It’s writing marathons like this that make some people not want to undertake nanowrimo or undertake it ever again, if they’ve tried once. There’s something about knowing that you have to write a lot of words to catch up and that those words may not be your best work that makes you feel, er, sad. But the thing is, these don’t have to be your final words. This is a draft and you can write as crappily as you want and get all of the absolutely weirdest thoughts down and it doesn’t matter because at the end you may not have an accomplished novel, but you will have accomplished noveling and be ready to edit your first draft.
Welcome to Day 11 of NaNoWriMo.
Word Count: 16,813
Kaden glanced at Chloe. He had no idea what was going on, but he would bet his life that this spirit wasn’t Phoebe’s and more to the point, he had no idea what that even meant. This was way too Stephen King or Dean Koontz for him to grasp. These things just didn’t happen. Not in real life. Of course, two months ago he would have said that a woman couldn’t just utter a few words, plant something in his bougainvillea, and take his music away from him. Now he knew that it was possible, which meant that maybe there were a whole lot of other things possible, like Phoebe being possessed by some kind of demon.
“Phoebe, does your head hurt?” Chloe asked tentatively. “Maybe we should take you to the emergency room. You hit your head really hard. I think it may have caused some damage. Your eyes have changed color.”
“Have they now?” Phoebe said, smiling as she stood up. Her eyes seemed preternaturally bright, her smile strange. She ran her palms down her sides and then laughed slightly as if pleased by something. “Aren’t they lovely? I bet you like them, don’t you, Kaden Roarke?”
Kaden took a step back as her gaze focused on him, but she took a step nearer to him, extending her right hand and let her index finger trail down his chest. His eyes followed her finger. He actually felt afraid to look into her face, into those eyes that weren’t Phoebe’s. Was she possessed? Maybe if her head starting spinning around he would know for sure. Hopefully that was only something that happened in movies and books.
She flattened her hand against his chest and pushed him against the wall. There was steel in her movement, strength that was unimaginable. He felt sure that she could do significant damage to him if she chose. “I’ve wanted to touch you for so long,” she said. “Being incorporeal is no fun, whatsoever.”
Chloe placed her hand on her sister’s arm. Phoebe glanced at Chloe’s hand as if it were an irritating fly and flung her arm upward to remove it. “Do not touch me. I never gave you permission to touch me.”
“You know what I said about you loosening up? Stop being holier than thou? I was kidding.”
“Wah, wah, wah, your voice is like termites. Practice it somewhere else. I have business here,” Phoebe said. She refocused her attention on Kaden, her palms rubbing over his chest.
Kaden swallowed. He looked meaningfully at Chloe, hoping she would pick up on his signal. “I bet your Aunts would like to hear from you, Chloe.”
Chloe frowned, her eyes widening, and she looked at him as if he had lost his mind. “I don’t see why. I spoke to them a couple of weeks ago.”
Kaden sighed and closed his eyes. “They’d probably like to know how Phoebe is doing.”
“Really? I don’t think they’d like to know about her being like this at all. They love the normal Phoebe. This would break their hearts.”
“Exactly, Chloe,” he said. “The Aunts would very much love to know this. I’m positive.”
Chloe bit her lip and then her face cleared. She nodded. “Boing. I really am slow tonight.”
Kaden just nodded. His thoughts exactly.
Phoebe looked from Chloe to the two men, her eyes strayed over the men, sizing them up, and then she wagged her hand, dismissing them. “You may all leave, except for you,” she said turning back to Kaden. “I think it’s time for you and me to get to know each other much, much better.”
As Chloe looked back, Kaden made the phone call gesture to her and she nodded. He hoped like hell she understood what he meant, what she needed to say to the Aunts, because he was pretty certain that this situation had just reached dire.
Phoebe pressed her body against his, heat emanated from her. It wasn’t the literal burning that they had experienced a couple of weeks ago, but this heat felt as if a fever raged through her. She pressed her pelvis against him. He was too terrified to even think of getting hard, but it didn’t stop her from rotating her hips, arching herself against him.
“Don’t you like that, sugar?” Sugar? The voice now sounded like home. A bit too much like home.
“Phoebe, I’m pretty sure this isn’t a good idea. You hit your head really hard . . .”
“Don’t you worry your little self about that.” Her hand cupped him. He winced. She threw back her head and laughed. “You are just worried about your family jewels, aren’t you? Silly boy. You must know by now that you are not destined to ever have children. I could crush this package right now.”
“I’d really wish you wouldn’t,” he said. He could almost feel himself shrinking inward.
“I bet you wish that. Now, are we going to play or talk?”
“Hmm. I have nothing to talk about. I’d much rather play.”
“Not me. You were at the gig earlier. I always get tired from that.” Lie. There was nothing like a gig to stimulate him. If this had been the real Phoebe, the conversation would have already ended.
She ran her finger over his lips. “I’ve wanted these lips. I want them now. You can’t tell me you don’t want to know what it’s like to kiss me. Taste me. Taste her.”
“Who are you?” he asked.
Her eyes narrowed and she laughed, low, almost provocatively. She turned away from him and moved around the room, picking up a decorative conk shell and examining it. She tapped her nail against the outside and then held it to her ear, reminding him that that’s what kids do. Press conk shells to their ears so that they can hear the ocean. “Phoebe, of course. Who else would I be? Your precious Phoebe, sugar. She’s aroused something in you that’s been dormant. Actually I never thought it was going to rise and I so glad that it did.”
“Why would Phoebe talk about herself in the third person? Tell me what you done with her.”
Chloe returned and smiled apologetically. “Don’t mind me. I just forgot that I left a mess in here.” She deftly swept up the herbs, candles and other assorted items and left the room. She smiled at him and winked.
Kaden felt a touch of relief, hoping that she had talked to the Aunts and they had suggested a remedy for this situation.
Phoebe frowned at the door. “I certainly hope she’s not going to try anything. She’s not exactly the brightest little ole thing, is she?”
“She’s a bit of a neat freak. I’m sure she was just tidying,” Kaden said.
“Let’s you and me get naked,” Phoebe said again, returning to him, and sliding her palm under his t-shirt.
He cringed. “I told you I’m exhausted.”
“As if I’d believe that. I’ve watched you, you know. All of those accolades you received. All of the wealth you’ve accumulated. How fortunate for you. For years and years, I’ve watched you.”
“Tell me who you are.”
“Your worst nightmare?
“It feels like it.”
“It should. Because I am. I’m thinking perhaps you should fall in love with Phoebe and then never be able to have her. How would I make that work? You’re already falling for her so that shouldn’t be an issue, but what if I just kill her? Arrange for her to have a little accident. I’ve heard how sometimes a person can find themselves on the beach and the tide comes in so quick and rough and throws them up against those boulders. Or maybe a person falls off a cliff and their body’s never found. Car accidents are fun. Or maybe drowning in a pool. I always liked that image of the body floating in the pool, eyes open, face contorted with panic. Oh, sugar, there’s a pool here, isn’t there?”
He squeezed his eyes closed. The only comfort was knowing that she couldn’t make any of that happen while she controlled Phoebe’s body, or could she? What could stop her? She must exist outside of Phoebe. She could probably kill Phoebe or create the accident and float away, back to whatever hell she came from.
He saw the door open slightly and Chloe peeked through the crack. He hoped that she had created a solution and that she just needed a diversion. He hoped to hell that was what was going on because otherwise the only diversion he could create would be very bad and have unintended results. He created the one diversion he could think of. He pulled Phoebe toward him and kissed her hard.
Chloe ran in, threw a vial of liquid onto Phoebe and hurriedly chanted something. Kaden glanced up and saw something dark, a black swirl like a swarm of insects, rise up out of Phoebe and disappear.
Phoebe fell limply against him. He scooped her up and laid her on the chaise. Color slowly filled her cheeks.
“Crap,” Chloe said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so frightened in my life. Aunt Philo said that what took over Phoebe is evil. She said that I had to do the chant perfectly or things would get very bad very quickly. I practiced it six times before I came in. Very evil.”
“No kidding. Was she sure that this would work? Is it permanent?”
Chloe shrugged. “She doesn’t know if it’s permanent or how Phoebe had opened herself up to being possessed. She said she wants us home and that you had better come too.”
“Why me?” he asked. With everything going on, it wasn’t like he could just fly off to the east coast and forget about the tight schedule that was coming up. They were going into the studio next week. He had deadlines.
“Aunt Philo said this was all on you.”
“I’m surprised you’re surprised. That person who took over Phoebe had the same accent as you. It’s all something with your past. My sister and I might not always get along, but I will hurt you if anything happens to her.” Chloe jabbed her finger at him, reminding him of Phoebe doing something similar when he first met her.
“But how did your Aunt Philo know it was after me?”
“She reads the future. Did she touch you a lot when you met her? Like keep touching your arm? She establishes contact that way.”
He shook his head and then sat on the chaise next to Phoebe. The world was tilting on its axis and there was nothing he could do about. There probably had never been anything he could do about it. He wasn’t sure that it had originated with him. He was just along for the ride. He caressed Phoebe’s soft cheek and then smoothed her riot of purple curls. Something in that made him think of fate. His band: Riot of Purple Profanity. This girl: Riot of Purple Curls. He hoped she was okay and he hoped that she could stay that way. The malevolence in that entity’s voice had been the real deal.
“Okay. I’ll come. When are we leaving?”
“Tomorrow morning. I already booked out flights,” Chloe said.
“How in the hell did you have time?”
Chloe shrugged and smiled. “The potion was easy, but it had to sit for a few secs. So I booked on the interwebz and bam.”
Phoebe moaned and they both looked toward her. Kaden waited, hoping to see her amber flecked hazel green eyes. When her eyelids lifted, she looked at him warily. He felt relief at seeing her own eyes looking back at him.
“Is it me?” she asked and then smiled when she heard her own voice. “I have never in my life felt so powerless.”
She looked at Kaden and he could tell by her expression that she remembered pressing her body against his, even if it hadn’t been her. That soft pink color spilled over her cheeks.
Kaden leaned forward and kissed her, softly, taking her bottom lip between his. She sighed.
Chloe cleared her throat. “Guys, come on. Are you really going to make out now?”
Kaden pulled back and stroked her face again. “Yeah. Right now’s probably not the time. How are you feeling?”
“I’ve certainly been better. That was scary. I was thinking my own thoughts, but not able to say them. I couldn’t force her out. I was just glad that she couldn’t use me to read your mind or this would never have worked.
“How’s your head?”
“Strangely, no pain.” She sat up and her brow furrowed. “That entity was pure evil. It felt like I had my soul sucked out of me, like everything was just darkness. But the really, really scary thing was just how much it hates you.”
Kaden nodded. “I kind of got that impression. Could you tell anything about it? Why it wants to harm me?”
Phoebe swung her legs over the side of the chaise. “I felt like it was something that happened a long time ago. I don’t even know if you were born. There was death. I got the impression of lots of death. Curses. The feeling that something was owed. I couldn’t grasp particulars. I don’t know if it’s hatred directly toward you or toward your entire family. Do you know of anything that happened?”
“Not really. I know my grandfather had a run-in with a voodoo queen or something like that. There were lots of whispers when I was a kid. My momma drowned when I was five . . .in a swimming pool,” he said.
He looked at Phoebe, wondering if the same thought occurred to her.
“Like the entity threatened to do to me.”
“You think it’s a coincidence?”
Phoebe shook her head. “I find that very unlikely. What happened to your father?”
“Boating accident,” Kaden said.
“Let me guess. He drowned too.”
Kaden nodded. “Those accidents are sounding not so accidental anymore.”
end of Day 11–splat!