The monsters are real, and they've come for him again.


4. Four

Carly stiffened at the man's name. She touched her neck, but no blood came off on her hands. She looked at Charlie and lowered her eyes. “Now do you see why we need to dispose of him? You have to help us.”

“I'm sorry that happened to you,” Charlie said, sitting next to her. “But I'm not going to help you kill someone, no matter how much they deserve it.”

From across the room, Olivia groaned. “You're such a good boy, Charlie. It's really quite disturbing how you can hear something that fucked up and not want revenge for your friend.”

“Look,” Liam started, placing a hand on Charlie's shoulder, “stop, okay? We decided a long time ago that Charlie was a good kid, a kind soul.” He glanced around the room, yellow eyes narrowed. “But right now we've got to find Ash. It'll be up to you whether you want to help us.” He looked at Charlie, smiling, his canines sharp.

“But if you back out, I'll make you pay.” Olivia swept from the room, her voice cold.

“Don't listen to her,” Carly said, standing. “You do what you think is right. With or without you, we can get rid of Ash.”

Charlie nodded as Liam spoke quickly, ushering them to the front door.

“You should realize that if you help us just this once, that's it. That's all we need, to stay here for another year. If you don't, well, then we'll say goodbye to you tonight. But don't let Olivia's attitude sway you. It's taken me a long time to see that she's not in charge, that she shouldn't have killed all those kids, just because they were useless to her. That wasn't right.”

“Why are you here now?” he asked. “Halloween isn't for another week.”

Carly frowned. “That was Olive's idea. She's all talk, as you can tell. She just wanted to spook you.”

“I don't spook easily,” he replied, opening the door.

“That much is clear.” Liam chuckled and stepped into the night. He shut the door behind him and looked around at the front yard. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

Charlie stared at the sky; it was dark, ominous. He nodded.

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