Entry-It's not unusual for The Agency to recruit locals to help us with problems. It's only under extreme circumstances that we do. And this was one. I am sure that Joe Kagen is letting on more than he knows about what's been happening since July 1864.
James waited at the church with the Reverend for Joe. Both men looked concerned as the time drew on. Suddenly, Joe appeared at the church, and he wasn't alone. Nells Olson was with him.
"Reverend," Nells began, "Nellie is missing."
James looked over at the Reverend. "Tell us what happened to her Nells."
"Nellie came home from school and went to her room. Not even a half an hour later, we heard some screaming and a fight going on. I thought it was with Willie, but when I got up there she was gone. Her room was trashed and no window was open."
The Reverend looked at James. "Marshall. What is your call?"
"I'm deputizing Mr. Kagen here and I think I know where she is. Don't worry Mr. Olson. We will get your daughter back."
James and Jo left the church and began to head out of town. "What's your plan lawman?" Joe asked.
"As you've said yourself, she's not normal. Laura is what is called a Harrowed. She has an evil spirit in her that is making her do these things. She's been dead since she was drowned."
"Seen a few of those back on the plantation. We didn't know what they were called."
"How did you stop them?"
"There was an old woman. People called her Mother Abigail. No one knew how old she was, but she told us to shoot them in the head. Whenever someone died on the plantation, he would drive a stake through the head so they wouldn't come back."
"That's how you normally do it. Laura is something a little more special."
They stopped near the spot where Laura was killed. He reached down and grabbed his canteen. He opened it and began filling it up with water. Once the water flowed in, it started to glow with a bright light.
"IS that some kind of magic you have?," Joe asked.
"Something like it. I received this from a very important Cardinal back in Chicago. He blessed this to take out Harrowed, but we need one more thing."
"And what's that?"
"Laura already has Nellie. Nellie is the key. Not exactly sure how all of this will play out, but Nellie is the key to ending this. Now let's ride out to the Ingalls farm and end this."
They got onto their horses and rode out to the Ingalls farm. Once they arrived, they heard screaming coming from the barn. Charles was standing out there looking to keep people out.
"Joe, Marshall, I can't allow you in there," he said.
"Charles, the Marshall is trying to help. We need to get in there," Joe said.
"Mister Ingalls. I know that is your daughter. But you know, deep down, that is not the Laura you watched grow up. Whatever is in there is using the body of your daughter to commit horrible acts on the town. I need to stop her from continuing to kill people."
Charles looked confused as Joe stepped in to distract him as James moved to the barn. Once he opened the doors, he saw a charnel house.
The floor and walls were covered in blood. Various body parts lay around and the barn had a terrible smell to it. Sitting near the center of the room was Nellie. Her hair was matted with blood and her dress was torn. She looked tired and scared. Up in the loft, was Laura. Her hair hung down around her face in a wet tangle, her skin was white and almost translucent. Her thin skeleton showed through her skin, and her eyes shown a deep dark red. When her teeth were shown, they were sharp and jagged like sharks.
"Well, what do we have here," she said in a watery voice. "Someone new to play with?"
"I'm here to make sure you go back to whatever hell hole you crawled out of," James said. He started moving over closer to Nellie.
"Nellie, I know you're scared, but you need to listen to me. When I tell you to, I need you to tell the truth about what happened at the creek. I know it was an accident.."
"No it wasn't!", Laura screamed. "She meant to kill me!"
"Your right I was! Nellie said. "I was hoping that pushing you in the water would knock you off your high horse. You thought you were so special since you got that "A" on the test! I hated you!"
Laura let out an unholy scream. James wasted no time in throwing the canteen full of water onto the creature. AS the water splashed on her face, she started screaming more.
"I have wanted you dead for a long time Laura Ingalls! I hate you!"
Laura screamed more as she began to melt into the floor. She tried harder and harder to fight it, but the combination of the holy water and Nellie telling the truth, began to take it's toll and send her back to wherever she came from.
James freed Nellie and took her out of the barn. To make sure Laura was truly gone; James had the Reverend come out and bless the barn. Charles and his family began to cry, knowing that the nightmare was gone.
A couple of days later, Nellie was loaded into a Marshall's wagon. Since she confessed to the murder of Laura Ingalls, she had to go to Sleepy Eye to stand trial. James stood there with Reverend Alden and Joe Kagen as the wagon pulled out.
"I am impressed and greatful for your action, Agent," Alden said. "Now the town can go back to normal."
"Where are you headed from here James?", Joe asked.
"Probably back to Chicago to wait for another assignment. If you want, you can ride with me. The Agency can always use a man like you."
"Sounds mighty fine to me. Not much left in this town for me. Besides, it might help me figure out what I had seen years ago."
"Maybe the Lord is trying to tell you something Joe," the Reverend said.
"Maybe so, Reverend. Maybe so."