The Strange Shape of Anne's Grief Part 33

by Shane MIgliavacca


The Strange Shape Of Anne's Grief Chapter 33 Anne and Sam (V)



“Thanks for everything Sam.” Anne said. Sitting at the kitchen table. Outside the snow was still falling. A couple hours after she’d woke up from her dream…nightmare of the living house. She could still couldn’t shake it. In the dream she’d been kneeling in that closet in their old house. The words I hate you on the wall. She written them. Or had she? It could be just the guilt she was feeling since learning of she’d caused her sister’s death. Anne couldn’t get the thought it wasn’t an accident out of her mind.

Sam set two plates full of bacon, eggs and toast on the table. “Don’t thank me till eat my cooking. Want some juice or coffee.”


Sam poured her a cup. “Sleep okay? You were up early.”

“That couch is actually pretty comfy. Just a lot on my mind lately.”

Sam sat. “That couch is insanely comfy. I was doing some thinking about your situation last night myself.”

Anne crunched a piece of bacon. “You were?” She felt a bit embarrassed putting her friend out of the way as she’d done so far.

“I know. She thinks, right? I do. I do. Really. Anyway, you can’t carry guilt around for something that happened so long ago. For all you know it was an accident. Besides you were a little girl then. And don’t let your mother use it against you.”

“I know Sam.”

“You don’t have to go it alone. I’m here for you kiddo. ”

“Sam, I…” Anne wasn’t sure how to respond. “Thank you.”

“Of course.”

The front door opened, a cute, tall brunette walked in. A few years older then Sam and Anne. Lucy, Sam’s roommate.

“Morning girls. What were you two up to last night? Did I miss something?” Lucy took off her trench-coat, revealing a short green dress underneath.  

“Morning. You’ve been spending so much time with Paul I started renting your room out.” Sam said.

“Oh, hey Anne right?” Lucy looked at her. “Recognize me without the white sheet?”

“I do.” Anne blushed. Feeling like she’d been caught doing something dirty.

Lucy took a deep breath. “That smells great. Any left?”

“You know me. I make way too much when I cook.”

“Great!” Lucy went into the kitchen. Her high heels clicking on the tiles. “You guys hear the firetrucks last night? Quite a ruckus.”

“Yeah, heard some when we were watching a movie.” Sam answered.

“You work at Save-Mart right?” Lucy dumped some scrambled eggs onto a plate.

It took Anne a second to realize Lucy was talking to her. “Yes, I do. Why?”

“That’s where the big fire is. Burned all the way down.”

“Wha-a? Really?” It didn’t sound real. Along with everything else her job now was gone.

“Was a righteous fire. We could see it from Paul’s place. Was hard to make out with all the noise. Guess you won’t have to worry about having to go to work for awhile.”

“Are you bullshiting?” Sam asked.

“Nope. No bullshiting sister.”

“Fuck.” Sam looked over at Anne. “Hey kiddo. Don’t worry. I’m here for you okay?”

Sam reached across the table. Putting a reassuring hand on Anne’s.

“Hold hands you love birds.” Lucy laughed.

Sam shot her a look out of the corner across the room.

“Thanks. Really, I’m fine.” Anne lied. “I’m not worried. There’s other jobs right? My boss was a prick anyway.”



They sat in Nolly’s Diner having more coffee. Neither of them had anywhere to be today. Except that Anne hoped to make it to the house. Now more then ever she needed to set things right with her mother.

“Let’s say I believe you.” Sam said. “That your sister did this. That she’s back for revenge. How? Why now?”

Anne’s eyes scanned the busy diner. Most of them were talking about the fire. Emily could be here somewhere. Then her gaze went back to Sam.

“How long does it take to dig your way out of hell? I just know what I’ve seen. Know what I feel.”

Sam leaned back, taking a deep breath. “How do you even tell the cops any of this? ‘I think my dead sister is on a murder/arson spree to fuck with me.’ They might not believe you.”

“I’m not going to tell them anything.”

Telling Sam her fears was easier then she’d thought. Once she’d worked up the courage to say it, the words came spilling out. Anne left liberated. Letting it all out. Even if Sam thought she was nuts and turned tail and ran, at least she’d know where she stood with her best friend. She knew Sam wouldn’t though. After the last few days she felt a strong bound there. Here was her true sister.

“If your not going to tell the cops, then what are you going to do?”

“I have a pretty good feeling she’s going to find me, first I have to talk to mom. What if she goes after her?”

“You can’t do all of this alone Anne. If your at all right about this, we’re talking about some kind of undead psychopath.”

“I can’t risk you and I can’t risk telling the cops. Not yet anyway. They might think it was me.”

Sam took a gulp of coffee. “What can I do?”

“Go back to the apartment. I’ll go see mom. Then I’ll call you in a couple hours, let you know what’s happening. We’ll go from there.”

“Be careful.”

“Don’t worry. I’m thinking she’ll be hiding out after the fire for a few days.”

Anne hoped that was true anyway. The wind picked up outside. The snow ticking against the windows. She’d better get to the house soon. The forecast for today was bad. She feared getting stuck out on the road somewhere. Unable to get to her mother. Her mother alone in that house with a killer gunning for Anne. Would she go after mom to hurt her. 

Anne dropped Sam off back at the apartment. Sam again telling her to be careful. She watched as her friend went into the building. Unable to drop the feeling that Emily was somewhere near, stalking them. 

If she went to the cops, would they believe any of it. If she held back anything they’d be able to tell. Anne wasn’t a very good liar. Would they protect her mom or Sam? Could they catch Emily? Deal with her?

She doubted they could.

And what about Miss Beal? The old woman sounded like she didn’t expect to make it. How could she possibly succeed if Miss Beal didn’t? Aside from being her sister, Anne had no apparent advantage against Emily. Except maybe for her hatred of Anne. Maybe that rage could blind her.

Before heading home, she had one last place to go.


Sam watched Anne from her window. She’d sat out there for a few minutes before driving away. Sam couldn’t quite wrap her head around all Anne had hit her with. Her sister back from the dead. Some sort of ghost/zombie thing. If anyone else had spewed that nonsense Sam would have sent them to the funny farm posthaste. This was her best friend who’d said it. They’d been best friends since kids. Hell closer, they were sisters. Anne truly believed everything she’d told Sam, tempered with the right amount of self-doubt.

Turning off the overhead fan, she sat on the bed. Lucy had gone to bed. The apartment was quiet. Letting her mind wander. Without the sound to focus her thoughts she hoped for some insight. Her mom and Noni claimed she had the same gifts they did. Sam would much rather go see them, get their guidance. She couldn’t take a chance Anne would call while she was out. Closing her eyes and relaxing. She had no idea what meditation was. Never tried it. This was the closest thing she could think of what it must be like.

Clearing her mind of everything trivial. Reaching out into the darkness with but one thought: Anne. Minutes ticked by with no result. Not that she expected anything to happen. For the longest time she’d neglected her “gift.” It wasn’t about to respond because she asked it to now. Sam touched something. Hot and filled with rage. Angry screams filled her mind. They were as deafening as a gunshot. The screams gave way to hysterical laughing till finally being replaced with sobs of pain and guilt.

Sam fought to block the onslaught of emotions. Her head was going to explode from the chorus of insanity. The presence sensed her. Trying to pull her into it’s grasp. Sam needed to escape. To get back to the waking world. She imagined the overhead fan. The blades slicing the air.


Concentrate. Let the noise draw her out of the darkness. The presence sought to drag her into it’s hurricane of emotions.


Sam pictured herself crawling out of a large black hole in the ground. Her fingers digging into the earth. Inch by blessed inch pulling away from it.


She needed noise. Humming a tune in her head. Forming a wall with the sound. Surrounding her thoughts with the music. Pushing back the deluge of madness. She was able to hold it off enough to snap free. Her eyes momentarily blinded by the light of day. Breathing heavy, Sam turned the fan on. Listening to it’s mechanical hum. She felt lightheaded, dizzy. 

She’d touched it. An evil intensity. Worse yet, it had touched her. Sam felt it’s lingering presence on her. Like dirt that refused to wash off. She’d never felt something so dark. So malevolent. There was only one thing it could be. The demonic spirit Anne had talked about. Emily. Sam had wanted guidance, a sign to know if her friend was right. She had it now. In the process it had sensed her. Did it know of her now? Would it come for her?

Sam looked at the phone on the nightstand. Come on Anne, call.



She woke in the warm darkness. She’d felt the girl’s touch. Samantha. Tried to swallow the nosey bitch up. Somehow she’d gotten away. The bitch’s time would come soon enough. The strain of their struggle had made her hungry. Damn. Now she’d have to go out looking for a meal. She’d hoped to not have to feed for awhile.

“Hello?” A voice called out from somewhere above. “Anybody here? Hello?”

She didn’t recognize the voice. Good. Strangers were better.


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