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 Well, don t you...I mean, I assumed you did, considering your background. Don t you come from
Messina?
 You know Messina?
 I know of it, sure. It is a virtual hotbed of voodoo and witchcraft culture in South Africa. Isn t it?
 Hmm& yes, well, there are some in Messina who dabble in those kinds of things, but we certainly do not. It
is more the ways of the elders, and not of our generation.
 That s funny, because I thought you were& that is, I thought& ahm, never mind.
 Millie, you called us here to tell us about the witch s ladder. Do you know where Lilith hid it?
 Yes, of course, Akasha.
Millie s heart began racing again. She caught herself nervously rubbing her palms on the sides of her slacks
and forced herself to stop. Her posture grew rigid, her moves fitful and jerky. Akasha turned to Shekina and
their eyes narrowed with suspicion.
 Are you okay? one of them asked, but Millie seemed too flushed to answer. In the shrubs behind the
gazebo, another twig snapped. Akasha turned quickly to look.
 Yes, the witch s ladder, said Millie, coerced by the sound of the twig.  I do know where you shall find it.
She led the twins to the far end of the gazebo away from the exit, against the railing overlooking the lake.
 There, she said, pointing across the water, evoking the coded phrase signaling for the boys to spring into
action.  What you seek is out there. You have to look closely. It is there, and the time is now!
 What? What are you talking about?
 I said, the time is now!
A fluttering of snapping twigs and cracking branches spilled out from the shadows behind the gazebo. The
twins turned around in time to see Michael and Gordon storming the structure like charging bulls. They struck
with such speed and surprise, howling like warriors, that even Millie shrieked with terror. They rounded the
corner pounced unmercifully on the girls, taking them down easily with no regard for the broken bones or
lacerations that each undoubtedly suffered. Then, as quickly as the boys had subdued the two, Valerie and Lilith
emerged with duct tape and nylon rope in hand.
 Hold her steady! Lilith ordered, referring to Akasha who struggled considerably harder than her twin.
 Don t let the feisty little bitch get away!
 Ouch! Gordon cried.  She bit me!
Michael,  Hold her! I got her, I got her!
Gordon,  Ouch! She bit me again!
Lilith,  Watch her feet!
Michael,  I got them! Tape her up!
Bodies, large and small, rolled clumsily along the floorboards, back and forth, thumping and slapping to
painful ends. Somewhere in the mayhem, Akasha managed to slip out from under Gordon s weight and began
scurrying for the exit.
 Stop her! Lilith hollered.  She mustn t get away!
Michael reached out from the midst of twisted, tangled limbs and snatched Akasha by the ankle. The sister
began crying, pleading for their lives as loudly as possible in hopes of attracting the attention. But time had run
out for the girls, and they were quickly restrained once and for all.
Lilith tore a foot-long strip of tape off the roll and slapped it across Akasha s mouth. The next piece found
Shekina s lips.  That should shut them up, she said, and she commenced hog-tying Shekina s ankles and wrists
with all the finesse of a rodeo cowgirl. The kicking and squirming continued among muffled moans, but their
struggle to escape now meant only more pain.
Gordon and Michael pulled the girls to their feet, as Valerie slip the hangman s noose around their delicate
necks. Lastly, with the ropes cinched tight, they pulled on the lines and hoisted the two into the air. Their wire-
frame bodies wrenched violently, but their bound hands and ankles wrapped tighter than a witch s knot afforded
neither the room for escape. Thus was the last memory of life on Earth for Shekina and Akasha Kayo.
 It s a bit unsettling to watch, isn t it? Valerie remarked, noting Millie s difficulty in coming to terms with
the affair.
 It is, she said, turning her eyes away.  I m sorry. I thought I could do this.
 Don t go off on us now, Millie, Michael warned.  It s too late to turn back. Just keep reminding yourself
that these two are vicious, evil, sadistic agents of Satan. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]