Megan’s face paled at the thump on the front door. “I forgot to take his name off the spreadsheet,” she whispered, cringing as the glass panel cracked.
Anger bubbled up. We’d been so careful, and to be undone by our semi-automated holiday festivities. “Because technology is so convenient” I hissed.
Tears started to form in Megan’s eyes, but there would be time to deal with later. If we survived.
“Did all of the guests get out?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.
She bit her lip, her eyes darting back and forth as she took mental account of the two-dozen or so friends and co-workers that had joined us. Her eyes tightened at the corners, and she gave a small nod. “All except Paula. She wouldn’t leave Lauren’s side – they’re in the attic.”
I nodded. Paula was good people, and I hoped our messed-up family situation didn’t drive her away from my baby sister. Or get her killed.
“Where...” the whispered moan sent chills down my spine, and the door rattled again. The frame would crack soon, or the glass.
Uncle Jasper was a persistent sonnuva bitch in life, and it looked like that hadn’t changed. In the end his mind was still active, but his body had failed him. Unfortunately it looked like that had changed. And with the invitation, he would be able to make it past the threshold.
I took a deep breath, there had to be something we could do. I wasn’t going to spend Christmas in the hospital, or morgue, because Uncle Jasper didn’t know when to let go.
“Maybe we should just tell him to go to the light?” Megan asked. I met her eyes, and we both shook our heads – certain there wouldn’t be light for the likes of Jasper.
“What do we do, then?”
“Did the Decker’s make it tonight?”
She shook her head. “No babysitter.”
“Great. I’ll grab Travis’s gift and you get the bottle of Christmas Merlot.”
Her eyes widened, and she nodded. Bless her, hope had returned to her face, and it bolstered me. I would get us out of this.
The path to the tree took me past the front door, I debated crawling on my belly, hoping Jasper wouldn’t see the me, but another thump and the wood around a hinge split. I darted to the tree, and he bellowed “WHERE…”
His form made a terrifying shadow on the frosted glass, and I shook as I pulled the paper from the super-soaker. Megan hissed and rolled the bottle across the floor to me. Not bothering to try to free the toy gun from the cardboard, I poured the sticky-red liquid into the reservoir. It wasn’t holy water, but Lauren had brought it back from the Vatican, and it had been blessed.
Glass cracked, and a half-decayed hand started fishing around for the knob.
A quick prayer and I raised the mounted gun.
I really hated uninvited guests.