Four high school students encounter an evil spirit. Thoroughly cliched and hopelessly derivative.
Natalie did not know if she lay there for hours or only minutes. She thought about the hospital. She, at least, had had hope of getting out, unlike many of the inmates. Why lose hope now? So she stood up and resumed walking. After a while, the light seemed to widen in the distance, and then she walked faster and faster until she was running towards it. She found herself in the cavernous antechamber with the columns and the altar, next to which Vanessa stood.
“Welcome… whatever your name is. Thanks for joining me and Chad.”
“Chadworth.” He didn’t lift his head, but sat spread-eagled on the floor, irate and nearly cross-eyed with concentration. He was scrawling mathematical equations on the floor between his legs.
“Whatever.” Vanessa tapped her foot. “We’re waiting for one more person—well, two, technically.”
“Who?” Natalie asked, fidgeting with her cuticles.
“I wonder if your little rodent is okay.” She smirked. “How long do those things live anyway?”
“One to three years,” Chadworth replied. “That animal belongs in a lab…”
“Oh, geez,” Vanessa said, putting her hand to her heart in a show of mock grief. “Oh, no, it might be too late anyway.”
Natalie shaded her eyes as tears started to collect. “Why are we here? When can we go home, please?”
“When your friend shows up.” She looked at the Rolex she had lately acquired. “Which should be any minute.”
“Really? He’s coming?”
Vanessa rolled her eyes. “Oh, lord. I’m not your matchmaker.”
Natalie wrapped her sweatshirt tighter and said nothing.
Some footsteps sounded at the doorway. Mikhail strolled in as though he were only walking into class.
“Oh! You’re here! We—” Natalie looked at Vanessa quickly and went silent again.
Chadworth glanced up long enough to see it was Mikhail and then mumbled something about the welfare state and collapse of the nation.
Vanessa clapped her hands. “The ritual can begin now.”
“Just a second.” Mikhail stepped forward and walked up close to Natalie with his hand on his chest. “Put out your hand,” he said. With his other hand, he lifted the mouse out of his pocket and gently handed him to Natalie, who received him with no words, only a nearly inaudible catch in her breath. She held Mr. Squeaks up to her cheek and kissed him. She gazed around with tears in her eyes.
Mikhail squeezed her shoulders for a moment and then dropped his hands. He turned around and showed Vanessa a smile worthy of her own. “Well, we’re all here. What now?”
She glared at him with her lip hanging down a little. “What now? Well, you’re—I’m—”
“You’ll have to kill us all to get what you want. Do you feel up to it today?”
She didn’t answer him right away. This was the part she hadn’t considered yet. Torturing them, yes. Getting power, yes. But the actual…doing it? She made herself straighten up. “Yes.” She stretched her mouth into a smile and wiped the lipstick off her teeth. “Yes, I’m up to it.” She stepped to the front of the altar and lit the pyre she had prepared prior to their gathering. The smoke rose aggressively.
The voice, from everywhere and nowhere, said, “You have done well, Vanessa.”
She turned and smiled at all of them
A strange flame was born in the pyre. It was purple and gave off no light. The voice said, “Once the victims, including the mouse, have been consumed, then you will receive full power.”