A/N: I first wrote this story back around Halloween as I had just watched Poltergeist as part of my 31 days of horror. I was inspired to write this story when I seized upon a conversation within the movie and thus it was born: "One of your children was born in your house?" "Carol Anne." With the holidays and the fact that there initially was no Poltergeist category on FF, the story was placed on hold for posting until now. Not to mention, I've been in a writing slump for the last couple of months, since I started this story. I have not started on the next chapter just yet, but I have some ideas in mind for how it will go, so it may be a while before I get the next chapter up. I don't intend on this being a very long story; just a couple of chapters.
One last note-this first chapter may seem to jump around a bit, but it is intentional. Each section (except for the first) was written in order to end on the same note for each character. They start at different times, but end at the same time. A better explanation will follow the story...
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters or ideas created by Tobe Hooper. I borrowed them for the entertainment and amusement of my audience.
SUMMARY: Carol Anne's birth.
DATE: October 26, 2010
Diane ran her hand over her bulging stomach as she winced in pain. She grabbed the edge of the counter and braced herself as the pain slowly subsided. She started breathing easily again and her eyes swept across the watch face on her wrist. Geez, only ten minutes since the last one?
She had no doubt that she was starting the early stages of labor, but she actually felt no alarm, no desperate need to speed away recklessly to the hospital. She had already birthed two children who had taken their own sweet time in arriving, so she figured she had several hours more before she need be concerned with the situation. That was more than enough time for Steven to finish up his work day and come home at his own pace. Then after dinner, she would surprise him with their impending arrival and they would go to the hospital for the birth of their third child and everything would happen according to her plan.
Now that the contraction had passed, Diane returned to the washing of the dishes. It didn't take her long to finish with the dirty dishes from the earlier meals of the day and, once complete, she turned her attention to the kitchen and adjoining dining room, looking for the next chore. The shock of her daughter blasting through the kitchen door, slamming it all the way open to hit the wall behind it, almost pushed her into labor right then. In fact, Dana didn't even come into the house; all Diane saw was a backpack flying thru the air before the door slammed shut again and she heard her daughter's fading voice shouting that she would be back around dinnertime. She watched with annoyance as the backpack skidded across the floor to come to a stop in the hallway, daring anyone to try and step over it without falling flat on their face. If Robbie wakes up, I swear I'll ground her until the end of time. Unfortunately, mental threats were completely useless, and so she waited with baited breath to hear the sounds of a toddler in distress. Surprisingly, none came.
Diane sighed in joyful relief. Robbie was still napping and Dana was now out with friends. That finally left some time to enjoy the quiet solitude of the afternoon before she had to start preparing dinner. She staggered up the stairs, swaying dangerously to compensate for her swollen midsection and it was only after much effort that she gained the landing. She stood still for several seconds, in order to catch her breath. On her way to the master bedroom, she cracked open the door to Robbie's room. She smiled in amusement as she watched his small chest rise and fall with the breath of slumber. What amused her the most was that he had maneuvered himself into a complicated sitting position with his back on the bed and his little legs sticking straight up in the air against the headboard. Chuckling softly, she slid the door closed and turned to enter her bedroom.
Robbie stood precariously on his bed and gazed out of the window. He had woken up sometime before, but he hadn't made a sound to alert his mother. He stayed on the bed and listened to the whispers in his ears. More than once, he had looked around, searching for the source of the whispers, but he had found none. He was alone in the room.
It wasn't just one voice; it was many. They were all whispering in his ear, telling him to be a good boy, to not disturb his mommy who was resting, to eat all of his food and other typical bits of advice for toddlers. Any mother would have been astounded if they had observed him just then. It was universally known that most toddlers rarely did what they were told, but Robbie stayed just as calm and just as quiet, as if he were still sleeping.
Then the instructions changed. Robbie. Robbie. Stand up, Robbie. Robbie, stand up. He did what he had been asked to. He rolled over onto his stomach and pushed himself up. It took a few tries as the bed was not the most stable thing to stand on, but finally he did it. He swayed on his feet, even coming dangerously close to falling completely off the bed.
Go to the window, Robbie. Look out the window. Look at the tree, Robbie. Robbie, do you see the tree? The whispers seemed to turn more urgent. Encouraging him onward, they sounded more insistent, but to the ears of little Robbie, there was no difference in the beckoning voices. He was enchanted by the sounds that he could not locate. The lines between fantasy and reality that seem so clear for adults, were quite blurred for Robbie. To his perception, the disembodied voices were as real to him as the teddy bear he tripped over on his way to the window.
Holding himself up with his small hands placed firmly on the glass, he pressed his face against the window, in order to see the tree that grew ominously just outside. Even at three years old, Robbie was terrified of the tree. It's many twisting branches reached out towards the house as if in search of a way in. The voices told him to keep watching the tree and he could not pull himself away. His young mind did not associate the rising hairs on his arms and the back of his neck with the terror welling up inside of him. His heart beat frantically in his chest, his little lungs filled and collapsed with the air he was breathing heavily, and his eyes were wide open, glued to the tree.
A sudden powerful gust of wind hit the tree with tremendous force and caused a large branch to slam against the side of the house. The suddenness of the action, and the loudness of the sound startled Robbie so much that he fell backwards, tumbling off the bed and onto the floor. The impact with the floor stunned him for a moment, but it was not long before he was crying and pleading for his mother to come save him as he pounded his small fists on the back of the door. Unfortunately, his screams were drowned out by those coming from the next room.
Steven groaned at the mountain of paperwork that greeted him when he walked through the door of his office. His wife was due to go into labor any day now and he had been under the impression that Mr. Teague was going to funnel off paperwork to some of the other associates in an effort to keep Steven free enough to leave at a moment's notice should the call come. The pile on his desk was definitely not something he had anticipated. He was saved the trip to Mr. Teague's office by his appearance at Steven's door.
"I'm really sorry about this, Steve, but Mark's daughter fell in the schoolyard and broke her arm, so he had to leave suddenly. I hate to do this to you, but could you stay just a little later and get the forms done. It's for the Formby contract, which, if I may flatter you, was an absolutely brilliant deal you worked. Their insurance company is just jumping all over my back about it. It seems they want to move in sooner than we had expected. Of course, if you get news about your wife and have to leave, I'll understand, but it would mean a lot to me if you could finish that up tonight." Mr. Teague barely took a breath during his obviously rehearsed speech and his monotonous tone of voice almost put Steven into a stupor. Mr Teague turned and walked back to his office when he was done speaking, not even waiting to hear Steven's response. Steven, on the other hand, had opened and closed his mouth numerous times like a goldfish in his effort to respond to this request, but Mr. Teague had continued on and on. Instead of trailing after Mr. Teague and reminding him of how much revenue Steven brought in all on his own and that a bargain was a bargain, he looked at his watch. Four o'clock. By all rights, he should be walking out of the door in an hour. He glanced at the paperwork, back at the watch and then back at the paperwork. I can do this. It won't take me much longer than an hour. Tossing his suit jacket onto one of the spare chairs in his office, he sat down and grabbed the first paper off of the top.
Six o'clock came and just barely went by the time Steven finished filling everything out and organizing all the forms according to the various individuals and agencies they had to be filed with. Teague had come in at five-thirty on his way out and told Steven to just leave the rest for the morning. He had declined, saying that he was so close to finishing. Steven knew that Diane wasn't going to be happy at holding dinner a little longer in order for him to get home, especially with the kids. He had even tried to call her to let her know that he was going to be a few minutes late and to feed the kids so they wouldn't be cranky with her, but the phone had just rang and rang. He silently cursed the phone company for the issues his house was having with the telephone service. The answering machine had had to be disconnected due to some faulty circuit boards, or some such thing within the device itself—Steven really didn't know all that technical stuff. Hanging up the phone, he had worked faster so that he wouldn't keep his family waiting too long for him.
Tossing the files onto Teague's desk, he grabbed his jacket and dashed out the door. It was only ten minutes after six and he was only five minutes from home. He made sure the office was locked behind him and then, throwing his jacket onto the passenger seat, he jumped into his car and sped out of the lot.
Pulling onto his street and listening intently to the news radio, Steven was surprised to see his next door neighbors, the Tuthills, standing worriedly at the hedge that separated his house from theirs. The wife was wringing her hands nervously and glancing fearfully up at the Freeling house while the husband seemed to be confused about what to do to comfort his wife. Steven could see the Tuthill children peering anxiously through the front windows of their house. He rolled his eyes in annoyance. He never would have pegged them as nosy neighbors, poking around in other peoples' affairs, but he realized that you never could tell about some people. Well, he would set them straight and tell them to mind their own business. He turned off the car and started to open the door, when the source of his neighbors' worry became all too evident. His wife's screams tore through him to the very core and all thoughts fled his mind, leaving only the primal instinct of protecting his family fueling his burst of speed up the walkway and through the front door.
Dana laughed at the off-colored joke that Bobby had just made. Normally such a joke would never have elicited even a smile out of her, but the effects of the marijuana were weaving their mystical magic over her, and her clouded thoughts found the joke thoroughly entertaining. She took another long drag from the joint, coughing just a little as the sweet smoke filled her lungs and she passed the joint on. Mom would totally kill me if she saw me now! but the thought just caused her to start giggling uncontrollably. Her friends stared at her as though she had lost her mind, which wasn't very far off, but her laughter was quite contagious and soon everyone was laughing uncontrollably, for no other reason than for the inability to stop.
Dana knew that her parents indulged in the very act she was presently enjoying. She had found a small box in one of her mother's dresser drawers sometime before. She had snuck a little out to share with her friends, as they had always rolled a few for her. It hadn't taken long for the addiction to sink its claws into her. At eleven years old, she had already been smoking for six months. She had no idea how her parents never caught her, especially with the pungent odor that accompanied the act, but so far she had been very lucky.
Noting the time, she jumped to her feet. "Hey, Jimmy, I'm gonna use your shower, 'kay?" It was one of the reasons her parents never detected the incriminating smell about her person when coming home. She had smuggled a pair of pants and a sweatshirt out of the house some weeks before and just kept them at Jimmy's house for these smoking activities. The little group always smoked at Jimmy's house because his mother had split several years before and his father didn't care much what his son did. It was the perfect place to gather. Dana would change into the smoke infested clothes, keeping her regular clothes in another room where the smell wouldn't reach and then she would hang out. When she was done, she would shower, change into her regular clothes, hang around with her friends outside long enough to let her hair dry completely and then go home like nothing had happened. For an eleven-year-old, she was quite thrilled that she had come up with this fool proof plan.
Dana sighed with obvious satisfaction as she stood under the scalding hot water of the shower head. While the prospect of another sibling had, at first, irritated her to no end, she quickly warmed up to the announcement. Her parents had become so preoccupied with the happy news and all it entailed, Dana soon found herself being allowed a ton of privacy. She used it to her advantage, but she recognized that as soon as her new baby brother or sister was born and the house returned to a semblance of normality, her parents would be back to their old selves and she would, once again, be under their thumb. It was only a matter of days now.
Dana scrubbed her hair with the only thing she could find within reach, a bar of soap. It wasn't the best option, but it would do for her. To help the buzz wear off, she switched the water over to ice cold and had to fight the urge to shriek in alarm with the shock. She buried her face under the flow of water and let the cold shock her back to full awareness. While it didn't achieve the sought for effect, it helped immensely. Rinsing off, she hopped out and dried off, pulling on her clean jeans and tee shirt.
She found her friends sitting on the curb in front of the house, critiquing a substitute teacher they had all had for English that day. The teacher was from a foreign country and her way of handling classes was a bit different than what they were used to, so they were all cracking jokes about her.
That sat outside doing absolutely nothing, but finding some pleasure in it, until the sky grew dark and the streetlamps lit up. It didn't occur to Dana until the streetlight over her head illuminated, that she was drastically late for dinner. Grabbing Bobby's wrist, she saw the time. "Oh, no! My mom is going to kill me!" She jumped up and hollered good night at her friends as she bolted up the street and around the corner. It was a good sprint from her house to Jimmy's and she knew it would only be another minute or two before she reached her front door. How could she have been so stupid? It was only when she missed curfew that her parents paid particular attention to her return and that was the most probable scenario that could bust her.
Skidding around the last corner, her eyes lit upon her house further up the street. She had already formulated a plan on the way home. She would sneak into her bedroom through the window and pretend like she had been there for a while. The only thing that would ruin her plan was if her parents had checked her room recently and found her not there, but Dana didn't worry about that. Her mom was so close to popping and her dad would cater to his wife's every need in these final few days. She doubted they would even question her if she chose to walk right in the front door, but she didn't want to test that theory.
Everything went right out of her mind when she heard the screams coming from her house.
The timeline was written along the lines of being around 2:30PM when Diane's ended; Robbie's started around 5:30PM; Steven's started around 4PM; and Dana's started around 3-3:30PM. As written in Steven's section, he arrived home shortly after 6PM, probably between 6:15-6:20PM and his wife's screaming had gone on long enough to draw the neighbors out of their home. As the screaming was the conclusion of each section (except for Diane's), each section ended roundabouts 6PM. The next chapter will be conducted more along the lines of a traditional viewpoint. Thanks for reading and be sure to add it to your alerts if you want to be informed when the next chapter is up.