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(HSSC) Masquerade

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posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 01:01 AM
by Alexandra I. Spears

"...Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves...."

After the opening hymn one Sunday early in autumn, Cedric and Adora Hawkins sat down. Their four children, ages three to ten, were now in Sunday School in the basement of the church building. The couple sat patiently and listened to the announcements.

"Now I'd like to introduce a newcomer to our church, Miss Celina Abernathy," Pastor Worthington said. "If you'd please stand up, Miss Abernathy...."

Cedric and Adora turned their heads and saw a pretty young woman with long, dark curly hair and bright blue eyes.

"Miss Abernathy just moved here from New Hampshire last month," Pastor Worthington continued as the young woman sat down. "I hope you'll find a home here with us, Miss Abernathy. Now, on to the prayer requests...."


After church was over that afternoon, Adora was introducing herself and her family to Celina. "I'm Adora Hawkins, this is my husband Cedric, and our children Randolph, Jeremy, Margaret, and Melissa."

Celina shook hands with Cedric and Adora. "Such lovely children," she said.

"Would you like to have dinner with us?" Adora asked. "We could tell you more about this area, let you know what to do, what to see, where to go...."

"I'd be pleased to," said Celina. She paused. "Don't you live on Chequessett Court?"

"Yes, seven-eighty-two," Cedric confirmed.

"I'm right next door to you! I'm at seven-ninety-four," said Celina. "So all I have to do is walk over later on tonight. I'll see you then!"


He watched from the third-story window. There was that couple again--that beautiful, perfect blue-eyed blonde, and her red-haired, bearded husband. And their four children.

He'd moved here last month and he had been watching that family. Mostly he had his eye on the blonde woman. He and his friends tended to favor blondes for their activities.

Turning away from the window, his eyes fell on a pretty young brunette who had been his autumn equinox sacrifice. Her body had already been drained of blood. Later on he'd be setting sail in the Atlantic and dumping her out there, where no one would ever find her.

He looked at his rack of torture instruments. That blonde had such a sweet voice, from what he'd been able to hear.

He wondered how she'd sound as she screamed in pain.

posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 07:37 PM
"Adora, this dinner is so good!" Celina exclaimed as they sat down that evening to dinner.

"I'll say," said Cedric as he helped himself to more mixed vegetables. "Though I'm more interested in what Adora has for dessert." He winked at her when Celina and the children weren't looking, and Adora smiled and blushed prettily.

"Mom makes the absolute best chocolate cake," Randolph (who liked to be called Randy) declared. He was the ten-year-old, and he was like a miniature version of his father with his red hair and green eyes.

"Where do you go to school?" Celina asked politely.

"Mom homeschools us," said Jeremy, the eight-year-old. "Except Melissa. She's only three."

Melissa, the blue-eyed blonde who looked so much like her mother, sat there drinking her milk out of her sippy cup and looking around in between bites of food.

"Perhaps you I can visit you tomorrow, Adora?" Celina suggested. "While Cedric is at work?"

Adora smiled. "I'd be happy to," she said. "The children will be at their Uncle Adam's tomorrow after their homeschool session."


The next afternoon, Adora got the four children into her minivan. The two girls sat on the two-person bench in the middle row, Melissa strapped securely into her booster seat. The two boys sat in the back.

"I'll be visiting with Celina while you play with your cousins," said Adora. "I should be there at four to pick you up."

The van pulled into the driveway of the house where Adora's twin brother Adam lived with his wife Tina and their three children. Eight-year-old Simon, the oldest, ran out of the backyard and down the driveway when he saw his aunt's van pulling up. Following him were his two younger sisters, six-year-old Katherine (known as Katie) and four-year-old Marilee.

Simon threw open the passenger-side sliding door before his cousin Margaret could get a grip on the inside handle. The six-year-old was startled. "Simon!" she protested.

Margaret's brothers tumbled past the middle bench and out the door while she unfastened the seat belt and helped her baby sister out of the booster seat. "Now you four behave yourselves," said Adora.

"Bye Mom!" the four shouted as Jeremy shut the door.

"You in a hurry to get rid of your mother?" asked a man with blue eyes and blond hair as he went up to the driver's side window.

"Hello, Adam," said Adora as she leaned out of the window and gave her brother a hug.

"Tina's taking a nap--or rather, she's trying to," Adam said wryly as he returned the hug. "So you're going to visit that new girl from church today?"

Adora nodded. "She's right next door. And I should be back here at four to pick up my children."

"Well, guess I better let you go, Adora, so you won't be late. I'll keep an eye on the kids."

The twins said good-bye to each other; then Adora drove home.


About fifteen minutes later, Adora was walking up the path to the house where Celina lived. Adora couldn't help but think that it was an awfully big house for a young woman to live alone in. She gave a mental shrug as she rang the doorbell.

The door opened--and Adora saw no one standing in the doorway. "Celina?" Adora called tentatively.

"Over here," said Celina's voice from off to the right.

Furrowing her brow, Adora headed in that direction. Suddenly, she felt a heavy hand clamp over her mouth. She could not scream, only make sounds in her throat, as she felt a needle being jabbed hard into her right hip.

As she slid into unconsciousness, Adora wondered just what was going on.

[edit on 10/8/2005 by Amethyst]

posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 09:26 AM
Adam Freemont sat on the deck in back of his house and watched his children, nieces, and nephews as they played together. The three boys were playing their usual rough-and-tumble games, and the four girls had convened in the Little Tikes play house and appeared to be having a tea party.

He was glad that he was on vacation this week. He'd get to spend more time with his children.

He turned his head when he felt soft hands on his shoulders. A red-haired woman with clear blue eyes was standing there. "Have a good nap, Tina?" he asked his wife.

"Yes, I did," she replied. "Having you on vacation is like a vacation for me. Adora should be here any time now."

Adam checked his watch--it was now four o'clock. He frowned. His twin sister was usually very punctual. Then again, she'd said around four.

"What time does Cedric get off work? Five?" Tina asked.

"Yeah...," said Adam. He was feeling uneasy. "If Adora is not here by five, I'm going to drive them home in our van--you can stay here with our children in case she shows up."


At five o'clock Adam drove his sister's children home. "Just go do whatever it is you do," he told them. "I have no idea where your mother went."

"She went to Celina's," said Randy. "Maybe she was having a good time and forgot. She's right next door."

"All right then," said Adam. "I'll see about calling over there. Did she leave a phone number?"

Randy went and checked his parents' address book. "Yeah--right here. It's 555-6660," he said.

Adam raised an eyebrow at that, then silently chided himself. The telephone company issued phone numbers at random. He picked up the phone and dialed the number.

"Hello--Celina Abernathy? Yes, this is Adora's brother hour ago...? Where do you think she could have gone...? Okay...bye."

Adam hung up the phone, looking confused. "Celina says your mother left an hour ago to pick you guys up."

"It doesn't take an hour to get to your house, Uncle Adam," said Jeremy.

"Yeah, like a few minutes," Randy agreed.

"It won't do to call the have to wait twenty-four hours," Adam sighed as he sank down into an armchair. "Well, let's wait for your father to get home, and we'll figure out what to do."


When Adora came to, she was lying on a cold, hard table. She was shivering--and she realized that she had nothing on.

Her hands were above her head, her wrists shackled to the table. She could feel another set of shackles holding her ankles.

It was all coming back to her. Going to Celina's--someone grabbing her and apparently drugging her. Was she at Celina's house? Was Celina in on it? Adora had heard about false brethren at church.

She was in a windowless room, so there was no way she could signal for help.

The heavy door at her feet opened, and in stepped Celina and a man Adora didn't know. The man had brown hair and green eyes. "Adora, may I introduce you to Damien," said Celina, as if Adora were standing there instead of lying naked on a table.

"Celina, what's going on here?" Adora protested, desperately wishing that she had at least a blanket to cover up with. All her life she had been taught modesty. Being naked like this, especially in the presence of a man she was not married to, was mortifying to her.

"Think we should let her in on it, Damien dear?" Celina asked.

"Yeah, why not?" the man grinned as he stared at Adora.

Celina walked up so she was at Adora's right side. "Our master demands the sacrifice of Christians," she said, a smirk on her pretty face. Her deep blue eyes seemed to have taken on a deranged look. "We are all over the place, all over the country, all over the world. But--you do have an option, Adora. You can join us, or you can suffer and die. Our next sacrifice is scheduled for Halloween, so that gives you--oh, just over a month to decide what you want to do. Trust me, it's better to just join us."

"Never!" Adora hissed. "I'd rather die."

"No problem, sweetie," Damien leered.

"And perhaps you should know--you're in a room below our basement. Even if the police searched this house they would never find you. And this room is soundproof." She looked up at Damien. "I hope you cleaned up upstairs."

"Of course I did," Damien snapped.

"Now you know what we can be for Halloween," Celina laughed as she left the room. "Real church-goers."

Adora noticed that Damien was still there. He was unbuttoning his shirt. "I'm married," she reminded him, realizing that telling him was an exercise in futility.

"So what?" he demanded. "You really think we care about your morals? Miss High-and-Mighty!"

Adora closed her eyes and braced herself for the worst. If she were not shackled to the table, she would have fought him tooth and nail. All she could do was pray silently and hope that someone found her--and soon.

[edit on 10/10/2005 by Amethyst]

posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 07:31 PM
Hi Amythest,

This is a nice story. I like how you broke the story up into different chapters to establish the passage of time. This story will have a more effective fear element for people who are deeply religious Christians. For those who are not or who have different beliefs, it probably will not evoke a sense of fear in them.

Your story read quite well. I did however, find two instances that seemed odd to me. The first one was when Celina had to mention that she lived next door to the Hawkins family. I thought it was odd that after a months time, they did not know that Celina was their new neighbor. The second thing that was odd to me was when Adam dropped his nieces and nephews off he said "Just go do whatever it is you do." It seemed as if he had a callous attitude and didnt really care about what happened to them. It also seemed as if he wasnt worried at all that his usually punctual sister was not at home. However, those were the only times I felt the story was a bit off.

The idea of a killer (or killers) living next door to you is indeed a scary one! I can understand why in todays world, people are less apt to get to know their neighbor. Once again, nice story.

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 10:53 PM
Celina snuck in...I'll cover that in a bit.

As far as Adam and his nieces and nephews...I tend to do the same thing when I'm concerned about something and need to think--I'll send my son off to play in his room while I try to ponder it. Having one child--or four--underfoot can just be aggravating when your adrenaline is going.

I'm trying to make it scary, but I don't want to do gory detail--I'm trying to balance it out.
I never liked slasher movies. If anything, it's more like a psychological thriller.

I'll take what you say into account. I have yet to work on the next chapter--I've just been a bit busy lately.

Thanks for the input!

posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 12:25 AM
Hi Amethyst,

I didnt know that the story had more parts to it! I cant wait to read the rest. I am trying to find time to write my own story, so I know what you mean about being busy.

I also understand why you would not want to do gory detail, as our society is pretty much acclimated to such scenes. (Plus, I personally dont find gory scary, I find it to be itself--- gory.

Good luck to you in the contest, and I do hope you have the time to finish your story.

posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 12:25 PM
Right now I have a bit of housework to do, but hopefully I'll have the next part up later on tonight. See, my son, who's almost 4, goes into the bathroom--which is fine. But you have to make sure he's using his potty and not trying to climb up on the toilet to grab things.

He gets into everything!

You'll know when the story ends, 'cause I'll have END at the bottom.

posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 01:22 PM
The four Hawkins children sat nervously on the stairs, watching as the local police questioned their father and uncle. "I don't like this at all," Randy whispered.

Cedric had come home, Adam had told him what was going on, and Cedric had called to the Abernathy house himself. He'd gotten the same answer--Adora had left to pick up her children and she hadn't been seen or heard from since.

"Kids, Officer Putnam would like to talk to you," said Adam.

The four children got up and came down the stairs. They huddled together on the couch.

"I'm just going to ask you some questions, and all you have to do is answer truthfully," the officer said pleasantly.


Adora was huddled in the corner, wearing a simple white gown, a chain around her neck. Fortunately there were a commode and sink in that corner, and she'd thrown up in the toilet not too long ago. Damien had simply laughed as he watched her. "You know, most girls would have jumped at a chance to be on that table," he'd snickered.

She was alone now. The room was pitch black, as the lights were off. There was total silence except for the sounds of her sobs and her whispered prayers.

She must be missed by now. Adam would surely find it odd that she hadn't showed up to pick up the children at four. Cedric was very protective of her, and no doubt he'd call the police once he found out what was going on.

There was no clock in the room, not that Adora could have seen it anyway. She had no idea how much time had elapsed, especially since she'd been subjected to that knock-out drug.

Adora was physically and emotionally exhausted, and she somehow managed to drift off to sleep, propped in the corner.


Adora was rudely awakened to a slap across her face. "Wake up!" a feminine voice snapped.

Adora's eyes fluttered open. Celina was standing over her, wearing low-rise jeans and a black tank top. "Celina, why?" Adora asked softly.

"Are you really that naive, Adora?" the black-haired girl asked. "You fell for it hook, line, and sinker." Celina set a bowl down next to Adora. In it appeared to be soup, with not very much in the way of meat and vegetables. A spoon was in it.

"Who exactly is Damien?" Adora asked, hoping that by engaging the other girl in conversation it would make Celina reluctant to hurt her.

"My boyfriend," Celina replied. "He's been here for about a year...he and his pals fixed up this place really nice. I came here last month."

"I didn't see any moving van," Adora said as she started on the soup. It was a bit bland and tasteless, but it was better than nothing.

"I came here with the clothes on my back and did some shopping," Celina replied. "And it's hard to notice any cars in our driveway when we park in the back. The New Hampshire thing wasn't a lie."

"But why sneak in?" Adora asked.

"So you wouldn't play Welcome the New Neighbor and get nosy. We already knew about you guys," said Celina. "So, Adora...why don't you join us? You'd get to live."

"I think I already told you I'd rather die than join you," Adora reminded her.

"You know, despite what you think, I rather like you," said Celina. "I really don't want to have to kill you."

"I don't hate you, despite what you may think," Adora replied. "Why are you mixed up with him? You seem to be a nice girl--what hold does he have over you?"

Celina abruptly got to her feet, and her deep blue eyes flashed, reminding Adora of a rumbling storm. "No one tells me what to do--especially not some man!" she thundered. "I'm here of my own free will. I like having power! You Christians are just completely crazy, do you know that? Crazy!"

"It's not worth the end result," Adora said softly, knowing that shouting back would only egg things on.

"You believe what you want," said Celina. "I don't believe in hell."

Celina stood there for several moments, glaring at Adora. Then she spun around and flounced out the door just as Damien was coming in.

Adora dropped the spoon when she saw that Damien was holding a whip.

[edit on 10/16/2005 by Amethyst]

posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 10:55 AM
Sunday came, and Cedric took his four children to church. There was no excuse not to go; if anything, church would help.

Tina had been helping out by homeschooling them along with her own children. Cedric had taken the week off work. The past week had been an absolute nightmare. Celina had told them that Adora had walked over to her house, and had left--and that was the last anyone had seen of Adora.

Cedric had been puzzling over this for the past week. What in the world could have happened Adora between the two houses? The houses weren't all that close together; there was just enough space for another good-sized house between the two, but even so....

After church services that morning, Pastor Worthington called Cedric and his children into his office.

"I want you to know, Cedric, that we're helping in any way we can," the pastor said. "You know that Richard Alden runs a print shop--he said he'll print fliers for free, just supply a recent picture of Adora."

Cedric nodded.

"Meanwhile, get some rest," Pastor Worthington advised. "I must admit I'm surprised to see you all here."

"Dad says we need to be here," Randy piped up.

Pastor Worthington nodded. "He's right."

After the meeting, Cedric lifted little Melissa into his arms and carried her, as she was getting tired. He had just come into the church foyer when he saw Celina.

"I feel just terrible, Mr. Hawkins," she said, a few tears in her brilliant blue eyes. "I assumed Adora made it home okay. It's like she just--disappeared into thin air."

"Well, we'll find her. Hopefully alive," Cedric said quietly. "If you'll excuse me...I need to get my children home, feed them their lunch, and have the girls take their naps."

Celina watched them go.


Adora wasn't sure how much time had passed--it must have been at least a month. Sometimes she lay on the cold table, and Damien did what he felt like doing with her. She couldn't believe that anyone could be that cruel and callous. The more she screamed in pain the more he appeared to like it.

Adora slept on the bare floor, whenever she could sleep. The room was a little chilly and oftentimes all she had to wear was a gown or a robe. Damien had apparently thought that it was cute to leave a stereo across the room--one that played a CD that had Halloween sound effects. In the pitch black, and given the circumstances she was in, Adora found it less than amusing. Silent prayer was the only thing, it seemed, that helped keep her from going insane with fear.

Damien seemed to be a very hardened man. Celina, on the other hand, appeared to be someone Adora could work on. Whenever she saw Damien she could literally feel the evil emanating from him, and it disturbed her soul.

Right now Adora lay on her stomach. She couldn't lie on her back. Damien had whipped her yet again, and she'd shuddered as she'd felt him actually licking her back--apparently drinking her blood.

She had been fed very little. She could get something to drink from the sink; she had to feel her way for it most of the time since it was pitch black in here. That would help sustain her.

The door opened and the light came on. Adora looked up, saw Celina standing there.

"Tomorrow's Halloween, Adora," Celina said softly. "Tomorrow night, all your suffering will end, I promise."

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 02:49 PM
Cedric sat in his armchair, his head in his hands. It was now Halloween, and he kept having a feeling that by tomorrow it would definitely be too late for Adora. He wasn't sure how he knew, but he was certain that Adora was alive and waiting for him.

The children had been upset by their mother's absence, of course. Somehow they managed to get through their daily routine. Little Melissa clung to her father's legs constantly, as if afraid he'd leave her just like her mother had.

Adam and Tina were there with their three children. "Dad, are we going to find Aunt Adora?" Katie was asking Adam.

Adam sighed. "I don't know, sweetie. She's been gone just over a month."

"Don't think we've given up," said Tina. "We'll keep looking for her."

Cedric stood up and went to the refrigerator to get something to drink. He sighed. Flyers were up all over town. Volunteers had searched the neighborhood and nearby fields and abandoned houses and warehouses. The Coast Guard had been searching as well, in Cape Cod and in the Atlantic Ocean. So far no sign of Adora had turned up. Cedric had suggested that maybe a cult had kidnapped Adora--but he had no idea who, and the police had more or less scoffed at the idea that anyone would kidnap Christians. "They primarily want children or virgins," one policeman had told Cedric.

He said a silent prayer. "Please let Adora know we're looking for her," he whispered under his breath.


Adora felt exhausted. She was lying on the cold, hard table again, but this time there was a blanket beneath her body, and her head rested on a pillow. A blanket covered her up to her upper chest, concealing the bruises on her body.

Damien was bent over her, kissing her. Adora tried to resist. No matter what he had done to her, Adora was still loyal to her husband.

Celina was standing in the doorway. Adora noticed her; Damien didn't.

"You know, Adora, if you would only join us, I'd want you to be my bride," Damien said.

"I'm already married," Adora reminded him, her voice weak.

"Your husband thinks you're dead. You could change your name and no one would know the difference," said Damien.

Adora did not bother to acknowledge Celina's presence. "What about Celina?" she asked.

"Just another stooge I managed to seduce," Damien laughed. "She doesn't really mean anything to me...she just gets the girls I want."

Adora noticed Celina silently whirl around in a huff and leave the room. She had been working on Celina the past month, trying to get her to see reason.

"Just an hour to go, Adora, and you'll be sacrificed," Damien said as he straightened up. "Any time you want to change your mind, just let me know and you'll go free. You know what you have to do."

"Yes, I do know what I have to do--but it's not what you think," Adora said quietly.

Damien slapped her across her face, giving her a nosebleed. "I call the shots around here, girlie. In one hour--you die."


Cedric looked out the living room window and sighed. It was now dusk. Trick-or-treaters were out; they did not include his children nor his nieces or nephew, as their family did not partake in Halloween. He'd left the porch light off to discourage the trick-or-treaters. He wouldn't be surprised if the big tree in the front yard got toilet-papered again, but he had much more pressing things to be concerned about.

The wind was whipping up outside, and there was a full moon. Leaves whirled about madly in the wind.

The children were downstairs in the recreation room with their cousins, playing with their toys, Tina keeping an eye on them. Adam was throwing another piece of firewood into the fireplace. He, Tina, and their children had been over here quite often the past month. Fellow church members had been in and out, conducting prayer meetings and generally helping out.

There was a knock at the door. At first Cedric thought it might be a trick-or-treater who had not taken the hint, but as he didn't hear any joyful shout of "Trick or treat!" he went to the door and peered through the peekhole.

Celina was standing there. Cedric opened the door. "What brings you here?" he asked.

"I know where Adora is," she said, tears in her eyes.

Adam straightened up. "Where is she?" he asked.

"My house. With my boyfriend. She's going to be sacrificed in less than an hour. I betrayed you all," Celina said as she burst into tears.

posted on Oct, 28 2005 @ 01:50 AM
Adora lay on the table in the pitch blackness. Tears spilled down her cheeks as she thought of her husband, her children, and her twin brother and his family. It had been just over a month...since a few days after autumn began. For an entire month she had been isolated from the outside world, from her family, from everything she loved.

Fortunately no one could ever isolate her from God. That was her one comfort.

She was exhausted. She'd been given barely enough to keep her alive this past month. She'd tried to conserve her energy by sleeping whenever she could.

Adora closed her eyes. Maybe she would die right now and cheat Damien and Celina out of their fun.


"Why do you want to hurt my mommy!?" Jeremy demanded as Celina sat down on the couch. Jeremy's Aunt Tina was calling 911.

"Easy, Jeremy. Uncle Adam and I are going to go get her...we'll be there before the police," said Cedric to his younger son. Celina had told them how to get into the secret underground room.

Adam held a blanket; he had a feeling his twin sister might need it. He looked over at Celina, who sat forward on the couch, looking sad and a little bit afraid, her long curly hair almost concealing her face like a set of black curtains. He had an idea that maybe, just maybe, Adora had had a bit of a talk with her.

"They're on their way," Tina said as she hung up. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

"We have no time to lose," Cedric replied. "And you should be okay here. Besides, we'll leave the house unlocked for the police."

Tina watched as the two men headed out into the night. She sat down next to Celina. "Whatever made you rat out your boyfriend?" she asked.

"Would you believe...jealousy?" Celina replied with a wry smile.


Adora opened her eyes as she heard the door opening. The lights flicked on, and Damien stood there leering at her. He closed the door and went to her and took the blanket off her body.

She screamed in pain and outrage, which he apparently found amusing, as he was laughing like the proverbial hyena.

Suddenly, the door flew open. It was Cedric and Adam! "Get away from my wife!" Cedric shouted as he jerked Damien off her. He threw Damien to the ground and put him in a wrestling hold.

Adam went and freed Adora from her bonds. She was crying with relief and joy as he wrapped a blanket around her naked body. "Celina told us you were here--she was the one who betrayed you."

"I know," Adora said, the tears streaming down her cheeks.

Moments later local policemen were swarming into the small underground room. "Over here, officer," Cedric called.

"You're under arrest, Damien Harriman, for kidnapping and attempted murder...and it looks like there may be other charges pending," said a police officer as he snapped the cuffs on Damien's wrists. He then read Damien his rights as he heaved him to his feet.

Cedric lifted his wife into his arms, and a policeman led them outside to a waiting ambulance.



Damien Harriman was now serving a lengthy prison sentence for kidnapping, intimidation, rape, attempted murder, and any other charges the D.A. could think of that would stick. Adora had chosen not to bring charges against Celina, as she'd been no more than an accessory and had been willing to testify against Damien. Celina had gone back to New Hampshire to live with relatives.

It took Adora a while to recover physically from her injuries. Unfortunately she would no longer be able to bear children, but Cedric told her that he loved her every bit as much, and besides, they had four children that needed her.

Adora was resting at home one day not long after her release from the hospital. The phone rang, and she picked it up. "Hawkins residence," she said into the phone.

She heard heavy breathing. Then a raspy male voice whispered, "Come back to us."


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