David was awoken by a shuffling in his kitchen. He looked around and saw the shadow of a figure moving around. "I've got you now," he thought to himself. He moved to his front door silently, arming himself with his metal little league bat. He crept to the wall at the edge of the kitchen, "You messed with the wrong man," he thought, mentally hyping himself up.
He quickly turned into the opening of the door letting out a war cry.
The "figure" screamed, “David what are you doing?"
"Oh crap," he thought. He had forgotten that Michelle had been over, "Uhhhh, hey there," he greeted his houseguest hiding the bat behind his back.
"What the heck was that!?" She questioned.
"I don't know about you, but that's just a casual Larkin Household game we play called, Bludgeoning," David joked waving the bat around.
"Well I come from a semi normal family," Michelle smiled.
"Well, as long as you stay here, you better get used to it," David said meeting her smile.
Michelle blushed, then quickly turned away so David couldn't see, "Uh, I made breakfast," She said pointing to the table.
"Breakfast?" David questioned checking his watch. It read 6:30 A.M, “Oh Jesus….” He thought then looked at Michelle, “You didn't have to do that you know,” He said smiling.
"I wanted to. Just to, you know, thank you for letting me spend the night,"
"Well, It smells delicious. Thanks Michelle," He said smiling and gave her a hug. Michelle was blushing so hard her face was burning red. They lingered for awhile in the hug before quickly releasing. They awkwardly laughed avoiding eye contact that lead to even more awkward silence.
"Well.....let's eat," David said finally.
"Yeah...." Michelle agreed, her face finally starting to return to normal color. They each grabbed a plate and started to chow down.
Avita snapped out of another nightmare screaming. It was a reoccurring torture for the child, the constant reliving of an unwanted milestone in her life. She awoke soaked with sweat looking around frantically, another part of the habitual morning routine for her. It took her a moment to regain control of her breathing. She took a deep breath and sighed.
"Something bothering you?" Oriah said with a giggle, he was sitting Indian style at the bottom of her bed.
"You killed my parents!" Avita shouted at him.
"Guilty as charged!" He replied in a hiss, "I saved your life too, by getting rid of the two meat sacks who caused you a greater loneliness in your life than your pathetic schoolmates ever could. They ignored you and laughed at you in what's supposed to be your safe haven. And without me you'd still be in the same painstaking situation!"
Avita started to sob, "I loved my parents,"
"But did they love you?"
Avita grew silent wiping her eyes and looked at him. She nodded slowly.
"How do you know this?"
"They're my parents.…"
"That means nothing!" He spat, “Love doesn't come from a title or words but rather actions. And your parents didn’t perform the actions!”
Avita sniffled, tears once again filling her eyes as she remembered her parents in negative lighting.
Oriah giggled maniacally.
A knock came from the door and Avita looked towards it, tears blurring her vision. She then looked back to where Oriah was, but he was gone. She slowly walked to the door and shakily said, "I'm up."
David opened the door and peeked in with a smile, "Did you sleep well?"
Avita said nothing, she just nodded weakly.
David looked at her red, soaked cheeks. He lingered saying nothing for awhile before saying, "Me and Michelle are riding out for breakfast, you wanna come?"
Avita perked up quickly and smiled, wiping the tears from her face, sniffling. This would be the first time she went outside in what felt like forever. She attempted to run out the door before being stopped by the big arms of David, she looked up at the man blocking her from freedom. "Woah, woah," he laughed asking the familiar question, "You aren't going out in that are you?"
She looked down at her pony pajamas and laughed, "Wait right there," she said and went back in her room. She changed clothes and came back out. As she came back out, she called back into the room, "Don't worry I'll be right back."
"Who are you talking to, sweetheart?" David asked.
Avita hesitated before answering, "My Teddy," She said finally.
"Oh, I see," David said laughing, "Well, we'll make sure we bring him some honey back won't we?"
Avita smiled and grabbed David's hand.
Michelle couldn't help but smile when she saw the two so comfortable together. It reminded her of a father and his daughter.
"Well, we should head out before things get too crowded at the restaurant," David said. As Avita heard the word restaurant, she squeezed David's hand from excitement.
He smiled and looked down at her before they started down the hall. As they walked down the hall, they passed Dr. Hullinsworth's office. When he heard footsteps, he looked up and saw the trio, hand in hand. When they came to check in that morning, he suggested that they take Avita out to breakfast. He wanted the girl to get out of this awful place for a little while, and get a breath of fresh air. He also thought it would help advance the process quicker. He smiled to himself, the trio reminding him of a young family. He quickly returned to his work though, there was something about this new patient, Sean Jackson Jr, that intrigued him.
The trio finally reached David's car. It was a hand-me-down, red Ford with rusty rims. A person could tell from its chipped paint that it had seen its share of wear and tear, however it did its job. As everyone filed into his car, David lingered outside, looking his "old hooptie" over. He was a car enthusiast. He loved to fantasize about having Porsches, Corvettes, and Ferraris. But, when it came down to it, he was stuck with "Old Reliable". "Are you coming? Or.....?" Michelle mocked.
Avita giggled as David snapped out of his trance.
He smiled and opened the driver’s door. As he sat down in the driver's seat, a small chill ran down his spine. He quickly looked in the rear view mirror. A shadowy figure stood staring at the car in the distance. He couldn't make out any features but could make out a light gleam from the creatures teeth as it smiled widely at him. He jumped and rubbed his eyes quickly.
"Are you okay?" Michelle asked touching his arms in an attempt to comfort him causing him to jerk slightly, "Do you want me to drive?"
"No, no, I got it….I'm fine," He said shifting in his seat, breathing heavily. He cranked the car and shifted it into gear, backing out of the parking lot.
As they drove down the street, David left the radio off. Michelle looked questioningly at David, he always blasted rap or pop music as he drove. Michelle couldn't help but feel uncomfortable at this change, even if it was a slight one. The minuscule issue just piled onto the list of things that caused her to be beyond worried about David. She had noticed he was acting strange over the past couple days and held a look of panic and distress hidden behind a feigned look of normalcy. Even as he drove now, Michelle noticed how he constantly looked in the rear view and side mirrors more than usual, giving a vibe as if he was running from someone or...... something. As she stared up at David, her phone buzzed. It was from her parents, these were the messages:
Mum❤️: Hey Michelle, we made it home. Why's there spaghetti and glass on the floor?
Michelle: Sorry things got a little weird last night. I meant to clean it up.
Mum❤️: You're a grown woman, Love. You need to learn to clean up after yourself.
Michelle: Ik mom
Michelle sighed and looked out the window. She knew she couldn't tell her parents what happened, they wouldn't believe her, they'd just chalk it up to their mental list of 'Michelle's Irrational Paranoia". She was sure her parents privately talked about trying to throw her in the exact Mental Ward she worked in, even though it was for kids. She worked there all day as an overseer and it was awful enough, she couldn't imagine having to be here as a patient. Plus, with all the stuff she'd seen in the past day with Avita and how worried she looked whenever they came to check on her, she knew she would absolutely lose it for real if she was locked in there. She turned and looked back at Avita who was calmly sitting in the back seat staring out the window. "Poor Avita," she thought to herself.
Avita looked at Michelle and saw her staring at her. She smiled back at the nice woman and continued looking out the window.
Michelle smiled and thought, "She's so adorable and innocent," She turned back to the front. After a couple minutes, Michelle's phone buzzed again:
Mum❤️: Michelle, did you leave a CD by the TV?
Michelle's heart skipped and sank. She thought she broke the thing.
Michelle: DON'T WATCH THE VIDEO!
Michelle sighed nervously, she shifted in her seat as anxiety took over. She looked around for something to take her mind off the weird stuff going on. When she finally settled down slightly, she turned on the radio. After listening to a couple of overplayed, mainstream songs. The radio started to fizz out. When the static cleared, an older male voice came over the radio.
"Attention, the local police station has sent out an important announcement. Everyone needs to remain inside at all times from eight p.m. to six a.m. All doors need to remain locked from those times and nobody should allow anyone in their house during those hours. There is a mysterious murderer on the loose and his whereabouts are unknown. Anyone who fails to cooperate risks their lives and the lives of others. We strongly advise this for your own safety. That is all thank you." It then resumed playing normal programs.
Michelle quickly pulled out her phone, sending another text to her mom.
Michelle: LOCK THE DOOR! THERE'S A KILLER ON THE LOOSE. SERIOUSLY LOCK THE DOOR!
David looked at the radio questioningly. "A murderer?"
"There was nothing about one on the news earlier," Michelle added.
"Well, you know on the islands they usually try not publicize investigations on the news or radio, until after they've caught the culprit..." David stated, "Its their attempt to not strike mass paranoia among the people, and not to idolize murderers."
"He must be a really slippery serial killer," Michelle said, “Like the zodiac, or something.”
"What's a..... cereal killer?" Avita interrupted from the back, "Do they like.....kill cereal?"
David chuckled, relieved by child innocence, "Yes, sweetheart."
"That's mean," Avita stated, a ton of outrage conflicting her sweet voice.
David and Michelle laughed.
They soon reached the restaurant and sat down at a table. Shortly after sitting down, a tall, thin waitress came over to the table eyeing the trio with a huge smile. She looked over them individually, lingering on Avita for a short while with a odd look before returning to a smile. "Hey guys, my names Shaline and I'll be your waitress," She had a beautiful smile with a baby face. She had long, straight, fiery red hair that went all the way down her back, stopping at her curvy hips. She had a properness in the way she behaved, sashaying from table to table. Everywhere she went guys turned in awe, "What would you guys like?"
"Um, I'd like the sausage, egg, and oatmeal platter," David requested.
"Okay and for you ma'am?" The waitress inquired.
"I'd like the grits with eggs, bacon, and a butter biscuit," Michelle said finishing with a warm smile.
"Okay," Shaline turned to the little kid staring longingly at the menu. Avita's eyes were full of wonder staring at all the delicious pictures of food. Shaline bent over, leaning on the table. She looked Avita in her beautiful, stormy gray eyes, "And for you, you beautiful little girl. What would you like?"
"Pancakes!" She squealed and giggled, eyes never leaving the menu.
"Is that it?" Shaline smiled and wrote down.
"And lots of syrup!" She said extending her arms to show how much she wanted, finally looking up. She eyed the waitress for a moment, her jaw dropping.
"Okay I'll tell the chef," Shaline said to Avita giving a wink of approval, "I'll bring y'alls order out as soon as it's done."
After the waitress went to the back, David leaned over to Michelle whispering in her ear. "Did you see how she was looking at Avita?"
"Yeah it was kinda creepy....." Michelle replied trailing off.
David looked the way Shaline had left, "We need to keep our eye on her, she might be a psycho,"
"Don't jump to conclusions David. Maybe she was friends with Avita's folks or something," Michelle assured with a slight chuckle.
"I'm just saying, after what we heard earlier on the radio, the guy over there in the suit and top hat could be a serial killer for all you know. And I'm definitely uneasy about that old lady over there in a flower printed dress,"' David argued giving a nod to a tall gentleman in a black suit and top hat by the bar, then a wrinkled, feeble old lady in a blue flower printed dress on the opposite side of the room.
"That old lady couldn't kill a blade of grass with a pair of crafting scissors, David," Michelle said giving David a playful shove.
David shrugged, his face serious. He fell back into his seat, "I'm just saying you can never be too careful."
After what seemed like forever to Avita, the wonderful waitress returned with a bowl of some brown mushy stuff and some white mushy stuff. Her mother never made those and it was no wonder, they looked gross. Avita scrunched up her nose, then a wonderful smell hit her nose. "Bacon, eggs, sausage!" She exclaimed in her head, "the best side foods to any meal!" Her mouth watered as the lady placed the food beside the disgusting bowls. Then Avita looked up and saw the lady smiling at her. She picked up a plate of steaming hot pancakes doused in syrup and placed it before the child. Avita's mouth was wide open as she stared at the beautiful stack. After the waitress put it down in front of the little girl, she peered at her as if she was an angel.
"Go ahead, they're yours," the waitress encouraged. Avita's mouth formed a wide grin as she quickly picked up a fork and downed the pancakes. The three adults watched in astonishment as the girl managed to quickly down two of the five pancakes, and was steadily moving in to the third, "Oh I'm sorry, I'm lingering," the waitress finally said with a giggle, snapping the other two out of their trance.
"Oh no it's fine, we were astounded by her appetite as well," Michelle replied, cutting off David before he could say something rude.
"So is she your kid?" Shaline inquired.
David mockingly looked at Michelle with a look saying, "An old friend huh?"
Michelle only returned the look with a quick scowl before answering with, "No she's actually a patient of ours."
"Oh....well she's adorable," Shaline replied looking at the child, who was now onto her fourth pancake, "How old is she?"
"She recently turned seven," Michelle replied with a smile.
Shaline smiled and nodding slowly, once again staring longingly at the little girl. She quickly removed her smile when she saw David shooting daggers at her with his eyes. She cleared her throat and began backing away, "Well I'll be walking around, if you need anything else, don't hesitate to wave me down."
David glared at her as she walked away.
Michelle quickly nudged him in the rib.
"What?" David said holding his side.
"Are you insane?" Michelle questioned.
"What are you talking about?" David retorted.
"You’re mentally murdering that woman!" Michelle said then quickly added as David opened his mouth to speak, "Don't say you aren't, I can see it in your eyes!"
"I just don't like that woman!" David replied, "I just get a psycho vibe from her...."
"I bet she could say the same!"
"I'm gonna confront her."
"You will not!" Michelle commanded grabbing his coat, "That's our waitress! Do you want her to spit in our drinks when we need a refill?"
"I just won't get a refill," David retorted folding his arms and turning away and scooting over as much as he could without falling out the booth.
"Oh, you are such a baby,"
"No, I'm not. I pay my own bills and rent, I'm very much a man," he said now half off and half on the seat.
"You are a hand full you know that,"
"I'm very proud off my immature nature," David said nose in the air.
They were then interrupted by the syrupy mess they call Avita, "Are you gonna eat that?" She said pointing to their sausage and bacon. They giggled and each gave her a couple of pieces of meat, which she quickly downed. The two adults then quietly ate their meals giving the left overs to the little girl. After they were done, David waved Shaline down. The waitress cautiously made her way to the table. When she finally reached the table she stood by Avita rather than David.
"How's everything going?" Shaline asked sliding a hand around Avita's shoulder and avoiding David's gaze.
"Great, Shaline! We're actually all done and would like the check," Michelle answered with a smile.
Avita gasped, "Shaline?"
Shaline giggled and put a finger over her lips, winking at Avita again, "Okay I'll be back with it in a minute," Shaline replied and rubbed Avita's back quickly before she walked to the back.
"What is going on....?" David whispered to Michelle.
"I don't know but stay here, I'm about to help the syrup monster over there get cleaned up," Michelle told David.
"Are you not.." David started but Michelle ignored him and left. He watched as the two girls left. Then as he turned back forward, he saw Shaline cautiously returning. She nervously handed the check to David. He gave her a warm smile, but it did nothing to ease the waitresses nerves as she quickly left again. He felt bad for treating her the way he did earlier, so he decided to add a couple bucks more to her tip. After all, they are still alive and the child's happy.
As the girls returned from the bathroom, David met up with them and headed out the restaurant to the car. As soon as they were down the street from the restaurant, Avita was fast asleep.
David looked in the rear view mirror, "Awwww, that's adorable," He stated with a smile.
Michelle turned around and looked, "She's so cute," she agreed.
"No wonder that weird waitress kept staring at her."
Michelle gave a small laugh, "Yeah...."
David glanced at Michelle, "What?"
"What're you hiding?"
"Nothing, nothing.." They rode a little while longer before Michelle broke the silence. "Hey David, can we stop by my parents house. I have to check in with my parents,"
"Aren't you a little old to be checking in with your parents?" David mocked.
"Tell me about it," Michelle sighed.
David laughed, "Yeah, we can stop there, it's on the way to work. Plus I haven't seen 'em in awhile," David said, "It'd be nice to catch up."
They continued to drive, but were barely progressing through the streets. It had seemed that while they were in the restaurant, everyone around them decided to go on a Sunday drive. David could feel his nerves beginning to wear thin so he decided to turn on the radio to ease his nerves. However, after a short while of overplayed songs, the road rage began to seep in. "Ohhhhh coooooome on!" David exclaimed slamming his hands on the steering wheel in frustration.
"David calm down, what's the rush?" Michelłe soothed.
"They are driving like snails on sleeping pills out here," David growled, he then rolled down his window and proceeded to scream out of it, "The speed limit says forty not four, lets speed it up." David's encouraging words were met with a lot of frustrated beeps.
"Oh yeah, your horn works!" David said sticking a thumbs up out the window, "now does your engine work cuz we ain't going nowhere!"
"David, your gonna wake Avita," Michelle warned.
"Oh yeah, sorry….. I'll calm down…… I promise." David said, but the promise was short lived, because soon they were stuck at another red light, “Oh Jeeeeesuuuuus! Aye, we ain't driving horses and carriages anymore! Pick up the pace grandma!" He screamed at the lady in front of him.
She immediately looked in her rear view to see who that was.
"Yeah it was me! Chop chop old lady, you don't have all the time in the world anymore. You're old!" He exclaimed clapping at her.
Michelle immediately turned to see if Avita was sleep. To her surprise none of this nonsense was bothering the sleeping child.
David was met with more honks, "Aye, if you don't chill with honking that circus clown horn, I swear I will back into your mouse sized car."
The honking continued.
"I'm not joking! This is solid steel genius. I will crush you!" David retorted.
"David you will do no such thing!" Michelle exclaimed in disbelief.
"You’re right, you’re right," David sighed in defeat, he immediately stared down the lady right in front of him, "I will ram this sloth driving in front of me! Yeah that's right old lady. I'm coming for you!"
"Oh right, that's animal abuse!"
"I swear somebody needs to give her a shot from the fountain of youth cuz I've seen more life in a cemetery. If she doesn't speed it up her whole life's gonna pass her by!"
"David! Shut up!"
After a few more choice words, the victim of David's verbal abuse finally eased her way past the light, but she was so unnaturally slow that she forced David to miss the light yet again.
David, who thought he'd finally gotten past the light was on the edge of the driver’s seat. When he saw the light turn yellow, then ultimately red with him yet again in front of it, he ever so slowly fell back with an expressionless face. A moment of silence swept upon the car as David just sat back emotionless. He was yet again met with defeat, his rival driver, the old lady, had won.
Michelle looked over to him, "David are you okay?" She inquired, reaching out to touch him.
David flailed his body in a awkward way, shaking the whole car in the process. After he flailed silently in a child like tantrum, he then exclaimed, "I swear I've seen paint dry faster. That crusty, wrinkled, dust covered old woman learned how to drive while Jesus was walking on water. The only reason she drives that slow is because she knows the wind will blow her dusty, cobweb filled skin away if she goes above five miles per hour. That woman is a walking, decaying, moldy corpse. She is living proof dinosaurs still wander the earth. I've seen a tortoise sprint faster than she drives. Did you see that snail go past the light, cuz I did. I'm sure everyone did. She was driving so slow, people in China had enough time to walk here, watch this phenomenon, walk back and have dinner before she got through the light! I felt like I was watching a live slo-mo cam. I could've sworn I heard smooth Jazz playing in the background as she drove. Oh my goodness, you could put a feather on the gas pedal and the car would drive faster!"
"DAVID WILL YOU SHUT UP!" Michelle finally snapped.
David got silent real quick then. He sank back in his seat and just stared straight ahead.
Michelle quickly looked in the backseat and saw Avita laughing so hard she had tears in her eyes.
"David's funny," She said when she finally settled down.
Michelle sighed, "Yeah, he's something."
They drove the rest of the way in silence, the radio continuing to play the overplayed music.
David's voice was basically gone from screaming so much and Michelle had a headache from hearing him complain so much. Avita was the only satisfied one. This was the best day of her life, she had no idea she'd be at a buffet and a comedy show all in the same hour.
As David eased into the driveway he cleared his throat, "Alright, that'll be $25.50," he joked with a cough.
"Not in the mood, David," Michelle said holding her head.
"Aw come on, I dunno what came over me. I just got so mad all of a sudden. I've never have road rage,"
"You've never been mad in front of me, David. Now you're hating every person that breathes around you. Next your gonna hate me, Chris, and Avita," she pointed to the girl that was climbing out of the car.
"Okay I've not hated everyone that breathes around me," David scoffed in a raspy voice, "I haven't yelled at that nosy old hag staring at us over there," David said pointing at the old, gray haired lady dressed in a purple robe next door, she was standing on her front porch and watching the trio skeptically, "Aye you got your newspaper, get your old behind inside. There's nothing to see here, we ain't on your lawn."
She quickly scampered inside and shut the door. Only to stare out the window once in the safety of her home.
David saw this and scrunched up his nose at her and stuck out his tongue.
"Ugh!" Michelle groaned and quickly stomped to the front door, "You’re such a child!"
Avita giggled and closed the car door. She ran up to Michelle and followed her inside. Once David felt satisfied with his work, he perked up, head held high and strolled inside after them. As he got inside he bumped into Michelle, who was frozen.
"Hey, why are you just...." When he saw what was in front of her, he couldn't speak.
As you walk into Michelle's parents house, a few steps in, you are greeted by a large staircase. To your left is the kitchen and to your right is a spacious living room.
As David entered the door, he immediately stopped behind the two girls, his gaze locked onto the scene before them.
"Oh my Gosh! No, no, no, no, nooooooo!" Michelle screamed, tears quickly filling her eyes. Before her was her father, sprawled out at the bottom of the staircase. His head was resting on the bottom stair, neck cocked at an awkward angle. His face was covered in blood to the point where his features were unrecognizable, his mouth open, blood overflowing down his jaw. Just above his large, round stomach, his chest was caved inward, blood filling the hole, his white button down a dark crimson.
Michelle dropped to a kneel beside him, tears streaming down her face. She placed her hands on his chest, feeling the bones cave in as she did. She squealed and quickly removed them, staring at her now blood covered hands.
David knelt beside her, attempting to hug her but she pushed him away, leaving bloody hand prints on his lab coat.
She began to cry uncontrollably.
He attempted to hug her again and this time she let him. She shook nonstop as she cried, squeezing David tightly. He hugged her just as tight in a reassuring hug, rocking back and forth.
Avita sat quietly in the back observing the two, then looked at the dead man once more. The blood in his mouth spilled over like a waterfall, the pale flesh of his jaw fully covered with the crimson liquid. As it dripped from his lips, it left stains on the steps beneath his skull. His eyes were shut, his eyelids lifelessly closed, only revealing a sliver of the whites of his eyes. She peered at the blood on his shirt and noticed it steadily crawling across the cloth of his button down, downward to his khaki pants.
Suddenly, a static noise erupted from the front room. They snapped apart and all looked towards the living room. They saw the TV playing nothing but the grainy, black and white snowy visuals you get from the lack of cable reception. David and Michelle glanced at each other, then slowly got up.
The trio moved in unison towards the room, David in front with the two girls in tow. They moved around the couch, cautiously making their way to the television. There was a strong odor of alcohol in the air causing Avita to scrunch her nose in response.
As they reached the front of the tv, it once again began to play that awful series of clips it played the night before. Michelle quickly pressed eject and smacked the disc holder, breaking it off, the disc falling along with the holder.
David picked up the CD. He noticed it felt hot, but not enough to burn him. As he moved the disc around, observing it, he saw something reflect off of it. He slowly turned his head around, then quickly backed against the tv gasping.
Michelle saw his reaction and turned around and as did Avita. Michelle once again dropped to her knees and laid her head against the coffee table and began to sob. David stepped up behind her and put his hand on her back.
Avita observed what they saw on the couch, "It must've been her mother," she thought. Another corpse, this time a skinny, short old lady with long brown hair, a few gray streaks here-and-there. She was wearing a black dress with black heels, and a gold bracelet and necklace. She seemed beautiful with few wrinkles, but it was hard to tell because the left half of her skull was caved in, revealing brain matter, shattered bones, and more blood. Her lips were red with either lip stick or blood, Avita couldn't tell. Her head was rested against the arm rest of the red couch, the blood that was pooled inside of her skull trickling onto the armrest, leaving a damp stain underneath. The rest of her body was spread onto the rest of the couch, limbs flailed in all directions. Avita looked at David and Michelle who were both crying now. They had each other locked in a tight hug as they mourned.
"He didn't do this," she muttered to herself.
"What?" Michelle said sniffing.
Avita stared at Michelle for a moment before speaking, "Can we go? I don't like it here," Avita asked softly, "It's evil."
"Yeah, let me call 911, then we can go," Michelle sniffled.
The police arrived in no time. As Avita sat in the car with David, Michelle stood by the police car explaining everything she saw and what happened the night before.
"Well, this looks like the work of the Red Devil," The cop stated, hitching up his pants.
"The Red Devil?" Michelle questioned.
"There have been a ton of murders on the island lately. The majority of the murders being similar to yours. He's known across the police force as the Red Devil or the Red Devlin."
"How come?" Michelle questioned, her brow furrowed.
"Well, in Native Floradian culture, there's a myth telling of a beast called the Red Devlin that would slink across the Islands, crushing people's bones, viciously killing those that dared to stay out late at night and came across his path."
"So let me get this straight. You think a Native Floradian mythological beast killed my parents?"
"You never know," the cop laughed, "Especially on these Islands."
Michelle scoffed, her face twisting into distaste, "Are you bloody kidding me?”
"Like I said you never know,” The cop repeated, a smirk across his lips, “But we'd better get back to the scene and gather the evidence, you be safe now,” He tipped his hat with a giggle, "I doubt it though....."
Michelle stormed into David's car, growling, "Can you believe him?"
"What did he say," David inquired.
"Something about a bloody Red Devlin.”
David quickly turned to Michelle when the word bloody left her lips. His attention completely focused on her, she never used the word unless she was completely vexed.
"Red Devlin?" Avita muttered to herself.
"What's the Red Devlin?" David asked.
"Some Native Floradian folk tale about a killing beast that crushed people. It's so stupid, creatures like that don't exist in real life, it's just child stories. I don't understand why you bring the bloody creature up in the first place at a situation like this. I just want to figure out who killed my parents for closure and the police are just having a laugh."
"Police don't care about the little people like us," David stated then sighed, "I wish I could help, Michelle. I really do..."
"I need to get out of here, David," she stated, her eyes beginning to tear up once more.
“We need to take Avita back to the hospital anyways, we could head back there if you’re ready,” David tried as he shifted the car into reverse.
Michelle didn’t reply but just stared at her house. Her front yard that was littered with various officers, all standing around, talking and laughing about her parents murder she assumed.
David backed out of her driveway and they drove back to work quietly. Once they arrived, they pulled into the parking lot and walked inside. They headed to Avita's room and once they reached it they stopped. "We'll be back, okay?" David said.
"Okay," Avita replied and walked inside. David stood at the door for awhile before closing it.
"She's back to being quiet," He muttered.
“Obviously,” Michelle said crossing her arms, “As we all are from what we just saw. You don't expect her to be giddy do you?”
“No, but…..” David heaved, “I don't know what I expected…..I just hope this doesn't set us back to square one.”
Michelle stared at him for a moment, "I’m glad to see you already moved on from this.”
“That's not what I meant, Michelle.”
She rolled her eyes, “I need to go talk to Chris, you can come with... or stay so you don't get behind on your work," she then turned and stormed off.
David hesitated, confused as to what he did wrong but he quickly followed, “Michelle….Michelle that's not what I meant!”
Avita watched the light fade behind her as she made her way to her bed. She climbed into it and watched the furthest corner of her room. She knew he'd come, and she wanted him to. She needed to ask him what happened to Michelle's parents, she knew if anyone knew, it was him.
As she sat and waited she began to become bored. She waited for five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen, thirty, an hour. Soon, the lack of movement made her drowsy and she slowly dozed off. When she awoke in her dream, she was tied to a chair, blindfolded, under a spotlight in a dark room. The only furniture in there was the chair she was sitting on. She turned and searched the room listening, confused but not scared. She was unnaturally calm for someone being held captive. As she sat there listening she heard a giggle.
"Ding Ding Ding! We have ourselves a winner ladies and gents," Oriah replied.
Avita wiggled in the chair, "Let me go!"
"Shhhh, don't make me pull out the binding," he said wiggling a rope in front of Avita's blindfolded eyes, threatening to gag the girl.
"Oriah, this isn't funny."
"Oh, I'm not trying to be funny, this is in all seriousness," Oriah growled circling the girl.
"Why am I tied up?" Avita said looking around, following the steps of her captor.
"I heard about the......tragedy of the loss of your friends parents."
“I know you didn't kill them."
"I don't do all of my dirty work, Love," Oriah stated, mocking Michelle’s British accent. He then paused, "However, I did see the mastermind who did."
"Good for you," Avita stated coldly, "But why am I tied up?"
"Because, I must share this work of art with my closest friend." Oriah dramatically kissed his hand then outstretched his arms. Then quickly put his arms down when he remembered she couldn't see him. He began to make his way closer to Avita.
She could hear his slow steps get closer and closer behind her. Since she couldn't see and was in an enclosed room, the steps echoed like thunder off the walls.
The hair on the back of her neck began to stand up as she could feel his presence behind her.
"Okay, I've only seen this once......"
Avita felt Oriah's gloves around her skull.
"Don't worry this won't hurt at all."
He pressed hard against her temple, squeezing against her young skull. She let out a whimper as her head began to pound and throb from the pressure. Soon, she began to grow light headed, as the thread of unconsciousness loomed over her. She began to feel lighter and lighter, then soon a sense falling came over her as she....
She awoke in a familiar room. She looked around and recognized the wooden steps before her, she was at Michelle's house. However, this time, everything around her was in black and white. She walked up the first step, then another and, as she was half way up the steps, she heard the clanking of dishes. She quickly bent down in a squat, hiding behind the railing of the staircase. She peeped over the top of the railing to investigate the situation.
As she peeped over the railing she saw the back of a chubby man in a white button down shirt. He turned around revealing two wine glasses in his hand and a huge smile on his face. He carried the two glasses over to the counter and set them down. He then walked to a closet in the far side of the room and pulled out a bottle of wine. He returned to the glasses and poured the red liquid in them. He set the bottle down and picked up the two glasses and began carrying them into the other room.
As he passed the steps, Avita held her breath and squatted down again trying to make herself as small as possible.
A hand gripped her shoulder.
Avita squealed and turned around quickly, almost falling down the steps.
The grip tightened catching her, "He can't see or hear you.”
"Oriah! You almost made me pee myself!" She exclaimed.
"He can't see or hear you," Oriah repeated.
"I heard you the first time," Avita replied dryly, "I have ears."
He ignored her sass and continued to watch the scene.
“Where are we?” She questioned turning back to watch.
"This is all a vivid memory of mine, I'm giving you the pleasure of experiencing it," Oriah said with outstretched arms," "Everything here already happened and cannot be altered."
"Why would I care about that fat man?" Avita asked turning to face Oriah.
"Don't they look familiar?" Oriah said in almost a teasing hiss, his black eye holes turning a dark reddish color, contrasting the two toned atmosphere around them.
"N...." Avita started before feeling a sudden dread come over her, she snapped around and looked into the den to see the two adults huddled around a pile of spaghetti.
She recognized immediately the pretty woman in the black dress, Michelle's mother. Then she noticed the balding man as Michelle's father. He had set the two glasses on the coffee table and was standing across from the mother, his hands on his wide hips.
Avita bent over the railing struggling to hear what they were saying.
"What are we gonna do with that child? I thought we taught her how to clean up after herself?" The lady questioned, she had a similar British accent to Michelle.
"I thought so too, but she's always chasing after that boy. She never has enough time to worry about what's important," The old man stated, he had a gruff British accent.
"I don't see why she likes that boy anyway. He's never gonna amount to anything. Always got his head in the clouds.”
"Why couldn't she just join the family business? Be a successful business woman like her beautiful mother?" he asked with a wink.
She giggled and blushed, "And meet a successful business owner like her handsome father," She added, flirtatiously moving towards the man. They embraced and Avita turned away quickly.
"Yuck," she muttered.
"Crap! I stepped in it!" the man exclaimed causing her to turn back.
"Ugh, I'm gonna text that child!" The woman said, "Such a waste, all this perfectly good food on the ground," She muttered under her breath.
"My brand new shoes..." the man muttered wiping them off.
After muttering and texting for awhile the mother put up her phone and saw a shiny disc laying next to the mess. She picked the CD up off the ground and examined it.
"I wonder what this is?" She muttered, she then seemed to text one more thing before turning to her husband waving the disc around, "You wanna watch a movie?" She asked.
The man had just finished cleaning the spaghetti up was smiling, "Sure. why not?" He sat on the couch as she put the CD in the player. She then sat down next to him and snuggled close. It seemed to be video of a small girl playing in the snow from where Avita watched.
"Oh my God, it's little Michelle!" The woman exclaimed affectionately.
The man smiled as nostalgia flowed throughout him.
Clip after clip flickered past, before steps could be heard thudding from upstairs. "Bloody hell?" The man snapped around, "You heard that?" He questioned looking at his wife.
"What was it?" She asked, fear filling her as the thought of an intruder in her house resonated in her mind. She snuggled closer to him, lying her head against his chest.
"Stay put," The fat man commanded and rose surprisingly fast for his size. He quickly moved across the room to his shotgun by the door. He cocked it and looked up the staircase, pitch black nothingness looming at the top, ominously. He slowly inched his way toward the staircase and upon reaching the first step, slowly began his ascension. His wife peered over the couch, shaking nervously as she watched her husband.
The steps from upstairs slowed, then abruptly stopped.
"Who's up there?" The fat man questioned loudly.
Avita watched nervously as the man passed her, then began following him.
"Who's up there!?" The man called louder.
He soon reached the top, Avita a step behind him. As he stood on the top step, he peered around the dark corner, breathing heavily.
Suddenly, a black glove snagged him by the throat, causing Avita to stagger back with fear. The man dropped the gun, it fell back down, clanking against the wooden steps as it went. The man started trying to release the grip from his throat, but the grip never faltered.
The figure stepped out of the darkness, revealing his features and causing Michelle's father to stagger backwards. He was a thin figure wearing a black unzipped vest that revealed his olive skin. He was also wearing black ripped jeans, and boots over the bottom of the jeans. He wore black cloth gloves and covering his face was white paint with a large black swirl all over his face. His hair was a long, frayed brunette, his eyes a wild, metallic silver, and his mouth formed into a demented, toothy smile.
"The Red Devlin...." Avita muttered.
“No,” Oriah whispered in her ear, “That's Icarus.”
Icarus didn't do anything but stare and cackle uncontrollably as he watched his victim squirm and struggle. He then cried out and recoiled back in pain, holding his hand. His newly freed victim stumbled down the steps, holding his teeth and trying to escape. He had gotten four steps away when Icarus swung his arm back and chunked something at Michelle's father and as it collided with the back of his skull, Avita realized that it was a black metal bat.
Michelle's father immediately dropped and collapsed down the steps holding his head. As he reached the bottom, he rolled to a stop before laying there unconscious.
"Brian!" The woman called to her husband from the couch. She was about to climb over towards him before she immediately sank back down when she saw a boot.
Icarus slowly made his way down the staircase to his victim. Once he reached the unconscious man, he looked down menacingly. He bent down, grabbing Brian's jaw shaking his limp face back and forth before he began to laugh, tossing his head back as he did so. He stood up and grabbed his bat off the floor. With two hands, he raised it above his head and slammed it straight down upon Brian's chest. A loud thud sounded throughout the house. Then he repeated it causing another thud.
Then, with one last swing, he used his full body and a crunch echoed throughout the house as Brian's chest caved in.
Avita recoiled immediately as the disgusting sound echoed in her ear drums. Tears flowed as she could see the life pushed out of the man as his chest was in by the bat.
She heard the giggles of glee from behind her, "Don't cover your eyes, you'll miss it!" Oriah cheered.
A scream was heard from behind the couch as the bat slammed into Brian's chest the third time.
Icarus snapped around towards the den, his head tilted. He slowly crept his way towards location of the noise.
Low moans and whimpers could be heard and Avita peered over the railing anxiously, "No, no, no," she whispered to herself.
"Yes, yes, yes," Oriah chanted behind her.
Icarus made his way around the couch and saw his victim cowering in the corner of it. He leaned his bat against the couch and outstretched his hand.
The woman reluctantly grabbed it and meekly stood up, quivering. Her other hand was hidden behind her back.
They stared for a few seconds their faces a foot apart. The nervous woman had a look of desperate anxiety plastered on her face and her intruder had a sadistic smile on his.
He then bent down and picked his bat up, never breaking their gaze. As he stood back upright, the woman quickly pepper sprayed him directly in the face. He then grabbed the collar of her dress as he ducked his head down, dropping his bat to wipe his eye. His smile faltered momentarily but quickly returned as he began to laugh lowly and slowly shake his head.
"Idiot," Oriah whispered, he was now leaning over the railing right next to Avita.
Icarus shoved the woman down on the couch and she began to sob and groan loudly. He held up a finger to his thin lips that were now turned into an eerily serious scowl. He then slowly lifted the bat across his chest as if he was gonna backhand the woman.
She began to whimper as he held it there, the bat casting a shadow across her face.
Then with a swift stroke, he brought it down into the side of her skull.
A loud scream emitted from her lips before ultimately being cut off into another loud crack as her skull caved in. Blood splattered in all directions, droplets landing all over the couch and Icarus’s body.
He left the bat in her skull and turned to pick up one of the wine glasses. He slowly grinned, once again revealing his pearly white teeth. He quickly downed the red wine and upon finishing, grabbed the other glass and poured its liquid on his victims cracked skull, further drenching the couch's arm. He tossed both glasses across the room, shattering them against the wall.
He removed the bat from the woman's skull and looked over his work one last time before calmly heading back up the steps, passing both Avita and Oriah.
Soon after he left, the pantry door opened in the kitchen, revealing a prancing Oriah. "Hey look it's past me!" The future Oriah exclaimed giddily. He watched as the past Oriah skipped gleefully into the living room and danced around the carnage with glee. Playing in the blood of the mother.
Avita had had enough, "Get me out of here now."
"But, this is my favorite part," Oriah responded, never breaking his gaze from himself.
"Okay, okay." Oriah giggled and snapped his fingers, "Someone's grouchy."
Avita awoke again, "Take this blind fold off of me," she demanded.
"As you wish," Oriah replied removing the blind fold.
"Ugh put it back on," Avita said sarcastically as she locked eyes with her sadistic friend. She then smacked a couple times, a metallic taste in her mouth. Then she looked down and saw her shirt covered in blood, "Untie me."
Oriah untied her.
She felt her face and felt crusty dried up blood stuck to her upper lip. Her nose had been bleeding from the pressure Oriah had applied to her temple.
Oriah backed up as Avita glared at him.
"You're sick," Avita snarled.
"As a dog," Oriah giggled as he disappeared.