Michael pulls his two siblings closer to him. He is holding them so tightly their skin is on the verge of being attached to his. The screams and noise from upstairs continues. The voices are so distinct and recognizable.
Pastor Frederick is the most vocal. He sounds like a broken record as he screams the same words over and over again, “Get out, get out, I command you to get out!”
Michael and his twin nine year old siblings, Samuel and Samantha, have been in the lounge the whole night. Their father had told them that their mother was sick and needed help. Michael who has just turned thirteen years of age knows that his mother is more than sick, something is really wrong with her. She has not been the same for some time now.
A few days ago Michael saw her slashing her wrists with a butcher knife. She was speaking in a language he has never heard before. On that day, Michael ran like rabbit and called his father for help. He had seen enough horror movies to know that his mother is probably possessed. The visit of Pastor Frederick to their house tonight only confirmed his suspicions.
His uncle Tommy who has been staying with them for the past few days was part of the team upstairs trying to help his mother. Michael had been tasked with an all too familiar role of babysitting the twins. They could also sense something was wrong even though the family had done its best to keep them in the dark. The TV had done some good work to distract them from the activities on the upper floor of the house. Once or twice they would all hear furniture from upstairs being tossed around and the twins would register concern on their faces.
The twins are now getting tired because their usual shut eye time had come and gone. They have employed Michael to be their temporary pillow as each of them rests their dark haired heads on his chest. Samuel’s hair is cropped into a buzz cut while Samantha has shoulder length hair.
The cartoons on TV are distasteful to Michael because his main priority is what is happening to his mother upstairs and whether she will be fine. He would do anything to be up there now. But his father had been adamant that he should stay down stairs with his younger brother and sister until they told him otherwise. This is already shaping into being a long night but Michael doesn’t care, it is a Friday which means there is no school tomorrow so it doesn’t matter what time he sleeps.
The noise from upstairs soon elevates above the TV.
The twins raise up their heads like ostriches and Samuel asks, “What is going on, Michael?”
The ruckus from the guest room upstairs continues. The banging on the walls, the screeching noise of a table being dragged on the floor and the shattering of glass are all audible noises impossible to ignore.
“It is okay guys just try to calm down and enjoy the cartoons.”
Instantly the lights go out and the three children are wrapped in blinding darkness. The twins become a choir of screams. Initially Michael had panicked and his body was shivering in fear, then he realized he had to calm down the twins before their screaming cause his ears to bleed.
He grabs them both and brings them into his arms, “Guys calm down, it’s okay. You are fine. I am with you.”
The words do wonders to assuage Sam and Sam. Michael can feel their pounding hearts which were beating from their chests into his ribs begin to slow down. He frees them from the darkness with the glow of the torch from his phone. The half open curtains with light peeking in from the street lamps outside is enough to show them that the rest of the neighborhood still has power.
“Michael? What is happening?” Samantha questions her older brother.
“I don’t know but I want to find out,” Michael replies as he stands up. He treads to the window and looks outside.
“It seems like there has been an electrical fault of some sort. I will have to get dad to check it out,” mentions Michael.
“You can’t leave us!” both twins say at the same time as they run to him and hug his legs.
“Well, you can’t come with me. I will leave the torch with you,” Michael tries to convince them.
“No no no please don’t leave. Please don’t leave us. We are scared Michael, very scared,” the twins sing out their pleas in unison.
Michael sighs because he knows he has no way of effectively persuading them to stay down here alone. “Okay fine you can come with me. But stay close and do as I say.”
The twins bob their heads in agreement like dolls. When they are all heading for the stairs, Michael realizes something odd, since the power went out there is complete silence upstairs. It has become quiet like a church on weekdays. Not a single sound comes from above and that concerns Michael.
As soon as they enter the hallway upstairs, they are greeted by a mutilated hand lying on the floor. Once again the twins exercise their lungs with a shrieking scream. The hand is unmistakable, it belongs to their father. His golden Rolex is still attached to his wrist, the white long sleeved shirt he was wearing today and the wedding ring Michael has never seen him without are still on the hand that is swimming in a shallow pool of blood. Alarm bells begin ringing in Michael’s head and he can’t find the words to calm down his siblings. Sam and Sam have once again wrapped their arms around his legs making it hard for him to move.
“Is that daddy’s hand?” Samuel whimpers.
“I don’t know,” lies Michael. “But we need to keep moving,” he says as he ushers his siblings to speed past the hand and head to the guest room at the far end of the hallway.
Michael wants to get them away from the disfigured hand as soon as possible. But the sight in the guest room is worse than the hallway. As soon as Michael opens the door, the lifeless body of Pastor Frederick comes to view. His chubby body is pinned to the wall with nails. His fat arms are stretched out wide and his feet are secured together with one nail just like Jesus on the cross. His face is bloody, in place of his eyes there are two red holes enumerating his eyeballs have been plucked out. Rills of blood are streaming down his cheeks. His neck is sliced open exposing his esophagus. Blood is flowing from his neck, soaking his clothes and pooling the floor below his body.
Michael gasps and redirects his torch to glimmer elsewhere around the room. No one else is there but everything has been tossed about. The bed is flipped upside down, the windows have been smashed and everything else seems broken. The room looks like it has just survived a tornado.
Samantha is so shocked she backs herself into the hallway with her blue eyes filled with tears.
“Samantha baby come to me,” a voice whispers from behind her.
She spins around and at the other end of the hallway she sees a figure briskly walk into her parent’s room and close the door. The person walked fast, but a child always knows her mother when she sees her.
“Mummy?” Samantha says as she moves towards her parents’ bedroom.
“Come to me baby,” the voice repeats with an echo.
Samantha runs to her parent’s bedroom expecting to see her mother. As she reaches the room, the door swings open by itself like the automatic doors of a convenient store. Inside the room a river of blood has flooded the carpet and tiles. The walls are decorated with body parts of arms, legs, fingers and toes. On the bed there is the disfigured head of her uncle Tommy, his eyes are missing and his mouth is wide open with four fingers sticking out of his lips. Samantha shrieks like a siren.
Michael and Samuel run to her.
“Damn it Samantha I told you to stay close to me,” Michael says as he grabs and drags her to the door of the bedroom.
Michael’s mouth gaps in amazement as he sees the horrific design in his parents’ bedroom. He almost jumps out of his skin when he notices someone is standing a meter to his right. He turns towards the figure and his blood runs cold. It’s his mother. But it isn’t the mother he remembers.
Her long brunette hair is masking most of her face making it difficult to pick out her exact facial features. But behind all the hair hanging over her face, Michael can see two yellow orbs leering at him. The few visible patches of the skin on her neck, hands and legs is riddled with veiny black lines. The woman’s white night gown is stained red with blood. She is growling like a bear and breathing out heavily like the exhaust pipe of an eighteen wheeler.
Michael screams, scoops up the twins into his arms and sprints for his bedroom. As he runs down the hallway, he glances back and sees his mother hot on his tail. She is sprinting as if her great grandparents were horses and is accelerating like she is being powered by electricity.
Michael has never seen her like this before. This is definitely not his mother. She is pursuing them like a blood hound tracking a bunny. But her children had a good head start over her, so Michael manages to reach his bedroom and shut the door behind him.
His mother throws her body to the door and begins to assault the long piece of wood with her fists. Like a boxer training for a crucial match, she throws punches to the door like darts. The twins are screaming and crying in terror. Michael locks the door and barricades it with his bookshelf and every other piece of furniture he can find. The light from their neighbors’ house is peering through the room’s curtains for them to see. Michael had dropped his phone when they were being chased by their mother down the hallway.
He rushes to the twins and tries to sedate them with assuring words that everything will be fine. They don’t respond as he wants and they continue to scream and cry. Michael runs his hands through his matted brown hair as he wonders what to do.
“Listen to me guys we will have to jump out the window and go look for help,” he finally says as he smashes his bedroom window open.
The words freak out the twins even more, “what? That is insane we are two stories from the ground, we will be hurt,” Samantha says with a voice connoted with trepidation.
“Do you want to kill us?” Samuel also chimes in.
Michael glances to the door that is enduring severe abuse from his mother’s fists. He begins to think there is a rhino on the other side of the door. Splinters of wood are flying everywhere and cracks are now appearing on the door as it is close to giving in to the pressure being applied to it. The barricade Michael had set up is not helping. He knows there is no time to argue.
He violates the ‘ladies first rule’ as he grabs Samuel and throws him out the window. The young boy is pulled by gravity until his body collides with the well trimmed grass of their yard.
Samantha kicks and screams when Michael comes for her, he swiftly seizes her and throws her out of the window.
When Michael looks out the window, he sees the twins are fine besides some minor bruises and cuts they have sustained. Samantha has a gash on her arm while Samuel has bruised his knee but they would both clearly live.
Michael looks back at the door and sees his mother has half her body through his blockade. She is bashing away the remaining pieces of the door. Michael turns towards the window and dives out.
As the strong hold of gravity yanks him down, he is surprised when he freezes in mid-air half way down to the ground. He becomes aware of the strong grip around his bony left ankle.
He stares back and sees his mother holding him firmly. Her grip is out muscling gravity. As she glowers at her son, her mouth is drooling of black saliva and her jagged teeth are smeared by a dark and glistening goo. Her long pronged finger nails are deeply thrust into Michael’s flesh which makes the teenager scream.
Mum effortlessly pulls him back into his room.