Chapter 9

Alex put her ear against the door. "I don't hear anything." She turned to Harper. "I don't think she can get in…"

Harper covered her nose and mouth with her hands. "What's that smell?"

The strong odor hit Alex suddenly. Alex mimicked Harper and covered her nose as well in an attempt to block the stench. Realizing where the stench was coming from, Alex and Harper walked over to the antique armoire. Alex opened the door.

Demi's lifeless body fell out of the armoire causing both girls to jump backwards. All of her fingers and her eyes were missing.

On cue an ax went straight through the door, startling the two girls. It was a fire ax that Jerry kept in the emergency case with the fire extinguisher. It would only take Maria a few minutes to get through the door.

Knowing they were outmatched, Alex searched for an exit. She suddenly remembered the old dumbwaiter that went all the way from the attic down to the Sub Station. A person could easily fit inside. She remembered her father telling her and Max not to go near it when they were younger.

Alex pointed at the dumbwaiter. "Harper you go first. I'll come down after you."

Harper was amazed at Alex's selflessness. "Alex that's very selfless of you…" She climbed inside.

Alex shrugged. "Well this thing has been in the building like forever. I don't know if it still works. I guess we'll find out."

Alex shut the door to the dumbwaiter. Scared, Harper cried out, "Alex wait!" Alex paid no attention to Harper and pulled the level.

Harper went straight down to the Sub Station. She breathed a sigh of relief, fearing that the old contraption would get stuck in between floors or that she would plummet straight down and crash.

Harper got out of the dumbwaiter and closed the door. She pulled the level and waited for Alex to come down and join her. Several minutes passed; there was no sign of Alex.

Worried that something happened to her friend, Harper bravely started up the stairs. She was surprised to see Alex sitting in the living room. Alex appeared to be out of breath.

"Alex what happened?" asked Harper.

Alex struggled between breaths. "She broke in… But I stopped her." Alex solemnly looked up at Harper. "Mom's dead…"

Saddened, Harper walked over to her friend and hugged her. "I'm so sorry Alex…"

Alex shook her head. "Let's just get out of here Harper…"

The two girls started towards the stairs, Alex was right behind Harper. The redhead failed to notice Alex grabbing the heavy antique ashtray off the table. The last thing Harper felt was a heavy blow to the back of her head.

….

Harper woke up several hours later. Her head throbbed, she tried to move but couldn't. Her hands were tied back to the dining table. Alex stood in front of Harper.

Weakened, Harper tried to speak. "Alex… what are you doing?"

Alex turned around. "I should tell you that your friend Alex is no longer with us. I'm Maria."

Harper: "What did you do with Alex?"

Maria walked towards Harper. "When I possess someone, I essentially… well as you Americans would say kick their soul to the curb. You see two souls cannot inhabit the same body. The other soul goes to what I would call a void to be tormented for as long as I possess that person's body. It's really a horrible place, gives hell a run for its money. Alex had better get comfortable because I don't plan on leaving anytime soon."

Maria stroked Harper's hair. "In fact I might just keep Alex's body for well… forever. I have control of her magic now and with enough practice and studying I can keep this body alive and forever young for as long as I wish. Her fate is much worse than yours will be…"

Maria took out Alex's wand. "I'm actually getting the hang of this… Magic isn't really that hard to use. Well if that lazy good for nothing descendant of mine can use magic then I shouldn't have any problem grasping it. Want to see what I've learned."

The tip of Alex's wand turned bright red. Maria brought it near Harper's face; Harper could feel the heat coming off the wand, it was getting hotter and hotter. Maria moved it closer to Harper; brushing it against Harper's cheek. Harper screamed as the wand burned the side of her face.

Satisfied by the girl's screams, Maria took the wand away. "All in the blood… Well shall we continue? I have much more to show you."

The next day…

Jerry and Max walked in the Sub Station. Max was carrying his championship belt replica; many wrestlers had signed it for him over the weekend.

The entire place appeared to be empty. Noticing the unsettling silence, Jerry dropped his bags and looked around. "Where is everyone?" he muttered to himself.

Jerry turned to Max. "Max stay here for a second…" Jerry rushed up the stairs.

Jerry found Harper in the living room tied to the table. "Oh my God!"

He rushed over to Harper and struggled to untie her. Her body fell over. She was covered with burns and frostbite, her throat was slashed.

Jerry shook Harper. "Harper! Harper!"

Jerry realized that Harper was dead. Fearing for the worst, Jerry called out to his wife and daughter. "Theresa! Alex!"

Jerry started down the hallway hopeful his family was still alive. Halfway down the hallway, the ax swung out from Alex's room, striking Jerry in the chest. Jerry collapsed to the ground. Maria appeared from the room still holding the ax. She landed several more blows until she was satisfied that Jerry was dead.

Maria headed to the bathroom to clean the blood off. She showered yet again and picked out some new clothes. She grabbed her packed bags; one of the bags contained thousands of dollars. While she was in possession of Theresa's body, Maria had taken out all of the Russo's life savings.

Maria headed downstairs. She saw Max sitting at a table waiting for his family to appear.

Max looked up at Alex. "Hi Alex! Guess what! The Undertaker and John Cena both signed my belt!" he smiled unable to contain his excitement.

Maria dropped her bags. She approached Max and smiled at the boy. "Max… Did you know you were named after your great-great-great-great grandfather?" Maria ruffled the boy's hair. "It's a good strong name, you should be proud of it. You remind me a bit of my dear brother…"

Max gave his sister a confused look. Maria ignored it, she grabbed her bags. "Father said to wait here for him."

Max shrugged. "Ok… Where are you going Alex?"

Maria headed to the door. "Out. Farewell Maximilian."

Max watched his sister hail a cab and drive off. He took out his PSP and began to play. Eventually he grew curious to where his father was and headed upstairs.

Maria approached the desk clerk at the bus station. "One ticket please." She handed the clerk some money. The clerk gave her a ticket. Maria sat down and waited patiently for her bus.

An old man was sitting down across from her, he was reading a newspaper.

The old man put down his paper and glanced at Maria. "So where you headed?"

Maria smiled. "California…"

Old man: "Anything there in particular?"

Maria: "I'm just looking for a change in pace. Oh here comes my ride now."

Maria boarded the bus ready to start her new life. Throughout the years many areas across the country would experience an increase in murders. All of the victims were brutally tortured. The police could never find any clues since Maria used her newfound magic to escape every time the authorities were close. Maria was now virtually unstoppable.

The End