Alternate Epilogue - Part 4

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An hour later, after Father Fahey had heard both of our private confessions and armed us with a gallon of freshly blessed holy water, Mischa and I argued about what to do next as we stepped out of the cold and into Hennessey's Pharmacy.

"He said we need to move quickly," I reminded Mischa. Father Fahey had told us that if Trey were truly possessed by a demonic presence, he'd already know that we were plotting to confront him. He'd be expecting us when we arrived, and the longer we waited to address the problem, the more prepared he'd be to thwart us.

We wandered down the pharmacy's junk aisle, in which shelves boasted discounted holiday merchandise, household objects like flashlights, and the item we sought: plastic spray bottles. "Yeah, but I don't think putting this off until tomorrow would be such a bad thing," Mischa argued. "I mean, he told you to read that booklet over a couple times, didn't he? So what if you go home and study up, and I'll go home and eat pumpkin ravioli, and we can reconvene to drive the devil out of town in the morning?"

"Seriously? You want to put off saving Trey's life for pumpkin ravioli?"

"My mom only makes it once a year!"

Our bickering was interrupted by an unexpected male voice. "Hey, McKenna." We both turned to find Henry Richmond, Olivia's older brother, standing behind us. I hadn't seen handsome Henry since earlier that fall when I'd run into him after Olivia's funeral.

"Awkward," Mischa said in a tiny voice beside me. Henry had asked me to be his date to the Homecoming dance, which had been postponed because of Olivia's tragic death. He'd been a tennis star at Weeping Willow High School before he graduated. The last time I'd talked with him he had mentioned taking a leave of absence from his college studies at Northwestern to remain in town with his parents, who were still reeling from the shock of Olivia's violent death.

"Hey, Henry," I replied in a shy greeting. It felt like it had been a long while since Henry Richmond had crossed my mind. He and his parents had sat in on some of my court proceedings following the incident in November, but I'd avoided his gaze—half out of shame, half in apology. Although he had auburn hair and Olivia had been blonde, Henry looked so much like his deceased sister that it made me feel a little uncomfortable to look at him. It hadn't been so long ago that Olivia had been thrilled at the prospect of my dating her older brother, but that was before I'd fallen in love with Trey. Henry Richmond was the embodiment of the path not chosen; he was what my future might have been if I hadn't agreed to play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board with Violet.

"I know it's kind of a weird thing for me to say, but thank you," he said to both me and Mischa. "I mean, for all the stuff you did in the fall, to you know..."

He didn't have to finish. My head filled in the words for him: avenge my sister's death.

"My parents and I... we didn't want to believe it could be true. Candace had come over to our house after Olivia's funeral and was talking all kinds of craziness about some game that you guys had played, and how that girl Violet was evil," Henry said. "Anyhow, when you got in all that trouble in November, everything kind of fell into place and made more sense. She really did, um, cast a curse on my sister and Candace?"

Mischa, standing next to me, raised the plastic gallon jug of holy water that she was carrying. "She cast it on all of us. We wouldn't be standing here in the holiday fun aisle of Hennessey's with a gallon of holy water if we weren't in a crapload of danger."

Henry looked from the jug to me with concern in his eyes. "Are you guys serious? What's going on?"

"We can't talk about it here," I said. Word traveled fast in a town as small as Weeping Willow.

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