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 (6 page)

BOOK: The Lynnie Russell Trilogy
12.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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I stopped a ways away from the house and hid in the shadows. I could see Garret in the woods. He was a shade of green like everything else. Like the rifle in his hands. All greens, no color but green. I knew he was my brother. I knew I loved him. But something in my animal mind didn’t care much. I only cared about hiding. I knew he’d kill me in the state I was in. I had to hide from him.

 

“Lynnie, where are you?” He was damn near in a sob.

 

A tiny piece of me wanted to comfort him. I wanted so much to not hear my brother cry. Especially over something I done. My animal knew better. Knew that I would kill him before he’d ever get a shot off.

Garret held his long rifle down at his side. He was trying to find me in all the dark of the woods. I knew he’d never find me.

 

In the animal body my mind don’t have the same types of thoughts. I didn’t really have thoughts at all. Just feelings. Like instinct. No thoughts, just knowing. And I knew then that I was all alone. And I liked it.

 

 

 

Words With God

 

I woke up naked in the woods for the second time in two days. And like the morning before, I had blood on my hands. I looked around for a pile of bodies. There were none. The last thing I remembered was Garret chasing me through the woods. I couldn’t decide if that was better or worse. Was it better not to know who or what I maimed to have blood dried under my nails?  If the alternative was having to know I’d killed my only brother, it was better not to know, even for just a little while. Living in denial is perfectly acceptable if it’s only to keep you sane.

 

I told myself I’d killed an animal. Just an animal. My heart couldn’t accept anything more.

 

I was sitting in the center of a ring of trees that I knew wasn’t too far from my trailer. I’d never liked that spot before. I’d always heard tales of evil fairies that lived in those trees. Sounds downright stupid now, but coming up in Havana you don’t get much exposure to anything but what your mama and your friends tell you. Damned old superstitions. That’s what you get when you have too many old women in one room for too long.

 

I sat for a few minutes hoping memories would come back to me like they did before. Nothing happened. The last thing I remembered completely after I’d changed was watching Garret cry while he walked back to the house. After that it’s like someone turned off a light. There was nothing.

 

After a little while of sitting in the dirt and watching the sun come up through the trees a started thinking how I’d make it home naked as a jaybird. Garret should be at work, I thought. Unless he was so worried about me that he’d stayed home. Or I’d killed him. No, I shook my head wildly at the thought. No, I told myself, no it’s just not possible. He’s fine. He went home wondering where the hell I went off to and that’s all. I told myself this over and over again until I believed it.

 

“Lynnie?!” I damn near jumped out of my skin when I heard Hattie’s voice screaming in the woods. “Lynnie you out here?” She called out.

 

Where’s Garret? I asked myself. Maybe he went off to work, I thought. I hoped. I prayed. 

 

I sat very still. I didn’t even breathe. I knew there would be questions. Most of them I couldn’t answer without giving myself up to the law. Or starting a damn witch hunt.

 

“You see anything?” Garret asked her.

 

Damn, I thought. Garret had stayed home from work. Then I thanked God he was alive, twice before I started worrying about what I did do. Lord knows what happened to me after Garret left me in the woods. Maybe I done something worse than kill Rusty. What if I sliced up some babies and puppies while I was that damn green dog and they were looking for the thing that done it?

 

I hated myself then. I couldn’t imagine feeling any lower than I did sitting in the woods, naked, and wondering if I’d killed some babies.

 

“Damn it, Lynnie!” Garret yelled out in a voice I knew was about to cry.

 

I thought maybe I could tell him. He would help me. But then he would know what I done to Rusty. He’d never forgive me. I felt helpless and alone.

 

Lord, I need you, I thought. Please help me. I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna break my brother’s heart. Please help me. Please, Lord, please.

 

I was crying again. But I was silent, only tears. I pulled my knees to my chest and buried my face into my legs and waited for a miracle.

 

Courage built in me. It started at my toes, moved up through my legs, into my heart, and on up to my head. I jumped to my feet and started running without looking. I ran on legs that didn’t feel like mine. My feet hit the ground so fast they nearly didn’t make a sound when they flapped onto the dirt and leaves. My heart beat like a drum in my chest. I never looked back. I ran until I could see my old doublewide through the trees. I ran right over the paw tracks I’d made the night before and leapt through the broken window.

 

I collapsed on my bed the second my feet hit the mattress. I could hear Garret and Hattie talking far away in the woods behind the trailer. They didn’t see me. I had time. I left the comfort of my bed and grabbed some jeans and a T-shirt from my closet. I was pulling on my jeans while I ran out the front door. I’d gotten my keys from the table by the door before I let the screen door slam shut behind me.

 

I didn’t know where I was going but I knew I couldn’t stay there.

 

I high-tailed it out of my dirt drive and onto the main road. Praying the whole way Garret and Hattie didn’t see me running out of the woods. I was terrified. Just driving with nowhere to go. I figured I’d done a lot of talking to God the past few days, might as well pay him a visit.

 

I didn’t wanna show my face in a church in town, people talk too much in Havana. I decided to head back into Danville. I knew no one there would recognize my face.

 

I thought about my face and pulled the mirror over my way. I looked half dead. My chin was covered in blood; I don’t know whose. I figured it was probably the same blood as what was under my fingernails. My eyes were wide and darker than usual. More of a night sky than the ocean blue I was used to. My skin was white as a sheet and the dark circles under my eyes proved I hadn’t slept much in while.

 

I’d never been so scared and confused that I was all together frozen. I felt like I’d cried so much in only a few days, but I didn’t remember or care why. All that was important to me was trying not to get myself killed. Hell, trying not to get anyone else killed. I guessed I was feeling what I’d heard about people in shock. Instincts were taking over, like a dog so hungry it eats its young. Maybe. I’d never been a furry, green, animal before so I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be feeling. I didn’t even know what the hell I was. How was I supposed to know how to feel? I didn’t feel like me anyhow. I hardly even felt human walking around in my own body.

 

I never thought it’d happen again. I was scared when the woman cut sliced into me, bled me into the fire. I felt like I was dying when I changed into that animal. And I thought my soul was being ripped from my chest when I found Rusty dead. But I never thought I would have to do it a second time, or more. I didn’t know how it all came about in the first place. Magic I guess. Magic was the only reason I could come up with.

 

My head felt like it was going to spin off my shoulders with all the thoughts that was running around in there.

 

I knew it would happen again, I could feel it in my bones. I knew I needed to get to the bottom of things before it did. And I damn sure knew I needed to stay as far away from Garret and Hattie as I could until I knew more. I’d already killed Rusty, I might as well kill myself if I didn’t have Garret.

 

The Baptist church in Danville was a small white building with an old brown roof. The steeple stood up tall with a cross perched on the top. I parked my beat up truck on the street in front of the church. It didn’t seem to be open, but I knew it was. Church is always open. I don’t know if God is always in, but the building is always open to those folks who want to leave him a message.

 

I looked at my smudged-up face again. I was thankful no one had seen me in the state I was in. Blood covering my chin and all. I looked like a maniac, or a vampire or something. I spit on my hand and rubbed it over the red mess on my face. I knew I should’ve been sad, or scared, or locked up in a loony bin, but I wasn’t. I was only concerned with saving my soul, stopping myself from tearing up any more people, and not ever becoming that damned green dog again. I wasn’t too sure how many of those things I was gonna accomplish, but I sure as hell was gonna try. There was no time for crying and fussing about. If I even had it in me still, to feel, to be normal.

 

My face wasn’t Sunday supper clean, but clean enough so as to not get myself locked up for cannibalism or something. I hauled my butt out of the truck and up the steps to the church doors.

 

There weren’t even a dozen pews on either side of the isle. Metal folding chairs were leaned up against the wallpapered walls in hefty stacks. And tall stacks of Bibles leaned against the back of every pew.

 

I slid into the third pew back, sat, and prayed. I prayed so hard tears started rolling down my cheeks. But I wasn’t sad. I still didn’t feel sad or all that scared. In fact, I was a lot less scared sitting in that church crying to God than when I was sitting naked in the woods waiting for Garret to find me.

 

No one came in to check on me. I had the room and God to myself for a little bit. Even though I knew I was alone I didn’t risk saying these prayers out loud. Couldn’t right have anyone hear me ask God to forgive me for becoming a monster and killing some folks in the woods.

 

I nearly lay down on that pew and slept. I didn’t want to leave the house of God in the state I was in. I felt safe there. I felt like He wouldn’t let me hurt anyone else if he could stop it.

 

I knew I would change again. I felt it in my gut. I’d changed into that green monster twice; it was likely to happen again. I needed to be somewhere safe, away from anything on two legs. But first, I needed to find out what the hell I was.

 

My brain was running by itself, like a zombie. I knew I should be terrified. I should’ve been shaking in my boots, but I wasn’t. I was scared, I was worried I’d killed children, but there was a growing part of me that didn’t quite care. That worried me more than growing fur on the spot, waking up naked in the woods, hell even more than killing Rusty. I was starting to not care and it scared the panties off of me.

 

I pulled my butt outta the hard wooden pew and out to my truck. I only knew one person who could help me. Who wouldn’t judge me, wouldn’t wonder if I’d gone off my rocker. Wouldn’t burn me at the damn stake. Hopefully. I was off to see Mama Lee.

 

Our town medicine woman, what my nana calls her. Or, witch woman as most other folks call her. I never laid eyes on the lady, but in a small town you hear stuff. Most of it ain’t good, but I didn’t have much choice.

 

I drove like a bat outta hell back to Havana. I spent the whole drive trying to figure out how the hell to tell a woman I ain’t never met that I turned into a furry, people eating, dog-thing two nights in a row and I was worried it’d happen again.

 

I figured one of two things would happen, either she could help me or she couldn’t. Or, she could laugh me right outta her house.

 

There was always a possibility that I was something of the devil and she would cast me to hell on the spot. Well, crap.

 

 

 

 

Fire Burn & Caldron Bubbles

 

I parked my truck behind a thick of bushes next to Mama Lee’s house. The back porch was covered with heavy drapes and long strings of beads and charms hanging from the eave. Most folks come around here at night, when no one could see them. It was likely it was the same folks said so many nasty things about the old woman. I didn’t care about who saw me, I just wanted help. Besides, who was I to judge? I turned into some kinda furry beast and ate folks every night. Being seen going in to a so-called witch’s house was the least of my worries.

 

Hanging from the eave too was a nicely painted sign that said, “Caldron Bubbles” on it. 

 

I never knew the house’d been a real business worthy of a sign and all. Most everyone talks about it like you might get turned into a damned toad if you step foot on her lawn. To me the yard looked like any old ladies house you’d see in Havana. There were patches of person-tall sunflowers all along the end of the property and more around the porch. Waist high windmills and other lawn trinkets scattered the lawn. Other than the strange charms and beads hanging from the eave it looked like any other house. 

 

“Well, looks like I got me a customer.” A small older lady came strolling out from behind a tall patch of the sunflowers wearing old gardening gloves and a big floppy hat.

 

She’d scared me a bit, but I smiled at her the best I could.

 

“And a doozy looks like.” She said after she let out a whistle.

 

“What?” I ask, hoping she didn’t already know I was some kind of monster.

 

“Not yourself last few days, eh? Com’on in, let’s see what we can fix up for you.” The little woman walked up the few back steps and pushed her way through the beads and drapes.

 

It was dark inside the raised porch. The drapes were doing their job keeping out the bright afternoon sun. She had old bookshelves lining every wall, stacked and piled with candles and books and other trinkets and things. I could smell spice in the air, but it wasn’t no cooking. She was burning some kind of sticks and leaves in a small bowl. The bowl reminded me of the one the red-haired woman bled me into.

BOOK: The Lynnie Russell Trilogy
12.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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