The Grin

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Day 7

David had dropped Michelle off at her house. Her car was still at his place but she told him to pick her up at seven. They both planned on quitting later that day while picking Avita up. David had insisted he stay with her, he was worried about the way Chris was so paranoid about the risk their lives were at. Michelle told him not to worry about her though, usually she would’ve loved the offer because of how scared she was to be by herself. However, she wanted to show David that he didn’t have to stress about her.

That was all about an hour ago and Michelle had been packing her stuff since. She was almost finished and decided that she could save the rest of it for when she had David and Avita to help. She fixed herself a turkey sandwich and once she was done, made her way upstairs to her room. Her room, which used to be decorated with posters of her favorite bands and pictures of her and her friends, was now barren and empty, except for a wooden chair by her bed. Her mom used to tell her bedtime stories when she was little.

Michelle changed into her pajamas and lied down staring at her ceiling, “In a few hours I’ll be with my two favorite people,” She said with a smile and closed her eyes, drifting off.

She awoke with a start, there was a slight creaking noise coming from the other side of her room. She sat up quickly and saw a slender figure lurch towards her on her chair. It tilted it’s head and let out a giggle. A slight crawl went down the back of her neck. She couldn’t really see the creature, she could only see the outline of the figure in the darkness of the room. She slid the covers over her nose like a child.

“Oh joy, she’s finally awake!” It exclaimed causing her to jump slightly.

“How d-did you get in here!?” Michelle questioned.

“I was already here, underneath your bed.....” Oriah replied, “I’m the boogeyman!” He yelled that last part, jumping at her slightly.

Michelle screamed.

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I’m no childhood horror monster....I’m much greater....much more demented....”

“No this isn’t real! This.... this is just a dream! It has to be!”

“Is it? Is it really?” Oriah questioned, “Because if I’m not mistaken you were the one who claimed I was real just a few hours ago?”

“What...what are you talking about?”

Oriah moved a hand causing the blinds on her window to open letting in a flood of light from the street lights outside. The dim light revealed the twisted grin on the mask of Oriah, “I’m Avita’s vision.”

“H-how! Why are you here?”

“Oh for somebody who claimed I was real earlier you seem in utter disbelief Ms. Lanson.”

“How do you know my last name!” Michelle tried to get up, she tried to run but she was stuck. She couldn’t move anything but her face, “Why can’t I move!”

“Oh, your under my control now,” Oriah giggled and slowly walked to her bed. When he reached the side of the bed he pushed her head and she fell onto her back. She stared up at her intruder fear pulsing throughout her like blood. He crawled on top of her and pulled out his knife, “So tell me....” Oriah said as he played with his knife, “Why do you mortals decide to pretend that love is an insignificant emotion that must be ignored until tragedy?” He stared at her in the face for a while, “You and David were in love for almost a year and decided to wait until your leave.....” Oriah examined his blade, “Or your little search for attention.”

A single tear dropped from the corner of her eye.

“It doesn’t matter anyway. You know, you should’ve stayed gone....” He grabbed her right arm and twisted it till her palm was facing upward. He slowly inserted the blade into her skin at the inner elbow and slowly slid it down her arm, he stared into her eyes and watched her face contort in pain. Once he reached her wrist he pulled the knife out and repeated the process on the left arm, listening to her screaming like it was beautiful music. Once her arms were fully slashed, he stood above her and stared down at her. He leapt off of the bed and sat down watching her scream, cry, and struggle, “Stop crying so loud!” He yelled, “You’re gonna drown out my laugh of enjoyment from your pain!” He sat in the chair, watching giddily as she slowly bled.

She soon stopped screaming and laid silently crying no longer having the energy to struggle. Her eyes were blurry and half shut as she watched Oriah slowly stand up and stroll to her bedside.

He stood on her bed above her, “You know, I’m not as cold as I seem, my dear Michelle,” Oriah said in a distant sounding voice to Michelle. His figure became nothing but a blurry mess of black and white color, “You deserve to know who killed your parents.” Out of the corner of her eye, Michelle made out a figure holding a bat over his shoulder, “Meet my good friend, Icarus.”

A loud, distant cackle rattled inside her ears.

“Don’t worry Michelle, I’ll tell David you died in love,” With that he snapped his fingers and Icarus stepped forward, lifting the mallet above his head. With one swift swing, he brought it down.

Michelle was too weak to make any sort of noise or movement but instead just lay there. As the mallet made contact with her skull, she didn’t feel pain, but relief. Michelle’s body went limp and Oriah stared momentarily, then slowly sat down next to her on the blood covered bed.

He looked off into the dark side of the room and stared off, “Hmmm I wonder if what they say is true?” Oriah said to Icarus, “If one is truly in love, could he feel the pain of a loved one? Cause if so, David must have a heck of an headache,” Then he slowly turned to Michelle’s lifeless, bloody corpse, “Or he mustn’t really love you,” He began to giggle uncontrollably, while Icarus loudly cackled, his head flying back.

The next morning David awoke to his alarm going off, he had a splitting headache but he attributed it to the “slight head injury” he received by the hands of Sean. He quickly ignored it, remembering that today was the day that all his hopes and dreams would come true. He hopped out of bed and got dressed ready for the big day. He put on a pair of blue jeans with a wife beater and a black polo over. He put on black dress shoes as well and grabbed a bagel.

He was about to leave his house when he remembered what Chris had said the night before. He quickly ran back to his room and grabbed his pistol, examining it and shoving it in his pants pocket.

“That creature better be ready for one hell of a fight,” he said, jumping around in nervous excitement, trying to hype himself up.

He then ran outside of his apartment, down toward the elevator. He pressed the ground floor and got on it, riding it down. Once down, he hurried to his car bubbling with excitement. After he cranked up his car, a voice came over his radio, “Last night, another woman was killed becoming the sixth death this week...”

David changed the station, “Wow, I need to get my girls away from this place....” He muttered. A cold chill ran down his spine, he ignored it and a painful shock ran through his skull. He rubbed his throbbing temples, “And I need some aspirin.”

David drove for a short while before pulling into a pharmacy, hardly able to see from his splitting headache. His vision was in an almost static like state, like a cable television with no signal. The pharmacy he went in was completely empty except for the few people who worked there. As he entered, the bells on the door signaled his arrival in the almost silent drug store.

“Welcome, how may I help you?” a short, blonde lady asked. She was behind a counter inside a small room to the side.

“Hey, do you have some aspirin I could purchase?” David asked.

“Yeah, give me a second,” the woman said and began to make her way around the room.

David began to look around the small drug store and saw an old, dusty television hanging from the roof above the tiny room the lady was in. On was the Floridian National News Channel, the popular news station among the island.

“Another tragic death was reported today similar to the infamous Red Devlin Murders,” The famous news anchor, Vince Handsome, reported.

David scoffed, he hated the conceited anchor. Vince was born Vincent Gray, but he changed his name to Vince Handsome once he became famous. He wasn’t even that talented but his gelled back, black hair, tan skin, muscular physic, and strong jawline made women change to his station religiously whenever they heard that FNNC was on. David began to ignore the news channel out of spite and waited impatiently for his medication.

As he waited he heard Vince’s smooth voice once more, “It was in this house here that another victim was claimed by what’s speculated to be The Red Devlin.”

David slowly lifted his eyes as curiosity took over and he peered at the TV. His jaw and stomach dropped as he saw the familiar house surrounded by police tape and cop cars. Police officers and investigators stood on the front lawn taking pictures of the crime scene and around the streets keeping the traffic moving. The house on the TV, to David’s horror, was Michelle’s.

David’s head began to spin and pound. He couldn’t speak, all he could do was shake his head. He began to backup, “” he muttered and bumped into a shelf knocking over products. He looked at the mess he made and ignored it, sprinting to his car.

“Sir! Your aspirin!” The woman called, however David ignored it, quickly leaving the shop and getting into his car. He quickly cranked up his car and drove off. He sped through traffic, going far above the speed limit and after an extremely short and stressful drive, he skidded to a stop in front of Michelle’s house. He quickly got out of the car and started sprinting towards the house.

“Sir!” A large, Caucasian cop with a thick, brown mustache and bald head called after him, “Stop! You’re not allowed to go in there!” The cop was yelling as loud as he could but he sounded distant to David.

David could barely hear anything, the only thing he could hear clearly was the sound of his heart racing a mile a minute. His eyes were blurred from the tears flooding as he could feel the looming fear of what he was going to see. The only person he ever truly loved, no it couldn’t be true.

He busted through the front door and into the house. He looked around and didn’t see anything, so he quickly made his way up the stairs. The house was eerily silent with no sound except for his heartbeat. The interior was void of light, except for the light patches created by the windows. With the combination of him crying, his head hurting, and the darkness, it was almost impossible for him to see.

He slowly made his way through the hall on the second floor, hugging the wall, trying to find Michelle’s bedroom. Flashbacks of his dream flooded his mind, causing an eruption of paranoia to form. The hair on the back of his neck rose, and he felt crawling throughout his skin. He slowly made his way down the hall for a while, stumbling periodically. As he walked he felt he passed a couple doorways and portraits, none of them feeling like the right one. He knew her room was the third doorway on the right side so he had one more to go.

He tried wiping his eyes but that only temporarily fixed his vision before they quickly teared up again. He also had the static-like headache that would impair his vision making his sight that much worse when it was blurry and not helping when he tried to clear it.

After a short while more, he fell through an open doorway landing on top of his right shoulder. He grunted, “Oh great, another pain on my body. As if I didn’t have enough,” David rolled over onto his stomach and as he did, underneath Michelle’s bed, he saw the same creature that came to him in his mirror. He met his gaze and slowly pointed upward and let out a ear shattering cackle.

David’s vision became nothing but static then quickly cleared and the creature was gone. David quickly rose to his feet, breathing heavily. His vision had cleared and he scanned the room in panic. As he was doing so his eyes locked on the bed. He quickly dropped to his knees as what he saw settled in, he began sobbing heavily.

“ can’t be....” David muttered.

He saw the corpse of Michelle. Her head was cracked, blood puddled around her skull, drenching her sheets in a dark crimson. Both her arms were slashed, revealing the pink meat inside and dried blood on around the wound. The white sheet around her corpse was only white in rare patches, the rest dark red.

The bald officer stepped into the room, “Hey!” He paused witnessing the utter look of pain and sorrow in front of him, “Look have to get out of here....”

David slowly got to his feet, head hanging low. He slowly walked out of the door and down the steps out the front door, never lifting his head.

The officer followed at a distance, “I’m supposed to give you a ticket for entering an investigation zone but looks like you’ve already lost so much, so just be on your way. And stay out of trouble will ya?”

David nodded and trudged back to his car. He got inside and leaned his head back against the headrest, “I have no sense of direction without you.....” He slowly lifted his head and peered in the rear view mirror and saw the empty backseat, “Avita.....” He immediately knew what Michelle would want him to do. He turned on the car and began to speed directly to the metal hospital.

David arrived into the virtually empty parking lot, the only other car besides his was Dr. Hullinsworth’s old Chevy pickup truck. David got a weird chill as he exited his car. He looked around him and saw he was the only one there. He slowly made his way towards the elevator and pressed the button for the seventh floor. As he rode, a looming feeling of dread filled him the closer he got. He got off the elevator once he reached his destination and started to slowly walk down the empty quiet halls. After a short while of walking he passed Dr. Hullinsworth’s office, but he wasn’t in there, however the light was still on.

“Weird....” He muttered, “I guess I’ll just leave this under here....” He slid Avita’s release papers and a note of resignation underneath the door. As he slid the papers underneath the door, he heard a shuffle from down the hall in the direction of the elevator. He quickly pushed the papers under the door and snapped up, “Chris?” He called and began to slowly walk down the hall, cautiously peering around him but saw nobody. He shrugged the sound off as his own paranoia and resumed walking to Avita’s room. As he made his way closer to Avita’s room, chills began to make their way down his spine and a deep bubbling aroused in his stomach.

When he finally reached her door, his stomach was doing backflips. He slowly opened the door and saw the silhouette of a little girl turned towards the wall, “Avita sweetheart, let’s get out of here,” He said softly, “I have to tell you something important over some ice cream.”

The silhouette didn’t move.

“Avita?” David eased his way over. Once he reached halfway the silhouette snapped around around revealing a twisted grin. David fell on his butt in shock, “You!”

Oriah pounced on top of him arm raised, knife in hand, “Ding Ding, ten points for David Larkin!” He giggled.

David was stiff with horror, an expression of shock and terror glued to his face. He couldn’t stop staring at the eerie mask and the red, curly wig he was wearing. He had on Avita’s red dress over the top of his usual clothes, “What.....what?”

“Duh duh, use your words you idiot!” Oriah mocked.

David’s expression of shock turned to one of pure anger, “YOU KILLED MICHELLE.”

“Mhmm and it was beautiful!” Oriah said, “Her skin was so soft and fragile, it was easy to penetrate with my knife....oh and you should’ve heard her scream,” Oriah hissed that last sentence, his black eye sockets turning a slight shade of dark blood red.

David growled and pushed the creature off of him, “What’d you do with Avita!?”

Oriah stumbled back slightly a little shocked but he giggled, “Feisty one,” he twirled a stand of red hair from his wig.

David lunged at Oriah and punched him right in the cheek, “WHERE IS SHE!?”

Oriah stumbled back a slight bit, he growled with anger, “She’s not any of your business, mortal!” Oriah dove at David.

David caught the demon in mid air and slung him across the room with ease, “That’s my little girl you sad excuse for a mime version of where’s Waldo!” David screamed.

Oriah hit the wall with a loud thud and fell to the floor, he quickly disappeared in the shadows, “Who are you calling a sad excuse? You sad excuse for a man,” Oriah said from the shadows, “How are you gonna protect Avita? You couldn’t even protect your girlfriend,” Oriah’s voice was echoing off the walls everywhere.

David spun trying to locate the demon.

“You have too many fears David! You let your paranoia control you. It was so easy to get inside your mind and to control you! It was way harder to control Michelle. You’d think someone so scared to be alone would be easy? But, she was so much stronger than you. But in the end, she ended up just like her parents.”

A loud cackle emitted from the depth of David’s mind. He closed his eyes and ears, “Get out of my head!”

Oriah appeared behind David, the cackling, “Here’s Waldo!” Oriah lifted the knife and began to swing it down.

David snapped around and punched him in the nose of the mask. Oriah fell down upon impact. David tried to walk over toward the light switch but Oriah used his legs to trip up David. David stumbled and collapsed on his hands and knees. Oriah pounced on top of him and tried to slam the knife into the back of his neck. David rolled over causing Oriah to slip and lose balance. David grabbed Oriah’s hand with the knife in it and bit him viciously.

“Ah you psycho!” Oriah yelled and jumped off him, dropping the knife

“That’s funny coming from you,” David growled.

Oriah giggled, “I’ve always liked you David, I’ll miss you when your dead.”

“You’ll have to kill me first,” David scrambled to his feet.

Oriah bent down to pick up the knife, David quickly ran over and pushed him. Oriah stumbled away from the knife, David tried to pick it up. Oriah ran over and kneed him in the face, then punched him in the face with his left hand. David stumbled and turned his back to Oriah. Oriah pounced on Davids back and began to punch David repeatedly in the back of the head. David stumbled to the light switch, twisting and slamming Oriah into the switch. He then threw Oriah over his shoulder and slammed him on the floor. David flicked on the lights and walked to the demon who was laying on his back.

Oriah giggled.

“Game over you little clown,” David said standing over the demon.

“What’re you gonna do, kill me like I killed your girlfriend?” Oriah giggled, “I’m so scared.

David knelt down over the demon, he grabbed the straight brown hair that shown from the back of the mask. He lifted his head slightly, “Where’s Avita?”

“I don’t gotta tell you squat!” Oriah said then giggled.

David punched him hard in the face, “Where!”

“Who are we talking about again?”

David punched him again, “Where”

“Who are you?” Oriah maniacally giggled.

David gritted his teeth and punched Oriah as hard as he could, “Where?”

“Ooooh that one had some pepper behind it,” Oriah teased, “You don’t totally hit like a girl.”

David stood up over the demon with an expressionless face and pulled out the pistol he grabbed before he left his house this morning.

“Oooh very dignified Tex.”

“Shut up you delusional sicko,” David said clicking his gun and pointing it in the demons forehead, “Say your prayers. Maybe the Lord will give you some mercy because I’m sure as hell not.”

As he began to pull the trigger he felt a sharp pain in his back, he looked down and saw the tip of a knife. He slowly turned around and saw a small innocent looking girl with stormy gray eyes looking at him, her eyes wet with tears. David fell backwards causing Avita to step out the way. As he fell onto his back, he pushed the knife even further into him. He stared at the ceiling, the room growing dark and slowly beginning to fade. Three figures slowly walked into his view, a demon with a white mask decorated with two black holes for eyes and a twisted grin, another creature with white face paint and a black swirl, and the last being an innocent looking girl with stormy gray eyes and fiery red hair.

“Why....” David muttered.

“You’re not gonna hurt my friend,” Avita replied then waved goodbye to him as everything faded to black.

Chris got out of his pickup truck, he had been smoking for a solid hour and had it hot boxed so bad, smoke flooded out in waves as he opened the door. He threw his last cigarette on the concrete and stepped on it. As he hopped out of his pickup and began to slowly make his way across the lot, he saw a lone car, familiarly parked near the elevator.

“Is that David’s car?” Chris muttered as he passed David’s old Ford on the way to the elevator, “Doesn’t he know I closed this place down.... I sent him a text earlier...” Chris had the place shut down the night before after David and Michelle left. He couldn’t let people get killed over his mistakes. He had sent a mass text to all his employees including David and Michelle. He transferred all his patients to other mental hospitals and the buses came and picked them up a few hours earlier, that is all but Avita. She was the lone beacon that these supernatural events stemmed from, so he needed to keep her here in order for Oriah to remain, no matter how controversial his decision would be seen as. He knew that Avita’s “little friend” was a threat to society and he had thought of the perfect plan to get rid of least he hoped.

Chris got onto the elevator and rode it to the seventh floor, “David!” Chris cupped his mouth and called, “David! Don’t bother looking for her she’s not here!” Chris lied.

He walked all the way to his office and saw a little corner of a sheet of paper from underneath the door, he pulled his keys from his dress pants and unlocked the door, then bent down and picked up the sheets of paper and looked them over. He cursed under his breath seeing Avita’s release paper. Then he saw the resignation showing Chris that David mustn’t have gotten his text.

He threw down the sheets of paper, “David!” He called as he ran down the hall, “David!” He headed further and further down until he saw an open doorway, it was Avita’s. He was confused, he had made sure to lock every single door on every floor, he followed behind the nurses from the other hospitals, unlocking and relocking every door as they went.

He cautiously made his way towards her room, “Avita?” He called, “Sweetheart?” He leaned his head into the doorway and gagged as he saw David’s corpse surrounded by a puddle of blood, “Oh God,” he muttered.

He slowly entered the room and began to search for any sign of life inside of there. He avoided looking at David’s lifeless corpse as much as possible fighting back tears. After a short search he quickly exited the room.

“Where is that girl?” he said quickly heading back into the hallway. He quickly walked down the hallways of the seventh floor, everything seemingly being the way he had left it, save the missing girl, “She seems to have mysteriously disappeared…without a trace,” he muttered to himself. As he reached the cafeteria, he peered inside and saw the lights off and nothing within. He tried the door and it was locked, just as he left it. He returned quickly to the elevator and rode it down, stopping on every floor.


He shoved his hands in his pockets as the elevator reached the parking garage. He sighed as he got off and looked one last time at the bottom of the brick structure.

He trudged back to his pick up shaking his head. He was once again defeated by that shut off, little girl. He got into his front seat and nervously took out his key, he didn’t know where to go. He didn’t have any friends, or relatives that were still alive. He shook off this thought, all he needed to focus on for the moment was getting away from this building. He stuck the key in the ignition and looked down to his buckle to start strapping up. As he looked back up into the rear view he saw a chilling grin.

The creature quickly reached and put a hand over his mouth and another around his forehead, it maniacally giggled, “Hey dad! Long time no see?” It greeted.

Chris muffled some inaudible words.

The creature moved his hands slightly, “What was that, Dad?”

“N-no...” Chris stuttered.

“Is that how you’re gonna greet me? No.... hello? No…..look how much you’ve grown?” Oriah questioned, “Aren’t you glad to see your baby boy?” Oriah hissed the last part. Chris frantically nodded.

Oriah tightened his grip, “You sure look scared to be so glad. Are you worried you’ll end up like your employees?”

“Employees?” Chris gulped and looked in the rear view at the creature.

“Oh you didn’t know I killed ‘em both, Michelle was an easy one but the male, David....he was a feisty one,” Oriah didn’t have any remorse in his voice, but savored every single word used to describe. Oriah lifted his right hand off of Chris’ skull, he used it to point at the marks on his mask, “But you knew I killed David right? You saw his corpse. I left him there for you dad, it wasn’t easy though, he scuffed up the mask you made me. All these marks his.”

“You’re delusional!”

Oriah maniacally giggled, “Aww you’re too sweet.”

The chilling laugh caused Chris’ slight confidence to freeze up slightly, he cleared his throat, “I’ve heard you’ve been hanging out with that little girl, Avita.”

Oriah’s gripped eased slightly, he giggled again, “Ah, so you knew I was here the whole time?”

Chris settled slightly “Well, not exactly this whole time, I figured out yesterday.”

“And you didn’t come to visit?” Oriah said, “We could’ve had tea together, tsk some dad you are,” another chilling giggle.

The giggling ringed in Chris’ ears, he tried to ignore it, “So, why’d you not kill her like you did her parents?” He asked.

“Oh so you’re still playing shrink, huh?” Oriah questioned, “Fine I’ll humor you,” Oriah dramatically cleared his throat, “So after I thought I’d rid myself of you years ago, I went on a little purge of sweet, beautiful innocent souls,” as Oriah said those last two words he got closer, hissing them into Chris’ ears, “Killing little kids in a glorious fashion, I’d rip out their innards, examine them, cut them up. I guess what they say is true, like father like son, both of us freaks of nature, loving to explore the human body in the most freak-show way possible. I’d play plastic surgeon with their tiny little bodies, like my daddy, taking what I want placing it where I want. But, as you know all too well, being alone sucks. So, I decided I should share this beautiful experience with someone else, a pupil of sorts. That’s when I revived one of your little failed tests, remember Icarus?”

A loud cackle erupted from within the backseat, causing a chill to erupt throughout a Chris.

It quickly died down as Oriah continued, “ But two isn’t enough, I needed the third. The completion of my hellish trinity. Cue Avita’s place. I entered her room to add her to my collection of victims....but there was something about her creative mind and her lonely isolation. Something so pure yet corrupted in the perfect way....She was the one....She was destined to be the completion of the trio and anyone who tries to prevent her from completing her purpose, to ruin my pupil’s one true life purpose, will suffer the same fate as everyone else, a beautiful....sadistic.....elongated....death...”

“He’s delusional,” Chris thought, he slid his hand into his pocket, “Oh God, where is it?” he thought to himself.

“You talking about this?” Oriah held up a pale brown liquid inside of a test tube with a cork sealing it, “Did you try to kill me Dad? Why would you do that? Where you planning on killing us all? I heard you thinking about it in the parking lot earlier while you were hot boxing the old pick up like a smoke machine, then you kept thinking about it when you were looking for Avita, then as you were trying to leave,” Oriah recalled, “Thinking about it you were planning on killing yourself too, huh? You couldn’t live with the guilt could you? You’ve gotten weak over the years, that’s the difference between me and you. The older you get, the weaker you get while I get stronger. Each year you get more and more remorseful while every year I get more and more merciless.”

“You’re right, I am filled with remorse....remorse for ever giving you life,” Chris growled.

“Oh, ow, I’m hurt you’d ever say such a thing,” Oriah faked, “Does that mean we can’t have a drink since it’s my birthday?” Oriah popped the cork off the bottle and in one swift motion jammed it into his father’s mouth, breaking the tube on Chris’ teeth. Glass cut Chris’ gums and tongue and as some of the liquid dropped from his mouth his skin sizzled.

He burned from the acidic substance, screaming at the top of his lungs from the wounds. Foam started to emit from the corners and back of his mouth. His eyes rolled back from pain. His body flailed uncontrollably, behind the seat Oriah laughed loudly over the commotion.The car shook and rocked as Chris’s body shook in every direction, then just as quickly his body stopped. His nerves caused his body to twitch periodically but other than that he was lifeless.

Oriah leaned over Chris’s lifeless carcass. He turned Chris’ face towards his and looked into his lifeless, old eyes, “The creation is better than the creator,” he said as he let Chris’ head drop, disappearing to leave Chris’s dead body to rot, “Too bad you won’t be able to witness the creation become the creator. But this time, the creator won’t be overshadowed by the creation.”

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