Posted on November 02 2018 by Sean Gadus
Warning this story contains mature content. Continue at your own peril…
Amy died the next day. Beth had felt the fever burning on her brow for days; getting hotter and hotter, but nothing Beth did was able stop it. It was like fighting an army with one of Joelle’s sewing needles: brave, but utterly hopeless. Grannie’s blue potions did nothing and the shopper keeper’s special green elixir only seemed to make Amy cough more. A shroud of darkness had fallen over the ornate Forest Temple, Beth had no idea when it would lift.
Following Beth’s instruction, Jo had left Beth the difficult task of telling Meg about Amy’s death. Beth sat with Meg in room, sitting on the bed next to her sister. Meg sat huddled, her hands over her face, weeping furiously. It was two hours before Meg could form a coherent sentence. Her tears drenched the mansion like a heavy rain. Her cries echoed through the halls which now felt even more empty. The family had entered as four sisters, now only three remained. Amy had barely even lived in the house, she had merely coexisted balefully under its roof, until the time had come for Amy to depart. Amy was gone, but the sister’s pain was sharp and biting, like a knife wound that maims without killing.
“Meg.” Beth said quietly, as they entered the octagonal storage room, where Joelle and Beth had placed Amy’s cold, lifeless corpse. Beth had her hands gently on Meg’s slump shoulders as they approached the shrouded figure. The tiny form was covered by a long grey shroud, the color of a stormy sky. Only her head was visible, peaking out from the cloudy covering. Amy’s sweet eyes were closed. She could almost be sleeping, Beth noted bitterly. First mama gone, now Amy.
“Meg.” Beth said quietly. Meg stared at the floor pointedly, without looking at her older sister. Beth put one hand on her sister’s chin and raised her head slowly. Meg’s eyes were red and dark circles tainted the beautiful young girl’s large, expressive eyes.
“Can you keep Amy company until we get back. We need to prepare a place for Amy, so–” Beth swallowed, heart broken, “–so she can rest.”
Meg nodded, “I’ll do everything I can to help her.”
Beth hugged her sister, battling her own grief. She was desperately trying to stay strong for Meg’s sake. “Thank you.”
It took Beth and Jo two painful hours to dig the grave in the courtyard. It was soul crushing work for Beth. She felt like she was preparing to burying part of herself,. She was discarding a sacred and secret part of herself that she herself hadn’t even gotten to understand. By the end of the experience Beth and her twin sister were drenched in a cold sweat, mud caking their clothes, stuck beneath their fingernails, like a stain. Jo trudged back inside, leaving Beth alone in the courtyard, who wondered what could possibly be more unimaginably painful than bury her own sister.
Beth heard a scream. Her head spun towards the noise. A blood curdling, terrified, horrified howl of shock. It was Jo. Beth dropped her shovel with a clang. She ripped the door open and raced through darkened hallways. She could feel the fear grow with every step. She passed through darkened door after darkened door, leaving the thick doors swinging open in her wake.
Beth burst through the door to the storage chamber. “Jo!”
Joelle knelt on the cold stone floor, obscuring Amy’s small form. Beth quickly assessed the situation. Meg sat in the corner on the floor of the octagonal room. Beth examined her sister closely. Meg’s eyes were unfocused as if she was half asleep. It took Beth a second to notice that the purple dress was covered in dark stains. Beth gasped. Putting her one of her hands over her face.
Beth could see a long trail of red flowing from somewhere in front of Joelle. Blood. Blood everywhere. Oozing over the floor, like a scarlet river.
“Jo!” Beth yelped, her voicing sharper and rougher than she intended it.
“Beth.” The voice was like a whisper, hoarse. “Beth. Beth! Meg did—-the pieces of her—-” Joelle stood up suddenly and hurled herself at Beth. She wrapped her arms around her twin sister. Jo shook like a leaf, weeping into Beth’s arms.
Beth let go of her sister. She step to the side to see past her sister and promptly vomited bile onto floor. She fell to her knees and retched a second time. Grimly, she wiped her mouth on her sleeve. Now that Joelle had moved, Beth could see that the family’s meat cleaver was on the floor, stained black with blood. Amy’s torso and head was intact, but her arms and legs were spread on the floor, scattered like leaves from a tree. Each of Amy’s short limbs had been had roughly severed, with jagged chunks of flesh littering the floor. Beth could see the thin bone of Amy’s right arm jutting out of the bloody mess that lay on the floor.
Beth trembled, struggling to put the pieces together. Confusion reigned in her brain, scattering her thoughts into a mixture of accusations and denials. Two hours ago, she had left to dig a grave for Amy. Amy had been cared for, prepared for burial; her sister had been pristine. Now she was bloody mess on the blood; limbs hacked off with brutal, but effective strokes of their family’s own meat cleaver. Chunks of flesh and a standing pool of blood stained the cold stone floor. What little remained of her arms and legs resembled chunks of animal meat more than the body of a human being.
Jo had never left Beth’s side in the past two hours. She would swear on her life, on Amy’s life, that Jo had never left her side. That left Meg. Beth’s eyes widened and she turned sharply back to the girl, who was still inexplicably staring blankly into space across the room, staring at nothing.
“Jo.” Beth said, struggling with every instinct that told to her to run and hide from this desecration. She thought of Papa, who wasn’t there, of Jo who knelt next to her, of Meg who was goddesses know where. She knew what she had to do. “Can you leave us alone.”
“Beth….” Jo turned to face her. Terror etched on her face, her face white as a sheet, a vein pulsing in her twin’s pale temple. She shook her head, as if trying to shake away a half remembered nightmare. “Beth… no…”
“Please.” Click Click. She tapped her heels together urgently. Jo understood the message intuitively. Trust Me.
Jo trembled as she stood up, rising up to her full height. Her dark hair was scattered and messy. She had blood staining her hands. Slowly, Joelle nodded her head gravely. Click Click. I trust you. Joelle walked to the door, her lonely footsteps echoing through the dead air. She took one last look at the room, at the remains of Amy, splashed across the floor as if it was a bloody canvas.
With a boom, Jo slammed the door shut behind her. Beth registered cries of anguish and the sound of weeping as that couldn’t be masked, no matter how much Jo tried to conceal it. Her pain leached through walls and passed through cold stone as if it was all immaterial, her horror and grief knew no measures.
“Meg.” Beth said, approaching her sister, each step careful and controlled. She gently put her hand on her sister’s pale face. There had to be a reason, an explanation for this. Something to make sense of this senseless act of depravity. A child could not do this to her sister. Not this child.
Meg twitched. Blinking twice.
“Meg.” Beth’s voice grew stronger. She had to understand. If she understood, she could help Meg, help Jo. Maybe even help Amy, who limbs still littered the floor in a pool of ichor and gore.
Meg was trembling now, her eyes starting to focus on Beth. They flicked from Beth to the floor and the fleshed scattered across the center of the room.
Meg started crying, wailing as the tears spilled. She put her hands on her face, muffling her words.. “I—I thought… I thought…” Meg seesawed back and forth, her body sputtering in and out of motion. She held her hands crossed on her chest, pressing her arms pointedly with her thin, blood stained hands. It was as if Meg had been asleep; now she was awake. It was all washing over her, too much for her, driving her into a frenzy of frantic motion.
Beth put her other arm firmly on Meg’s shoulder. Meg stopped rocking, stopped moving, she was staring straight into Beth’s eyes. Beth held her steady. “What happened?”
Meg lunged towards her sister and wrapped her around Beth tightly, holding her as if she was afraid Beth would turn and leave her forever. Beth held her sister gently, trying to shake out the images that sprung up in her mind. Flashes of a meat cleaver falling like a guillotine toward arms and leg. Beth shook the nightmarish thoughts off and return her attention to the sniffling, moaning, frantic child in her arms.
“I thought I could take her apart and put the pieces back together and everything would be okay. Like a puzzle.”
A involuntary chill ran through Beth. To hide it, she wrapped her arms around Meg tightly. What did that even mean. Putting her together? By cutting her up? By mutilating her sister? Beth had taught Meg about the rules of Hyrule, that a soul without a burial may not find peace. She had warned her and reminded her about it in every ghost story she had ever told Meg. And yet somehow, Meg had forgotten it all and just started hacking the corpse of her sister to pieces. It was impossible lunacy.
There was silence as Beth tried desperately to make sense of it. She could not. What sane person could? Finally, Beth said: “Let me take you to your room.” What else was there to say, in the face of this senselessness? All Beth could think to do is to help her sister escape it.
Beth picked her tearful, blood stained sister up and carried her from the room, from the nightmare of Meg’s own making. Beth shook her head again. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about the… blood. Blood everywhere. She could see Amy’s left arm laying on the floor, pointed straight at her. Beth shivered. Had that hand always been pointed that way? She thought it had been pointed straight in Jo’s direction, not toward Meg and Beth. She shook her head, clearing the horrible thoughts away. She closed the nightmare away with her free hang and heaved her sister up the stairs with as much speed as she could muster.
As they were entering Meg’s room, the young girl started to cry again. Hot, salty, terrified tears dripped down Meg’s face.
“I want us to be together again. But now Amy’s gone. How can we be together if Amy’s gone?”
Beth bit her lip. “Meg, when someone dies, they don’t really leave us. They’re with us forever.”
“Like mama?” Meg asked, her voice breaking slightly.
“Yes,” Beth said hoarsely, “Like mama.” Meg didn’t know the truth. Beth would never tell her about what really happened to Mama. Papa had made them swear long ago to never tell Meg and Amy. Beth kept her promises.
Beth placed Meg gently on her bed. “I’ll come get you for dinner. Please stay here until them.”
Beth closed the door. Slowly, she took a chain from around her neck. A small silver key dangled at the end of the chain. Glancing around, Beth slipped the key into the keyhole and turn it to the left, she heard a click. She loved Meg. But something terrible was wrong. Something terrible had happened to their family today and it wasn’t just Amy. Whatever Meg had done, it had wrought a terrible toll on her too. She need to be protected. Kept safe, even if that meant locking her away until she was better, even if that meant saving her from herself. Beth would do it. As the goddesses were her witness, she would save Meg. Beth stowed the key away and moved cautiously down the hall. Death and silence had taken ownership over the house. It was a home no longer, it was becoming a tomb of cold, gray stone.
In the kitchen, Beth stared down at the slab of beef that she had been cutting earlier this morning. She could see the blood oozing out of it. A razor sharp knife still planted in the soft meat. Beth had sharpened the meat cleaver yesterday, complaining about its dullness. She shivered. And the blood- the blood of the animal looked no different than Amy’s blood, pooling all over the floor. Amy’s limps strewn over the floor in a bloody—
Beth vomited into a bucket on the floor, trying to put the image out of her mind. Trying, and failing.
Still on her knees, Beth looked up. Joelle was standing in the doorway, her clothes stained with dark red blood and dried tears. Her face was tight, her mouth pressed into a hard line. She had her arms crossed tightly over her chest, as if she was trying desperately to warm herself on a cold winter night. A chill had descended on the temple. Jo had felt it first, but Beth could feel it now.
“What did she say?”
Beth put her head on her forehead, straining to stay calm. Breath, she thought to herself. Just breath.
She could see her sister’s arm, lying on the floor, her lifeless fingers pointing towards her, as if accusing her, surrounded by a see of crimson. Beth shook the thought out of her mind, battling it away with all her might.
Beth swallowed. Her answer came out hoarse and tepid. “She said she wanted to put her back together? Make the pieces fit again.”
“What does that mean!” Jo screamed, her voice exploding in confusion and fear. “Beth! I walked in and I saw Meg moving the parts—the pieces of her— around on the floor. Like Amy was a doll!”
Beth didn’t answer. What could she say?
“What are we going to do!” Jo’s voice range out, a desperate command.
Beth bit her lip, “I’ve got to go find Papa.”
“Papa said he wouldn’t be returning for another two days.” Jo replied, her voice brittle.
‘I’ll go halfway and meet him out on the road. Once he hears what happens.” Beth wiped her eyes. “He’ll come back. He has to.”
“You want me to stay here with Meg?” Jo asked, her body trembling, her fingers were moving with nervous, frightful energy. “I can’t do that alone.”
Beth stared at her sister. She said the unutterable: “Hide all the knives and lock her in room if you have to. But keep her safe.”
“I’m afraid Beth.” Jo whispered, her voice brittle like a shattered piece of china. “Father said never to go into the Lost Woods. He said it wasn’t safe.”
“I don’t have a choice.” Beth said grimly. “I’ll bring Papa back. He’ll know what to do…” She put her hands on her sister’s shoulders. Joelle needed help too. They all needed help, and Beth would provide. She brought her sister close, wrapping her up in a fierce hug.
“You have to protect Meg. Whatever she did, she is still your sister. We need to save Meg. Hide anything she could use to cut herself or you. Give her meals, talk to her, reassure her. Just don’t-” Beth’s word caught in her throat. “Don’t abandon her the way mama abandoned us.”
Jo shook her head, “Never. I’d die before I left you and Meg the way mama did.” Jo put her hand on Beth’s shoulder. Beth could feel the tap of Jo’s fingers on her shoulder as they shook erratically. Jo was terrified. Beth wished she could say something, anything to reassure her sister more. But Beth was just as terrified…
Visit The Site Next Friday for Part 3 of 4 of Poe Sister – One Happy Family
Sean Gadus is an Associate Editor at Zelda Dungeon. He loves playing video games, reading books, watching movies and geeking out about all things Star Wars, Batman, and Harry Potter. His first Zelda game was Ocarina of Time. He is an amateur writer and a professional Zelda fan.