Alive

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They Will Not See You

Deep in the woods, Sarah walks slowly along a dirt path which is partially blocked by the overgrown grass and stinging nettles. She reaches the end of the path that leads into the river outside her shack.

She takes a couple of steps back then runs and leaps over the river; flailing her arms in midair to shift her weight.

Landing on the gravelly surface, she walks towards her shack, stepping on smashed Budweiser bottles, underwear and decaying cigarettes.

Sarah tramples on overgrowing vines to get to her worn, wooden front door. As she stands in front of the door, using her palm, she sweeps the vines off the door and onto the floor.

Sarah pushes her hand against the door, forcing it partially open with a groan from the hinges. Taking a side step inside, Sarah’s eyes attempt to adjust to the darkness, creating a pixelated haze. The temperature inside is different to the outside; It is much colder in the shack.

Sarah then stretches her probing leg over the rags she uses for bed-sheets and kneels down in the corner of the shack where the picture of her family sits.

Sarah uses her index finger to stroke Jack, Lucy and Sam’s faces. As she does, she turns around and climbs back out of her shack. As she exits, she hears a voice which is different to any other voice she’s heard. It’s a deep, yawning noise. Its mumbled language causes other whispers to begin speaking. Sarah walks over to the trickling river sound which usually keeps her calm so she can concentrate on the voices.

As Sarah waits for a clear voice from the jumbled cries, another deep yawn sounds. Sarah’s spine tingles from top to bottom. Her head pulsates and she feels the blood rush through her head. Blood drips down onto the gravelly ground. Sarah feels her nose but the blood isn’t from there. She feels a tear drop from her eye, as she watches the tear drop, she realises it’s another blood droplet. Her breathing speeds up; the voices in her mind begin to scream. Blood drips down her cheeks and onto the ground. The family photo drifts to the ground. As Sarah glances down at it, Jack, Lucy and Sam’s faces have changed; their eyes are now black and beady with pouring blood.

“Stop!” she shouts out loud. “Stop now!”

‘We cannot. You must keep our secret.’

“No one knows our secret,” she snaps.

‘You would be in great danger if anyone were to find out your power.’ A deep voices grunts.

Sarah tries to reply but can’t. Her throat has a lump in it which is stopping her from speaking. She tries to speak back within her mind but again she’s blocked from doing so. The deep voice mumbles, the whispering voices mute it.

Sarah feels faint and as she falls to the ground, she sees a figure up ahead in the woodlands across the river stumbling through the overgrowth.

Sarah’s eyes lids grow heavy, her vision blurs the more she forces her lids open. She senses that this figure is the person who saved her from the crash. She reaches out to him, her fingers outstretched, her wrist bent. As her hand drops, the figure disappears.

The whispers begin to simmer. Their panicked tone turns into a prayer-like rhythm, sending Sarah to sleep.

Sarah hears a deep voice mumble under his breath. As she opens her eyes the voice becomes clear; ‘Sarah, wake up.’

The voice is the clearest Sarah has ever heard. There are no other whispers, making it possible for Sarah to pick out the one voice as if they were sitting next to her.

‘Sarah… I need you… there was a… special woman in my life.’ The voice pauses. Sarah sits up and looks into the woods where the figure stood before she passed out, there’s no one in sight.

The voice booms, making Sarah jump. ‘I need you to show her something, something that I always wanted to show her but couldn’t.’

‘I can do that for you.’ Sarah replies in her mind.

She stands and runs through the woodlands; her mind clear and just the one voice directing her to the house of this woman.

The trip to the house takes Sarah a few hours; it is now night time.

She walks past an empty park where the roundabout whimpers as it slowly turns; the rusted swing’s chains groan in the wind. The clouds above grow in density and their colour changes slowly from white to a charcoal grey.

Sarah looks over to the park bench, where an imaginary haze of sunlight shines onto Jack, Lucy and Sam sitting on it. Jack watches the girls unravelling tin foil and pulling out ham baguettes. Lucy does not hesitate as she stuffs the baguette into her mouth. Sam tries to copy her and instead, her ham falls out and onto the floor. Jack and Lucy burst into laughter as Sam sulks.

Lucy turns to Sarah “Hey mummy come here, look, Sam dropped her ham!” Lucy giggles as she speaks. Sarah chuckles to herself.

‘Sarah are you concentrating?’ the voice speaks, and Sarah’s imagining of Jack and the kids evaporates into thin air, revealing the damp wooden bench.

Sarah continues to walk, following the path; it leads through a gap in the hedge.

Sarah follows the path as it leads to a field and church. As Sarah stares at the huge cross on the front of the church, her head begins to ache. A distant high-pitched sound fades in and out. The deep voice groans and mumbles a prayer under his breath. Sarah stares at the church and sees a house just a few metres to the side of the church.

‘She lives there. I need you to go in and to show her something.’

‘Show her what?’ Sarah asks.

‘Something that she never believed.’ The deep voice says.

Sarah walks towards the church. As she approaches, the high pitched sound becomes louder. The noise sounds like a car slamming its brakes on.

Sarah walks towards the house and away from the church. Her head throbbing and the high pitched screeching still in her mind.

She walks up to the window of the house and sees movement as she approaches, she drops onto the grass. She crawls to the wall and slowly puts her head up, looking into the house. There is no one there. Sarah stands up, realising it was her reflection.

Sighing with relief, Sarah sees movement within the house. She ducks down again and moves away from the window. The whispers speak at once, jumbling each other’s words; some scream and sob. She tries to focus on the one voice that bellows over the rest. ‘Get inside and go upstairs.’

Sarah goes to the back of the house where the back door is wide open. She steps inside and walks through the kitchen, entering a candle-lit corridor. As Sarah walks through, she hears a screech as piercing as chalk against a blackboard.

As Sarah moves further into the dimness, she hears screaming in her mind.

A sharp, hot sensation shoots down her body making the spirits cry. The searing heat of an inferno blows against her as she stumbles. A gust of wind blows out a few of the candles in the corridor.

‘Stand still.’ The deep voice grunts.

Sarah stands still, a hot gust from behind blows out the rest of the candles in the corridor. Sarah hears someone stomping through the room next door, the floorboards echo through the empty corridor.

‘Stay.’ The voice grunts as Sarah turns away from the front door.

As Sarah waits, she sees sketches of Jesus Christ and gold crucifixion crosses on the wall. Sarah studies each religious object or image and feels repelled. The inferno closes in on Sarah, making her skin peel away, revealing her veins leaking blood. Sarah screams as her sight blurs and blood tears pour from her eyes. As she brushes her face, her loose skin sticks to her bloody fingertips.

Sarah looks up from her hand to see an elderly woman. Her hands pressed together holding a small silver cross with Jesus crucified on it. Her stern, withered face glares at Sarah.

‘Compel this demon, a servant of Satan. My lord, compel this evil spirit below the earth.’ The elderly woman repeats herself and bows her head.

The woman’s eyes shoot open, revealing her patchy green eyes. She stares at Sarah and marches up to her, bellowing at Sarah.

‘Compel these evil spirits!’ The woman shouts.

Sarah turns away to run but is stopped. Her legs and arms become stiff and her mind becomes numb.

Sarah turns back towards the woman.

‘Attack this bitch!’ The deep voice shouts.

Sarah tries to turn away again but cannot. She floats up into the air; palms open wide and filled with a ball of flame. Her peeled skin reveals a coarse, maroon-coloured scale under her skin. The elderly lady’s stern glare turns to fear, her eyes fill with tears as she kneels down on the ground, blocking her head with her arms. “Save me my lord.” She cries.

Sarah’s arms tense as she floats towards the woman and picks her up by her neck and drops the ball of flame down the woman’s throat. Sarah then tosses the woman onto the floor like a rag doll. As the elderly woman lands on her back, her stomach burns and boils, turning into a seeping liquid, the rest of her body follows suit.

Sarah looks at the pictures on the wall. She swings her arms in front of her, knocking all the pictures onto the floor, shattering them. As Sarah shrieks, all the glass in the house smashes to pieces. Sarah drops from the air and lands sprawling onto the wooden floor. For a moment, Sarah stares at the high ceiling, smelling the burning skin of the old woman and the smoking candle wicks.

Sarah begins to sink through the floor and lands on the dirt under the house.

The sky turns red and dark smoke soars into the skies, obscuring the moon. The old woman’s house is yanked from the ground, pulling clumps of earth, vines and roots, with it. The roots and vines transform into bloody humans clinging to the floating house.

“You’re my servant.” A deep, echoing voice roars from behind Sarah.

Sarah turns to the speaker. She looks at a red, male figure; he has a muscular, toned body with deep scars across his abdominals and pectorals. Behind his back are his six foot wide wings. The torn skin on his wings look like a reptile’s sloughed skin.

Sarah turns away from the man but as she does, a gust of flames flicker towards her, pushing her back.

“What’s going on?” Sarah shouts.

“You’re my servant. You do what I tell you.”

“Why?”

“I took your soul.”

Sarah pauses. She thinks back to the crash and as she does, her skin cools, water floods her lungs and she’s back in the Range Rover again. She remembers being pulled from the car and being brought to the surface.

Sarah chokes on the water in her lungs. She stops imagining the aftermath of the crash and stares at her red, flaming surroundings.

“What… are you?”

“I’m the lord of nightmare and misery.”

“Satan?”

He smiles, revealing his sharp black teeth and three different layers of gum that look like an avocado skin.

Sarah becomes caught up in a twister of dust and blood. As the dust flies into her eyes, the sharp particles get beneath her eye lids and scratch her delicate eyeballs. Sarah uses her bony claws to wipe her eyes. As her eyes open for a moment she glances down to her hands, to reveal her skinless arm and her transformed hand with a thick, bony thumb and two large fingers with long claws.

She looks ahead through the haze of dust and blood. The house above falls back to the ground and Sarah returns to her position on the floor.

Sarah pulls herself up off the floor and stares at the front door. The panicked whispers sound clearer than ever before. As well as whispering, there are the screams and cries of the tortured souls in hell.

‘Abolish all Non-Satanists!’ Satan and the whispers chant in Sarah’s mind.

Sarah steps over the liquid remains of the old woman and steps out of the front door.

Sarah looks down to her body which is not human anymore.

“Your true form,” a voice whispers to her; “A beautiful demon… Punishing the non-Satanists.”

Sarah floats above the ground flapping her outstretched wings. She flies above the church and glides towards it. She grips a flame ball in each hand and throws them at the church time after time. As the church erupts in flames, she attacks the old woman’s house, building the fire from her chest and blowing it from her mouth. The house catches alight and so do the surrounding trees.

Sarah flies away and goes to her own gravestone. She lands on the grass mound of a grave and stares at her name on the marble. “Loving and Adored Mother, Wife, Daughter and Friend.”

Sarah turns around to see Jack, Lucy and Sam wandering towards the grave with a bunch of flowers. Sarah steps away from her grave and watches the three of them approach.

“They will not see you; you’re a dead haunting spirit.”


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