Logan, Kristy, and Claudia remained frozen in a mixture of horror and awe as Mary Anne sauntered forward, the soft fabric of her gown billowing in the gentle wind. Her normally short, chestnut-brown hair was now dark - nearly black - and long, falling in graceful ringlets below her shoulders. As she drew closer, her violet eyes lit up and she broke into a dangerous, voluptuous smile.
She advanced toward Logan with her arms outstretched, ignoring the presence of her former best friends.
“Logan,” she breathed, in a tone that made Logan forget that this woman - thing - was no longer his lover, but his enemy. Her voice was sweet and melodic; innocent yet seductive. Logan’s breath constricted and he stood like a statue as Mary Anne leaned toward him, her cold hands feeling at his chest. He shivered, but remained rooted to the spot, staring longingly at the beautiful woman before him.
“Logan, my love,” she continued, tilting her head to look up at him. Her gaze was intense, her smile enchanting. Logan felt himself growing weak under her scrutiny, ready to bend to her every desire. “You’ve come for me, haven’t you? You’ve come for me, Logan, my love! You are going to leave the others, aren’t you? You’re going to leave the others and come with me?”
“I - “ Logan’s throat was dry and Mary Anne, sensing hesitation, pressed her bosom against him.
“Come with me,” she whispered seductively, and Logan felt ready to melt as he felt her hot breath on his neck and gazed at the low, revealing neckline of her dress. “I want you, my love. I need you.”
Slowly, as if in a trance, Logan nodded. He hungered for her; he desired her more than he had ever desired anything.
Mary Anne broke into a wicked grin and stood on her tip-toes as if to kiss Logan, her blood-red lips standing out against her pale skin…
But suddenly Kristy lunged forward, forcing a small golden crucifix between the two. Mary Anne instantly recoiled, leaping backward with lightning speed before rising like a cat and hissing at the trio. Her eyes lit with the fires of Hell and the dark red lips of her mouth formed a look of rage. A blood-curdling screech filled the air as Mary Anne charged at the group, but she was unable to move beyond the crucifix. She shook violently, fixing Kristy, Logan, and Claudia with a look of pure loathing and fury.
“Oh, my lord,” whispered Claudia, eyes wide as she gazed at this figure that used to be her friend Mary Anne. Paling in horror, she pulled her own crucifix out of her pocket and extended it, supporting Kristy.
“Look what they’re doing to me, Logan!” Mary Anne screeched, attempting to reach her lover, but failing. “They’re trying to hurt me! Help me! Don’t you love me? Don’t you want me?”
“It’s not Mary Anne, Logan!” Kristy yelled, still holding the crucifix out protectively. “Don’t let her fool you!”
Logan appeared uncertain as he looked from Kristy and Claudia to Mary Anne in horror.
Mary Anne beckoned him forward and Kristy and Claudia forced her to retreat even further as they came closer with their crucifixes. “We can be together, Logan,” Mary Anne crooned, carefully avoiding the crucifixes. “We can be together forever!”
“You bitch,” Kristy hissed, surprising Logan. “You bitch! Don’t listen to her,” she directed her next words at Logan. “It’s not Mary Anne!”
“Are you jealous, Kristy?” Mary Anne asked, seeming to realize her battle with Logan was over. “Poor little Kristy,” she mocked, advancing suddenly and flirting with the crucifixes. “Poor Kristy’s never going to have a real relationship because she’s busy whining over her daddy. No one will want you.”
Mary Anne cackled and threw her head back in mirth, as Kristy froze and dropped the crucifix she’d been holding. Logan, finally coming out of his trance, lurched forward and retrieved Kristy’s crucifix from the ground. He held it out toward Mary Anne, absolutely disgusted by what she had become.
“You - !” Kristy made to lunge forward, planning to take on Mary Anne herself, but Claudia and Logan held her back.
Kristy struggled against the hold of her two friends, as Mary Anne took a moment to look on haughtily. Then, after glancing up at the sky, Mary Anne sprinted away, undoubtedly to find rest and shelter before the impending sunrise.
Kristy cursed as Mary Anne escaped. Claudia and Logan relinquished their hold.
“It’s not Mary Anne,” Claudia reminded both Logan and Kristy softly. She was shaking, terrified and shocked by what her and her friends had just gone through, but she was trying to keep herself together as much as possible. “Mary Anne…” she paused, her voice cracking. “… Mary Anne died. That -- that thing -- isn’t her. It’s a demon.”
Normally Kristy was the leader among the group, but Claudia knew that this was her time to step up. Kristy couldn’t think rationally when it came to this -- although, honestly, Claudia wasn’t much better -- because Mary Anne had been her best friend. Mary Anne... the kind, sensitive one that was always so quick to offer advice and encouraging words to everyone.
And Mary Anne had been Logan’s girlfriend. It had to be just as hard for him.
So Claudia took a deep breath, willing herself to be strong. “We have to kill it, guys. It’s almost sunrise now. We can come back in a couple hours, when she’ll be resting, and do it then. We’ll do it for Mary Anne. We have to set her free.”
“Lo-gan!” Kerry called, throwing open her brother’s bedroom door and barging in. “You told me you’d drive me to school! You’re going to make both of us late! Get up!”
Kerry opened the passenger door of Logan’s car as soon as he parked, grabbing her backpack and rushing off to catch up with one of her friends. Logan rolled his eyes at his sister as he pulled the keys out of the ignition, then stepped out of the car and locked the doors.
“Logan!” a cheerful voice called from a few cars away. Smiling, Logan turned around to face Mary Anne, who had just stepped out of her father’s car. She grinned at him and hurried to join him so they could walk inside together.
They kissed briefly, then Logan wrapped an arm around Mary Anne’s shoulders, pulling her closer as they entered the school. Her short, brown hair tickled his arm as it flipped back and forth.
“Are you ready for this test?” Mary Anne asked conversationally.
“Yeah,” Logan laughed, removing his arm from Mary Anne’s shoulders as they approached her locker. He leaned against the wall as Mary Anne began to deftly work her combination lock. “Dracula. Piece of cake. I could pass this test in my sleep.”
Really. You have no idea.