Mazie and Cayne woke to the sound of their son crying hysterically. They bolted out of bed, afraid he had hurt himself. They found him in the living room, holding a large knife from the kitchen. Their couch was destroyed, cut up by the blade their son held in his hand “You drop that knife right now Leopold!” Cayne went from afraid to furious. Their son had been acting up a lot lately and he was sick of it. “Cayne please don’t yell at him”
“Look what he did now!” their son started sobbing louder “I was just trying to kill it, it was going to possess you, it woke me to make me watch”
“Oh no, not that crap again”
“No, this is my last straw, he needs psychiatric help Mazie”
“It’s real, the demon that watches you two sleep. He’s going to possess you dad and make you kill mom. It said it was going to cut open her stomach using you and play with her insides and”
“you hear this Mazie?”
“Yes I do and you treating him like he’s crazy isn’t going to help anything. You’re upsetting him worse”
“Mazie, I’ve tried to be understanding but he’s taking knives from the kitchen and destroying things now. His nightmares or delusions or whatever you want to call them is going to get someone hurt. He could have killed us or himself”
Mazie knew that’s what it really was. Cayne was scared for their son, scared for all of them, and he was lashing out. “Cayne.”
“I know, I know.” He moved slowly toward their son, holding out his hand. “Can I have that buddy?”
“It’s alright.” He gently took the knife from his son. He could have really cut himself. Cayne always made sure the knives were extra sharp so either he nor Mazie had to struggle to cut anything. “How about you go with mommy and I’ll clean up.”
Cayne let out an exasperated sigh as he went and put the knife away then got a garbage bag and started throwing away stuffing and shredded cloth. He was terrified with Leopold’s behavior and worried it would escalate and he hated he had lost his temper. It was unlike him to snap like that. He knew it was just stress, but he was an adult.
Mazie took Leo to their room, turning on the lights and walking around it while holding him “I don’t see anything anywhere baby but do you still see him?’
“No but I told you, I can’t show you. He vanishes when you wake up” she kissed his head and sat on the bed with him “baby, I’m not angry at you and neither is your dad. He yelled because he’s scared..you can’t take knives from the kitchen, that’s never okay”
“I just wanted to protect you and dad…if he made dad kill you then he’d go to jail so you’d both be gone forever”
“it’s our job to protect you son, you’re an eight year old boy.”
“but he wont show himself to you, even when he does it he’s going to posses dad in his sleep”
“is he something from a movie you’ve seen or”
“Mom, we’ve already talked about this. I’m not having nightmares” Leopold sounded so frustrated and she wished she knew what to do. She would do anything for some handbook on how to handle this situation with her son. She hugged her, it wasn’t much but he was still so little. They were adults and all these nights getting up with him had been hard on her and her husband, she could only imagine the toll this was all taking on Leo. He never slept, she had a strong suspicion that he often faked it until they were asleep so he could watch them, watch for this thing he truly felt was in their home.
When Cayne entered the room he asked “do you want to sleep with us Leo?”
“okay” Cayne walked over, sitting beside them on the bed “son, I love you”
“I love you too”
“I’m sorry I yelled”
“I know, I’m sorry I took a knife and ruined the couch”
“It was old anyway, we’ll get another one.”
“Everything’s going to be alright.” He hugged both of them then went and switched off the light while Mazie got Leo situated in the middle of the bed. He climbed in on the other side of him and both he and Mazie lay there awake as they waited for him to fall asleep.
“Cayne, we’ll figure this out.” Mazie said softly as she took his hand.
“I know, I really am sorry I snapped at you two like that. It’s been hard not knowing what to do. I feel helpless.”
“I know, me too, but we can do anything together.”
He gave her a small smile and they both finally closed their eyes and drifted off. In the silence of the house, it crawled silently across the floor and gripped the edge of the bed with clawed hands, peeking over the edge. A hiss escaped its lips when it saw the brat sleeping there. He ducked back down and moved to the man’s side of the bed, its eyes staying on the child as it raised up over his sleeping figure. He could feel the man cracking under stress and fear. It wouldn’t be long before he found a way in. He was so close. He whispered to the man, filling his head with more worry and doubt.
“How many has it killed so far?” Victor asked as he flew with Faline in his arms.
“Nine total, four here in this world.”
“And it’s always the men?”
“Yes, he possesses the father and makes him kill his spouse.”
“Who gave your father the information?”
“He only said it was a very powerful, incredibly reliable demon. He’s sensitive to these sorts of things, he picked up on the vibrations of terror here and alerted my father. It already has another victim picked out.”
“hopefully we find this creature quickly before he manages to make another man do something he’ll never come back from…I can’t even allow myself to think about my emotional turmoil if something made me hurt you…just in the situation that dismornfia powder made me almost hurt you I felt lower than I knew was possible.”
“You never could, I know you couldn’t. You’d never let it in, the drugs, you cant exactly will it away when someone throws it in your face but you’re an incredibly strong man. You’ve shown that to me over and over since you learned what I am and what I did for a living besides my restaurant.”
“well I’m with a strong woman, you’d be out of my league completely if I was even slightly less” she smiled and he kissed her forehead. It was still a little odd not to hear any commentary or gagging from Kelta, a demon who used to work with them much more frequently before he had a family of his own. They were happy for him though, him and his wife Axana.
Cayne jerked awake at three in the morning drenched in sweat, his heart hammering against his chest. He sat up and looked down, relieved that Leo was still there. He ran his fingers through his hair, pushing it back as he looked around the room. Something felt off, but he couldn’t quite place what. He shook his head as he swung his legs over the edge of the bed and made his way groggily to the kitchen for a glass of water. He flipped the kitchen light on grabbed a cup, filling it then chugging it down. He felt a presence rise up behind him and froze with the cup to his lips, the hair on the back of his neck standing up, his breath catching in his lungs, and his temperature dropping as blood rushed to his limbs. He told himself to set the cup in the sink, to stay calm and act normal. He did and moved over to the knife block in the kitchen. He quickly reached out and snatched up the butcher knife and spun around, but there was nothing. Was he just being paranoid? He decided to give their home a once over just in case. What if someone had broken in while they slept and was waiting for him to go back to sleep.
He checked every square inch of the house but nothing turned up but he still felt it, something there. He felt worse for how he had handled things with his son. Cayne wasn’t sure what but something was in this house so he went to their desktop computer and switched the screen on to look into possibilities. He had never been much of a believer in the supernatural but he felt that had to be the answer and if it was he hoped the internet had something on whatever was going on in their home. It startled him an hour later when the computer pinged with a message for him. He switched it over to facebook, finding it was one of his close friends with the question “Leo have you up again?”
Cayne wrote back “I’m starting to wonder if maybe something is going on”
“What do you mean?”
“Please don’t think I’m going crazy but maybe it’s something supernatural. I feel something here, something bad. Leo is actually asleep now with my wife in our bed. I’m only up because I’m googling different things and reading articles.” He saw the dots start and stop multiple times and he guessed his friend did think he was loseing his mind from lack of sleep but didn’t want to be a jerk about it. Not sure when his friend was going to actually send something Cayne left the facebook tab and resumed trying to find anything that sounded like what was happening in their home.
When his friend finally responded, it was sympathetic. He told him that he was probably just exhausted, that any parent would be when their child was having night terrors, but it would pass and he should really try getting some sleep. Cayne sighed, responded with ‘sure’ and signed out of Facebook, not wanting to say something rude. He propped his head up in his hand as he googled different types of entities. He yawned, his head bobbing and causing him to blink. He was so tired, more tired than he had ever been, but he was determined.
Leopold jerked awake and reached for his dad, but was surprised to find his side of the bed empty. Fear crept into his mind and he slid out of bed, moving quickly out of his parent’s room. He found his dad sleeping in front of the computer with it hovering over him. “No, no leave him alone.” He screamed as he ran towards it. It let out a hiss and started toward him when Cayne snapped awake, instantly sitting up at the sound of his son’s panicked screams. The creature let out a sound of frustration and then vanished as Cayne turned around. He saw Leo crying and he was on his feet in an instant and scooping him up as Mazie came running.
“What happened?” She asked.
“It…it…it…” was all Leo could say.
“Shh, it’s okay, everything’s okay.” Cayne said. He hadn’t even remembered falling asleep.
“Cayne, what’s going on?”
“I think…I think there’s something here. I think Leo’s telling the truth.” His eyes darted around the room.
“Cayne, you’re tired.”
“No…I mean yes I am, but tonight…I swear there was something. I was up searching for what might be causing this.” He looked back at his computer and handed Leo to Mazie. The last link he had clicked on was about a demon called Alu. It fit his son’s description of the thing he had been seeing. “Look at this, Mazie. I know it’s nuts, but look.”
She read it and said “that does sound like what he’s been talking about…”
“You guys believe me now?” Their son asked emotionally “yes we do son” Cayne answered then his son asked another question “what’re we going to do now?”
“I don’t know but I don’t think he can get in me unless he weakens my spirit or he’d have already done it and there’s no way in hell he’s doing that now.”
“can’t we go somewhere else” Mazie asked and Cayne responded “it could just follow us. He’s not stuck here. We’d probably just piss him off if we tried to go to anybody elses house”
“I guess that’s true”
“Lets try to get some sleep…it’s all we can do” When morning finally came they were all exhausted so Mazie asked “do you want to stay home from school today baby? It’s Friday anyway”
“I want to go to school. I don’t want that demon to see anything is different” Mazie kissed his head “alright then sweetheart” She made breakfast while her son got ready and he was soon on his way. The bus stop wasn’t far so she had been letting him walk by himself this year. Per the usual Cayne was almost ready to leave for work as well and she hated the thought of being alone with something in her home. Up until last night she felt her son was having extremely realistic nightmares due to the fact he had seen so many scary movies with his Uncle but now she knew something was here and it would creep her out all day, especially since it apparently wanted her dead.
When Cayne was ready to go he gave Mazie a long hug “everything’s going to be okay. We’ll figure this out and it could never make me hurt you, never, I mean it Mazie”
“I know, I’m scared of it, not you.”
“If you need me to come home I will, just call”
“Okay” Then off went Cayne, leaving her alone. She instantly went to her craft room to get to work on something. She owned an etsy shop online. Mazie didnt make a ton of money with it by any means but she had fun creating things and having some money of her own that she could earn while still getting to be a stay at home mom for her son. Cayne made enough she could be regardless but she had always loved to create and it felt good on holidays and birthdays when she could feel like she actually did buy her husband and son presents.
Cayne was exhausted while he worked, but he knew he had to stay awake. He wasn’t sure how far that thing would go for him, but he wasn’t going to give it another chance. He wished for a moment that he could replace his blood with coffee. His friend approached him during lunch and he forced down the sigh welling up in his chest. “How are you man?”
“You look it. After last night, I was kind of worried.”
“I’m fine, parenting.”
“Yeah, all that talk about the paranormal.”
“Just a tired brain trying to give a scared child’s nightmares some meaning.” He smiled at his friend. “Seriously, I’ll be fine once we have his night terrors under control.”
“Alright, if you need to talk, you know I’m here.”
“Thanks.” His friend slapped him on the back and walked away and Cayne let that sigh go. He was going to do whatever it took to protect his family.
Mazie had gotten lost in her crafting when a loud knock pulled her back into the reality around her. She sighed, hoping it was a friend so she wouldn’t have to be here alone. She was confused when a man and woman she had never seen before were on the other side of the door. “Hello, my name is Faline. I’m here to help you”
“I know it may sound crazy but there’s something in your home, something bad that puts your entire family at risk. We can explain more, just please let us in. We know it’s here” She actually felt a bit hopeful hearing someone who sounded just as nuts as she knew they sounded. She moved out the way and allowed them to enter their home. She sent a quick text to her husband, knowing he’d want to be made aware of something like this. The three sat down and Faline began her long explanation, complete with information about the previous families the demon had destroyed. “it’s real and we can stop him if you let us stay in your home”
Cayne wanted to rush home and quickly sent a text back asking if he should. He didn’t like the idea of her there alone with two strangers, but she sent a message back telling him it was alright, that she would call him if anything came up. He tried to focus on work, but kept glancing at his phone. Leopold made it home before Cayne did and froze when he saw the two strangers talking to his mother. “Leo, come here sweetie.” Mazie said and he slowly crossed the room to sit next to his mother.
“Who are they?”
“This is Faline and Victor, they’re here to help.”
“By taking it away from here, but if it puts up too much of a fight, we might have to kill it.” Victor explained as gently as he could.
“Then it wouldn’t hurt my parents right?”
“That’s right, you wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.” Faline replied. She hated how exhausted the little boy looked.
“thank you” he said then his mother asked “do you have homework?”
“only a little, I’ll go do it”
“do you need help?”
“No, I’ll be okay”
“He seems like a good kid” Faline pointed out fondly. Mazie smiled “He is, I hate we didn’t listen to him sooner. He’s been so scared, he hardly sleep out of worry that thing might make his father hurt me”
“How long have you two been married?”
“Five years but we’ve been together a lot longer”
“that’s sweet, Victor and I have been together a long time too. We have three children, all adults now”
“Wow, you don’t look old enough to have three grown children. Sorry if that’s rude.”
“Immortality will do that to you.”
“That’s amazing. Cayne should be home soon, he sounded so worried when he texted me back.”
“I promise we’re no threat to you. I take it he’s becoming more and more exhausted?” Faline asked.
“Yeah, some days he can barely stay awake at all. He even snapped at Leo. He didn’t mean it, he was just scared and tired.”
“We know, this demon, it breaks you down until it can take possession of you. Because he’s so tired and frustrated his body and mind are weak and it’ll prey on that. It’s not your son’s fault, he was trying to help, but it’s going to take the opportunity to attack soon.”
“What do we do?”
“This may sound scary and I want to run it by your husband of course, but we want you to let it try and take possession of him.”
Mazie’s heart jumped in her chest. “Do we have to?”
“No, but that’s when it’s at its most vulnerable. If we can catch it at that moment, then it won’t have time to defend itself.”
“But what if it takes him?”
“Then we take him to someone who will exorcise it. Most demons run just at the sight of me. They don’t like angels, even though I’m not completely one. Demons like that are scared of it.” Victor explained. “But if it chooses to stubbornly stay in his body then we will take him to someone more powerful.”
“okay” This situation had her terrified but these two beings seemed like her best shot. They seemed so confident, like they had already been through so much. She was willing to trust them and try whatever they wanted as long as Cayne was up for it as well. Honestly, if they didn’t turn to these two what else could they do? Luck was shining down on them and she considered herself too blessed to question them too much. Besides, she firmly believed in her heart nothing in the world could cause Cayne to harm her. Demons and humans, if one chose to believe in them were in completely different leagues but still, Cayne could never harm her or their son.
Something concerning did dawn on her though so she asked “if it chooses to cling to him, would exercising the demon hurt Cayne?”
“Not really, this demon would have to be a lot stronger for that to be a huge concern. From what we know of him, we don’t have to worry.”
When Cayne got home, he practically ran through the door. Even completely worn out, he was ready to protect Mazie and Leopold and both Faline and Victor could tell he was in defense mode. “Where’s Leo?” He asked as he moved across the room to Mazie.
“At the kitchen table doing his homework.”
“Are you alright?” He looked her over and she smiled lovingly at him.
“I’m fine baby, they’re here to help, I promise.” She gently pulled him down to sit next to her. “It’s okay.” She turned to their guests. “This is Faline and her husband Victor.”
He looked at them suspiciously. “You’re really here to help? You’re not getting our hopes up for nothing right?”
“No, of course not. We’re going to chase that thing away.” Faline said gently.
“Cayne, honey, take a breath.” Mazie said as she rubbed the back of his neck.
“I’m sorry, I’m just tired and on edge and scared.” He sighed. “Thank you for coming, really, I’m not trying to be short tempered.”
“We understand, trust us. We have a plan if you’d care to hear it.” Cayne nodded and Faline explained what they wanted to do, promising again that everyone would come out of this alive and safe.
Cayne nodded again. “I don’t care what it does to me, I just want Mazie and Leo safe.”
“Cayne.” Mazie reprimanded.
“I mean it, losing you and Leo would be the end of me. I’ll do whatever it takes.”
When it came time for the possession to happen Cayne was ready. He of course hoped it all went perfectly but he was ready, even for it to go badly. He just needed this to end, for his family to be safe. Faline and Victors experience dealing with things like this paid off and they took care of the demon in it’s weakened state as it tried to possess Cayne. Now Cayne and Mazie could see what it looked like, what had been tormenting their son and they stood there in horror. Seeing it, seeing how grotesque it was made them feel even worse. He was only eight and it made them wonder if he’d ever sleep well again. Mazie hugged Leo and soon Cayne joined the hug “we’ll be taking him to hell now” Faline said as she began dragging the creature off “yes, you three are safe” Victor added. Mazie looked up and into his eyes “thank you both so much”
“You don’t have to thank us, no one deserves to be tormented. Just try and get some rest now, it won’t be coming back, I promise.” Faline said.
Leo broke away from his parents and hugged both of them. “Thank you.”
“You’re a hero, you know that Leo, you saved your parents.” Victor said as he patted the boys head.
“He’s right, you’re so young yet you faced that thing head on.” Faline added. “Now make sure your dad gets some sleep.”
Faline and Victor waited until they were outside to open the portal and step through, now wanting to further traumatize this family. Leopold slept in his parents room for the rest of the night, Cayne falling asleep the minute his head touched the pillow. It was almost like he had passed out in his exhaustion, his body finally just giving out. Mazie was glad it was the weekend so they could all sleep in.
Not a soul stirred in their home until almost two in the afternoon Saturday. They were all so behind on sleep and living in that much stress has truly taken a toll on each of them. The house itself had been oppressing, they just hadn’t noticed until the entity was gone. “I vote this family has a fun day out. Maybe bowling then we’ll go out to eat, Leopold’s choice?”
“I think that sounds perfect. We should do something Sunday too because I think he’s done all his weekend homework already”
“yep!” Leo said excitedly then ran to his room to change his clothes “we’re going to shower baby!” Mazie yelled and her son yelled back “Okay mom!” she was eager to go have fun with her family but she just felt she needed a shower before hand.
“I could stay in here forever.” Cayne said as he held Mazie under the warm water. “I didn’t realize how tense I was, everything’s so sore.”
“I’m just glad everything’s back to normal.” She pulled back enough to press a kiss to his lips. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” They held each other a little while longer then washed and rinsed. Cayne dried both of them, not realizing how much he had missed small intimate moments like that with her. That monster had nearly taken the the love of his life. It was devastating to even think about. There was no way he could have lived with himself if he had hurt her or Leo. They quickly dressed and Leopold jumped up from the couch, looking so happy that it had them both choking up a little. They would never doubt him again when he told them something was wrong.
They walked to the car together and buckled up, Leo almost instantly saying “I want to go to the bowling place with the really cool balls”
“alright son” he found it in his GPS and before long they were pulling into the parking lot and parking their car. Cayne went ahead and paid for three games before they got started since that was the average their son stayed interested in bowling. They didn’t know if it was because things had been so tense for awhile but he ended up wanting to play many more rounds than just three but Cayne didn’t mind. He just wanted to make his family happy, especially Leo. He wanted his little boy to forget about the demon and just return to being the happy, always smiling kid he had been before all this. When Leo got to the point he couldn’t bowl another game they let him pick where he wanted to eat.
If Cayne could read minds he’d already know that the events that had unfolded in their home were far from Leo’s mind. It all may aswell had been years ago when it came to how much he cared about it now. He trusted the two people that had come to help. They said it was all over so Leo felt it truly was. Things were happy again, they were how they were before and Leo wasn’t going to waste a second worrying over that creature ever again.
~ The End