Disclaimer: I do not own Salem's Lot.
I watched from the doorway as Ben Mears and Mark Petrie dragged the coffin out of the compartment in the wall. It was an intricate pattern, elegant and the entire woodwork was covered in a dark cherry stain. It was just like Barlow himself smooth and in a way graceful but still tainted by the evil that was his very essence. Those little details hit me like a cold stab to the heart. And that kept me there, frozen in my crouch at the top of of what used to be stairs. I felt no desire of moving, no matter how much I wanted to help Ben and Mark kill this monster. But I was under strict instructions to stay in the exact spot where I was and not move unless Ben told me otherwise. It was supposed to be Ben and Mark only. They were the ones who needed to slay Barlow. And I was in the background unless otherwise needed.
It made me frustrated, I wanted vengeance on the beast who turned my parents into one of those things. I was made to watch Ben kill them with a sickly piece of wood and a hammer. My mother was the first. Ben took his stake and jammed it into my mother right in between her breasts. She was never a particularly beautiful woman, but as a vampire, she was more gorgeous than any woman I had ever seen. Ben took the hammer and jammed the stake in farther. Blood gushed from the wound as tears gushed from they eyes of the broken. He hammered and hammered as she screamed and writhed. Her scream was the worst I'd ever heard. It was loud and reverberated in my skull. The vibrations made my head feel like it was going to explode. But after that and all of a sudden it was gone. In a flash, and the only sound was the faint memory of her scream.
Then Ben turned on my father, impaling him with a stake right where his heart used to be. He hammered it in again, just like he had my mother as my father screamed and yelled in pure agony twisting and turning around on the ground. He jerked every which way in spastic motions and his screams tore out of his throat and tore through my brain. It was even more painful the second time around, because I expected it I knew what it was going to feel like and sound like. I knew it was going to ruin me, hearing my own parents wasting away in all the pain they were in. I was glad Ben did it, because I didn't think I'd have the willpower to even try. Who could do that to their own parents? The thought seemed barbaric, yet here I was, narrowly avoiding the act. It's funny how things turn out.
I looked down at Ben and Mark, barely able to see them as they got ready to finally kill Barlow. It was only a few minutes until dark and they needed to open the coffin soon and get it over with just kill Barlow and leave this place leave this entire town. It was dead anyway just a wisp of the town it once was. Though it was an old ghost town to begin with never particularly popular, the people who had lived here held it dear to their hearts. For some, it was just a place to live. But many others, the Lot was home, where their heart was. Though it was just a regular town that was never really considered part of anywhere, some people liked living here for whatever reason. But Jerusalem's Lot lay in shambles, doomed to a fate worse than death. Ben, Mark, and I would be lucky to make it out of here still a human being.
The coffin was opened and Barlow's eyes opened. Hideous eyes stared at all three of us, all at the same time. I looked away trying not to look at his face. It took a lot of strength as I heard his voice, whispering softly into my ear. Look at me, look at me. His voice was tantalizing in a way that sounded almost seductive. It made me want to look but I just stood there, focusing on keeping my eyes tightly shut. When they did open, they were focused completely on Mark's face. He was farther away from the coffin and it would be easier to keep my straying eyes away from Barlow. No matter how tempting it was to look, I couldn't. Once you looked, you couldn't look away, he kept your eyes fixed on him through some telepathic mind power that kept you right where he wanted you.
Look at me.
I shut my eyes tight again and the fresh memory of Mark's face was etched into my brain. His eyes were shut as tightly as mine were now. I could tell that Ben and Mark could hear Barlow's voice in their heads, begging them and tempting them to look upon his face. He wanted to make change them make them one of his own. They would lose everything they ever stood for if they looked upon him even for a moment. But the voice the voice felt so good, sounded so right. I wanted to trust him, the man with the angel like voice, but I knew doing so was worse than death. I repeated it over and over inside my head. Don't look at him, don't look at him don't look at him.
Look at me!
Barlow's voice grew more angry and steadily more urgent. He seemed to be anxious somehow. It felt like forever that we were all standing there, just listening to his voice. But I knew it was only seconds that we stayed like that. Time slowed down, almost too close to literally for my liking. The anger made me uncomfortable but his voice was still sickeningly sweet.
LOOK AT ME!
My eyes flung open, my eyelids felt as though they were ripping apart from another. It was almost as if it wasn't under my control. Someone else was controlling my actions and I was trying to hold onto my last shred of self control. It was like a hurricane of emotions and thoughts dancing in a violent masquerade through my brain. Some of the thoughts I knew for a fact were not my own and in an instant, I knew it was Barlow. He was the only one who could ever think such vile and disgusting thoughts. Just thinking about it made me want to throw up right there on the spot. I already felt sick to my stomach and it was really hard to keep everything in my stomach inside my stomach and not all over the ground of Eva's cellar.
As my eyes flew open, they rested on Mark. I could feel Barlow attempting to rip my eyes away from Mark and and look at him so he could have control over me. I could see Mark's face twisting in some emotional turmoil and I knew that he was having the same inner fight that I was having. I quickly turned my eyes back to Ben and I could see it in his face, too. Barlow was almost getting to us, and there were only small specks of sanity and self control left in all three of us and there wasn't much willpower left in any of us either.
Something changed in Mark's face. It was only there for less than a second. And without a thought, Mark lunged toward the open coffin, hand raised and teeth bared. He was like a predator hunting his prey when it was probably the other way around, where Mark was really the prey. He was doomed if Barlow got to him while he was high on vengeance and drunk on fury. Barlow was going to get him, the poor boy.. He's only twelve, he's too young, he's too young. Ben help, please dear Lord, help him, help him...
Ben caught him right as Mark was in midair, straight above Barlow's coffin, waiting to strike him and make him pay for all the anger and hurt he'd caused. But Ben and I both knew Mark couldn't do that. He's just a little boy, like a small sapling among a crowd of tall, blooming flowers, almost weak in a way. But the flowers would wither and die before the sapling did, and it was true for Mark also. But right now, he was still a sapling, defenseless. His eyes jumped to mine less than half of a second as time slowed down once again. The spark in his irises was similar to the spark of an out of control fire. Something powerful, that could only be stopped if it was quenched by water. In this case, the water would be Barlow's death. The angry spark might leave Mark's innocent face, but like fire, it would definitely leave scars.
Ben threw Mark back behind him, towards my direction. Mark hit the ground with a thump and he landed straight on his back. I flinched, that must have hurt. The way he landed was awkward, his arm was bent at an unnatural angle but I was pretty sure it wasn't broken. The force shouldn't have been enough to break it, but maybe enough to do some damage. Nevertheless, I flinched as he hit the ground, his pain surging through my body.
I've known Mark ever since he was a baby. Our families were friends and naturally we became friends, too. I was always like an older cousin or sister too him and I always thought of him as my little brother. I was seven when he was born and throughout the twelve years he'd been alive, I've been there for him and whatever he needed. Even throughout this time, this period of vampires, I've been with him When his family moved to the Lot from a quaint little town in Massachusetts, my family jumped at the chance to go with them. Naturally I came here, too, as I didn't have enough money to stand on my own yet. It was strange to think that it wasn't so long ago we first came here. If we never moved here, we would have never gotten into this entire mess. My parents would still be alive, so would Mr. and Mrs. Petrie.
Mark lunged at Ben again, trying to get at Barlow with his own bare hands. Ben tried to push him back again, but Mark knew better this time around. He dodged Ben and tried to get at the coffin once again but Ben hit him, his fist crushing into Mark's face, against his lips. Mark's eyes widened but he kept trying to get his go at Barlow when Ben had to strike him again, the same place as the last hit. His fist mashed into Mark's lips as Mark was thrown backwards, into the corner of the room while Ben had his stake in hand, ready to slay Barlow.
"Mark!" I screamed, climbing my way down the board as quickly as I could. Ben shot me a warning glare but I ignored it as I scrambled my way over to Mark. I wished Ben would just get on with it and end Barlow once and for all while I made sure Mark was okay. He needed to get out of the cellar, out of the boardinghouse, out of this goddamned place. Hell, we all did. There was never a worse place on Earth, except maybe the last place that Barlow had decided would be home.
When I reached Mark, I decided to keep my distance. He seemed to be unconscious and I didn't want to startle him. I was a little ways away, a little too close to Ben and the coffin. But I figured this was a safe distance, not too close to Mark but close enough to protect him if need be. He was lying on the ground from what I could see. I looked back at Ben who pounded the stake into the chest of the vampire who lay in the coffin and was out of his element at the moment. It was still daytime but if Ben didn't hurry up, it wouldn't be anymore.
"Momma?" Mark called. "Momma, where are you? It's dark in here and my head hurts?"
My heart broke in two as I heard him call out for his mother. I hurried over to him and held him against me, grabbing his hand and rubbing circles around it with my thumb. I felt some tear drops dampen my shirt as Mark softly cried.
"I want my momma." he sniffed against me.
"I know you do..." I whispered. "It's gonna be okay, sweetie..."