Gray wisps of mist swirled about my ankles as I jogged down the abandoned Maine road. My steam-colored eyes watched the asphalt in front of my sneakers, never taking a glance up. Thudding heart digging a hole into my chest, I reached the porch of my quaint farmhouse. I swiped my brass key from my pocket and unlocked the door in one swift motion.
Inside, the television was left blaring, and the kitchen sink was running out the water. I clicked the TV remote so that it blackened, and slept. The sink, I let run as I splashed my face with its cool water. I splayed my hands on the counter, and took in some deep breaths. I ran my hand through my ginger hair, angrily. Thoughts of school and those who tortured me everyday flooded my memory. I let out a harsh scream and stomped back into the living room.
On the couch, I took a sip of a half-empty beer can and then let the can clatter to the hardwood floor. The television turned on with a hint of static as I pressed the ON button on my remote control. The news was on, replaying the thing that haunted me most: the news of my family’s recent death. This was not a fresh story to my ears, but still, every time it came on I cried. My little sister, my mother, and my father: dead, and all because of me.
My hands shook, the weapon in my grasp reacting by waving about. Tears ran down my cheeks and landed on the cement below me. “Shoot. Shoot them all, ” a voice inside my head sneered. “Do it now. ” I let out a shout, “No! They’re my family. ” Sobs escaped my dry throat. My house-mates stood before me; they all were whimpering. “Shoot them! Do it. It’s either you shoot them and finish their hate-filled lives, or I can bring them with me: to hell. ” The voice hissed eerily. I had no choice, but to shoot. A few words escaped my mother’s cracked lips, “No, Anna. You mustn’t shoot. Just put the gun down.” I wanted to listen. I wanted the demon inside my head to shut up and let me put the revolver down. “I love you,” I said, but it was unheard over the sound of three gunshots and bodies hitting the floor. I couldn’t resist crying, but the devil shamed me for it. “You fool! They hated you! They wanted you to die. ” “No, no! They loved me!” I shouted, though I was alone. “They hated you. They told me so… They were plotting to stab you in the night. ” I barely could scream, “Leave me,” and the demon’s voice disappeared. I knew where it was going: to haunt other people and make them kill their own family or loved ones. And just to suck the happiness out of the world.
I flicked off the TV in tears. I killed my family. I deserved to die, but the devil inside played tricks on the police men, telling them that it was not me, but a farmer down the street, that murdered my helpless family. So I too, killed the innocent farmer, who was sentenced to the electric chair in my place. My hands balled into fists. Anger made my blood boil, and I plotted for revenge. I had to avenge my family.
I stood, my knee bones popping. “Come on, Demon! I have something to say to you! You made me kill my family, but I want them to be freed. I know you have them in your clutches. In hell….” I gave a choked sob. “Free them! I will give you my soul, but in return, you must free theirs.” I sighed. Nothing happened. I was alone, and felt like a fool.
Crawling up the stairs to my room, I couldn’t help but feel like a failure. I had lost the battle, I had taken the bait. I sank into my bed and closed my eyes. Sleep will save me from my thoughts, I told myself, It’ll all be better by morning…
A clank of glass plates aroused my sleeping body. I looked around in my room for a weapon of sorts, but none were in the almost vacant room. Things raced into my mind: there was a bat in the basement, and knives in the kitchen. I sat up, and tried not to make a sound. I could hear the light tread of footsteps on the carpet of the hallway downstairs. I padded out of the room. My jaw clenched, as the screeching sound of metal against metal hit my ears.
Stairs groaned under my body and I winced with every sound. The scraping of steel continued and grew louder as I grew closer to the source. Finally, the kitchen door frame reached my clouded vision. Shafts of light filtered through the doorway. I had to grab my chest, trying to mute my drumming heart.
I reached one hand into the kitchen and ran it along the wall. I fingered my way to the light switch, hoping to buy myself some time by shutting off the lights, but it was too late. A rugged piece of metal shot through my hand. I screamed. I felt warm liquid pour from my palm. I scrambled into the kitchen and stared in horror at the piping shoved through my knuckles. I could see bone, white as snow against the gory mess that was my hand.
Common sense flooded my mind and I turned to see what had done this to me. A small child stood before me. Her long black hair drowned her white face. Eyes as black at night bore into my soul. A Joker-smile was grinning up at me. None of this frightened me more than the fact of who she was: Caroline, my sister.
“Hello, sister dearest,” she said, icily. “It’s been too long.” Caroline tucked her hair behind her ear as she made her way towards me.
“Caroline? Did you see who did this?!” I said, choking on my own sobs.
“Me? See who did this? Boy, you are stupid.”
“Wha—what do you mean?” I stammered out. “I don’t understand!”
“I did this, you stupid girl.” Caroline gave a hard yank, and the steel pipe was out of the dry wall and my hand.
I hugged my hand to my chest and gasped. “You did this? Why? I am your sister!”
“Yes, you are my sister. The same sister that killed me. Did you forget that little detail?” Her dark hair cast an eerie shadow over her face.
“I did kill you, didn’t I? So this must be a dream! Or rather… a nightmare!” I fingered the hole in my hand. “But, it’s so real.”
“Not a dream, or nightmare. Reality. You know? ‘Real life’.” Caroline chuckled.
“No! It can’t be. You’re dead! You, mother, and father! Dead! I tell you: DEAD!”
Caroline giggled. A giggle that ran a chill down my spine. “Fine then. If I’m dead, then can you feel this?” Fire danced at the tips of her fingers. She touched me just barely and my skin caught a flame.
Shrill screams escaped my mouth. My flesh started to shrivel until blood oozed from my pours. “Yes! Stop, please!” I continued to scream.
The flickering flame went out with a puff of smoke. My heart skipped a few beats, before racing. I looked a my arm. The skin that remained was blackened and charred. Most muscle was burnt away and even the bone underneath was an unhealthy brown.
“Why did you do that?” I asked, crying.
“You say I was dead.”
“Yeah, well you are.”
“Kind of, I suppose. Now I’m just a demon.” Caroline grinned. Her black eyes never faltered.
I stared at her, trembling. She was not my loving sister that I knew. She was horrible. “Why are you here?”
“I want life. You have it. A soul for a soul, you could say. Only the thing is, the way I want you to go… isn’t pretty. I believe you should go with a terrible method I like to call infesting. Mom and Dad want you just to be butchered.”
“Infesting?” I asked.
“You do not want me to go into details. Though I could….”
“No!” I shouted.
Caroline shrugged, her eyes reflecting humor. “Your choice. But either way, mother and father and I are going to kill you. Get even, so to speak.”
My heart stopped. My mom and dad wanted to kill me? “No. You can’t kill me. Leave! I love my life. Besides, I didn’t want to kill you. You know that!”
Caroline’s grin disappeared. “Either way, you killed me. I hate being dead! Being in hell. You can take our place. You know you feel bad. So even it out, and you won’t feel horrible anymore.”
I clung to the wall, and pulled myself to my feet, leaving a pool of blood behind. “NO! You aren’t you. You aren’t Caroline! You’re that–that devil that possessed me! You made me kill my family.”
Caroline, or rather Caroline’s poser, hissed. “No. I’m Caroline.” Caroline’s body bubbled everywhere. Her teeth grew black slime. Her skin rotted until her bones and decaying muscles could be seen. Black hair falling out, she fell, limp, to the floor.
I heard a growl behind me and turned to see the most wretched thing my eyes had ever seen. It stood eight feet tall, its large pale spines scraping against the ceiling. A black tattered cloak shielded part of its back and most of its legs. Black, beady eyes rested at almost the tip of its snout, where its snake-like tongue darted in and out of its crooked mouth. Its jagged teeth overlapped its rotten lips. More spines jutted in an odd order out of its back. Its rib cage stretched its belly flesh until tiny rips were starting to form.
“You should have stuck with Caroline.” The beast hissed in a raspy voice. “Now, you have me.” It smiled. My stomach lurched at the smell of its breath.
I darted deeper into the kitchen, towards the knives. I selected the large butcher knife and turned to the lizard-like being. “Leave!” Tears ran down my cheeks, and my knees threatened to break their hold. “Please, leave!”
The monster charged, like an angered bull. Its dagger-like horns pierced my stomach. My eyes rolled back into my head as I stumbled onto the white tile. Venom sucked the life out of my body. I could feel my inside boil and melt. I only got to me knees when I saw just how many creatures there were. They all ranged from one foot to six feet tall.
The lead horrific beast snarled out, “Feast, children.”
As they ran towards me on all fours, I saw my family in three of their faces. My mother, her ginger mane barely shielding her sad, gray eyes. My sister, her black fur and golden eyes bringing back thoughts of our childhood. And my father, black flesh and yellow eyes.
I cried out to them, but they didn’t hear me over the sounds of other animals ripping me to nothing. My flesh was peeled from my body. The beasts’ claws dug deep into my throat. My organs spilled out onto the floor before me. Blood coated manes and furs and spines, and I coughed up the remaining liquids. Mucus dripped out of my nose and onto my half-eaten facial features. My red hair was pulled one by one off of my scalp. I knew the end was coming, but I needed to tell my family how much I loved them. I couldn’t even struggle against the evil demons. My “family of beasts” came into view, and I attempted reaching my two-fingered hand towards them. “I love you…” I whispered before my life left me in one final breath.
I opened my gray eyes. Beasts were all around me. My muscles switched. A young girl with blue eyes and blonde coloured hair in front of me trembled with fear. “You aren’t my brother! My brother’s dead!” I heard her say. Her brother rotted. I had a strange sense that I had witnessed this before, but I couldn’t remember when or where.
My father, a eight foot monster hissed out at the young woman. “Feast, children,”: my cue.
I jumped from the shadows and onto the back of the frightful blonde. Her blood filled me mouth. I looked to her face, into her cool blue eyes. She stared back at my body, shaking with anxiety for the end. A memory came to me, of before I was a demon: a monster. It flooded my mind with an icy chill. But before I could remember just what the distant thought was, the girl’s face was mauled.