A sixteen-year-old girl Kelly Anderson and her family lived in Atlanta. Kelly was alone at home one day because her parents were invited to dinner at Bob Creighton’s house that owned Creighton Construction. Kelly’s father Ted was looking for a job in construction, but was turned down by Bob. While back at the house where Kelly was, she was in the bathroom, with the door open and the lights shut. She was looking in the mirror when she saw a man in the mirror over her shoulder. The man Kelly had seen so often in her dreams but only caught glimpses of when she was awake but at that moment she saw him clearly. He was old, his loose skin hanging in folds and his eyes sunken deep within his sockets. Kelly had been seeing a psychiatrist before because her mother, Mary, thought that she needed help, she thought it all started after her parents told her that she was adopted, but this man had appeared to her ever since she was born. She stopped going to the psychiatrist because she told her parents and the doctor that the Man was gone she did this to convince herself that he was gone but really he wasn’t. As she continued to stand there in the darkness of the bathroom, she turned around but he wasn’t there, she turned on the light and turned back to the mirror and he was still there and now his hands were reaching towards her throat. She started yelling “no! No more!” then she punched the mirror, and the mirror shattered, and she could still see her ancient tormentor still mocking her, laughing at her, reaching out for her. She picked up one of the sharp pieces of glass raised it up and plunged the blade into her belly. Determined to end the life of the baby that was growing inside her and her own. The baby that was growing inside of her she knew was the old mans because one night she felt him but she didn’t bother to open her eyes or yell because she didn’t want her parents to think she was crazy, she convinced herself it was only a dream. When her parents got home her mother felt that something was wrong. They were going upstairs to see if Kelly was in her room but before they got there they saw Kelly lying on the bathroom floor in a pool of blood. Her mother dropped to the floor next to her and told Ted to call the ambulance. Her mother saw that she was still bleeding so she knew she had to be still alive, so she covered her wounds with towels. Ted’s eyes flooded with tears when he saw the pale mask on his daughters face. At the hospital, Dr. Hartman told them she was okay and they were aloud to go see her. The parents agreed to each other not to speak of her committing suicide, so they spoke and they told her they were going to stay at the hospital with her. They were the only ones in the waiting room and Dr. Hartman told them that the reason she did that was because she was afraid to tell either of you she was pregnant, but the doctor tested her and she had never even had sex before nor was she even pregnant. She thinks she is going to be locked up because she is crazy, she says nobody loves her and she doesn’t blame them and the doctor told Mary and Ted to show her she’s wrong. Ted called his father Carl Anderson and told him about what had happened and Carl was staring at the picture on his dresser of Ted, Mary and Kelly with her pink hair, her dark clothes and those empty eyes. Then Ted asked if the construction job was still available for him, Carl owned his own construction company which had taken off five years ago when Villejeune started to change, his construction company drained out most of the swamps and built houses, condominiums, and old age homes since there were so many old people living in Villejeune. Carl was really happy that they were going to come and live with them. He was pretty lonely in his big house ever since his wife Bessie died of cancer. He had to go to the doctor because there was pain spreading from his hip. As he drove by Arlette Delong’s cafe, he saw Judd Duval, he was the deputy sheriff but to Carl he was still a swamp rat. He went in to see Dr. Phillips. Carl told the story to the doctor about Kelly. After the doctor he went to see his lawyer, Craig Sheffield, to change the name from Anderson Construction Co. to Anderson & Anderson, then he remembered Kelly and then he remembered that Craig had a 16-year-old son, Michael, and Carl started to ask Craig some questions about his son. Carl thought that all Kelly needed was a boyfriend, a nice kid, about her own age. When Carl left Craig started to wonder why Carl was asking all those questions. Michael had been looking for a summer job and maybe Carl wanted to hire him, then he thought the Swamp Tour, Phil Stubbs owned, maybe Michael could get a job there. He called Phil and everything was settled and he told Michael. While Michael was getting ready and he was combing his hair in the mirror in the bathroom, he saw an old man with red rheumy eyes peering out of deeply sunken sockets, then he saw the old mans hands moving towards his throat, when he was about to scream he was about to scream when Jenny his younger sister came into the bathroom. He didn’t know why that face appeared in the mirror and he didn’t want to know, it had happened before he thought the house was haunted he tried to tell his mother about it all she did was laugh and told him it was his imagination. He took off to the Swamp Tour on his motorcycle. Ted, Mary and Kelly were on their way to Villejeune. Kelly was looking out the window thinking of all the lies she had told the doctors just so they wouldn’t think she was crazy, she told the psychiatrist that she had been worried about her father not working, and she felt that she could never do anything right and that she’d decided that maybe it would be easier for everyone if she weren’t around anymore. She talked her way out of telling Dr. Hartman about thinking she was pregnant, too. She just said she’d been feeling really bad lately, and when she missed her period she automatically thought she might be pregnant. She even claimed that she’d been drinking with some friends one night, didn’t remember what had happened and just assumed she must have gone to bed with someone (which was not true). When they got to Villejeune, there was a large billboard that said “VILLEJEUNE LINKS ESTATES ANOTHER PROJECT FROM GRACIOUS LIVINGFROM ANDERSON & ANDERSON”, Tod was quite happy so was Mary. They got to Carl’s big house, he very happy to finally see his granddaughter. Kelly got the guest room, which was huge, she was so happy. Michael who was still working at the Swamp Tour for four weeks, was the most dedicated worker Phil had ever seen because he loved it so very much and he was always the last to leave finishing jobs that others did not, one night he stayed late because he wanted to find frogs for display, so he took a rowboat into the swamp and set out to find some. Kelly admiring her room decided she wanted to go out for a walk. She walked along admiring all the houses her grandfather had built. When she saw the swamp, she thought she recognized it and she saw the face of a boy in the swamp and so she got closer. Amelie Coulton a pregnant women who lived along the marshlands with her husband George. She made him promise that he wasn’t going to give the baby away to the Dark Man like Tammy-Jo and Quint gave theirs away, she made him promise three times. Jonas Cox and The Dark Man came to their house that night and George went towards them in their boat still in the water, Amelie could not see them. The Dark Man got mad at George for promising his women that he wouldn’t give the baby to him when it was born, the Dark Man insisted that it was his baby. The Dark Man ordered Jonas to release George Coulton from the circle; George stabbed and twisted the knife in his chest ripping it upward to slice through his heart. George’s body toppled into the shallow waters. The Dark Man and Jonas disappeared into the darkness. Amelie got into a rowboat in search of her husband. When she saw a corpse in the water still bleeding she noticed it wasn’t even her husband. She got out of the boat and went into a shack crouched at the edge of the swamp behind her house. There was a phone in that house. Amelie sighed and thought to herself that it was going to be a long night. Kelly came to the same bridge she crossed earlier; she couldn’t even remember what she had been doing for the past hour. It was dark and when she got home she knew she was going to here her parents tell her how irresponsible she was, but she wouldn’t be able to tell them where she was because she wasn’t aloud to go near the swamp and because she seriously could not remember. All she remembered was that there were people. People like her who shared the lonely inner emptiness. Then she headed back home, but her parents said was that they were starting to get worried, but she told them that she had lost track of time and all of a sudden it was dark and she was nowhere near home and she was sorry. She said that she liked it there and that she was glad that they were there, that made her parents and grandfather happy. Michael Sheffield arrived back at the tour headquarters, he too had lost track of time and the dozen frogs that he had collected were all dead. He was confused but he had to get home, he checked all the animals’ gates, he froze to the sound of police car sirens, when they passed him the tension drained from his body, for some reason he thought they were coming for him. Then he realized that his hand were wrapped around the nutria’s throat that he had been holding before he heard the sirens, the nutria was dead, he put her back in the cage and took off on his motorcycle. Marty Templar, Sheriff Duvals partner, was going to his house where Amelie had gone, to tell Duval that there was a dead body in the swamp. All three of them went to the swamp, they took the body out of the swamp, not one of them knew or even ever saw him before, and Amelie told them that she thought that they had killed her husband. Judd Duval told Amelie and Marty that the Dark Man was just a story but Amelie believed he existed because she saw him. Michael got home but didn’t really get in trouble when he took his shower he felt as if someone was watching him, then after his shower he saw an image of a dead man in the mirror. When he went to bed that night he kept having nightmares seeing the dead man over and over. Clarey Lambert lived alone in a house five miles from Villejeune. Quint and Jonas went over and she knew the story of what had happened to George and she told Jonas not to worry it wasn’t his fault and to hide. They told her there was a new girl in town and she knew who she was, she hoped that this day would never come when she came back, now her and Michael will meet and they’ll recognize each other and they’ll know what they really are, and they’ll go looking for their brothers and sisters and the Dark Man. Tim Kitteridge, the Chief, was to go and examine the dead body, which he hated doing the most. Orrin Hatfield, the coroner, was there. Warren Phillips walked in. They took the cover off the body; Kitteridge felt the churning in his stomach. They were talking about the swamp people, how they barely existed. Most of them had no birth certificates, no school records; most of the women still gave birth at home. The dead mans few straggling wisps of hair was snow white, and his heavily creased skin of his face was draped loosely around his skull, most of his teeth were gone and his body was no more than just skin and bones. No one knew who this guy was. Kitteridge wasn’t satisfied with this, so he decided he was going to go to the swamp, find some of the people who lived there and ask them some questions. Phil Stubbs got to work the next morning and was ready for the people who were coming from Orlando for the tour. When a little boy mentioned that their was a dead nutria in the cage he went over and took it into his office, he studied it carefully searching for wounds, when he picked it up its head flopped to one side, he checked its neck and it was broken then the image of Michael gripping the mop so tightly whenever he daydreamed popped into his head and then he called Michael into his office. First Michael told him that he didn’t know what had happened but then he told him the truth. Phil told him to take the rest of the day off to relax, but Michael couldn’t go home or stay in the town he didn’t want his parents to find out what happened. He rode out of town a bit on his motorcycle, he was going to find a place in the swamps where the tour boat don’t go and he was going to explore all day. Kelly that day wanted to go further into town and see other things, she was walking when she heard a motorcycle and a car sped right past her almost hitting her. Then she saw the motorcycle and the boy who was on it fell into the ditch. She thought he was dead, until she saw him sit up, then she went up to him and as their eyes met, Kelly’s stomach tightened, she knew him, but she thought it was crazy, she’d never seen him before in her life. Michael was thinking the exact same thing. They tried to convince each other that they must have met yesterday by the swamp but couldn’t remember. They introduced themselves and they agreed to have a picnic and Michael gave her a ride on the back of his motorcycle they were both thinking; I know this person. I’ve known this person all my life. This is the friend I’ve never met before. Somehow they were connected. Time Kitteridge trying to find people to tell him any details they knew about the body that was found in the swamp but he got lost. He found Amelie Coulton’s house and he went over, George didn’t even come home that night but Amelie didn’t really care. Amelie showed Tim a picture of George and herself on their wedding day to show him that the man in the swamp couldn’t have been George. Then all of a sudden she had a contraction and Tim hurriedly got Amelie into the boat and took off through the swamp. When they got to his car they took off to the hospital. When they got there, Jolene Mayhew took care of her and Tim stayed back to fill out some papers to dispose of the body in the morgue. All Tim could think of was that the body was indeed George Coulton’s and that Amelie must know something. Amelie was still having contractions, when Tim went in her room, and he said to her, “it was George you found last night wasn’t it?” and he asked her who the Dark Man was, she just said to ask Clarey or Jonas, her response to who they were was “they be the Dark Man’s children, and they are all dead!” Kelly and Michael were on their picnic twenty miles away from Villejeune. There was a pond that had been dredged out of the lagoon and a sandy beach that edged it. They ate and talked, they told each other how they felt inside, how they feel different from everyone else and how they can’t connect with other people, afterwards Michael dropped Kelly off at the same place they had met that morning. At Michael’s house he asked his father if he knew Mr. Anderson’s granddaughter and he just told him to stay away from her because she tried to kill herself, how she decided she was pregnant but she really wasn’t and she just imagined it and that she was probably a druggie and that she must be a tramp. His wife, Barbara, got really angry with her husband and they started yelling at each other back and forth. Michael got really mad and took off on his powered rowboat. In the delivery room when Amelie had finally given birth the baby died. She was devastated, she wouldn’t believe the doctor and she was crying. At the Sheffield house they were still fighting, when Barbara got a phone call from the hospital saying that she had to go counsel Amelie because her baby had died a stillbirth. She knew how she felt because when she was giving birth to her first child, it had died and she was given Michael because his mother didn’t want him. After Barbara talked to Amelie, she was exhausted and she fell asleep, but when she woke up she said, “He ain’t dead,” “If he was dead, I’d know it,” somehow she knew her baby was alive, and yet somehow already dying, his own soul slowly being stolen away from him. Kelly was sitting in the den with her parents and grandfather watching television. She went upstairs saying goodnight to everyone and she had a feeling that Michael was coming, so she snuck off the balcony in her room and met Michael at the bench near the waterfront and they took off in his boat. They came to a place where they felt as if they were at home; they felt as if something special was going to happen, like they were going to finally find out whom they were. Kelly and Michael were experiments, to see what would happen to them if they grew beyond the circle, Clarey Lambert called all the children. The Dark Man hypnotized Michael and Kelly and told them to lie on the floor. Michael lied there with his chest bare and the Dark Man saw the almost invisible scar on his chest and lowered the needle deep into his chest and took out a fluid. Kelly too lay there with her bare chest and the Dark Man did the same thing to her, he held up the syringes and said “Youth,” “Youth, freely given”. Then he told them to join the circle of children. After Jonas Cox and Loretta Jagger had a baby for him, but it was not theirs. When she got pregnant with Jonas then they would be able to get married. The Dark Man took the baby and stabbed it in the heart. The body remained unharmed but the spirit was slowly dying; now he too was a part of the children. Back at the clinic. Amelie Coulton woke up screaming in her dreams, she had seen her baby and her baby was not dead, it was in pain and it needed her. Kelly’s parents found out that she had snuck out that night and at breakfast her mother and grandfather tried to talk to her but they just ended up fighting with her and she ran out of the house after telling them she was with Michael Sheffield. Two hours later Ted and Carl were inspecting one of the houses, when all of a sudden Carl was out of breath and his face turned gray. Ted rushed him to the hospital and was out of Dr. Phillips office in fifteen minutes good as new, he had just missed one of his vitamin shots. Tim Kitteridge and Judd Duval were in a boat on their way to Clarey Lambert’s house to ask her some questions and if she knew where Jonas Cox was. She wouldn’t cooperate with them so they just left and on the was back to Villejeune, they spotted a boat that had COX on it, so Tim got in the little boat and told Judd to leave but to stay close by, then Jonas came up about to get in the boat from out of the swamp water but tried to get away when he saw Tim, but Tim grabbed his hair and cuffed him. Judd came with the boat and the three of them made their way to Villejeune but Jonas wouldn’t answer any of the questions he was asked on the boat. Kelly was sitting in Arlette Delong’s cafe, reading a magazine, then she started to think about the red mark on her chest and she knew she had to find Michael to see if he had it too or if it was just a hallucination last night, so she looked for Sheffield in the directory. When she got to the house, Jenny was playing outside and she told Kelly that Michael wasn’t home and Barbara came outside and invited Kelly inside for some lemonade. Kelly, Barbara and Jenny sat in the backyard, Kelly and Barbara got talking and they decided that they all dye their hair a honey blonde.
Tim Kitteridge was questioning Jonas Cox about the man who was found in the swamp, but Jonas kept on saying that he didn’t even know who he George Coulton was. When Tim mentioned The Dark Man, Jonas’ eyes narrowed and his lips curled but he still kept saying that he didn’t know whom he was talking about. Tim knew he knew something. Tim kept thinking in his head why he even bothered to take this case because he would never have enough evidence about anything because no one wanted to cooperate, so he started to give up. Tim told Judd to bring Jonas back to his boat. When Jonas was in the squad car with Judd, Jonas told Judd that he was in big trouble for helping Tim find him and that maybe The Dark Man would turn Jonas against Judd just like he did to George and that Jonas would rip the life out of Judd. Judd was frozen stiff by the words and he stood there watching Jonas disappear into the swamp.
Warren Phillips went into Amelie’s room and told her that she could go home soon, but she demanded that she wasn’t going home until she got her baby back. Warren tried to explain again that her baby had died but she just wouldn’t believe it not after the dream she had. Warren told Jolene to get him fifty milligrams of Thorazine to put Amelie to sleep. Amelie put the pill in her mouth and gulped it down with a glass of water, when she shut her eyes Warren and Jolene left the room. Warren went out to lunch. Amelie got up and flushed the pill down the toilet. Amelie escaped her room through the window and she was off to look for her baby whom she knew was still alive.
When Barbara was finished with Kelly’s hair, she loved it, it made her skin look healthier and her eyes look bluer, but her clothes and jewelry were all wrong so she asked Barbara if she would go with her shopping, she said yes and then Barbara began to think that, that’s how Sharon would have looked like, if she’d lived and that’s how old she’d be. Even after Kelly left she still kept thinking about it and she couldn’t stop.
Lavinia Carter was a young lady who watched all of the Dark Mans babies until they were old enough to go back to the swamp, in a house in Villejeune. Her voice had been taking away from The Dark Man during a ceremony at the swamp. Clarey and The Dark Man told her that she was the most special child of all the children. As she was feeding one of the babies she heard footsteps, she knew those footsteps only from The Dark Man. Warren Phillips walked in to the room; Lavinia was the only one who saw who The Dark Man was behind that dark mask. He went there to collect the faintly brown but viscous liquid that was dripping into a collecting bottle on the rack from Amelie’s baby. He looked at the eight empty cribs, too many babies had been born dead in the swamp and more fathers are coming to the emergency room with their wives lately, they always watch their baby. He went downstairs into his lab to filter the fluid. When he went to Clarey’s house, she told him about what had happened to Jonas and then he knew that’s whom he was going to punish. Judd was going to be punished in the worst possible way.
Kelly went to Phil Stubbs tour headquarters where Michael worked and she waited by his motorcycle until he finished work he barely recognized her with her new hairdo. They went somewhere alone to talk about what had happened the night before and they both had a red mark on their chest, they both told each other that had been adopted and maybe the reason why they so at home the night before when they were in the swamp was because maybe they were swamp rats before they were adopted, they knew something was wrong.
When Michael got home after being out that night with Kelly, he had to tell his father the truth of where he had been and his father demanded that he never see her again and then Barbara told her husband that he is the only one that hasn’t met her yet and yet he only knows she’s bad news by the stories he’s heard but Barbara, Jenny and Michael know her personally and they all think she is a really nice girl. Craig then agreed he’d have a barbecue at his place and he’ll invite the Andersons over. That night Kelly had a bad dream about the old man again reaching out for her, her grandfather came to wake her and that night she couldn’t get back to bed.
That Saturday evening at the Sheffield’s barbecue, Barbara and Mary started talking and they told each other that Michael was adopted after Barbara lost her first child when it was born and that Mary could not produce any children so they adopted Kelly. Craig, Ted and Carl were drinking beer in the living room. The kids were out back playing croquet. Craig admitted to his wife that it was a good idea to have then over and Kelly was a nice girl after all. When Mary and Barbara were watching the kids play croquet, Mary told Barbara that for a split second Kelly looked like her, and the time when Barbara was doing Kelly’s hair came back to her and Jenny said that Kelly looked like their cousin Tisha (Barbara’s sisters daughter) then Barbara asked Mary where Kelly came from and Mary said she was sorry for putting that kind of thought in her head and that it was just a startling coincidence.
Judd Duval was at his house paranoid that one of the children would come to his home and kill him after what Jonas had said. He kept hearing sounds and seeing things. When he looked in the mirror his face looked gray and pasty, even in the bright light, and his eyes seemed to have sunken deep within their sockets, around his neck were wattles of loose flesh, his knuckles were swollen and his skin was blotched with liver spots. This couldn’t be happening to him he had just got his shot a few days ago and he was fine so he called Warren Phillips. Warren told him that he gave him something else because of what he did to Jonas and the only way that he’ll give him the shot is if he finds a new means of getting more of substance because there is a shortage in it, he rested for the night and in the morning he find a new source for Warren Phillips.
Jenny was sleeping on the couch, when Barbara told her to go to bed but she wanted to wait up for Michael and Kelly to get back from Arlette’s cafe but they were already a half an hour late to get back. Mary, Ted and Carl went home to Mary told Barbara to call her as soon as they got back. Jenny went to bed. Michael and Kelly tried to make sense of what had happened that night but they couldn’t figure anything out. When they realized that they were late to get home they rushed out of the cafe but they bumped into Buddy Hawkins and his girlfriend Melanie Whalen and a bunch of their friends who were all known for going down to the park, blasting some tunes and getting drunk, Craig told his son to stay away from them. Melanie told everyone that, that was Kelly the crazy one who tried to kill herself and Michael got mad and started a fight with Buddy they were all arrested and Buddy and his friends were charged for possession of alcohol. Ted and Craig went down to the police station. Ted took Michael home because some of those kids were his clients. After Ted dropped Michael off he started to yell at Kelly and he accidentally let out a “sometimes I think you are-“ and she knew what he was about to say and she got really angry and stormed out of the car and ran off through the swamp marshes. He ran after her but before he could catch up with her she was gone and know where to be found. He got back in the car and drove home.
When he got home he told his wife what had happened, she started to cry and told that he should have waited to get home before he started to yell at her and she started to cry. Carl called Tim Kitteridge and told him to gather up a search party to find Kelly. Barbara, Jenny, Craig and Michael went to the Andersons house. Jenny, Barbara and Mary stayed back at the house while Ted, Carl, Michael, Craig, Tim and five other guys went out to look for Kelly. Judd hid his boat within a tangle of reeds and mangrove so if the search party passed his house they’d think that he was out looking for Kelly. He couldn’t let anyone see the way he looked.
Michael took off by himself to look for Kelly because he knew the swamp better than any one of them and in his mind he knew where she could have gone.
Kelly kept yelling out, “someone help me” but know one heard her. Kelly tripped over a root while running from a bunch of mosquitoes who were biting her and she hurt her ankle, then all of a sudden she saw a water moccasin coming towards her and she knew that she had to stay still or else or it would attack her then their was an alligator who tried to get her but ripped the back of her shirt instead and someone from behind her shot the alligator in the mouth and through the head. The person grabbed her and told her that the alligator was dead he took her in to a rowboat but she had blacked out.
Tim Kitteridge and Marty Templar signaled everyone to come back to the dock. They decided that they were going to continue to look for Kelly in the morning because it was almost impossible to find someone in the swamp at all and it was even worse at night. Ted said that he would keep looking and when Craig noticed that Michael didn’t come back yet he figured that he was lost too and that he would continue to look too and everyone else agreed to help but Tim and Marty said that they would go get more people to join the search party and they’d continue in the morning.
Michael felt a sudden closeness to Kelly now because when he heard the shotgun he followed the sound. He saw the alligator and saw the muddy piece of cloth in its mouth and he knew that Kelly had been there and he knew that someone else had been there too and that it was probably a swamp rat, so he started to search in the heart of the swamp.
Tim and Marty went to the Andersons house and told Barbara that Michael had been lost to now and that Kelly hasn’t been found yet and that they were going to build another search party to continue with in the morning because by the morning the search party now would be tired. Jenny went downstairs when she heard her mother yell No! When Tim had told her about Michael but she was put back to sleep by her mother. When Barbara left the room Jenny got up and continued to listen to their conversation and she heard her mother say “Maybe Jenny and I should have went to look for he”, by the sound of that Jenny got dressed and escaped off the balcony to go look for Kelly.
When Kelly had awaken in the boat, she had recognized the boy it had been the boy that she tried to follow in the swamp, the first night she went out when she was in Villejeune. He told her that he always knew where she was and that there are a lot of people looking for her. The boy was Jonas. When they passed Amelie’s house she was on her porch and then she got in a boat and followed them.
Jenny was walking down a paved path calling out “Kelly”. Then she saw Judd’s house she knew he lived there because he father took her there to show her that their wasn’t a witch living there it was a police man and that she could go there if she ever has a problem. She went there and knocked on the door and yelled out his name. He didn’t answer for a long time and when he did he took her inside, tied her hands and ankles with nylon ties and put a dishtowel for a gag. She was struggling to get away but could not succeed. He put her in the trunk of his car and drove to Warren’s house. When Judd told Warren whom he had got at first he thought that he was crazy but then he gave in because they did need more of the fluid. Warren gave Judd the needle and he already started to look and feel younger, Warren told him to get some rest. Jenny was fast asleep from the hypodermic needle she was given.
Jonas and Kelly arrived at Clarey’s house and soon after them Michael had arrived. Clarey told them practically everything. She told them that Michael was the son of the Dark Man and that Kelly was stolen from her mother and brought her to Clarey before she was even a day old, then taken away from her again to be given away so that she could grow up away from the swamp to see how she’d turn out. She told them that he takes your soul. She told them that he must be stopped.
Amelie was listening from outside and now she knew that her baby hadn’t died at all, hers and everyone else’s, but she didn’t know who to tell.
It was almost four in the morning when Michael went to his fathers boat with Kelly. Tears flooded his eyes, they were fine and he called everyone back in. Finally they could all go home. When they all got to the Anderson’s house, Kelly told her story of how she had survived the snake but she didn’t tell them about the alligator and Clarey’s house. When the Sheffield’s were ready to go home Barbara went upstairs to get Jenny but she wasn’t there.
Warren woke up Judd and when he woke up he was all better. Warren told Judd that Jenny was upstairs in the bathroom and that he was going to use his radio in his car to tell the hospital that you found Jenny in the canal and your bringing her in. “You killed her?” was his response. He went upstairs was Jenny’s body lying in the tub of ice. Warren told Judd to tell Jolene to call him to come down to the hospital after you have called her. Judd got in his car and drove as fast has he could to the canal.
Jolene called Warren and told him that Judd had just called and said that he found Jenny’s body in the canal and said the he said that she was dead. He hung up immediately, got dressed and hurried to the hospital.
The phone rang at the Anderson’s house. Mary answered the phone, it was Tim, and he told her that he had just received a call from Judd saying that he’s found Jenny, they found her in one of the canals and that they were bringing her to the hospital. Craig, Ted and Carl were already on there way to look for Jenny, Michael was going to get them but Barbara said no and Kelly offered to go get them and tell them what had happened. Mary drove Barbara and Michael to the clinic. When they got there Barbara went in to see Jenny and Judd Duval told Michael that he had found her in the canal right by his place while he was on the way to work. Michael saw something in his eyes that was wrong and Michael knew he was lying. Barbara went into the room, started to cry and reached out to touch her daughters face. Warren told her that when they brought her to the hospital she had no chance of surviving because she had already been in the canal for at least an hour. Barbara was in denial for a bit and then she told Warren to leave her alone, so that she could be alone with her until Craig comes. When Craig came with Ted, Carl, and Kelly, Craig went into the room, his eyes fixed on his daughter and he heard his wife murmur “It’s my fault. It’s my fault”, Craig told her not to say that because it wasn’t her fault and that it was an accident. They started to sob together and Barbara told Craig to take her home. When they all left Warren told Jolene to call Orrin Hatfield to come and write a coroner’s report and to call Fred Childress to send a hearse. Since Orrin was a swamp rat he knew that he didn’t really have to a real autopsy because Warren told him that they all needed her thymus to stave off the aging process, if she doesn’t die before they get her to Fred Childress’s funeral home.
As Jenny was sleeping she had a nightmare of a man, so old he seemed barely alive at all. His hair, only a few thin wisps, hung limply from his scalp, which was covered with bleeding sores. His eyes pale blue, shot through with reddish veins, fixed greedily on her, and when his lips curled back in an evil smile, she could see his rotting teeth, worn nearly away, crumbling from his gums. In her dream he was reaching for her, with his claw like fingers ending in jagged, torn nails, touching the skin of her face. She woke up and yelled NO! But she couldn’t get up because her arms were strapped to the bed. She looked around the room and she saw other babies. She had begged Warren to let her see her parents, but he told her that she was sick and that if she saw them they’d get sick too. Every time when Jenny would wake up from her sleep she’d feel more and more empty all the time, she wondered if she was dying. Warren told Jenny that he was putting something in the IV to help her to sleep without dreaming that horrible dream, after he finished attaching the morphine vial to the Iv, and turned the valve that switched the feeder tube from the glucose solution to the narcotic and told her to go to bed. Each day he’d drained a little more of the priceless fluid from her thymus. Stolen her youth to prolong his own. Stolen her soul to stave of his own mortality.
Craig, Barbara, and Michael were sitting behind a gauzy curtain, which separated them from the rest of the people that were at Jenny’s funeral. Jenny’s favorite hymn “away in a manger” was played. Barbara had their last look at their daughters face. Barbara kept thinking that it looked like as if she was sleeping. Michael paused in front of his sisters coffin, he thought he saw a movement but he thought he must have imagined it, he couldn’t believe that he’d never see his sister again, but he had a strange feeling that she was still alive. His father had told him that he felt the same way while crying. Jenny’s coffin was laid in the crypt next to Sharon (Barbara’s child who had not survived). All of a sudden Amelie went to Barbara and told her that she wasn’t dead, that a mother knows when her child is gone, that Clarey Lambert knows everything and to ask her. The thoughts of Kelly looking so much like her sisters daughter Tisha, Kelly who would have been the same age as Sharon would have been if she was still alive and Kelly who was adopted went through her head.
Kelly and Michael were sitting outside the Sheffield’s house on the dock they were talking about how much they both had the feeling that Jenny wasn’t really dead. That night they were going to find out.
Fred Childress and Judd Duval went to Jenny’s crypt to take her body out of it and bring it to Warren. They did not know that Michael and Kelly were following them to the mortuary. When they left with Jenny, Michael and Kelly went into the Mortuary and Michael saw how the close-cropped grass in front of the mausoleum had been faintly pressed down only moments ago, he knew it had to have been a coffin that was there. The word Kill them all came to his head.
Barbara was at home, she was thinking about when Kelly had said to her if I ever find out who my real mother is, I wish it could turn out to be you, and when Amelie had said She ain’t dead any more’n my own little baby is! And Barbara couldn’t get to sleep. She went into Jenny’s room and looked at all her things from the doorway. She started to look at a photo album and when she got to a picture of the 4th of July picnic in the last days of her pregnancy, everyone was there she noticed some people changed but then she realized how Fred Childress, Orrin Hatfield, Judd Duval, Carl Anderson, and Warren Phillips hadn’t changed at all over the past sixteen years. Craig came down and then she went back to sleep with him, when she finally got to bed she dreamt that she was together with her two daughters, Sharon and Jenny, Jenny looked exactly the same but Sharon was Kelly.
Carl Anderson was awake that night, he heard a door, so he went to go check on Kelly to see if she was really sleeping, he went in her room and she was pretending to sleep, she had just come back from the mortuary, when she saw her grandfathers eyes, she noticed that they looked like the eyes of the man in her dreams. Carl went to the washroom and when he saw himself in the mirror, he noticed he was looking older, so he called Warren but he was not there he called a few other times and he left messages each time, saying that he needed to get a shot. He waited lying in bed, until the sun would rise. When the first fait glimmers of dawn were approaching he called Warren again and left a message saying that he cannot wait any longer and that he was coming over, he struggled to get dressed because of his aching bones of oldness and then he left. Kelly watched her grandfather leave, she had stayed awake all night listening to his messages he left for Warren and when he saw him this morning his face was truly the face that was in her dreams. When Carl got to Warren’s house, Carl told him that he was calling all night and he asked him to give him the shot because he was dying. Warren gave him the shot and told him that he was lucky that he even had that, if it weren’t for Jenny. Carl felt a bit better but Warren told him to stay out of sight from people and he told him that he knew what he had to do to stay alive.
Carl went to the construction site and laid there to rest. Ted came and noticed the difference, Carl told him to leave him alone and to get out of there. Ted went to Tim Kitteridge and told him about how his father looked this morning and that he thinks that Warren is giving his father some kind of drug that is not good for him and that he looked older all of a sudden. Barbara went to the Anderson’s house and talked to Mary about what she thought about Kelly and Mary took out a box of memorabilia’s that were still unpacked from the move, she showed the picture album of Kelly and them when they lived in Atlanta and then she showed Kelly’s birth certificate and Barbara noticed the signature of the doctor it was Warren Phillips, but the certificate said another hospital in Orlando. They called the hospital and their was never and doctor by that name ever working there nor was there ever any child by the name Infant Richardson ever born there. Barbara told her husband and they decided to go check out the mortuary and see if their daughters were ever really dead there at all. Michael was at work and Kelly went there to tell him about how her grandfather looked this morning. Michael’s boss (Phil Stubbs) told him that he had to do the tour for someone who couldn’t make it that day, so he took Kelly with him. There was a bunch of mothers with their children on the tour, When they were on their way back to the tour headquarters, they were in a very narrow part of the swamp and all of a sudden a man that Kelly recognized as her grandfather this morning, snatched one of the babies off the boat, Michael ran after him and Kelly was trying to keep everyone calm on the boat, but after waiting for awhile, one of the women told Kelly to bring them back to the tour headquarters, so she did. When she got there Phil was angry until Kelly told him why they were so late because of the baby snatching. Phil called Tim. Tim was still in with Ted and when he got the phone call Ted went with Tim to the tour headquarters. Kelly told Tim and Ted of what had happened and that it was her grandfather that snatched the baby but that he looked older. Tim put out a search party for Carl and Michael. Craig and Barbara went to the mortuary and asked Fred if they could have the keys for the crypt that their daughter were in, Fred hesitated for a while but eventually gave it to them, as soon as they left the room he called Warren to tell him what just had happened but he just said that they can’t prove that they did anything. Warren didn’t really care because by that night, he would be gone and Judd, Fred and Orrin would be dead and he would start this somewhere else in the country. Craig opened the crypt and opened Sharon’s coffin and to their disgust was dead alley cat inside, when they looked in Jenny’s coffin their was nothing, they left the mortuary right away and went to find Tim.
Michael was still chasing Carl, Carl was hiding behind a bush but Michael found him and when Carl pointed the gun at Michael just said that he couldn’t kill him because he was already dead. Carl collapsed to the floor with the baby and Michael tore open Carl’s chest and took back what belonged to him and swallowed it. Michael felt warmth that he never felt before in his life and he started to cry for the first time in his life too. He took the baby and went on his way back to the tour headquarters. When he got back he returned the baby to its mother and told Kelly what just had happened to him, Tim asked what he had done with the body after Carl died and he didn’t answer. Michael and Kelly took off to Clarey’s house.
Craig and Barbara got to the tour headquarters where Tim had been and they told him about everything.
When they got to Clarey’s house, Clarey already knew what had happened to Michael. Clarey always wished for this day to come. Clarey told all the children (telepathically) to find Judd, Warren, Orrin, and Fred and take their souls back. Michael, Kelly, Clarey, and Jonas got in a boat; they followed the rest of the children. A few children found Judd and took their soul back from him, some found Fred, and did the same him and Orrin. When they went to Warrens house, they took their soul back from him, got all the babies and Jenny. All the children had their souls back and Clarey died a peaceful death. They returned Amelie’s baby back to her and Levinia Carter stayed with Amelie to help her raise her child. They returned to their parents and they heard their children cry for the first time.
I did this all by myself. It took really long when i did it so i hope you people that take this get a good mark, when you hand in my work.