Witch Lights

Free Witch Lights by Michael M. Hughes

Book: Witch Lights by Michael M. Hughes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michael M. Hughes
wouldn’t hold her this tightly, and that thought made her want to squeeze him even harder. “Tell me. Tell me how you know.”
    “I just know. I feel it.” Tears dripped on her neck. “It’s horrible. I can’t see it all. I can’t see details. But I can
feel
it. And, Mom…someone’s dying. Like right now.” He wailed softly.
    “Shh.” She pulled his head closer, squeezing him. “What do you mean, you can feel it?
How
do you feel it?”
    “I haven’t told you because I didn’t want to scare you.”
    Oh no,
Ellen thought.
    “Something happened when we were at that place. Back home. Locked in his house.”
    Crawford’s. Of course. For a couple of unbearable hours Crawford and Lily had taken William away from her. Ellen felt her flesh crawl. “You can tell me. It’s okay.”
    He was still shaking. “They did this thing with me. It’s like they got in my head. In my brain. With their heads. I know it doesn’t make any sense.”
    “It’s okay. You’re okay now. I’m here with you.” And it did make sense. They could do things like that—open up people’s minds like other people opened cans of tuna.
    He hugged her tighter. “And I’ve been different. Since then. I didn’t want to scare you or Ray. I’m sorry.” He started sobbing.
    “No, no. I don’t blame you.” She kissed his forehead. “You didn’t do anything wrong.” She let his sobbing slow down and finally stop. He wiped his nose against his T-shirt sleeve. “Just tell me. What happened? How are you different?”
    He breathed deeply and exhaled. “It’s hard to explain. I just know things sometimes. Like when we had to leave Costa Rica? Remember that?”
    She did. William had his bags packed that morning, and had only shrugged when she’d asked him where he thought he was going. That afternoon, their Brotherhood contact in Golfito had arrived to tell them
Go. Go now. No time to pack, this is code A, the van is waiting for you outside, now GO.
    “It’s just that I know things sometimes. Not like when I’m going to get heads or tails when I flip a coin, but when important things are happening or going to happen soon. Sometimes I know what it is. Sometimes I see pictures. But mostly it’s just feelings. And tonight, when we did those calls—to the Brotherhood—I think it made it stronger.”
    “I believe you. Tell me. What’s happening now?”
    She felt his jaw clench against her collarbone. “He has someone in the basement. There’s a room down there. Some kind of cave. Where he does bad things.”
    Ellen shuddered. “What kinds of things?”
    “Like the stuff Crawf—like you-know-who did. Stuff with girls. Ladies. Men, sometimes, too. There’s some kind of statue down there. You know that statue out by the animal cages?”
    “Yuck. That thing gives me the creeps.”
    “They call her the Skinny Lady or the Bony Lady. The men around here, when they do something bad…they’re doing it for her. Like she’s their god or something. Like the Virgin Mary that Grandma used to have in her front yard. When they kill someone they do it for
her.

    “She’s not real, though,” Ellen said.
    William looked away, pensive. “She’s sort of real, I think. I can’t really explain it.” He rubbed his head. “There’s something real about her. Not her—not the statue. But
her.
Like the
idea
of her. But there’s something like her in the basement. Something worse than her. And it’s real, Mom. I can’t see it but I can feel it.”
    “Well, we’re getting out of here,” she whispered.
    “I don’t know,” William rasped. “He won’t let us. He likes you. He doesn’t want to let you go, Mom. I think he wants to marry you.”
    She feigned a snicker, though inside she fought back a dizzying wave of nausea. “Never in a million years,” she said. The idea of El Varón wanting to marry her was too much to think about in the middle of the night with her terrified son’s face buried against her shoulder. And with

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