Due to the holidays and other things going on, I thought before we continue any further with the story, it would be nice to give a little recap of what’s been going on. This week I am re-posting parts 8, 9 and 10 of Beware the Dybbuk, just in case you may have missed a week or need a reminder of where we are with the story. If you’d like, you can always go to the archives to start from the beginning. Be sure to come back next week to find out what happens next!
Beware the Dybbuk
By Robin Renee Ray
Cindy woke and panic set in. She tried with all of her might to pull her hands free from the restraints behind her back. As soon as she moaned she felt one of Harold’s feet slam into her back. She screamed through the gag and rolled to her side trying to see who had kicked her. Once she saw the way Harold looked she began to struggle even more.
Harold grabbed a hand full of hair and lifted her from the floor until his face was just inches from hers. “I suggest you stop, or I will beat you to death right now.” Then he backhanded Cindy so hard that she hit the floor with an enormous force, leaving her hair in Harold’s hand. He put it to his nose and took a deep breath then let the strands fall down over her face. “Do we have an understanding?”
All that Cindy could do was nod as she rolled to her side to keep from choking on the blood that was coming from her nose. She closed her eyes tight when he stepped over her and leaned down. She was whimpering when he caressed her arm, praying he wouldn’t hit her again. “I have to go take care of your older brother now, but I will be back.” Cindy’s eyes flew open and she started shaking her head as she tried to speak through the gag.
“Do you wish to tell me something?” he asked and Cindy nodded several times.
“If I remove the tape do you promise not to scream, because if you do, I will hurt you.”
She nodded and he pulled the tape off. Cindy held the yell the threatened to unleash from the pain back, as the tape tore from her flesh. “I’ll do whatever you want just please don’t hurt my family.”
“You should have never come here. I was the one who took care of the Lady Bernstein and I am the one who should gain all she had. Not you or your crippled father.”
“We didn’t know, there wasn’t a will that said she left this to you or we would have never come here, I swear.”
“You would say anything right now, wouldn’t you?”
“No, please I swear we didn’t know.”
Harold turned his head as if he was listening to things that Cindy couldn’t hear. “Yes, you’re right, but…” His body fell back and a new slash appeared on the side of his neck. Without speaking he grabbed the tape and lifted Cindy’s head by her hair as she begged him not to hurt her. He wrapped the tape around her head instead of tearing a piece off. “You try and talk to me again and I will cut your tongue out.” Then he dropped her and walked out.
Harold made it up to the first floor, falling into the gray walls of the passageway. He was beginning to feel the effects of the blood loss and knew if the being that came from the box kept hurting him, he would die and everything he was trying to do would be in vain. His thoughts went from killing the kid, to killing the thing that was controlling him, only he couldn’t harm what he couldn’t touch. Seconds after the thought of the being had entered his mind he was slammed into the wall and lifted to the ceiling. His body hung in midair with his head painfully angled against the wood slats that made up the passage’s ceiling.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.” His body dropped like a rock.
All three stood by the fireplace and backed away from the area of the sounds. It was Mike who walked over and placed his ear to the wall, listening for the sound they heard just seconds before. He looked back at Gabby and Sam and motioned with his hand for them to come closer, but then put a finger to his lips. He pointed at the wall and nodded, “Something is back there,” he whispered, putting his head back up to the wall.
“Like a person?” Sam asked a little too loud and got a bad look from his brother. “Sorry, but do you think it’s human or a ghost?” he spoke low as he moved closer to the wall.
“Shut up, Sam,” Gabby said in a low voice, grabbing Sam by the arm and pulling him back.
Gabby got close to Mike and also leaned onto the wall and heard the sound of shuffling feet. Her eyes grew larger at the fact that something or someone was in the space between the walls. She mouthed the words, ‘a person’and Mike shrugged his shoulders. Gabby stepped back and waved for Mike to come with her. Once they were back by the fireplace she asked, “Do you think it’s that creepy butler?”
“It sounded too big to be rats, so yeah. I think there has to be some kind of secret passage between the walls and that would explain how Cindy disappeared so fast. Sam, start feeling around the wall and see if you can find a latch or something that might be a door. Gabby, you gather a few candles in case the batteries go out on the flash light. I’m going to the kitchen and get a few of those butcher knives.”
“What’s wrong with these daggers?” Sam asked, pulling his from his back pocket.
“I think they’re just decoration and I want to make sure that we have something that will work when and if we need them.”
“No way, Mike, you can’t go alone and you can’t leave us in here. We all go or nothing,” Gabby said then added. “What if this guy is really strong and takes you.”
Mike looked up at Gabby as if a light switch had gone off in his mind. “That’s it.”
“What’s it?” Gabby frowned.
“That’s how we find Cindy. I can hide a weapon and then go alone and let the freak grab me. He will take me to where he has Cindy.”
“You’re talking crazy, Mike. What if it’s not that man? What if it is the Dybbuk?” Sam asked as he hugged himself.“Gabby’s right, we have to stick together.”
“I know you’re scared Sam, but it may be the only way to find her. I can take that old man then bring her back and then we will get the hell out of here. And if it’s not Grey that’s doing this, then I will take on whatever is.”
“You can’t hurt the Dybbuk with a knife.”
“He may be right Sam, and there is no such thing as a ghost or that stupid story that dad told you,” Gabby looked at Mike. “You be careful and if nothing happens when you go down that hall then you get those knives and hurry back.”
“I will, and if I don’t come back you and Sam stay close to this fireplace and stay together. I have to say this, if Cindy and I aren’t back before the sun comes up, when it does, you and Sam try to get out.” He put his finger to his mouth again then spoke louder. “I’m going to go to the kitchen and look for a few weapons, you two keep these daggers and stay put, I will be right back.” Then he winked.
Without waiting for a reply, Mike stepped out into the foyer and then headed down the hall. He looked back once and saw Gabby and Sam looking around the corner. He smiled then continued down the hall and disappeared into the kitchen.
To be continued…
Harold froze when he heard the oldest boy speaking and hurried down the passage to meet the boy in the kitchen. He slid the panel back and saw him going through the drawers and knew he better hurry before the young man was able to get a weapon. Within three steps he was directly behind Mike and raising his fist to hit him in the back of the head. The boy pulled a large butcher knife out of the drawer as Harold’s doubled up fist slammed into the back of his head, knocking him into the cabinet and then down on the floor.
Mike kept his eyes closed as the big man rolled him onto his stomach and tied his hands together. He stayed still while he was flipped back over and dragged to the secret panel by his ankles. Mike opened his eyes just a slit to see the secret door he was being dragged through then quickly closed them as Mr. Grey stepped over him to close the panel. Before he picked his feet back up he kicked Mike a few times, looking down at his face to see if he would respond. He smiled and continued down the passage and to the steps that led down to the room by the basement.
Pain shot through Mike’s back and head with each step that Harold took, but he forced himself to pretend to be unconscious while trying to hold his head up to ease the force of the blow of the wooden steps. When they reached the bottom, one of Mike’s feet were dropped while another panel was opened. Shortly thereafter he was dragged through an opening and placed by one of the walls.
“Look what I have little sister,” Harold laughed. “Looks like the Dybbuk was right, he was easier to get than I thought.”
Cindy rolled her head over and saw Mike lying by the wall, as still as the dead, and she began to cry. She looked back at Harold who was standing by the wooden chest, rubbing his hands over the top of it. When she looked back at her brother he opened his eyes and winked at her, it was then that she stopped crying and was grateful to not be alone with the crazy man. She blinked twice then looked back at Mr. Grey when Mike closed his eyes.
Gabby was holding her mouth when she and Sam dared to look down the hall when they heard what sounded like a crash. She saw a figure going through the wall with Mike’s feet in its hands. It was too dark to tell who was taking her brother, but she knew it was Mike on the ground. The only thing she could do was hope that he was still alive.
“We shouldn’t have let him go, Gabby. What if Cindy’s…”
“Don’t say it, Sam. Cindy and Mike will be fine, he knows what he’s doing. Come on, we better put more wood on the fire.”
“If that son of a bitch comes in here I will use one of these daggers, decoration or not. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Gabby was about to reply when the front door flew open and the storm blew leaves inside, all over the foyer floor. They walked to the entrance of the family room hand in hand and looked in disbelief at the open door. “Should we close it?” Gabby asked.
“Hell no, but we should put a chair in front of it to hold it open.”
As soon as Sam walked over to get a chair the door slammed closed. Both jumped and Sam ran back to Gabby and grabbed her arm. “You saw it! There was no one there to close it. Now do you believe there are ghosts or worse?”
“I saw it Sam, but maybe the wind closed it.”
“No way, the wind was blowing in.”
“All right, I’m going to agree with you that something is really odd, but I just can’t say it’s some type of ghost. Maybe that creepy Mr. Grey set this place up?”
“Let’s go see if it will open, then we can go back by the fireplace,” Sam replied as he gently pulled Gabby toward the foyer.
After crossing the foyer floor, both stood and looked at the knob. It was Sam that reached out and turned it. The door opened with ease and they looked at the other. Sam closed it, then reopened it, and then smiled at Gabby. He was about to close the door when Gabby was yanked backwards and across the foyer floor. Sam started to go to her when he was lifted up into the air and thrown into the wall by the staircase.
“Sam!” Gabby yelled, trying to make her way on her hands and knees to where he now lay, completely motionless. Her head went back as she was pulled to her feet and lifted by her hair. She kicked and screamed as she held her own hair to keep it from ripping from her scalp. “Sam, help me!” she screamed as an invisible hand slapped her across the face.
Sam moaned then opened his eyes to see Gabby’s hair pulled taught above her head and nothing there to hold it. He jumped to his feet and ran over and grabbed her around the waist and tried to pull her back to the floor. “Let her go,” he yelled and put all of his might into holding on as the same invisible force busted his bottom lip. A few seconds later they both collapsed to the floor. “I told you…I told you.”
“Oh God, Sam, you’re bleeding.”
“What the hell was that?”
“I don’t know,” Gabby said trying to hold the tears back for Sam’s sake. “But I think you may be right about that box we found in the basement.”
“I wish dad was here, he said things about his ancestors sending a Dybbuk back to hell.”
“We need to pray Sam, for us and Mike and Cindy. Whatever pulled me into the air and threw you into the wall was pure evil that much I know for sure.”
Mike pulled the small steak knife out of his back pocket and started working on the rope that held his hands firmly together. He would stop when the one they knew as Mr. Grey turned around and faced him, but the moment he turned his back, Mike went back to work on his restraints. He stopped when Mr. Grey dropped to his knees and fell forward.
“He won’t be a problem, I tied his hands tight,” Harold Grey said to the voice that hissed warnings in his ear. He pushed himself up onto his hands and knees, and threw up a puddle of blood. He then rose to his feet and walked over to where Mike was pretending to be unconscious and kicked him as hard as he could in the face breaking all pretenses. Mike was out cold. Then he turned his attention to Cindy.
To be continued….
After holding Sam so tight he had to complain about not being able to breathe, Gabby got to her feet with her little brother in tow and pulled him up the stairs to the bedroom that they’d shared, the last time they had all been together. Both looked around with eyes twice their normal size, trying to get a glimpse of the being that had attacked. “I have to find my bag,” Gabby whispered as she pushed the door open.”
“No…” Gabby spun around. “You have to watch our backs, Sam. I have a weapon, just let me get it.”
Sam rolled his eyes, turning to look out the bedroom door. “I was going to get a weapon too, Gab. I have a pocket knife.”
“You have a boy scout knife. I have this,” Gabby stepped up beside him holding up a small can of pepper spray.
“That’s your weapon? What ya gonna do, burn his eyes to death?”
Gabby punched him in the arm. “The cops use this stuff.” Her brows were wrinkled and the importance of his understanding was written all over her face, so Sam nodded. As they stepped out of the door, two firm hands grasped the front of Sam’s shirt and yanked him off of his feet, causing him and Gabby to both started screaming. The can of pepper spray appeared and Harold Grey’s guttural cries could be heard all through the estate.
Sam’s eyes were burning from the fog that came off of the stream of pepper spray that hit Harold’s blood coated face. He pulled his fist back and hit Harold as hard as he could. The old man’s flesh split at the jawbone and slid with Sam’s hand as it went up and over the side of the man’s nose. Both of the hands that were wrapped in Sam’s shirt let go as they went to the open wound. Sam looked back at his sister who was screaming non-stop, then turned back and kick the big man who then fell backwards down the staircase.
Grabbing her hand, Sam darted down the stairs, leaping over the crumpled man lying midway down the slightly curved stairway. “Just jump, I have you!” Sam yelled, pulling on Gabby’s hand. He watched as the fear spread across her face and lifted his foot and stomped it down hard on the top of the man who had haunted them since he had opened the front door. “Now, come on, he can’t hurt you.” Nodding past the tears, Gabby took the three step leap over the horror under her feet and let her baby brother hold her.
“I’m so scared, Sam.”
“It’s gonna be okay Gabby. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
He could hear her crying as the throbbing pain invaded his ears. Mike tried to listen to his surroundings before opening his eyes but all he could hear was his sister and the pulse of his own heart, the sound that came with every throb of the pain that started from the kick to his face. Taking in small breaths through his mouth, he leaned forward and opened his eyes. The room was empty except for him and his baby sister who was curled up on her side with her arms tied painfully behind her back.
“Cindy, baby can you hear me?”
“I wanna go home,” she cried her reply.
“We will sweetie, I just need you to be brave for me and stop crying. Can you do that for me?”
Cindy nodded and slowly became silent. “Good girl. I almost have my hands free, you just let me know if you see or hear anything. Everything’s going to be all right.”
“Did you see his body all twisted on the ground, Mike? Sam was right, it was in that man.”
Mike cut through the rope and quickly brought his hands around, crying out in pain as he grabbed his shoulders. “Mike!” He hushed her then began cutting the restraints around his feet. Afterwards he rushed to Cindy’s side, first hugging her then immediately cutting her hands free. Once her feet were free, he lifted her up off the floor.
“Do you think you can walk?”
“I don’t know…and my arms hurt so bad Mike.”
A loud sound came from the wall behind them and Cindy would have screamed had Mike not been close enough to put his hand over her mouth. He shook his head and as fast as he could made his way to the door that took them down into the basement. The moment they stepped through a bright glow floated down from the floor above their heads, and just as quickly vanished through the closed door that once held the locked wooden box, that the siblings thought of as a treasure chest. Mike stepped toward the hidden door and Cindy grabbed his arm.
“Don’t Mike, let’s just get out of here.”
“You start up the steps, I’ll be right behind you.” He gently pushed her on the back, nodding, then continued toward the door behind the basement steps.
To be continued….