The Strange Shape of Anne's Grief Part 40
by Shane Migliavacca
The Strange Shape Of Anne's Grief chapter 40 Zwilling Lake (II)
There was a flurry of motion. Sam felt arms pull her up the stairs as Emily came at her with a hatchet. The blade sliced a gash in wound in her right thigh as she was pulled out of the basement. Sam screamed out in pain. Kicking Emily in the face with her other leg. Sending her attacker tumbling back down the basement stairs.
As Sam and her rescuer collapsed on the floor, she saw Emily race up the stairs. Anne slammed the basement door shut, locking it.
“Thanks.” Sam said.
“Couldn’t let my best friend down.” Anne smiled.
The basement door buckled as Emily rammed into it. Screaming curses at them from the other side.
Sam stood, pain traveling up and down her leg. Blood running down her jeans.
“Jesus. We need to get you to the hospital.” Anne said.
Emily continued screaming at them. Her rage making her sound like a rabid dog. Smoke rolling up from under the door.
“We can’t leave her in there.” Sam said. “She said you’ll die if she dies.”
Another hit and the middle of the door started to splinter it. The blade of the hatchet sticking through,
“I don’t think she’s staying in there.” Anne said. “Let’s get out of here.”
Sam limps towards the dinning room.
“Where are you going?”
She had to make sure. She couldn’t just leave him, not knowing. Anne started after her. The sound of Emily and the fire a symphony of destruction behind them. Anne letting Sam lean on her.
“I have to know if the sheriff is…” Her voice trailed off.
Anne checked the sheriff. He wasn’t breathing. Before they left, Anne took one last look at her mom. The first floor was quickly filling with smoke as the hurried out into the winter evening. The sun was going down, dusk spreading across the snow covered landscape.
Anne took a rag from her glove compartment. Wrapping it around some frozen snow, she gave it to Sam to hold against the wound on her leg.
“That should slow the bleeding.” Anne said. Digging out her keys.
The truck rumbled to life, sending a slight feeling of hope through her, Sam kept her eyes on the front of the house as Anne backed the truck up. More and more smoke was coming out of the open front door. Any second she fully expected a crazed Emily to emerge trough the gray smoke. Hatchet held high. Screaming at them as she charged. Even as they turned and headed down the driveway, Sam looked in the rear view mirror and Emily was nowhere to be seen. The house fading in the distance as they headed for Frostwood.
Was she dead? Had she lied about her link to Anne? Sam looked at Anne, she looked okay. Despite all that had just happened. She was intent on the dangerous road. Sam was starting to feel safe when bright light flooded the rear of the truck.
Sam turned in the seat, her eyes strained to make out where the light was coming from.
“What the fuck is that?” Anne asked.
Through the falling snow Sam could make it out as Anne swerved out of the blinding light. It was the sheriff’s cruiser. But he was dead.
“Shit. Can Emily drive?” Sam turned back around.
“She can do anything I can.”
“Well, I think it’s your crazy demon sister then.”
The cruiser sped up. Quickly coming up alongside the truck.
“Better buckle up Sam.” Anne said. Securing her seat belt with one hand as she drove.
The cruiser’s engine revved, horn honking as it pulled up parallel to them. Emily waved to them. A wicked smile on her face.
Anne tried speeding up to escape, the truck started to slide in response. Sam gripped the strap of the seat belt tight. Feeling the fabric dig into her hand. Anne managed to right the truck, just in time for Emily to pull up alongside again. She screamed unintelligible words at them as she rammed them with the cruiser’s side.
This was too much on the frozen, snowy road. The truck started to slide again. This time Anne couldn’t save it. They barreled towards the side of the road. Plowing through a snowbank and over the frozen ground. Before spinning around in a circle on the frozen snow and coming to rest against a large dead tree. Shattering the glass of the driver’s side door. Bathing them both in a shower of glass and snow. Sam’s felt the air get knocked out of her. The world went black for seconds, perhaps minutes. When Sam awoke Anne was slumped over the steering wheel. Her door crumpled in. Crushed by the tree. Inches from taking Anne with it. Glass covered the both of them.
“Anne!” Sam shook her. Getting a pained moan in response. Thank god she was alive at least. She undid her seat belt. In those long seconds, they’d traveled several feet from the road, over and through the snow and ice covered field. She could see the lake not too far away. Still covered by a sheet of ice. Sam looked to where they’d come from. The cruiser sat there at the side of the road. Headlights blazing. Door open.
Fuck. She’d hoped that crazy bitch had killed herself trying to get them. No such luck. She needed to get Anne out of the truck. Get them away from Emily. Easier said then done. The bitch was as persistent as a tooth ache.
Her leg throbbed as she got out of the truck. Her leg was covered in dried, frozen blood. She didn’t think it was bleeding anymore at least.
Walking towards her from the rear of the truck, Emily dragged the blade of the hatchet over the side of the truck. Looking the worst for escaping the burning house. Her hair and clothes looked a little singed. All the while she whistled a happy little tune.
“Anne wake up!” Sam hollered.
“Don’t worry Sammy. I don’t want her. I just want you.”
There was nothing here to even attempt to fight Emily with. The hatchet gave her a great advantage over Sam. Mustering all she could the bruised and cut young woman ran. Her body ached with pain. The cut on her leg throbbed. Emily stalked after her. Taking her time, like a cat playing with a fly. Whistling as she followed.
“Sam. Sammy. Samantha.” Emily started to chant. “Which do you prefer?”
Her injured leg hindering Sam. Forcing her to limp along. Still Emily kept pace. Clearly reveling in her game.
“She knows by the way. About you. How you feel about her. What dirty, dirty thoughts you must have.” Emily laughed.
Shame and anger hit Sam. She almost stopped and turned on her pursuer. That was just what the bitch wanted. Through the tumbling snow Sam could see they were getting close to the lake. If she could lure Emily onto the ice, maybe she’d fall through. It was a shot anyway.
Anne’s ears were ringing as she lifted her head from the steering wheel. Small pieces of glass tumbled off her. She felt hot blood trickle down her forehead. Her reflection stared back at her in the shattered windshield. The spiderweb crack had overtaken the whole thing. Not that it mattered. The truck was fucked now.
Cold wind slammed the passenger’s side door shut. Anne looked over. The seat next to her was empty.
Anne strained her eyes, looking around the surrounding area. Through the wind whipped snow there was two figures moving across the snow covered field towards frozen Zwilling Lake. There was only two people they could be.
Anne tried taking her seat belt off, only to find it stuck. Struggling with it she got frustrated. Sam was out there, she needed to get to her. The pieces of glass around her were way too small. Looking at the windshield, Anne took a deep breath. Pulling her jacket sleeve over her fist, punching the windshield. Closing her eyes as the glass finally gave up the ghost. There on the dash was a nice long shard. Perfect.
The glass sliced into her hand as easily was it cut through the seat belt. Blood running over her hand. Cuts could heal, if Sam died…
Free of the belt, Anne slid over the seat and out into the howling wind. She took a crowbar from the toolbox behind the seats. Her bleeding hand left a trail of blood on the snow as she followed Sam and Emily’s path.
Sam’s lungs burned as she tried to breath in deep breaths of air. The cold wind punishing her every breath. Emily toyed with her still. Now throwing the occasional snowball at her. The lake was a few feet away. If Emily realized what she was up to she didn’t show it.
“Come on you cow.” Emily taunted. “Your starting to bore me. Just let me kill you already.”
Sam made it to the edge of the lake, stumbling down a short embankment. Her instinct told her to stop. She could fall through herself. She went forward. She’d rather chance a icy death them let Emily get her.
She counted her steps on to the ice. Listening to the snow crunch underfoot. The ice staining with each footfall. Until she felt she was far enough out. Far enough so that bitch couldn’t escape.
“Come on!” Sam said. Turning to face her foe. “I’ve had enough!”
Black, lifeless trees loomed on either side of her. Standing forlorn and bare in the winter cold. Silent onlookers to this strange final act. Anne could hear voices ahead. Her legs hurt from running through the snow. She pushed herself. She’d let life take the ones she’d loved. Her father. Luke. Her mom. She’d be damned if she let it have Sam now too. No more.
Anne could see them now. They’d reached the lake. Sam was so frightened she’d run out onto the ice. She watched as her friend stopped. Screaming something Anne couldn’t make out over the wind. Sam turned as Emily closed in on her.
What was she doing? Had she given up?
Anne forced herself forward.
Emily stepped onto the ice. Grinning like a hyena. Her fingers stroking the blade of the hatchet. Sam backed up. Maybe a little further out the ice would be easier to break. She stomped her left foot. Trying not to be obvious about it. The ice groaned in protest.
“I’ll make it quick.” Emily said. She sounded like someone about to pull a sliver out. “I like you. I don’t want you to suffer.”
Sam saw her. Through the billowing snow. Crowbar held high like some kind of modern day Valkyrie. Anne came charging down the embankment. Sam’s eyes betrayed her. Emily turned to see what had caught her attention. Just in time to see Anne run out onto the ice.
“You?” Emily said. Surprise and annoyance in her voice.
Sam grabbed at Emily, slipping on the snow and missing her. Coming down on her knees. Anne didn’t, ramming into Emily full force with her shoulder. Sending them both over Sam’s head and landing on the ice with a dull thud.
The force of their collision with the ice was the last straw. It cracked with a loud pop. Sam tried to stand. The ice cracking all around them. A large fissure separating her from Anne and Emily. Both of them struggling to get the upper-hand. Wrestling for control of the crowbar. The hatchet swallowed up by the snow or ice.
“Anne!” Sam screamed.
Another loud pop as the ice cracked again.
“Run! Sam! Run!” Anne manged to holler as she tried to push Emily away.
Sam froze. She couldn’t leave her. The gap between her and Anne was expanding in the ice. But maybe she could jump it. Help fend off Emily, then all they’d have to do is make for the shore. As she was about to risk jumping over, Anne managed to knock Emily away. Walloping her with a fist to the face. Anne stood turning to Sam.
“Come on!” Sam screamed over the wind. “I’ll grab you!”
Emily fell to the ice. That punch had nailed her good. She wondered if her fist hurt as much as Emily’s face. The ice they were fighting on was quickly falling apart. Then she heard Sam. Standing there waving her arms back and forth. Anne smiled. Dumb ass. She should have run for it.
Anne looked at the gap between them. There was every chance she could make it. They could make it. Make it to the shore. Yes. They could.
The ice gave a loud mournful groan as Anne got ready to jump.
Anne stopped. The voice was so sad. So lost.
“I don’t want to die. Not alone.”
Anne turned. Emily knelt there. Looking like a little girl who’d lost her favorite puppy. She turned and waved at Sam. Smiling. Then back to Emily.
“Not alone.” She said. Hugging her sister.
Sam watched them. Screaming till her voice gave up. Watched as Anne waved to her. A blissful expression on her face. Watched as she knelt. Taking Emily in her arms. They embraced, seconds before the ice finally gave way. The lake swallowing them up. She fell to her knees crying her friend’s name out even though her voice refused to work. Watching for some sign. A sign that Anne was still alive. Tears freezing to her cheeks.
Finally when her voice worked again, she said. “Anne I love you.”
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