ForNevermore Part 5

Fornevermore Part 5 A Dart Fantasy

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ForNevermore: CHAPTER FIVE 

When Noella came out from the bathroom, the members of EnvyUs were all gone.

Of course, Tony had done nothing to clear their area, so Noella started clearing the wrappers, throwing away their empty cups, and wiping her damp rag across the table.

It looked as though one of the girls, probably Britt, had cleaned out her backpack and left crumpled papers, along with some assorted trash and backpack lint in a small lake under the table.

Bitch!

As Noella was cleaning the mess, she found a paper folded neatly like a note, and smiled at the thrill that maybe she’d found something she wasn’t supposed to see. She grabbed it, looked around the shop to make sure Tony wasn’t watching her — he was outside smoking again — and opened the note.

Except it wasn’t a note.

It was a crude drawing in black ink of a girl with long dark hair, and a heart-shaped birthmark on her cheek. She was holding a knife that was dripping with blood, and wearing a lunatic’s smile.

Noella crumpled the paper hard enough to feel her nails dig deep in her flesh, then dropped it in the bag along with the rest of their garbage.

You’ll always be a freak to them. And to Sam, too.

EnvyUs had been in the shop for three hours, plus the time before she got there. They’d bought a total of six drinks between them, and hadn’t left a tip, unless you counted the seven pennies and one nickel they left on the table.

She wondered if Sam or Becca had known about that, had to believe the answer was no. A yes would simply hurt too much. Though Becca and Noella weren’t friends, they weren’t enemies (though that might change after today). They were more like a divorced couple who acted cordially, even though the love had gone. Becca wouldn’t have let the others stiff Noella on a tip if she’d been paying attention.

Though Becca hadn’t been cruel to her, she hadn’t defended Noella, either. She tried to remain neutral, which wasn’t exactly something a real friend did. Real friends defended you. It’s what Noella would’ve done, anyway.

Maybe Becca and Sam are a perfect match, after all.

Once the EnvyUs left, the energy in Keefer’s died. There was a final handful of customers scattered across the next hour, mostly single cups of decaf, though one ridiculously high-strung woman came in and ordered an overly complicated latte that Noella had to make three times while Tony chuckled behind her.

The last 40 minutes passed like molasses, until Noella was setting the day-old brownies in the cooler and Death in a Mets Hat came in to shatter the quiet at Keefer’s.

 

* *

 

Aurora Falls, New York

Friday, October 26

9:55 p.m.

now…

 

He’s going to kill you.

You saw his face. You saw him kill someone. He can’t let you live.

Their eyes locked, and he looked down at the gun in his hand. “I’m sorry,” he said, raising the gun to her head.

Then the impossible happened.

She heard the man in black seconds before she saw him seemingly appear from nowhere.

“No!” the man in black screamed as he grabbed Mets Hat by the back of his head, shoving him face first hard into the counter.

The would-be thief dropped his pistol and fell limp to the ground as the man in black fell on top of him, gripping his face with his bare hands, as if he were squeezing his skull as tight as he could. The gunman’s body shook violently, like he was having an epileptic fit, as his flesh began to burn. The man in black held tight, his face hidden beneath long dark hair, his hands almost fused to Mets Hat’s face.

And that’s when Noella realized what was happening. The man in black was somehow burning the man alive.

She gasped, unable to turn away, watching as Mets Hat’s flesh blistered, turned black, then almost to ash.

Noella opened her mouth to scream, but all that left was a gasp.

The man in black heard her gasp, and looked up, intense gray eyes meeting hers. They weren’t the eyes of a stranger, though, but rather the eyes of the man from her dreams — Dante.

No, he’s not real.

You’re dreaming. This isn’t real. 

The doctors were wrong. I’m not better. Not if I’m seeing this. 

The man who wasn’t real stood up, staring at her as if he’d known her all her life.

No, this is just a dream. 

Just a dream.

But it wasn’t.

He held their gaze for a full minute, neither of them saying a word, both of them barely breathing. She stared down at the burned corpse, wondering if she saw what she thought she saw — him sucking the life from the man with the gun.

“How?” was all she could get out.

When Dante finally spoke, all he said was, “You’re safe, Noella.”

Those words were enough to blur her reality beyond reason.

Her knees went to jelly and she fell to the floor.

 

**

 

Noella woke to a police officer’s voice several minutes later, asking her if she was okay.

Her head was throbbing. She looked around. Tony still lay in a pool of blood, and Mets Hat was still a withered corpse.

Dante was nowhere to be found.

 

TO BE CONTINUED

Tomorrow 8 PM EST

About David Wright

Dave is the co-founder of Collective Inkwell, in which he and Sean Platt re-invented serial fiction. Hailing from the quaint town of [REDACTED], Dave's renown for putting children in jeopardy (in his fiction, anyway) has made him world famous.

Comments

  1. Holy freaking crap!

    I think it’s funny that Noella didn’t recognize Dante right away. But I guess that does make sense, too. It’s like the mind only sees certain details at certain times. Everything was happening so fast, she just didn’t have time to mentally consider the “man’s” face.

    Now, the big question is: How is the police going to handle this? Is Noella a suspect in Met Hat’s death? How could that be explained?

    Cool stuff.

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