Mrs Gorak stood in front of the hallway mirror dousing her lashes with thick, lump filled mascara and pasting her bulbous eyes with powder. Bulbous, because lately Mrs Gorak being unable to sleep had taken to creeping slowly down the hallway; bare feet and pale chubby ankles just visible under a frilly nightgown that clung to the chunks of fleshy meat piled on her body and flowed down after the bulk of her stomach.
Down the hallway and to the door of her daughter, finding the will, strength and patience to gaze solemnly at the slight sleeping figure in the darkness, for hours on end in the dead of night. When the rest of the half of the world was slowly dreaming in deep sleep, Mrs Gorak stood, a solitary figure in the frame of her daughters door, raw sausage like fingers curled over the round brass door handle and one foot in front on the other as if she could not decide whether to turn and leave or walk ahead to her daughter. Her daughter.
If at any time during these solitary hours Lucile had opened her eyes and lifted her head she would have seen a shadow towering in her doorway, outlines blending in to the darkness, therefore making it hard to discern what the figure was. It could easily have frightened her.
Whilst gazing at her faded features in the hallway mirror Mrs Gorak thought about the night. She knew as fact that the last thing she wanted was to frighten her daughter, which she also knew as fact would happen should she wake up. It was no such sadistic pleasure that led to the act, in fact it was no pleasure at all. When lying in bed trying to sleep, her eyes would wander to the door left slightly ajar at the end of the hallway, her heart would rise in her chest, and compel her, pull her, force her to lift her weary corpse and wander slowly and cautiously to Lucile. She could hear her soft breathing slicing through the silence even before she reached the door, but her heart would not let her stop there. Her eyes would itch and twitch to see and feel her daughters presence.
She had to stand, in the darkest most uncertain part of the night, a shadowy guardian over her daughter, someone who really loved and cared, watching, waiting…
Then, the sun would begin to rise, the darkness that was pressing so hard against her eyes that it diminished the reality and fearlessness she felt during the daytime dispersed and evaporated like smoke, whilst the soft blue glare of the new-born Sun whispered the fear away, and Mrs Gorak, bottom of her feet flat, numb and cold would shuffle back in to bed glancing at her husband’s tightly shut eyes and creased forehead, knowing he was awake, and she would think; “job done!”
The day begins with the same tension it has for the last month or so, my wife coating those heavy sleep deprived eyelids with all that junk to hide her creepy rendezvous with all the things that go bump in the night. I speak with bitterness only because she looks at me sometimes, displeased and disappointed that I don’t stand over our daughter with her, trying to protect her, that I failed to keep her safe like a father should. I’ve told her time and time again that it’s of no use, we need to take more dramatic action, that we cannot stop this on our own, but her eyes remained glazed and her soft heart remains restless, she’s doing all that she knows how to do, and I’m going to do what I’ve discovered.
Reverend, bishop, vicar or even nun should be able to do the job, all that biblical stuff, isn’t that what this is, what it leads to. The few times we actually made the effort to go to church they spoke of it all, demons, devils….
When it first started happening, when we first started to see It towering over our daughter, attached at the hip, and when my wife started creeping down the corridor every night, following It to our daughter’s bedroom and watching a shadow, with long stretched out limbs hovering, just hovering like she was, our household became a graveyard, it became a hollow of fear and for a long time we didn’t know what to do. How was I supposed to protect my child from something I neither saw coming, is not flesh and blood so a decent fist to fist wouldn’t work, and most particularly something I didn’t believe in until I had witnessed it myself, and made sure that any medication our family was taking had no peculiar side effects. I spoke to therapist, psychologist and ghost hunter, our only option remains to turn to the creator of all things, or so people assume, to try and fix this strife. I can just hear a devout person now, and they would be right, we often do only turn to our creator in a difficult situation. Now, I am the first to admit, I have thoroughly realised, I cannot control everything. And I’m sorry for this, I wish I could scream it at my wife, and whisper it to my child, I’m sorry I cannot protect you. But I will do something.
Breakfast is the worst of all, we all feel the presence, we all shiver at the slightest breath. Look at her, the sweet little girl at the end of the table, staring down at her plate, looking nowhere else, agitated yet silent. She is the strongest of us all, her silence kills me as if I was watching her walk to the gallows, that defiant little face, accepting her circumstance. And then my wife with constant tears clinging to her waterline, every now and then making nervous glances around the room and long whining stares at our daughter who has learned to avoid any type of gaze.
And then me, frustrated beyond comparison at the helplessness, why are these things aloud to exist? I used to think I could fix anything that came our way, and I could, until now. My wife looks at me in contempt and my daughter doesn’t look at me at all, my house has been taken over, invaded and seized by some sort of enemy that I cannot even fight. We are prisoners, all of us, we are hostage and we are helpless.
I see my fist clenched and a crimson anger burning behind my eyes, I never could handle helplessness or weakness, and I watch all the little pots and plates on the table jump as I slam my fist down, and I watch my daughter flinch and my wife gasp at this unexpected outburst and I picture that shadow and storm out. A feeling of abandonment must have clouded over the breakfast table. But now I am running to the church, its large pointed top aiming for the sky, pointing to God I always thought. I pray like I’ve never prayed before that I find the answers we need, otherwise I am lost, and my family drowns with me.
Lucile’s eyes gaze at me, grown larger from the terror of not knowing.
“What will happen though?” she whispers curled up in my lap, oh God, what do I say?
“Just what happens in church kid, you remember don’t you? Holy water, Christ and prayers.” A long pause and she is thinking about what I just said, she wants this over.
“Will it work?” I have no idea, but I reckon that’s not the thing you say to a small terrified girl.
“Yeah, we hit the nail on the head this time, these holy men know all about this sort of thing, and how to get rid of it.” She looked doubtful, I was afraid to ask; “what’s wrong? Don’t you believe me?” I could hear the pining in my own voice, now I needed her to comfort me, but what does a child know about that.
She whispers in the coldest voice, I never want to hear that whisper again, “that’s not what it said though. It laughs at you daddy.”
I am whatever a generation calls me, demon, devil, ghost or even what they call me on the other side of the world, Jinn, Iblis, Shaytaan. Whatever I am, I’m not what they expect. Everyone has heard the stories, fed off them in order to make sense of the unexplainable; the unexplainable, that’s me. What do they know of the hundreds of years of this nonsense that I have seen. What do they know of the deals made in blood long ago, that half of what they own is mine and I intend to take it, that most of what they love is mine and I will rip it from them, I will be given what I deserve, a bargain is a bargain, even when made centuries ago. I lived up to my end.
I stand guard over my possessions and this weak little human tries to protect her spawn from me by doing the same, but they cannot stop me, I am smoke, I am a body less whisper and I am invisible unless I choose otherwise. You cannot catch smoke, a body less whisper is good for sending those shivers but is untraceable and being the unseen is very helpful when you want to take. Take what you own.
What they don’t understand is that the world is a much wider and larger space, and each destiny has a larger agenda, and those that choose to take the path of the unseen are breaking a barrier that once crossed, leaves the peace and bliss of ignorance behind and no longer attainable. Those who sign in blood our binding contracts, learn the hard way that we always take what we are owed, but that is because we always honor our agreements. All this is very confusing to you, to anyone unfamiliar with the unseen world.
All that needs to be known is that we are another creation, but we are infinitely different to you, throughout the ages, religions and generations we have had many different names, and people have reacted in different ways towards us. Those who acknowledge us as demon or Jinn, yet acknowledge a superior creator know to keep away and stay out of our way. Those who believe in the dark arts and necromancy as their tool through this life are the ones we are concentrating on, those are the ignorant ones who do not see the larger agenda, they only see personal gain and so sign a contract with us for their own worldly and selfish desire and they will be reckoned, they will hold their end of the bargain and eventually will be judged, but that is when we part ways.
I have lived longer then you, I have seen more, and I have knowledge that you do not, yet I am still a creation of the creator and I too do bad and good. I too will be judged. But in the meantime, I have a contract to honor and no pestering worried mother or overzealous church man or impatient father is going to stop me claiming what is mine. I take her from you, and I am the unseen, the untraceable.