I squirmed around violently, kicking and screaming loudly as the beast refused to let me down, to go to my mother. He slowly walked towards my mother’s hurt body, still dangling me in his outstretched arm. My eyes hurt as I cried, my chest heaving as I tried to fight against the grip of his beast.
I woke up gasping for air as my heart beat hard in my chest. I shot up into a sitting position, realising that tears were running down my face. Goosebumps rose on my skin even though I was sweating. A mixture of coldness and warmth swirled around under my skin. I wiped my forehead with the back of my hand, ridding myself of the fear clearly displayed in droplets across my skin. I laid back down and stared up at the ceiling, patches of dampness splotched around. My eyes wandered to the leak in the corner of the room, drops of water dripping from the plaster every few seconds. A stomach churning combination of smoke, alcohol and damp flew up my nose, making me gag. I hated this place, but it was as close to home as I could get.
I barely had any furniture, just this lumpy mattress for a bed, a boggy toilet in the corner of the room, a shabby bookcase slumped against the wall as it struggled to keep itself up. The only thing on the bookcase was a framed picture of me and my parents on my fifth birthday, a week before it all happened, when my parents were stolen from me. I couldn’t look at it without being stung by the pain of loss.
I had a red pointy party hat on, the string digging into my chin. White icing was smeared over my face as I grinned at the camera. My parents had their arms around me, their perfect white teeth blinding as they smiled. My mother’s hair fell perfectly past her shoulders, her eyes sparkling as my father’s scruffy but still presentable hair sat on his head. His smile sent a warm tingle down my spine. We all loved each other. We were happy, perfect even. But the man taking the picture, pulling a funny face behind the camera to make me smile, was the one who ruined that, who changed everything.
I clenched my fists by my sides, but I tried focusing back on my parents, their arms around me, squeezing me tight, lovingly. I like to think they’re looking down on me, guiding me slowly through my life. But then again if they were, they would see what I am, what I do to others. I didn’t want that.
Suddenly there was that all too familiar knock at my door. I tried thinking about my old life, my parents, but the knocks grew louder. I pulled the hard pillow from under my head and put it over my face, squeezing my eyes shut. I could hear my mother’s voice, trying to comfort me, reassuring me that dad will be okay. But that constant knock dragged me back to reality, the only place I didn’t want to be.
I grunted, pulling myself off of the mattress, ready to yell at Harry to go before Zed heard him again. I pulled on a baggy top and tugged a pair of old denim jeans over my not so skinny thighs before I angrily marched to the door, slamming my hand against the wood.
“Leave me alone! I don’t want you here! Just fuck off!” I screamed through the door. Then a low voice cut through the door, bellowing at me. I gasped, taking a shaky step back. My body trembled as he yelled at me through the door.
“What the fuck did you say to me?!” he roared, making the glass in the window rattle, the door shaking on its hinges. I stuttered, taking several more steps back from the door. He’s finally come for his money.
Suddenly the door flew open, one of the hinges wrenched apart. The feeble door slammed into the wall, now hanging on one hinge. Zed stood in the doorway, his face red with fury.
“I-I’m sorry, Zed. I thought you were someone else,” I said frantically, my voice trembling with fright. I took another step back as he marched into the flat, the objects in the room shaking. I suddenly heard a smash come from behind me. I spun my head around quickly, praying it wasn’t what I thought it was. But it was.
Tears swelled in my eyes. My picture frame laid face down on the floor in front of the bookcase, shattered glass surrounding it. My only picture of my parents in the original frame was ruined. My bottom lip quivered, silent tears rolling down my face. But suddenly Zed grabbed hold of the hair on the back of my head, wrenching my head round to face him. I cried out, scrunching up my face as he pulled harder on my hair, tilting my head back. I stared up at the ceiling as he spat at me.
“Where’s my money?!” he yelled.
Silence grew between us as I tried to think of an answer. But I left it too long. Suddenly a large hand slapped my cheek. My head was thrown to the side, but Zed tugged harshly onto my hair, pulling me to face him again. I swallowed hard, Zed close to ripping the hair out of my head. I whimpered as he pulled me closer to him, his breath on my neck sending daggers down my spine.
“I-I don’t have it,” I stuttered, squeezing my eyes shut. “But I will soon. Just give me time. I’ll…”
But I was cut off when he kneed me roughly in the stomach. I yelped, falling to my knees. I placed my hand over my stomach, bowing my head as tears ran down my cheeks. My messy hair fell around my face as I sensed Zed’s big-built body towered over mine watching me sobbing on the ground.
I sensed my neighbour slowly crouch down in front of me. I shrunk lower, my back bent over as he placed a hand on my shoulder. I held my breath as he got down to my level. A whimper escaped my mouth as he cupped my chin, forcing my head back up, his other hand still squeezing my shoulder tight. His fingertips dug into my cheeks as he snarled at me.
“Are you going to give me my money now?” he asked. I bit my bottom lip harshly, slowly shaking my head. I cringed as a frown morphed on his ugly face.
“I told you, I don’t have it,” I croaked. My body shivered as I felt Zed pressed his hand against the middle of my back before he punched me hard in the stomach again. I screamed out, wrapping my arms around myself. His lips grazed my ears as he spoke.
“Wrong answer,” he whispered.
He finally let go of me. I curled up, sobbing silently. Zed jumped up, making the whole room shake. My sobbing grew louder as he grabbed my upper arm and forced me up onto my feet, pulling me closer to him. I scrunched up my face as he glared at me, grabbing my arms in his large rough hands.
“I’m going to ask you again,” he muttered to me, his spit spraying my face. I squeezed my eyes shut, every muscle in my body tense. “Where is my money?”
“I don’t know,” I mumbled, tears thickening in my eyes. He suddenly screamed out as I was pushed away from him and flung backwards. I stumbled uncontrollably until I lost my balance. I strained every muscle in my body as I fell back, preparing myself for pain.
I gasped as my back crashed into the mattress, my chest heaving. I stared up at the ceiling, feeling so vulnerable, so useless. Then my whole body suddenly grew warm, tingles spreading over my skin. The urge, it was back.
‘No!’ I screamed inside of my head, using the rest of my energy I had to fight against it. I won’t do it again. I won’t kill anyone else. I clenched my fists, digging my fingernails into my palms. I squeezed my eyes shut, but it only made me want it more. My throat grew dry, my muscles feeling stronger. I knew that in a minute I would give into it, I would kill Zed. I quickly sat up, opening my mouth to shout at Zed, tell him to run away, but he suddenly pounced on me. He pushed me to lie back down, straddling me. I squirmed around under him, feeling my pupils grow bigger, strengthening my vision, the energy inside of me growing larger, stronger.
“Get away from me!” I screamed, trying to free my arms from between his legs. “Please. I’ll hurt you. I really will. I don’t want to, but I will!” I stared up at him, knowing inside I’m losing the battle against the urge.
Zed snorted before slapping me across the face. My head flew to the side, my cheek screaming out in pain. I turned my head, about to protest once more, but he slapped me in the face again. I grunted, knowing that any moment now I would be what I was made to be.
My muscles ripped as my strength grew by the second. I suddenly stopped squirming, glaring up at him. I could feel my body slowly being taken over by this demon inside of me. His face fell as he stared down at me, his jaw dropping as he saw the venom in my eyes. His eyes widening as he lowered his arm back down.
“What the…” he started. Suddenly he was wrenched off of me by the shoulders. My breaths grew quicker, sharper as Zed was flung across the room. I bolted up, staring at a familiar curly haired figure. He pulled Zed off of the ground and pinned him against the wall, balls of Zed’s shirt in his large fists. A smirk stained Zed’s face as he stared at Harry forcing him up against the wall, making my blood run cold.
“Oh it’s you again, pretty boy. What are you doing here?”
I could see the anger boiling under Harry’s skin, tempting urge I’ve been keeping a secret to lash out.
Harry moved his face closer to Zed, not blinking at all. I glanced over at the door. If I ran now, then I wouldn’t hurt either of them. I hissed through my teeth, my muscles paining me. But I could smell it, the thing that I longed to taste, to feel. My head shot back to them, my vision sharp, clear as I stared at them. I wanted it. I needed it. Now.
I sprung off of the mattress, suddenly lunging towards them. Zed looked over Harry’s shoulders at me, his eyes widening again. Harry quickly followed his gaze, looking over his shoulder at me. I stared at Zed, remembering every bruise he caused me, every punch he gave me. I violently shoved Harry to the side and dived to Zed. I screamed out angrily as I clenched my fist, pulling back my arm before I punched him hard in the stomach. I wanted to get him back, to make him feel what it’s like to be someone’s punch bag. He bent his back, hanging his head as he groaned weakly. I grabbed his shoulders, forcing him back up against the wall. The voice in my head, it was screaming at me. I believed that if I gave into it, the screaming would stop, the pain would go away. But it never did.
Do it! It screeched. Kill him!
I closed the gap between us, that all too familiar scent flowing up my nose. But I was pulled back. Someone had a tight grip on my shoulders, yanking me away from my victim. I spun around, instantly lashing out. Before I knew it I had slammed my hands into Harry’s chest, throwing him across the room. He flew back, his arms and legs flailing about as he soared in the air. A Loud grunt echoed in the room as his back smashed into the wall at the opposite side of the room. His head slammed against the brick before he landed heavily on the ground.
Harry’s body was slumped up against the wall, barely moving. Weak groans could be heard tumbling from his unmoving lips, barely able to keep his eyes open. I couldn’t look at him; I couldn’t look at what I’ve done. I spun back around just as Zed dashed out of the flat, his bellowing scream ringing in my ears.
I heard a choked sob fall through Harry’s lips from behind me. My heart twisted in my chest. I had to face hat I had done, however painful that may be. I slowly turned back around. Harry’s weak body was still leaning heavily against the wall, his eyelids drooping. Tears formed in my wide eyes, a smear of blood on the wall behind Harry’s head. I stepped back shakily, placing one hand on the wall behind me to try and balance myself. What have I done? I’m letting it win again, that urge. And it was still there, ordering me to do it to Harry.
“But he needs my help,” I muttered to myself, not being able to take my eyes off of his feeble body, his head tilted to the side as he groaned softly.
I don’t care! the voice told me. Do it. Do it now!