The Sacrifice Written by Christine Coulter

Four cloaked figures stood in the darkness of the woods, hoods obscuring their faces so no features could be seen. A small fire burned between them, reflecting in their cruel eyes. They were all chanting something, their voices full of malice. On the ground near them was a baby sheep, bound tightly and struggling to free itself. One of the cloaked figures walked up to it, a dagger in one hand, and slit the poor creature's throat, while another held a chalice with an upside down pentagram on it under the wound to catch the blood. As soon as the tiny lamb stopped moving, they picked up its lifeless body and threw it into the fire, saying, "To the Dark One!" in unison. Then each of them took a drink of the animal's blood from the chalice, swearing they could feel power flowing through them as they did so. They just stood around the fire for several minutes, gazing deeply into the flames and allowing the heat of it to seep into them. Soon, however, they knew it was time to get to the main reason they had gathered here this night, and began talking once more, this time in English.

"Have you found a girl?" one of them asked, who was clearly the leader of this group.

"Yes," another one said.

"Who?" asked the leader.

The one he asked took out a picture and showed it to him.

"Her? She's one? You're certain?"

"Absolutely. She's never had a boyfriend or anything. She's the only one I was able to find, and we were lucky we were able to get her, especially in this day and age."

"And do you know how you are going to get her? We must have her tomorrow night. Everything is planned for then."

"I haven't asked her yet-" As he said this, the leader became furious.

"What?! The ritual must be done tomorrow, and you haven't asked her?!"

"But it will be no problem," the other continued. "I know for a fact that she will not say no."

"She better not, for if she does, you will pay greatly!"

"Don't worry. We will have her, and come tomorrow, we'll have everything we've ever dreamed of."

Kara sat in the back of the classroom, head resting on her left hand, bored out of her mind. She couldn't wait for the bell to ring so she could get the hell out of class and go home. This was easily the most boring class she had ever had in her life. The only thing that was decent about it was that Derrick Martin was in the class as well. She kept stealing glances at him. Derrick sat three desk diagonally to her. She couldn't help but smile as she looked at him. However, when he turned and looked at her, her face got so hot with embarrassment that she felt like she was on fire.

She tried to look away and act as though she hadn't been staring at him, but by the way he smiled and whispered to his best friends, who sat next to him, she knew it didn't do any good. She felt sure she would die of embarrassment. She just wanted to sink into the floor and disappear.

When the bell finally rang, Kara grabbed her bag and ran from the classroom as quickly as possible, careful to avoid looking at Derrick again. She ran pass her locker and headed straight for the double doors, wanting to get as far away from the school and Derrick as possible, but as she ran down the stairs, she heard someone call her name.

"Kara!"

Kara looked behind her and saw Derrick running after her.

Oh god, oh god, she thought, beginning to panic. He's probably coming to tell me off for looking at him.

"Hey!" Derrick said cheerfully when he reached her.

"Hey," Kara said, blushing. She kept playing nervously with her hair and looking down at the ground.

"I know we haven't talked much," Derrick said, "but I was wondering if maybe you'd like to go out with me tonight?"

When Derrick said this, Kara felt sure she had been hearing things. She managed to get herself to look up at him, his eyes making her weak in the knees.

"Um, what?" Kara asked.

"I asked if you'd like to go out with me tonight?" Derrick said again, smiling at her.

Kara looked and saw Derrick's friends standing not far off, looking at them.

"Is this some kind of mean joke or something?" she asked suspiciously.

"Joke?" Derrick asked. "Why would I be joking?"

"Because guys like you don't notice girls like me, let alone ask them out," Kara said honestly, thinking of how she had been rejected by every guy she had ever liked.

"Well, I'm not like other guys. I've always thought you were cute. I just couldn't get up the guts to tell you," he said.

"Seriously, are you being for real?"

"Absolutely."

"Um," was all Kara could say at first. She still had a sinking suspicion that something wasn't right, but she had liked Derrick for the longest time, and she would hate to pass up this once in a life time opportunity just because she had been hurt by so many other guys. So finally, she got herself to say, "Okay, I'd love to."

"Really?" Derrick said, a look of triumph on his face. "Great! I'll pick you up at eight!" He smiled at her and went to join his friends, where they began talking excitedly to each other as they walked off.

Kara was in shock. She couldn't believe someone had asked her out, especially Derrick Martin! She had had a crush on him for the longest time, but she thought he hadn't even known she existed. She couldn't wait for tonight. She was very nervous though, for she had never been on a date before. She knew she was pathetic having never been out on a date at her age when people a lot younger than her had been out on who knows how many dates, but guys just never seemed to like her. She knew she wasn't pretty, at least not according to any of the people that had told her how ugly she was. She couldn't understand why Derrick would want to go out with her when he could easily have any girl in the school. But she wasn't going to complain, and she couldn't help but smile as she walked home.

Kara had put on the best clothes she had, which still weren't that great considering all her clothes were second-hand. She just hoped she'd look pretty enough for Derrick. She even put on make-up, something she hardly ever did.

As eight o'clock got closer, she began pacing back and forth across her room, praying she did not make a full of herself in front of Derrick. She kept imagining what it would be like if he kissed her. Would she be any good? Would he like it or decide she was too horrible and never want to see her again? This thought made her even more nervous, so she tried her best to push it from her mind and think only positive thoughts.

When the doorbell rang, her heart nearly stopped. She bounded down the stairs to find Derrick standing there waiting for her, a rose in his hand.

"You look great!" he told her, handing her the rose and kissing her on the cheek.

Kara blushed, handing the rose to her mother to put in some water.

"Are you ready to go?" Derrick asked her.

"Yes, I guess. Sorry if I'm a little nervous, but this is my first date," she admitted, hoping he wouldn't decide to turn around and leave because of her lack of experience with dating.

"Really? I can't believe no one else would want to go out with someone as beautiful as you," Derrick said, making Kara blush once more. "Well, we should be going. I got a special night planned just for us."

Derrick led Kara to his truck and opened the door for her. She got in and waited for him to do the same, wondering what he had in store. Derrick got in and started the ignition, smiling once more at her before he began to drive. He drove them out of town, and Kara began to wonder where they were going.

"You'll see," he said when she asked him.

He drove them to some woods, and parked along side the road. He got out, came around to her side, and helped her out. He then went to the back of his truck and took out a basket.

"I hope you're not afraid of the woods, because I've planned a little moonlit picnic for the two of us," he said.

"I'm not afraid, especially if I'm with you," Kara said shyly.

Derrick took her hand led her down a path that went into the woods. He led her into a small clearing that had a blanket spread in the center and lit candles around it.

"I came ahead and set things up for us," he told her.

They sat down and began to eat, talking and laughing. Kara had never had such a good time in her life. She still couldn't believe this was happening, and when Derrick leaned in to kiss her, her breath was stolen from her lungs as his lips touched hers. She felt herself melting into him, and the next thing she knew, he was laying her back onto the ground, his hands moving over her body. She enjoyed the feeling, but she knew she had to tell him something before things went too far, so she pushed him slightly away.

"Derrick, I think you should know that I'm a . . ."

"A what?" Derrick asked.

"A virgin," Kara said, blushing brighter than she ever had.

"Yeah, I know," Derrick said, reaching to take something out of the basket.

"Really? And you don't mind?" Kara asked.

"Not at all. In fact, it's perfect." As he said this, he covered Kara's mouth with a cloth so quickly Kara had no time to stop him.

"Hey, what are you-" Kara managed to get her mouth free enough to say, but he quickly covered it again, and as she began to struggle and breathe in hastily out of panic, she felt herself begin to get groggy, and before she knew it, all went black.

Kara awoke to find herself tied down to something. All around her were lit black candles, and as she looked around, she saw that she was laying down on a stone table. She tried to free herself from her binds, but they were too tight.

"It won't do you any good," a voice said, and out of the shadow of the trees walked four cloaked figures. The voice sounded very familiar, but Kara couldn't place it.

"Who are you?" Kara asked, fear in her voice.

To answer her question, the figures lowered their hoods, and Kara was shocked to see that Derrick was one of them, the others being his friends Mike, Alex, and Stephen.

"What's going on? What are you guys doing?"

"We're going to perform a little ritual," Stephen, the leader, said. "Thing is, we need a sacrifice, a virgin sacrifice."

"A what?!" Kara screamed in fear. "Oh god no, please. Tell me this is just a joke!"

They ignored her and began making their way around the table, one standing at each end. They started chanting something in a language that Kara could not understand, though she could make out words that sounded horribly like Satan. Their voices started off as whispers at first, but began to grow louder. Derrick, who was standing to the left of Kara, took a curved dagger from his robes and held it over Kara.

"Oh god Derrick, don't do this! Please don't do this!" Kara begged, but he was deaf to her worlds. And as he brought down the blade, a scream issued from Kara's throat, stopping only after the blade went though her heart.

Blood began to flow from her wound and cover the table. All was silent at first, but then Mike spoke.

"Now what? Where is the Dark Lord?"

As if answering his question, the earth began to tremble, and lightening came down from the sky and struck Kara's lifeless body and shot out through the others. They were blasted back, but were only phased. When they got to their feet, they walked to the table to see what had happened.

At first, all was still once more, and the only sound that could be heard was that of the Derrick and the others breathing. Suddenly, Kara's eyes shot open. The friends jumped back in shock. Kara snapped the binds tying her down and got off the table. She looked around at the men standing before her, her now pure black eyes piercing into each of them like daggers. And when she spoke, it was not her voice. It was an evil, booming voice that froze the blood in the listeners' veins.

"Who dares call me forth?!" the beast demanded.

"We did, your darkness," they said, voices trembling. "We are your most humble and loyal servants."

"Who leads you?" the beast asked. They all pointed at Stephen. The beast in Kara's body looked at him and smiled. "Come forth," it ordered. Stephen did and bowed before the beast. "You have called me from my kingdom and given me a body in which to enter this world. For this, I thank you." Just as it said this, its hand grabbed Stephen by the throat. "And now you will die for your master!"

Stephen didn't even have time to scream before the beast crushed his throat, blood oozing up from his mouth. The others tried to flee out of fear, but even with it being in a human's body, it still had speed greater than any human, and it caught Mike and Alex before they could even get more than a few feet into the trees. The beast smashed Alex's skull into a tree and tore Mike limb from limb, drinking some of the blood that sprayed from the neck after he ripped off his head.

The beast then made its way toward Derrick, who was cowering beside a tree in fear. The beast pulled Derrick to his feet and looked into his eyes, which were filled with fear.

"Please do not kill me!" Derrick begged. "We brought you forth! We gave you a vessel to wreak havoc in! We were told we would be rewarded for bringing you forth!"

The evil inside Kara's body laughed. "You really think you can fuck with evil and be rewarded?! You are a fool! You should know that everything you do has consequences. You conjure evil and you shall get evil! I can feel the fear in you. You called me here and yet you cower before me?"

"Because of what you did to my friends! We thought you would reward us, not destroy us!"

"I did reward your friends by allowing their deaths to be quick. You, however, were the one who forced the blade through the innocent's heart, and this makes you far worse than the others. If there is one thing you will learn before you die, it is that no good deed goes unpunished. You took the life that gave me life. You have allowed me to come forth into this world so that I may do my will, and for this, I have allowed you to live until now. But be thankful you will not be alive to see the terror which will rain down upon this land now that I have returned! Goodbye, Derrick Martin."

With that, the beast forced its hand through Derrick's chest and gripped his heart. As Derrick was overcome with unimaginable pain, he was forced to keep staring into the beast's black eyes. And as he did, the eyes momentarily returned to Kara's normal eyes, and when the beast spoke again, it was Kara's voice.

"How could you do this to me, Derrick?"

"Kara!" Derrick screamed, coughing on his own blood. "Help me!"

"You didn't help me! I trusted you!" Kara said. "You always get what you deserve in the end. See you in hell," she said, her voice once again that of the beast, and her eyes turning back to black, and Derrick's scream echoed throughout the woods as the beast tore the heart from his chest.