Holly couldn’t help but feel that something was watching her as she worked her way through a long school day. She could feel a pair of burning golden eyes branding their imprint into her neck as she finished a chemistry test, she could feel an odd presence looming nearby as she slowly nibbled at her sandwich at lunch.
Something was keeping an eye on her, and she was growing fearful of what it wanted.
She had to get rid of the Othre, she had to get it out of her. She’d been infected for too long.
She looked around her English classroom, wondering if there was anybody who would willingly follow her into Hollowpine.
Holly realized that anybody would follow her once she tapped into the persuasive powers of the Othre. It didn’t matter who it was.
Just go up to someone, anyone, after class. Take their hand, look them in the eye. Let the Othre do the rest. No one will notice, no one will care.
And the Othre will have its next victim.
Holly settled her gaze on a girl at the front of the room.
Rachel Harte. The queen bee of their class, the Homecoming Queen, the rockstar. She was rich, she was beautiful and sexy, and she would undoubtedly be famous one day.
Holly grinned evilly at the thought of the Othre seeping into Rachel, taking over her body, wiping away that beauty, that power. Rachel would be tarnished, and Holly would be free.
That was all she cared about now, was infecting another soul; she only cared about finally being set free from the Othre’s grip.
The Othre stirred again. It was happy with this choice. It was ready to infect.
When the bell rang, the Othre impatiently pulled Holly towards Rachel.
“Rachel! Can I talk to you?” Holly called. Rachel turned. “Um, sure. What’s up, Holly?” The girl’s brow was furrowed just slightly. Holly Elizabeth was not someone who appeared on Rachel’s radar very often.
“Well,” Holly began. “I just...”
She took Rachel’s hand and looked her in the eye.
The Othre surged through Holly, possessing her, guiding her next actions, her next words.
“I want to show you something.”
Rachel silently followed Holly, still clutching her hand. The Othre pulsed between the two girls, using Holly as a conductor. Holly followed the trail, illuminated by the Othre’s light, to the masoleum.
All around, Holly could see the Other spectres peeking out from behind the trees; the infected souls who never passed the infection on, and instead succumbed to the Othre’s decay.
Holly and Rachel kept walking, and the Othre continued to pulse and guide and capture.
Finally, they reached the masoleum.
It was a very imposing structure, constructed out of a strange black marble, and it seemed to pulse with dark energy.
The door opened as the girls approached.
The Gryphon watches as Holly Elizabeth and her chosen victim stand in front of the masoleum, waiting for the Othre to draw them inside.
He almost hopes that the transferral is not successful.
It’s been so long since he last killed.
He is almost desperate to sink his claws into the pitifully weak flesh of a human.
Maybe he will kill her no matter what, just for the fun of it.
Maybe he’ll play with her.
He’s missed a good game of cat and mouse.