Strength and Numbers (4-2-18)

[WP] A spider dangles down from the ceiling in front of you, but just out of reach. You hear a quiet voice say, “So what are you going to do now?” [Link to post.]

Abby walked out of the shimmering blue portal and stared at her large pink and white house. She saw no sign of her parent’s car in the driveway. The dark haired girl smiled at the tall woman with horns exiting the portal behind her. 

“See? No one’s home, I’ll bet they’re out looking for me,” Abby smiled, then ran to her front door. She tried her house key, but it did not want to fit the lock. The tall woman caught up, and spoke up from behind her.

“I’m sure it’s very common to change the locks before searching for a beloved missing child,” Ballisea said. She drenched the word “beloved” in sarcasm. “You’ve only been missing for a few hours, they must have been in a hurry to keep you out.”

“SHUT UP!” Abby yelled. She vented her anger by punching the door. To her surprise the punch broke the door off its hinges. It flew backward in pieces. 

“Oh I forgot to tell you. You’re a lot stronger now,” Ballisea commented. 

“What? How?” Abby asked. She brought her hands up to admire them. The door may as well have been tissue paper, she did not have a single abrasion on her knuckle. Ballisea chuckled.

“Really? With everything that’s happened to you today, your strength is what surprises you?” 

“Good point, I guess.” Abby stepped over door pieces and into her home. Everything looked like it should, but in the back of her mind she could not shake the feeling that something was wrong. “I’m gonna go check my room.” She ran through the dining room and down a long hallway past two bedrooms, the den, and a bathroom to the other side of the house. Ballisea followed close behind. Abby turned a corner to her door, then screamed the moment she reached it. A sign hung on the door to Abby’s room. It said “JANET’S ROOM. KEEP OUT.” 

“Janet? Isn’t that the name of the girl that left you out in the forest after cutting a 33 into your arm?” 
Abby punched through the door and discovered several boxes inside the otherwise empty room. No bed. The dresser her dad built for her was gone. “They sure didn’t waste any time finding a new daughter.” Ballisea chuckled. Abby hung her head. 

“It’s true. Everything you said is true.” Tears rolled down her bright red cheeks. Heaving sobs wracked her body. A single house spider drifted down from the ceiling in front of Abby. 

“So what are you going to do now?” The spider asked.

“I don’t know,” Abby whined at the spider through her tears. The sound of a car driving up the gravel driveway caught her attention. She dashed to the window. Her parent’s car turned into the long gravel driveway that led to the house, though they would not see the broken door until they drove all the way in. She caught a glimpse of Janet, the last person Abby saw with her own eyes, sitting in the back seat of the car. All three occupants wore smiles on their faces. Abby felt a soft hand on her shoulder.

“It almost makes you wonder if they put her up to it. Do you think they told Janet to take your eyes too, or was that her acting on her own?” Ballisea said, then squeezed Abby’s shoulder with a firm grip. “I know you’re upset dear.” Ballisea pulled on Abby’s shoulder to turn her around, then pointed to a side of the room. 

She made a gesture with her hand and a pitch black hole appeared, floating vertically. “My offer still stands of course. If you stay, whose to say how they might react to you being here. Come with me, and you’ll have a fresh start. School starts in a few months, and I know you’ll have new friends by then. Friends that care about you, and want you around.” Abby looked up at the woman. 

“Why is that portal black?” Abby asked, scared that she could not see anything past the hole in reality. 

“It goes farther than the shortcut that got us here,” Ballisea said. Abby still felt unsure, she looked up and focused on the pair of bone-white ram horns curling out of Ballisea’s head. 

“Where? You know a lot about me, are you a demon?” Abby asked, unsure what answer she wanted to hear. Unsure that she would choose to stay with her parents if the woman was a demon. 

“WHO’S IN HERE??” Abby heard her father’s voice from the front door.  “I HAVE A GUN.” She knew he didn’t have a gun. 

“The second question is complicated, we’ll answer that another time. As for where…” The corners of Ballisea’s lips turned upward into a sharp smile. “An alternate Earth. Come with me and leave this world behind entirely. No matter who you were here or what you do, no one will be able to find you.” Ballisea brought her hand up to her chin and rolled her eyes upward, as if she were thinking. Then she gave a soft, pleasant chuckle. “Why, with you being in a different universe entirely, you could easily get away with murder. I’m sorry, that sounds horrible,” Ballisea covered her mouth with mock embarrassment, then smiled again. “I meant to say revenge.” 

“JANET! Stay out of your room until I check the whole house!” Abby heard her father’s voice again. She turned to face the single spider hanging in the center of the room. 

“Go round up some of your friends. You guys are going to have a feast tonight,” Abby said. Dozens of different types of spiders began crawling out from under her clothes. She looked to the doorway in time to lock eyes with Janet. Abby’s swarm of spiders flowed toward the screaming girl in the doorway. 

“Skeeter, Lefty, you guys go too. I want to get a good look at this,” Abby added. Skeeter, a large black widow crawled out of the empty eye socket, and down the right side of her face. Left, a large brown furry wolf spider crawled out of her left eye socket. She watched through their eyes as they rushed towards Janet’s ankles. 

“I’ll wait for you on the other side. Join me when you’ve had your fun. No rush though, enjoy it,” Ballisea said.

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