The Haunted Star Crossed Lovers

Submitted into Contest #117 in response to: Start your story with the words “Everything was ready for the ritual.”... view prompt

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Fiction Contemporary Horror

Everything was ready for the ritual.

If it should come to that. 

Father Lawrence had already calculated all the scenarios possible.

If it was not done quickly enough when needed it wouldn’t matter and they’d all die.

Father Lawrence knew in his heart that he was ready to meet his maker. He wasn’t so optimistic about Romeo and Juliet.  

He crafted the only possibility for their happiness.

Father Lawrence was precise with the plan.

Romeo’s legs burn as he sprints.  

He avoids the entity pursuing him.  

It moves swiftly and breaks earth with each pounce and hop.  

Boom, boom, boom.  

Fragmented rocks spill over Romeo. He keeps going. He does not look back. His legs are on the verge of failing but he pays no mind. Romeo approaches the tomb which is lit by projected red laser dots. He hurries past humming gadgets and equipment. Romeo shuts the heavy rock door behind him.

Monstrous groans and squeals resonate within the walls. Startling thuds shake the tomb with supernatural earthquakes.  

The violence suddenly stops.

There is now quiet.

Romeo finds himself amidst a wide range of buzzing electronics strategically placed around the altar of his beloved Juliet.  

Time pauses long enough to forget the chaos.

A memory to be etched in the mind of her lover. 

Romeo desperately falls on her chest and sorrow fills his heart.  

“Eyes look your last. Arms take your last embrace,” Romeo says.  

Romeo kisses her with a righteous kiss.  

He raises his tired arm and puts his gun to his head.  

The tomb walls once again shake and the door begins to open.

Romeo points the gun in the direction of movement.

Father Lawrence inches in through a small opening then shuts the door behind him.  

“Romeo it’s me, don’t shoot!” Father Lawrence says.  

Romeo lowers the gun with dismay.

“Father Lawrence, what’s the meaning of this?” Romeo asks.

“There’s no time to explain right now. You must listen and follow my directions. It’s the only way you will get Juliet back,” Father Lawrence says.  

Romeo wipes the onslaught of tears from his eyes.

A crescendo of banging resides and the tomb walls furiously shake. 

“Come, come. We must be quick. I’ll explain everything once it is done,” Father Laurence says.  

Father Laurence sets a laptop on the altar where Juliet lies. As he begins typing the room lights up with beeps and whistles.  

Another tremor shakes the tomb.  

“Romeo, I need you to start in that corner and power up the devices I tell you. Unless everything is calibrated the trap won’t work,” says Father Lawrence. 

“Trap? What trap?” Asks Romeo.

“No time, young man. There, start by powering up the infrared cameras and I will handle the spectral lighting,” says Father Lawrence.

Father Lawrence places the paranormal response device on one side of the laptop and a 360 degree cam attached to a puck module on a tripod mount in the center of the tomb. Romeo circles the perimeter as directed and powers up the various thermal cams.

“Good. Now for the tripods with the laser grid array sensors… the switch is on the side,” Father Lawrence says.

Father Lawrence types as the tomb is lit by crimson colored dots. He then places a beacon-like object at the base of Juliet’s feet. He plugs in the Rem-pod to the laptop.

“And that should just about do it,” says Father Lawrence.

“So now what?” Romeo asks.

“Now, I need you to speak firmly into this triangle-shaped response device. This is a conversation we will have together to draw Mercutio back to us…” says Father Lawrence.

“How will we know if he’s going to respond?” Says Romeo.

“We will know,” says Father Lawrence.

“Mercutio, If you can hear us please respond,” says Father Lawrence.

The paranormal hurricane outside blossoms into a squall of calculated attacks sounding like directed missile fire.  

Suddenly, Juliet begins to wake. The temperature gage on the Rem pod slightly fluctuates.  

The lasers light her fair skin. Romeo runs to embrace her.  

“What is going on Romeo? Where am I?” Juliet asks.

“No time for a reunion now sweet lovers. Juliet, you’re a little dizzy from the potion. You’ve been given the antidote and will feel better soon. In the meantime, I need you to remove yourself from the altar and stay close to Romeo!” Says Father Lawrence.

Father Lawrence relocates the SB11 spirit box. It sits directly in the center of the altar. Next to it he places a large golden goblet.

“Mercutio isn’t here yet Father! What are we to do?” Asks Romeo.

“If he is not going to come on his own accord, we will have to make him come. Now, just as we rehearsed. You know what to do Romeo,” says Father Lawrence.

Romeo looks into Juliet’s beautiful green eyes. He pulls a small dagger looped around his belt and approaches the altar. One hundred milliliters of blood would have to be drained into the cup, close to half of the maximum amount of blood loss before death.  

Romeo cuts a deep wound and it trickles and squirts into the goblet. Romeo grows faint. His knees begin to buckle.

“Wait!” Says Juliet.

She rushes to the side of her beloved husband. She takes the knife and makes a deep incision in her own wrist. She allows her blood to spill in the cup.

Boom, boom, boom.

Thuds and cracks slowly begin to split the walls.

The cup is now full.

Father Lawrence swiftly takes the goblet. He drenches the stone altar.

“Mercutio. Mercutio, are you there? We need you now!” Says Juliet.

The Spirit box shakes and the Flux response device glows red, yellow, green and blue. 

Boom, boom.

The crackling walls are beginning to give.

“Father Lawrence! Tybalt isn’t going to wait much longer!”

Small ripples of blood from the altar calmly rise into the shape of a man.

The multilinear laser grids reveal a floating mass. Different angles from the infrared camera hi light a hovering heat signature.  

The entity breaks out of the tomb.  

Juliet holds Romeo as Father Lawrence rushes near.  

A war wages between the two opposite forces. 

The destruction echoes through the night.

The 360 degree puck camera’s mounted outside the tomb capture the laser grid array projectors modeling the entities with red lines that pulse and swell. Multi-location Flir E6 Thermal cameras capture pigmented blues and red bulges.  

Two inhuman beasts tackle and bite and scratch.  

The monsters crush rock and marble. They chaotically turn their surroundings into pebbles.  

Father Lawrence reaches for the laptop. His eyes open wide in terror as he observes the growing monsters on the laser grid. 

“Okay, Romeo. This is your only chance. When I jump out and start throwing flares to attract them here you need to run!” Says Father Lawrence.

“On your command,” says Romeo.

Father Lawrence rummages through a large duffel containing flares and a TNT cluster connected to a timer.  

He sets the countdown to a single minute.  

The walls of the tomb begin to crumble and break.  

Father Lawrence snaps flares and begins throwing them at the ghosts of Tybalt and Mercutio.

“Hurry Romeo. Take your bride and run. Now!” Says Father Lawrence.

October 28, 2021 00:36

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10 comments

Deidra Lovegren
23:46 Oct 28, 2021

Congratulations! You're the first person who has made The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet interesting! Every 9th grade teacher just looked at the sky, seeing Juliet's name spelled out in stars. Tybalt is a thug. Mercutio deserved his own play.... What a mash up. Loved it Loved it Loved it

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Dustin Gillham
02:02 Oct 29, 2021

Thank you Diedre. I was REALLY wanting to do something a little different. I'm so grateful you read it and enjoyed. Thank you for your encouragement. I wanted to catch readers a little off guard with it... but in a fun way.

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Dustin Gillham
02:03 Oct 29, 2021

Tybalt is totally a thug. Can't agree with you more. Mercutio deserved the show!

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Graham Kinross
00:50 Nov 20, 2021

Romeo and Juliet is a story more about teenage lust than love. That’s always annoyed me about it. The shameless self promotion of saying “never was there a tale of more woe than that of Juliet and her Romeo” isn’t for William Shakespeare to say. It’s a good story but him starting with his own glowing review sounds like like listening to a Trump speech where he tells his fans that he is probably the smartest, greatest President there has ever been, with the biggest hands. Romeo already had a girlfriend at the start of the story. He didn’t lov...

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Lee Kendrick
16:35 Nov 06, 2021

An intense story with a different take on the classic Romeo and Julliet story. Cleverly done! Keep the splendid writing! Lee

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Dustin Gillham
19:30 Nov 06, 2021

Thank you for reading Lee. Blessings, Dustin

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E Moss
02:09 Nov 05, 2021

Of course I will applaud your exhilarating and refreshingly unconventional yet white-knuckle-paced reimagining of the classic romantic tragedy of romeo and juliet, but what I think is more praiseworthy is how sharply composed, evocative and concise your sentences are, as well as the deft control of line grouping that engenders a rapidly growing sense of tension throughout the story. My personal favorite take away line was "Small ripples of blood from the altar calmly rise into the shape of a man." This was a pleasure to zip through, and I lo...

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Dustin Gillham
19:34 Nov 06, 2021

I am so grateful and humbled. E Moss thank you for this bit of encouragement. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future as well. Blessings, Dustin

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Kevin Broccoli
19:10 Nov 02, 2021

I read this one twice because I loved it so much. Congratulations.

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Faith Ogedegbe
05:06 Nov 04, 2021

Wow! I love this story.

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