In The Name Of Evil
Dear Sibyl, I write, tortured by an inability to form the right words on paper. Perhaps a phone call . . . No, too risky. I nibble the hard plastic pen before braving on.
Better get out now while you still can.
Tears in my eyes keep me from continuing. My best friend Sibyl: sweet, unsuspecting Sibyl. What can I tell her? I can't tell her where I am. Junior and I are safe for the time being.
I must warn her, all that we've discussed in the past is no coincidence. But, how can I explain without Sibyl thinking I've gone off the deep end. Surely that's what my husband has told her.
Dropping the pen in frustration, I stare unseeingly into the night sky while my mind wanders back to the beginning, back to the day when I walked into the BBC and met Sibyl for the first time . . .
My memories are so clear . . .
It had been right after Halloween and our guest speaker that night -- Anne Bolorice, the housewife from Bracer who had lost fifty pounds. We joined on the same night, both of us determined to take off extra pounds before the holidays.
It was while we were filling out our membership cards, in the back room, that the subject of husbands came up.
I said, "some of these women go out for supper after the meeting. If the Big Beautiful Club is to help us lose weight, isn't it ironic that they eat directly after the meeting?"
Sibyl laughed, a silky captivating sound, and said, "why, I'd never live it down if I went out to eat after the meeting. It took weeks to talk Foster into letting me come here in the first place." Her face reddened before she continued, "he's my husband and he loves me just the way I am. I'm Sibyl, Sibyl Downing."
I remember searching her round face surrounded by short, dark hair--a few strands of silver just beginning to show. I recall thinking how her words had sounded like the ones I typically used when making excuses for my husband.
Confused, I blurted, "Foster? Did you say Foster? I'm married to a Foster too. Foster Bane, I'm Leslie, pleased to meet you. How strange -- Foster is an uncommon name -- but, it seems we both have one."
I swept my gaze from the points of Sibyl's high-heeled pumps to the neckline of her fuzzy pink sweater as she was giving my Nikes, jeans, and tee-shirt the same dubious once-over.
"I have a son," I had blurted as though announcing an incredible accomplishment. "Foster Junior, he's in the third grade, we call him Junior."
"I have a son too," Sibyl had replied. "Also Foster Junior, we've always called him Fosty. This is very strange, how long did you say you've lived in Woodruff?"
"I didn't say, but actually I've lived here since my marriage to Foster. This is his hometown. What about you?"
"Same here," she murmured with a slight frown, like she thought I was demented and making this all up. "Well, gotta go," she'd breezed. "My guys are waiting for me. See you next week?"
Oh, naive Sibyl, that was only the beginning . . .
She and I were so different, yet our families were practically identical. Back then; visiting Sibyl had been like never leaving my own home. I knew she had felt it too. I remember our long phone conversations about the weirdness of our husbands both being born on June 15, 1960, in the same town, yet they were total strangers.
Suspicion tweaked me when they (the Fosters) met for the first time. Those dark-eyed glances shot sparks whenever the two men conversed. They seemed to understand each other perfectly, with a minimum of words. While Foster Downing was small and slight, like a jockey and my husband towered over him, like a football player, the affinities between their personalities had been bizarre.
After that first get-together for a game of cards and a few beers, things happened fast. So fast, I regret I couldn't share everything with Sibyl at the time, I had Junior to think about. Now that he's safe, I must warn her.
Toying restlessly with my pen, I wonder . . .
Will she think me insane after reading this letter? Worst yet, will she consult her husband with this information?
Curiosity played a big part in my discoveries. My life had always seemed normal until I'd met Sibyl. After that things began to bother me about Foster. We seldom entertained: Foster liked his privacy. I wasn't allowed to work -- a woman's place is in the home, Foster always said. I was kept totally in the dark about finances, repairs, and his business dealings (why worry your pretty head about that).
After I met Sibyl's family, almost a carbon copy of mine, I decided I really needed to find out what the hell was going on.
Do the Downings have a cellar, I wonder? I looked in our cellar. I'd always been apprehensive of dark places and had to force myself to go down there. I needed to know why Foster spent so much time tinkering in his workshop but had never produced any new end tables or the shadow box he'd promised to build for me.
I found the secret little room with its altar. The blood and bits of fur on the cold slab of stone called forth pets we'd had in the past. I began to suspect what had become of them.
His book of words -- it was right there, in plain sight – a leather bound volume of his life. I wanted to vomit when I discovered how I was selected to be his bride. Singled out as good breeding material with wide hips and a shy maternal nature.
I practically gagged when I read the words -- a naive, innocent with an unsuspecting temperament. Unsuspecting of what?
I suddenly realized I'd never kept any really close friends before Sibyl? What happened to them? Could they all have mysteriously moved away? After reading the book and finding out how Foster did it, I discovered that it wasn't merely animal blood on that stone altar.
Satan's foster children, that's who they are -- it's all in the book. Birthdate-06/15/60=666. I added up the numbers.
We (Sibyl and I) are the breeders of Satan's foster children. According to the book, Junior would be disciplined in the ways of Satan after his twelfth birthday.
Not my son! I've removed him from the evil influence of his father, I only hope it's not too late.
What does any of this have to do with Sibyl? I didn't figure it out right away.
Fosty will be twelve on his next birthday. His birthday is in early June, like his father's, and my son.
This is how I know there must be another: a carbon copy, a Gemini, the sign of the twins.
Sibyl's Fosty is the twin to my Junior in the same way that the two adult Fosters are twins -- evil twins with the heart and soul of the devil. I have learned from my readings that they must remain near each other to retain their power. If Foster Bane should leave Woodruff to search for us on his own, he must do it as a simple man. If both Fosters begin the search, together, I'm done for . . .
Done for . . .
Wearily I force myself to finish the letter describing my plight to Sibyl as best I can and post it from a town miles away from my present location. Sibyl will understand -- she must.
Five days later, in a small New England town called Woodruff, Foster Downing rereads a letter. His wife, Sibyl is now but a cooling corpse in a fuzzy pink sweater resting peacefully on the stone alter in the bowels of her pleasant little home. Smiling thoughtfully to himself, Foster folds the letter and inserts it carefully into his overnight bag. In the morning he's going on a trip with his young son Fosty and his good friend Foster Bane.
A little unfinished business.
A maniacal howl of laughter floats over the small New England town giving many town residents an uneasy feeling that they cannot account for.
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