Charity and her friends took the upstairs while Faith and her wild group stayed in the basement. The girls' parents had left for the evening and wouldn't be home until dawn.
Charity and her friends were sprawling out sleeping bags when Faith appeared in the doorway. “Why don't you guys come downstairs?” she asked. Charity waved her sister away, telling her that they were more then happy to stay upstairs and tell ghost stories. “Besides, according to your friends, we're dorks,” she retorted.
Faith's upper lip curled. Charity was a dork, but it wasn't OK for anyone else to call her that. “I'll punch whoever said it,” she promised. Charity giggled. She knew Faith would keep her word. “Come on downstairs.”
Again, Charity politely refused. Faith stomped her foot impatiently. “OK, fine, you want to stay up here and tell ghost stories?” All the girls nodded. Faith stepped into the room and close the door. The loud music coming from downstairs became muffled. “I have a ghost story for you.”
She sat down on the end of Charity's sleeping bag. “And my story is real. It happened a long time ago, but it did happen. You know the urban legend Bloody Mary, right?” They all nodded. Faith smiled. “Yeah well, I know this guy that knows this girl who had a friend who tested the urban legend. She was in college and went into the bathroom to perform the ritual.”
“Why?” asked Clarissa, one of Charity's friends.
Faith shrugged. “I don't know. She was doing a paper on urban legends or some shit. Anyway, the point is she went into the bathroom, closed the door and lit a few candles. She looked into the mirror and said 'Bloody Mary' five times.”
She paused, looking around the room. All the girls were huddled close together. Charity's eyes were wide. Faith smiled and continued with her story. “At first nothing happened. But then she heard her name being called. She turned around, thinking that someone was playing a trick on her. She checked all the stalls before retuning to her spot in front of the mirror. And what she saw turned her blood to ice.”
“What did she see?” Charity's voice came out high pitched and squeaky.
“She saw the face of Bloody Mary. When the police found her the next day, her body was mutilated beyond recognition and scrawled on the tiled floor in her blood was the name Mary.”
There was silence. Charity opened her mouth to speak when she heard her name being called. At first it was faint, but then it grew louder.
“Ohmigod! It's Bloody Mary!” screamed Clarissa. The other girls began screaming, with the exception of Charity. She stood up, marched over to her closet and pulled open the door. Dionne, Faith's best friend stood there, laughing hysterically. “You should have seen your faces,” she cried, slapping Faith a high five.
“Bloody Mary isn't real,” Charity said, folding her arms across her chest. “And I'll prove it.” She turned on her heel and walked off, only to return a few minutes later with a handful of candles. She walked into the bathroom, placed the candles on the vanity and proceeded to light them.
She turned to face her friends, an eyebrow arched. “See you soon,” she said as she closed the door.
Charity hadn't really intended to say Bloody Mary. I mean, if it wasn't just a story, did she really want to piss off a thousand year old ghost? But once she was in the bathroom, she knew that Faith would be pressed up against the door, listening for her to chant the words. So she did. “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.”
A quick glance around the room and Charity began to laugh. Mostly out of relief. She was about to blow out the candle when something in the mirror caught her eye. She opened her mouth and screamed.
“Charity!” Faith yelled, banging on the door. “Charity! Charity!”
The door wouldn't open and Faith knew that Charity hadn't locked it. Faith pushed everyone back before putting her foot through the door. The breaking wood gave her enough room to unlock the door.
The bathroom was in total darkness. The candles had gone out or had been put out, and Faith found herself feeling along the wall for the light. She couldn't even see the tip of her nose in the darkness. Her hand found the switch and she flipped the light on.
Light filled the bathroom and revealed the gory scene that was within it. Slashes of crimson formed a horrifying cross-hatch pattern on the mirror and vanity. Wet, red hand prints smeared the back wall and the opaque glass door to the shower stall.
Using two fingers, as though she was touching some repulsive thing, Faith pulled open that door. There, crumpled on the floor of the shower stall, was Charity. She raised her head, showing Faith and the others that her face was covered in a network of bleeding lacerations.
“I saw her,” she whispered. “I saw Bloody Mary.” Her words were rasped through her jaggedly cut lips.
* * *
A week later, Charity was home from the hospital. Her face was covered in white patches of dressing, and she was missing a small bit of hair, where one row of eight stitches extended. Aside from that, she looked fine.
The girls' parents had become concerned about Charity. They began to watch their daughter for any signs of self-destructive behaviour.
Charity announced she was going upstairs to her room to watch some TV, and wasn't at all worried when Faith said she'd join her. Ever since that night, Faith had been feeling responsible for everything that had happened. It was her story that had Charity prove the myth didn't exist. It was her fault.
For a while, the girls sat on the bed, watching the cartoons. Faith's eye kept darting over to her sister. “How do you feel?” she asked finally.
Charity, not taking her eyes off the TV, smiled. “I feel good. Despite everything, I feel really good.”
Faith nodded. There was something in Charity's tone that made her uneasy. She got up and made her way into the bathroom. It had been cleaned and bleached within an inch of it's life since that night. But regardless of how clean it was Faith would always remember that gruesome scene. She shuddered as she closed the door. Turning on the tap, she looked at her reflection. The uneasy feeling wouldn't go away. Dismissing it the best she could with a laugh, Faith placed her hands under the tap, collected some water and splashed it over her face.
Her head snapped up. Water droplets fell from her nose. She turned off the tap and listened.
She moved to the door. Pulling it open, she saw Charity lying on the bed, giggling at the cartoon. She closed the door again.
Her head glanced up at the mirror and what she saw made her blood run cold. Charity stared back at her, her blue-green eyes wide with fear. “Faith. Get out,” she warned. “Get out before she gets you too!”
Pulling open the bathroom door, Faith ran out into the bedroom. From her position on the bed, Charity looked up at her twin. “What's wrong with you?” she asked, arching an eyebrow.
Faith's heart was beating so fast she was afraid that it would leap out of her chest. She swallowed hard. “Nothing,” she said, her breathing becoming ragged, and uneven.
She moved back over to the bed. “Charity, there's something I want to ask you about that night. What did she look like?”
Charity turned off the cartoon. “Bloody Mary?” she asked, innocently. Faith nodded. Charity smiled. It wasn't her usual warm smile. This one was more sinister. “She looked just like me.”
* * *
The girls' parents rushed upstairs the second they heard screaming. Pushing open the door they were confronted with twice as much blood as there had been the first time.