Okay, I know what many of you must be thinking: "We waited months to see which of the stories in her profile she would upload next...and THIS is what she ends up posting?"
Don't ask me exactly how it happened. One moment, I was re-watching Addams Family Values as part of my yearly Halloween movie marathon; the next, I found myself recalling the days I used to be quasi-obsessed with the series. Back when I was in middle school and my friends used to tell me how much I looked like Christina Ricci whenever I wore my hair in pigtails. Wednesday was always my favorite character—I just loved her subplot with the summer camp and budding romance with Joel...and somehow, that led me to thinking up a way to continue their ending scene together from the movie. This was the result.
Dance with the Devil
"Poor Debbie..." Joel Glicker fell to his knees before the large tombstone with a sigh. His eyes trailed over the name—Debbie Jellinsky Addams—carved into the cold marble. He had only met the woman once, on her wedding day, but the tales he had heard from Wednesday had help solidify his opinion of her. "She was sick."
"She wasn't sick. She was sloppy."
Though he did not turn around, he felt his body tense slightly at Wednesday's comment. "What do you mean?"
"If I wanted to kill my husband..." he heard the young Addams female rise from her seat, voice low and confident as she slowly approached. "I'd do it, and I wouldn't get caught."
"I'd scare him to death."
The way she spoke sent a (not entirely unpleasant) shiver down his spine. In spite of himself, however, he managed a weak smile and dismissed her claim, turning back to the grave. He could feel her eyes watching his every move, gauging his reaction. Wednesday Friday Addams was—without equal—the weirdest, most sadistically morbid girl he had ever met, and he knew he was completely smitten with her. More than anything, he longed for her approval. Her acceptance.
"We're all very sorry, Debbie." Despite Wednesday's agonizingly close proximity to his back, Joel forced himself to ignore her. He reached out to place the small bouquet in his hands atop the soil. "We wish you only the be—"
A hand suddenly burst from the ground, grabbing him roughly by the wrist; Joel's eyes widened in pure terror, screams echoing into the dark abyss of the Addams' family cemetery as he struggled vainly to get away. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest, ready to explode at any moment. The flowers and Wednesday were long forgotten as the hand gripped tighter, causing a wave of pain to shoot up his arm. If anything, his screams grew louder.
His vision began to cloud over as the blood drained his face. Finally, with the last of his strength, he managed one last pull...and succeeded in wrenching the solitary hand from the ground. The force of the movement sent him sprawling back into an ungraceful heap, breath coming in quick, short gasps as he started at the suddenly familiar appendage.
"Thank you, Thing," he vaguely heard Wednesday's voice—that serene monotone—from behind. "I do believe he's had enough...for now."
Using its free digits to signal some coded response, the hand made its way back to the main house, where the music of Lurch's organ playing could still be heard.
"G-geez, Wednesday.," Joel managed to get out as he gradually caught his breath, wheezing lightly as he pulled himself into a slightly more dignified seated position. He had yet to turn to look at her. "You'll be the death of me."
"That's the idea."
Ignoring the way her voice perked at the thought, Joel closed his eyes and took several deep breaths, willing his limbs still. His whole body still trembled in the aftermath of the shock, yet there was a strange, new sensation beginning to accompany it. One that washed over his very being, making him feel more...more alive.
It was as if every last drop of adrenaline in his body has been replaced with endorphins, to the point where the could barely distinguish between the fear and excitement. Between the pain in his wrist from where Thing had most likely left a mark, and the pleasure his body produced to compensate. And for the first time...he understood.
As the seconds passed, he grew remotely aware that Wednesday had knelt beside him. He forced his eyes open, turning to look at her. He could practically see his reflection mirrored in her eyes, a look of pure bliss plastered across his features. She stared back at him with a mixture of delight and curiosity, lips pressed tightly together in a shadow of a smile.
His reaction had pleased her.
"May I?" she asked, hand reaching for his.
Though not yet able to discern what she was asking of him, he nodded anyway, and watched as she lifted his quivering arm so that his palm faced upward. The touch of her fingers as she placed them over his wrist felt colder than ice, a chilling burn that—his mind told him—should have hurt...and yet, did not. If anything, it felt...good.
His body seemed to move on its own accord in the following moments, moving her numbingly chill fingers to his throat, where he knew his jugular to be.
"The blood flows stronger here," he explained, finding a great joy at the look of surprise she gave toward his sudden action. "You can feel the frantic heart rate better."
"Hmm. You're right," Wednesday replied, quickly recovering from her momentary lapse. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, tilting one head to the side as she focused on his pulse. "It's faster than I had expected. By all intents and purposes, you should have long since lost consciousness." There was a hint of disappointment as she said this.
"Perhaps," Joel replied off-handedly. Having yet to lower his hand from hers, he gently pried her fingers from his neck and held them tightly. He refrained from telling her that his heart had only sped up further the closer she came to him. "Maybe next time."
Her eyes snapped open, yet again betraying her approval for a fleeting moment before returning to her normal blank stare. "I suppose..." she pulled her hand from his (unaware of Joel's sudden, almost painful hiss at the loss of physical contact) and placed it in her lap.
Silence passed between the young couple as the vultures flew overhead, looming over potential prey that lurked in the shadows below.
"Tell me again," she spoke up suddenly. "What it was like after Pugsley and I drove off."
He knew instantly what she was referring to. "To put it simply...it was like Hell itself had burnt down. Within minutes, the fires had spread to most of the cottages, which were left in little more than a wrangled heap of charred metal and burnt plastic. Most of the screams had died down, though some of the captives still let out the occasional whimper, and the trees had been blackened from all the smoke and ash."
"How dreadful," she sighed wistfully, looking as pleased as she had the moment they had first initiated their attack on the inhabitants of Chippewa. "And the look in Amanda's eyes?"
"You would know that better than me. I was taking care of the others when you set her on fire."
"I mean after." She lifted her head to look at him, eyes nearly shining. "Was she frozen in terror, eyes rimmed red from the smoke billowing around her? Or was it more a look of defeat by one who had resigned to her fate?"
He thought for a moment. "The second one, I guess. Her parents untied her a bit after we'd left. From what I'd heard, her heels were barely blistered."
"Was she at least traumatized for life?" Wednesday asked, dismayed at the knowledge of the blonde's rescue.
She sighed, glancing at her late aunt's tombstone and muttering a few choice words about circumstances tearing her away from the only fun she'd had all summer. "I suppose it would have grown boring, eventually. After the first few minutes, her screams began to sound as fake as her nose looked."
"Still," Joel interjected, no longer trying to hide his smile as he stared at her. "It was the best day of my life. Even if it was just for that one day."
She returned his gaze, voice low as she learned in a little further. "It doesn't have to be."
"It doesn't?" He blinked in surprise. "You'd willingly go back to summer camp?"
"I'm not talking about summer camp...."
Her words trailed off as the distance between them gradually lessened. Suddenly, Joel could not longer recall what they had just been discussing; it was as if the world around them had ceased to be, leaving them isolated in the dark shadows of the moment. He stared at the vision before him—the very sight of her midnight black hair and ghostly pale complexion—as he had the first time their eyes had met.
At some point, his hand found its way to her cheek, gently trailing the outline of her jaw with the back of his fingers. It was just as cold as her fingers had been, the touch alone sending yet another chill down his spine.
The sensation intoxicated him.
"Cara mia," he whispered.
"Mon chere," she breathed back, eyelids fluttering shut as she moved to close the remaining distance between them.
"HEY, WEDNESDAY! WE'RE GETTING READY TO PLAY PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY!" Pugsley's adolescent screech called out abruptly, instantly breaking the spell. "HURRY BEFORE WE RUN OUT OF THE POISONED NEEDLES!" The exclamation was quickly followed by the sound of a small donkey's braying, then a slammed door.
Silence briefly followed, in which the couple stared after where the interruption had come from. Joel quickly noticed the narrowed gaze in his beloved's eyes as she glared in her brother's general direction, and for some reason, felt a sadistic joy swell within him.
"I'll get the shotgun," again, Wednesday spoke first, turning to face him. "Would you like the crossbow or flamethrower?"
He immediately shook his head, then smirked. "No. Too quick. Electrocution's more entertaining."
"You're right." Though her face remained stoic, he could see her eyes shimmering in the dim moonlight as she thought of something. "We haven't disabled the chairs Debbie tried to fry us in yet."
Nodding his approval, he stood and helped the girl to her feet before following her towards the lower level of the main mansion.
"I do wish to thank you once again for coming," Morticia held Dementia's hands tightly in her own, eyes alone illuminated in the perpetual shadows that seemed to loom over the seductive beauty. "You are truly an Addams at heart, and are welcome in our home anytime."
"Thank you, Morticia," Dementia smiled back, teeth barely standing out against her sullen, grey complexion. Her employers stood behind her, waiting on her before they departed for the night. "It has been an honor to be a part of this evening."
The lights flickered just then, though all present had grown used to the slight inconvenience after the first hour. It was quickly followed by a tortuous scream which only added to the charmingly dismal music that still played.
"Of course," Exchanging light air kisses with the grotesque nanny, she added, "Isn't that right, Gomez?"
Her question was met with silence and another light flicker.
"Gomez?" Curious as to her husband's lack of response, she turned to look at him.
Though he stood no more than a few feet from her, his gaze was—for once—completely elsewhere, eyes glossed over as his teeth clenched tightly to his cigar. An arm was wrapped around his brother, Fester, who also looked tearfully pleased as they stared out the large mansion window.
Morticia followed their line of sight until her eyes fell upon a pair of silhouettes against the moon-lit cemetery backdrop. She recognized her young daughter at once, dancing with her guest of the evening, Joel, to a melody only they seemed to hear. The boy clearly lacked a great deal of coordination, yet it was not the dancing that had drawn everyone's attention.
It was the intense gaze shared between them as they moved, as if they were the only two soulless being around.
A swell of motherly pride rose within Morticia, accompanied by a delightfully depression notion of having lost her once little girl to another. She allowed herself a brief moment to relish in the anguishing thought before gliding to her husband's side, slipping one arm through his.
Only then did Gomez tear his sight from the young couple, removing his cigar as he turned to his wife. "Querida, have you ever seen such a sight?"
"Every day, dearest," she looked at him knowingly, resting her head against his shoulder. "With every look you send my way, and I, you."
Together, they turned back to the blissful sight, hardly noticing when a severely charred Pugsley wandered into the room, expelled a large cloud of smoke from his mouth, and collapsed at the foot of the grand staircase.
"Give up to the feeling, and don't try to fight
He wants your soul and he wants it tonight
Dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight
Put your arms around him and hold him tight
Close your eyes to love and die."
-Prince, Dance with the Devil