I'm back! I have been in Alaska for the past week with no internet so sadly I was unable to post anything….I know: technology detox almost! It was strange! On the bright side it gave me a lot of relaxing time to think about this story and Recollection and where I want them both to go! So without farther ado….

MEW1230: Yay! I'm glad that you are enjoying it and still reading!

26RH: They do and its so cute and sad cause its so not just a physical attraction. She wants to protect him and Michael and he wants to take care of her! So adorable.

HermioneandMarcus: Thank you!

Dalonega Noquisi:

WaterWarrior6: mahahahaha we don't know if I'm that mean or not! That just makes me want to be like the walking dead writers and kill off main characters! Oh man…yeah I went and saw PSC in Austin the night it came out. I know many people didn't like it but I loved it! Probably because they were just watching it for Norman but the WHOLE movie was just so twisted!

PrincessPipi: AW! That makes me so happy! I will NEVER ignore anyones reviews! I love getting reviews and hearing feedback. 3

Leyshla Gisel: hahaha You know how much I like beating my characters up!

Chapter Seventeen:

Cece took easy breaths as she pulled the tailgate to her truck open and yanked a red gas can from the back. She could smell the petroleum leaking out of the dirty old vessel. How many times had she used this thing? Burnt something 'alive' with it? Destroyed something terrible and then drove off into the sun set like some kind of add lone ranger?

She hadn't done that this time. She had taken as long as she could to heal here because she felt comfortable there…with them. But John and Michael were not her family….they weren't even from the same world as her! She had NO business there.

Yanking her bag over her shoulder she looked out into the corn field. The red sun shown over it, lighting the green stalks and some of the golden cornel's peeking out from the healthy ears. She closed her eyes as her same whispered out in a multitude voices over the wind: Jacobs, May's, Johns, Michaels. They were all trying to lure her into that forbidden, shadowed expanse.

"I'm coming for you either way!" She yelled out into the empty land, her accent echoing off the terrain. "You don't have to use them!"

Pushing forward, she took a step into the shadow of the first row of corn, feeling a chill instantly move up her spine. The ground felt more packed under her feet…as if it was expecting something. She twisted her neck to try and alleviate the pressure building against her senses.

It didn't take her long to move through the mental pressure, coming face to face with the freckled face of her departed younger brother. His red hair caught the sun light in the same way that hers did, soaking in the rays and reflecting them out in an even brighter shade of red. His hand was being help by a long teenage girl….the same one that had been in the bath tub that first night that John and she had been on the farm. She knew that the girl with the nail hole through her head wasn't real but she still felt her teeth grit.

"Let him go Lindsey." Cece found herself hissing.

The teenage 'girl' looked down at Jacob before looking up at Cece again. "You took my baby brother and family so I take yours."

Cece shook her head. "I didn't-" She stopped herself. There was no point in arguing with a warped spirit; a distortion that was nothing like the original girl. "Take me to it."

Jacob gave a little grin; an evil twinge of lips, further reminding her that these were not the children that they had been while they were alive. "It wants you dead." Jacob told her solidly, his little voice lower and more gritty than it had been in life.

Cece licked her lips, tarring her eyes away from her brother to look behind him at where the center of the field promised a fresh kill; either from her or from the scarecrow. "Good to know we have that in common." Her stomach felt sick as Lindsey laughed and turned, still holding Jacobs hand like he was Michael. She followed slowly after them, pulling her knife from her bag and holding it at her side slightly behind her, ready. It seemed odd that they would just take her to the center of the clearing and to the monster with a carton of gasoline in her hand, but then again she doubted that she would be preserved as very much of a threat.

Her blood began to boil at the thought. This thing had taken the shape of her dark past, it had brought her here! Worst of all it had shown her something she wanted but couldn't have. It should be scared!

She frowned as she pushed one of the stalks of corn away, coming to the middle of the now empty clearing, Lindsey and Jacob no where in sight. Licking her lips she set the gas can down on the ground, dropping her bag off her shoulder but still holding tightly to the grip of the knife, unaware of movement behind her. Her eyes clicked over to the left as she heard a rustling behind her.

She turned quickly, cursing herself for losing focus at the thought of Johns blue eyes only for a second. Over her not more than three feet behind loomed the menacingly dark silhouette of the scarecrow, the petrified skin on his face contorting in a way no human skin should be able to.

Cece didn't bother to hold back the sound of disgust at the sight of the creature again. It looked different moving and without a line of protection around her. "Gotta get rid of you don't I now?" She found herself speaking more out of habit than to the creature."

If it had an upper lip, it would have snarled at the little woman who turned her knife over and over in her hand. She waited watching it while the gaping holes of its eyes watched her, neither willing to make the first move. Cece never made the first move. She had done this too many times before.

After an earth shattering long moment the bag of hay, putrid flesh and barb like nails shot forward. Jumping to the side, Cece arced the knife upward, the seriated crawls digging upward into the tough flesh of its cheek. Cece grunted as she kicked out her foot hitting it in the 'chest'. It made an echoing roar of displeasure into the darkening surroundings, bouncing off of seemingly ever stalk of corn.

Cece took a breath as she watched it look back up at her, the hay from behind the mask of grey flesh weaving out into the open, jagged abrasion she had created. Snapping and crackling as they bent and stretched, the coarse fibers wove into the skin, yanking it together in a sick, twisted and uneven stitching.

"Christ." Cece whispered, her nose wrinkling in disgust. "We're going to have to do this fast now aren't we?" She asked it charging forward.

As one hand came upward to sink its claws into her, she stroked upward, using both of her hands to cut through the hay that held it to the arm. Roaring, the scarecrows other hand shot up causing her to gasp for air as it dug the claws of its other hand deep into the side of her neck. Struggling, her knife dropped from her hand as they came to grip around its wrist while it pulled her from the ground, suspending her in midair with her feet kicking.

This was it. This was the moment…the moment that her job got the best of her and took her life. The moment that killed most people in her line of work. The reason why only people like May, one in a million survived long enough. She would never have a life…never have a real home. Never have a family…she'd never be able to tell John, the man that had cleaned out her wounds and touched her like a flower, that he and his son were safe. It was over before it began.

Each kick of her legs tightened the cold fingers around her neck, warm liquid pulsing out of her neck around them. Stretching down the scarecrow kicked its severed hand over before snapping it back into place.

"Cece!" John slammed his car door behind him. "Cecelia!" He looked around wildly. All of the lights in the house were off and so was the barn. "Oh god please." He muttered before his eyes caught movement in the corn field. Summing up his courage he grabbed a sickle from the bed of his truck and raced into the tall stalks.

He bellowed her name again as he ran through the rows. He heard a screaming chocking sound and ran through the field into the middle of it where he knew the scarecrow was. Every instinct was telling him how stupid it was to run right in, but he couldn't just leave her out here.

Finally reaching the clearing, his heart beat into his throat at the sight. Cece had managed to cut one of the arms off of the scarecrow but it had gotten to her with the other. She was suspended high in the air, the dead flesh of the scarecrows other hand gripping into her neck. The boney digits clawed into her neck and dug deep gashes into the side. Blood from the contusions ozzed from around the blackened flesh of the scarecrows fingers and dripped down her long neck and onto the white tank top.

John screamed her name again as he charged forward, digging the curved instrument into the scarecrows…leg. It looked like a leg anyway. The demonic structure tumbled into the dirt, its fingers tearing along Cece's skin as it drug her with it. Its boney hand detached from the arm, still clenched at the soft flesh of her neck.

Cece breathed hard as she tried frantically to pry the fingers away. She took several deep gulps of air as John ran over to her and placed himself in between herself and the scarecrow.

"You can't have her!" He yelled at it.

Cece glanced behind her when she heard rustling. "Holy shit." She muttered as the little girl came out and picked up the hand drenched in her blood. "No!" She went to try and grab the flesh that she needed back but the little girl reached out and slapped her with far more strength than any human had. Landing on her stomach Cece scrambled for her bag, sticking her hand into it and yanking a flask filled with holy water out.

She fumbled with the cap quickly as the girl walked towards her and Johns turned back as he began to hack at every part of the scarecrow he could get to. That had slowed it down last time, having its hay gutted out by the tractor.

Flinging the water at the girl, she disappeared in a burst of sparks and embers for the moment, momentarily drawing John's attention. The scarecrow flailed and sent him flying. Cece jumped onto the mess of hay and limbs, tearing and clawing at it as fast as she could.

"JOHN!" She yelled, trying to wake him.

John shook his head and pulled himself up from the dirt, running back over and pulling the hay out with Cece, trying not to look at the blood that still dripped from her neck.

John watched as Cece leaned over the body of the torn apart scarecrow gathering up the pieces of flesh to use in the ritual so that it would not come back again. She was breathing hard and her pulse was pounding in her neck. On the left side of her neck thick blood, almost black in the night, trickled down from the deep scratches.

Cece tried to keep breathing evenly as she picked up the boney hand that had her blood on it. She tossed it onto the pile with the rest of the flesh. She gulped down hard and tried to still the adreline coursing through her body, the blood lose she knew couldn't let slow her down and the shakiness of fear. She nearly jumped when she felt a hand on her elbow. She turned to see John standing there looking down at her with concern.

Cece swallowed hard as he looked down at her. "Thanks…" She finally whispered. "For coming."

John nodded but his eyes were trained on her neck. He softly pushed the hair over her shoulder to look at the finger nail like gashes in it. He frowned at them before bringing his other hand to the unmarked side of her neck and looked up at her face. Dipping his head down he touched his lips to hers tenderly.

Cece gripped into his shirt as her lips moved with his. It was softer than he had kissed her when processed, far more tender and gentle. His thumb stroked her cheek as his facial hair tickled her. His other hand fell to her waist and pulled her in closer to him, desperate for intimacy. His tongue twisted around hers, pulling her into him slowly. Something was sparking in him, something more powerful than the lust he had felt before. It was a need to keep her close, to love her like he had been unable to love his wife in the end. To give her all of those things that he now knew she had been denied her entire life.

Finally he broke away from her, leaning his forehead against hers as he listened to her deep breath in the cold night air. "What now?" He slowly asked.

Cece opened her eyes, staring into his. "Now I have to preform this ritual."

That wasn't what he had meant, not at all. He meant was she leaving. Would she just disappear like she told him she would? "Will it be over then?" He asked instead and she nodded.

"Yeah…and it will set the souls of those it killed free." Cece whispered. She reached up and touched his cheek. "You might not want to be here for this." She told him.

John shook his head and tightened his grip on her waist. "I'm not leaving you out here."

John watched as Cece poured a circle of grave yard dirt around the flesh she had taken off of the scarecrow. "Whatever you see, stay inside the circle." She told him quietly.

She picked up the box of salt and took a breath before pouring it on the grey skin. "All that is good," She started as she reached up and touched her own neck. "All that is holy," She smeared the blood onto her forehead into a cross. John frowned as the ground beneath their feet started to shake. She flung some of her blood onto what remained of the scarecrow. He saw the little girl appear outside of the circle. "Take the blood of your servant, take my strength. Use it to purify this creature of darkness."

Slowly other figures started to appear: Tommy, the banker, Miranda, Jude, a dozen others that he didn't know. Finally Mary and Lindsey. John's breath caught.

Miranda snarled at her. "No!"

Cece lit a match and tossed it onto the pile of limbs. "It's time to find peace."

"Peace?!" Jude hissed. "There is no peace. You will never find peace conjurer!"

Cece picked up the holy water, walking around the fire clockwise and then counter clock wise while flinging the little drops of water onto the fire. "Maybe not." She whispered sadly, knowing that even now the damned were still trying to get into their heads. One last desperate attempt before the finale. "But you will." She muttered feeling herself going weak as the strength was sucked from her body, the blood connection using her as a conduit for these souls to travel in.

As the flames started to devour the scarecrow, one by one the figures started to disappear. John looked at his wife and daughter.

"John…we're not ready." Mary told him. He winced, but felt Cece's hand on his shoulder.

"Put out the fire Daddy!" Lindsey begged him.

Cece shook her head. "I hear it's nice on the other side….warm." She told him softly. "No pain, no suffering. Just glowing love. They'll be happy. Let them go and maybe you will be too. This is your chance, one that most people don't have. Say goodbye."

John nodded and gripped her hand on his shoulder as the figures dissolved. "I love you." He muttered to his wife and daughter.