Read The Lynnie Russell Trilogy Online

Authors: R. M. Gilmore

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Mythology & Folk Tales, #Teen & Young Adult, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban, #Fairy Tales

The Lynnie Russell Trilogy (3 page)

BOOK: The Lynnie Russell Trilogy
7.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


Rusty picked up a big stick and started beating the water to scare off any crawlers in the lake. Couldn’t have snakes ruining the fun, now could we? Without the moonlight I wouldn’t have been able to see the tip of my nose, but the moon was full and bright in the near black sky.


Rusty pulled off his shirt and boots. I had on only the dress and boots, I thought twice about taking them off and letting him see my underthings. I watched Rusty slide his jeans off and stopped fussing about it. I pulled my dress off over my head and into the cold lake I went with Rusty at my heels.


Me and Rusty splashed and laughed and drank beer under the big moon for what must’ve been an hour. The night was warm as it could be and the lake felt nice on my whiskey filled body. We made our way from the bank near the truck to a small cove just up the way a spell. The area was small and only about chest high. Perfect for two drunkards that had no business trying to swim in the dark.


Rusty jumped out of the lake and ran over to a tall tree that stood just in front of a big set of bushes about head high.


“Just piss in the lake like the fish do, Rusty.” I said laughing. I heard my voice echo through the tight inlet. Hearing my voice come back at me made me nervous, like someone was gonna come out and catch me naked in the lake.


I could hear his pee hit the ground and tried not to laugh when he said, “I ain’t pissing in there while you’re in there.”


I watched him from the corner of my eye. I wondered how I’d feel about him when morning came, when I wasn’t drunk. I figured I couldn’t start loving someone without knowing how I felt sober. I was trying hard not to judge my feelings by the fact that Rusty had, until that day, made me want to kick him in the knee. I also tried to pretend Rusty hadn’t known me since I was in kindergarten.


His loud splashing and hollering snapped me out of my thoughts. He tossed me another beer.


“I can’t drink no more, Rusty.” I said while I popped the top open and chugged it down.


“Yeah, bet you can’t,” he laughed and rustled his hand over his wet hair. That nervous gesture of his used to drive me insane to the point I couldn’t even look at him. I guess somewhere inside it just drove me nuts in a way I didn’t understand. Or didn’t want to anyhow.


I laid back in the water and let the water lift my body up to the surface. I stared at the moon, so damn big in the black sky, and felt weightless on top of Blue Mountain Lake. I was floating on my back, watching the stars, when Rusty came by and swooped me up like a bride over the threshold.


“You put me down.” I said laughing quietly and trying not to pee myself when I wiggled in his arms.


“You gotta kiss me first.” He said so quiet I damn near didn’t even hear him.


Rusty had always played stupid childish games like this when we were coming up. I never paid no mind to him. I never actually thought for a minute he meant any of it. He’d pretend to be a gentleman, even charming sometimes, but he’d always follow it up by pulling my hair or puttin’ a frog in my lunch pail.

Then, drunk in the middle of the lake in my skivvies, I looked at him like I never had before.  Strange what happens to a girl’s sensibility when a good lookin’ southern boy tells her he loves her.


“You’ll put me down?” I asked.


“You really askin’?” He asked just before I kissed him.


It wasn’t a long movie style kiss. Just a small innocent type, but it made butterflies flutter around in my stomach. His mouth was soft and beer flavored. The whiskey was still there underneath the beer and lake water. That first kiss will be with me until the day I day.


He pulled his head back and smiled so big I thought his cheeks were gonna fall right off.  “I can’t believe you did it,” he said, excited like a boy at Christmas. “I been waitin’ a long time for that Lynnie Russell. You asked, I’m tellin’, I love you. I do. Ain’t never been I day I didn’t.”


I just stared at him. I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard from his mouth. My heart was pounding, about out of my chest. How could those three little words change my world so much? I was twenty years old officially, I lived with my brother, I was drunk and half naked in a lake lying across the arms of someone I had thought was a jackass until a few hours before. Maybe mama was right, maybe I had really just loved him all along, I thought.


“What the hell is that?” Rusty said looking out into the woods on the other side of the tall bushes just off the bank. We’d floated and played far enough that I couldn’t see the truck anymore, just dark thick woods.


“What?” I asked, still draped over his arms.


The wonderful world of drunk people; we’re easily distracted. I can say I was a bit disappointed when he put me down on my feet in the water. We stood still and quiet for long enough to hear more than just our breath and the sound of water hitting wet skin.


“Are those
talkin’ over there?” His voice was low but I could hear him slur his speech. He always sounded more redneck the drunker he got.


It wasn’t exactly abnormal for this time of year. Blue Mountain Lake is a pretty popular party spot. But to hear a bunch of ladies all talking at once in the middle of the night was pretty interesting to a couple of whiskey hounds trying to avoid having to confess their feelings for each other.


After a few more minutes of looking and listening me and Rusty hauled our drunken asses out of the cold water and sloshed through the dirt and grass with wet feet.  I could hear the ladies voices louder the closer I got, but they were still damn near a whisper from where I was. Half naked, I wasn't about to go traipsing into their campsite and ask them why they were reciting the same thing over and over in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. Honestly, I didn't really want to know the answer. I crouched down and peeked through the bushes on the far side of the cove. There was four ladies all standing around a camp fire. They were wearing weird dresses with long sleeves and hoods. Not what someone would be wearing in Havana on a sticky summer night, I'll tell you what. I was watching them when one picked up a hefty chicken from a makeshift coop sitting by the fire pit. One of the women, the red haired one, pulled out something long and shiny. The chicken squawked for just a second before the red haired women ran the shiny blade around the chicken’s neck, nearly chopping the damn thing off. My eyes went wide and I tried to stop myself from squealing like a girl.


Something cold and heavy slapped my back. I damn near jumped out of my undies. I grabbed my mouth to not scream when I turned to see Rusty had caught up to me and was crouching behind my bushes next to me.


"What’ya think they up to?" He whispered so quiet I almost didn't hear him.


Trying not to make any noise I shrugged my shoulders and looked back toward the group of hooded ladies. The chicken’s head was gone and the red haired woman was holding it upside down by its feet. She had a bowl or something in her other hand and was letting the blood from the stumped neck drip into it. The other women kept on with their chanting. At first I thought maybe they were speaking English, just really fast. Now that I was closer, I could tell it wasn't any language I had ever heard before.


The women chanted the same words over and over again, "Cu sidhe iompróir a bháis bheidh mé a bheith." I had no idea what the hell they were talking about. But, whatever they were doing they had conviction.


My bare skin was starting to goose pimple with the breeze and a bit of fear. I looked over to Rusty who was staring through a small gap in the bushes at the cluster of women by the fire. His mouth was open, catching flies, and his eyes were just as wide as mine. I turned back to the glowing fire in time to see the red haired lady toss the headless chicken into the fire. A big blast of flame billowed out to the sides then shot up through the center of the circle of trees. All four women raised their hands to the sky and started saying the same thing over and over again.


"Meta, Power, Instinct, Feral, Death." The whispered voices of so many mouths at once made the sound louder than it should’ve been.


The flame in the center of the pit sparked like someone had tossed a handful of gunpowder into it. The sparks turned from yellow to green while the ladies sang their repeated song. The four of them stood around the green fire only a handful of feet away from me and Rusty. After a minute or so the fire lost its green hue and went back the usual hearty yellow. One blonde girl, the only blonde girl, stopped chanting and looked right at the bushes we were hiding behind. She dropped her raised hands and lifted one finger to point in our direction.


"Oh, hell!" Rusty yelled as he jumped up from behind his bush, still in his undies.


I closed my eyes tight and tucked my head to my knees. I was too drunk to handle stressful situations so my best plan was to hide in plain sight. I heard Rusty's bare feet running away from me, kicking up leaves and cracking twigs all the way. My eyes were squinted tight when something grabbed a hold of a thick clump of my hair. I screamed and kicked and tried hard to wriggle away from the hand that had me by the hair. The harder I kicked the faster the hand pulled me from my hiding spot. Screaming in the woods under a full moon only let me know how loud I could scream from the echo that came back to me. There’d be no one coming to help. No one could hear me. No one but Rusty.


I was drug across the thick brush in my bra and panties tearing up the skin on my backside all the way. I screamed for Rusty. I could hear the women still saying the same thing they had been, only louder now.  I could feel the heat from the fire in the middle of the chicken killers. The tiny cuts on the backs of my legs nipped like bee stings. The hand finally let me go, shoving me into the dirt almost in the fire.


"A larger sacrifice may suffice." A voice said above me in an accent that sounded like I’d heard from my great gran from Ireland.


I heard the familiar sound of a sharp knife being pulled from its sheath. My daddy was a hunter and I live with my brother who thinks guns and knives are the best thing since titties, so I know a knife when I hear one. It’s not a sound you can describe with words. It takes knowledge and a good amount of fear to know that sound. I screamed again and scrambled away from the fire pit. I tried to get to my feet when the hand snatched me up again, this time throwing me hard to the ground. My head hit a river rock that circled the pit. I was dazed by the thud to the head. My eyes were blurry and watery but I tried to look around anyway. I was able to make my eyes focus enough to see the red haired women towering over me with her chicken-killing blade. My eyes cleared from sheer adrenaline, I kicked at her but she grabbed my hair again, taking damn near my whole scalp with it. Wriggling and kicking I pulled hard away from her, almost pulled my hair from its roots when I did. Off in the distance, by only moonlight, I saw Rusty sneaking up. He had put his pants on. I opened my mouth to holler at him to run away but only a small squeaking noise came through my lips. I could feel air gurgle through a thick gash in my gullet. The woman who held me tight by the hair had run her blade quick and deep across my throat. If a knife is sharp enough you don’t even feel the cut. Blood poured from the gaping line like someone had opened a flood gate. She held the wooden bowl under my chin and let the blood fill it up. She laughed so close to my head I felt her breath on my skin. I was feeling weak, my legs shook but she held me to her body. The other women never stopped their song.


"Meta, Power, Instinct, Feral, Death." The red haired women then repeated what they were saying before, "Cu sith iompróir a bháis bheidh mé a bheith," she almost yelled.


Moving me by my hair she positioned me over the flame, letting my blood pour over it. In an instant the yellow fire turned green again. Brighter than the first time, the green flame plumed into the air. The heat hit my face and I smelled my hair burning. No screams came from my mouth, not for lack of trying. I was too weak to fight. There was almost no pain coming from my slit throat. The small cuts on my back from the drag through the forest floor were only a memory. I was dying. Gradually and alone, I was dying.


Something crashed into the two of us from nowhere. The woman released me then and I caught myself on a tree trunk. I leaned against it willing myself to stay alive. The fire sparked grass green sparks so big it looked like Fourth of July. The flame shot up through the trees in a shade of green I’d only seen in one of gran’s photos of the hills of Ireland. 


It was then something took me over. My legs gave way and my body fell to the cold dirt. I pushed myself up onto my hands clutching handfuls of earth between my fingers as I did. Pain overcame me from deep within my bones. My stomach curdled with pain and bloody vomit came spewing from my lips. I coughed and sputtered, spitting out the bitter bile and copper taste that was left in my mouth. My back arched unnaturally, I could hear popping and grinding from inside my body. My hands dug into the earth, griping for dear life onto something real and natural. I watched as my fingers cracked and popped deforming themselves into something inhuman; animalistic. My thumb retracted into my arm turning into what seemed to be a dewclaw. The muscles in my arms, back, and legs rippled and swelled. Long curved claws pushed my nails from their beds and grew inches long. The sensation was sickening. The feeling was similar to having a tooth pulled. The pain, the cracking and popping was felt and heard from within my body. Only this was happening to me without anything to dull the pain. Tears ran down my cheeks without a sound from my lips. I felt my face stretch and bend into a shape that felt nothing like it should. It felt like my mouth and nose took up more area than it was supposed to. I could feel the tendons and skin seaming back together in my throat. I squeezed my eyes shut tight as I let out a hefty scream of pain,my first scream since I had been cut. When I opened them I could see everything as if it were twelve in the afternoon instead of night. The colors and contrasts were different. Strange shades of purples and greens instead of the normal range of colors. I looked down to my hands to see thick murky greenish black hair growing from my pores, covering what used to be my hands and arms. I shot my eyes upward to find Rusty trying to stop the red haired woman from spewing her chant. The others in the group just stood and watched me convulse and contort into something frightening. My ribs cracked suddenly and I threw my head back and howled in pain. A long, high-pitched sound came from my lungs. As I pushed the noise of pain from my throat the sound changed. I could hear, with my once human ears, that the voice was no longer mine. My screams of pain had transformed into the howls of an animal, a creature. The creature I had become. 

BOOK: The Lynnie Russell Trilogy
7.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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