Lost in his own thoughts, John Wallace stood in solitude staring at his sister’s grave. His black trench coat was flapping in the chilly night air. He could feel the first droplets of rain splatter on his freshly shaven head. Despite his overwhelming grief, he felt a sudden sense of joy. The rain would provide the perfect cover for his tears of sorrow. A man is not supposed to cry - that’s what his father always told him. Never one to listen, the emptiness in his heart was almost too much to endure.
The rain was a good omen. When someone you love dies, their spirit passes over into the next life. The Angels of Heaven weep so fiercely that it spills over into the realm of the living. John lifted his head to the sky, and the rain became a deluge. John smiled.
April Wallace was a kind and gentle soul. She spent her life helping others. Her good deeds were known all over Forest Hills City. She wanted to make a difference in people’s lives despite the cruelty of this world. She would always say that if a person had the power to lend a helping hand, it was their responsibility to do so.
One day, April was working at the downtown homeless shelter serving food. Her beautiful grace caught the attention of many men. Mark Whitmore became obsessed to the point of insanity, and lusted for her. He made many advances towards her, but was rejected multiple times. Rage grew in his black heart, and evil intentions were born.
Later that night, Mark waited for April to leave, and followed her step by step to her car. He confronted her - confessing his undying love, and was rejected again. Mark decided that if he couldn’t have her - no one would have her. April put up a valiant fight, but she was no match for his overpowering strength. He strangled her to death. April’s murder sent shockwaves throughout the city, and despite a widespread manhunt, Mark Whitmore was no where to be found.
The rain falls harder now...
A lonely silhouette beneath the moonlight, John wept in great agony. The wind was blowing harder now, causing the rain to smack against his body like an unseen force. The pine trees surrounding Forest Hills Memorial Cemetery were bending over, almost in unison. John decided that it was now time to leave.
He bent down and placed his hand on April’s gravestone. He spoke in a soft whisper, “I miss you sis, I’ll be back to see you tomorrow.”
He turned to leave feeling the ground squish beneath his shoes. With another gust of wind, John heard a high pitched howl. The sound chilled him to the bone, and he stood frozen in time. He focused all of his energy to the surrounding environment to see if he could hear it again.
Sure enough with the next gust of wind, a lonely howl pierced his senses. John turned his head frantically searching for the source. The howl came again, and again, louder each time. John followed the howls to the edge of the surrounding forest. The trees were thick, and it was hard to see within the darkness. The howl came again. John mustered all of his courage, and boldly stepped into the forest to search for the unknown sound.
John grabbed each tree with every step he took. He could feel the soggy leaves beneath his feet, and didn’t want to fall down. The trees provided a little cover from the unrelenting rain - allowing John to focus more on the mysterious howl, which now grew louder.
John journeyed deeper into the forest, listening intently with every step. At long last, the moonlight provided some visual clarity, and revealed a small clearing in the distance. He heard the howl again, and it was coming from the openness of the forest.
John wiped away the wetness from his face, and squinted through the last remaining trees just beyond the clearing. He saw a woman standing on air. She was dressed in black, and each strand of her dark hair magically floated all around her pale white face.
The mysterious woman outreached her arm, and motioned for John to step forward with her claw like fingers. John felt very apprehensive, and despite the rain - he stepped forward with terror in his eyes. As he approached the woman, he could smell a foul stench in the air.
“Who are you?” he asked.
The woman gave him a weary smile. Her voice was soft and warm. “I know what you seek.”
John felt a sudden sense of ease. It was a calming feeling that erased his fear. “I think I know what you are. You're a pixie fairy, right?”
The woman stared into John’s eyes and said, “What you seek is in the cave!” She pointed over to a massive opening in the mountain side just beyond the clearing.
“What’s in there?” John asked. “I’m not sure if I want to go in there. I’ve heard stories about you pixies. You like to trick people don’t you? What are you up too?”
The woman turned her head towards the cave and said, “Go in...or you will regret it if you don’t.”
John's eyes darted from the cave back to the woman. “So...if I don’t go in you will kill me?”
“No harm will befall you…” she replied.
With a heavy heart, John nodded his head in agreement and trudged towards the cave. The woman followed close behind, and John was careful to keep an eye on her. The opening of the cave was massive, and John noticed a flickering light dancing with the shadows - deep within. John took a big gulp swallowing his anxiety, and stepped in. The woman did not follow him, choosing to wait by the entrance.
The cave was damp and musty, and streams of water were flowing down the walls. He noticed thick spider-webs covering the ceiling, and felt a shiver race through his spine. John hated spiders, and this fear only quickened his pace. As he inched closer and closer to the source of flickering light, he came face to face with Mark Whitmore. The man who killed his sister.
Mark was sitting in a fetal position, and was trembling with fear. He looked up at John and said, “Why are you here? Did she follow you!”
“You!” John yelled. “You fucking bastard! You killed my sister!”
John reached down and pulled Mark up by his shirt collar. He punched him multiple times unleashing all of his hatred and anger. Mark was screaming as John started pulling him towards the cave entrance.
“You’re coming with me you son-of-a-bitch! The police are waiting for you!” John shouted.
Mark grabbed the cave walls to keep from getting dragged. Despite his best efforts, Mark’s fingernails were torn off, leaving scratch marks on the cave walls. He resorted to kicking and screaming, but this had no effect on John’s wrath.
“You can’t take me out there!” Mark shouted. “She will get me!”
John was blinded by his rage, and did not listen. He hooked his arm around Mark’s neck and pulled him to the entrance. Mark was no match for John’s overwhelming might. When they entered the brightness of the moonlight, the woman quickly shoved John away from Mark.
Mark fell to the ground, and quickly crawled back towards the cave entrance. He was fast, but not fast enough. The woman grabbed Mark’s foot, and dragged him further out into the clearing. John sat up and watched the scene play out.
Mark rolled over onto his back, and came face to face with the woman. His eyes opened wide with fear as he saw the woman open her mouth wide. Just then, she screamed a high pitched howl that sent shockwaves through the air down towards Mark’s face. His flesh vibrated away until there was nothing left but his empty skull.
John stood up and rushed over to the woman hunched over Mark’s dead body. She slowly rose up, and turned to face him.
“Why did you do that? I was going to bring him to justice!” he yelled.
She spoke very slowly, “My justice is finished…”
“What do you mean...my justice?” he asked. “Who are you?”
The woman looked up towards the moon and a veil of light engulfed her body, revealing her true form. Standing before John was his sister, April. John fell to his knees as tears of shock and joy started to stream down his face. She looked like an Angel - lit up in a mystifying light. She was wearing a white dress, and her hair was perfectly combed just like it was when she was alive.
“April! Is it really you?” he asked.
“It’s me John,” she replied.
John shook his head in disbelief. “How is this possible?”
April smiled warmly and said, “I only have a short time before I must go into the light. I had unfinished business to find my killer.”
“I don’t understand April, please tell me more,” said John.
“You must understand that when I died, my grace transformed me into a vengeful pixie fairy, also known as a banshee. I tracked my killer in the dead of night and chased him into this cave.”
John stood up and asked, “Why didn’t you go into the cave and get him?”
“I can only travel by the light of the moon. I could not enter the darkness of the cave,” she said. “I was lost in despair, and then a miracle happened.”
“What miracle?” John asked.
“You...my dear brother. I heard your whisper at my grave. I felt your presence and called out for you,” she said.
John nodded his head, “Those howls I heard were meant to bring me here to get him out of the cave...right?”
“April what will happen now? Can you come back with me? I miss you so much!”
“I wish I could, but now that my unfinished business is complete, I feel my grace fading away.”
“Please don’t leave me again! Please stay!” John said sobbing.
“My dear brother, I want you to live your life to the fullest. You have so much to look forward to. Never forget that I will watch over you always. I love you John.”
“I love you too, April!”
April smiled, and faded away in the surrounding light. John fell to the ground, overcome with emotions. He wept for the loss of his sister, and the life that she never had the chance to live. He searched his heart, and April’s final words echoed in his mind, and heart. He would live his life to the fullest. Starting tonight…
The rain continued to pour down.
Daniel R. Hayes