Part 7B: (humorous / happy ending)
With every ounce of strength that I could muster, I forced my way toward the forbidden entrance to the hallway. Frantically I looked for my sister. In what seemed like an eternity, I spotted her a few couples away. I forced my invisible ‘partner’ toward her in the ballroom. To my surprise, her partner was sympathetic to our plight and restrained mine to enable our escape.
“Hurry, I can’t hold the puppet master’s minion for long!”; He shouted. We thanked him for his sacrifice and casually danced toward the hallway entrance. I braced for impact with the barrier seal but by incredibly good fortune, it was down to permit the new victim to come inside. The door to escape was rapidly closing behind my girlfriend; and the hallway we had to traverse seemed to be a mile long.
We both knew that if it shut behind her, we would be trapped inside forever. Worse still, we would incur the puppet’s wrath. The door was almost closed and we were still too far away. Our captor smiled when it saw we were not going to make it, but it didn’t count on an unexpected variable.
She was so startled to see two ‘strangers’ running aggressively toward her that she panicked and pushed the door back open. That lucky break allowing the three of us to escape before it closed permanently. I grabbed our sadistic ‘host’ by the neck as I ran by.
Once outside and safely distanced from our former prison and the source of the puppet’s power, I made a vow. I announced that I was going to take care of a very big problem that we all had. I looked back up the hill at the house and saw the other captives starring out the window at us. They actually possessed a glimmer of hope in their sullen eyes for the first time. I held up the puppet’s struggling body as a sign of triumph and then twisted his head off. At that instant, all signs of the mansion of the damned and the cathedral disappeared. Where they had been, only wildflowers and grass remained to cover the barren hills.
With the puppet’s memory erasing influence removed, Susan stopped her spooked retreat down the hill and turned around. Instantly she recognized my sister and I. “What in the world are we doing on this hill in the middle of the night?”; She wanted to know. Obviously she had no recollection of previous events.
It’s a long story”; I offered evasively. That platitude seemed to satisfy her for the moment but she was obviously confused. “That ‘Halloween party’ was a huge disappointment.”; I added cleverly. The three of us walked down the path and through the cemetery on our way back to reality. I noticed with a sense of pride that none of the graves were open any longer. At last the other captives were finally resting in peace.
When my sister and I finally made it home; it was as if the nightmarish ordeal never happened. Our lives were just as they had been, prior to our entrapment. Mom was still awake and reading a mystery novel when we walked into the living room. “How was the party?”; She inquired. “Was it ‘spooky’?”
My sister and I looked at each other to compare notes before answering. “Don’t ask. We were trapped in a portal to hell by an evil; civil war era clown. It held us prisoner in a mansion of the damned until we became the living dead!” Neither of us betrayed a grin for my straight answer.
“Ah. I hate when that happens.”; She deadpanned. “Maybe you two can tell me all about it TOMORROW.” Her hint about the late hour was anything but subtle. The two of us looked at each other with: ‘if she only knew how long we’ve REALLY been gone’; looks. She bade us goodnight and then returned to her novel. I fell asleep the instant my head hit the pillow and slept for what felt like a thousand years.
The next morning, Mom gave us a hard time for sleeping late. “Well, it’s nice to see the two of you finally ‘rise from the dead’! I’m going to have to reevaluate your curfew time if you can’t handle being out so late. By the way; a large, special delivery package arrived this morning by courier. It’s addressed to both of you. Were you expecting something?”
“No.”; Both of us agreed simultaneously. We looked at the return address. In cryptic lettering it read; “Sedah Toy Company, 666 Sedah.” Neither she nor I had to open it to know that it contained a VERY sinister clown puppet.
“Hand me a pen, would you Mom?”; I asked without wanting to betray my urgency. She found one and gave it to me.
“What are you going to write on it?”; She wanted to know.
“Return to sender”; My sister and I replied in unison.
Part 1 and 2 of this story were actual dreams that I had (years ago in the late 1980’s) that I was inspired to write a story about. In the past couple years I’ve been going through old stories and editing them for improved content, better punctuation, and some semblance of brevity. (I know I still have a loooonngg way to go on that last part).
If you read all the parts, which ending did you prefer?