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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2143602-The-Legend-of-Paradise-Utah
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2143602
What causes one legend to linger and another to fade? (Screams weekly win)
Editor's Pick, Horror Newsletter 2/13/19

They were an attractive couple sitting alone. The small gathering was subdued in mourning rather than in one of holiday celebration.

“Hello, Adam.”

“Cindy.”

They’d known each other since they were kids in Paradise, Utah. It was any place but that unless you liked dirt farming. Both fought their way out as soon as they could.

How they met up afterward is simple. You can leave the dirt but the dirt won’t leave you. Their past caught up with them.

“How ya’ been?”

“It’s been a long time.”

The smell of coffee took them to the church table. Neither had aged much. Adam still looked like a hayseed with his alfalfa hair waving above his head. It was his eyes that had mostly changed. There was a worldly wisdom in them which hadn't been there before and a twist of cynicism to his lips.

Cindy was another matter. She looked molded out of pure sun and country air. Cindy was as blonde, blue-eyed and fresh as an original Barbie Doll still in the box.

“Didn’t expect to see you here.”

"Didn't expect to come. Been everyplace else. I guess it was time." Adam wondered if Cindy was laughing at him. “A year ago I could have bought this place.”

“I come back every year at Christmas time.” She sipped at her brew, looking around her.

“Why?” He thought he knew. There was only one thing of interest that brought people together in Paradise. It was the church. It was to remember the Legend. It was to make sure that particular horror was kept stuffed in the past and only a memory.

She didn’t answer, knowing she didn't have to but sent a question back at him in its place. “They said you went insane. That why you lost everything?”

Rage was never far from Adam, just more controlled now. “You been keeping track of me? Keeping Score?” Adam didn’t sound bitter, just curious.

“We two are all these people have to talk about except their own boring lives. We are the legend. We made it possible. Look at them.” Cindy waved to no-one in particular. The two were left alone to be gawked at from a safe distance.

Where they sat wasn't space enough for either of them. Adam and Cindy were too much wanderers at heart. “Want to check out the belfry?” It was Adams suggestion. It always had been where he liked to be back in the day. Adam liked high places where he could look down on people.

“The bell is gone. Replaced by an electronic amplifier. Still calls out the faithful on a Sunday morning.” She stood, taking his hand like old times. The whispers stopped then began again behind them. People were remembering.

The same view spread out before them. Pastoral and plain. It could have been the same hawk hunting the skies as first winged above their earliest hopes and shared dreams. “Is it still here?” Adam dropped her hand to reach up onto one of the rafters.

“Yes. I checked.” Cindy half whispered. The old magic was still there. When they'd begun their tryst they'd lost their love of God and found it in each other.

A sliver of light flashed in their eyes reflected from above. Adam’s fingers caught the small chain felt there and pulled. A twisted crucifix dropped into view. “Ah.” His hand trembled a little. His voice more so. "How we worshipped each other...and this."

“You were never a good altar boy.” She stepped closer to look at it with him. Her hand rose above him to bring down a bit of dust followed by the other bent crucifix. The twin globes of her breasts rose and fell with sudden passionate breath.

“You were the fallen angel.” Adam’s voice was gruff and filled with the memory of her. You were the first."

“Are you surprised they could see us? Down in that room where it happened?" Cindy didn’t want to stay in the past. There were things to do, a reason for being here.

“I saw it in the eyes of the older ones remembering what our prophecies gave them. They always came true." Adam brushed against Cindy feeling her heat before gazing once more into the past.

"Our preaching brought them into this church tenfold from the surrounding area. We healed their sick bodies by stealing their souls. They thanked us for it. Pain makes for such easy picking. They sold their soul's piece by piece to be free of it." Adam was caught up in what power they had possessed.

"I don't think their families and friends live one day of their lives without seeing us behind their eyes." Cindy's smile was sweet and pure. "They never saw what was coming."

"This place, where it actually happened, brings the legend to life. I feel its call." Adam slipped her chain over her head. The soft wave of Raven dark hair brushed against his skin. His hands floated it to rest around her neck.

“Creating an image is what you do best. I liked the smell and feel of the hot coffee cup downstairs even if I could no longer drink it. It called forth our ghostly memory into sight.” Cindy’s burst of laughter disturbed the shadows above the rafters.

Bats fluttered into view swirling down around them. Neither of them flinched. “It was the bat poison we put into their coffee before we left. A parting gift to quench their thirst for our blood.” Adam stood still, welcoming the creatures onto his shoulders and upraised arms.

“We thought we would live forever if we let one of these Satan’s creatures bite us.” Cindy almost hummed the words. "They all look so much alike. How long it took to find the right one."

“A blood sacrifice was needed for the gift to continue. Two innocent souls to trade for ours.” Adam finished for her. A flicker of the old madness burned in his eyes.

“I waited for you. I couldn’t do it alone. I almost gave up.” Her voice broke. A bat struggled briefly in her fist, squeaking before she crushed it.

“But you didn’t. You are all that is left of the devil’s promise.”

They became as invisible as ghosts, lost in a memory sliding into the past. One became insane flickering back and forth into reality. The other wished for his madness unable to claim one for her own.

The sound of steps climbed the Belfry stairs. A young couple rose into view. Being close to innocence, they were unable to see the evil hovering nearby. “You read the devil’s covenant.” One whispered to the other. “This is our only sure path. The cancer can't eat you.”

“Immortality.” Was the boy’s answer. “Together forever, never parted.”

The bats flocked out of the belfry curling in a dark mass under the full rising moon. The last few soared down, caressed the young eager bodies, urging them forward.

Adam and Cindy became the couple ’s hosts flying forth with them. Lightning flicked its hungry tongue in the night sky. A roll of thunder echoed the thud of young bodies flung to the ground.

“Released. At last by lovers compact.”

Two bats caught under the dead bodies struggled out from underneath the spreading blood. They stopped to drink.

The morning would renew the old legend of how two of the devil’s children returned home. The small chapel in Paradise Utah would be free left in peace for another year. God’s son sacrificed his life for mankind. Now two other children had sacrificed theirs for the village. Heaven had called but Hell had answered.


Entry into the daily "SCREAMS!!! contest
-limited to short stories
-more than one person must enter for a win
-varying lengths required depending on the day
-entries must be based on contest prompt
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