"Hold me, Momma. Please hold me."

"I should have killed myself when he put it in me."

"We'll pray…for the last time, we'll pray."

For the last time, I will not pray with you!

You tried to kill me, Momma. It's saddening to believe you could ever want anything for me. You thought I was bad from the beginning, and I thought that maybe you were just trying to guide me.

But now, I can see the truth. I know that sin will never die, but the both of us will soon. That's why I'm going to leave you. I'm going to leave this house, and I hope that you can forget about me, and that I can forget about you too.

I don't want to leave you here, Momma, but I don't know what else I can do. You've been my Momma; you've taught me what I need to know, and so you can move on with your sick obsessions. I don't want any part of it, so I'll see you whenever God calls you.

If He ever will…

You've been trying for so long to make me love Him like you do, Momma. But at least I know I am capable of loving. Otherwise I never would have said yes to Tommy, before he took me to the prom.

Tommy…

Oh, God, the look on his face when the bucket fell down on him. The way his eyes rolled to the back of his head when he fell beside me on the stage. I couldn't feel his breathing when he was there…I didn't know whether he was dead or asleep, but that was when I heard the laughter…

…they were laughing at me…

…Momma, oh, you told me they were all going to laugh at me. I thought maybe I was going to fly that night, but you told me I was going to fall, like Tommy. I was the queen of the moment, and when the blood- oh, the blood, it was so cold, but also so warm- came down on me, and Tommy fell…I knew you were right…

…I didn't mean to hurt Tommy. I'd never met someone so wonderful in my life. Sue deserved him when she had him, but…now, she'll never hold him again…

…it was the fire. When I made my mind flex, and the wire touched the water on the floor…every one of those bastards who laughed at me were burned up, even Tommy…although he and Sue were probably in on the blood falling on me…but still, I still liked him a lot when he fell.

I would have loved to watch them- laughing at me in my moment of utmost terror- become piles of smoldering ashes. The Power to move things inside my mind- I thought I was in control of it. But, all along, it was what made me do what I did. It forced me to listen to the laughter, making me run away, and finally wake up in your arms, Momma, while Chamberlain was burning down all around us. Momma, if only I'd known what I would have done…

...if only I could have stopped myself…

…I could have kept Tommy around- saved him- while everyone else was receiving their punishment. I could have done it- I could have made the Power carry him outside the gym, and bring him to help. I would stay close to him all night if it meant saving him from the wrath of the Power. Then, I wouldn't have come home, just to see you go beyond your sanity- to see me destroy you, and our house.

Well, I can't ever call it home again.

Close your eyes and rest, Momma. I'm leaving you now, with just a kiss on the cheek to give you peace while I leave this house.

I'll go to him. Tommy must still be at the school, if the police haven't reached it yet…

Oh. My god.

Did I truly do all this to Chamberlain? I walk down this street every day, but it always looked so pretty. Now it looks like it's been touched by the devil's hand.

But…are those headlights?

Yes, yes…and they are coming this way!

Wow, I don't think I've ever been able to see this well in the dark before. But the fires are lighting up the inside of that car, and…

…and…

…I'd know that tangled mess of hair, and that slobbery, drunken bastard anywhere…

…Chris Hargenson…Billy Nolan…

Why isn't she stopping the car? Why won't she get out of my way?

Flex.

It's actually deliciously riveting to watch the car flip over onto its side, rolling down the street like some kind of toy. The metal is crashing to bits, and that little spark on the inside is almost too easy to light…

Flex.

I can barely tell the ruins of Chris's car from the fires all around me on the street. It's been slammed into the side of a roadhouse, called the Cavalier. Momma said Daddy used to watch ladies take off their clothes there…

...yeah, he went there to forget about Momma…and the obsessive ways she controlled him…I was never supposed to be born, but they did it anyway after that night…

…is that his voice I can hear…as he shouts and roots for those girls…?

…oh, god, that ground is really hard! But, why is my heart beating so slowly?

"Carrie!"

Who's there?

There's someone close by on the street. Just like Chris, I'd know who she was even with my eyes blinded.

Sue Snell.

"Carrie. Are you all right?"

Save your pity, Sue. Go home to your perfect life, and plot more stupid pranks with your bitchy friends. Leave me alone, now!

I guess it's too late. She's got me in her arms, and she's shaking me, telling me to wake up, even though my glassy eyes are perfectly open.

Wait. That's strange. She's saying things to me, but her mouth isn't moving.

"It's me, Sue Snell."

You tricked me, Sue. You all tricked me.

"Listen to me, Carrie. I don't know what just happened at the school. Is Tommy okay?"

It was a dirty trick, Sue! This was the very last one…!

"Don't, Carrie, you're hurting me. You're hurting yourself. Look inside me, now."

My whole body, especially my chest, is hurting horribly when Sue draws me into her mind.

"I tried to help you, Carrie. I'm sorry; I really am. When I heard the sirens, I should have known Chris and Billy were up to no good. I know it's already over, but if I could take it all back, I would. I just never thought things would go so horribly wrong."

She's crying, and her tears are falling onto my dress. Why does she have to be so difficult; she can just run along home and leave me be. It doesn't matter that she tried, at all. She was still one of those bitches who thought I was being stupid when I was bleeding to death in the locker room. She's been part of them for her whole life, helping them feed me to the wolves. I've been screaming for help, and she was the final straw in convincing me to go. She made Tommy take me…!

Momma, you were right! Oh, please, Momma, I'm scared.

You told me they would laugh, and they did!

They will always laugh at me…!

"Momma!" My voice hurts, but my heart is temporarily healed, even while it hurts- for what reason I don't know. It just feels so wonderful tocry to the sky, and the mixture of loss and anger rings through the street like the church bells that taunted me in childhood…

Then, everything is blank. I can't feel anything- not Sue's arms gripping me, the cold street beneath my thin dress,or even the fire in my soul.

Because, I think the fire has gone from me. I can't even feel my own heart beating anymore.

With my eyes closed, I feel myself floating. I'm not sure where, but I feel myself lifting away from the ground, and out of reach from Sue. And when I do open my eyes, I notice Sue shaking me, hovering, over my closed eyes and bloody shoulder where Momma stabbed me.

I frown and smile at the same time. Sue can struggle with my body all she wants, but she's never going to wake me up. Only God can awake me now.

I'm floating on my feet on the street, but I don't feel anything on my skin except for my presence in the world- my soul. It almost feels like stepping from the showers in the school locker room, except when the water was cold. The wind's voice is whispering in my ear, brushing against my back, just like the icy wall of the closet…

Why did you keep my away in there, Momma, with the devil watching me like I was his own spawn? I could never pray when that statue looked at me, with those glassy eyes, glowing in the darkness, threatening to send me down to the fire if I didn't comply to you...

No! I can't think about that. I won't ever go back there. I can only go back to where I think my heart lies…

Well, here there isn't any more fire. Ewen High School is just a pile of smoking, charred wood, and ashes, sitting in the darkness while the other fires circle it.

Such a glorious sight; good riddance to you, Mr. Morton, for forgetting my name after I said it twice (the name is Carrie, remember it!); goodbye to you, Chris, for torturing me in those long hallways (you're the one eating shit now). I'll see you in hell- all of you!

"Carrie?"

It's a really whispery voice, but the effect it has on me when my ears detect it- it's something I suddenly have to fight, to keep from crying.

"Carrie? Is that you?"

I can't feel you…I never touched you…!

"Carrie. What are you doing?"

I never kissed your lips…I never want to again…!

"Carrie, can you hear me?"

"No." That word is out of my mouth before I can think to stop it.

He chuckles before answering, "If you couldn't, you wouldn't say that, Carrie."

My eyes are shut now to try to close out his voice. Thinking back on my moment of pure heavenly bliss on the dance floor with him, I still can't bring myself to face him. It's in the way he says my name- so calmly, so softly, and with a tone that I'd always heard wrongly from Momma, and all the other boys who played tricks on me.

Could it be that he likes being so close to someone like me?

I don't hear his footsteps, but I know he's coming towards me…

His hands are on my arm now…

"What are you doing here?" I say instead. I'm trying not to find his eyes again, but it's much too hard. The prom dance was too much like the dreams I had a long time ago- that, like the other girls, I could be kissed by a sweet boy, and held in the light like all the fairy tales Momma wouldn't let me read. She always said fairy tales and magic were blasphemous, and sinful. Well, then, I guess she was always wrong. It's one of the most glorious, beautiful things I've ever experienced.

I didn't know there really was love until I stepped up to take Tommy's hand.

"Something's happened." His voice is suddenly music, and it's hard to not feel the feelings for him coming back. "I woke up, and…and suddenly, the whole school was on fire. I…I couldn't really think when I did. But, at least…at least now I'm awake."

"You're dead, aren't you?" Even before I say it, my eyes are already getting hot, stinging enough that I have to wipe them quickly before he can see me.

He's gasping a little, along with the tears starting to fall down my cheeks.

"Well"- he chuckles, but I hear the shock beneath the breath- "I guess…now that you mention it…I…oh, my God! What the hell…?"

"It's…it's okay, Tommy." About time for me to say the truth, but the words aren't coming to me.

"What, Carrie?" That magical voice, that whispered to me, and told me I could dance.

If he told me I can dance, can I tell him what has happened to him? Will he believe me?

The breath I take into my lungs feels so cold, but I can't taste the smoke. I'm turning around, but even with him in my eyes, I still can't look into his. My eyes are so hot…they could burn through the walls crumbling behind me.

I'm facing him now, and finally, I think I can look him straight on. It's not easy, because I'm seeing the only face on this planet who has smiled at me with such a pure heart. I wish I'd always known good people like him…

"You're gone, Tommy. The Power has taken you."

He's looking at me like I'm as crazy. My shoulders are suddenly feeling like stones, and I can't keep my posture straight in front of him. Now what do I do?

"What do you mean? What's the Power?" he asks.

The Power. Those words taste like poison in my mouth, making my face-still caked with the blood- feel hot as my eyes. My legs are shaking, so it's very, very hard to stand up straight.

Oh, Tommy, please hold me…

Ow…my dead heart slaps me in the chest, and I'm falling into Tommy's arms, without any control over where I'll crash down. He's coming towards me…oh, god, I can see the spot where the blood splashed onto him…he won't grab me…!

I feel my whole body sputter violently while some strong arms take me tightly, and pull me up from the dry ground. What is this? How could Tommy have…?

"My god, are you okay?" He's holding me so that I have to look up at him.

"Thanks," is all I mutter. Suddenly, I'm glad that I'm gone; otherwise, I would feel my heart choking me and taking away my last breath. After all this time, though, I still wish I could gaze at him without having to touch my face. But, in fact, I do.

My face is like the flame of a candle, but I shiver when a cold wind brushes my hand. I could close my eyes, it feels so good, but…it's not God, or Mother Nature, who answered my prayer for a colder face. The wind touching me is moving to caress my skin, moving across my cheek; it's so cold, but it's sticking to me long enough that it can't possibly be an ordinary wind. It should be something more.

"Feeling better, Carrie?"

I move my other hand to touch Tommy's fingers on my cheek. I never thought that ghosts could feel each other, but it still seems as normal as when Tommy took my hand for the first time.

"Yes, I'm okay." Like his touch, my voice is gentle and soft, and suddenly, I can't imagine being alone again. The way I can feel him, the numb feeling in my heart- asleep inside me- is just beginning to go away.

I remember the moments that we were together at the prom.

When he kissed me, like he thought I could be one of his crowd…

…the crowd that threw me to the wolves for the last time…

"Tommy, please hold me." The salt of my tears is staining my lips, but I'm not feeling them fall, because Tommy is wiping them with his thumb.

He's pulling me into his arms, hugging me to him like he never wants to let me go. As long as he's here with me, I won't ever see him go.

"Please hold me. Please hold me…" The words are spilling out of me, but I don't know whether to be scared or thrilled at Tommy loving me this way; I've never really been in love before.

But I did finally read the fairy tales in the library one day. There always seemed to be time for a happily-ever-after to happen. But, could it, for two people who were gone from life?

"Tommy?"

"Yeah?"

"Do…do you still think I'm pretty?"

He's not speaking. But then…

"Carrie, in my book, you've always been beautiful. You have a good spirit. But, what does beauty really matter right now? Heaven's obviously waiting for us. And…if you don't have a previous engagement, would you like to go with me?"

I know that this time, I will not wait to say my answer.

"Okay."

He's lifting his face away from my shoulder, and before I can remember Sue- the girlfriend that Tommy will leave behind- or anything else happening around us, he's pressing my face close to his. The delicate way he's lacing his fingers through my blood-soaked hair, and feeling his hand take mine, makes me feel cold. But, it doesn't really feel new. I feel like, maybe, in some other fairy tale world, he's been in love with me forever, and just hadn't ever told me. His kiss is making my shaky legs relax, warming me up. It's scary, but still, I want for him to take me with him.

"I really like you, Tommy," I say, the moment that he gently pulls me away.

"And can I say that I might be in love with you?" he says to me.

I'm dazed, but I still find myself saying through a happy laugh, "What about Sue?"

"I love her too, but you know, it's possible for someone to love more than one person," he says. "From now on, I'll look down on her, with you right next to me."

I hope I'm not smiling too widely, but he's not telling me. He truly must think of me that way.

"Say goodbye, Carrie," Tommy whispers in my ear. "It's time to go."

With his kiss on my lips, I close my eyes, and follow him wherever his hand leads me. I'm only thinking of him, and his loving touch, while he takes me into the void. I haven't forgotten that I didn't tell him I'm sorry, but I don't have the heart to tell him. I hope that forevermore, there will always be him, and me, to wash away the blood from my hands with his soul, and me to keep him from all the sins of people like Chris and my mother.

May they rest…wherever they are…