The clearing was silent. The leaves fluttered in the trees. The new blooms of spring were out.
“Nonsense,” Eric broke the silence, “Not yet!”
Steven looked at Eric, “No, really, we should go.”
“You can’t just leave him with bloody holes through his hands and feet,” Eric retorted as he pointed at Doy.
“He’s got eh point,” Doy whispered so only Steven could hear him. He was rubbing his hands, obviously in pain.
Steven whispered back, “What the hell do I tell them then?”
“Dunno,” Doy shrugged as he started to rub the blood off his hand with his shirt, “Just do sunthing! Em gonna bleed to death!”
Steven looked back at Eric across the clearin, “Uh, I mean…Eh, suuure?”
“Shawri, Ix, get to it,” Eric smiled and walked back toward the road.
“Wait!” Doy called out, “What’re ya gonna do teh me?”
Eric brushed him off with a wave of his hand. Suddenly Shawri and Ix appeared behind Steven and Doy. Shawri grabbed Doy by the shoulders. He seemed calm but had a firm grip on Doy’s shoulders, “Come with me, Mr. Wilson.”
Ix did the same to Steven and he and Doy were pushed to the road. Steven heard a bird chirp as it landed on the ground a few yards in front of him. He wanted to be free like the bird. Not like when he got high but to be TRUELY free. Suddenly he heard a slow and steady motor of a car. It turned the corner and came towards Steven. As it stopped in front of him, the bird flew off into the sky.
“Get in,” Eric said as he stuck his hand down the head hole of his cloak and pulled out a cigar.
“I…,” Steven was about to protest but a blunt object hit him in the head.
“Is he awake,” Steven heard a muffled voice say as he slowly opened his eyes.
Steven tried to rub his eyes but his hands were somehow restrained. He blinked and opened his eyes. He looked around.
“Yep,” Eric’s voice answered, “He’s awake.”
Steven’s eyes bolted open and darted around what he thought was a room. After hyperventilating for a few seconds, he looked around. He was in the back of a van. Two people were in front of him, both in seats. One was a hooded Brotherhood Priest in the passenger’s seat. The other was an unhooded priest that was bald and had a long brown beard. Steven noticed a bookshelf connected to the wall of the van oppisite of him. It was filled with files and large old books. To his left was Gabbenstein and to his right was Doy. They were restrained and layed against the wall too. Towards the trunk door of the van was where the armored man, Ix, and Shawri stood holding on to bars on the ceiling to help them stand.
Steven finally got a good look at Shawri and Ix. Shawri was African-American and Ix was Caucasian. Shawri had extremely long brown hair that went down to his waist. It was put it into dreadlocks and covered his face. Ix had buzzed hair like Dewy. He had a barely visible stubble too.
Steven heard a snap and flinched.
“Hey,” Eric’s voice came from the passenger’s seat, “Wake up!”
“Tah hell?” Dewy opened his eyes and looked at Eric.
“Where are you taking us?!” Steven spouted as soon as he heard Eric.
Eric sighed, “Wait… And see…”
“Wait, wait, wha?” Dewy chipped in, obviously confused.
Eric didn’t respond.
“Hey!” Steven screamed at Eric, “I asked you a question!”
With this, Gabbenstein awoke, “Uh, he… Helloz?”
Eric seemed to pinch his nose or face palm. Steven couldn’t tell because his large hood shadowed him, “Now you woke up the smart-aleck-blabber-mouth!”
“Whatz?” Gabbenstein shook his head, “Where amz I?”
Steven looked at Gabbenstein, “This d**k has taken us captive!”
Gabbenstein seemed annoyed, “Thatz not whatses I asked.”
Steven banged his head against the metal wall and clinched his fists, “Why are you all oblivious to the situation?”
“What tah hell, man? E’m here too!” Doy retorted.
“You don’t seem to be complaining about it!” Steven yelled back, gritting his teeth at Dewy.
Eric slammed his fist on the dashboard. He turned around and stuck his head into the space in between the seats, “I SAID SHU…,” Eric was cut off as the van hit a bump in the road, knocking his hood off.
For the first time, Steven saw Eric’s face. He was a pasty-white Caucasian. He had semi-long, spiky brown hair that mostly hung out of his face. But something about him shocked Steven. His irises were non-existent and his pupils were pale yellow. He had three large scars on his face. One was across his left eye, one across his nose, and another across his right eye.
Steven tried to stand and run at this horrid sight but his hand restraints, well, restrained him. Dewy and, surprisingly, the Mothman Brotherhood members did the same. Gabbenstein sat still and looked around, confused. Then he made an ‘oh, I’m stupid’ face and pretended to be shocked too. The driver heard the commotion and looked at Eric. His eyes bulged and he gasped. The van swerved. The books and files on the shelf flew everywhere. One of the books hit the driver in the head and he was brought back to Earth. He slammed on the brakes and the van stopped. One of the books were thrown into the window and it shattered.
“WHA TAH HELL?!” Doy screamed.
Steven put his hand over his mouth and let out a quiet whimper, “How do you see?”
“Sir?” Ix stood at the farthest corner of the van away from Eric.
“You never told us…,” The large armored man now seemed much smaller.
Shawri couldn’t even speak, “I… I…”
Gabbenstein seemed dumbfounded again before catching himself, “Oh, so… Soz surprising!”
Luckily, no one paid attention to him.
The driver blinked, “Wh… Why, sir?”
Eric ignored them, “You could of gotten us killed!” Eric put his hand down his cloak’s head-hole and pulled out a handgun and put it to the driver’s head, “You fool,” He fired.
Blood blasted all over the windows and seats. The driver slumped down and hit the wheel of the car. The top half of his head was destroyed. His brains were all over the driving wheel and the dashboard.
“H… How do you see?” Steven repeated.
Eric gritted his teeth and looked at Steven with a red face. Gabbenstein smirked and let out a little chuckle, “Nowz it’s Eric’s turnses!”
“IT’S MY TURN TO SPEAK,” Eric yelled. He climbed to the back of the van and put his hand on Steven’s face. He put his fingernails into Steven’s skin until Steven started bleed. Steven started to struggle but, before he could get him off, Eric pushed Steven’s head back and he fell on the floor.
“What the..?” Steven mumbled as he passed out.
Steven’s vision was shallowed up in darkness. After a few seconds, he opened his eyes. He was sitting at a desk with a pencil in his hand. He was writing but, oddly, he couldn’t move by himself. He could only see what his body was doing. Steven struggled to move, but he couldn’t.
“Sweetie!” Steven heard a female voice and his head turned and his body stood up. The room he was in was very unfamiliar.
“Yes, Mom?” Steven’s mouth opened to respond.
Did he just say ‘Mom?’ Steven thought.
Steven’s body opened the door of the room and walked out to a small hall. He looked at a picture on the wall of the hall. It was of a small boy, maybe 12 or 13, with semi-long spiky brown hair and green eyes with a short woman with blonde hair and, too, green eyes.
That face of that boy, Steven thought, is somehow familiar.
The woman spoke again in her cheerful voice, “Come into the living room, Eric, dear!”
ERIC! What the hell is he doing to me?
Steven’s body opened a door at the end of the hall and walked into a living room. The blonde woman from the picture sat on the couch. When she saw Steven’s body, she smiled, “Sit down, Eric.”
She called ME Eric? Steven asked himself.
Again, Steven’s mouth opened to speak, “What’s up, mom?” He sat on a foot-rest.
“Well, sweetie,” The woman’s smile shifted a bit, “I’ve been thinking about starting dating…”
“Mom, I don’t want to offend you but…,” Steven felt a sigh escape his mouth, “I just… Do what you want,” A slight smile crept up on his face.
The so-called-mom’s eyes widened in surprise, “Are you sure? Becuase I won’t do it if you don’t want me to!”
“No, no, mom. I promise I don’t care.”
They both smiled and Steven’s body walked out of the living room and back to the bedroom to write.
Or that’s what he thought.
As soon as he entered the room, he flipped the desk and slung everything around the room in a rage. He jumped on a bed and screamed into a pillow. When he lifted his head, he was absolutely bawling.
“Why Dad? Why did God take you?” The body cried.
Steven started to feel a little sad too, What’s wrong with m… My body… This kid?
He started to feel exhausted after crying for an hour or so. He layed down on the pillow and drifted to sleep.
“Wake up, Eric!” An old, scratchy, maybe demonic, voice said. Steven’s body jerked up.
Steven almost thought he had control of his body when he saw what he saw. He and his body jerked back in shock. He was still standing on his bed but everything around him was burning grass or blood-red rock ground. A few feet off stood a menacing sight. It was humanoid but… Not human. It had gray, leathery skin. It had two legs with three giant claws coming out of its feet and the same with its arms and hands. Its limbs were thin but its body was very large. It was naked and had moth-like wings protruding from its arms. They weren’t connected to its sides like a mothman. They just got thinner the closer they got to the ground. It sort of resembled a sting-ray. Its head was almost non-existent. It was so short on heigth that it looked like it was just apart of his upper body. It had two bulging red eyes that were gridded and took up most of the room on its small head. The mouth on the thing had jagged, pointed teeth and had red liquid hanging from it. Two fluffy antennas on the top of its head that drooped down.
“Do you miss your pa, Eric?” The monster smiled creepily, “Do you want to see him again?”
Steven wanted to shake his head and go back home himself but his body nodded.
“Well, here he is,” Said the monster as fire protruded from the ground beside him. When the fire cleared a tall man sat there.
The man had messy, brown hair and blue eyes. He was thin but strong-looking. He wore green camouflaged pants and large black boots. He had a tattered white T-shirt that had a weapon strap around it. Around his neck were two dog tags. He smiled, “Hello, Eric!”
As much as Steven tried to run away from the monster and the man, his body ran towards the man and hugged him. His body started to cry but screamed with happiness, “Dad! I’ve missed you! I love you so much!”
The man smiled again and faded away.
Steven’s body dropped on its knees and held its eyes and he started to bawl again.
Steven felt a leathery hand rest on his shoulder and he looked up to see the monster. It almost seemed sad itself, “I am Mothman,” It said, “If you do what I say, then you will see your father every night when you sleep. Is it a deal?”
Steven’s body nodded franticly, “Whatever you say!”
“I’ll give you more details later,” The monster said, “For now… I want you to do me a big favor!”
Steven’s body wiped the tears out of his eyes and smiled, “What is it? I’ll do anything!”
“Take the life of his spouse.”
Steven’s body’s smile shifted, “You… You mean k… Kill my mom?”
Mothman seemed to nod with its oddity of a head, “But can’t you see she has only betrayed you and your father by dating other men. Can’t you see?”
“I… I guess,” Steven’s mouth paused and spoke again, “No, no!”
“Well then you can’t see!” Mothman smiled and slung up his right hand and clawed Steven’s face. The pain hurt so much. Steven tried to scream but his body did instead.
Blood poured all over Steven’s body from his cuts on his face. He tried to see and run but he had been blinded.
“IS IT A DEAL?!” Mothman’s scratchy voice yelled into Steven’s ear as he picked him up and threw him onto his bed.
Steven started to nod again, “YES, YES, YES, IT’S A DEAL!”
Steven’s body jerked up from sleep again but this time he was back in the destroyed bedroom.
“Eric, my first date is coming over in an hour! Please get ready!” The woman’s voice got louder as it continued to speak.
In a few seconds, the woman opened the bedroom. She was about to speak again when she saw the state of the bedroom. She started to cry and ran back out to the hall. Steven noticed he could see again.
“Wait, Mom!” Steven screamed after the woman.
He walked over to the flipped desk and picked up the note. He read what was written on it.
Dear Doctor Gabbenstein,
I can’t believe you betrayed your own military to try and help my father! I know it was in vain but I still really do appreciate you. Do you think you could ever come to America? I know you love Germany but I just want you to visit. Anyway, life is pretty good. Christmas is a month away and then New Years is right afterwards! 1948 went by too quickly for my likings thou-
It ended there.
Steven’s body clinched its fist and sat for a few minutes.
Steven got to thinking. After two minutes or so, he figured it out, Am I Eric?
Steven’s body stood up and walked into the hall.
He heard the woman sobbing. She called after him again, “Please, Eric!”
Yes! Yes, I AM Eric! Steven stopped in his thoughts, NO! NO, I’M ERIC!
Eric walked into the kitchen, oppisite to the living room, and opened a cabinet door. He took out a butcher knife and clenched it in his hands. He walked a few feet and stopped, “What am I doing?” Eric said quietly to himself.
Steven heard the sound of flames behind him. Eric turned around and saw Mothman.
Mothman looked at Eric, “Lucifer has only gave me a few minutes so listen,” Said Mothman, “Your mother is betraying you! Don’t you want to see your father again?”
“I do but…,” Eric paused, “And I am willing to sacrifice my mother but… I can’t do it myself. I don’t want to see her like that!”
“Then you don’t have to,” Mothman smiled.
“Yes!” Mothman laughed and, again, clawed Eric’s eyes. Once again, Steven felt the pain.
“Eric? Are you okay?” Steven heard Eric’s mom yell from the living room.
“He’s just fine!” Mothman replied.
Eric’s mom threw open the living room and ran into the kitchen.
“Go ahead, Eric, do it!” Mothman said.
Eric’s mom screamed and ran over to Eric, “It’s okay, Eric!” She looked at his face, “WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BABY?”
“ERIC! DO IT, NOW!”
Eric held the knife tighter, “I’m sorry, Mom…,” Eric stabbed the knife through his mother’s back. She gasped and fell back. Her blood staining the wooden floor.
Eric opened his eyes. ‘His’ eyes.
Steven’s vision was red and gridded. He saw Eric sitting on the ground. He then seemed surprised as if he was seeing what Steven was seeing.
Mothman started to speak, “I have not blinded you, Eric. I have truely opened your eyes. You can see through my eyes and through the eyes of the ones you put through the ritual.”
Steven saw Eric get swooped up by leathery hands and walked into the living room. He walked to the living room and dropped Eric. He turned around and Steven saw himself pick up Eric’s mother’s corpse with the leathery hands. He then put here in the living room with Eric.
“All you need is a little blood,” Mothman whispered. Steven felt himself laying in blood but he what he saw was from someone, or something, else.
Steven felt blood as the leathery hand rip through Eric’s mother and pull some of her organs out, “Watch this, Eric,” Mothman continued.
The hand rubbed its fingers along the carpet of the room for a few seconds and then backed up. Steven saw a pentagram made of blood on the floor. He picked Eric’s mother up and put her in the middle of the pentagram.
Steven heard Mothman’s voice again, “This ritual is very simple.”
Darkness shallowed up Steven’s vision again. He opened his eyes to see he was back in the van.
Eric was back in the passenger’s seat, “It was a gift from Mothman,” He said grimly.