@caity-is-a-timelady so hypothetically I'm casting my vote for Laura Schuller because plaid. And I made this because I have no idea, but it was frickin' fun.
IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON, GO HERE: http://www.polyvore.com/heat_moment/set?id=72910226
OHP my phone just rang and it seems that it's tuesday again because
I pull another day off my f-cking calendar and crumple it up, throw it in the trash. Mom bought me one with kittens on it, as if that might make the passing of time less painful. Yeah, right. She doesn’t know what waits for me in six short days. Every time I see a new cat, I get one step closer to eternal damnation. It’s a careless gift, really, but I shouldn’t blame her. It’s not like she really knows.
Besides, even if she did know, she’d be glad. I’m not the perfect daughter. More like the one to be ashamed of. Ruby brings the pride, so they thought they’d have another. But I’m the one who killed my sister, so I deserve this.
“Jess?” Ruby pokes her head in the door and stares at me, hands tapping anxiously on the desk. “Have you seen this newspaper article?” She tosses something at me and flops down on the bed. I catch the paper clipping as it floats down to my hands.
I bet you’re wondering what’s going on. I killed my sister, but here she is. But I promise you – I really did kill her. It just didn’t happen quite like that.
NEARLY FIVE YEARS AGO.
It was a dare. They sent us on a dare. Me, really. They told me that they didn’t think I could spend an hour in this stupid house. Sure, they say it’s haunted, but I didn’t think it was a big deal. Didn’t think anything of it, really.
But Ruby’s not irresponsible, and she was watching out for me tonight. So when I wasn’t paying attention, she followed me to the house, snuck inside after me.
Sh-t. My heart started pounding. “D-mn, Ruby. You scared me.”
“Sorry.” She strolled across the room and seated herself next to me on a grimy sofa. “So you’re here on a dare from…”
“Cal,” I finished. “What a d-ck.”
She laughed quietly, then leaned back in that peaceable silence that, with Ruby, usually meant she was observing. She was a big fan of that – maybe it was all those Sherlock Holmes books she’d read. She would tell me to keep my opinions to myself. Usually because they were rude. I was born with an unusually low tolerance for people in general – Ruby being the exception.
Then, all of a sudden, there was a flash of lightning. Ruby jumped a little, and I took the opportunity to snicker. “Scared much?”
“Oh, shut up. You were freaked out too.”
“Not particularly,” I said, face straight, mostly because I was being honest. It took a little more than a sudden light or a boom of thunder to scare me.
From the other side of the room, there was a scratching, sort of like claws.
Ruby shot me a look. “Still not scared?” She was trying to sound brave, but it came out a little shaky.
“Of course not,” I said, because more likely than not, it was a feral cat or something, and afterwards, we’d laugh about it. So I leaned back on the couch when she got up to go look.
After a minute, I realized that something was wrong. There was a weirdly unidentifiable noise, and I got the feeling that it was Ruby. Just when I was about to get up and look, she padded back over to the couch. But she didn’t sit down. Just stood in front of me, staring at me, hands on her hips.
“Hello, Jessica.” She didn’t blink. It was unnerving.
“What the f-ck, Ruby? Stop trying to freak me out.”
She laughed, but it didn’t sound quite right. Braver, like she wasn’t afraid of being heard anymore. “I’m not trying anything, Jessica.”
There it was again: my full name. No one ever called me that. Not even Ruby. “What’s wrong with you?”
“There’s nothing wrong with your sister.” And then a dangerous grin spread across Ruby’s face. “Except – oh, right: me.” She took a step forward. “Allow me to formally introduce myself. I’m Duemos.”
“Never heard of you,” I said. “Ruby? Ruby!” Maybe she was having a seizure. No – wait, she would’ve been seizing on the ground, obviously. Multiple personality disorder? Was that a thing, and if so, could it develop later in life? Very suddenly?
“You’re not going to shake her loose from my grip,” Not-Ruby said. Because it was very clear that despite the fact that this was Ruby, it was also evident that she was anything but.
I stepped backwards and tripped over a grate, hitting my head on the brick fireplace. “Sh-t. Ruby, stop trying to scare me!”
Before I could even blink, Not-Ruby was in my face, her eyes burning a frighteningly inhuman scarlet.
“W-what are you?”
“Not your sister.” And then, very slowly, she held a hand out towards my head. When she touched my forehead, I felt like everything was squeezing in on me, and I was falling into a dark hole. Somewhere I could never return from.
“Stop,” I said. But even then, I didn’t beg.
Not-Ruby’s lips only twitched again, and everything started darkening around me. I was losing consciousness.
With one final effort, I grabbed one of the pokers from by the fireplace and shoved it straight forward through Ruby’s chest.
Ruby dropped to the ground, black smoke rushing away from her.
I ran to her side. “Ruby!” But no matter what I did, she wouldn’t move. Wouldn’t breathe. The poker stuck out of her chest at an awkward angle. It was my fault. Always mine.
“Nice to see you again, Jessica.”
I whirled around. A woman stood there in a simple red dress that matched the color of her eyes. “Duemos,” I said, even though I wasn’t sure it was her – it.
“Very good,” she said. “You’re learning fast.”
“What did you do to my sister, you b-tch?”
“Nothing. You did all the work for me.” And then she laughed.
I was about to protest, but when I looked down, it was my hands covered in Ruby’s blood. Not hers. It had always been.
“What are you?”
“You’ll find out soon enough,” she said. “But first – isn’t there something you want?” She eyed the body that I refused to recognize as my dead sister.
“Bring her back.” I dug my nails into my palms and stared her down, staring into the depths of her eyes. The flames. I didn’t back down.
She considered this for a moment. “Well, that’s no fun. What do I get out of the deal?”
“What do you want?”
“Your soul.” I would have laughed, but she didn’t even smile. “I’ll give you five years.”
“That’s not possible.”
“Anything’s possible,” she said. “Now, do you want the deal, or not? I have places to go, people to see.” She tapped her high-heeled foot on the old wood floors to prove a point.
When I didn’t answer, she continued.
“If you go home without your sister, what will happen? What’ll happen when they find your fingerprints on the murder weapon? You’ll prove Mommy and Daddy right after all these years – that you really are the worthless one. You couldn’t stand the pressure, so you killed their only true daughter. You killed their favorite.”
“Or you could take the deal. Five wonderful years with your sister alive again – no catch. But at the end of five years? Time’s up – you’re mine.” She paused. “But really – it’s your choice. You don’t have to take the deal.”
I shook my head. “No. I want the deal.”
“Do you think it’s really her this time?” I ask. We’ve had too many false leads in the past five years. I’m running out of time. Running out of hope.
“I don’t know, Jess. But anything’s better than nothing. Maybe it’s one of her underlings. We could get one to summon her, probably.”
“Can we do this with as few crossroad demons as possible?” It’s easy to sound casual about it now, but I don’t feel casual inside. I feel scared, okay? I feel f-cking scared.
Ruby rolls off the bed and slips her feet into some slippers. They’re mine, but I don’t say anything. “So pack your stuff.”
“Where are we going?”
“Westerville. Ohio,” she clarifies.
“I’ll meet you in the car in fifteen minutes,” I say.
Maybe we have a lead. Maybe we’ll find Duemos.
Maybe tonight, I’ll be able to sleep a few hours. And maybe I won’t wake up screaming as I think I fall down into Hell.