Tears is an Extreme Occult Horror Novel
When Lola is attacked at prom her special forces father steps in and beats the boys who dared to touch his princess. One month later and those same boys are dying in pain. The police are baffled as no evidence is left on the scene yet they suspect her father. As more boys die other suspects surface. Could it be the father of a previous girl attacked by the boys, or the local pedophile or could Lola’s father have faked his alibi. Or is something ancient and evil stalking the boys and looking for revenge?
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The room was crypt-like in its austerity and shrouded in darkness. Sparse furniture adorned its plain walls and the place had an empty vacant feel. Silently the curtains twitched as if moved by an unseen hand. They sent a shadowy finger flickering across the floor. In and out, they breathed, tracing across the carpet and over the bed. The thin material fluttered away from the window, across a worn carpet and then fell back into blackness. The house was deadly quiet. Silent as a rock, it held its breath. Even the floorboards held back their creaks as if they waited for phantom footsteps to pass by in the dead of the night. The curtain was sucked back even further, and then the silence was broken as a bloodcurdling scream shattered the peace.
The sound was of torture, despair and death. It echoed around the walls and then was gone just as soon as it started. All that remained was the rustling of covers as limbs jerked spasmodically against their restraints.
Beneath the door, the light came on and slow, confident footsteps approached. The door opened and light spilled in, illuminating a stark room with just a bed, dresser and wardrobe. Nothing was out of position, even the brush and comb were placed with military precision. Someone lay smothered within a dark-blue duvet. A groan of anguish came from beneath those covers as they thrashed ineffectually at the molasses grip of a nightmare.
Lola approached the bed. She was a small girl at five foot four with short brown hair and a plain face. Usually a timid rabbit caught in the headlights of life yet here she was in control. She lacked trepidation in her body and face, but upon closer inspection, she wore a look a sadness that consumed her. Sitting on the bed she reached across. Her hand gripped onto a powerful arm soaked with sweat. Yet, for her, there was nothing to fear, this had been played out before and would be again. Gently she shook and felt the muscle tense beneath her fingers.
Instantly awake Dean sat up. “What?” he said, his voice hoarse and little more than a whisper. Before the small girl, he was a beast of a man, captured by his nightmare but not beaten. His eyes scanned the room as his hand rose from beneath the pillow holding a Glock 20/10mm semi-automatic. The weapon followed his eyes as he searched the gloom. With a satisfied grunt they returned and focused on his daughter. Shame colored his face; it was just a dream. “Lola, my God, I’m sorry,” he said.
Leaning against the headboard, he pushed the gun back beneath his pillow and ran a hand across his brow. A glance at his watch showed it was two in the morning; always two in the morning. “I’m sorry,” he muttered again. Then more cheerfully, “You want a drink?”
Lola smiled a cheeky grin. She was used to these nightly excursions and didn’t mind. Her dad was a hero, and she would do anything for him. “Sure,” she said. “I’d love a gin.”
Dean pretended to bat her around the ear, but instead he pulled her close and hugged her tight. She was his strength, and he did not know how he would cope without her, or what he would do if anything happened to his little princess. With the Glock beneath his pillow, he was satisfied it never would. “Hilarious little lady; now back to bed.”
She smiled that sad almost haunting smile that made him feel small, so insignificant and as if, he knew nothing about the world. The thing was; he knew nothing about hers. All his training was about killing. Ask him the most efficient way to gut someone, and he could answer with confidence, but what did that have to do with raising a teenage daughter?
“Okay Dad, but I’m fine. See you in the morning. By the way, my friend Drude thinks you’re getting better.”
Dean sat still with a stupid expression on his face as he tried to stay neutral. Not that again.
Lola walked out of the room whispering. It sounded as if she was talking to someone. Dean felt the acid in his stomach start to boil threatening to expel the Jack Daniels he had downed to help him sleep. Once the door closed, he let out a sigh and clasped his fingers into his palms. They dug into the skin, lifting off previous scabs and gave him a jolt of pain that flushed his system with endorphins and forced him to fully wake. Hopefully, he would stay that way for the rest of the night. After Lola was at school, he could catch a few hours of sleep before starting his shift. Something would have to be done about this Drude, but so far he was stumped. He picked up a hunting magazine and let go of the thought. That was usually his best way of getting answers. Let his subconscious think about it while he distracted himself with something else. Only, this problem was elusive and so far, he had nothing.
“Where did you get it?” Lola asked, aghast as she glanced down at the pink frilly dress that made her look like a marshmallow. At sixteen, she was much more comfortable in jeans and a black t-shirt and this dress was just so un-cool. How could her dad have picked out something so gross? Of course, he hadn’t. They didn’t have money for an expensive dress; he had borrowed it. Her mouth opened, just about to suggest they ask her mum, but the words froze on her tongue. It would embarrass her father if they had to ask for more help.
Dean was looking at her as if she was a princess. His pride showed on his face even though he looked a little out of his depth. “Mrs. Kaplinsky lent it to me. It’s great, isn’t it? You look so regal.”
Lola swallowed the retort that threatened to cross her lips and kept her sigh to a minimum. She knew he meant well, and that it would crush him if she were rude. “I don’t have a date, Dad and I really don’t want to go.”
“It’s your prom and I promised your mum you would go. Do you want to get me in trouble?”
Lola bit her lip and tried desperately to think of an excuse. The thought of going out in front of her school and the boys who… well, it was too much she could not face it. “We could just tell her I went.”
Dean laughed, a sound that was rare in their house. “I get the feeling she would know.” At six foot two and ex-special forces, Dean was a mean looking man, his body a lean, muscled killing machine. He put on his most endearing smile and ended up looking like the proverbial crocodile. “Your mum is the one person I’m truly afraid of. Come on, kid, for your dad.”
Lola knew she was fighting a losing battle.
“You should go,” Drude said, her voice sounding ancient and decrepit in Lola’s ears.
“All right,” Lola said, looking past her father. She nodded, grinned a secret smile and then turned her focus back on Dean. “But not for long. Promise me you’ll pick me up after an hour.”
“An hour?” Dean looked behind him, wanting to see what she had been staring at. As usual, there was nothing there. Perhaps he imagined it, or maybe she was just staring past him?
“Please, Dad. Since… well, you know… since the incident last year, I don’t feel safe with… well, with people.” Lola knew Drude wanted her to go but for the first time she disagreed with her friend. The thought of going to prom left her with a sick greasy feeling in her stomach and knees that would not stop knocking. Maybe she could let her dad see her dressed up and then nip out the back door. The last thing she needed was the ‘in crowd’ seeing her in this dress and calling her the ‘well girl’ again.
“You know what your doctor said.” Dean said in a voice as gentle as he could make it, yet still sounding like gravel scraped across a stainless pan.
Lola sighed again. “That I must face my fears,” she said, but inside she felt strange and different. I’d like to see him face his fears, have him face a bloody baseball bat around the ear, all the help he’s given me. “I don’t need to see him anymore.” She folded her arms and stared her dad down. “An hour or I’m not going.”
Dean hated to put his daughter in situations she was not comfortable with, and this was one of them. She needed to make friends and by staying home, she never would, but he would agree to this. At least this was a start. “Deal.”
Dean pulled his battered green Land Rover up to the curb and looked across at his daughter. His face softened; he was no longer the hardened killer, but a proud dad who was finding it hard to let go. Before she could get out, he pulled a pink corsage from the back seat. It was big and clumsy, yet it caused a glint of moisture in Lola’s eyes as he fastened it over her tiny wrist. She reached across and kissed his wiry face, a face that was always covered in stubble no matter how often he shaved.
She turned to get out. “One hour.”
Dean grabbed her hand. “You are my strength and my joy. I’m so proud of you.”
“Daaaad, enough, don’t forget to pick me up here in an hour. You promise?”
She jumped from the car and with her head forward and shoulders hunched, she walked towards the thumping music that heralded the party.
Dean stared after the little girl who he had nearly lost and was overpowered with love.
Across the car park, a silver grey Mercedes lurked beneath an old beech tree. It was enveloped in shadow, but the occupant could still see all the beautiful people as they strutted into the prom. Judy, the driver, was in perfect control. In a smart grey business suit and neat black court shoes, she relaxed in the leather seat. She knew when to be here and where to park, since she knew Dean more than he could ever fathom. She watched as two of the girls crowded together sniggering as Lola walked past and a spike of anger slammed into her chest. These girls would pay; she swore it. “Enjoy, my Lola,” she said to the empty car as Lola walked into the building.
Behind her car, a man melded into the shadows with a camera hung around his neck. The telescopic lens focused on a young boy as he shot a series of photos. The camera clicked in sequence while the boy talked and strutted in front of his friends. Gordon Marron checked the pictures in his viewfinder. He was a greasy, unpleasant man who knew the law to the letter, ensuring he was the mandatory one hundred meters from any child. The cops might talk to him, but as long as he stayed behind the chalk line he had drawn on the pavement, they could do little more.