Welcome to the sequel of Once Upon a Midnight Dreary. I was planning to wait to put this story on Fictionpress until this Halloween (having each be a Halloween special), but I had a couple people request the sequel sooner. After finishing Civilized Hatred, I realized I had some time I my hands. So, before starting my next long book, I decided to write this. It's certainly less bloody then the last one, but not much less thrilling. Oh, and I just want to remind everyone to read the first story before reading this one, or a lot of the inferences referred to in this story will be unclear. I hope you enjoy…
December 5, 2009
"Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor…"
The waves crashed down below. I ran, not thinking about my own safety. My only thought was that I had to get away from him. He was coming, calling my name in the darkness of that cold night, "Celia, Celia…"
Then I was on a beach, though I knew there were no beaches near that place. The long white nightgown I was wearing fluttered in the wind behind me, as if I was a bird escaping its hunter. The wind felt soft and warm on my feet, despite the air being so cold. The soft rustle of the ocean would have been soothing had it not been for the impending doom that filled my heart. He was getting closer, closer.
Suddenly I reached a sheer cliff, going up hundreds of feet. I frantically tried to climb it, but there was no place for my hands and feet to find a grip. I fell back to the ground, my fingers stinging from the struggle. I whirled around, looking for an escape. But there was none.
Then I saw him. His eyes were just as blue and bright as I remembered them. His black trench coat flapped in the rising wind. His eyes glistened as he came closer.
"No!" I shouted. "Stay away from me."
He reached out for me, but I shrunk away against the wall as far as I could, screaming, "No!" again and again. "Celia," he said quietly, then louder. "Celia! Wake up!"
My eyes fluttered open, leaving those vivid blue eyes behind in my dream and discovering dark brown ones watching me. It took me a minute to fully realize where I was, and what I was doing.
I was at college, in my second year at the University of Oregon. I had turned twenty several months ago, and my light blond hair had grown to be almost waist length. It had been one year since my parents passed away. No, passed away isn't a good word. It had been one year one month and five days since my parents were murdered. They had been murdered by Luke Wallace, a renowned serial killer who had killed eight young women a decade or two back. He has escaped from prison and, after killing my parents and almost killing my siblings and I, he fell off a cliff and his body was never found.
After the incident, our lives had changed. We were hounded both by the police and by the media, who wanted to know everything. Several people tried to interview us for a book, but, though we told the police everything we could remember, we refused to talk to any of the press. The memories just seemed too alive in our minds. We needed time to heal. My oldest brother Eric had graduated with honors from college and was working in Washington D.C. as an international mediator. Jason was in his senior year of high school and Stacy was a sophomore. Considering what happened, all of us were handling it well.
I came back to reality and realized Kelly, my roommate, was still looking at me inquiringly. "You okay?" She asked.
I gripped at the reality that sometimes seemed so far away and nodded. "Yeh, I'm fine. Just a bad dream."
Kelly was average height with dark brown hair, even darker eyes, and tan skin. I had transferred to this university after going to live near my grandparents in Oregon. I had been at school just a few months, but I still wasn't used living on campus with a roommate. Not that I am complaining about Kelly being my roommate. She's much more social than I, and she stays up a lot later then I do, but we get along tolerably well.
"You kept screaming 'Stay away from me.' Seriously, I'm totally concerned about you. You want to go to counseling together?"
I rolled my eyes. "Counseling is not the answer to everything. You know that, right, Kelly?"
She waved her hand. "Sure, sure, whatever you say. So, are you coming?"
She got up and twirled, making me notice what she was wearing. She wore a dark blue mini-skirt, a sky blue peasant top, and her hair was up in a tumbled style. It was more fancy than usual, even for someone who liked fashion as much as her. I, on the other hand, preferred jeans and a t-shirt most days. "Are you going to a party?" I asked her.
"Duh! Silly, it totally took you that long to figure that out?" Kelly rolled her eyes and sat down on the bad next to me. "But you totally have to come with me this time. I am sick of you giving excuses about not going to parties."
"Excuses like I have homework to do or I have to study for a test. Those are hardly bad excuses."
"Whatever. The point is, you seriously have to come this time." I didn't look convinced, and she tried again. "Pete is going to be there. He totally has a crush on you! And he is so cute, with the big brown eyes and those big hands."
"If you think he's so cute, why don't you date him and leave me in peace."
"I can't date him, because he likes you. Now please! Come with me! It's almost Christmas break. Isn't it time for just a little fun?"
I sighed. That's what my counselor had been saying: to get over the trauma, I had to find normality. Of something like that. The language of counselors was foreign to me. I finally shrugged. "Alright, but no drinking."
"I never drink anyway. It goes straight to my head!"
The party was being held in the campus center, celebrating the Holidays-it wasn't really a Christmas party, because there were a lot of Jewish and non-religious people there too. Kelly convinced me to slip into a plain black skirt-the only skirt I owned-and a bejeweled red top, but I stopped her when she tried to plaster my face with makeup. It took nearly a half an hour before we finally went to the party.
I have never been good at parties. I tend to sit in a corner and watch people from there. Call me unsociable if you like, but I just feel as if there isn't any point to parties. But this was a semi-formal school party, so I tried my best to socialize. After chatting with all my teachers, I ran out of people I could relate to and headed for the punch.
As I was filling my glass, a familiar voice said behind me, "Enjoying the party?"
I turned, finding Peter behind me. Peter was in one of my classes last semester, and this semester he was in three: Conceptual Physics, History of the American West, and British Literature. It seemed as if I couldn't get rid of him, even if I had made it perfectly clear that I didn't like him. But I wasn't planning on being rude.
"Peter, hi. How are you?"
"I'm great. How about you?"
"Let me guess, Kelly convinced you to come."
"Your guess would be correct."
He watched me for a minute. "You okay? You look a little pale."
I shrugged. "Bad dreams, I guess."
Most of the people at my school didn't know about me past when I first came, but, once I told Kelly, my story seemed to get around. Suddenly, everyone started asking me a million questions about that night, as if I actually wanted to talk about it. I learned after that to tell no one what happened, and people seemed to have mostly forgotten about it. Except Peter.
"You thinking about that night? I bet it was pretty scary, like something out of a horror movie. I bet you can still see him, the murderer, standing over your parents decaying corpses." I didn't point out to him that corpses take longer than an hour to start decaying. Why was he so fond of horror movies anyway? "I can see him now, tall and dark against the backdrop of lightning."
I rolled my eyes. This is what happened when you tried to talk to an English major. I and looked through the crowd for Kelly. Seriously, I could not understand what she saw in Peter. He could be so insensitive sometimes.
Then I saw him.
He was standing on the other side of the room by the door, watching me. He didn't have the bear anymore, but he had the same eyes, the same dark hair.
I locked eyes with a man who was supposed to be dead. I locked eyes with Luke Wallace.