Alternate Epilogue - Part 1

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Welcome back to Weeping Willow! This is an alternate ending about what might have happened at the end of Book #1 if something very evil had escaped from Violet's locket when Trey pried it open on the fateful drive toward White Ridge Lake. I wrote it as part of a campaign in support of Fox TV's The Exorcist, a new TV show starring Geena Davis,  Alan Ruck, Brianne Howey, and Hannah Kasulka. The entire book on which The Exorcist was based is available on the @TheExorcistFOX profile - read it if you can't get enough horror! 

I hope you enjoy this alternate ending!

It was pretty odd, returning to town as a convicted criminal at Christmastime.

There was no way that Judge Roberts could have known when he issued my sentence that my actions were perfectly justified on that chilly day back in November when my boyfriend and I assaulted a fellow student at Weeping Willow High and were chased across Shawano County by police. Using "but we were breaking an evil curse" as your defense in a court of law doesn't go over so well. If I'd dared to explain my actions with the truth, the judge would have requested that I have my head examined. So I hadn't even bothered being honest with Mr. Whaley, the pot-bellied lawyer that my mother had hired to defend me. My parents were worried enough about my mental health as it was.

Trey—my boyfriend and partner in crime—and I had agreed to allow everyone in town to think of us as juvenile delinquents. There was simply no way we were ever going to convince a courtroom full of stodgy grown-ups that we had been taking drastic actions to save the life of our friend Mischa. Even though two girls from our high school had already died earlier that fall exactly as Violet Simmons—the new girl at our high school from Chicago—had predicted they would, no one was going to believe us. If there was a surefire way to make adults suspect that you were under the influence of drugs or totally losing it, blabbing on and on about ghosts and evil spirits was it.

Now, five weeks later, I had been granted a vacation pass from the Dearborn School for Girls to visit my mom back at home in Wisconsin for the holiday. Behind the wheel of her car, Mom was uncharacteristically quiet. Still mad at me, I assumed, which was fair enough. The trouble I'd gotten myself into trying to undo the curse that Violet had cast upon me and my friends at Olivia Richmond's Sweet Sixteen party in September had cost my mom a ton of money in legal fees. Not to mention the fact that I'd probably destroyed my chance of ever getting into a good college.

"What do you think about a pizza from Federico's for lunch?" Mom asked when we reached the border between Michigan and Wisconsin.

My stomach rumbled at the mere mention of real food. I'd been subsisting on whole wheat toast and iceberg lettuce for the last five weeks because everything else in the Dearborn cafeteria was inedible. "Are you serious?" I asked.

"Sure," Mom said. "We can order it now and pick it up on the way home." Pizza was a peace offering. It was her way of assuring me that she didn't intend to spend the next ten days making me feel guilty. This simple gesture made me feel even guiltier; my mom was the best, and in no way did she deserve the hell I'd put her through over the course of the last few months.

Trey and I had been sent to separate boarding schools as punishment, where we weren't allowed to exchange letters or emails. Not being allowed to communicate freely with Trey was the worst part of being sent away from home—even worse than the lack of privacy, being called "crazy girl" by my classmates (word gets around fast in boarding school about why you ended up there), and missing my friends in Weeping Willow. We were permitted ten-minute phone calls on pay phones every Sunday night, during which we couldn't discuss any of the unbelievable things we'd witnessed earlier that fall since both of us were usually receiving nasty side-eyes from our classmates urging us to hurry up.

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