Wandering Souls

A Skeleton Key Fan-Fiction by Sassy Lil Scorpio

Disclaimer: The author makes no claim of ownership of the characters presented in this writing. The characters and situations belong to Ehren Kruger, writer of The Skeleton Key movie.

Author's Notes: A drabble is 100 words a piece. A double-drabble is 200 words. Special thank you to the IMDB board for The Skeleton Key and my friend Dana who explained to me what I didn't understand at first about the movie. As some reviewers commented, it takes more than the first time for some of us to get the twist of the movie. Digital Tempest was an inspiration as well from her drabbles. Thanks!

Summary: Her heart was in the right place, but her body was not… A set of double drabbles about the main characters from The Skeleton Key movie.

Caroline Ellis

Her heart was in the right place…but her body was not. Now it was too late. As she was taken out of the Devereaux plantation on a stretcher, she glanced at Jill and whimpered, trying to get her friend's attention…

Then she was placed in the ambulance next to Ben and when she looked into his empty eyes, she realized what had happened could never be undone. She could not speak or write about it, for her body was paralyzed from the "remedy" that had been force-fed to her in the attic by—by who?

Violet Devereaux? No.

Mama Cecile.

Now she knew…and believed.

Caroline's soul cried inside the aged and tired body of Violet Devereaux. The moment she had touched the patchy wrinkled skin, she knew something had gone terribly wrong. But she had believed! She swore the circle would protect her. She had screamed and cried that she didn't believe, but her mind believed and that was the doomed finality of it. She was trapped and sentenced to die young in an old body. No one would mourn or miss her. How could anyone know that Caroline died, when she had inherited the plantation house in Terrebonne Parish?

Luke Marshall

In the ambulance, they communicated with eyes they weren't born with.

Luke wanted to tell her many times, but the evil spirit wearing Violet's skin kept him quiet.

The first time he visited the plantation, his clients, Ben and Violet Devereaux, had taken him to the attic. They asked about a lynching that occurred on the property during the Great Depression. Luke relayed the tale about two hoodoo practicing servants being lynched by the plantation's owners and party guests after they had shown the children how to practice the dark magic. Growing up in the South, he had been surrounding by hoodoo folklore, but he never believed it—until he woke up hours later and screamed when he first saw his reflection in the mirror.

Ben's eyes stared back at him.

He screamed until she silenced him using the "remedy", paralyzing him so that he couldn't walk or speak.

Caroline had pure intentions. She wanted to unlock the plantation's secrets and help him. When she held up the mirror to his face, it reminded him that he was imprisoned in another man's decaying body.

Luke longed to be free, but that would only happen once Ben Devereaux's body was destroyed.

Violet Devereaux

Violet prayed everyday that the body she was encased in would die soon. She suffered daily in the nursing home and had been strapped down to her bed to avoid clawing at the suffocating alien skin. Her time would come, but before it did, she always remembered…

She and Ben had moved to Louisiana to purchase a plantation from a brother and sister, who had lived there since their youth. Gracie and Martin Thorpe had shown them the backyard bayou, the dusty rooms, and finally, the mysterious attic with its many mirrors covered; the candles in a circle… From there, her mind always drew a blank.

She pretended to forget so that she could preserve her last sliver of sanity. Her mind always skipped to what happened next. She had witnessed her own hands give her a milky liquid. After several months, it wore off—partially. Violet could move her arms; hence the clawing that left red marks on the skin. She could not speak with a frozen tongue, although she yearned to scream whenever anyone called her "Gracie Thorpe."

So Violet prayed for the body of Gracie Thorpe to expire quickly. Only then would she be reunited with Ben.

Ben Devereaux

The excruciating pain of having his soul ripped out of his body stayed with Ben long after it occurred.

Ben felt as if his body were tied to an ancient torture device. His arms and legs stretched like rubber bands in opposite directions and he felt his mid-section would snap, splitting his body into two pieces, the inner organs mangled and spilling out. An ear-shattering roar followed and blackness cloaked him.

When he woke up again, he was lying on the floor of the attic, motionless. He saw a body—his body—smiling down at him. It was a ghastly sneer and the eyes glittered with stark evil. Before he could question what in the world had happened, a drink was put to his lips and a thick powdery liquid coursed down his throat.

He had been in the nursing home since then, unable to speak or walk. Nobody ever called him by his name: "Ben Devereaux". Instead they called him "Martin Thorpe". The woman, "Gracie Thorpe" that was supposedly his sister was located on the third floor. Ben's tears stung Martin's cheeks when he finally realized what happened.

He was left with one hope: that his end was near.

Papa Justify

His spirit was rejuvenated every time. Ben was old and Papa Justify needed a young body. Luke was the perfect fit even if he was on the short side. Through the years, Papa Justify had learned to adjust quickly. He could look at himself in the mirror and not be bothered by seeing a stranger's face. Cecile couldn't bear it. She kept all the mirrors in the attic covered up.

The first time was the most difficult, but necessary. Master Thorpe was abusive and overworked them. The ultimate revenge for the two servants was to take over his children's bodies—the two people he cherished the most. Papa Justify watched as Master Thorpe's party guests lynched and burned his body. Martin Thorpe thrashed inside a body too large for his small frame. Years later, Master Thorpe lost his business, shot his wife, and killed himself. His two servants—whom he thought he killed that night—outlived him and his family.

Papa Justify waited for Cecile to catch up. She put the ad in the paper, hoping to draw someone to the house. Enter Caroline. Finally, Papa Justify was reunited with his soul-mate and they would continue to own the plantation.

Mama Cecile

She had no idea how much power Mama Cecile could wield.

She managed to break those old bones, but Mama Cecile didn't allow it to break her determination. She had waited long enough for a new body and there was no way she would allow scrawny Caroline to escape. Even if she did have a hideous marking on her body, she was still young and fresh. Most importantly, she believed in the hoodoo.

Caroline was overly curious. At first Mama Cecile had despised her nosiness. Where were people's manners nowadays? Back in her day, if she snooped around Master Thorpe's belongings, she wouldn't be able to sit straight for a week. Justify explained how Caroline's curiosity would kill her like the proverbial cat. She had researched hoodoo, ran up to the attic, and even drew the Circle of Protection around her.

Cecile finished the ritual. Moments later, a woman with a petite figure and blonde hair stood in front of her. Green eyes stared back. It was the first time she felt comfortable gazing at her reflection. Mama Cecile was thrilled, even if she did want a black woman's body. Lighting a cigarette, she smiled at Caroline.

"Thank you, child."

The End