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Something wasn’t right. I carefully stepped into the family room and saw my mom and dad sitting. On the couch. Very still. Too still. And they were watching me. I was terrified and I didn’t know why. “Um, what’s going on guys?” I asked them nervously. They said nothing, but their eyes told everything. My mom’s radiated raw fear, of what, I was afraid to know. But my dad’s were triumphant, angry, and laughing. There was also excitement.
“What’s wrong?” I demanded. Now my voice was desperate. I hated the silence.
“Hm.” My dad smiled. He continued to look at me, measuring me. A wicked smile spread across his face. Then, he turned to my mom. “Are you ready?” he asked calmly. I shuffled my feet nervously. My dad’s eyes darted towards the movement.
“Run Jake, Run!” My mom’s words were broken sobs. I turned, not knowing why even, and as soon as my hand touched the doorknob, was thrown backwards into the wall. I heard my mom shriek. I shook my head as I tried to clear out the sudden inky blackness that had crept into my vision.
Out of the mist, though, I saw my father. But he was no longer my dad. I was able to make out the vague shape of his formerly handsome face right before it finished transforming into a disgusting red devil’s head. His hands were claws that could scrape away flesh and bone in a single swipe. I heard myself whimper piteously.
“What’s wrong son? I thought humans were supposed to trust their parents!” He laughed at himself. I backed into the family room on my hands and knees, towards my mom. She stared at my bleeding head with her hand on her lips, completely pale. I looked away from her tear-filled eyes.
“Let him go!” My mom cried out at the demon. It turned on her and slashed her face with the speed of a snake. She gasped as she put her fingers to her cheek only to find that her hands were now dripping red. I caught her as she collapsed onto the floor. My head was still spinning.
“Ple… please ttell me ththat this is a ddream.” I stuttered. I barely could get the words out of my mouth.
The demon chuckled meanly. “Oh, no, this is real. I have been waiting… for a long time.” It smiled and started to walk towards me.
I got shakily to my feet, dragging my mom up with me. She whispered into my ear, “I’m so sorry.” I squeezed her hand.
“What is wrong with you?” I demanded my deranged father. He grinned again, and watched as the cat streaked past him. It had just come in from outside.
“Run little kitty, but don’t worry. I’ll find you in a bit… when it’s your turn.” The demon turned towards me with a chuckle. “You first… love.” I realized he was looking past me… to my mom.
“NO!” I jumped in the way, only to be shoved back to the ground by the beast. The creature’s long, curved claws held my mother captive, and I couldn’t save her. I watched in horror as he leaned towards her.
“Aren’t you scared? Your life is about to end, and your beloved son is soon to join you! There’s no hope.” He frowned as he realized. Her fear was gone, replaced by a sudden, new peace.
“You aren’t the master here. Only He is,” she whispered, voice firm.
The devil seemed to flinch, only to recover from my mom’s words with a new hatred. “I never loved you. I only wanted THIS.” And then, the monster’s long, pointed tail pierced my mother’s heart.
I was frozen. What had happened didn’t make sense to me. Nothing moved… until my father’s voice reached me.
“Run. You’re next,” he said, obviously enjoying the onslaught. I turned and sprinted up the stairs into the attic, hearing the creature’s voice follow me up the stairs. “I’ll count to 10, little boy. Then it’s time to die!” it laughed.
I had no choice but to hide. I crouched halfway inside a shallow box and behind a large dusty chair. From outside, I was unseen, but somehow I knew that those eyes could see me no matter what. What does one do when facing death? I thought. What my mother did.
I cleared my head. I wouldn’t want to die afraid, I wanted to die as me. So, I took out my headphones, put them in my ear, and started to pretend I was in one of 3OH!3’s concerts.
It was easy to imagine that today was a normal day, and I was on the bus blocking out the world with music. Soon, I fell asleep.
When I opened my eyes, my first thought was, Why am I in the attic? But then I remembered. My wounds still throbbed, and red stains dotted my shirt. I listened for sounds of the demon, but heard nothing. Carefully, I poked my head out from my hiding place and scanned the small space. Nothing.
I crawled out and began to tip-toe down the stairs, all the while looking for signs of earlier that day. My mother’s body was no longer laying on the ground. The impact cracks in the wall from my landings had disappeared. I sighed, then turned when I heard a small scuffle behind me.
The cat looked up at me and meowed. Then it started to walk away. In two pieces. I gasped and backed away. The cat had been sliced from head to tail, perfect halves. A forefoot and hind foot on each side. It left a crimson trail as the poor creature’s blood leaked from its mutilated body. I screamed and started to run back up the stairs, but the devil blocked my way.
“I told you… I have found you.” He smiled, a horrible, gut-wrenching smile. I whimpered.
“Please… don’t…” I started to turn to run. But the monster’s claws wrapped around my neck and spun me around to face him.
“Look at me! I want to see the fear in your eyes during your last seconds of life!” I clawed at the terrible hands at my neck, feeling them tighten. I couldn’t breathe. The only thing I could do was resist on the inside.
I cleared my head for the last time. I could feel the energy draining from me, my life slipping away with my last breaths. I opened my eyes.
“She is with me,” I said calmly, right before he slashed my face to shreds. And I died.