MANSION - FOYER
the devil is wrong with you?" Burt Lamont snapped as he glared angrily at
Joyce Preston. "Who the hell do you think you are to just waltz into
this house and start spewing your horrible, hateful venom?"
"I'm the woman whose life
those two tramps destroyed!" Joyce shouted.
"I'm not even going to
waste my time standing here arguing with you, lady," he sighed with utter
disgust. "I'm going to go find Janet and make sure that she's
okay." He began to storm out of the room, but paused and turned to
again face Joyce. "My advice to you is to leave! I hope that
you're not here when I get back because I would really hate to forget that
me, that's not something that's difficult to forget," Judith Linford
muttered under her breath with a roll of her eyes.
you think this is funny?" Joyce asked with a voice full of fire and fury as
Burt rushed out of the room. "Do you?"
"Funny? No," Judith
replied flatly. "Actually, I find you to be rather pathetic.
Your life is what you've made of it. Stop trying to blame misfortunes of
your own creation on other people."
"If it weren't for you
and your tramp sister, my life would have been perfect! I would still be
married to Gordon and we would be blissfully happy! Because of your lies
and schemes, my life was ruined!" Joyce clinched her fists together
"Joyce, dear, this is the
same old song and dance that you've subjected me to for years," Judith
sighed before briskly walking over to the front door in an attempt to signal
that Joyce's visit was over, "and I really am in no mood to relive your
sordid melodramas again!"
"If it weren't for you
and Janet, Gordon wouldn't be dead! I wouldn't have been left
penniless! You're responsible! You're both responsible!"
"Well, since you clearly
can't take a hint," Judith sneered as she flung the door open, "I'll
spell it out for you. Get out! Get out of my house and get out of my
life! Just slither back under your rock and leave us alone!"
"You think you've got it
so good, don't you?" Joyce let out an evil laugh and then walked over
to Judith. "You've got the big house and the beautiful furs.
You've got everything!" She paused and took a deep breath to give her
time to collect her thoughts and emotions. "I had all of that, too,
once, but you took all of that away from me! You took away my life!"
"You know, I just really
can't believe that we used to be best friends," Judith muttered in a
half-laugh as she shook her head in disbelief. "I just don't know
what I could have been thinking. It must have been my week for
"Oh, you think you're so
high and mighty now, don't you," Joyce seethed. "You think you
can lord over me just like you always have! Well, enjoy it while you
can! You destroyed my life and..."
"Oh, just shut up!"
As Joyce's teeth clinched, her
face turned a crimson red. Years of anger and bitter resentment had
exploded to the surface and began to bubble over with a veracity that she
couldn't contain nor control. Her temper raging out of control, Joyce
reared back and delivered a loud slap across Judith's face.
"You can go to hell and I
promise you that I'll do everything in my power to make sure that you and your
nutcase sister get exactly what you deserve!"
Judith, stunned and clutching
her stinging cheek, stumbled backwards as Joyce stormed out of the house.
As she grabbed onto the doorknob to steady herself, her head started to spin as
Joyce's voice began to echo inside her head.
destroyed my life!"
destroyed my life!"
won't let you
do this! I
won't let you ruin my life like you've always tried to ruin my
Wait, that wasn't right?
Joyce didn't say that. Who said that?
Judith squinted her eyes as
she felt herself growing dizzy. Something wasn't right. The echo of
Joyce's voice inside her head was beginning to sound oddly like Janet's.
When had Janet said those words? When had she and Janet argued like that?
Feeling rather unsteady,
Judith carefully shut the door and stumbled weakly across the room as she fought
to keep the room from spinning. Finally, unable to make it any further,
she paused at the foot of the stairs and grabbed onto the banister in hopes of
regaining her equilibrium. As if in a trance, her eyes focused on the
railing and slowly began to follow it's graceful lines and curves all the way to
the top of the staircase. Suddenly, she heard a horrible, blood curdling
scream inside her head.
Who was it? Who was
screaming inside her mind? What was going on? Judith's body shivered
in fear. Why did it all seem so foreign to her, yet so familiar at the
same time? What was forcing these horrible thoughts and images to flash
inside her mind?
Then, in an instant, her eyes
grew wide with a mixture of shock and horror. In that moment, the scream
inside her head became clear and she gripped the banister even tighter as she
felt her legs grow weak. At that moment, Judith realized that the
terrifying scream inside her head was, in fact, her own.