Allen’s strength was nearly gone, but he refused to stop fighting. He felt the four year old girl was unable to resist much longer. None of them could without help. “Caroline, call your
father. Tell him you love him!”
The demon laughed. “That won’t work! I control him! I made him destroy everything I hated. Now he’ll destroy you.”
Chan saw the large man gazing down at the axe as if he was going to pick it up again. “Now, Caroline! Call him now!”
Allen echoed Chan’s call.
“Daddy,” a weak voice barely audible rose from the girl’s lips. “Daddy… I love you.” “No!” The demon screamed. “Pick up the axe and kill them all! I’m your daughter and I
want you to kill them all!”
Chan felt panic surge inside his body as the giant man hefted the axe again. “Oh God, no!” He was tempted to let go of the others and run…just as Dodd, Swan, and he had run from
this house of horrors a year earlier. “ But this time it was different. There was someone invisible helping. “Call him! Call him again,” he rasped, feeling he was about to collapse from exhaustion.
Allen shouted, “Caroline, now! Call daddy!”
“Daddy, I…love…you,” the girl said. “I love you so much.”
Chan saw the man’s face was still unchanged, as if he was locked in a trance. “Kill them now,” the demon’s voice hissed. “They are hurting me.”
“Daddy? Daddy,” Caroline called.
Chan was praying for any sign that his daughter had reached what was left of the father’s soul. Suddenly he saw the man’s tortured expression turn to one of confusion. “It’s working,” he said trying to hold onto the others.
“Daddy, I love you,” Caroline said, her voice weaker.
“Look at your daughter’s body,” the monster taunted, raising the skirt until a white undergarment was revealed. “They are plotting to take her, to defile your sweet, innocent, child. The axe. Chop off their heads and save your daughter from their filthy lust.”
“He’s lying,” Allen shouted. “Chan, you must tell him.”
Chan strained to see who the man was that was talking to him, but saw only the girl. He suddenly realized that a miracle may have been happening, he may have been at long last talking to a ghost. He wished he had time to question whoever this unknown entity was, but saw the
father was staring at them with confusion. “The monster is lying,” he shouted, “Listen to your daughter. She loves you.”
“Daddy, please hug me,” Caroline managed to say, but the monster was overpowering her and his voice screamed out, “I am your master. You will obey me. Kill them. Kill them.”
Chan stared at the axe. “Would your daughter talk like that? You taught her to love, not to hate.”
The man lowered the axe and stared at it as if he didn’t know why he was holding it. “Where am I,” he murmured, and then he saw his wife and Chan holding their arms around his daughter who was barely visible in the huddle. “What’s happening,” he asked, his eyes clearing.
“Hold her,” Chan gasped. “For her sake, hug her now.”
The man was on top of them instantly, his arms wrapped around Chan, and his wife and child. “What’s happening to her,” he begged. “I didn’t hurt her? Please tell me I didn’t--”
“Tell her you love her. Keep telling her that,” Allen said.
Chan could barely speak. “You love her. Tell her. Keep telling her.”
“I love you. I love you. I love you,” the father repeated, tears falling from his eyes. “Damn you all,” the demon screamed and the girl cried pitifully in a terrifying
“Hold her,” Allen screamed, struggling to remain with her. “Hold her,” Chan repeated, squeezing harder.
Suddenly there was a bone-chilling scream and the demon seemed to burst from Caroline’s tiny body, push his way up past their heads and escape out into the night air.
“Don’t let go,” Allen said. “Don’t let go.”
“Don’t let go,” Chan gasped, surprised he was weeping, searching for the source of the mysterious voice.
The man looked at his daughter who was barely able to stand and said, “I’m never going to let go again.”
How long they stayed in the embrace nobody knew, but they refused to break away, believing as long as they were one, the demon could not invade again.
“I’m hot,” the girl moaned in a weak voice. “Why are you hugging me so hot?” “Carol baby, is that you,” the father asked.
“Daddy, are you hurt?”
“No sweetheart, I’m fine. Mr. Chan, it’s okay, you can let her go.”
Chan sagged to the ground. He was covered in sweat and his clothes had an acrid smell.
His eyes searched the girl’s face. She seemed pale, but okay, her body being hugged by her father and mother who had come to and was now crying with joy.
“You saved us,” the father said to Chan. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
Chan nodded modestly. It wasn’t I, he thought, but who was it then? Who was the male voice that had called him to help? He stared at the girl wondering if the spirit that had saved her was somehow still locked inside her. Had the spirit, ghost, or whatever it had been, sacrificed itself for the girl and her family?
“I’ll never be able to thank you,” the father said again.
The mother’s eyes wet with tears were enough to show Chan how grateful she was. This is what it is about, Chan thought, for the first time in his life feeling some sense of having done something right. “I must find the others,” Chan said to the Ross family. “I pray they were not hurt by…” What should he tell them it was? Time for that later. “I must go,” he said, giving Caroline a smile.
“Do you want my help,” the father said, still clutching his wife and daughter.
“Please enjoy your family, Sir.” Chan envied him. He walked back to the living room. What had happened to the Professor? Had he run off the way they had a year ago? He couldn’t blame him if he did.
Chan suddenly heard a banging sound. It was a dull sound, hard to hear. He tried to follow the sound, but it was erratic. “Where the heck are you,” he shouted, hoping it wasn’t another evil ghost.