New Way Home
He told them the story, exactly how it had happened. He told them about Nicky drugging him. He told them about waking up handcuffed down to the chaise lounge. He told them about Taylor acting like someone else, and the dream he had of Kurt, but that it really wasn't a dream. Kurt was here, in a pocket dimension, with Boddah. And how Taylor's eyes changed color.
He told them about the spell that had been put on the statue, and finding out who the ghost was, and how someone had put him here, someone had made a deal. He told them how Chris got involved, and Nicky's threats of violence. Finally, he told them how Taylor had heroically driven Nicky back into the statue, and how they rushed him to the hospital to save his life.
The only detail Dave left out of the story for now was what the group of men spent most of their time doing from Saturday night to Monday morning: the sex. First, he had to get Jordyn and Alison to accept the possession.
When he finished, Dave put his second beer down on the table. "What do you think?" he asked.
The two women looked at each other with troubled expressions. "It's certainly a very... elaborate story..." Alison commented.
"Dave, you've got to have some creative talent to be able to write songs and everything, but... to make up something like this... you simply wouldn't. Not about your friends and bandmates." Jordyn sighed. "But it's just so unbelievable."
"Babe, I know. I know it is. But it happened."
His face was so earnest, so desperate to be believed. "The thing that scares me the most about all this is you really believe the story you just told us. You really and truly believe it."
Dave, feeling a little helpless, just nodded.
"Is there any chance that 'Nicky' slipped you some LSD?" Alison asked.
She didn't believe him. Alison thought he'd lost his mind. "I can prove it to you," he declared. It was his last shot.
Now it was Dave's turn to be smug. "All you have to do is go down into the art room and fall asleep near the statue. We'll go to the limbo dimension where Kurt and Boddah are, and you can meet everybody. Including Nicky."
The women looked at each other again. "Lord knows I could use a nap," Alison said with a shrug.
'Okay," Jordyn agreed. "I'm pretty exhausted myself after that long flight." Silently to herself, she hoped the story would turn out to be true, as crazy as it was. Otherwise, her husband might be losing his mind.
Alison took the couch, Jordyn the chaise lounge, and Dave leaned himself back in a recliner near the enchanted mirror. The only warning he gave them was not to talk to Nicky. "Let me handle that."
Alison nodded off first, his wife second, but sleep would not come to Dave easily. He feared that for some reason, it wouldn't work, and the wives wouldn't be able to get into the mindscape with Kurt. That he wouldn't be able to prove a thing to them. He didn't realize that he'd fallen asleep until he heard Boddah's chatter.
Amazed with what she was seeing, Jordyn walked up to the light blue bed and addressed the young blonde man who sat up as she approached. He seemed just as shocked to see her as she was to see him. "Are you Kurt Cobain?"
He nodded. "Yeah."
Jordyn's expression hardened a bit, any trace of a smile disappearing. "You're the man who broke my husband's heart."
Dave encountered Alison first by following the noise Boddah was making. She stood in front of the reaper, looking at it with fear and wonder. "You're just as Dave described you. But that's the power of suggestion, isn't it?"
Boddah actually shrugged.
Coming up behind her, Dave put a hand on Alison's shoulder. She shrieked and whirled on him with wide eyes. "Jesus Christ, Dave!"
"Sorry, sorry. Uh, that's Boddah."
"Boddah, I'm a little turned around in here. Which way is Kurt?"
Raising one bony hand, Boddah pointed off to the left.
He steered Alison off in that direction. As they walked away from the reaper, she kept looking back, afraid it was following them. "That thing's a little creepy."
"Well, he is an agent of death."
They approached the bed where Kurt and Jordyn were talking; Dave noticed that the look on Kurt's face was troubled. "I see you two have met."
Kurt tried to put on a smile. "We have." His face suddenly lit up, amused and delighted. "You got yourself a spitfire here, Dave. She just gave me what for for taking myself out of this world. I deserved that."
Jordyn gave Dave a look, one he knew meant there was more to that story. They could talk about it later. "She keeps me on my toes." Touching her shoulder again, Dave said, "This is Taylor's wife, Alison."
Kurt nodded to her.
"And you're the ghost of Kurt Cobain, right?" Alison was still using a sarcastic, disbelieving tone.
"That I am." Kurt looked up at Dave. "She doesn't believe you, does she?"
Alison spoke first. "She's skeptical, yes."
Grinning, Kurt asked, "How exactly would Dave accomplish this?" He spread out his arms to indicate the mindscape. "It doesn't impress you at all that you're all having the same 'dream' right now?"
Alison frowned. "When I wake up, I'll ask Jordyn what she dreamed about. Then I'll know if that's really true."
"What else would it take to prove it to you?"
She thought about it a moment. "Dave told us the name of this ghost, and I didn't recognize the name. Court TV wasn't something I watched much back then. I have no idea what this Nicky guy looked like. Once I wake up, I'll Google him and if the faces match, I would have to accept that everything Dave told us really happened, and that he really does have the soul of a serial killer trapped inside some sort of limbo dimension. I wouldn't have any reason to put it off on the power of suggestion since Dave didn't even describe him."
Kurt seemed impressed. "You gotta admit, Dave, it's a good idea."
He just hoped Alison wouldn't find a way to weasel out of it when she saw that the Nicky in the cage looked exactly like the pictures on the internet. "Will you just show us where the cage is again? I get so turned around in here."
Nicky stood at the bars of his cage, like he had been waiting for them the entire time. He wore a mischievous expression. As he looked at that face, Dave tried to reassure himself that he could keep control of what Nicky said. Nicky could only speak when spoken to, and had to stop talking when told to shut up. It was obvious that Nicky wanted to speak when he saw the two women. He wanted to speak very badly.
Nicky was assuming he knew who these women were. Dave wasn't going to help him by confirming it. "What is your name?"
"Austin Nicholas Kelly." He looked at Jordyn, then Alison. "But you can call me Nicky."
"Did you possess Taylor Hawkins?"
"Yes, I did. I wanted you all to myself, but - "
"Shut up," Dave told him, trying to stay calm. He would tell Jordyn and Alison about the sex, he and Taylor would do it together, but he didn't want them to find out this way. Not from Nicky. "How did you take control of Taylor's body?"
"First you tell me to shut up, then you want me to talk. You've got me so confused, I don't know what to do," Nicky said, amused with himself.
"Will you just answer the goddamn question?" Dave snapped. If Nicky confirmed the facts Dave had told the two women, maybe then they would believe him.
But Nicky wasn't about to help him. Nicky wanted to have some fun. He had an idea of what Jordyn looked like from the pictures around the house, but he pretended he didn't know which woman was her by talking straight to Alison. "Does he get forceful like this when the two of you are in bed with that His and Hers lube?"
Alison looked confused and said, "Huh?", but Jordyn cried, "How do you know about that?!", her eyes going wide.
"Shut your fucking mouth!" Dave yelled at him. Kurt put a hand over his eyes, almost doing a slow burn.
Pointing between herself and Jordyn, Alison said, "I'm not - "
"Alison, please don't talk to him," Dave begged. "He's just going to say shit to try to upset us." He addressed Jordyn. "Nicky looked through the drawers in our bedroom."
She shifted around like the question had made her uncomfortable. "It's really weird, to think he was in Taylor's body while he did all these things."
Nicky grinned at them, satisfied with himself.
Dave sighed. "I'll give you one more chance. Are you going to answer the question without adding some cute little comment?"
Instead of saying anything about this second question, Nicky simply answered the first one. "I used a spell that was put on the mannequin by a witch to take control of Taylor's body. You just have to learn how to twist magick to use it to your advantage."
"And you used it to put Taylor to sleep."
"Yes, I did. So I could use him to do whatever I wanted to you," he said to Dave.
Dave winced and closed his eyes for a moment. This was a bad idea. He hoped the small amount of information they had gained from Nicky would be enough, because he wasn't going to ask him anything else. "Okay, we're - "
Nicky cut him off before he could tell him to stop talking and quickly said to Alison, "Did your husband tell you he was Oh?"
Both women looked at Dave with shocked expressions. "How does he know about that?!" Alison cried.
Right after, Jordyn shrieked, "Taylor is Oh?!"
That was it. Growling loudly, Dave ran up to the cage and grabbed Nicky by the shirt and hair and began to yank him into the bars as hard as he could. He immediately found out that he could hurt a ghost here when blood came out of Nicky's nose, but even though Dave was hurting him, he still laughed... and laughed... and laughed.
"Shut up, shut up, fucking shut up!" Dave screamed.
Afraid Nicky would hurt him, Kurt pulled Dave away from the cage. Dave let him go. Nicky fell back on the floor and did nothing to stop his soul from bleeding; he just looked at Dave and chuckled darkly.
"Taylor is Oh? Taylor is Oh?!" Jordyn kept saying.
Dave looked around. Alison was gone. Then he also woke up when he felt Alison shaking him.
"Wake up, goddamnit, wake up!" she said.
The sound of Nicky's snickers followed Dave into his waking. He blinked up at Alison, and glanced over at Jordyn, who was just waking up too. Both women looked upset. "Tell me what you know about Oh," Alison said. "How long have you known?"
Near tears, Jordyn said, "You had sex with Taylor?"
Dave put the footrest down on the recliner so he could fully sit up. "I'll tell you everything. Okay? But check Google first, while Nicky's face is still fresh in your mind."
Alison had almost forgotten about that. She got out her phone and opened the internet browser. After making sure she spelled his name right, Alison looked at the pictures that came up. Her eyes went wide and she put a hand over her mouth. "Oh my God. It's him. It's the guy from the cage." Her eyes filled with tears. "That animal was in control of my husband?"
From what Jordyn had said, her dream matched Alison's. She couldn't deny it anymore. "This is real. The possession, the ghost, it all really happened." Alison burst into tears. "My poor Taylor."
Jordyn went over and sat next to her, hugging her and rubbing her back. Dave watched them, feeling helpless and a little useless. What could he do to make any of this better? "He's going to be okay," he offered. "Doctors fixed him right up."
"But what about his mental state?" Alison sobbed. "Can you imagine what it could do to a person to be possessed by a serial killer?" She suddenly gasped. "Oh God. You said he left the house at least twice. How do we know he didn't... hurt someone?"
"Nicky got really mad at me when I suggested this was possible. I didn't want him to leave the house because I feared he might hurt somebody. He said he wouldn't do that because he didn't want to bring attention to himself. And also that he was discerning and didn't want to kill just anyone." Dave thought about how Nicky looked when he came back from the store. "I never saw any signs that he had hurt anyone. No blood or anything."
"Oh, what a smart serial killer he is, then," Alison said sarcastically.
Jordyn tried to comfort her too. "We'll check the paper. See if anyone went missing over the weekend."
That only brought on fresh tears. Alison covered her face with her hands. "What if this animal killed someone? My baby will be blamed." She wailed out, "My Bunny Foofoo."
Jordyn held her again. It took Alison a minute to get control of herself. "He said he wasn't going to hurt anyone?" she asked Dave, grasping at any hope she could get.
Nodding, he replied, "Yeah, that's what he said."
It would have to do. Alison took the tissue Jordyn offered her and blew her nose. "Okay. I'm going to try to stop thinking about it, then."
Dave kind of hoped that this conversation had made a good enough distraction from the things Nicky had brought up so they could discuss Oh and everything that came with him tomorrow, but he should have known he'd have no such luck. Jordyn said, "Good. Then can we discuss Oh?"
Dave cringed. "I'd rather discuss all this with Taylor present."
"But, I can't wait. I need to talk about it now." She turned to Alison. "How long have you known that Taylor was Oh? How long have you known that our husbands had sex?"
Alison put up her hands defensively. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier, but Taylor swore me to secrecy. I thought he should tell you both."
"Why did he want to keep it a secret?"
"He joined the Foo Fighters shortly after. Taylor didn't want Dave to think that the reason he slept with him was to get into the band. Taylor slept with him because he wanted to, but he knew how bad it might look to Dave." Sighing, Alison continued, "You don't know how good it feels to have that secret out. It's too big of a secret to keep from someone, but I swore I wouldn't tell."
"When did Taylor tell you?" Dave asked.
"Shortly before we got married. I had met you, and Taylor said he wanted to get more of his sexual past out in the open. And he told me he'd slept with you, but you didn't know he was the guy you slept with." She fidgeted with the hem of her skirt. "You were too wasted."
Covering her face with her hands, Jordyn mumbled, "Oh my God, oh my God..." She dropped her hands into her lap. "Years ago, Dave told me about what things were like after his first marriage ended and how upset and depressed he was for months; his band was falling apart and Jennifer was leaving him, and one night, he met this blonde in a record store who only wanted to be known as Oh. But like you said, Dave was too wasted to really remember his face. And then not too long after, Taylor joined the band and the Foo Fighters started to come back together again." She gestured to her husband. "Dave told me that he thought Oh was good luck and he wished he could find him. And you're telling me that guy is Taylor? Holy shit."
Dave looked at his wife with guilt on his face; she was pretty blown away by this revelation. "I was just as shocked as you are."
"When did you find out, Dave?"
He scoffed. "When Nicky told me. He said he had access to Taylor's memories. He only did it to fuck with my head," Dave said. "One of his favorite things to do."
Alison, shaking her head, growled, "What a fucking sicko. I can't believe that someone who killed eight people was inside my husband's head, controlling him. It's terrifying."
Dave played her words over and over in his mind, and they didn't change. His blood ran cold. Chills moved up his back. Eight people, eight people, eight people...
"Dave?" Jordyn didn't like the shock and horror she saw on his face.
He asked, "Alison, how many people did you say Nicky killed?"
"Eight." She held up her phone. "That's what it says on the internet."
Grabbing his book about Nicky's crimes, Dave checked the back cover. He hadn't gotten very far into the book, but the summary on the back told him what he needed to know.
...murdered eight men over a period of ten years...
He sat down hard on the couch. Nicky's words filled his head.
"Eleven. It was eleven. "
"Dave, what is the matter? Your face has gone completely white." Jordyn sat down next to him, touching his hand.
When he spoke, his voice shook, no matter how hard he tried to keep it steady. "I'm going to tell you something Nicky told me, but I don't want you to panic."
"How can you expect me not to panic when you say it like that?" Alison said, close to yelling.
Putting up a defensive hand, Dave took a shaky breath. "Nicky told me he killed eleven people."
Almost instantly, Alison began to breathe way too hard and fast, on her way to hyperventilating. Her breaths were shrill, hysterical. "Then he used Taylor's body to... to... three more... oh God..."
Jordyn went over and took her by the arms. "Now we don't know that, Alison."
"Not for sure, but it looks pretty bad, doesn't it?"
Dave put his head in his hands.
Jordyn got Alison to stand up and go with her to the couch. There she attempted to get her to calm down. "Please, take deep breaths for me, Alison. You're going to hyperventilate."
Stroking his beard nervously, Dave tried to remember what Nicky had told him when. "Wait. Nicky possessed Taylor on Saturday night. He told me he had murdered eleven people the next morning. Yeah, Nicky did go out that night to buy the handcuffs and the rope, but he couldn't have killed three people and hidden the bodies in a few hours." Dave laughed at this ludicrous idea. "It took him ten years to kill eight. He must've taken three other lives in those ten years that the authorities don't know about. That kind of thing happens all the time with serial killers."
Alison was nodding. "Do you think that's all it is?"
"That makes a lot of sense," Jordyn agreed.
Suddenly, Alison burst into tears again. "But what if Dave is wrong?"
"Oh, Alison, shhhh..." Jordyn hugged her. "You can talk to Taylor in the morning and he'll tell you himself he didn't hurt anyone."
Alison said nothing else on the subject, just crying until she felt she was done. Then she declared, "I can't sleep here as long as that monster is in this house. I want to sleep in Taylor's room so I can be there when he wakes up."
"Okay, I can fully understand that. Do you want me to stay with you?"
"No, I'll be okay by myself for the night. Just, can I borrow a blanket?"
The women got up to go find one. Dave said, "Wait."
They stopped and looked back.
"Before we take you back to the hospital, you need to know about something Nicky did and how Taylor explained it to the doctor. There will probably be questions."
Dave explained, "Nicky went out for a short time on Sunday afternoon. He didn't want Chris and I to plot against him while he was gone, so he drugged us with half a Morphecil so we'd only be out for a couple hours. I woke up to him doing this to me." Unbuttoning a few buttons on his shirt, Dave pulled it to one side so they could see the red scratchy lines on his chest that spelled MINE.
Both women came closer. "Oh my God..." Jordyn exclaimed. "Did he do that with a knife?"
"My poor baby." Jordyn gave him a kiss.
"Monday morning, Nicky was trying to prove how much he cared for me, so he took a knife and carved YOURS into his arm."
Alison gasped. "Taylor's arm."
Nodding again, Dave added, "The doctor is going to have questions about it. Does your husband want to hurt himself? Shit like that. Obviously, Taylor couldn't tell them the truth, so he told them he had a fight with you over the phone on Sunday night, got drunk, and carved that word into his arm to prove his love for you." He shrugged. "It was the best we could come up with on the spur of the moment."
"No, it's a decent story. Certainly better than the ghost did it." Scoffing, Alison shook her head. "Can you imagine how that would go?"
While the girls prepared to go back to the hospital, Dave examined the wounds to his chest in the mirror. He put some antiseptic on them and was about to apply a gauze pad when the idea occurred to him for the first time.
Could Dave himself act as the belonging of Nicky's they would need to make the spell work?