/“You’re becoming more and more the spitting image of your mother every day,” Uncle Henry said. It was 1946. Lillith scoffed.
“I would sooner resemble a turnip than resemble that odious wretch.”
“You must not speak ill of the dead,” Uncle Henry said.
“Hmm, Uncle?” Lillith said revealing her left ear.
“You’ll have to speak up; this is the ear mother used to smack with a wooden spoon.”
Uncle Henry cleared his throat.
“I know you are angry with your mother,” he began.
“But hate is a slithering beast that can destroy us if we’re not careful.”
“How do I look Uncle Henry?” asked Lillith.
“Not even David could sculpt anything more beautiful,” Uncle Henry said. The doorbell rang. The maid answered the door. A striking young man by the name of Adam Green stood in the doorway.
“Is my date ready?” Adam asked. The maid smirks while eyeing the young man up and down.
“I’m sure with you as her date she’s ready and willing.”
“You leave the young man alone,” Uncle Henry said. “Come in, young fellow.”
Adam did as he was told. The maid shut the door behind Adam and playfully smacked him on the fanny. She walked away chuckling to herself.
“You’ll have to forgive Betty,” apologized Uncle Henry. “She’s a lusty old gal.”
“I don’t pay her no mind,” Adam said. “I’m sure she keeps everyone on their toes.”
Adam beheld Lillith, standing before him.
“You look stunning my dear,” Adam said.
“Thank you,” she answered. “We don’t want to be late to the party.”
“I suppose you’re right,” Adam stated.
“Goodbye Uncle,” Lillith said while giving him a quick peck on the cheek.
Adam and Lillith walked out the door hand in hand.
The maid shut the door and turned to Henry.
“Do you mind if I stay here tonight? The maid asked. “I don’t feel like going home.”
“Not at all,” replied Uncle Henry. “I would very much appreciate the company this evening.”
“Care to play a game of cards?” asked the maid.
“Sounds splendid,” Henry replied. “Care for some brandy?”
“No thanks,” Betty protested. “Got any beer?”
“I believe I do,” answered Henry.
He retrieved the drinks, the maid grabbed the cards, and they both sat down to play. The maid unwrapped the cellophane and opened up the cardboard box, removing the cards from within. He poured himself a brandy, swirled it around, and sniffed.
“I hope Lillith will be alright,” Uncle Henry said.
“She’s just going to a party,” stated the maid.
“I meant, I wish the child would knock the chip off her shoulder she carries,” Uncle Henry replied.
“I know you loved your sister very much,” Betty began. “But you and I and the good
Lord above knows that the child was mistreated by her mother.”
“The divorce was very hard on my sister,” Uncle Henry explained. “I’m afraid Francis never fully recovered from it. She was a loving and kind person before all that happened.
“Why don’t we change the subject?” Betty suggested. “I hear the Dodgers are good this year.”
Uncle Henry chuckled. “There’s no need for hyperbole; the Dodgers have never been good.”
They both chuckled, Betty cracked open the beer, and the two made an impromptu toast.
At the Governor’s mansion, Adam and Lillith danced together under a crystal chandelier. They were surrounded by movie stars, senators, athletes, musicians, and even astronauts.
“I don’t feel like I belong here,” said Lillith.
“Your uncle is a very wealthy and well-respected businessman,” Adam stated.
“These people are superstars, extraordinary giants that have accomplished amazing things,” said Lillith.
Suddenly a cold breeze blew through the mansion causing the women to reach for their shawls.
“You never told me why you don’t care much for large social occasions,” Adam said.
“I find them to be laborious and pretentious, Lillith answered.
“These people aren’t so bad,” Adam said. “You just have to know how to speak their language.”
She saw a hooded figure staring at her, its face cloaked in shadow. Her stomach tightened; it was a similar and unpleasant feeling. This was the feeling she would have during every nightmare she had ever had since she was nine years old. That was the year her mother died; it was also the year her Uncle Henry had adopted her.
A sudden realization filled Lillith’s brain. Every nightmare she had ever had involved a cloaked figure. The face was never revealed in these night terrors, but she could always feel the hate radiating off of the cloaked figure. It walked across the floor moving quickly. Lillith followed it as the figure moved across the ballroom and out into the hallway.
“Lillith!” Adam called out to his date but she did not listen. Instead, Lillith continued to follow the hooded figure. The eyes of long-dead mayors watched from portraits on the wall. The thing in the robe stepped out onto the balcony. Then it turned and gave the ugliest and toothiest grin Lillith had ever seen. She gasped as the hag, the stringy-haired thing grabbed her wrists.
“Get off me!” Lillith screamed. Adam came out and saw his date battling what looked like to him to be the air. He tried restraining her, trying to calm her down, but in her frenzy, she pushed Adam over the edge. He screamed as he was sucked down into the blackness of the night. Next, the hate, this thing in a robe, spoke in her mother’s voice.
“You have let your hate for me consume you, and now… It will kill you!”
The hate flung herself and Lillith over the edge, and they both smashed onto the ground. Her neck spun completely around and Lillith died on impact. The hate turned to vapor. Crickets chirped and the music from the party floated through the night.