave, she traced the letters of his name an the engraving in the granite stone. “Daddy….I know it really happened…and I know you saved me. I can’t tell anyone but you, no one would believe me. I love you Daddy, and I know you will always be here for me, no matter what. Daddy….about Graham…did he get to be with Elizabeth, it wasn’t his fault Daddy, he loved her so much that he was willing to give up his soul for her.” A week of careful consideration, brought a few conclusions that Candy felt were true.
“I’ll be back tomorrow Daddy…I love you.” Candy got up to leave, and her father’s form appeared before her smiling…Candy was not frightened. “I Love you too, Baby Girl,” He reached his hand to take hers, it was warm surprisingly. They walked a short distance, to another grave, as Candy checked out the marker, her father disappeared. Damn, I hate when they do that. Candy shook her head smiling, then bent to read the name inscribed in the stone. Candy’s eyes shed a tear as she read, Graham Winters…Born June, 18 1919.…Died September 12, 1939. Beloved by his family, and Elizabeth….
“Graham….I’m so sorry, I’m not your Elizabeth….I pray you finally found peace. I’ll visit if you like, I promise you will never have to be alone.” Candy smiled as she stood, turning to make her way back to the car, she didn’t walk anymore, since her accident.
Walking down the path leading to her car, Candy met a seemingly frail elderly lady, being steadied on either side by her granddaughters it appeared. Candy smiled at the older woman, who’s eyes seemed familiar somehow. “Beautiful day,” Candy remarked softly, being polite.
“Yes it is…Do I know you honey?” the old woman asked, a look of recognition showed in her face. “No…I don’t think so…bye now,” Candy moved on, but stopped to watch as she neared her mom’s car. Surprisingly they made their way to Graham’s grave, and Candy’s heart leaped with joy….Elizabeth, Oh my God, Graham, she’s here for you.
At that moment Graham appeared briefly looking past Elizabeth, his eyes connecting with Candy’s. Candy smiled warmly and nodded, Graham nodded back. Candy witnessed Graham hugging Elizabeth, welcoming her back to his heart, before he vanished. They gotta quit doing that. Candy got into the car driving away, happily realizing love does win, if you are patient enough.