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The Darken Vessel 3

Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!

A very close encounter ...

A very close encounter ...

Don’t Go Home ...

Once again Muffin is the quiet, docile feline that Billy left in Clarissa’s room. He is shook up at the sight of Muffin but feels he can safely approach her—at least for now.

Finding a clean towel, he wets a cloth and begins trying to make Muffin presentable again. At first the cat is softly purring, happy for the attention given her by Billy. However, this doesn’t last for long. The young man immediately notices the subtle but deliberate changes occurring in the feline. When he finishes grooming her, he hears a recognizable hiss.

“I’m getting out of here!” Billy grabs the towel and slams Clarissa’s door behind him. Going into his room, he gathers his things for class along with the Boston Slugger baseball bat. Checking to see if the door is securely closed, he leaves the house.

Going into the garage, Billy makes it just in time before he hears a growling sound coming from behind. It’s not in his backseat and he’s not waiting around for it to be there. Punching the ignition, Billy floors it, not bothering to close the garage door behind him.

Before entering the lab at the university, he decides to call his sisters.

“Clare, don’t go home!” Billy orders.

“What are you talking about Billy?” Clarissa questions in alarm.

“There is something definitely wrong with Muffin. First, she tries to attack me and then she disappears and comes back covered in blood.” Billy finds it hard to compose himself.

“Are you serious? Is this some kind of prank, Billy?” Once again Clarissa seems not to accept facts. Her cat is becoming a monster. Subsequently, Amanda takes the phone from her.

“I believe you, Billy. I think it’s our fault.” Amanda offers.

“What are you talking about? Never mind, I’ve only got a few minutes before my test. I need you to warn mom.” Billy demands while rushing up the steps to his psychology class.

“She’ll be madder than a wet hen when we tell her.” Clarissa has taken back control of her cellphone and her common sense.

“What do you mean?” Billy is paused at the laboratory door.

“We bought a Ouija Board.” There, she’s said it.

“What?” Billy screams and several students look at him in alarm. “Hey, I’m sorry. I just heard some disturbing news from my kid sister.” Billy tries to calm the other students down who now return to finding their seats in the psychology lab.

After things have settled down for a minute, Billy returns to his cellphone. “I don’t have time to wring your neck now—remind it to do it later. Are you out of your mind? I’ve got to take this test. Call mom, then go to Mrs. Willis’ place. I’ll see you later.” Billy abruptly turns the cellphone off and reluctantly finds his seat in the psychology lab.

“We’ve got to let mom know everything.” Clarissa concludes while staring at her phone.

“Why don’t you call and tell her now?” Amanda suggests.

“Not until we’ve had a talk with Mrs. Willis.” Clarissa responds.

“Do you want mom to come home and find Muffin possessed?” Amanda queries and Clarissa gives her a scared look.


“Then let’s get this over with.” Amanda demands. Of the two girls, when there is a crisis, Amanda has always proven to be the most levelheaded.

Unfortunately, Maxine has already finish her meeting and has returned home to check on her daughters. When she finds the garage door open, she becomes extremely concerned. Then, when she sees the bloody towel, she instantly goes into panic mode.

“Clarissa, Amanda are you alright.” Maxine screams, holding the bloody towel in her hands. Mr. Willis, the elderly man from across the street, hears her and comes right over. He eyes the bloody towel and immediately takes it away from Maxine Gordon.

“You’d better come with me, Maxine. I’ll call the police.” Mr. Willis grabs her arm but she jerks it away.

“My daughters are in there and they could be hurt.”

“I know, but we still need to call the police.” Mr. Willis explains.

One angry kitty!

One angry kitty!

At that moment, Maxine’s phone begins to ring. It’s Clarissa.

“Mom, whatever you do, don’t go into the house.” A frantic Clarissa tells her mother.

“Are you alright? Where are you and what’s going on?” Maxine is hysterical as she puts her phone on speaker. She listens as her elder daughter tells the story of them buying the board from Mr. Greenburg and the things that transpire later. She also informs her of what happened with Billy. Mr. Willis shakes his head.

“If you girls are playing some kind of elaborate hoax—” however before she can finish talking Muffin appears before her and Mr. Willis. Maxine almost drops her phone as she looks at the size of the animal. Mr. Willis eyes the bat that Billy left propped against the wall and with the agility of a much younger man dives for it. His timing proves to be accurate as the cat is moments from attacking.

“Muffin—Muffin, is that you?” Maxine stammers looking bewildered.

“She’s not the Muffin we know, Missy.” Mr. Willis interjects. “Now stand behind me. We’ll walk slowly toward my house.”

Then Mr. Willis speaks directly to the cat. “I don’t know who or what you are but if you come toward us, I will bash your head like a ripe melon.”

Muffin gives him an malevolent stare but returns to the house.

“We’ve got to get rid of that damn Ouija Board!” Mr. Willis proclaims.

“And then those two girls and really in for a lifetime of being grounded. By the time I allow them their privileges, it will be the year 2000!” Maxine decides.

“Hey, don’t be too hard on the girls. I’m sure you’ve done a few things in your time.” Mr. Willis admonishes. He is very fond of those two sister, because his wife Josephine was never able to have children.

“A young man was murdered—shredded to bits and now this thing tried to attack us.” Maxine explains as they keep walking toward his house.

“Yes, but that creature we just saw is entirely different from Muffin. She is much larger and has a totally different disposition.” Mr. Willis points out.

“Mr. Willis—Jed, did you see her? Are you totally blind as well as senile?” Maxine regrets the words as soon as they pass her lips.

“You think I’m senile?” There is such a look of hurt on Mr. Willis’ face that Maxine bites her lower lip in regret.

“No, I’m so sorry. You and your wife have been wonderful regarding my children, especially the girls. What I’m saying is you can’t let your love of them or the fondest you have for Muffin cloud the issue. That’s a killer and its occupying my house.” Maxine tries to calm herself down.

“Like I said before, we call the police. By the time your husband returns from his business trip, this whole mess will be resolved.” Mr. Willis tries to be reassuring.

“Can the police combat supernatural forces?” Maxine questions as she sits in Mr. Willis’ living room.

“Jed, what’s going on? Howdy Maxine.” Sophie, the matron of the house responds.

Jed begins to explain to Sophie what has occurred. She goes into the kitchen, pours herself a small glass of Sweet Sherry and then gives one to Maxine who eagerly accepts.

“Maxine’s right, Jed. You call the police and tell them what you just told me, and they will schedule you for psychiatric evaluation. We need to talk to the Greenburgs about this. Why on earth would Matthew sell them a Ouija Board in the first place.” Sophie shakes her head in disbelief.

“That’s what we’d all like to know.” Maxine retorts. “Just let me get my hands on those girls.”

“They are just that—girls. Smart, inquisitive girls. I’d put that Amanda up against any know-it-all. Clarissa is great with technology, but Amanda’s got good old fashion common sense.” Sophia brags.

“It’s a pity she wasn’t using it when they bought that board.” Maxine chides “But I can’t really blame them for what’s happen. And yes Jed, I have done some very foolish things when I was growing up. I just didn’t cause anybody’s death as the results of it.” The three look at each other and sigh.

To Be Continued ...

The Darken Vessel 4

  • The Darken Vessel 4
    Clarissa and Amanda have the perilous task of facing the vengeful spirit of Great Aunt Emily. However, they have two unexpected allies. The undertaking is considered dangerous, but they are determined to correct the foolish mistake they have made!

© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS