A continuation of "The House in the Valley", which I wrote last year.


1. Avenged

  Note: Although this series has chronological order (In chronological order:  If Only She Had, To Love Chaos, The House in the Valley,  and  Avenged ), you should probably read them in order of the series. 


    The blonde-headed woman stood in the back of the the crowd, watching as the guillotine positioned over the tall man with beautiful, long, shiny, black hair and eyes that shown with wicked delight. Seventeen years ago, if this was happening to him, she’d be sobbing, probably pleading with the mayor to pardon the man. But now? Her face showed no emotion except a smile of pure rage. She hated him. Hated him. She wanted to kill him, so bad. To watch him as he died.

    At least, most of her did. But a voice in her head, one stuck in the past, was weeping. The part that still loved him still loved him, and wouldn’t never stop doing that, as much as she wanted it to.




    After everyone had left, she was alone with the body. She looked at the man. Her face showed no emotion. She didn’t know what to feel. She thought she wanted him to die. She wanted to see him suffer. But now that she’d seen him die, her old feelings had fought against the anger, waging war. She didn’t know whether to smile that he was finally dead or to break down and cry. So she did neither. 

    Stay strong, Millie, she told herself.

    She stared with a blank face at the beautiful, decapitated man, the father of her children. He was dead, finally dead. She’d gotten what she wanted. But, it seemed, what she wanted—what she thought and hoped for— always seemed to be completely wrong.

    She steed away from him and turned to see an beautiful girl staring right at her, her light brown hair shining in the sunlight. The girl looked familiar, somehow. She swore that she’d seen those green eyes before.

    “Who are you?” she asked in a flat tone.

    “I’m Katherine Meyer, Miss Millie,” she said. “Mayor Meyer’s daughter.”

    Millie nodded. No wonder she looked so familiar. She was always around town, visiting with her father.

    “Ah. And why are you still here?” She still spoke in monotone.

    “I…I’ve never seen someone be executed before. I was…curious to how it worked.” Katherine had a strange look on her face. She fiddled with her brown hair nervously. “Why are you still here?”

    “I don’t know,” she said. “It’s about the past and what’ll happen in the future.”

    Katherine’s eyebrows creased. “Were you two married?”

    “No, not…exactly. It’s complicated. Or, rather, it was.” 

    Katherine nodded.

    “I must be off,” said Millie.

    “See you soon, Ms. Millvexka.”

    Without another word, Millie began to trudge towards the splintery, black house on the hill.




    Katherine Meyer looked at Jacob’s body as Millie retreated, eyebrows creased, biting her lip. Her pale skin had was red from her scratching it nervously when she had spoken with Millie. The conversation had made her very anxious. The blank look on Millvexka’s face had confused her to the point where she was looking over her shoulder, wondering if Millvexka was controlled by some great force that sat behind her. 

    Had she been? Katherine looked over her shoulder again only to see the same nothing as before.

    She looked at the beautiful man’s corpse and looked into the head, which lay face up, a wicked smile frozen on the face. Even though the brain behind the smile was dead, the smile still shone like real life. The piercing green eyes still stared straight ahead, and Katherine had the sudden feeling that she had seen those eyes before, even though she had never laid eyes on this man.



    Millie raised her hand to knock on the door, then put it down, remembering that the only inhabitant was just executed in the square. This shot a pang through her heart, knowing that the early days, the days when she was in love with the man, were long gone. That was seventeen years ago, when she was sixteen and to young to think of anything but the man. She hadn’t been to the house in seventeen years, but it seemed just like yesterday. But now, at thirty-three, she had more to take care of. Her husband, Avery Twervip, had died last year, and now her children, boy and girl twins, were her responsibility until they left home.

    She sighed and picked her hand up and knocked out of hope. “Jacob.” 

    No answer.

    She knocked again. “Jacob.” Tears formed in her eyes. “Open the door, Jacob.” She gave a sad laugh, then a true giggle, then she started to sob while she broke out in a fit of laughter. 





    Amaratha looked at her brother, concern showing on her face. “Mother has been gone for hours now. Do you think she’s hurt?”

    Her brother didn’t respond.

    “Ahem, Jalon.”

    Her brother chuckled. “I heard you. I just don’t care what you said, so…”

    Amaratha let out a short huff of breath. “Well, I do.” The concern appeared on her face again. “We should go check on her. What if she’s in trouble?”

    “Who cares?”

    Amaratha punched in Jalon in the arm as hard as she could. Jalon barely budged. A piece of his black hair fell in his face. He’d refused to put it up this morning, like so many others, so it was a long, shiny, black mane of sorts. 

    Amaratha growled at him and stood. “Just come on.”

    “Whatever you say, Miss Ringleader,” he said, saying the last word in slight irritation and standing up from the green couch, grabbing his satchel, and reluctantly following his twin out to search for their mother.




    Millie couldn’t bring herself to do any more than sob on the porch step. She had run out of tears by now, so she felt the dried tears that coated her cheeks and wept without any tears to do it with. 


    Millie looked up, startled. 

    There stood her daughter, innocent.

    Then she looked beside her daughter and her face lit up. There was Jacob, standing right next to her daughter.

    “Jacob?” she said, standing up, her face beaming.“Jacob, is that—“

    “Jacob?” asked Jalon with a confused smile. “Who is that?”

    Millie blinked twice and was forced back into reality when she opened her eyes again. Jacob was nowhere to be seen, just her own son and daughter. 

    “Who is Jacob, Mother?” asked Amaratha.

    Millie looked straight ahead, her face slowly balling up until she fell onto the ground, sobbing and shivering.

    Amaratha gasped and fell onto her knees beside her mother. “Mother! Mother! Are you alright?”
    Millie just shivered and looked at Amaratha with wide, red eyes. “No.” She took heaving breaths. “I’m not al…right.”

    “What do you mean, Mother? Are you hurt?!” Amaratha’s green eyes were painted with fear.

    Millie shook her head. “I’m hurt…but not…physically….It’s something…I’ve been…running from for seven….teen years….something that I’ve….hidden from you.”

    “Hidden from…. us?” Her words got quieter and quieter as the sentence went on.

    “I…! I….!” Millie’s breaths got more ragged as she sobbed without until her sides hurt as her daughter watched on. Then, slowly. Millie’s breaths evened out and the sobs got quieter.

    Jalon, who had been completely silent through this, had a strange, small smile on his face. “What were you hiding from us, Mother?”

    Millie looked up at her son, took a deep breath, and said four sentences: “Jacob Heeler was the man killed in the square today. Jacob is the owner of this house. Jacob is my brother. And Jacob is your father.”

    Rather than being shocked, Jalon’s strange smile broadened, like he’d known this all along and he was just waiting for his mother to finally admit it.




    Amaratha and Jalon helped their mess of a mother get home. They made her a meal, brewed her some tea in the fireplace, and got her to bed. This took most of the evening, so the twins made themselves some supper, then headed off to the beds of their own.

    But when snores filled the hall, Jalon skulked out of the house, grabbing a scarf and his satchel as he passed the coat hanger, and went on his way to the house where his mother had said that Jacob used to live.

    The dark had never scared Jalon— in fact, he loved it. He strolled comfortably to the little black house. He soon arrived at the house and slowly pushed the door. It creaked as it opened.

    The inside of the house was bright from the cold, cloudless night outside that shone in through the windows. The chestnut floors were scratched, but almost completely dustless and dirtless.  The chandelier that hung over the circular dining table was pure crystal and absolutely stunning, with sharp edges that sparkled brightly. The living room had a four red leather armchairs, a red ottoman, and a large fireplace. It was beautiful, though less roomy than their mansion.

    But what really caught Jalon’s attention was the short, intricately-designed dagger that sat on an open journal in the middle of hallway, reflecting the moonlight outside, dried blood coating it.




    Amaratha lay awake in bed, thinking about how much of her life had been fake. Her father was not the noble businessman, but rather a maniacal criminal. Her father was not a stranger that her mother had just met, but rather her mother’s brother. Her father was not the respectable Avery Twervip, but rather the insane Jacob Heeler. 

    Was she even really Amaratha anymore, now that who she thought had made her— who she thought that she was made up of— was half a lie? Would she be the same, now that she knew that her father was a murderer, inhumane, and her mother’s brother? Her mother’s brother. Just the thought of that made Amaratha retch. She and her brother were her mother’s brother’s only children, and they were his sister’s only children as well.

    Amaratha herself was just a lie, wasn’t she? Just a fisherman’s tale in the form of a seventeen-year-old girl. She slowly drifted off to sleep, these thoughts clouding her mind.





    Millie awoke suddenly the next morning to a loud knock on the door. She looked outside and saw that it was still very dark, with no sign of the sun coming up any time soon.

    Who could it be at this hour? she thought. She pulled herself from the warmth of her bed and into the freezing night air, shivering as she did. She pulled on her robe and scuttered out of her room, down the stairs, and to the large front door.

    “Hello?” she asked, pulling the door open slowly. 

    She was surprised to see the mayor, huffing angrily, holding Jalon’s wrist. “Your son here,” he growled, “was found prowling around town at midnight— three hours past town curfew!”

    Her son was grinning strangely. Millie’s face turned stark white at that sight. She knew the looks on Jacob’s face when he had someone fooled, and it showed on Jalon’s face. 

    “Thank you, Mr. Meyer. I’ll handle him from here,” said Millie, voice shaking slightly. 

    “You’d better,” growled Meyer. He flung Jalon into the mansion by the wrist, his eyes almost shining red with fury. He slammed the door behind him.

    Jalon cried out in surprise and stumbled to the floor. His satchel made a small clanking as it hit the floor. He scrambled to stand up. He dusted himself off. Millie angrily grabbed her son’s uncut hair and balled it into a fist.

    A mix of anger and humor shone in Jalon’s eyes. “What are you doing, Mother?” he said.

    Millie’s nostrils flared. “You answer me that. What are you doing, Mr. Twerv—?”

    “It’s Mr. Heeler,” Jalon snarked. “I am Jacob’s son after all.”

    “Don’t bring him into this!” Millie demanded. “Cut the sarcasm! You will answer my questions truthfully, Jalon Heeler.”

    “Sarcasm, me? You must be mistaken, Mother. I’d never—“

    “Shut up!” Millie hadn’t been purely angry in such a long time. But that’s what this was— pure rage. “Do you really think that I’ll ever trust you after you snuck out in the dead of the night to know God knows whe—“

    “My father’s house.”

    The anger disappeared from Millie’s face. “Wait…what?”

    “I visited Jacob’s house tonight.”

    “What could you possibly have done there?”

    “You want me to show you, Mother?”

    “Show me? Why not just tell me?”

    “There are some things that can’t just be said. They have to be shown.”

    Millie though about this for a second and realized how true those words were. Love, trustworthiness, courage, genius, stupidity, cowardice, trustlessness, hate…

    She slowly released her son’s hair from her hand and regretted it the moment she did. 

    In one swift motion, Jalon had his forearm pressed against his mother’s collarbone, pinning her to the wall beside the door, a dagger— his father’s— against against her throat.

    Millie’s mind raced. She knew that look, and she knew that the blood on the dagger was fresh. 

    “That was a foolish move, Mother.”

    “I know that now…” muttered Millie, pressing as far as she could to avoid having the dagger on her throat. 

    Her cunning son noticed this, and the dagger was back on her throat. “You can’t outsmart me Mother. It’s not like you need to, actually. As a matter of fact, I’ve already accomplished my goal. As soon as Mayor Meyer returns home, he will find his beautiful dead daughter. She’s even more beautiful in death.”

    Millie’s eyes went wide. She couldn’t speak. Her heart quickened. A drop of blood— Katherine’s blood— dropped off of the dagger and began to trickle down Millie’s chest. She shivered.

    “Don’t worry, Mother. It was Jacob’s…I should call him Father. Avery was never my actual father… It was Father’s wishes that she be killed. He didn’t want that daughter of his to live and spread the disease in our legacy.”

    Daughter! Legacy! How has he…?

    “It was his dream to die with honor and with many sons to carry out his goal to rid the world of all of the goody-two-shoes. He didn’t want the ones who were too good to do anything to be in control; he didn’t want the people who have never killed, who have never felt the joy of blood, to be in control of the world. He wanted to spread the joy, and to feel the joy himself. There were a few flaws in his plan, though, and he admitted it. Number one was letting his first child live, the one that he’d had with Traci Ingrim when he was sixteen. That child was a mistake. He had thought that Traci had the same interests, but she was only out for herself. She only wanted to love. She’d never felt the feeling of hate. So Father let her feel hate in the last few moments of her life. But he kept the child, giving to Mr. Meyer, who is now the mayor. Jacob had come out of his house this morning to do the deed, but he had been called by destiny to the house of the girl. He had to kill the girl’s brother to win her heart, but had to kill her because she refused her destiny. That’s why he was executed today. He was the King of his Great Revolution. I followed his wishes, and so now I am the King. And you will bow to the King. You can do it willingly, or you can do it forcefully.”

    “And you must swear to follow me, Mother. I am the only one brave enough to follow in the tracks of Father. You can join me in our Great Revolution. You can be the King’s right hand. You can rule with me. Just bow to me. You must swear never to say a word about this to anyone, not even Amaratha, not even a word. If you do, I have my ways of finding out, and you will be dead in the next second. You may not think that I do, but I do. Understand, Mother?”

    “Answer me!” he demanded.

    “I…understand,” she managed to say, tears forming in her eyes.

    “Louder!” He pressed harder against her collarbone.

    “I understand.” She was louder this time.

    “You are speaking to the King!” He pressed the dagger into her a little harder.
    “I understand, King!” A tear rolled down her cheek.
    “Should I spare you?” The knife cut slightly into her skin, and a small trickle of blood fell onto her chest.

    “Spare me King!” she begged.

    He seemed to consider pressing harder, but released her and backed away slowly. Millie coughed from the pain in her collarbone. and her son held up the dagger. He must have stolen the dagger, and he must have managed to get some kind of information about Jacob. He was crazy, just like his father, but he was more organized. He was more terrifying. Her son, her son, was insane. She wanted to sob and curse God, but she barely held together to scamper back to her room and slam the door. 




    Millie’s face was raw from the dried tears. She had been silent as she sobbed. She didn’t want to give her son the pleasure of hearing her cry.

    He is just like his father. He’s insane. He’s doomed. He’s sociopathic. He’s….psychotic. And now I’m part of this Great Revolution, as he calls it. I don’t want to be. I can’t be. I don’t want to. It’s….not right. I feel sick just thinking about it.

    Millie’s tears stopped as she realized something. I have to stop him. I have to stop him. But I don’t doubt his threat. His father always had a way of figuring out these things, and I’m sure that he’d figure out. 

    So that leaves….

    That leaves….

    That leaves me with only two options— I either kill hundreds of strangers or I kill one of my only children.

    The decision only made the tears roll faster as the decision made itself.

    Millie grabbed that white, spearlike candelabra that sat next to her bed and crept out of her room and into the room of the one that she was about to silence forever.




    It was completely dark, all except for the moonlight that was cast on her son’s perfect face. He looked almost exactly like his father. And she had to kill him. She forced her tears down her throat and slowly crept to her son’s bedside. 

    She had just stood beside him as his eyes flung open and a smile slowly spread across his face. He grabbed an object off of his nightstand just as his mother raised the candelabra to stab her son.

    The moonlight shone on the object, and she realized it was the dagger.

    “Do you dare, Mother? Do you dare? You swore to me. Would you really break it?” He wasn’t angry— if he was, he was covering it up well. He was more disapproving.

    “I have to, Jalon… It’s the right thing—“

    “Since when have you ever done the ‘right thing’? You’ve lied to us since birth! You said that Avery was my father when it was really Jacob. You said that I should behave ‘more like Father’, but now that I am, you’re trying to kill me. What kind of mother are you?”

    “One that believes in justice,” said Millie courageously and she swung the candelabra.

    Anger erupted onto Jalon’s face. He swung the dagger. Millie hissed from pain as it made contact with her arm. The hiss became a scream as Jalon hacked away until the bone weaker and there was a snap! as it broke. Through the blinding pain, Millie had managed to make a quick plan.

    She screamed from the pain in her arm, but she didn’t drop the candelabra. Instead, she swung it into Jalon’s temple with all of the strength that she could muster, sobbing and screaming as she did, knowing what this would cause. 




    “…and you’re lucky that your daughter awoke when she did,” said the doctor, smiling up Millie. “You’d be dead if it weren’t for her.”

    Millie looked at her daughter, who sat beside her in the dirty hospital room. “I am lucky to have her.”

    Amaratha smiled gently. “Thank you, Mother.”

    The doctor smiled at both of them. “Millvexka, you must care for your arm as well as you can. I don’t want to have to attend your funeral any time soon.”

    Millie didn’t laugh at the joke. She had been too close to death too recently to even laugh or smile at all. 

    “You are free to be released as soon as you pay,” the doctor said, leaving the room.    

    Amaratha looked at her mother. “Are you sure you’re alright, Mother?”

    “I’m sure,” she said, attempting to stand up. 

    “Here, let me help,” insisted Amaratha.

    Millie gave Amaratha the slightest bit of a smile as she picked her up, careful to avoid touching the shoulder that once held her left arm. 

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