Helen Marsters finished her morning Pilates class and saw that there was a message from Annie on her phone. James said that she was in Kingsport visiting Irma and that she’d be home soon. While unsettling, the thought of a short visit to see her grandmother wasn’t an awful idea. This doesn’t mean that everything that Jessica told her will come true…
The full moon fell on the still water making their approach much brighter than it should have been. They couldn’t wait for the right conditions. Tonight was the only night that The Desire was docked in Kingsport. They approached from the aft port quarter. Young Jessica held the dark lantern that Dr. Sturrage gave her before they left. Its odd green light was barely noticed by the rest of the team.
‘Let Francis, Thomas, and Jeremiah battle any creature that you see.’ Dr. Sturrage told the 17 year old Jessica. ‘All you have to do is shine the lantern directly at the cross and that should close any portal that was opened. That should be enough to prevent the appearance of Daoloth.’
Their approach was unseen and the reason became quickly apparent. When the three men and Jessica climbed aboard, they saw what served as crew aboard the Desire, the reanimated corpses of the slaves that once perished aboard the ship. They almost managed to get to the hold before they were spotted. Luckily, the zombies were rather easy to put out of their misery.
The hold glowed with a shimmering golden light. The pirate, Reginald Cumani, stood at an alter where he held a chalice. He was collecting blood from a fresh female corpse that lied naked on the stone tablet. Across from the alter was the source of the light, an ornate 4’ x 4’ cross of gold. That was their target.
This was not going to be easy. Aside from the insane pirate and a hand full of zombie crew, were two creatures that the team knew to be MiGo, servants of the Old One, Daoloth. Jessica’s task was clear. Let the men fight the creatures while she was to go to the cross and shine the lantern at it for no less than 2 minutes. The light from the lamp should seal any portal that was opened. Then, if they survive, they should bury the cross in the cold of the Atlantic.
The battle was fierce. Jeremiah Glass was the first to fall, a victim of Cumani’s poisoned cutlass. He was a brave soldier. He singlehandedly took out 6 zombie crew and seriously wounded the Pirate. Thomas Carver was the next to fall, but he took one of the MiGo with him. Frances Marsters fought on, giving Jessica the time that she needed to seal the cross.
‘Go! Now!’ Frances yelled to Jessica. ‘I’ll hold them off. At least you can make it to safety.’ Frances pushed Jessica toward the door as he grabbed an oil lantern and threw it to the floor by the cross. The floor erupted in flames. Jessica ran to the deck, clutching the lamp. Frances was fighting the last MiGo and backing his way down the hallway, following Jessica.
Jessica almost made it off the ship unscathed. When she emerged onto the deck of the Desire, a member of the zombie crew plunged a sword into her side. She screamed in pain. Frances spun around and sliced the zombie’s arm off. Jessica ran to the side of the ship and jumped into Kingsport Bay. The last thing she saw was Frances killing the last MiGo, just as the MiGo killed him.
Jessica washed up at the Hog Island Lighthouse, almost dead, still clutching the lamp given to her by Dr. Sturrage only a few hours before. It was Dr. Loew who found her on the shore. He brought her into the lighthouse where the two other members of the Servants of Bast were waiting. She looked at Dr. Sturrage and said. ‘The lamp worked. I closed the portal, but we couldn’t take the cross. Hopefully the fire scuttled the ship.’ Jessica coughed and glanced at her hand. ‘Look, the curse, it’s gone.’ With that, she died.
When she first heard the story, from the shimmering apparition of Jessica Whitehouse, she was terrified, but the truly frightening thing was what the ghost then told her. ‘Helen, my grandniece, it will be your daughter’s burden to see this task through. Don’t forget to tell her about the lamp. Have her make our family proud.’
After that day atop the Hog Island Lighthouse, the day she learned her fate, the day that bitch Marge teleported her there, Helen vowed that she wouldn’t expose her daughter to that kind of terror. She convinced her parents to move out of Kingsport. Her older sister, Cornelia, insisted on staying behind. She said that she would continue the fight and protect her younger sister.
As Helen listened to Annie’s voicemail, her world crumbled around her. She realized that fate could not be side stepped…
‘Hi mom.’ Annie said in an overly chipper voice. ‘I’m having a wonderful time here in Kingsport. I just saw Aunt Cornelia and Cousin Pete. Rita’s taking good care of me and she even let me drive to Aunt Cornelia’s house. I’ll tell you all about it when I get home. Love you!’
‘Shit, if Rita’s guarding Annie, she must be really in trouble.’ Helen thought as she got ready to help her daughter meet her fate head on.
‘Irma, I know it’s happened.’ Helen said into her phone. ‘I’ll talk to James, but I think that we need to tell Annie everything.’ Helen was near tears at this point. ‘You have my description of the meeting that I had with Jessica, you know, the one that described her death. Annie needs to see it. She also needs to go to the lighthouse to talk with Jessica’s ghost in order to find the lamp.’ She listened a while. ‘I see. I know that you trust Rita, and, er, the rest of them. Who else is with her?’ Helen listened some more. ‘Glass? Carver? Are they? Really. I guess that fate really can’t be avoided. I know there’s nothing more I can do. I’m glad that these people seem competent, even the crazy one.’
‘Annie. I just got your voicemail.’ Helen said calmly. ‘I’m glad that you are having a good time. Tell me all about it when you get home. Tell Rita that I remember what it was like to babysit her, so stay out of trouble. You need to call grandma Irma as soon as possible. It’s very important.’
With that, Helen put her phone in her purse and she made her way home. James would not be happy, but he’ll understand. He knows the family history.