Welcome to FROST HARROW, my new modern (1990s) gothic horror series! If you’d like to support this and my other work, go to www.CushingHorrors.com and become my patron! You may also enjoy the Scribe Award-Winning MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE – In print, for kindle, and for all e-book formats. And check out my retro-horror-comedy classic CANOE COPS VS. THE MUMMY as well as my other books. Now… On with the show!
THIRTY-EIGHT – IVY
Ivy Frost looked at the man lying still by her bare toes.
How could Grant be here and kissing Cassie at the same time?
Why was Grant lying at her feet? If he was sleeping, why weren’t his eyes closed? What had happened to him? Was that rain dripping down his face or tears falling from his green eyes?
Then she realized the awful truth.
Lightning flashed behind the monster and she saw it for what it truly was. Its rotted skin hung in tatters from its horses’ head. Its goat-feet pawed the pavement, kicking up steam every time they struck a puddle. Its claws scraped across Cassie’s nude flesh as it caressed her. Its monstrous erection pushed against her friend’s exposed belly.
The demon pressed its muzzle more firmly over Cassie’s mouth. Ivy’s best friend quivered weakly now.
Ivy knew what she had to do.
“Hey! Hey, you!” she called, waving her arms.
The demon turned its horrid face toward her, its red eyes blazing.
Time enough for you, later, my darling.
The words burned into her mind, making her stagger.
We shall be together for all eternity.
It turned its gaze to the amulet hanging at her throat.
Now take that damned thing off and join me. Together we shall feast. We shall be one at long last, you and I. You know you want it. She wants it, too.
Ivy shook her head, trying to throw off the power of the monster’s suggestion. Her hand strayed up to the medallion, as if to follow the demon’s orders.
But touching her father’s amulet renewed Ivy’s strength. She gained courage from its coolness.
“It’s me you want, you bastard!” she cried. “Leave my friend alone!”
She yanked the medallion off her neck and threw it at the monster. The charm hit the demon on the left buttock.
It howled in pain and released her friend. Cassie slumped lifelessly to the wet pavement. The demon turned on Ivy.
Bitch! Cunt! How dare you!
It tried to hold Ivy with its eyes, but she turned away and ran. She could feel the after-effects of the sleeping pills slowing her movements. She fought them, pushing her legs as hard as they would go.
She could hear the creature’s goat feet splashing on the pavement behind her, growing closer with every step. She didn’t dare look back.
You know you want it! They all wanted it! That’s why I came! I gave them what they wanted, and they gave me the strength to come here—the strength to take you for my own!
With one monstrous leap the beast landed in front of her. It grabbed at Ivy with its taloned hands.
She pulled away, pounding with her fists, twisting her body. Its claws scraped across her bare flesh, leaving burning wounds wherever they touched.
You called for me, it said. All of you! Your lust gave me strength; your hate gave me form. You came to my home. I heard you calling from beyond. I smelled your pure, ripe flesh. That’s why I’m here! You summoned me!
It seized Ivy by the wrist and licked her face with its hot tongue.
You were promised to me long ago. You are the one. We shall be together for all eternity. Then what fun we’ll have!
Ivy brought her right leg up hard and kneed it in the balls.
The creature howled in pain and released her. It fell to its knees, clutching its oversized genitals.
Ivy turned and ran back the way she’d come—back toward where her friends lay. Ivy couldn’t tell if they were merely unconscious or dead.
The demon staggered to its feet.
You’ll pay for that, bitch. You could have joined me willingly. But you were promised—and I shall have you. I know a thousand ways to take you. Most of them will make you beg for death.
Ivy dashed past her friends, a desperate plan forming in her mind.
Let’s see how many we can try before you plead with me to snuff out your pitiful life!
Ivy leapt through the open door and into the front seat of Grant’s jeep, slamming the door behind her. She turned the key in the ignition. A screech from the starter told her the car was still running.
She floored it and steered straight at the monster.
The beast ran at the car full speed, never breaking its stride. Ivy tensed her grip on the steering wheel, bracing for the impact and wishing she’d had time to buckle up.
But at the last second, the demon jumped. It leaped high into the air, its trajectory carrying it over the top of the vehicle.
It landed behind Ivy, latching onto the jeep’s back bumper with its talons. Ivy could see the monster’s rotting horse face leering at her in the rearview mirror.
It took one hand from the bumper and smashed the jeep’s rear window.
The demon laughed. You’re mine, little whore! I’m coming for you. Even if you kill yourself now, I’ll still have you.
Ivy spun the wheel, trying to shake the monster off, but she only succeeded in screeching the jeep to an abrupt halt. The sudden stop flung her against the driver’s side door. Her cast cracked, and pain like fire shot through her arm and into her brain.
She cried out.
Only a taste! Only a taste of the pain to come! I’ll rape you on a bed of molten lava and feed you the scalding blood of your unborn children!
In the rearview mirror she could see the demon beginning to rip apart the back end of the jeep. The vehicle wouldn’t shelter her too much longer, she knew. But in a flash of lightning she saw something behind her: a telephone pole.
She slammed the jeep into reverse; pressed the pedal to the metal.
The tires squealed and the jeep roared backwards.
This won’t help, you know. The longer I have to wait the more you hurt when I take you. Give it up. Surrender to me. You know deep inside you want it. You want it deep inside!
The jeep crashed into the telephone pole at full speed, crushing the demon’s body between the car and the pole.
Ivy’s head snapped back, but the headrest kept her from being seriously injured. Spots played before her eyes, but she kept her foot firmly on the pedal.
The demon screamed as the pole snapped under the impact.
Arr! Bitch! You’ll pay for this!
The pole dangled in the air for a moment, swinging on the electric lines like a great pendulum.
Then the lines on one side snapped and the pole fell, impaling the demon through the chest.
Ivy leapt from the jeep as it came to a halt. Gas spurted from the underside of the mortally wounded vehicle. A power line fell on the hood, sending a shower of sparks up into the storm.
The demon writhed like a monstrous insect with a giant pin through its body. It screamed in rage and hatred.
Whore! This won’t help you! I’ll shove this pole up your cunt while I sodomize you!
A terrible thought crossed Ivy’s mind: the demon wasn’t going to die!
With the pole protruding from where its heart should have been, it still thrashed around, still stood on its goat-feet. Its eyes still burned red with lust and hatred.
It roared and bellowed and began to walk toward her. She started to back away, but her foot slipped on the rain-slick road. She landed hard on her broken arm.
The pain almost made her black out. As she groped in the flickering darkness, trying to regain her equilibrium, her hand struck on a cold, hard object. Her medallion.
The monster laughed. It seized the telephone pole with its huge hands and began to pull it out of its chest. The electric wires still attached to the pole whipped through the night air like deadly metal snakes.
They arced high into the sky and the lightning found them.
Blue fire cascaded from the heavens down the wires, through the rain-drenched pole, and into the monster’s body.
The demon shrieked as millions of volts coursed through its infernal frame.
With every ounce of strength she possessed, Ivy threw her medallion into the conflagration.
The beast screamed.
Sparks leapt from the monster’s body, touching the gasoline under the jeep. The car went up in a huge fireball.
In an instant it all ended with one terrible, blinding flash.
The deafening peal from the thunder drowned out the explosion of the jeep’s gas tank.
Ivy tried to blink away the spots in her eyes. The broken telephone pole crashed to the ground. Its terrible prisoner had vanished. The demon was nowhere to be seen.
Next to the burning car, the broken electric wires sputtered and hissed like dying cobras. Ivy’s medallion lay on the ground near them, apparently unharmed. Ivy knew better than to try and retrieve it before the power had been turned off.
It’s gone, she thought. It’s gone and I did it. I killed it!
In the distance, Ivy could hear the radio inside playing as the jeep burned. “…I know, beyond a doubt, my heart will lead me there soon…” The familiar song brought a smile to her parched lips.
She crawled to where the bodies of her friends lay. Every inch she moved caused fire to shoot up her arm. But it was a good fire—a wholesome pain.
Ivy looked at the people who had given so much to save her. Had they sacrificed their lives as well?
No! Both Cassie and Grant were breathing.
She collapsed beside them and wept in the rain.
The rainfall and Ivy’s gentle sobs seemed to revive Cassie.
She sat up tentatively and rubbed her head. “Jesus, Ivy, what happened? Are you all right?”
Ivy looked up at her friend, tears streaming down her face. “I’ve felt better—to tell you the truth,” she said. Then she smiled. “But right now I’m happy to be alive.”
Grant groaned and rolled over beside them.
“Oh, my God!” said Cassie, patting her naked body as if searching for something. “What happened to my raincoat?!”
Ivy looked at her friend. “Don’t you remember?”
Cassie’s brow furrowed. “No. I don’t remember anything after I saw you standing in the road. Were we struck by lightning or something?”
Ivy chuckled hoarsely. “Something like that. Your raincoat’s right over there.” She pointed toward the coat with her right hand, then turned on her back and let the rain wash over her face—the cool, clean rain.
Cassie gathered up her raincoat and threw it around her shoulders as Grant woke up.
“God, does my head hurt,” he groaned. “What in hell was I drinking? My mouth tastes like shit.” He paused, getting his bearings. “Jesus, Ivy, where are your clothes?”
Ivy smiled up at the heavens. “Right now,” she said, “I really don’t care.”
Cassie frowned at Grant. “You know,” she said, “at this point, a gallant gentleman would offer a lady his coat.”
Grant chuckled and shook his head. “I’ve got something better,” he said. “There’s a dry blanket in the back of my jeep.”
“I should say it’s very dry by now,” Ivy remarked with only a trace of a smile.
Grant looked around. It took him a few moments to realize that the burning heap in the ditch beside the road had once been his beloved vehicle.
“Jesus, Ivy!” he said. “What did you do to my car?!”
TO BE CONCLUDED…