Red cloud shakes
A race that walls immortality
The undying battle of extinction
Who would believe in sanctuary
~ Pantera, “Immortally Insane”
The three of us were upstairs. A mother type, a little girl, and me. All of a sudden the house was filled with the most terrifying evil presence. It looked like a Killer Klown, but that wasn’t quite it. The Klowns’ eyes were empty. This creature had the look of one who had taken over the minds and bodies of many, and was a sick amalgamation of them all. It had power that didn’t come overnight, that was wrenched from others through sadistic, unrelenting brutality.
And it was in the house.
I felt like a trapped animal, because the creature had a heightened awareness like nothing I’d ever encountered. My instincts were sharp, but couldn’t begin to compare to this creature. And so I was more afraid than I’d ever been. Death was inevitable if we didn’t all hide.
I wanted to go back to the basement. Since leaving there, I hadn’t been back, and barely remembered it. But I knew that it would be beautifully black and I could hide there. No one would see me. Part of me knew that wasn’t true, that this ravenous creature would find me. But at least I wouldn’t see it coming. And I’d always been good at hiding. I thought I could find a spot. I had to be more clever than this creature, or I was dead.
And not just dead. Consumed. This creature did not just kill his victims, he raped them of life, mind, and soul. Stole them and made them his. And his powerful mind was searching for me, I could feel it. I needed to hide.
I urgently informed Mother Type and Little Girl that I was going to hide in the basement, and I thought for certain that they would follow. But Mother Type simply said, “I wish that you wouldn’t.” Which I dismissed. She didn’t know how clever I could be. She didn’t understand my self-preservation skills, but that was okay. I’d find a spot and bring her to safety.
But Little Girl was coming with me now. She was my responsibility.
We ventured down to my former home, and it was nothing like I remembered. The comforting darkness I’d hoped would envelope me was compromised by corners of light. A terrible place to hide, with neither doors nor windows for escape. With defeat and resignation, I led Little Girl back upstairs, filled with bitter disappointment. The creature would be there any minute. Maybe we had more time, and we could formulate a plan in the living room.
Mother Type was on the floor, head torn from body. And there before me stood the creature, with fresh blood dripping around his mouth as he smiled an evil and terrifying grin.
It was then that I realized he reminded me of Heath Ledger’s Joker, and I sensed a weak spot. A part of him that remained human. It wasn’t pure; it was the size of a pinhole, but I sensed it, and knew I could win this fight.
“Go outside,” I told Little Girl. “Go play. Everything will be fine.” She obeyed, and I proceeded to engage in a battle of wits with the creature, whose eyes were filled with unadulterated blood lust. Because he sensed that I’d found his Achilles Heel, which made me more desirable to him than ever.
I turned, and Little Girl was screaming to me through the screen door. Behind her, people filled the streets like in the days following September 11th. Frightened, grieving, but grateful for community.
Why weren’t they running away? My brain scrambled and I had no idea how to save anyone, not even myself. But I had to stay. I had to fight. I could take this creature down, somehow. I had to. I was the only one who could see its weak spot.
I turned back around and steeled my resolve. Surely I could access some good in the creature.
The creature was gone. But still in the house. I could feel it, and as others joined Little Girl in imploring me to leave, I knew that I had no choice but to listen. I joined them outside.
People’s panic and terror were waning, and some started to play basketball and chatter. Didn’t they know the creature was still around? Still, I understood where they were coming from. I felt it too. The creature’s presence was fading. Maybe we were all okay.
Wrong. The creature was back, but laying low. The blood on his mouth had dried into a twisted grimace, and he observed the scene with interest. No one was looking at him.
I noticed he’d gotten awfully close to one of the neighbors. Such a hapless innocent! I had to warn him, get him to run!
I opened my mouth to scream, and no sound came out.
The creature’s mouth widened into a smile as he looked at me, then turned to Neighbor, ready to feed once again.
I’d never felt more helpless. Neighbor turned, and saw the creature leaning in.
Neighbor remained still. His expression did not change.
And I noticed he had a sword. But the creature was way too close. It was too late.
Until with controlled force of the deepest focus imaginable, Neighbor ripped his sword upwards, through whatever the creature had for genitalia, through its stomach, chest, neck, and finally head. One clean line. The creature dissolved, soundlessly, into a pool of blood on the street.
Strangely, no one seemed to notice or care. I barely cared myself, as I drifted back to sleep, knowing I was safe once again.