I Have the Sight, page 1
Edward King Book One
I Have the Sight
By Rick Wood
© Copyright Rick Wood 2016
Cover by GoOnWrite
Edited by Writer’s Workshop
Copy Edited by First Editing
No part of this book may be reproduced without the express permission of the author
For the ghosts of my mind that proved that demons can be defeated.
December 31, 1999
He places a wary step onto the porch, cautiously surveying his surroundings. Taking in a deep breath of the cool night air, he takes his hands out of his pockets and tucks his shirt in.
“One needs to be presentable,” Derek had lectured him. “Whether you are meeting the mother or taking on the very depths of hell, a pulled-up tie and a welcoming smile are essential.”
Weeds entangle other weeds, consuming the cracked wooden beams loosely holding up the porch roof. The light above his head flickers erratically, teasing him with a moment of light then snapping it away. The wooden tiles sink beneath his feet; their strength having aged along with the house before them.
In this house is a girl who needs his help. In this house is a girl named Adeline, who stands no chance without him.
He attempts the doorbell and waits. After hearing nothing – no sound of ringing or footsteps approaching – he decides it is likely that the doorbell doesn’t work. So he knocks on the door instead. Four assertive knocks, equally paced, to announce his arrival. Knocking in fours comforts him, puts him at ease; makes him feel calm, as even numbers always have.
The sound of shuffling grows from inside the house. He stands patiently as the sound of numerous locks and bolts are unshackled one by one. Once the nuts and bolts quarantining the house from the outside world are completely loosened, the door creaks ajar, revealing the tired eye of a woman. The eye, as small of a glimpse as he gets, appears haggard and downtrodden. There is a pronounced bag underneath it. The eyebrow above is bushy and unkempt, and the wrinkles of the forehead appear defined.
“Good morning,” he greets her, forcing a warm smile to his face. “I’m here for Adeline.”
“Are you… him?” comes the cautious whisper of the woman behind the door. He senses a vague tone of optimism in her voice mixed with its wariness. He recognizes that tone. He has heard it before in many other victims; it is the shaken voice of a woman at the end of her tether.
“Yes. Yes, ma’am, I am,” he assures her, and allows his forced smile to become genuine. Sure, his welcome may not be as welcoming as he would have hoped, but he already knew he could help this woman. He also knew this victim may lead him to the fiend he has been looking for. “May I come in?”
The woman urgently nods. She continuously nods with elation at the prospect of someone here to help her before realizing she actually needs to open the door. She finally tugs the splintered wooden boards inwards, allowing him to step over the threshold and shut the door behind himself for her.
She slouches, hunched over, peering up at him. They stand in the immediate kitchen, which is a dreadful mess; dirty pots, pans, and mouldy remains of meals have taken over all the surfaces. The blacked-out windows help him realize why the woman was squinting at him as he stood in the doorway at the light that seeped in front behind him. In the corridor beyond the kitchen there is no light, leading him to believe that the blackening of windows must be a consistent feature throughout the house.
He takes hold of her hand in his and shakes it. She flinches at first, cautious as to what he is doing. But his soothing smile calms her and he takes her cold, clammy hand in his and greets her as he would any other human being.
“How have you been?” is the first thing he asks her. Adeline can wait. He will get to her.
“Not… Not so good,” she shakes her head, already welling up.
“I can imagine. The windows – d’you do this?”
“Yes. Yes, I, er… the light. It hurt her. She burned when she was near it.”
He places his bag on the ground beside the front door and takes off his coat. “Er, may I?” he asks, spotting some unused coat hooks beside the door. She shrugs her shoulders and stutters over a few inaudible sounds. He takes that as a yes and hangs his coat up.
He takes a few steps through the kitchen and into the hallway beside the stairs. She follows behind, scuttling like a beetle, led like a rat to the Pied Piper.
He glances at pictures fastened to the walls. Pictures of a young, healthy, happy girl in her healthy adolescence.
“Is this her?”
“Yes… that was her. Before…” The lady looks away. Her arms quiver of their own accord. He wonders whether she has a condition or whether she is just cold. He can see his breath in the air before him.
He studies the picture for a few moments. The girl in this picture is smiling. She has braces, but they do not detract from how pretty or healthy she appears. It is just a picture but she protrudes happiness, someone who is not afraid to be noticed.
He looks at the next picture along. It is of the girl again, in a play, whereby she has centre stage. Her mouth is opened wide, as if a wonderful singing voice is coming out of it.
“Does she like performing?”
“Yes… she did…”
He nods. He turns his attention to the lady before him.
“So, Miss Copple. Beatrice. Is it okay if I call you Beatrice?”
She shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head uncaringly. “Call me whatever you like,” she answers, her eyes filling up. “Just please save my daughter.”
He leans toward her with eyes of sheer sincerity, placing a hand upon each of her shoulders.
“I assure you, Beatrice. There is nothing that will defeat me.”
Her hands clasp together as if in jubilant prayer and her face becomes overjoyed, forced through the tears and pain that etches every part of her expression.
“Can I meet Adeline?” he asks, peering upstairs.
“You can. But I assure you. What is up there is not Adeline.”
“I understand. Would it be okay if I were to meet – ‘it’ – alone?”
Beatrice nods weakly. Placing an assuring hand on her shoulder as he takes to the first step, he takes that as his cue to begin his ascension. He takes each step one at a time, slowly, taking in the aurora of the house. Not only does it look cold, untidy, and unwelcoming; it feels that way too. It feels like this house does not belong to the people who live there. He feels a surge of evil coming at him, stronger and stronger with every step he takes upstairs.
As he reaches the top, he casts his eyes upon the closed bedroom door in front of him. To his left is what is evidently the mother’s bedroom, home to an unmade bed, evidently unslept in, surrounded by tissues hardened by dried tears. To his right is a bathroom, with a protruding odour that would imply that it has been a long time since it was washed.
Before him is a closed door, surrounded by cold air that makes his breath visible. He hears breathing – deep, sinister breathing. He can feel the hatred, the anger, the terror, all exuding from the exposed crevices of the door.
Without another thought he turns the door handle and opens the door slowly, shutting it behind him.
The room is even colder. Ripped paper lies strewn across the floor, and the table and chairs are broken into pieces on the ground. The wallpaper is ripped and the paint cracked. There is barely a part of the wall not covered in some form of Latin writing or demonic painting.
On the single bed before him, with ripped white sheets stained in red, lays a girl. The girl’s hands and feet are individually buckled to the corners of the bed. The wrists, heavily restrained, are scratched and
This is clearly not Adeline. In body, maybe, but not in spirit.
It turns its head and lands its evil eyes upon him. The pupils are fully dilated, her face marked with open wounds and her lips cracked and peeled. It begins laughing. But not the kind of laugh you would expect from a teenage girl, no; it is a deep, crackling laughter that explodes straight through him, reverberating against his bones and sending a freezing chill down his spine.
“Hello, Adeline. Hello, evil spirit that dwells inside. Do you have a name, or should I just continue with ‘evil spirit’?”
The laughter grows louder. It is no longer laughing to disturb him; it is laughing out of genuine humour at the confidence he has brought into the room.
“Laugh all you want, demon, I have faced your brothers, and they were all far worse than you.”
“My brothers?” it speaks slowly, deeply, pronouncing each syllable with particular venom and mocking harshness. “What do you know of my brothers?”
“I know of one I fought in Bath last week, got hold of a nine-year-old girl. It squealed like a pig when I got it out of her.” He takes a step forward, snarling at the creature that does not appear the slightest bit intimidated. “I know of one in Devon a few months ago. I removed it from a woman and I rebuked it until it cried. Tell me, demon…”
He stands directly over the bed, leaning slightly toward a face full of pure evil.
“What kind of sound will you make when I remove you from this child?”
The creature laughs again. “So you’re the one who’s come to save Adeline?”
“Yes, sir,” he speaks clearly. “Yes I am.”
1 May 1984
She was always there. She was there when he slept, she was there when he woke and she was there when he died. There was no escape, and his weakness simply served as encouragement.
Her first appearance occurred when he was eleven. He was riding his bike, chasing his sister through the curving roads of his childhood estate, laughing merrily.
“I’ll catch you!” he teased, eager to play a game with her. Eager to make her like him. But they were moving too fast. They were skidding onto the opposite side of the road as they turned the corners, such was their speed.
“Slow down!” he cried out, but the wind shooting past their ears meant his words were sucked away by the gust before they reached her.
“Cassy, stop!” he bellowed.
It was too late.
Blood splattered across the pavement and her body went rolling in rapid spins over the roof of the car. The last thing Eddie saw before the screeching car hit him was her limp body laid out upon the pavement of the road.
Eddie awoke in a state of confusion. He lifted his head up. He was not in the estate. He was not in the road. He was not next to the car.
He was not on earth.
He lifted himself onto his knees, feeling his head for cuts and bruises. Nothing. He had pummelled into a car at full speed and nothing. No pain in his legs, no marks on his skin, no weakness in his bones. In fact, he wasn’t breathing at all. His heart wasn’t beating and his lungs weren’t expanding. He felt as alive as ever, yet there was no blood flowing through his body.
He lifted his head to look around and an overwhelming illumination hit his eyes.
He was in what felt like a box, yet he couldn’t see the walls that contained him. His surroundings were white – bright-white, almost blindingly so. It was warm, but there was no sun.
He took one step forward and the surroundings dramatically dropped. The white dropped downwards, transforming into a volcanic pit. Beneath him the ground turned into rock, surrounded by dips of spewing, boiling lava, churning and lashing out at the side of the surface his bare feet strode across.
He edged forward, gaging his surroundings, peering with his head left and right. Stones beneath the soles of his feet burnt him with scalding intensity. He was forced to walk on the tip of his toes to avoid scorching the base of his feet.
His lip quivered, his arms shook, and the pit of his stomach twisted. He could hear cackling rumbling around his ears, yet saw nothing. Nothing was there. He was isolated; all hope had disappeared from the world with nothing he could do.
The mound of stones fell from beneath his feet, plummeting him into vacant chaos. He flailed his frantic arms, reaching out with stretched fingers to clutch onto something that might save him from falling with the rocks that descended with him.
It was no good.
His scream was silenced by the lashing flames of the spewing lava he fell into. For a moment the heat consumed him and he was in agony, feeling every cell in his body die. The flames latched onto his skin and lingered there unnaturally, burning his arm to steak.
He closed his eyes in an attempt to endure, feeling the heat burn through every part of his body. When he opened his eyes, the lava had gone. He displayed no scars, no marks, no remnants of the fiery pit he had just been plunged through.
Around him was a grey fog, forming misty cloaks over faded grass. Dead trees hung like a mobile over a baby’s cot, surrounding the graves, nature at its most sinister. As he lifted his head and his eyes fell on the words upon the gravestone before him, he recoiled in sickening horror.
1975 – 1984
Gone and forgotten, never to be seen again.
His mouth filled with vomit and he spewed blood onto the hard ground beneath him. His hands instinctively clung onto the headstone, clawing at the words with the dead skin perched on the edge of his fingers. He shook the headstone as if the words would disappear like an Etch A Sketch, but it was cemented to the ground and would not be moved. He dragged his nails down, hoping to rip it out, ignoring the trails of blood his hands were leaving, praying the eulogy would turn to dust. It didn’t. If anything, it seemed to be getting bigger.
Shuffle, shuffle. The scrape of feet across pavement like a spade upon cement crept up behind him. Hugging the tombstone against his body, he twisted his head, turning to ice, his arms pulsating uncontrollably and his stomach churning a sinking feeling. A cold wind accompanied the scrape, flying the stench of death toward him.
He saw the girl.
She shuffled with hunger, feet dragging demise forward like a bullet passing through a chest. Her bare feet scraped the surface with every slow limp, leaving a trail of blood in her wake. Her long, black, greasy hair fell in front of her face. She wore a stale hospital gown painted with red handprints. He could see part of her thigh beneath the gown with finger nail scrapes left scarred upon it.
She stirred slowly. He could outrun her. Yet, he remained stationary, rooted to the spot with feet like lead. He was transfixed. He didn’t understand why he wasn’t running; somehow, she wouldn’t let him.
He scrunched his eyes shut as she loomed ever closer. He felt her shadow engulfing his, struggling breaths hissing like her lungs were being splintered, a growl released with each exhale.
Her hands gripped his face. He flinched away once more. They were damp, cold, like stale ice, sending a shudder down his vertebrae, incapacitating him with baulking pain, sucking each joyful memory out of him.
“No!” he strained to scream out but could make no sound. His voice abandoned him. Everything became consumed with an overwhelming sense of doom, firing him onto his back, taking the use of his arms, ceasing his grasp on the tombstone and leaving his hand grasping for help.
All he could see was her, over him, snarling at him, dripping on him. Her, her and nothing but her.
She inhaled him, causing uncontrollable convulsions toward her, raising his chest in the air. All senses abandoned him. He was empty. He was done.
He fluttered his eyelids in antagonizing eternity, feeling his hands bound to stone rope prot
Behind the bitch was a booming laugh reverberating through Eddie’s chest. Its deep cackle penetrated his ribs, firing into his non-beating heart and expanding it against the restraints of his body. His head was hefty from the weight of a heavy headache, his hair turning into black spiralled roots growing into the ground. He put all his force into moving his head fractionally up and strained his eyes to see what was appearing before him.
It was a three-headed creature, exuding more manic and demonic energy than the black-haired beast that took on female form. In fact, that ‘female’ beast fell to its knees and bowed before this other creature, acting as slave to its master.
“My name is Balam,” roared from the head of a man, bearded and scarred with mussy, fiery-red hair, wedged between the head of a bull with blood dripping from its jaw and a ram beating its head violently against his body.
Eddie’s body shook with rapid, sore movements, consuming itself with paralyzing dread. He couldn’t move from his abnormal restraints that bolted him to the surface of rock, pieces of stone imprisoning him through his spine with unbearable pain.
“My name is Balam,” it repeated as Eddie peered up at its muscular, naked torso mounted upon a bear that spilt guts from his sharply fanged jowl. “And I have been waiting for you.”
Eddie’s head was allowed to peer up a fraction more to enable his eyes to fall onto what Balam had in its claws.
Cassy. A face full of tears, in a ripped dress full of blood. Her skin was bruised grey, vulnerably reaching out for her older brother, her arms grasping at nothing.
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