The Grin

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Day 4 Afternoon

Danielle had tucked Halo into his bed, but he couldn’t sleep. He just laid in his bed staring at the ceiling.

Scared.

He was always scared, Avita scared him, the doctor scared him, his mom scared him, his dad scared him, Oriah scared him, and most of all he scared himself. Well it wasn’t him, or was it…..he didn’t know.

All he knew is he regretted what he did, but he didn’t do it really. It wasn’t his fault, it was the other him’s fault. He didn’t do anything wrong, the other him did.

Or did he?

“What the matter? Feeling a little guilty?” A voice called from the far corner of the room.

“I didn’t do nuhn,” Halo replied.

“Oh but you did, and it was beautiful,” The voice was from Oriah who was now crawling slowly from the dark corner. He crawled to the middle of the room where his mask was barely visible in the shadows cast from the light source in the room, an orange night light, which gave his mask an menacing orangish glow.

Halo sat up and scooted further away, “Nuh uh, it was Iden,” Halo replied.

“Don’t you get it child! You are Iden, he’s you. The stronger more devilishly handsome you. He is your primal urges and something about primal urges is that you can’t control them,” Oriah giggled, “Don’t run from him! Embrace him!”

Halo whimpered then demonically laughed, his eyes went from the greenish-gray eyes into a pair of bright green ones, “Don’t you have a little girl to be torturing,” Halo’s voice was no longer the child like whine but instead a deep growl.

Oriah giggled.

“Why don’t you just kill her already?” Iden questioned, “I know I’d kill this little whimpering shit if I didn’t survive off his depression.”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Oriah replied standing up, “Why destroy the main cog of the machine? Why not instead take out the various smaller screws and dials?”

“You think you’re ever wise don’t you?” The creature chuckled, “You think your plan is foolproof, you found this young unhappy girl and framed her for her parents murders. But, even people inside of this idiotic hellhole know that she didn’t kill her parents, and before you know it they will get enough evidence to prove it and will get her out of this place. And during this time, the good doctor in there will have figured you out and gotten rid of....”

Oriah pounced to the the bed and grabbed Halo by the collar of his hospital patient uniform, “Listen here you little parasite, you better watch your mouth. Ain’t nobody gonna steal that child from me. Do you understand, nobody is stronger or more powerful than me. Not even you.”

Iden chuckled a deep laugh and began to emit a bright green flame. His mouth twisted into a crooked smile and reached out, gripping Oriah by his stomach and lifted him high above his head.

Oriah let go of Halo’s shirt as he began to be lifted high off his feet.

Once at the highest peak his arms could go, Iden let out a growl, “Are you so sure?” With that, Iden flung Oriah across the room, causing Oriah’s body to smack against the wall with a painful thud.

As he hit the ground, his leg tore the nightlight out of the socket, causing a darkness to sweep over the room except for the green light coming from Iden.

Oriah quickly disappeared from sight giggling, “Iden, you think you’re ever powerful and wise. But you’re no god,” Oriah said, his voice echoing off the walls making it impossible to single out his location.

“Neither are you,” Iden growled.

“You’re right, I’m much worse,” Oriah leapt right in front of Iden the only thing visible on him was his mask half and inch from Iden’s. Oriah’s twisted grin and dark eyes rendering Iden motionless, “I’m the incarnation of Evil.” He hissed and swung the butt of the knife into Iden’s skull.

Halo’s body crumpled on the bed, the flame encasing his body dying out.

Oriah sat over Halo giggling, then soon disappeared.

Avita was fast asleep in her bed. A beautiful dream created by her child like mind played inside her head. Inside it she was sitting in the living room of Michelle’s parents house, Michelle and David on either side of her and Halo sitting on the opposite side of David. They were all together, laughing and smiling, like one big happy family. David and Michelle were back to how they were when she first met them, happy and carefree. She didn’t like the fact that Halo was with them, but he didn’t bother her at the moment. She preferred when David and Michelle just focused on her, but she actually liked having someone her age to play with, so he could stay.

They were watching a movie starring her favorite actress, Jackie Hunter. The movie they were watching, showed Jackie Hunter, a slender, blonde woman with faded blue eyes, playing the part of a spy. She was on a mission to infiltrate a Chinese government building and steal important military records. During this one scene, she was crawling through the air vents in the government buildings. The atmosphere around her was eerily quiet.

She was almost towards the end when there was a huge thud heard behind her. She paused and looked around her momentarily before the vent came crashing down. She landed into a dark office looking room. Once she stood, she glanced around her quickly and saw blood, paper, and dead bodies all around her. She looked confused before looking off camera with horror.

A dark, slim figure ran on screen and lodged a knife in her skull just deep enough to get stuck in her head but not kill her. She stumbled back into a rolling chair blood pouring from her head. The figure leapt onto her, stomping his foot on the knife lodging it deep in her skull. He then stared at his victim for a short while.

Michelle and Avita gasped simultaneously.

Halo looked up from the action figures he was playing with and looked in confusion at the adults.

“What the heck,” David questioned, “I’ve seen this movie before, this isn’t part of it.”

The figure snapped around and faced the camera then looked back at its victim, tilting it’s head. It swiftly grabbed the knife and threw it at the camera. They all watched in horror as the knife flew at the camera, out of the TV and into David’s skull, right in between his eyes.

“Oh no!” Michelle screamed in panic, her hands flailing rapidly as she tried to think of what to do.

Avita and Halo looked at each other in shock and horror then at the TV as Michelle cried. “Where did he go?” Avita whined and crawled up into a ball in the corner of a couch.

Michelle looked at the TV, it kept switching from static to the dark, bloody, corpse filled room.

“What is going on!?” She screamed covering her ears and crying. Avita and Halo turned to Michelle and watched in horror as two hands covered in black gloves reached from behind the couch, covering Michelle’s mouth. Michelle squirmed and pulled at the creature’s hands. Muffled screams of, “no!“, “Please don’t kill me,” and “I don’t want to die!” could be heard coming from Michelle’s covered mouth.

“Oh it doesn’t matter what you want sweetheart, the only thing that matters is what I want,” the voice hissed in her ear. He moved one hand off her mouth and pulled the knife out of David’s skull. It dripped with blood onto the couch and over her body, “This’ll be romantic won’t it, your blood mixing with your lovers? Isn’t this the best way to die?”

Michelle’s tears dripped onto the black glove as she sat there mentally praying.

Avita jumped up finally from the other side of the couch and attempted to pry the captors hands loose, “Let her go, Oriah!”

“You stay out of this!” Oriah snapped around and pointed the knife right in her face. Avita fell back to the opposite side of the couch, her eyes red from crying. She buried her head in her arms and wept.

“Now, where do you want his blood to start circulating in you?” He said sliding the knife across her smooth skin, then onto her shirt, “Ah, here will do,” He prodded where Michelle’s heart was, “The figurative place where love is born? Did you know that the heart isn’t even where love comes from?” He asked, as he quizzed Michelle he began to carve an X lightly through Michelle’s shirt and into her skin, “It’s actually a product of the brain. When you see that special someone, your brain produces chemicals and hormones that flow throughout you giving you that giddy feeling you sappy mortals call love. It’s the brain that produces much of your mortal feelings like loneliness, stress, depression....fear,” He teasingly whispered the word fear into her ear.

Michelle blinked hard, another tear dripping down her cheek onto the glove.

“Fear seems like a relative topic to speak on now hmmmm? Tell me Michelle, are you afraid of death or are you afraid of me?”

“Leave her alone!” A young voice cried, it was Halo. He ran to the demon and gripped at his hands, pulling with all the might in his childish arms to no avail.

The demon looked into the boys eyes, the little confidence he had turning straight to fear as the demon tilted his head at the boy. He twisted the knife to face the boy, his right hand still around Michelle’s mouth, “I’ve been needing a reason to end you little boy,” the demon giggled.

In a swift motion he launched himself over the couch, stabbing the boy right in his chest. They both flew across the room, the boys head smashing into the TV screen. The TV shattering upon impact. Shards of glass fell onto the two as they hit the floor. Oriah stood over Halo, staring at the boys limp body, his chest and skull soaked with blood. Oriah slowly pulled the knife out of the boy’s chest then turned to Michelle who was sitting, staring at Oriah, stiff as a board.

“What’s the matter Michelle, can you not move?” He teased, walking slowly to her. He stared deep into her brown eyes, “Hmmm, that’s weird now ain’t it?” He walked up to the couch and climbed onto it, squatting over her until he was only far enough away from her to fit his knife in between their faces.

Michelle internally shook frantically. Her eyes darted back and forth trying to avoid the devilish grin of the demons mask.

“Awwww, Michelle don’t cry......the tears will make it hard for you to see your own death.....” He pressed the knife against her forehead with his left index finger and mentally pushed the knife slowly into her skull.

She whimpered trying to scream, but her mouth was glued shut.

Oriah demonically laughed as Michelle’s muffled screams echoed inside her cheeks. Avita pressed her hands hard against her ears trying to shut out the agony.

Oriah slowly turned to Avita, still giggling.

The screaming stopped.

“Don’t you love that? The sound of another life being swept away,” Oriah said dreamily. Avita slowly looked up and saw the colors and items of the room melt away until there was nothing around her or Oriah except for themselves, “Calm down child. I was only having a little fun,” Oriah stated.

“You killed them,” Avita cried.

“I wish,” Oriah said. He looked at Avita and saw her shaking with sadness, “Get over yourself, it was just a dream.”

Avita looked around herself and saw there was nothing but emptiness. She slowly got to her feet, “What did you do?”

“I’ve taken over your mind!” Oriah yelled, lifting his arms, “You are no longer in control!” He giggled, “And do I have something planned for your mind tonight,”

Avita covered her ears and whimpered, “No I don’t wanna!”

“You aren’t in control anymore, Your mind is my playhouse!” Oriah hissed and began to swing his arms around, colors beginning to form a dark background.

Soon they were in Halo’s room except there were cameras in every corner of the roof.

“Where are we?” Avita questioned.

“You know how Halo’s parents are dead?” Oriah began, “It wasn’t a drunken fit of rage. It was something more sinister,” Oriah’s black holes began to develop a slight redness.

The scene was set, it was midnight and Halo’s room was pitch black. Oriah and Avita stood in the middle of the boys room. On the far side of the room, Avita could hear a boy crying.

“Is that Halo?” Avita questioned quietly.

Oriah giggled, “Yeah. So pathetic right?”

“It’s sad.....” Avita replied.

“Get over yourself!” A dark, deep, gravelly voice demanded.

“I can’t!” A childlike voice replied from the same direction.

“You’re pathetic, I can’t believe I chose you out of the limitless other mortals!” The darker voice scolded.

“I know, I know!” The child cried, “no wonder my parents hate me!” The child’s voice replied.

The darker voice growled a reply.

A giggle came from behind Oriah and Avita. Then all four cameras in the corners of the room crashed to the floor.

The boy jumped slightly then quickly stiffened. He lit up with a bright green flame lighting up almost the whole room and revealing to Oriah and Avita that he was sitting Indian style on the middle of his bed.

“Who’s there!” The dark voice growled

The door opened slowly, letting a white light pour into the room from the hallway. “Reveal yourself!” The demonic voice demanded.

“Is that God?” Halo’s innocent voice interrupted questioning aloud.

“Shut up you twit!” The demonic voice snapped, “There is no God!”

“You don’t know that, Iden.”

The boy hit himself upside the head, “I don’t need your backtalk child, your parents were right for hating you!” Iden growled.

The boy started to cry and covered his eyes.

“Hey!” Iden demanded, “Stop! You’re making us look weak!”

“Ladies, ladies calm down. It’s more heated in here than a sauna filled with sweaty fat men,” Oriah joked but was still hidden.

“What do you want!?” Iden demanded.

“I heard you guys had daddy issues,” Oriah began.

The boy once again whimpered.

“If you don’t shut up you little puppy dog!” Iden scolded.

“I know how you could fix the situation,” Oriah giggled.

“Why would I want to do that?” Iden questioned.

“The doors open, the cameras are gone, you have this place to live. You can do what you want with your parents now.”

“Don’t you think if I wanted to kill this sap’s parents I would have already!?”

“You were scared!” Halo retorted.

“If you don’t shut your mouth, I swear I’ll punch you in the face this time,” Iden scolded.

“Hmmm, was the big, scary soul taker afraid of some consequences?” Oriah teased.

“No, I ain’t afraid of nothing!?” Iden was becoming infuriated which Oriah hoped would happen.

“Tell me, have you ever killed someone, wait, no I have a better one,” Oriah paused, “Have you ever seen death happen?”

“I could easily kill anyone and everyone if I pleased,” Iden boasted, “I’m the most dangerous Ravager there is and ever was!”

“I won’t believe it until I see it,” Oriah dared, “Prove it, the doors wide open,” Oriah began to close the door slightly

“Leave that door open, specter!” Iden fumed.

“As you wish,” Oriah opened the door wide. Iden slowly got up from the bed, growling. He stormed out the door and down the empty hallway.

“What is wrong with Halo?” Avita finally whispered to the present Oriah.

“He’s possessed,” Oriah giggled.

“What does that mean?” Avita questioned.

“His soul’s been taken by a Ravager,” Oriah replied.

“I still don’t understand,” Avita stated.

“Ravagers are creatures that steal the bodies of the weak and take over the majority of their souls, leaving only a tiny portion left. They are very strong beings and can take control of their victims body whenever. They mainly just use the bodies of their host as nourishment and a home. But, at will, they use their host to perform tasks on the mortal world. Without a host they cannot interact with anything in this universe,” Oriah looked at Avita and giggled, “They thrive off destruction.”

“But I thought he said he hadn’t killed anyone....”

“Destruction isn’t just death sweetheart, Iden prays on the depression and sorrow of Halo. The real reason he kept Halo’s parents alive was because of the pain and abuse his dad caused to him and his mother. Halo’s dad made Iden’s existence easy.”

“Then why did you want him to kill Halo’s dad?”

“Because I’d never seen a Ravager in action.....I wanted to see if he was worth keeping around,” Oriah looked around for a little while, “Speaking of which....” Oriah swung his hand in swift motion and the room began to spin. It spun faster and faster, then came to a swift stop. When they stopped, they were outside of a trailer.

“This is where he used to live?” Avita questioned.

“Correct,” Oriah replied.

The trailer was extremely small and was made with rusted metal. The unkempt metal was covered with thick vines and the makeshift steps leading up to the front door was a bunch of bricks just sitting on top of on another, not cemented together. The grass around the house was all dead and mostly replaced with dry dirt and at the front end of the trailer, there was a rusty red pickup truck sitting parked underneath a large, mossy tree.

“Do they even care about this place?” Avita asked.

“All his dad cared about was where his next drinks were coming from. His mom was too high all the time to worry about it either,” Oriah replied.

“What does that mean?”

“It means no, they don’t care.”

Just then they heard a stick crack, they both snapped around in response. A green glow could just be see down the dirt path that lead towards the house. Soon the figure of a glowing green, boy came into view. He was breathing like a wild animal and his hair was in a mess. His eyes were glowing a menacing green and drool was dripping down his mouth. He slowly stomped his way to the front door, walking past the present Oriah and Avita, ignoring them completely. As he passed them, Avita winced from the heat wave that swept over them. A tiny squeal escaped her mouth, she quickly covered her lips in response.

“Don’t worry, like I said last time they can’t hear or see you,” Oriah said intently watching Iden.

She calmed slightly after hearing this. A slight shuffling could be heard from the trees and, when Avita looked up, she saw the past Oriah perched in a tree preparing to watch the action.

“Come on quickly before it’s too late,” Oriah whispered and pulled Avita to the front door. They easily passed through the wooden door without having to open it.

Avita looked around her, soaking in the small four room “house”. To their left was a filthy kitchen with dishes piled carelessly in the sink rendering it useless. Across from the sink was a moldy refrigerator and next to that a grease covered stove. To their right was a living room with clothes and old, food covered dishes cluttering any open space. There was a dirty, stained couch settled in front of a small box TV that played a random reality show. There were two closed doors on the far side of the room that were a few feet apart which Avita guessed was a bathroom and bedroom. The place had no wall decoration what-so-ever and the air was smokey and dusty making vision hard for her.

Laying on the couch was a wrinkly woman with orangish red hair and a dirty, white gown. She was smoking a cigarette, blowing clouds upon clouds of smoke into the atmosphere as she lazily watched TV. She occasionally laughed sarcastically or made some inappropriate, vulgar comment about the women.

A knock came from the front door.

“What!?” The woman shouted in a raspy voice.

The knock came again.

“What the hell do you want?” She called again.

There was a pause before another knock came.

A flush came from behind a closed door, and a large, white man busted out of the bathroom. He had long, straight brown hair that came down to his shoulder and a little stubble on his chin. He had a round beer gut and hair on his chest and arms. He was dressed in a stained wife beater and a pair of dusty jeans. His jeans were tucked into his muddy, black work boots and the front of his wife beater was tucked behind a black belt.

After he had thrown open the bathroom door, he zipped up his jeans and yelled, “Why the hell you ain’t opened up the door yet?” He had a heavy country accent similar to Halo’s.

“They ain’t answerin’ my question,” she replied nonchalantly and took another hit of her cigarette. She also had a country accent, “So I ain’t see no reason to.”

“You stupid heifer,” He walked over to the couch and smacked the cigarette out of her hand.

“Sean, you stupid prick! What you..” She yelled, but immediately shut up when he lifted his backhand towards her.

“Say sum’ else Mary, I wan’ you too. I’ll smack the crap out of ya,” Sean threatened.

As he spoke she pulled another cigarette out of the small box next to her on the couch.

“You’re such a drug head,” he muttered.

“Better n’ bein’ an alcoholic,” Mary replied under her breath.

He smacked her in the back of the head firmly, “Hol’ your tongue!”

She shrunk away from him in response and didn’t say another word.

Another knock came from the door.

“You want?” He questioned the knocker.

No response.

He walked swiftly towards the door frustrated.

Another knock came.

He growled and picked up his shotgun next to the front door and cocked it,“You done got five seconds to ’splain yourself ’fore I blow your brains out,” He began to count, but to no avail.

“.....four.........five!”

He swung the door open but before he could point his gun the glowing boy grabbed him by the top of his wife better. From where Avita standing inside the door, she could only see the glowing green arm of Halo. She saw his dad looking down at the glowing green arm in a mixture of fear and confusion. His shirt began to dissolve from the heat of the flame in the boy’s hand.

Sean reached down to try to pull the arm away, but as he touched the arm he screamed from pain, “The hell happen to ya boy?” Sean questioned, “You get into some acid or sum’?”

The boy remained silent and instead, as a reply, shoved the man backward into the wall, leaving two burn marks on the man’s chest. The man collapsed upon impact and just looked in horror as his son slowly walked towards him.

“Jeez, I still can’t believe how strong he is,” Oriah whispered.

Sean lifted the barrel of the shotgun at Halo’s stomach and fired two shots.

Iden paused and looked down, two gaping holes flowed green liquid out of his stomach before ultimately stopping and resealing itself, leaving nothing but two holes in his shirt. He gave a wicked, toothy smile then grabbed the gun out of his dad’s hand before bending it until it snapped. He then dropped the barrel of the gun and kept the stock of the gun in his hand. He gave his father a mocking pouty look, then looked at the stock in his hand with a smirk.

“You ain’t my boy!” Sean yelled.

“Why do you say that?” Iden’s voice replied, “Is it because you aren’t able to push me around?”

Sean growled and quickly sprung up, grabbing the boy by the chest, ignoring the extreme pain of burns. He shoved him as hard as he possibly could but it only caused the boy to take a slight step backward before he regained his balance. Iden once again gave him a wickedly psychotic grin. He shrugged and brushed his chest off before he pushed his dad again but this time with all his might.

The man went flying backwards crashing into the wall. He flew back with so much force he got stuck inside of the wall, his body contorted in an awkward way.

Iden walked to where the man was, staring at him with a demented look in his eye. His eye twitched with absolute insanity and pleasure.

His father lifted his head up with a pained look in his eyes.

Iden reached out and grabbed a handful of his father’s hair, and forced his dad’s head back. He looked his father straight in the eye and lifted the stock of the gun above his head, proceeding to repeatedly bash his father’s head in with the stock. He watched joyously as his father’s brains splattered over him and their surroundings, his skull caving in further and further. His grin spread wider as he watched the color and life drain out and as death swept over him. Blood poured out from the crater in his head rendering his father’s face even more unrecognizable than the damage had made him. He swung one last time then looked over his work.

Then, a tear ran down Halo’s stained cheek, “Iden...what’d you do?” Halo whispered, his green flame dying out slowly.

“Shut up! He deserved it!” Iden replied in a whisper.

“Them damn heifers!” His mother screamed as she continued to watch the reality show.

Iden slowly turned facing towards Mary’s direction, his flame erupting once again. She hadn’t moved since he had entered the trailer, “Pillhead,” he devilishly murmured. He slowly began to walk towards the couch and once he reached the end of the couch, he stood in front of his drug addict mother.

“Oh ma sweet baby boy!” She sang in a woozy voice as soon as Halo came into her view. She pulled a bottle of pills from her gown with her free hand, opened it, and swallowed a hand full of white pills. Then she took another drag of her cigarette before her eyes bucked, “What’re you doin’ here?”

“Oh I just came because I forgot to say goodbye,” Iden replied in his demonic voice.

She paused and squinted, staring confused at her newly glowing green, blood covered son. She didn’t remember him glowing before but she blew it off as a trip, “Damn....” she muttered before laughing raspily.

Iden grinned wickedly and his eyes bucked psychotically, “Can I have one more hug mother?”

“Of course baby,” She grunted as she got up slowly.

Halo stood arms out wide to greet her.

As she reached him a heat swept over her quickly, she tried to recoil but it was too late. Halo engulfed her in a burning, anaconda hug. He squeezed her viciously not releasing her no matter how hard she wiggled and struggled. She screamed as she felt her skin burning, it began to become dark and blistered as it was forcibly roasted. Iden sadistically laughed as she struggled as hard as she could.

Avita covered her ears trying to block out the blood curling scream and psychotic laugh.

Meanwhile, Oriah giddily clapped at the horrendous show.

After another minute, her skin was a disgusting black color and her ribs could be heard snapping as Halo’s grip tightened like an anaconda. A foul smell swept over the room as her flesh began to wither away.

Her screams soon died out as her life began to slip. When she was finally slipping into the sleep of death he dropped her. She had no energy to speak or move anything but her eyes. She weakly looked at her son who ruthlessly stared at her.

A small smile swept over the boys face as he lifted his shoe right above her face, “Buh bye,” Iden whispered, as he began to drop it, a sad look swept across the boy’s face and a tear dropped down his cheek.

CRUNCH!

Avita snapped awake looking around her, breathing fast. It was pitch black and she could see nothing around her. She crawled into a ball in her bed, nervously whimpering.

David sat at his table in a depressed state of mind, “Did you actually just go tell her that you love her?” David scolded himself as took a sip of his beer. He was on his third one tonight. He never drank beer unless he was upset, and tonight was one of those times, “You’re an absolute idiot....” David muttered.

He only ever felt in love only three times before this and that was with his first girlfriend, his high school sweetheart, and his first college girlfriend. However none of these girls had ever made him feel like he felt with Michelle. He felt as if she was his best friend, but much, much more. Whenever she was around, she made his heart race and always knew how to make him smile when he was down. She made him feel as if he could take on the world with her and was the only girl that made him feel like he never had to do anything just to get her attention. He once forgot her birthday and she didn’t get mad or upset, but was just ecstatic to be with him. That’s when he knew she was the one for him and that was three years ago, but didn’t feel that long. David snapped out of his nostalgia, shaking his head and took another sip, that’s all over now.

He looked at his watch, “Three o’clock in the morning,” he read, “Better head to sleep, I got to be up at eight am for quite possibly the worst day of my life,” He scoffed and with that he gulped down the last bit of beer and threw away the bottle. He slipped on some sweatpants and a white t shirt and headed to bed.

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