It was too days after the funeral of her little sister that Dee saw her again. Glenda had been very tall and willowy with long blonde hair flowing down her back. Everyone said she had fallen in the pond at the bottom of their mother's garden, just an awful accident everyone said. But in the back of her mind, Dee could feel a worm of doubt burrowing into her thoughts.
Dee had hurried home for the funeral. It didn't matter how much she and her sister had hated the woman they called Mother, Dee was there to remember Glenda. She sat in the living room of her childhood home and stared into the fireplace, Mother was knitting. The woman hummed softly under her breath and kept smiling to herself, Dee tried not to look. A sudden loud, pounding on the door made Dee jump to her feet, she glanced at the clock on the mantel and frowned.
"Who's that at this time of night?" asked Dee. Mother didn't answer; she simply smiled and put her knitting to one side before leaving the room to answer the door. Dee stood in the centre of the living room; goose pimples' springing up on her arms as the front door was opened, emitting a frozen draft.
"Dee, look who's here!" Mother came back into the living room and behind her was a tall, willowy blonde. Dee's jaw dropped and she began to tremble as Glenda stepped into the room. Dee jumped backwards and knocked into a small table; a vase rattled but didn't fall.
"Be careful, Dee. You'll break something" Mother snapped.
"What did you do?" whispered Dee. Mother merely smiled again and shrugged as if it were the most normal thing in the world to have her recently deceased daughter standing in the living room.
"I made a deal, dear. That's all it was. Now, take your sister upstairs and help her get changed. I must make some supper for us all to celebrate." Mother turned and floated from the room, she turned left and hurried to the kitchen.
Dee stared at Glenda and Glenda stared at Dee. After a moment, Glenda gave a small smile and held out her hand to her sister. Dee took the offered appendage and allowed herself to be led upstairs. Glenda went into the bathroom first to wash off the grave mud, Dee swallowed at the thought of her baby sister digging herself out of the Earth.
"How did she do it?" asked Dee. Her voice was level but she was struggling to stay calm. Glenda finished washing and turned to her sister.
"She made a deal. Don't worry, big sister. Everything will be okay after tonight." Glenda took Dee's hand again and led her along the landing; they went into Glenda's old room which Mother hadn't touched. Dee watched as Glenda pulled out a pair of jeans and a vest, two items of clothing Mother would never have allowed her to wear. They went back downstairs and into the kitchen where Mother was just setting the table for supper. She looked up and frowned at Glenda, her eyes narrowing.
"I don't like jeans, Glenda. You know that." The salt shaker on the table exploded, showering white granules and bits of china everywhere. Dee gaped but Mother merely turned back to the cooker and Glenda sat down in her usual seat. Dee dropped into the opposite chair and stared at her sister; Glenda folded her hands on the table and smiled down at her entwined fingers. Mother placed the food on the table along with a bottle of wine and a jug of water. Dee and Glenda had never been allowed to drink the wine but Glenda swept the bottle from the table and poured herself a glass before handing the bottle to Dee. Glenda lifted the glass to her lips and glanced at Mother.
"You don't drink wine, Glenda." This time, the pepper shaker exploded. Dee jumped and darted glances between her sister and Mother. Glenda placed the glass back on the table and picked up the bowl of roast potatoes, she placed half a dozen on her plate before passing the bowl to Dee with a smile.
"You won't eat all those, Glenda" said Mother. Glenda ignored her and began shovelling food into her mouth, Dee watched as her sister chewed with her mouth open and decided against using the provided utensils. The wine bottle exploded.
"You need to control your temper, Glenda." Dee stood up from the table and backed up against the wall, she didn't know what was going on but she wanted to be as far away from it as possible. Glenda emptied her wine glass; she placed it back down on the table where it promptly exploded along with everything else.
"You know I can't stand loud noises, Glenda. And you've destroyed all my best china." Mother's voice was low and even but there was a savage edge to it that Dee remembered from when they were children, that edge usually meant they would getting the belt.
"Why do you keep calling me that?" asked Glenda. The table flipped over and slid a few feet across the room.
"Why do I keep calling you what, Glenda?" Glenda stood up, the chair she had been sitting on slid across the room and smashed into the nearest cupboard.
"You keep calling me Glenda. Why did you think I was Glenda? I never introduced myself." Mother had been halfway out of the door when she stopped and slowly turned back into the room. Dee watched Mother peering closely at Glenda, her eyes suddenly went wide and she took a step backwards.
"Where is my daughter? She was supposed to come. We had a deal!" cried Mother. Glenda smiled, her lips parting to reveal two rows of sharp teeth.
"Oh I know she was. But, you see, we had another deal. Little Glenda just couldn't bear to come back to you no matter what you promised my Master. He always did have a sense of humour and so he sent me along to see what all the fuss was about." Mother backed up against the wall, she held out her hand to Dee but the girl didn't move. She couldn't tear her eyes from the creature wearing her sister's skin.
"She couldn't bear to be back here, you know. The constant nagging, the complaints about how she looked and how she spoke. You even berated her for how she walked!" The Glenda Thing was changing as it spoke, growing taller and thinner. The eyes burned with a deep black fire, the nose vanished until the face was totally smooth apart from the eyes and the still grinning mouth.
"You always told her she was never satisfied, never happy. Well, you were right there. She was never happy with you. You wouldn't let her leave. Dee got away from you and you decided Glenda would never get away and so she threw herself into the pond."
"I knew it. I knew it couldn't have been an accident" Dee whispered. She slid down the wall as tears began to stream down her cheeks. The guilt was almost overwhelming; she had left her baby sister here to die. The Glenda Thing reached out with a long claw and stroked her cheek, Dee looked up and when it spoke, the voice was soft and the eyes were kind.
"She never blamed you Dee. It wasn't your fault." It swung around and pointed a finger at Mother.
"She blamed you. Glenda wanted me to give you a message." Mother's voice when she spoke was nothing more than a cracked whisper.
"Something she was never able to say to you while she was alive." The Glenda Thing grabbed Mother's arm and yanked her forward. "Go to Hell." Mother screamed, there was a loud crack and a blinding flash. Dee closed her eyes against the bright light, when she opened them again the kitchen was empty. She slowly stood up and looked around but she was alone. Everything that had shattered was back in place; the only thing that had changed was a huge black burn mark on the linoleum. Dee tilted her head as she stared at it but soon groaned and turned away. From the right angle it almost looked like two hands clawing at the floor.
"I'm gonna need a mat to cover that" Dee muttered. She locked all the doors and windows before going to bed and dreaming of Glenda in field of bright yellow flowers.