The Things in The Dark

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The murders began when I was 15, I would hear these stories on the news about people being murdered in the most horrendous ways. One man who was about 20 years old found dead in his car but someone had gutted him and hung his intestine around his neck like it was a scarf. These murders happened all across the world. But it couldn’t have been a serial killer because all the victims were different. Some were old, some were young or they were male or female. Their deaths were never identical and after five months the body count was up to at least 100.

When my father, who is a rational man, began to worry I became a little worried too. But I brushed it off because he was a police officer and it was his job to worry about lots of crazy murders. But his behavior was strange. He would always lock the doors at nine o’clock at night and then he’d place these black little baggies in the corner of each window and door. When I asked my mom what this was all about she simply replied with something along the line of “It’s just your father being cautious sweetie, you know how he gets when crime goes up.” Yes I did know how he got but he never got like that.

He even put a curfew on me that was set for six o’clock. As a teenager I saw it as the end of the world but when Halloween came around reluctantly he let up on his rules. You’d think that I would feel like Halloween is the worst holiday ever but actually I love it. Seeing people dress up in stupid scary costumes and try to put on these horror houses that they are sure will bring people fright is hilarious. Because no one comes close to what it’s really like at all.

So come Halloween I got ready to do some trick or treating with my friends. First you have Katie who has been my best friend since grade school, she’s loud and peppy but she is the best person ever. Then there’s June, she’s a straight A student who is so kindhearted, there’s not a bad bone in her body. And finally there’s Al, he’s a complete jokester who can never be serious. Even though we were 15 getting free candy just for wearing a costume is a hard deal to pass up. I simply went as a cat because it was costume thrown together last minute. Katie went as an undead Kim Kardashian and June was a sunflower. While Al just threw on a skeleton hoodie and called it good enough.

We trick or treated for a bit and then headed back to Katie’s house to sort out our candy and watch a couple hours of shitty horror flicks. After a while we grew bored of yelling at the person on the screen to just run the other way. Katie got up and went to her closet, pulling something out. It was an Ouija Board.

“No Katie, those things are dumb.” I said from my spot on her bed, she let out a huff.

“El, you think anything to do with the supernatural is dumb. Come on its Halloween it’s the best time to play this cause all the spirits are out!” I sighed.

Ouija Boards are seriously dangerous, they attract Scarers and sometimes even Lechers. But Katie’s house wasn’t haunted and there were no harmful spirits around that I could see so I figured that our chances of even getting something was slim. I was so stupid to think that. We got off the bed and settled on the floor. I had Al to my right and Katie to my left so June was right in front of me. We each put a finger on the planchette.

“Are there any spirits with us, if so please talk.” Katie called out. There was nothing but silence but then the planchette began to move. They gasped but I tried my best not to laugh. I loved my friends and I knew Katie wouldn’t rest until she got at least some ghost to talk to us that night so of course I moved the planchette around the board as carefully as I could without getting caught.

After about ten minutes of pretending to be shocked when the “spirit” answered our questions I began to notice that it had gotten quiet. There was no other sound, nothing coming from the TV that was still playing the movie or from outside where just a few minutes ago I clearly remember hearing the muffled sounds of the frat party happening just across the street. It was like we were in a bubble that no other sound could pierce.

Suddenly the planchette snapped back to the center of the board and this time I was surprised and the triangle started to go around the board at such a quick rate that everyone took their hand away from it in fear that our arm might get ripped off. It was spelling something out that I couldn’t keep up with but when it was done it went right back to the middle. But then the board shook and the plachette shot out and hurled it’s self at my head and I barely dodged it. It imbedded in the wall behind me. We looked at each other wide eyed.

“We can see you too Ellie.” Our gaze snapped to June who had spoken.

“What did you just say?” My mind was going back to that day, when that thing had whispered it into my ears. That phrase had burned itself into my mind.

“That’s what it spelled out, that’s what the board spelled out.” Her voice was shaking. Katie let out a forced laugh.

“Okay Ellie good joke, you got us. Did Al help you plan this out?” Al shook his head.

“K how the hell would I even pull this off, that thing almost decapitated Ellie!”

Katie was going to respond but a loud thunk cut her off. We turned to see June laying on the ground convulsing. Her body jerked violently while her eyes rolled into the back of her head.

“Oh my god is she having a seizure, we need to put her on her side!” Cried Katie and Al reached his hand out but I quickly grabbed it.

“Don’t” I said while my friends looked at me like I was crazy. Something was taking over her body. The attention turned back to June when she abruptly stopped moving. Very slowly her body rose back up and she hunched over. Her hair covered her face and her nails dug into the wood floor breaking a few off.

“Elllllllllliiiiiieeeeeeeeee…” Her body twitched and moved in such an unhuman way. My other friends watched with fearful eyes. I tried to maintain a glare but I could feel the fear bubbling up inside of me.

“Get out of her.” I said my voice hard and demanding. The thing in June’s body let out a whine and rolled its head back.

“Noooooooo, she feels nice. So innocent and pure. Mhmmmmmm been a long time since I’ve been in a virgin.” It let out a cackle.

“What are you? A spirit, a demon.” I asked and immediately it stopped laughing and let out a repulsed sound.

“Do not compare me to that filth, they are beneath me.” It began to shake its head

“You see-ers think you’re so special, think you’re a gift. But your kind break so easily under our hands, I must admit your inners make beautiful decorations.” I could feel my body let out a shudder. It must have noticed because it let out another laugh. It got to its feet and ran its hands over June’s body.

“I wish I could keep her, such a shame. I remember when people would be begging for us to own them. How times have change, all you humans do is worship a pathetic God who is weak. We used to rule and walk over your bones. Watch you kill each other for our praise.” It took a step towards me and leaned down coming face to face. It let out a sneer. Then suddenly I was in the air, its hands were around my throat. It squeezed hard and I tried with all my strength to pry its hands off. But it just kept smiling this cruel smile that looked so wrong on June’s face.

“Listen to me girl, the only reason you’re not dead like the others is because you’re Mothers favorite. You’ve always been her favorite.” Then it threw me into the wall with a sickening crack and I felt warm liquid at the back of my head as I fell to the ground. My vision blurred as I heard a loud scream and I saw something on all fours crawl out of June’s body then everything went dark.

When I woke up I was in the hospital, my father sat in the chair to my right asleep and my mother was sleeping in the little arm chair in the corner. Katie was in the chair to my left with her head on the bed fast asleep as well. I lifted my hand to the back of my head where there was a bandage and a bump that hurt a little.

“It took ten staples for them to close your wound.” I turned to see my father stretch in his seat and let out a yawn. He looked so tired.

“It’s going to make a pretty bad ass scar though.” I tried to joke to lighten the mood but it didn’t work, he let out a sigh.

“I shouldn’t have let you go out.”

“Pop it’s not your fault, we were messing around one of us was bound to get hurt. You know how much of a klutz I am.” He stared at me for a few moments until he shook his head.

“Katie told me what happened El, don’t lie to me about this.” I should have figured he knew the whole story, he was a cop after all and he could get anyone to talk. We were silent for a few minutes until my father cleared his throat and looked me straight in the eye.

“I know you can see them Ellie, spirits.” Everything seemed to stop, I looked at him blankly not processing what he just said.

“It’s something that’s in my bloodline, it skips a generation. My father could see them but, I couldn’t and neither could my sister. But he taught us how to ward off spirits and protect ourselves from them and other things.” Sigh. “I knew you had the gift when you were a baby and you’d stare at spaces where there was nothing for long periods of time. Or when you’d talk about the people who never moved when you were three.” He knew all this time. I never met my grandfather, he died when my father was 24 and probably already crossed over because I never saw him around.

“I’ve been trying to protect you since you were nine and you almost got run over by that truck. I knew it had been something that had tried to purposely harm you. And now it has, I’m so sorry.” He put his head in his hands and let out a sob. This was the first time that I’d ever seen my father cry. I tried my best to sit up and gave him a hug. All those strict rules and black bags was for my protection, which confirmed something that I had feared, I sat back.

“Those deaths that are happening everywhere, those people are like me aren’t they?” My father wiped his eyes and nodded his head.

“At first I didn’t think anything of it but then when one of the murders happened in the next town over, they needed some of us to help investigate it. I was one of the officers sent. The scene was horrible, some of the guys had to step away. It was a girl and she was your age and she looked so much like you El. Someone had nailed her to the wall and ripped her open. They had fixed her face into a smile and gouged her eyes out. They used her blood to draw angel wings on the wall and there was a message written that said “She will be ours someday and she will destroy.” I didn’t know why but I just know it was for me to see, I knew it was a warning. Something’s coming Ellie and it’s coming for you.” I was truly scared to the core.

That’s when my mom woke up and practically tackled me into a hug. Katie awoke a little later and apologized over and over again. But after I told her for the fifth time that it wasn’t her fault and I was fine she finally let up. I got released from the hospital the next day with some medication for the pain and told that I suffered no brain damage.

Things went back to normal after that, we never told June about what had actually happened. We simply told her that I had slipped and the hold Ouija Board scene was a prank that Al and I pulled on them. Katie and Al never asked about what had really gone on that night either, I think it was because they were scared or didn’t want to believe it had happened. I felt bad for not telling my friends about what I could see but it was better that way, it meant that they would be safer.

After that incident the murders stopped immediately and I didn’t see that many Beggars anymore. I know this seems like the end of it all and I stupidly thought it was too but it’s not. I’m 18 now and I’m in my last year of high school. Things have been completely calm for three years until last week. It was my birthday and everything was wonderful. I was hanging out with my friends and we were eating pizza and watching terrible movies when I got a phone call from my mother who had been at work. She called me crying and I couldn’t understand what she was saying but when she finally calmed down she spoke in a quivering voice.

“Your fathers been in an accident honey, a semi-truck t-boned him in an intersection. It’s really bad Ellie they don’t know if he’s going to make it.” I remember feeling numb and my actions were so mechanical as I dropped my phone and grabbed my keys and walked to my car. I could hear someone calling out after me but it sounded muffled. Katie must have picked up my phone and talked to my mother because next thing I knew she was in front of me crying. Al drove us to the hospital because they didn’t think I was in any state to drive. I just stared off into space as June and Katie held me and they kept telling me it was going to be okay.

By the time we had arrived he had passed away. Blood loss was the cause. When the semi-truck hit his side the door had caved in and completely severed him from the waist down. I didn’t see his spirit at all, there was nothing but Beggars. So many Beggars. They kept looking at me and smiling, some even laughed. One of them got close to my ear and whispered something in that terrible voice of theirs.

“You’re ours now.”

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