Prologue and Chapter 1
Clark County Daily News
Sunday, April 12, 2020
Child Found Locked In Dog Cage
A young girl is hospitalized in serious condition, after police found her locked in a metal dog crate in a Washougal house on Friday morning
Police were called to the location after neighbors reported hearing what they believed was a wounded animal inside the home. After knocking on the door and determining that nobody was there, they entered the home and found the girl. Police suspect that the girl had been locked in the cage for at least a week, but that she suffered neglect over an longer period of time. A water bottle and a bowl were found in the cage, but both were empty. The girl was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center by ambulance.
No other people were found inside the home. Authorities are working to find who was responsible for the child. The girl was unable to tell police or doctors her name or age. Police originally believed the girl to be about 9 years old because of her height and weight, but doctors now believe her to be closer to 12 years old.
Police are not releasing the address of the house or the names of the homeowners at this time.
CHAPTER 1: Beast
The Beast was not always here in this cage. The Beast remembers when it was able to walk around in the rest of the house, to play and to eat and to talk. The Beast even went to school for a while, where it learned the colors and the alphabet and how to use scissors to cut papers into shapes and glue the shapes onto other papers. And the quiet corner of the room where the Beast was made to stand sometimes during the day, because even back then, it was bad.
But that was before the Beast killed its first brother and hurt its second brother.
The Beast does not remember doing these things, but it knows that it did them, because She told it many, many times what it did.
The Beast does remember when the first brother died. It remembers the screaming, and the blood, and the ambulance. And the quiet that seemed to last for days, and the man with his pale, sad face.
When She came home, Her face was dark and twisted. She hit the Beast over and over with a stick. The man shouted and grabbed the stick away and yelled, “What are you doing?”
And She yelled back, pointing her finger at the Beast who lay on the floor crying. “It did this! It is evil!”
The Beast cried, “Mama,” because back then that is what it called Her.
But She screamed, “Don’t ever say that! Don’t ever call me that! Don’t you ever even open your evil little mouth again!”
And it didn’t.
The Beast did not go into the cage then, though. Not yet. The Beast still went to school and it did school things. It was allowed to speak at school, but it was not allowed to speak at home, but sometimes it forgot which place was which, and it got hit with the stick.
Then the second brother came, but the Beast had hurt him. The Beast did not remember hurting him. But his arms and legs didn’t work right. She screamed again at the Beast, although the Man wouldn’t let Her hit the Beast with a stick. But he was angry with the Beast too, so he took the baby and left the house.
“He took the baby away to keep him safe from you,” She said. And then she left the house and left the Beast at home locked in the room where it used to sleep, back then.
When She came home, She had the cage. She put the Beast into it and locked the door.
Then there was no more school, just the cage.
And sometimes there was church.
The Beast used to like to go to church, back when the Beast was small and hadn’t killed its brother yet. It would go with Her and the Man. The church was quiet and dark and cool, and there was music. Sometimes there were snacks afterwards.
But after the Man left with the baby with the broken arms and legs, She took the Beast to the church again. Only this time, there was no quiet and no music and no snacks. Instead, She took the Beast into a different part of the church, down the stairs to a different room, where people would hurt the Beast.
The Beast used to cry and try to get away. The man with the black clothes said that this was just the sound of the Devil fighting to stay inside the Beast. “Don’t worry. It doesn’t feel pain,” the man would tell the other people, and they would hurt the Beast more
The Beast learned, after going to the church a few times, that if it stopped crying and stayed quiet, the people would stop hurting it. They would smile and laugh, and they would tell Her to take the Beast home.
Sometimes the man with black clothes would come to the house to see the Beast. The Beast thought he was kind because he would let it out of its cage, and put it on the bed, and read to it from the Bible. After he read from the Bible, he would hurt the Beast, but he said he was doing this to save it. The Beast didn’t understand why anyone would want to save it, since it was bad and evil, but he said he was the only one who could make the Devil leave it.
But the man in black has not come for a long time, and She has not taken the Beast to church in a while either. This is because the Beast somehow made the man and the church disappear, although the Beast does not remember doing this either.
Now instead of going to church, She watches the white haired man on the TV. From inside its cage, the Beast can see the TV. She doesn’t get angry when she sees the Beast watching, although at first the Beast tried to pretend that it was not paying attention.
Whenever the white haired man talks about the Devil, She looks at the Beast and says, “He’s talking about you! Do you hear him? The whole world hates you.”
When the white haired man is done talking, sometimes She takes the Beast out of its cage to hit it with the stick, or to hold it under the water until it dies.
It never dies for long. It comes back to life, shivering and choking. Then She puts it back in its cage. “You’re getting weaker. Someday you won’t come back,” She tells it. “You’ll go back to the Lake of Fire where you belong.”
She comes to put food and water in the Beast’s cage every day. It is very hungry today. Its stomach makes noises that are louder than usual, which the Beast knows is the Devil inside of it. The Beast has slept and woken up many times, but She has not come to give it food.
It is dark and then it is light and then dark again, over and over, but there is no food. The Beast cannot stay awake for very long. Its stomach doesn’t hurt anymore. The Beast knows it is finally dying.
It doesn’t want to die. It doesn’t want to go to the Lake of Fire. It knows it is evil and belongs there, but something inside it... something even further inside it than the Devil... tells it to fight.
So it opens its mouth and howls, a sound that frightens it for a moment. It howls more loudly, it screams, and it hasn’t heard its own voice for so long. It pounds on the bars of its cage until its hands bleed. It wails until its body collapses on the floor, the metal floor of the cage. Then it dies.