VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Robert Ragan

And Afraid

There was something there with them. Rachel could feel its eyes watching as they stood around talking while they went on and on about the lake house. She stood there in a trance witness to horrible visions of chained maniacs. And the brutal man who ruled the insane with an iron fist.

Dan, her boyfriend, reaches out and touches her shoulder. She jumps out of her skin. He says, What’s wrong with you? You’re acting weird again. Tiffany, red-headed trailer park trash queen says, Rachel’s a psycho, how do you expect her to act? Her boyfriend, Ben says,“Chill out guys, we’ve got this cool place for the weekend right by the lake.

Rachel was always getting bad vibes. She sometimes worried that she could be possessed by demons. It was true, she was and they followed her everywhere she went. 

Making love with Dan face to face scares Rachel now. She swears she opened her eyes and saw his skull in her face once. People ask him all the time, “What he sees in this weird girl.” He’s not really sure anymore, so it was time for her to start acting right before he had to get rid of her.

At first, she was artistic and intelligent. Then all the ghost stories went to her head. Everyone knew she was out there, but how far out they could never imagine. 

Constantly, Rachel saw herself slashing Tiffany’s face with a straight razor. She also wanted to torture Dan in a number of different ways. Rachel sensed something good in Ben. It stopped her from plotting to kill him.

While they all went and hung out by the lake, Rachel stayed in bed with her face buried in the pillow. Even in broad daylight, one of these beasts could appear before her. It felt like she was trapped. But this bedroom would not be her tomb. And no she wouldn’t stab Dan later that night as he slept next to her. Rachel didn’t even bring the mask, the one that looked made out of human skin; or the metal devil mask with long horns. She always saw herself wearing one of them during the mayhem. For now, she was keeping the mayhem inside of her head. 

It didn’t matter because she could feel the spirits there. They were doing their best to pollute reality as she knew it with their sickness. Who knew what would happen. Did the night call for fresh blood or would Rachel just suffer through her nightmares?

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